We picked Royal Princess for the line's 50th year in Alaska and expected a big celebration to reinforce this. There was nothing special or different from our other 8 Princess cruises. The beautiful natural glaciers were the best part.
We started in Vancouver and boarded after a day of sights and Granville Island. We boarded Royal Princess with the new Ocean Medallions. They did not improve the speed of boarding in-fact it slowed things down with long lines and a long wait. We had sailed on Royal in 2014 a few months after its launch. The balconies in all categories are small with footstools under the chairs you cannot use as it about 3 1/2 feet wide window to deckrail. We chose Princess because of the kid's program for the grandkids and Princess's years of sailing to this destination. Our upgrade put both families in mini-suites on opposite sides of the ship, ours not the best side for scenery but gave us a better cabin than the one we reserved a year and 3 months before. While the cabin size, the new mattresses, and two tvs were terrific on sea days, we did not receive champagne upon sailing. Overall the ship's cuisine was average with a lot of cutbacks in the buffet area and at the specialty Crown Grill from our last cruise. The pub lunch in the Crown Grill was also disappointing.
We enjoyed Alfredo's pizzeria on the first day instead of the buffet/bistro area. The addition of a buffet pastry shop made it necessary to visit there for desserts and rolls and then go back to the bistro for main courses and salads and fruits. And then somewhere else to find drinks. There wasn't any Italian or Mexican avenue or salad section anymore. A table for the 6 of us was a challenge to find. And the Ocean Terrace overlooking the piazza was disappointing. We sat waiting for 45 minutes after drinks were delivered. The staff disappeared after they took our order and then they told us they couldn't find any sushi to serve. Our evenings were spent in Vines and watching piazza entertainment. We enjoyed Swirls ice cream bar, the Trident Grill, Alfredo's pizzeria, and the International Cafe and Vines the most.
Very well maintained, terrific new mattress, clean bathtub and shower and enough closet space for everything we had. Both televisions worked and had choices of movies you could stop and come back and finish from the same place. They did not put a mini bar in our refrigerator so we didn't have to worry about additional charges for using it.
Saw Stanley Park and Granville Island and China town and many other places.
Noisy and competitve for seats and poorly planned for getting there and seating.
We took our own ride and hike up Mt. Roberts and then ate at lodge and later
visited Tracy's Crab Shack on the dock.
Just cruised around the bay and took photos and heard narration.