My friend invited me to travel with her family group to celebrate our birthdays. The Family choose the cruise line, so I was not involved in the decision of a cruise line or ship. Their travel agent only cruises on Princess. This was my ... Read More
My friend invited me to travel with her family group to celebrate our birthdays. The Family choose the cruise line, so I was not involved in the decision of a cruise line or ship. Their travel agent only cruises on Princess. This was my second cruise to the Inner Passage. First was on Celebrity (fabulous!). I was falsely under the impression that Princess is the top of the line in cruising. I was very disappointed by a number of things. Our balcony cabin was kept exceptionally clean by our friendly steward, Edward, but the bathroom shower was unusually small. Our DINING experience was a problem. There were 11 of us and the dining room could not accommodate us at one table (the travel agent managed to get her own group at one large table)and we were separated into two tables in different parts of the dining room. Very disappointing for the grandmas who wanted to spend time with family members. The food was FAIR and generally FLAVORLess (especially the seafood). Our head waiter was very pleasant but extremely harried. Service was rushed and not very personal. Not the attentive, luxury I was expecting. A night at Chili’s not Ruth Chris!
ENTERTAINMENT Fair. Two shows had repeat songs from different entertainers and both were somewhat hokey. More geared to an older crowd and I’m 59! I think the CRUISE DIRECTOR was terrible and very annoying. She needs to be replaced with someone with more energy. Ship was very CROWDED and not relaxing. CREW did their job but I encountered several that were rude (especially the bartenders). Captain was alone with the grannys waiting for elevator and didn’t acknowledge them in anyway. Not a hello! The last night of the cruise I felt that they were done with us and they were on to the next group. I’m planning a cruise to Panama Canal with my husband and will probably not book with Princess. Read Less
Chose this cruise for the itinerary. We lucked out as it was sunny and cool everyday. Sweatshirt and/or jacket in the morning and at sea days due to the wind. Otherwise, a long sleeve shirt or light sweater did the trick. In Ketchikan. We ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary. We lucked out as it was sunny and cool everyday. Sweatshirt and/or jacket in the morning and at sea days due to the wind. Otherwise, a long sleeve shirt or light sweater did the trick. In Ketchikan. We walked around town, and purchased t-shirts. Saw salmon, an eagle and a seal off the bridge in Creek ? Took the Tracy Arm tour but couldn’t go because of the ice so they directed us to Dawes Glacier. The tour operator, Allen Marine was fabulous. I especially appreciated their knowledge, the way they rotated the boat so all could have a photo op and the fact that they held tight waiting for us to get a close up view of a hump back whale (this was a glacier tour, not a whale watching tour). They were outstanding! In Skagway, we rode the white pass trail railway. We had gorgeous weather so we could see for miles. Our tour in Victoria was cancelled so we signed up for an alternate. Unfortunately it was a tour of the city. Great tour. Bad timing. Nothing to see at dark. Surprised Princess would endorse this. Tour guide was knowledgeable but points of interest couldn’t be seen from our coach.
Food on board was mediocre. Wait staff and steward were excellent and always trying to make a memorable experience. Entertainment was meh. The Walker Black Duo was worth listening to. The only music for classic/soft rock. Majority of music was geared toward older folks except on deck where oddly it was rap music. Weird. Cabin was a mini-suite loves the extra sitting area and balcony. Didn’t use our club class perks as we were traveling with non club class people. Don’t feel like I really missed our. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze and being able to check our luggage while onboard all the way to our destination was genius. No problems! Read Less
We had sailed on the Emerald Princess two years ago in the Baltic, so we were familiar with the ship. (See previous post “A Wonderful Ship but a Disappointing Itinerary” from July 2016). There have been few major changes, so I ... Read More
We had sailed on the Emerald Princess two years ago in the Baltic, so we were familiar with the ship. (See previous post “A Wonderful Ship but a Disappointing Itinerary” from July 2016). There have been few major changes, so I will only repeat that the Emerald is beautiful ship and is being maintained reasonably well.
We had cruised to Alaska about 10 years ago and wanted to do it again. We had a very narrow window of time in which we could travel and, of the available options sailing from Seattle, we chose this ship primarily for its competitive pricing.
Embarkation in Seattle was one of the easiest we have ever experienced, certainly the best from any US port. Our hats are off to the Seattle ground crew who were efficient, organized, and professional. It took only an hour from the time we caught an Uber at our hotel in downtown Seattle to be fully checked in, on the ship, and seated in the main dining room with cocktails in hand and lunch ordered. And we do not yet have priority boarding!
Service: The service on the ship was uniformly good and always given with a smile. The staff and crew convey the impression that they really want you to have a pleasant experience on board.
Cabin: B722 – see review below.
Activities and Entertainment: If you cannot find at least two things of interest to do on the ship on any given day, you simply are not trying. The entertainment staff was professional and organized. We enjoyed trivia, and many of the music options, such as the Dixieland band in the piazza and the Elton John imitator. The only negative comment is that sometimes the venue selected is too small and the overcrowding gets annoying. The cruise director overly relied on the Piazza when events could have been scheduled elsewhere with more seating and a better chance to hear, such as the Adagio lounge and Skywalkers’ night club, neither of which has anything going on during the day and plenty of space.
