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Sail Date: August 2019
Wanted to experience an Alaska cruise. This one was offered as a two for one, but, actually was more reasonable at the regular rate. Once on the ship, we were impressed by the friendliness of the staff and by the enthusiasm of the ... Read More
Wanted to experience an Alaska cruise. This one was offered as a two for one, but, actually was more reasonable at the regular rate. Once on the ship, we were impressed by the friendliness of the staff and by the enthusiasm of the cruise director. He kept us well informed and with his energy kept us wanting to attend events he was sponsoring such as trivia shows etc. There were lots of opportunities to find interesting shore excursions both privately on shore and through the cruise line. The cabin was comfortable and clean and the balcony was well used, particularly on the warm sunny days. The food in the restaurant was average. The corn, tomato, and squash came with burn marks on the underside where it has been on the grill too long. We sent several meals back. However, the serving staff were very accommodating and knew both our name, cabin number, and food allergies after the first sitting. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our first Cruise. We learnt a lot from it! We are going on the Ruby Princess again in January, so it did us good to get familiar with it. We will be on a different floor than this time, in January, but things will be have the ... Read More
This was our first Cruise. We learnt a lot from it! We are going on the Ruby Princess again in January, so it did us good to get familiar with it. We will be on a different floor than this time, in January, but things will be have the same eating places. The good things about the room we were in was it was an Ocean View. We could see the waves hitting the ship when waters we rough. Our cleaner for our room was Nopporn Niliprasert and he was great. Good things - Bathroom in this room- is set up really well - The shower curtain never stuck to you when in it - Closet space - more than we expected - Night Light in the room was an added touch - loved it - Hair dryer- was very powerful, never expected that Bad Things- Music- to Loud- not what we expected. Hopefully the same people are not on the next ship. - Dining Areas - We liked the one they had, but more of them should be free - Booze and Beverage Pkg. - should have been all inclusive, more people would have gone to the bars and lounges, where so many were empty.Thermos should be able to be filled for tours of the boat, and just drinking by the pools. - Ketchican- More time is needed there, did not get to walk around after the tours we wee on - Victoria - also could have been cut out or have been longer there. - Agendas - this is a waste of money- when you could give internet free and have an app for it, so all could follow. Or have a bulletin on each floor telling what is up for the day's themes we had to keep the agenda in our pocket and some time, no pockets. - emergency - ??? not sure about this at all! - Servers- good service when you first arrive. After a couple of days, most of them were looking on their cells, talking among themselves, and standing around. A little disappointing! I really hope things are a little different on the trip in January, especially the entrainment. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Overall, it was a nice cruise. Phone reps were fairly knowledgeable and helpful. Had a couple of issues that needed to be resolved and unfortunately, management fell short. The two that I spoke to were rude and very short with me, so be ... Read More
Overall, it was a nice cruise. Phone reps were fairly knowledgeable and helpful. Had a couple of issues that needed to be resolved and unfortunately, management fell short. The two that I spoke to were rude and very short with me, so be aware, problems will NOT be resolved. You will leave feeling very unimportant. The cruise itself was very nice. The dinners were wonderful. Got to try many new dishes I would have never tried before. The staff was very attentive. Lots of food choices. The pizza, burger and ice cream areas are not as great. Kinda like fast food. Enjoyed our time on the ports. Juneau - did the Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier tour. Skagway - Did the Yukon Discovery tour through Southeast tours. Ketchikan - did the Misty Fjords excursion that was highly recommended by Princess, but I would NOT recommend it. It was a little pricey and did not live up to the hype. The Valet Port express was very helpful. I used the Princess shuttle, which was convenient., but cost a bit more. Ubering, especially with more than 2 people is more cost effective. Everything went smoothly with disembarkation. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Booking a Club Class Mini Suite entitled us to priority embarkation - the process could not have been quicker or smoother. We had both red and white wine (half bottle of each) in our room on arrival, canapes on request, and the cabin was ... Read More
