The itinerary and stops were great but the ship seems to be a little tired overall and maybe not the best value for the buck.
So my vacation started with three days in Anchorage on my own.At this time the wildfires were pretty strong and every day there is a hazy smoke that you can smell and see that obscured the mountains. It was summertime and the highs are almost in the 80s which was unusual acording to some of the locals there. We wore T-shirt and shorts and maybe jeans towards the night time. Also the sun never really goes down it’s always bright even in 2 to 3 in the morning it’s still somewhat bright.We did not go to did Dinali Ben stayed up and stay with in a good area. The wildlife conservation was I want to visit worth doing it’s still nearby. I went fishing out of Seward for halibut caught my limit which is essentially 20pounds worth of halibut. Then I went to a nearby reindeer farm I forgot the exact name but that was the greatest little jam and I highly recommend it. It’s basically a giant petting farm but you get to see reindeer feed them EC moose and ox and elk.
OK so to start the cruise we took a shuttle bus from the company ACB. it took about an hour from the airport through the tunnel which was neat onward to Whittier. The bus stops right in front of this giant white tent where the people take your luggage literally two steps away from the bus. Then from that tent you walk into the main building which has nice clean bathrooms and proximately up to 20 people to help check you win. Literally as soon as you get off the bus it took over 20 minutes to get onto the boat it was ridiculously fast. Maybe since the boat is smaller the embarkation is this fast I never had it this fast and easy before. There was no waiting around or anything you just literally get off the bus and non-stop walk and sign in and you get on the ship.
Now this is when it gets a little disappointing. My neighbor said princess what is the best cruise experience he’s ever had. Also we read how princess is so good with service and the food is so good and that is basically the mid-level premium line for Carnaval. So I was expecting a little better type a cruise since I’m used to that type a level of service, my previous cruises been on Royal and Disney And Norwegian. We boarded the ship around 5 PM since it was going to leave around 8:30 PM. I expected our room to be completely ready to move-in but as we walked onto the boat into our room it was already been halfway prepared and we met our Steward. Man did he look tired and he reeks of smoke he Musta had just taken his break but he wasn’t the friendliest of guys but he wasn’t mean either he was just indifferent.
Now here is my single most worst complaint. The room just smell like sweat. It came from the bedsheets mainly and pillows. It just smelled so bad he couldn’t sleep when you lay down your head on the pillow pillow that smells like sweat is the kind of sweat mold smell where when you leave wet laundry in your washer and forget it you forget about it for a few days and then you try to put in the dryer it’s that type of smell was really all the water sweaty smell in those from everything the sheets and the pillowcases even the actual pillows and maybe some of the carpet and even the lampshade it was just the most awful sweat smell like a possibly think of.
finally we just couldn’t deal with it anymore and it was already now 10 PM since we ate dinner and came back and then decided my goodness we can’t sleep in this condition we can’t sleep with the sweaty smelling sheets. So then of course at this time the steward was off service and we had to go to the front desk. Now here is my second complaint. The front desk was manned by a single person at this time and it was a huge line now of like 10 people waiting with various complaints. This is ridiculous there should be more than one person manning The desk especially on the first day of embarkation since many people will most likely have some questions and things to address. AnyWho I told him while emergently I don’t expect them to replace all the sheets of all the beds system or four of us to replace so I said just give me a few pillowcases for an now and will deal with it and then the following morning. how do I mention how much the bed sheets and pillows smell like sweat man that alone totally destroyed my experience with princess.
The onboard Internet Wi-Fi is not the best either. The instructions are horrible on how to set it up on your iPhone or iPad. Thank goodness there was an on-site IT guy who helped me set it up on my phone. This guy was probably the most busiest over the next few days. I frequently saw lines of like 20 people every morning at his desk ask him how to set up and sign up for the Internet service. He was very helpful and unfortunately he had to deal with poor instructions on the procedural level that needs to change somehow and princess.
