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Island Princess Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,190 Reviews

Didn't see anything better with Princess

Island Princess Cruise Review by Houston TRACK

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jul 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Balcony

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.

Expected better.

Houston TRACK's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin BE B305

Disappointing for a balcony cabin - Carnival balcony cabins are larger.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


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.

Whale Watching

Terrific excursion - saw humpbacks, orcas, otters and a bear - 6 people total on the boat compared to what looked like a hundred on the other boat. Highly recommend

View All 161 Whale Watching Reviews
Tracy Arm Fjord Catamaran

Once on the boat (not a catamaran), an excellent excursion - wish they were clearer on how to meet them as you left the ship. Per their instructions on their confirmation email, we rushed to get off the ship at their directed time, only to not be met by their staff - wasted time looking for them, and I had to call them - a proactive call from them would have sufficed.

View All 50 Tracy Arm Fjord Catamaran Reviews
Dog Sledding

Part of the Alaska 360 excursion

View All 163 Dog Sledding Reviews
Gold Panning

Part of the Alaska 360 excursion

View All 69 Gold Panning Reviews
White Pass Scenic Railway

Booked through Princess, but could have booked direct with Alaska 360, the vendor. An entertaining train ride, followed by a sled dog demo, then gold panning.

View All 1212 White Pass Scenic Railway Reviews

Disembarked the ship and got on the train to the Mt. McKinley Princess Lodge

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Houston TRACK
1 Reviews Written
2 Helpful Votes
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