Booking a Club Class Mini Suite entitled us to priority embarkation - the process could not have been quicker or smoother. We had both red and white wine (half bottle of each) in our room on arrival, canapes on request, and the cabin was superior in both comfort and layout (see cabin review below for more detail). The ship was easy to navigate and never seemed crowded, even in the most public places! There was something for everyone in terms of entertainment, whether it be bingo, trivia, comedy etc. Of particular note is the very talented Pianist Liam Stewart who performed most evenings in Crooners Bar. The highlight of our cruise was undoubtedly the Club Class dining experience. Absolutely 'anytime dining' in a separate area of the main dining room, with dedicated Maitre D and wait staff who displayed impeccable customer service, and who made the experience very pleasurable indeed. The food was of a very high standard, presented beautifully and in a timely manner, with such delicious offerings as Lobster tail. The bar has been set rather high, and now that we have experienced Club Class dining (in fact Club Class sailing) it will be very hard to book a lower category in future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
What is there not to love about sailing to Alaska aboard the Ruby Princess? Not much! The scenery is stunning, the amenities are fantastic, and the service was out of this world. The good: 1) The ship is incredibly wheelchair ... Read More
What is there not to love about sailing to Alaska aboard the Ruby Princess? Not much! The scenery is stunning, the amenities are fantastic, and the service was out of this world. The good: 1) The ship is incredibly wheelchair accessible. I use a mobility scooter and the only place I encountered even the slightest challenge was at the gym (the machines are placed too closely together to allow a wheelchair transfer). Everywhere else, whether on ship or shore, there really wasn’t anything I couldn’t access. Our balcony stateroom, R301, was wonderful. Plenty of room to move about the room and balcony, and the roll-in-shower was perfectly equipped for my needs. 2) The service is generally above and beyond amazing. Our room steward, Arnolfo Lumbre (aka Arnold) and everyone we encountered in the dining rooms/food service facilities, exceeded our wildest expectations and we’ve been to some pretty high end hotels/resorts. Additionally, the crew fell all over themselves to be helpful — always offering to carry items at the buffet or casual service places and assisting in boarding and disembarking at each port. 3) The scenery is exactly what you expect from this type of cruise: stunning. There truly is no place like Alaska. 4) The shore excursions we took were all excellent. The operators were extremely professional and friendly. From whale watching in Juneau, the scenic train in Skagway, the lumberjack show and visit to the Saxman native village, and night tour of the Butchart Gardens in Victoria there was nothing that we didn’t love. We also did a side trip to Jewel Gardens in Skagway on our own where we had lunch at their lovely restaurant Poppie’s and blew glass ornaments. It’s only a mile outside of town and easily walkable through a safe residential part of town, or you could take one of the city’s SMART shuttle buses that stops right on the property for $2 each way. 5) Michael Modzelewski, the ship’s resident naturalist, is a national treasure. Go for him alone. 6) Food was generally very good. Take it from a discerning NYC foodie. Most meals were excellent, and SHARE and Salty Dog were nice treats that were well worth the up charge. Lobster night (formal night #2) and crab leg night (Skagway day) are not to be missed in the main dining room, so plan to be there for those. Generally anything with crab and chocolate was extremely well done. Breakfast at the buffet and international court cafe was generally better than in the dining room, though lunch and dinner was the reverse. The not so great 1) The shore excursion desk. While most employees on the ship go out of their way to be helpful and are great at their jobs, the people at the shore desk are a special brand of incompetence. We got a call from them to inform us that a lift bus would not be available for one of our excursions at the last minute though access was confirmed with the shore excursions dept months in advance and the dock manager was very confused because there were multiple lift buses working that day and I was on his manifest for rides back to the ship — so it all worked out, but not without wasting an hour dealing with the shore desk. 2) Salmon! Surprisingly the one thing the dining room kitchen couldn’t get right was salmon. Way over cooked and under seasoned two nights in a row. 3) Coffee in the dining rooms was dreadful. Tasted like hot water with brown food coloring so we ended up buying lots of lattes. 4) There weren’t a lot of social activities that are geared to younger passengers. My friend and I are in our thirties and it seemed like most of our fellow cruisers were either retirees or families so it was hard to find others in our demographic to hang out with. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Went with friends for my first cruise and first trip to Alaska. Being a novice to both - it was an incredible experience all the way around. The cruise staff were always friendly and helpful. Ship very clean. Food in dining areas was ... Read More
