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Our cruise actually started in Seattle where we arrived at 9:00. After checking in with Princess and were told we would be leaving on the shuttle 'shortly', we sat in the baggage claim area for 2 ½ hours. After getting on the bus we made good time until the border where we sat for an hour waiting to be cleared through Canada. If we had to do it again, we would have just flown into Vancouver. We arrived in the port at 3:45 and thought since the boat was to leave shortly, that we would be one of the last to board. We were surprised to see the long line to get back through security and immigration. Basically, the embarkation process was a nightmare. The positive aspect of the embarkation was that we missed the muster drill that had the passengers sitting in the muster sights for 1 ½ hours! Our room was on the 12th deck with a balcony. Very nice and comfortable. The only issue I had was that the robes that I had requested online before we left were not there and it took 3 attempts to get them. We did have a meet and greet on our first day on sailing that was supposed to be on the Princess Patters, but due to the late departure from Vancouver, the purser could not get it on the Patter. I was surprised to see that no one from the cruise ship greeted us. I have planned several meet and greets and have always had an officer (usually several) join us. I have to say I really did not see many officers (2?) the entire time I was on the cruise. I did not find the crew overly friendly. I had no issues with any of the service on the ship. The room steward was fine and food was fine - not spectacular. We ate a majority of our breakfasts in the Horizon Court - the dining room was more of a time commitment that we were not willing take. The Court had plenty of workers there, but they did not interact with the passengers. We get up very early, so did not have a problem with seat, though I did hear from others that late arrivals had difficulty finding a seat, especially while the glacier view was going on. After being seated, we needed to call a waiter to get coffee or juice. At one point, I went over myself to use the coffee carafe and was scolded. They weren't very friendly and the service was often slow. We ate dinner in the dining room (early seating). The servers referred to the two older ladies sitting at our table as 'mommy'. I am not sure what that was about, but I am glad they did not refer to me with that name - I would have definitely take offense. Other then the overly familiar names, the wait staff was very nice and the service was punctual. We did eat one night in the Bayou Cafe - the food and service was excellent! With all that being said, I do not go on a cruise for the food - though I have no problem eating too much. I used the gym regularly and found it more than adequate. It was a good way to work off some of the food We chose this trip based on the ports and our desire to see Alaska. We had planned our activities at each port based on cruise critic and did not do the excursions on the ship. Therefore, I cannot speak on the merits on those. We did extend our trip to Denali which was through Princess. I did talk to several people who did do some of the excursions and they seemed to enjoy them. We found most of the port easy to do independently and there were many vendors outside the ship if passengers did not have prior arrangements. The 10 hour train ride was long, but the scenery was beautiful. I was on the train when I saw my first moose! The Princess Lodge was adequate. My only issue was the long lines to get coffee. Unfortunately, it was not available in the rooms, so everyone was trying to get their caffeine before heading out of the day at the same time. I know they are a business, but providing a coffee service in the room would be a nice addition. Denali was very easy to do independently. We started into Denali at 7:30 and made it back in time for the dog sled demonstration .We were blessed to have great weather during our trip - even saw the mountain. The people of Alaska and Canada could not have been more welcoming and helpful. The trip from Fairbanks to Seattle was a long day. They had us get the bus two hours before the flight for the 10 minute ride to the airport. We took a short hop to Anchorage and sat again until our flight to Seattle. It was a shame that this could not have been coordinated better and had a direct flight to Seattle. The Doubletree hotel in Seattle was great - spacious, coffee, a warm cookie and close to the airport. Check in was seamless - I would stay at this hotel again.

The good and the need for improvement

Coral Princess Cruise Review by Marylandlion

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2010
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
Our cruise actually started in Seattle where we arrived at 9:00. After checking in with Princess and were told we would be leaving on the shuttle 'shortly', we sat in the baggage claim area for 2 ½ hours. After getting on the bus we made good time until the border where we sat for an hour waiting to be cleared through Canada. If we had to do it again, we would have just flown into Vancouver.
We arrived in the port at 3:45 and thought since the boat was to leave shortly, that we would be one of the last to board. We were surprised to see the long line to get back through security and immigration. Basically, the embarkation process was a nightmare. The positive aspect of the embarkation was that we missed the muster drill that had the passengers sitting in the muster sights for 1 ½ hours! Our room was on the 12th deck with a balcony. Very nice and comfortable. The only issue I had was that the robes that I had requested online before we left were not there and it took 3 attempts to get them. We did have a meet and greet on our first day on sailing that was supposed to be on the Princess Patters, but due to the late departure from Vancouver, the purser could not get it on the Patter. I was surprised to see that no one from the cruise ship greeted us. I have planned several meet and greets and have always had an officer (usually several) join us. I have to say I really did not see many officers (2?) the entire time I was on the cruise. I did not find the crew overly friendly. I had no issues with any of the service on the ship. The room steward was fine and food was fine - not spectacular.
We ate a majority of our breakfasts in the Horizon Court - the dining room was more of a time commitment that we were not willing take. The Court had plenty of workers there, but they did not interact with the passengers. We get up very early, so did not have a problem with seat, though I did hear from others that late arrivals had difficulty finding a seat, especially while the glacier view was going on. After being seated, we needed to call a waiter to get coffee or juice. At one point, I went over myself to use the coffee carafe and was scolded. They weren't very friendly and the service was often slow. We ate dinner in the dining room (early seating). The servers referred to the two older ladies sitting at our table as 'mommy'. I am not sure what that was about, but I am glad they did not refer to me with that name - I would have definitely take offense. Other then the overly familiar names, the wait staff was very nice and the service was punctual. We did eat one night in the Bayou Cafe - the food and service was excellent! With all that being said, I do not go on a cruise for the food - though I have no problem eating too much.
I used the gym regularly and found it more than adequate. It was a good way to work off some of the food
We chose this trip based on the ports and our desire to see Alaska. We had planned our activities at each port based on cruise critic and did not do the excursions on the ship. Therefore, I cannot speak on the merits on those. We did extend our trip to Denali which was through Princess. I did talk to several people who did do some of the excursions and they seemed to enjoy them. We found most of the port easy to do independently and there were many vendors outside the ship if passengers did not have prior arrangements.
The 10 hour train ride was long, but the scenery was beautiful. I was on the train when I saw my first moose! The Princess Lodge was adequate. My only issue was the long lines to get coffee. Unfortunately, it was not available in the rooms, so everyone was trying to get their caffeine before heading out of the day at the same time. I know they are a business, but providing a coffee service in the room would be a nice addition.
Denali was very easy to do independently. We started into Denali at 7:30 and made it back in time for the dog sled demonstration .We were blessed to have great weather during our trip - even saw the mountain. The people of Alaska and Canada could not have been more welcoming and helpful.
The trip from Fairbanks to Seattle was a long day. They had us get the bus two hours before the flight for the 10 minute ride to the airport. We took a short hop to Anchorage and sat again until our flight to Seattle. It was a shame that this could not have been coordinated better and had a direct flight to Seattle. The Doubletree hotel in Seattle was great - spacious, coffee, a warm cookie and close to the airport. Check in was seamless - I would stay at this hotel again.
Marylandlion’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BE 531
Perfectly adequate for our needs. Nice balcony, lots of closet space, small shower.
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