Overall, we really enjoyed the cruise, but the disappointment in all of Princess's cutbacks in service left a bad taste. We are Platinum members and will cruise on Princess again but my wife and I agreed that we are reaching our limit on how far we will put up with Princess's cutbacks. First the good aspects which were substantial: We really like the ship. The Coral Princess is comfortable, not crowded, in good shape even though it is not new. We really enjoy the Lifeboat (aka Promenade) deck that circles the ship. The new Princess ships have no such deck and are more crowded in general. This ship had a library and game roon which got quite a lot of use by families. On this cruise there were considerably more local aspects than on our previous Alaska cruise nine years ago: sled dog puppies on board, a well-known female Iditarod racer, lumberjack show, Alaska folk singer, naturalist, and really fantastic National Park rangers in Glacier Bay. These really added to the experience. We did the Princess 5-night land tour after the cruise and greatly enjoyed that also. Saw quite a lot of wildlife including many Grizzly bears in Denali National Park.
Now the disappointments: In the buffet there was often not enough variety of food to fill all of the serving areas. The food was good and the variety was reasonable, but it just did not look bountiful. The main (complimentary) dining room menus used to have four courses: appetizer, soup/salad, entree, and dessert. The first two courses have been combined into one. And on the area of the menu that lists items available every evening, steak was always listed in the past. Now that is some form of hamburger. The training of the dining room waiters is apparently nonexistent. We had waiters who seemed as though they were taken off their jobs as deckhands and given waiters' uniforms. They were nice people but it was like we were eating in a cheap diner. When we described this to the head waiter he gave us tables with better waiters in succeeding nights and he was aware of the situation but said he could do nothing. Finally, the balcony staterooms used to have two chairs. One has been removed, so now one person has to sit on the bed. Why???? Is it to encourage us to upgrade to mini suites? This was not a fluke. It has been true on our last two cruises and in the recent Princess brochure the floor plans of the staterooms have been changed to show only the desk chair.
These items are rather minor in themselves and cruisers may not notice, or be bothered by them. But they are worth mentiononing. Finally, overall we had a really great cruise!
A nice standard balcony cabin in good condition. Very clean. The only complaint is that it had just one chair.
Vancouver is a great city for embarkation. Beuatiful to walk along the waterfront and plenty of hotels within easy walking distance of the ship.
A bit scripted, but a good chance to see bears.
Wonderful whale watching boat and crew. Very comfortable, saw quite a few whales and Orcas.