Went with friends for my first cruise and first trip to Alaska. Being a novice to both - it was an incredible experience all the way around. The cruise staff were always friendly and helpful. Ship very clean. Food in dining areas was very good with varied selections. Ate dinner at buffet once - many selections. Drink prices were a respectable price range. They were not off the charts and inline with what I pay at home - pleasant surprise. Our cabin was immaculate. Constantly keeping our rooms in shape. Room service was so quick. Embarkment and disemarkment ran with ease. Entertainment was very good and diverse. Excellent shows by comedian Mike Wilson and piano/singer Liam. Dance lessons and Zumba. Trivia and Karaoke. And many many more options to keep you busy while on the ship. Excursion in Skagway was beautiful and well worth it. Excursion in Canada was the only negative part of the trip. We docked a bit late and therefore the bus trip was in the dark. Not sure how you're expected to tour and see things in the dark. Total waste of money and time. The woman running the trip was good - being dark wasn't her fault. They should have given us the option to back out and give us a refund. Extremely disappointing for our last night on the cruise. Given there was always attention to detaIl for every part of the cruise, I'm surpised this slipped through. Kudos to our steward, Jose; waiter, Stephen; bartender, Deepak; entertainment, Guido. I wish I could remember the names of all of them - ALL the staff were so good and made you feel like family. It's really tough to name a few. Thanks to Princess Cruises for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. Alaska is amazing. Words can't define the beauty of the nature seen. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose Alaska as the destination for our 30th wedding anniversary and we chose the Ruby Princess because we had read good reviews of the ship. We booked 9 months in advance and our Princess vacation planner (Leticia Woolum) was terrific ... Read More
We chose Alaska as the destination for our 30th wedding anniversary and we chose the Ruby Princess because we had read good reviews of the ship. We booked 9 months in advance and our Princess vacation planner (Leticia Woolum) was terrific at walking us through all the options. We took our adult daughters with us (ages 22 and 20) and booked adjacent rooms where the balconies connected once the partition was removed. Our oldest can become seasick so Leticia chose the Aloha deck (higher up) and cabins that were mid-ship (A619-A623) to minimize the amount of motion we would likely feel. We flew into Seattle the night before the cruise and stayed at the W Hotel near Pike’s Market. It’s a trendy, hipster place with a great staff. We took an Uber XL over to the pier around 2:15 pm (our assigned time to board was 2:30 pm). We used the porters to take our luggage and walked right into the terminal – there were no lines at any of the checkpoints. We were literally on board in about 5 minutes. After checking out our cabins and meeting the steward, we got a bite to eat and the luggage had been delivered to the rooms by the time we returned. We used the Princess@Sea app on our iPhones (in addition to the Princess Patter newsletter) to decide on board activities. The app is terrific, and we used it extensively to message each other while on board. The only negative is that you do not receive a push notification when someone sends you a message (as you typically would for normal texts). So, when we were separated on board, you had to remember to look at the app every few minutes to make sure you didn’t miss a message (for example, “hey, bring me back a piece of pizza”). As for activities, we especially loved the trivia contests, the True or Moo contests, Movies Under the Stars, and Blingo. The fitness center was much larger than we expected and there were several exercise classes to choose from each day. We steered clear of the (never ending) EFFY jewelry promotions, the art auctions and the Lotus Spa treatments. Our favorite activity though, were the wine tastings – not the large gathering in the Botticelli dining room that get so-so reviews, but the small group setting (8 people) in the Vines wine bar. The sommelier, Alan, had a signup sheet on a table in the Vines wine bar – had we not stopped while walking by to see what the clipboard was for, we would have missed out on our favorite experience. For just $37 per person, we tried 5 fabulous reds paired with various cheeses and meats. An absolute bargain. At the end, Alan mentioned he was planning a white wine tasting on the afternoon of the sea day spent in Glacier Bay, and everyone at the red wine tasting signed on for that too. Alan paired 3 whites with a delicious sushi offering and then ended the tasting with champagne. An absolute steal for $15 per person! If Princess was smart, they would do well to expand these small group wine tastings from just 2 per cruise to many more. The service was exceptional and friendly – from our cabin steward to the dining rooms, bartenders and activities. Our steward (Joseph D.) made a lovely swan and heart towel sculpture for us on the first night and then made a few for our daughters the rest of the week. Every time we left the room, our steward had refreshed the room before our return. Before the cruise, we had preordered some alcohol, soda and water and the vouchers were in the room on the desk when we arrived – I called room service and they were brought to the room in about 30 minutes. Our steward always made sure we had plenty of ice cubes in the bucket. About two weeks before the cruise, we finally started to review the shore excursions available in each port – the shear