Now the food was kind of OK. It wasn’t the best I didn’t have that much variety of coarse it’s a smaller ship so I guess that’s the norm. And as compared to Royal or Norwegian The variety Wasn’t there especially at the buffet and choices of specialty dining. The coral princess had essentially two specialty dining restaurants, Sabatini Italian and Bayou Creole steakhouse. There’s also a third pop-up specialty dining restaurant featured in the buffet area called the crabshack. We ate at the Italian and crab shack and both Route K but for $30 seems a little not too worth it. But I did notice that desserts on princess cruise are actually quite good and probably the best of any cruises I’ve seen. Especially on that this specialty dining area is the desserts are different then you get from the buffet and main dining. so if you want to get like those weird special desserts that you see online in a like exploding round ball of chocolate and stuff I think it’s specialty dining is where you get them but I’d never saw any of those in the main dining room or the buffet area. But overall the food quality was decent it’s not the best of the cruises I’ve been on and I haven’t been on any premium cruise lines yet.
Now they told me princess service was phenomenal and top-notch. I did not experience this. The service was a mixed eclectic group of various nationalities I believe from the Philippines, Italy, Romania, and the US. It must’ve been towards the end because boy everyone seems so tired and indifferent. No one was really mean but then again no one was really going out of their way to help you or be helpful it was a very passive style of service if you ask a question you get answered but you have to go around asking the questions and you have to go around asking for help. I’m probably spoiled and it’s not real problem for most cruisers but it does seem so distinctive. Here’s an example whenever I go out to a bar I’ll sit stand there and wait to make eye contact with the bartender. Usually the bartender will say “how can I help you”. But most the time they just stand there staring back at you until you have to say oh can I have a drink and then they usually have some type of banter but then there’s usually no verbal response so go ahead and make your drink and then they’ll give it to you.And then when you received a drink you say “thank you” and they usually say something like you’re welcome but again silence no response. It’s not bad service or they are being mean but it’s like an inch difference like they just don’t care seem to go out of their way to say you’re welcome enjoy your cruise I hope you have a good time tonight. multiply this type of service amongst all the people on the cruise line. From the dining to your steward to the guy trying to sell you the Tanzanite rings, it was kind of unusual I never seen this behavior before then again maybe I’m spoiled with the other cruise lines. My app is a comparison it would be Disney where they are actually over the top and go absolutely crazy with proactive service and there another premium cruise line they’re probably mid-level so that’s what I was expecting a princess from all the reviews and friends telling us how incredible princess Service was.
The entertainment was pretty bad for me. I’m the type a guy with doesn’t really go to the casino. I don’t really like to drink or smoke or dance. I enjoy the gaming activities like bingo or game shows. I really enjoy Broadway style productions like they have a Disney and royal. I’m not really into that whole lounge music atmosphere or those weird disco dancing nights that they have on three shifts this is not my thing. The coral princess unfortunately was all about lounge music and dancing and little to no production shows our main act shows. He did have one production show called silk which is interesting take on the Korean folklore story. But only had one night of showing they should’ve shown that three or four nights thousand fabulous show instead all the other night they had weird disco nights and 80s music nights in bazaar cabaret dancing. I mean who cares about watching people dancing randomly on stage and singing nonsensical music I just don’t find those type of shows entertaining at all. And there were enough game Activities on the boat maybe only two a day. I remember on Norwegian it was constant think there is literally a game events in the atrium on the Norwegian boat every single day and was fun to be interactive with other folks with them.
We brought the family with children and people say Alaska cruises are not child friendly and mostly for elderly adults. The kids club on princess was the absolute surprise. it actually is the reason why the cruise is up to a two star for us. For me to CRUISES) a one star but the kids cover so exceptionally phenomenal and made the kids happy that it basically alone justified the cruise. The staff there were absent remarkable and they had constant crafts and events to do during the kids club. If your kids are very craft like especially at the young age like five years old then this kids club is probably for them. Every night they’ll bring back to the room little trinket such as stuffed toys and T-shirts that they would hand color themselves pirate hats and balloon animals. The actual facility is very small and we were Kinda somewhat scared especially when the teacher told us over 500 kids signed up. This tells you how many kids are on the boat and is somewhat family oriented is not as adult oriented as you would think.
