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Just returned from a 7 day Alaska cruise visiting Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria. Also a morning scenic cruising in Tracy Arm Fjord. Very disappointed in the ports of call except for Victoria where we only had a few hours in the evening. The cruise staff were extremely pushy trying to sell wine, art, spa treatments and encouraging people to shop at over-priced jewelry stores. The food in the Horizon Court was bland - one mealtime I put 4 different desserts on my plate and tasted a mouthful from each, all tasted the same. Other than that the menus were very unimaginative. I cannot understand how anyone raves about the food. Room service was fine, and the cabin steward did what he needed to but nothing extra - then again we didn't ask for anything extra. The robes available were grey and hard and grungy looking - and we didn't bother to use them, wish we had taken our own. Also the towels were very hard, and I don't know if that is down to hard water but they obviously don't use enough (if any) fabric softener. I ordered a cocktail one evening and it was so watered down with ice cubes that I didn't bother to have any more. The wait staff in the Savoy spent so much time sucking up to the diners that it was embarrassing...same on the one night we dined at the Pacific Moon. The afternoon tea was another disappointment - nothing like an English afternoon tea. We took the Victoria highlights and Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel...DON'T waste your money! The tour started at 7.15pm and by 8pm it was dark and we could see nothing and still had an hour of driving around the suburbs of Victoria with the driver telling us all about house prices and who played at the local golf course, and how much everything cost. The only good thing was the tea at the Empress Hotel but by the time the driver got us there it was gone 9 pm and we had less than an hour. Dreadful waste of money and a real rip-off. Don't go to the port of call shopping show - waste of time - all they do is push the shops they either own or who advertise with them and pay a kick-back. Scrambled eggs in Horizon Court were consistently excellent, and we had beautiful weather which helped. Our mini-suite on Dolphin deck was a good size for the two of us, and the balcony was excellent as it was a real sun-trap. I read somewhere that there was no need to get a balcony if you were cruising to Alaska - not true! The spa GoSmile technician was very tactless and said to us in front of a group of people at the reception desk "when are you going to get your teeth whitened?" I told her "when a dental professional tells me it's necessary for the health of my teeth". Stupid woman. I had a pedicure which was way below par compared to my usual local spa pedicure. The technician lectured me all the time, pushed products, and tried to persuade me to book further appointments. Also she cut the cuticle of my toe nail which now catches on my tights and socks, and whilst she was exfoliating my legs and feet she burst a blister that I didn't realise I had. All in all a very, very disappointing experience. Guess we are just not cruise people. Didn't bother to tip anyone anything extra as I considered the $24 per diem we were already forking out was more than enough for the service we got. Maybe it's me but I just don't understand why people want to make friends with their servers and cabin steward and barstaff...exchanging email adressess etc. Quite pathetic. Will not be cruising again with Princess and certainly not to Alaska. Think we need something a bit more upmarket if we ever consider it again.

Huge disappointment

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by frustfield

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2011
  • Destination: Alaska
Just returned from a 7 day Alaska cruise visiting Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria. Also a morning scenic cruising in Tracy Arm Fjord. Very disappointed in the ports of call except for Victoria where we only had a few hours in the evening. The cruise staff were extremely pushy trying to sell wine, art, spa treatments and encouraging people to shop at over-priced jewelry stores.

The food in the Horizon Court was bland - one mealtime I put 4 different desserts on my plate and tasted a mouthful from each, all tasted the same. Other than that the menus were very unimaginative. I cannot understand how anyone raves about the food.

Room service was fine, and the cabin steward did what he needed to but nothing extra - then again we didn't ask for anything extra.

The robes available were grey and hard and grungy looking - and we didn't bother to use them, wish we had taken our own. Also the towels were very hard, and I don't know if that is down to hard water but they obviously don't use enough (if any) fabric softener.

I ordered a cocktail one evening and it was so watered down with ice cubes that I didn't bother to have any more.

The wait staff in the Savoy spent so much time sucking up to the diners that it was embarrassing...same on the one night we dined at the Pacific Moon.

The afternoon tea was another disappointment - nothing like an English afternoon tea.

We took the Victoria highlights and Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel...DON'T waste your money! The tour started at 7.15pm and by 8pm it was dark and we could see nothing and still had an hour of driving around the suburbs of Victoria with the driver telling us all about house prices and who played at the local golf course, and how much everything cost. The only good thing was the tea at the Empress Hotel but by the time the driver got us there it was gone 9 pm and we had less than an hour. Dreadful waste of money and a real rip-off.

Don't go to the port of call shopping show - waste of time - all they do is push the shops they either own or who advertise with them and pay a kick-back.

Scrambled eggs in Horizon Court were consistently excellent, and we had beautiful weather which helped. Our mini-suite on Dolphin deck was a good size for the two of us, and the balcony was excellent as it was a real sun-trap. I read somewhere that there was no need to get a balcony if you were cruising to Alaska - not true!

The spa GoSmile technician was very tactless and said to us in front of a group of people at the reception desk "when are you going to get your teeth whitened?" I told her "when a dental professional tells me it's necessary for the health of my teeth". Stupid woman.

I had a pedicure which was way below par compared to my usual local spa pedicure. The technician lectured me all the time, pushed products, and tried to persuade me to book further appointments. Also she cut the cuticle of my toe nail which now catches on my tights and socks, and whilst she was exfoliating my legs and feet she burst a blister that I didn't realise I had.

All in all a very, very disappointing experience. Guess we are just not cruise people. Didn't bother to tip anyone anything extra as I considered the $24 per diem we were already forking out was more than enough for the service we got.

Maybe it's me but I just don't understand why people want to make friends with their servers and cabin steward and barstaff...exchanging email adressess etc.

Quite pathetic. Will not be cruising again with Princess and certainly not to Alaska. Think we need something a bit more upmarket if we ever consider it again.
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Cabin Review

Cabin
Great balcony, (Dolphin mini-suite - midships) and even though we were very close to the elevators we had no problem with excessive noise.
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