number of options was mind boggling. It took at least 2 hours to read the excursions, find ones that interested everyone in the party and then do a quick check on whether someone had left a recent review on-line. I booked a few through the Princess web site and planned do book more but the web site cuts off on-line bookings 5 days before the cruise (seems dumb to me and I still haven’t really received a satisfactory explanation as to why they wouldn’t let people book on-line right up to the day of embarkation). Anyway, once we boarded Saturday afternoon, my first stop was to the shore excursion desk and I booked the remaining excursions I had planned to do on-line. Here’s the rundown with letter grades for Juneau: Interactive Self-Guided Jeep Tour (B+), Mendenhall Glacier River Float (A+, and you will get wet), Skagway: Red Onion Saloon (A-), Musher’s Camp (A+), Ketchikan: Adventure Kart Expedition (A+, and you will get muddy) and Victoria: Butchart Gardens (A+). Because the ship is only in Ketchikan for ½ day, you can only do one excursion and even then, there’s not really time to see the town itself before you must be back on board. And the time in Victoria is even less (scheduled for 4 hours) – but strong winds delayed our ship by an hour, so we only had 3 hours in Victoria – and thus we had to walk briskly through Butchart gardens in order to see everything. (Princess did offer to refund the cost of the excursion to those people that chose not to go to Butchart because of the compressed time.) Prior to the cruise, we had booked dinner reservations at the Crown Grill on Saturday and at Share on Sunday. Both restaurants were fantastic – the quality of the food, the presentation of the food, and the broad wine and food menu selections. We thought the up charge for each restaurant ($29 per person) was more than reasonable. We also ate at the Salty Dog Gastropub on the other sea day (Wednesday) and the service and food were also excellent (Thank you Artha, Pamela, and Vicky). As for the main dining room, we chose anytime dining and never had an issue calling down for a reservation the same day…although that could have been the case because we generally ate at 8 pm or later. On the last day, in the main dining room, we actually ordered entrees from the Crown Grill menu – it’s a different kitchen but the same delicious food – and yes there was an up charge for that as well, but again, we felt it was reasonable. The Horizon buffet was good although we mainly used it for breakfast and the occasional snack. The made-to-order omelettes were very good. The only negative was the weak coffee – not good at all. On the third day we started to go to the International Café instead. The expresso and specialty coffees were excellent (yes, an upcharge of $2.50 and up) but well worth it. The Café also offers breakfast sandwiches, salads and paninis, plus cookies and sweets (no upcharge). The other cool place we discovered on day 3 was the Wheelhouse Bar, which is co-located with the Salty Dog Gastropub. A wide array of available spirits and cocktails, each made expertly by the bartenders (thank you Romero!). They also have live music (mostly piano, guitar, sax, bass) that sets a nice club mood. Side note on the Speakeasy Cigar Lounge adjacent to the casino. As an occasional cigar smoker, I was looking forward to going there at night to have a few puffs. The cigar selection was ok, not great – maybe ten brands to choose from. However, a big drawback is that Princess allows cigarette smokers in the cigar lounge – which is a big turn off for most cigar smokers – and totally unnecessary since they can smoke in certain sections of the casino and at designated outdoor locations. If Princess was smart, they would have cigar and bourbon tasting promotions or cigar and port tasting promotions, charge $15 for the cigar and comp the tastings – but first they would need to not allow cigarette smokers in the lounge. It’s has big revenue potential and Princess is missing out. As for entertainment, we didn’t make it to any of the production shows. However, we saw the “house” comedian (Michael Wilson) on both nights he performed. We thought him very funny. Our daughters didn’t get all of the jokes (e.g., Johnny Carson impression) but I think he skews his material to an older age demographic given the make up of the passengers. We also saw the French magician the night he performed, and he was very good. The only disappointment was the “guest comedian”, Jim McDonald – low energy and not very funny. Disembarkation was easy. We didn’t follow our assigned time since we had a later flight home and wanted to stay a little longer on the ship rather than at the airport. Eventually we left the ship, picked up our luggage at the pier and proceeded to the busses. We had pre-purchased transfer vouchers to take us from the pier to the airport. No one ever asked to see them – I wonder how many people just got in-line and boarded the bus without knowing they were supposed to pay? One last suggestion…bring some cash on the trip just for tipping. The bus drivers and guides for the shore excursions are typically seasonal workers and they rely in part on gratuities. On the ship, whenever you ordered something with an upcharge and the server brought the receipt to sign, they would usually ask for a cash tip instead of putting the gratuity on the room charge (because those gratuities are shared across all workers). In summary, this cruise is a “bucket list” trip and the Ruby Princess is a good way to experience Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Always wanted to see Alaska. Service was top notch. Food was great everywhere except the specialty steakhouse. Entertainment was great. Did the helicopter ride to mendenhahl glacier. Once in a lifetime experience. White pass train trip ... Read More