Another complaint is that since this cruise is basically scenery in emphasis. It would have been nice if the cruise director proactively pointed out things during the cruise in real time. For example if there is a pod of whales swimming next to the boat it would be nice if he could just announce at him or the captain or somebody on the boat should announce overhead hey hey guys there’s a pod of whales next on the port side take a look. But no one dead and you have to basically look on the side of the boat on your own for hours and hours is trying to look for something.
Nurs Sup, it’s about the stops and scenery sons particular cruise. One of the main reasons why we took this particular shift even though we knew was older and smaller was that it actually went into glacier Bay. Only a few of the smaller bus can go on to glacier Bay that we were told such as princess and Holland. Now of all the glaciers, the Hubbard bay stop what is the most impressive one. That glacier is absolutely huge and everything you see on line we see has many little broken icebergs everywhere in a gigantic wall of white looking nice that’s it that’s Hubbard. There is an excursion we take a smaller boat for about $250 which seems steep for only two hour excursion but that boat gets like within a couple hundred feet from the Glacier up close and the cool princess cruise but basically stops about a mile away which seems far and you can see the Quetion we need binoculars. I highly recommend that boat excursion even though cost a lot for like two hours you get right up to the glacier which is the whole point Of this entire cruise trip to gets closer to glacier and crashing and breaking and floating a part.
now you gonna hear this from a few people but quite frankly the glacier Bay national Park wasn’t that great. And all you see roughly 2 to 3 other glaciers but you’re much much smaller than Hubbard and you don’t get that close to them either. You only get to see a few seals and maybe one whale and then I also saw one moose. The only real benefit is that the national Park Rangers get on board your ship to help explain what the glacier national Park is all about.
In brief the other stops like Seward and Ketchikan and Juno we’re decent and I highly recommend excursions. I realize Alaska is a different type of cruise it’s not so much the boat it’s really all about the excursions. My favorite excursion was from Ketchikan Which involves a wilderness boat ride and seafood dinner at Silver king Lodge. we ended the cruise in Vancouver which is a beautiful city but man what a hassle doing all their customs and passport deals. In hindsight will be better just to go in and out of Seattle that way you have to deal with customs or anything of that sort. While Vancouver we do the hop on hop off option and direct airport we did deliver your bags directly there. It was a kind of pricey excursion price for it but it’s worth it just to have them take the luggage directly from your room on the boat essentially directly to the airport it’s all you do was hang out in Vancouver and then when you’re done you took their subway bus directly to the airport in 40 minutes. Oh by the way the international concourse in Vancouver is phenomenal it’s very fancy with the fancy shopping I saw a $60,000 bottle of whiskey for sale it’s in sane and very beautiful selfie in the airport airport lounges vancouver it’s pretty just decent international airport on your way back to the US.
In summary the boat was not the best experience we won’t cruise with Princess again in Alaska. The excursions and stops are great and that’s where the real value of the trip is. If I had to do Alaska over again Since I have kids I would’ve picked the largest newest boat With the most activities and still go to Hubbard glacier as a primary stop. Glacier Bay national Park is not the most important stop in my opinion and you don’t need to go on some all dirty boat just to go to the club just to go to that park.
regular sweet size with those bunkbeds that come from the ceiling and there were two of them so overall for individual sleeping areas two twin beds and then to overhead bunkbeds that came down. Fortunately when the bunkbeds come down it blocks the view of the TV so you couldn’t really watch TV. As I want to said the shower is extremely small it was OK for the first couple nights but then it really gets on you how small that is it. Our main complaint with the sheets smelled like dirty old sweat please see the above review for details. I can’t stress this enough to basically almost ruined our trip I helped and smelly was . And when you asked for new sheets it still smells like sweat so imagine sleeping for seven nights with your face on the pillow that smells like dirty gym socks it’s annoying