Sea Princess 4
Member Since 2008
60 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating


Sail Date: January 2009
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: San Francisco
We travel every summer with our big amazing family. Usually to condos near our favorite beach in Maui for 2 weeks. But this year we tried something new, a Cruise. It was also a fund raiser for our favorite history project, The John Marsh Historic Trust. We are board members and decided to surprise the family and contribute to the worthy cause at the same time. Princess has a wonderful program for non-profits to earn a little extra money for the organization. Only 2 of us had been to Alaska before. My husband was the Division Geologist for Alaska for several years. Our family, and friends who are close as family [we call them FRamily] varied in age from 75 to 7. The geologist and I are already devoted Princess passengers so the decision as to what cruise line to take was easy.
First the caveats, Sea Princess is one of the older ladies in the fleet, and her inside staterooms reflect this. If you are happy with twin beds then the inside rooms will be great. But if you like More to snuggle up in the same bed, you will be in for a surprise. Princess offers the option of twin or double. But the double is the twin beds pushed together. When they do that, one of you is going to have to crawl over the other to get in or out of bed. To her credit our travel agent did try to warn us, but I just couldn't imagine that they would offer a queen or double that would not allow access even by a few inches to each guest. So I was wrong. We never let things like that spoil our trip, but if the Geowhiz hadn't been in good climbing form it could have ruined someone else's trip as the ship was totally sold out and there were no cabins to swap or upgrade to. We always buy an inside, we spend very little time in our cabins. Sleep and shower is really all we use our room for.

We have never had a problem on the other newer Princess ships, and have already booked another trip to Alaska in 6 weeks! [Couldn't pass up the price which included the land tour to Denali.] The rest of the trip was wonderful. We were lucky enough to have the new itinerary stop at ICY STRAIT POINT. A lovely scenic spot, gentle walks in the woods, whales in the bay, and the world's longest zip line. We went for the zip line. Best thing we ever did. Paid for the trip on the ship. Took the morning group. Loaded us onto a charming old school bus and we rumbled up the most beautiful scenic bumpy road, 3100 feet at the top, where you could see the curvature of the earth if you tried. The Tribal people that live at Icy Strait built the most high tech, environmentally friendly zip we had ever seen. Neither of us had ever done anything like this. Travel is good, it broadens your horizons, right? I'm 68, Geowhiz is 72. It takes 1/2 hour to drive up the mountain. Then a short walk to the Zip portal. 5 adventurers go down on each run. You are firmly strapped in to a comfortable canvas chair with all the safety considerations you would want. They provide the goggles you need to fully enjoy the trip. You will leave your bags and purses down at the warehouse where they are well cared for. When you are all safely secured the gate in front of you opens wide and we rushed into a lovely cloud only to emerge from it within a few seconds and there it was, the most incredible panorama I have ever witnessed in my life. Like an eagle soaring at 3000 feet you see everything. The lovely bay below, the islands that scattered themselves along the coast, the Sea Princess sitting like a Christmas toy in the bay below. The tops of the trees, I can only describe the experience as a spiritual one. Tear came to my eyes, brought by the beauty, not by any fear. If I had any real fear it was gone in the first 6 seconds. From then on I just wanted to store up every second of the changing vista. You are moving about 40 miles an hour, it takes 90 seconds to reach the bottom. The zip slows very smoothly when you are near the end. Handsome woodsmen help you out and let you gush about what you have just seen. It's about $100 per person, and we never spent better money. I would go back in a minute! Just so you know, I hate roller coasters, this is not anything like a roller coaster. We will now seek out Zip Lines wherever we go.

I mentioned the Framily. First you should know we had grandchildren varying in age from 30 to 7. The youngsters, age 7 to 14 all took advantage of The Princess Kids program. We hardly ever saw them, they loved all of the activities, painted t-shirts,sang songs, my favorite was the pre-teens & teens, they learned many new life skills that will come in handy for any future cruise lovers. How to dance, play 21 and poker. Marcus, our princely heir insists it was really a sneaky way to make everyone use math. All of the children also participated in the formal nights, shook hands with the crew and skipped the slow elevators in favor of the mostly unused stairways. They ate their first lobster, learned to make friends with the waiters and be gracious when they needed two scoops of ice cream instead of one. Our adult son was a finalist in the Princess Pop Idol contest, the little girls all participated in the talent show. They were wowed by the Princess Theater productions every night. The first 2 0r 3 days service in the dining room was spotty. We always choose Anytime dining, the ship seemed to have a very large number of new employees and this can cause problems. Once we got with the Maitre'D and expressed our concerns things improved. One thing we have noticed about Princess, things are not always picture perfect, but the instant we complain they move heaven and earth to fix things. You can't ask for more than that.