Always wanted to see Alaska. Service was top notch. Food was great everywhere except the specialty steakhouse. Entertainment was great. Did the helicopter ride to mendenhahl glacier. Once in a lifetime experience. White pass train trip was so entertaining. Hannah, our tour guide was the best. The new port valet service was a life-saver. We had all day in Seattle on our return. Our bags were sent straight to the airport. I have taken many cruises and have always had great information from customer service beforehand. The customer service before the trip wasn't great. Also, the cruise onboard schedule was not available. We didn't schedule any specialty dining or spa treatments ahead of tome because we couldn't tell when we would have time. However, the service onboard was so good we were able to schedule everything we wanted. I really couldn't tell if it was because we were in a suite and got special treatment but we had no problems reservations. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Embarkation was very smooth and we were on ship within 20 minutes of arriving at the port. Our cabin C212 was ready for us and luggage arrived very soon. Anyone using this cabin in future should note that although the theatre is on deck ... Read More
Embarkation was very smooth and we were on ship within 20 minutes of arriving at the port. Our cabin C212 was ready for us and luggage arrived very soon. Anyone using this cabin in future should note that although the theatre is on deck 6 and 7 the sound travels all the way to deck 10 where we heard every rehearsal and every show very loudly. You would have thought that perhaps they could have put some kind of sound baffle in between decks but I guess not. Our cabin steward was very good and our wait staff in the MDR were wonderful. The food in both MDR and buffet was up to the usual standard. Princess excursions were expensive and we only used them once. This was for a disembarkation tour which took us to a fishing village just outside of Copenhagen before dropping us off at the airport. We only went on this tour as our flight was not until 4.30. At the other ports we just got off the ship and did our own thing. In St Petersburg we used Cruiseexcursions.com for a 2 day tour and our guide, Natalie was very knowledgable. I can thoroughly recommend that tour which is about half the price of the Princess one and includes a visa. Nynashamn was the only disappointing port. We were told it was a lovely place where people from Stockholm came to relax but there was nothing there. We should have taken the train into Stockholm which seemed really easy to do. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We flew onto Copenhagen the day before the cruise making our way to the ship on our own. This cruise went to many places in northern and Eastern Europe in the former Soviet block. We enjoy visiting historic and UNESCO sites and St. ... Read More
We flew onto Copenhagen the day before the cruise making our way to the ship on our own. This cruise went to many places in northern and Eastern Europe in the former Soviet block. We enjoy visiting historic and UNESCO sites and St. Petersburg’s palaces and churches and the Peterhof Palace and gardens were wonderfully beautiful on a grand scale. In the evening we enjoyed a variety of traditional Russian folk dance and song complete with an intermission that included pastries and champagne in a beautiful private palace. In Finland we toured the city and drove into the countryside to visit a classic old village and then off to a vineyard at an old farm for a wonderful luncheon and in Estonia we toured a lovely mid-evil town from the 1600’s that survived WW2. In Germany we visited Rostock which was heavily bombed during the war because of the submarine and aircraft manufacturing that existed. Today it’s the home of large shipyards which build cruise ships among other vessels. After touring the cathedral which houses a calendar clock made in the 1420’s and still operating with its original works we drove to the Schwerin Castle. In Stockholm the Vasa Museum and a walk through the old city were spectacular. The Vasa was a 17th century wooden sailing ship with two gun decks that was unstable and had sunk during its maiden voyage in front of the royal palace in 1628. Because the water in the Baltic has such a low salinity level the ship remained nearly completely intact. The visit to Oslo was too short but the sail away through the fjord was beautiful. We had previously visited Oslo so this time we only took a boat cruise around the area. The city itself is beautiful in there are sculptures everywhere the most impressive being in the Vigeland Sculpture Park where hundreds of lifelike granite sculptures depict every stage of human emotion. At the conclusion of the cruise everything during the disembarkation went extremely smoothly and efficiently. Our bags were delivered directly to the airport where we retrieved them for our flight home. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Excellent cruise. The captain provided informative narratives each day. The production shows were outstanding. The art lectures were quite interesting. Food was outstanding, particularly at dinner in the dining room. Most nights I ... Read More
