We just returned from a 7-day cruise in Alaska on the Coral Princess. This was my and my husband’s 1st cruise. Some in our group have cruised multiple times. There were 12 in our group of family and friends. Ages ranged from 31-70. (6 couples) Those of us who were first time cruisers were worried about sea sickness; we worried needlessly! This cruise was as smooth as silk. Even our seasoned cruisiteers were impressed with the smooth sailing! Most times I forgot I was even on a ship! We cruised the Inside Passage from Whittier to Vancouver from June 19th-26th. Prior to our cruise we did an independent stay in Anchorage for 3 days touring the city. While in Anchorage we did the Trains/Bears/Iceberg Float Tour with Chugach Adventures and it was so much fun! The glacier float was beyond amazing! The next day while still in Anchorage we explored the beautiful Tony Knowles Trail. On day four of our vacation our ship was leaving from the Whittier Port at 8:30 pm so we decided to plan an excursion prior to embarkation. We chose Phillip’s 26 Glacier Cruise out of Whittier and we were so glad we did!! We booked the 9:30 am train transportation from Anchorage to Whittier through Phillip’s and it dropped us off at the port in Whittier. The Discovery Train collected our luggage when we checked in at the start of the day and delivered it to the Coral Princess for us and the next time we saw our luggage it was in our cabin!!! The Phillip’s boat is located right next to the Princess ship so it was super convienent. The tour lasted from 12:30-5:30 pm and got us back right on time. The glacier cruise was terrific and I would highly recommend it to all. After getting off the boat, we simply took the 3 minute walk to the Coral Princess for our embarkation. Embarkation on the Coral was smooth and seamless and within a short time our group of 12 was on board our ship and ready to roll! We stayed in a balcony mini-suite, room D-603. We loved our room, it was spotless, spacious, and the bed was super comfortable. Our cabin steward Noel made sure we had everything we needed every day. Our towels were replaced 2x daily, and room/bathroom was cleaned spotlessly every day. Our party had 6 rooms in a row and we all agreed Noel was the best! We all loved our balconies too! We were very, very lucky as each day was gloriously warm and sunny! On days when we were not in port, we spent hours and hours enjoying cocktails and snacks on our balconies; although Princess offfered many entertainment options for us to enjoy, it was hard to leave the balcony as nothing could drag us away from the most beautiful views in the world and the warmth of the sun!! I loved my days on the ship as much as I did on my awesome excursions. Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay were nothing short of breathtaking and Princess spent an entire day at each, turning the ship several times so that all guests could view each side without leaving their balcony! We saw whales, sea otters, sea lions, all while sitting on our balconies! While in Scagway, our first port day, we booked the “To the Klondike Summit” through Princess. This was a tour in a very comfortable van with a knowledgeable guide that drove us up the parallel path that the train takes to the Klondike. The tour was 1 and 1/2 hours, just long enough to show us the highlights of the area and allow us to take another tour, which we booked independently with Scagway Float Tours. With Scagway Float Tours we first drove the scenic coastline through the Dyea Valley, and then we hiked the first 2 miles of the famous Chilkoot Trail! As a grand finale we floated down the Taiya River. It was a fabulous day! The time at port was lengthy, so we did both tours and were still able to visit the town after our excustions and enjoy a cocktail. The next port day was Juneau, where we chose to book the “Bike and Brew” through Princess. We weren’t disappointed! We took a lovely scenic bike ride to view the Mendenhall Glacier, and the tour gave us time at the Mendenhall Visitor’s Center. We had time to walk the beautiful Nugget Falls Trail to view the most amazing waterfalls!! The tour then brought us back to Merchant’s Wharf, a really cool waterfront bar/restaurant for beer tasting and a fabulous lunch. We ate outside on the deck in the warm sun and watched the sea planes take off and land. The restaurant was located very close to the Coral Princess so it was super convienent. Our 3rd port day was spent in Ketchikan. We chose to do an all day fishing trip with Baranof Fishing Excusions and chartered our own boat and it was fabulous! Trent was our captain/guide and he was super experienced and knew right where to go to catch some fish! After we caught several fish, we brought them back to Baranof’s campsite to eat them for lunch!! The campsite, with it’s roaring campfire, was super cool, and they made us a wonderful lunch and allowed us to explore the seashore on foot. We returned with time to explore the town of Ketchikan a bit before returning to the Coral. We had to be tendered in Ketchikan, but Princess made this effortless and we got to and from the ship with ease. Now for the other basics: breakfast at the main dining room was always great. We are not big on buffet dining but did go there once for lunch and they had several selections and our lunch was really good. We had pizza one day from another resteraunt and it was good too. We chose anytime dining in the main dining room and ate there most nights. Some food was great, some average. It wasn’t gourmet by any means, but staff was attentive and did their best to accommodate requests. Some in our group had dinner at Sabitini’s and said it was fabulous. We visited the different bars on the ship throughout our cruise and they were really nice. The ship was spotless, and although it is an older and smaller ship, that was really part of it’s charm. I never felt crowded, there was always plenty of space to sit and relax around the ship and enjoy our coffee or wine. The wood and decor that adorned the interior of the ship was old-world classy and added to the appeal. Also a plus was disembarkation, which in our case was in Vancouver, and it was surprisingly easy and seamless. We went through customs in a flash, picked up our luggage, and there were taxis’ all lined up and ship staff directed us to a taxi right away. We hopped in our taxi and made it to our hotel in a flash. We spent the last few days of our trip in Vancouver staying on Granville Island. We stayed right on the water at the Granville Island Hotel and it’s a gorgeous place with fantastic views and food. We had drinks and dinner on the waterfront patio and it was so much fun! We toured Vancouver for a few days and loved every minute of it!! This trip was truly the best and I would highly recommend taking this Alaskan cruise on the Coral Princess! Our entire group agrees! The only negative was that the internet for many was it was terribly hard to connect to and our group and others we spoke with found it hard get/stay connected throughout the trip. That said, I was one of the ones that was happy to be unplugged in Alaska!
Cabin was spacious, spotless, and we loved having the balcony! Noel or cabin steward took care of all of our needs each day! The bed was amazingly comfortable too! The bathroom had ample space and plenty of warm water. Members of our group visited each other’s balconies for snacks and drinks while taking in the gorgeous views!!
Spent the entire warm, sunny day on our balcony taking in the incredible views and watching the wildlife!
Loved this leisurely float after our hike on the Chilkoot Trail.
Scenic drive was beautiful! Followed the Klondike Summit Trail.
What can I say, its a beautiful glacier!!! So glad we got to see it!!