Next year the family has voted to go back to the familiar summer days on the beach in Maui, but agreed that maybe we could do a cruise every 3 years. So fair notice Princess, we will be back, and by then we will probably have added a few more to our manifest. Less

Published 07/13/10

Cabin review: JJB320

Queen bed does not permit access to two of you. One side was against the wall, that sleeper must crawl over the one lucky enough to have floor to stand on. loved the closet with wonderful wire drawers. Standard princess bath. Baja Deck nice and close to the elevators.

Port and Shore Excursions

Take the ride on the zip line. See my review. Don't argue, trust me, just do it.

Home of the Mendenhall Glacier. One of the few glaciers situated in an accessible place. Part of the National Forest Service lans, it has a beautiful modern parking lot, restrooms and visitor center. Do not pass this up. Take a taxi when you get off the ship. Share with others and the price is incredibly cheap. Don't bother with the ship's excursion. It's 1/2 hour by car to the glacier. Then it's all right there in front of you. A paved walk takes you down to the waterfall created by the glacier and the lake which is decorated by mini ice bergs as they calve from the icy behemoth. If you only do one thing in Juneau do this. Glaciers are incredible parts of nature, and they are not endangered! My hubby Geowhiz, is an expert Geologist and he will tell you that glaciers are here to stay, but since the beginning of time they have grown and retreated, grown and retreated. Some disappear only to be replaced by a new one elsewhere. Man is not a part of this equation, no matter how much we like to think we are that important. We're just not. After you get back to Juneau [yes just grab a cab or call one] warm yourself with an Irish coffee or Alaskan beer in the Red Dog Saloon. Then walk over to the Tender landing for a quick ride back to the ship.

Read 1207 Juneau Reviews

You can just go on your own in this friendly little town. Yes it's full of jewelry stores and other boutiques. Ignore them and take the tram to the top of Mount Roberts. When you get there be sure to go to the "slide Show" it's so much more than advertised. A local family who are all musicians, from the 11 year old up play wonderful music and tell the story of Alaska. No charge, they do take donations after the program ends. See an eagle up close and she is spectacular. You can hike if you please, the view is amazing. Plan to spend a couple or three hours up there at least.

Read 1370 Ketchikan Reviews

Skip the tours. Take the tourist bus that takes you into town and back for $7. If there are two or three of you take a cab, it's cheaper, downtown is pretty close. This was short stop for us, we had to sail by 2pm. Most shops weren't open when we started walking the lovely little shopping area around the Empress Hotel. But the girls kept busy taking pictures in front of the Parliament Building and half a dozen other photo ops out of a Disney movie. This little gem of a city is just too cute for words. Our stay was so short we opted to stay in town and skip the Gardens that make Victoria so famous. Instead, my daughter-in-law had arranged with the Empress for a Special full tea at 10:30am. Only eight of us and we had the entire gorgeous room to ourselves but they placed us four at a table in front of a cozy fireplace. Our waiter was straight out of central casting, what a delight he was. This specially arranged tea cost $50 per person. And we had all the time we wanted. Remember the ship was leaving at 2pm which means we have to be back at 1pm. As we left, a little after noon the group tour from our ship was just arriving for their tea. it was already after noon and there were about 40 of them. I'm thinking we had the better experience! The Empress does serve a full-on tea daily at 12 noon. The price is $50 so they did not charge us anything extra for the special one they did for us. Maybe they just liked my daughter-in-law, she can be very persuasive when it comes to tea. She makes sure we take tea wherever we are when we go traveling together. The cruise group from our ship paid $90 each. That did include transportation back and forth and a little walking tour in the town.

Read 895 Victoria Reviews

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Member Since 2008
60 Forum Posts
Enrichment Activities
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