Excellent cruise. The captain provided informative narratives each day. The production shows were outstanding. The art lectures were quite interesting. Food was outstanding, particularly at dinner in the dining room. Most nights I ordered the fish entree and was never disappointed! There were so many choices of healthy deliciously prepared vegetarian dishes at the buffet as well as a wide selection of amazing desserts. We appreciated our balcony room when we pulled out of Oslo. What breathtaking scenery. If you are thinking about going on this cruise, consider these things: You are at ports from a few hours to a couple of days. As a result you only get a small picture of each city. Rather than spending hours going to and from Berlin, consider staying in the port town. It has a wonderful family beach and a delightful village--perfect for people watching and absorbing the culture. Helsinki is another place that I believe for the short time you are there that you can experience it best without a tour. Get a ticket for the cruise ship shuttle which will take you to 4 different locations, then explore major attractions on your own. St. Petersburg and Stockholm are best experienced with a tours. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Everything...cruise Princess the best. The best service, entertainment,food,excursions etc. Been cruising with Princess for many years and it never disappoints us. We are Elite members and we love the extras that Princess gives us. ... Read More
Everything...cruise Princess the best. The best service, entertainment,food,excursions etc. Been cruising with Princess for many years and it never disappoints us. We are Elite members and we love the extras that Princess gives us. Excellant Baltic Cruise. We love the Mediterranean cruise also. Also, their Carribean cruises are the best all around and love their private island and ports of call. Can’t say enough about their service and caring for their passengers. Very helpful when a problem arises. The new Medallion cruises are the best. Love the way the Medallion opens your cabin door for you. Also, the Medallion is great when boarding and disembarking the ship. The Regal Princess is a magnificent ship in every way. From its beauty to all that serves the ship. All the ports of call are beautiful and easy on and off the ship. The medical facility is good if you need medical attention. We found the front desk very helpful and the new Medallion Net is very fast. Gets you on line very fast. From Platinum member up they give you free minutes on the net. Elite members have the option to get their laundry washed free of charge. Which I find a big plus...just wonderful! The food is always good in the dining room. We always choose the traditional dining and love it because you get to meet people and get aquatic with them on the cruise. Instead of meeting someone different every night with anytime dining. The buffet on the Regal Princess is fabulous. Especially the bakery. The service in our stateroom is always exceptional. Also, the entertainment on all Princess ships is wonderful. The production shows are outstanding. The singers and dancers are so professional and give excellent shows. The Baltic cruise we just got home from the entertainment was one of the best. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise mainly because we've enjoyed all previous Princess cruises and we wanted to see new countries. We arranged our travel time so we could spend a day in Copenhagen before embarking on the cruise. With the ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly because we've enjoyed all previous Princess cruises and we wanted to see new countries. We arranged our travel time so we could spend a day in Copenhagen before embarking on the cruise. With the medallion system embarkation went smoothly and we were on board within 20 min. of arriving at the ship. Our luggage arrived at our room very shortly after we did, which hasn't always been the case on previous cruises. Our oldest son travelled with us as he did last year and this made our trip even more enjoyable! This ship was the largest of any we've cruised on but everything ran smoothly. Our cabin steward made sure our room was always taken care of. As on any cruise, one of the highlights is the food. This was no exception. We dined at the second sitting and Dan Lee and Wilson took excellent care of us each evening. We also enjoyed lunch most days at Horizon and never failed to be amazed at the variety and quality of food. We enjoyed several of the musical shows at the Princess Theater, the talent of the singers and dancers was Broadway quality. Each one of the ports was so different and interesting. We took 4 port excursions and one shuttle bus trip. The tour guides were so knowledgeable and helpful. All in all, this cruise is probably the best of many we've enjoyed over the years. Truly an unforgettable experience! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Exceeded our expectations from embarkation to debarkation. Crews are very friendly and helpful. You don’t get hungry as lots of yummy foods on board and lots of sporting activities you can do on board to ensure you don’t get extra kg ... Read More
