Having returned from a disappointing trip and doing some online research, it's come to my attention that apparently the Crown Princess has been limping along for some time, and the company knows about it but is continuing to run cruises rather than fix the mechanical problems on the ship. I'll give our cabin 5 stars because of the SERVICE we received, but we noticed that the cabin itself showed signs of age and disrepair (broken mirror, wallpaper peeling off the wall) and maybe was only a 4 out of 5. Considering that the ship was not cruising for a considerable amount of time, for the cruise line to not address such routine maintenance in a suite is a telltale sign of larger, systemic organizational problems.
If my understanding is correct, the Crown Princess was already down 2 out of 8 engines when it left port (prior to departing we only knew about one) and then during the trip a third was taken offline. Some cruise-goers may be fine with just being at sea, limping along, eating nonstop, and doing whatever activities there are to do on the ship, but for a vacationer like me who gets very little time away from the obligations of life and work, that got pretty boring pretty quickly, the only saving grace being that I was there with my family. I'm not here to shop, to gamble...I'm going somewhere to do something....and the ship is the way to get there. So when you don't get there, and you don't get to do what you signed up for and paid for????
There were so many port changes and cancellations I feel like this was an entire bait and switch, with every excursion I had booked being canceled. We planned well in advance, but by the time things were canceled there was nothing comparable, and almost no available options to chose from anyway. I think ultimately we missed out on TWO ports, and our stop in Juneau was so short I have to wonder why it was even made at all....giving everyone on the ship tickets to the "tram" seemed like a real lame excuse of an apology after basically all the excursions for everyone on board had to be canceled. A $100 shipboard credit for skipping a port is a similarly lame excuse. Between all the cancellations and rebookings and chaos, just our group of four left the ship with over $1200 in "credit" owed to us by the cruise line...I hope that refund occurs soon. That's money that was spent to do things that never happened.
We were given no time at Juneau! All our excursions were canceled, then rebooked, then rebooked again on the ship, then canceled again. Not the fault of Juneau, which seemed like a nice place had we gotten to do anything.
Sad state of affairs in Glacier Bay, hearing from my family who had first cruised here 15 years prior. I suppose it's great to see what's left, but nothing like it once was, or so I'm told. I think if you really want to experience a glacier, in these modern times you probably have to get much more up and close to it than viewing it distantly from the deck of a mammoth cruise ship.
Was a bit chaotic with everyone rushing to get to their excursions, but the Orca Tour we took was exceptional.
The only port where we had actual time to walk around as well as take our excursion (Gold Panning/Sled Dogs/Train Ride). The town was very much a tourist trap, but the tour guides were well aware of it...1 bank...21 jewelry shops.