We have sailed with Carnival and Royal Caribbean previously. I was led to believe that Princess was a step up, so to speak, in quality. I was disappointed.
First off, why Vancouver? The embarking experience was a waste of time. Vancouver looks to be a beautiful city, one that I wouldn't mind going back to. But for someone traveling in to embark on a cruise, the amount of time it took to go through Canadian customs and immigration for the sole purpose of getting on the ship was a joke. First you exit the plane and go through this maze of a line just to get downstairs, then another maze to do the biometric screening. Then, after taking a 45 minute bus ride you get to the pier, where you go through another maze, go upstairs, check-in, then immediately go downstairs to go through US customs this time, then get on the ship. Why not just cruise from Seattle?
So the good - the staff service was excellent, specifically, our waiters in the main dining room, Joepep and Rhyan. Our cabin steward, Dennis, was also very responsive.
The scenery at Glacier Bay and the College Fjords was stunning.
The food was average, nothing special. The "Crab Shack", now one of the "premier up-charge specialty" restaurants, is nothing more than a cordoned-off area on the Harbor View buffet deck. We were really disappointed there.
The "not-so-good" - our balcony cabin was tiny in comparison to what we had with Carnival before - the only place to sit down inside the cabin was on a chair or on the bed - grant it, we were either on the balcony or somewhere else on the ship, but Carnival at least gives you a couch to sit on as well. The shower was claustrophobic.
So net/net, in my opinion, if you're looking for a cruise that has a specific itinerary/destinations, or one that has minimal kids running around, Princess will provide that for you.
Disappointing for a balcony cabin - Carnival balcony cabins are larger.
Vancouver is a beautiful city, but for the purpose of embarking on this cruise, the amount of time to get through customs and immigration was a waste in my opinion.
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