Food: This is a mixed bag and there is absolutely room for improvement.
The Crown Grill and the Salty Dog Gastropub were both very good and worth the upcharge. We did not eat at Share because the menu was just too odd for our taste. Pub lunch (offered on sea days in the Wheelhouse bar), the International Café, and tapas in Vines are good, complimentary choices. The Main dining room is hit or miss; sometimes good, sometimes not. The poolside grill and pizza bar are nice choices. The buffet is okay for breakfast but absolutely terrible at lunch and dinner; poor quality of food, limited choices, inadequate seating. Room service breakfast is only continental and not available on disembarkation day.
A word about “Anytime Dining.” We booked very late (about 3 weeks before the cruise) and this was our only option. We were told that we could call and make a reservation. We tried to do so many times and, with only one exception, nobody ever picked up the phone! We finally spoke with the head waiter in the Michelangelo dining room; she is amazingly efficient and took care of seeing to it that we had a dining time and table of our choice. We do NOT recommend this option if any others are available.
Disembarkation is always a jolt to the system; it starts really early and there is nothing relaxing about it. However, the Seattle ground crew again did an excellent job and we were in and out of the cruise terminal expeditiously. We booked ship-to-airport transfers through Princess and were off the ship and at SeaTac by 9:00 a.m.
Port Valet: One of the reasons we found disembarkation so smooth was that we used the Port Valet system. This is fairly new in the cruise industry (though we used it successfully last November while disembarking a Holland America ship in Fort Lauderdale.) Here is how it works: you receive information about the service and sign up for it early in the cruise. Only certain airports and airlines participate. (We were flying American Airlines to Dallas/Fort Worth). The ship will obtain your boarding passes and deliver them to you along with luggage tags different from those on the rest of the ship. When you put your luggage out the night before disembarkation, you will not see it again until you reach your home airport. The luggage goes directly from the ship to the airport. This eliminates the annoying search for bags in the terminal and really speeds up the process. The cost? None in Seattle; it was a courtesy of the Port of Seattle.
While we had a good cruise, it is an old saying, but the devil is in the details. There were things that Princess still does very well; formal night still involves dress whites for the bridge crew and long gowns for female staff. The champagne tower is fun. The “Captain’s Circle” cocktail party is great. But little things indicated to us that Princess may be cutting corners a bit – no breadsticks in the main dining room, smaller portions in the main dining room, no shower caps in the bathrooms, no “towel critters” on the beds, thin towels and not enough of them, worn out bathrobes. The buffet area (as well as our stateroom) is looking shabby and in need of refurbishing, if not a total re-design. We worry that Princess is spending so much money building new ships that it is in danger of ignoring its existing fleet. Time will tell…. Read Less
We liked the selection of food at the buffet but the taste wasn’t great nor the preparation. I got sick after the first night after eating there the day before (horrible diarrhea & vomiting) or lunch from the Gastric Pub that ... Read More
We liked the selection of food at the buffet but the taste wasn’t great nor the preparation. I got sick after the first night after eating there the day before (horrible diarrhea & vomiting) or lunch from the Gastric Pub that same day. Share restaurant was great, the only one with good food. The Crown restaurant, my husband had tender filet, mine was tough. I should have taken a picnic basket like Yogi bear. Would I go with Princess again? Yes, definitely. I’ll just be more picky with food. Excursions through Princess were ok except for the 4 hr. Ketchikan, too expensive, boring but super nice people running it. Embarkation & disembarking was easy & impressive! Great service by all employees. Cabin dated but new ship on the way to replace this one ( yay!) entertainment , ok. Casino:so so( small, boring). Train ride in Skagway was a don’t miss excursion! Brought me to tears because it was so beautiful. Ship balcony stateroom was worth the extra money for us. Would go with Princess again, just wish the food was better & less people spreading germs- not everyone used hand sanitizer before getting food in buffet line. Our first cruise- will go again with Princess. Read Less
My first cruise. Great adventures, great scenery, great food, great service with great friends. We were given adjoining room. Think epic slumber party, Best trip ever! Danced with Nartive Americans, rode tram, hiked trails, train ... Read More
My first cruise. Great adventures, great scenery, great food, great service with great friends. We were given adjoining room. Think epic slumber party, Best trip ever! Danced with Nartive Americans, rode tram, hiked trails, train excursion, sailed to glacier, petted sled dog pups. Views so beautiful that pictures don’t do them justice. Couple we met said this was their 4th a Princess Cruise to Alaska. I can certainly see why. We were able to get on the ship even before our time which was much appreciated. The ship is beautifully decorated as well. Only downside was movies mostly outside which does not make sense for Alaskan Cruise in September. Not much variety of activity on last sea day. So very happy we were able to take this trip together as friends to beautiful Alaska with Princess. Rex, our singing waiter, made each dinner a truly special evening. And if you like fresh seafood, this is THE cruise for you. An unexpected highlight was chef’s cooking demonstration and a tour of the galley Read Less
We went on a friends 50th anniversary party, with 81 people. We loved the small boat excursion through fiords, and we loved the train ride the time before we cruised, and we loved the gardens in Victoria the time before we cruised. We ... Read More
We went on a friends 50th anniversary party, with 81 people. We loved the small boat excursion through fiords, and we loved the train ride the time before we cruised, and we loved the gardens in Victoria the time before we cruised. We loved our Botticelli waiters Joseph and Alexandro. I loved Reena, and Xanisha in the spa. The spa shoes were never available but always in the dirty hamper. The spa equipment and products seemed cutting edge. I wish the bands and entertainment would have started at 7:30 after our early dinner instead of at 9:30 PM or so. I wish we had more speakers and naturalists. I liked the dueling chefs. The arrival and the departure was very efficient. I wish they would have had scrolling print outs of the captains announcement on channel 44, because we couldn't alway hear the hall announcements, and a scrolling text on that ship channel would convey all the information missed. Read Less
Buscuits, bread, pastries hard as bricks. Dry salmon in main dining room. Poor service in main dining room across all meal times. Steak house was good. Sabatinis was ok. Pizza was really the only fresh food to be found outside of ... Read More
Buscuits, bread, pastries hard as bricks. Dry salmon in main dining room. Poor service in main dining room across all meal times. Steak house was good. Sabatinis was ok. Pizza was really the only fresh food to be found outside of specialty restaurants.
