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Our group of four cruised on the Royal Princess from Vancouver, Canada to Whittier, Alaska from August 17-24, 2019. Unfortunately, our trip was compromised when the ship was unable to navigate into Juneau due to windy conditions. This was to have been our longest port stop and we ended up with an unplanned sea day, circling for about 14 hours. We later learned that the other cruise ships that were around us throughout the trip DID make it into port that day. A simple google search disclosed that Princess had been warned that this 'megaship' did not have the maneuverabilty to handle the ports in windy conditions common to Alaska (https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2019/04/20/southeast-alaska-marine-pilots-concerned-about-royal-princess-megaship/) but they chose to use such a large ship and deny us our chance to experience Juneau and the excursions that we had planned for that day! We thought they could have tried harder to get us into the port (by waiting a few hours or by tendering us to shore) but they made the decision before 7am to abort the stop ... so disappointing! Not a weather emergency, but rather poor planning (greed?) on the part of Princess. If the ports are important to you, consider a smaller ship with another cruise line. We splurged for neighboring balcony rooms on the Riviera Deck so we could enjoy the scenery and it didn't disappoint! We loved that the balcony partition could be unlocked allowing us to share a large balcony! The ship was as expected ... nice decor, nice cabins, good service, lots of food choices, expensive drinks, movies, trivia, etc. A lot of the daytime 'entertainment' is sales related ... art auctions, back pain, foot pain, photo packages, pop-up shops so not really entertainment. The Cruise Director, Matt and his crew were high energy and lots of fun at the trivia games and dance parties. Good live music at various bars throughout the ship but no 'broadway' quality production shows were offered on our trip. We did see a couple of very good comedy shows. They also provided a Naturalist and Forest Rangers to narrate the fjords and glaciers which was very educational. We opted for Anytime Dining and had only one breakfast and one dinner (King Crab Legs) in the Dining Room. We found the Dining Room food and service just okay with plain presentation. We really enjoyed the variety and quality of food in the buffet although it was sometimes difficult to get a table since very few people were using the outdoor tables in the cool Alaskan weather and people tended to linger on sea days. Impressed that the tea was always HOT and the cookies were yummy! Overall, we loved our Alaska vacation but feel very ripped off about missing Juneau. So, we'll choose a line other than Princess for any future cruises as we feel it was a foreseeable issue for them.

Typical Cruise Ship but BEWARE if Travelling to Alaska

Royal Princess Cruise Review by martydow

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
Our group of four cruised on the Royal Princess from Vancouver, Canada to Whittier, Alaska from August 17-24, 2019.

Unfortunately, our trip was compromised when the ship was unable to navigate into Juneau due to windy conditions. This was to have been our longest port stop and we ended up with an unplanned sea day, circling for about 14 hours. We later learned that the other cruise ships that were around us throughout the trip DID make it into port that day. A simple google search disclosed that Princess had been warned that this 'megaship' did not have the maneuverabilty to handle the ports in windy conditions common to Alaska (https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2019/04/20/southeast-alaska-marine-pilots-concerned-about-royal-princess-megaship/) but they chose to use such a large ship and deny us our chance to experience Juneau and the excursions that we had planned for that day! We thought they could have tried harder to get us into the port (by waiting a few hours or by tendering us to shore) but they made the decision before 7am to abort the stop ... so disappointing! Not a weather emergency, but rather poor planning (greed?) on the part of Princess. If the ports are important to you, consider a smaller ship with another cruise line.

We splurged for neighboring balcony rooms on the Riviera Deck so we could enjoy the scenery and it didn't disappoint! We loved that the balcony partition could be unlocked allowing us to share a large balcony! The ship was as expected ... nice decor, nice cabins, good service, lots of food choices, expensive drinks, movies, trivia, etc. A lot of the daytime 'entertainment' is sales related ... art auctions, back pain, foot pain, photo packages, pop-up shops so not really entertainment. The Cruise Director, Matt and his crew were high energy and lots of fun at the trivia games and dance parties. Good live music at various bars throughout the ship but no 'broadway' quality production shows were offered on our trip. We did see a couple of very good comedy shows. They also provided a Naturalist and Forest Rangers to narrate the fjords and glaciers which was very educational.

We opted for Anytime Dining and had only one breakfast and one dinner (King Crab Legs) in the Dining Room. We found the Dining Room food and service just okay with plain presentation. We really enjoyed the variety and quality of food in the buffet although it was sometimes difficult to get a table since very few people were using the outdoor tables in the cool Alaskan weather and people tended to linger on sea days. Impressed that the tea was always HOT and the cookies were yummy!

Overall, we loved our Alaska vacation but feel very ripped off about missing Juneau. So, we'll choose a line other than Princess for any future cruises as we feel it was a foreseeable issue for them.
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