Exceeded our expectations from embarkation to debarkation. Crews are very friendly and helpful. You don’t get hungry as lots of yummy foods on board and lots of sporting activities you can do on board to ensure you don’t get extra kg while indulging with lots of good variety of foods. Medallion class made everything on board really easy. They have a very systematic system where everything really works very well. We have enjoyed all the activities on board, in particular, the shows daily. Our crew steward always ensure that our room is being looked after daily. Live TV updates is also very helpful for everyone as you will be informed on what’s happening on the ship, ports and shore excursions very important informations and tips. We will definitely cruise with Princess again and will recommend them to our friends and families. Keep up the good work and hope to see you again soon. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I only chose this cruise for the itinerary, almost everything about the cruise experience was sub-standard, frustrating, and it did not come close to meeting my expectations. So disappointed. Balcony room on the baja deck was near back ... Read More
I only chose this cruise for the itinerary, almost everything about the cruise experience was sub-standard, frustrating, and it did not come close to meeting my expectations. So disappointed. Balcony room on the baja deck was near back of ship; the room smelled!!!! it was also filthy, including bugs in the drawers and dust everywhere, also varnish all peeled from railing on balcony and rust everywhere.. Took 2 days to get moved and the new room at least smelled ok but was still dusty throughout, Not pleasant for someone with allergies. in new room we found children's sandals under the bed, toenail clippings on the floor (took them a week to vacuum them). Everything was an up charge, the coffee was horrible, and the ice tea was mostly water. the food was mostly bland and tasteless The only [and I do mean only] bright spot on this cruise was the service of the acupuncturist from the spa. Although quite expensive I feel she was worth every bit. Shopping was a joke, and the entertainment was exceptionally bad or nonexistent. Princess cruises; you have lost a customer for life with this cruise. Money down the drain Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
From our departure at the San Francisco Cruise Terminal, our embarkation was very smooth. Even though there was a line, the wait was very short. We live in the Bay Area so leaving from San Francisco was a plus for us. Overall, our ... Read More
From our departure at the San Francisco Cruise Terminal, our embarkation was very smooth. Even though there was a line, the wait was very short. We live in the Bay Area so leaving from San Francisco was a plus for us. Overall, our entire 10 days were filled with a lot of beautiful memories. From our first meal which is having lunch on Deck 14 (Lido Deck) to disembarkation, our experience on this cruise is very memorable. We also chose to buy the unlimited photo package which gets you a USB filled with all of the digital photos taken every day from embarkation, shore excursion gangway photos, and other activities that we participated in. The Cruise Director, Steve did a wonderful job is keeping us busy. There was never a dull moment. I tell people that if they tell me they are bored in a Cruise, it is their fault. There is no excuse to say that one gets bored in a Princess Cruise. We chose Anytime Dining and we were able to meet a lot of other passengers. We will chose Anytime Dining again on our next cruise. The Chef (Joel Directo) of Grand Princess during our cruise is an award winning chef and he was also very funny during the Culinary Demonstration. All of the lunches and dinners that we ate were amazingly delicious. The entertainment and music is awesome. We bought the Rhapsody Trio CD and we played it immediately once we were home unpacking our suitcase. We can still visualize them playing as we were putting away our clothes and doing the laundry while listening to the CD. The broadway shows were 5 stars. We had Born to Dance which was a wonderful performance by 10 dancers and 4 singers. The magician/comedian that performed during our cruise were both awesome. In addition, we also had a singer/comedian, Steve Moris who is a regular at a lot of Princess Cruises. The waiters and bartenders were all very attentive and was always asking us what they can get us. I say that they served us above and beyond the usual. As for the shore excursions which we purchased through Princess Cruises, we went to all of them without any problems. Every excursion started on time and we are very happy and satisfied with the excursions that we signed up for. All of the tour guides were very friendly and very knowledgeable. We actually signed up for our next cruise already taking advantage of the onboard Princess Cruise offer. I can't forget to call special attention to all of the photographers who patiently took our photos every time we asked them. The results of our photos were professional quality. We went away with a ton of pictures and a lot of memories to remember this particular cruise over the years. Thanks Princess Cruises! Until our next cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We were two families with three kids total, ages 15, 14 and 9. Having read some of the recent negative reviews, we kept our expectations low but they were all greatly exceeded. From the moment we stepped on the ship, the staff members ... Read More