Lines to get food and buffet could be very long. Often you’ll be sitting in the enclosed outdoor pool area. Three times we had to walk to the uncovered pool area to find seating.
The naturalist, Sandy, was great. She was up on deck with us often helping to spot wildlife. Her talks were entertaining and educational.
Singers and dancers were good.
Stateroom attendant, William, was amazing. He never bothered us but always kept the room very clean and in order. The two days cruising the glaciers were the best. We took one princess tour in Skagway to the tundra. The tour ended up going to a place called caribou crossing. It was a tourist trap. The drive there was beautiful though. Read Less
From the time we have boarded the ship to the last day when we were brought to the airport to return home was wonderful. The cruise was relaxing, enjoyable and lots of fun. The ship was very clean and the food was great . Staff on the ship ... Read More
From the time we have boarded the ship to the last day when we were brought to the airport to return home was wonderful. The cruise was relaxing, enjoyable and lots of fun. The ship was very clean and the food was great . Staff on the ship were friendly and could not do effort for us - they were great. Entertainment was great, but we cannot attend to all of it. We met several people from different walks of life, some friendly and some not really. Shops were well presented and we really got bargains. Overall, it was a trip to remember. If I have the funds, we would like to go further north, Denali, Kenai and Fairbanks. Thank you to all the people who have looked after us so well. Thank you Star Princess for giving us a wonderful experience of our first cruise. We have booked our second cruise Australia & New Zealand with Majestic Princess. I’m sure it would great, too. Read Less
We chose this cruise because of the destinations and enjoyed it very much. The ports and excursions we took met our expectations. We took a couple of excursions and they were enjoyable and well organized. We enjoyed the smaller ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the destinations and enjoyed it very much. The ports and excursions we took met our expectations. We took a couple of excursions and they were enjoyable and well organized. We enjoyed the smaller destination cities. Ghent was our favorite. The ship was clean and staff very friendly and helpful. The food was better than average.We found several specialty areas on the ship that were very relaxing and enjoyable to spend our time relating. Our cabin was very clean and the staff was very accommodating to my numerous allergies. We did not do many of the entertainment activities but so enjoyed a piano/violin duo that played in a common area several times of day. We are just not in to magicians or canned entertainment. We felt that overall it was worth the money. There was a variety of age and demographics that we appreciated, enjoying many interesting dinner conversations.Would take this line and ship again to another destination. Read Less
We chose this cruise as we understood Princess to be 5star. And we were right in our opinion. All staff were without exception polite and attentive from boarding to disembarkation and all points in between.
We chose Anytime Dining and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we understood Princess to be 5star. And we were right in our opinion. All staff were without exception polite and attentive from boarding to disembarkation and all points in between.
We chose Anytime Dining and also took the Silver Wine package purchased on board ( the standard alcohol package didn't appeal to us). The choice and standard of food and service was spot on across all three rooms plus we also ate in the Club class Sante Fe one night due to Pacific Moon being busy but at all times we got a table for 4 when we booked or just turned up.
Bar service very good ( slightly expensive with 15%added to all drinks) but felt right for standard and speed of service!
Cabins E207/209 obstructed view but perfectly liveable with shed load of storage and hanging space. Large TV with ample choice of movies and programmes. Aircon worked and well kept room with large comfy bed. Stewardess very friendly and efficient ( if you use your door card displaying 'privacy/ make up room' correctly, no issues).
Entertainment and shows on board some of the best we've seen ( veteran cruisers), plus Eddie Eagle meet and greet and Jeff Stevens comedian brilliant. Entertainment director and crew energetic and great fun, really made even the most boring quiz fun!! We didn't care about winning!!
Overall great cruise, quiet itinary which we wanted, no pushy sales unless you wanted them, definitely use again
Scores below reflect that we didn't use the enrichment facilities (?), the gym/Spa or ship tours. Read Less
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