We were two families with three kids total, ages 15, 14 and 9. Having read some of the recent negative reviews, we kept our expectations low but they were all greatly exceeded. From the moment we stepped on the ship, the staff members were friendly and helpful. Because it’s such a small ship, many of them got to know us personally and addressed us by name. We found the ship in great condition and very clean with crowding only in the dining room, food court and during major entertainment options and tours. For the most part, the ship felt pleasantly uncrowded. There were lots of comfortable indoor seating areas, both within the venues and in the walkways, to view the scenery indoors. I also enjoyed daily walks on the Promenade deck when conditions allowed. We had a mini-suite with a balcony on deck 10 that easily seated 4+ people and we opened the door so that it adjoined to the balcony of our travel companions, which made coordinating plans and hanging out very easy. (Bring bungee cords or duct tape to secure cabin door open if you plan to do this.). We spent a lot of time on our balcony and, when that was too cold, on the aft deck on deck 10 which was less affected by the wind and had comfortable lounge chairs. The bed was very comfortable but the pillows were too high for our taste. The sleeper sofa was quite uncomfortable with a hard bar in the middle and it sloped down from foot to head. Our amazing steward, Robert Orena, solved the bar problem by bringing a second mattress to put on top which he stored behind the sofa each day. We solved the sloping problem by reversing the head and foot of the bed. The food in the main dining room for dinner was better than expected. There were some amazing items, many very good items, and just a few misses which are likely chalked up to personal preference rather than poor food quality. Service was efficient and our head waiter got to know our personal preferences very quickly. The breakfast menu in the main dining room was a little disappointing in its limited choices so we only ate there one day. The Horizon Food Court had plenty of options each morning to make us all happy for breakfast. For lunch, we had the most amazing wood-fired pizza at the pizza day at Sabatini’s. We wished we could have repeated that! We also really enjoyed the pub lunch at The Bayou. The International Cafe is a great place to get a nice speciality coffee or high quality snack or dessert 24 hours per day. They also have a full bar. Regarding the children and teen clubs, the 9 year old enjoyed many themed activities at the kids club and the 14 year old boy, who loves gaming, enjoyed the teen club. The 15 year old girl, who does not enjoy gaming, didn’t frequent the teen club. The adults’ favorite entertainment on ship was the Crooners Lounge piano bar which we attended each night. Don Juan was a great musician with a varied catalogue and great personality. The servers there were also very fun and attentive to us and to our children when they joined us. We also enjoyed some of the trivia contests as well as the Voice of the Ocean contest. The days in Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay were both amazing! We were very close to the glaciers and had great weather for viewing the scenery. A light puffy coat or similar was required, but it was very pleasant. They also have blankets for passenger use on the top deck. In Skagway, we rented a car and drove up to Emerald Lake and Carcross. It was a great day despite the strong, frigid winds. Our whale-watching trip in Juneau was canceled due to rough conditions so we just toured the town briefly. In Ketchikan, we had to use a tender to get into town which was a more cumbersome process. We enjoyed a walk up to the salmon ladder and along the boardwalk there. While there were a few unique shops, for the most part the shopping seemed the same in all three ports and very similar to any other tourist town. Embarkation and disembarkation were both extremely efficient. It took us less than 30 minutes to get from check in to our rooms, although the luggage came much later. We did a self walk-off with our luggage. We left our room at 7:50 a.m., walked to the dining room meeting place, then immediately off the ship and to a waiting taxi. We arrived at the Vancouver airport by 8:40 a.m. Each family had the 4 device Medallion internet package which we purchased at a good price pre-cruise. (I think it was $105 for the week.) For the most part, it could not handle video streaming but we were always able to text each other through iMessage and could easily download and reply to emails and access basic web sites. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
pros: professional staff very helpful ( except Dinner reservations very rude) Room Stewart very nice and accommodating security very good embarkation very organized disembarkation in ports ... Read More
pros: professional staff very helpful ( except Dinner reservations very rude) Room Stewart very nice and accommodating security very good embarkation very organized disembarkation in ports very easy Dinning Room Staff very nice but push you at least once a meal to eat w/ others. piazza wonderful sheets and pillow cases very soft entertainment top notch for cruise Cons: food not as good as other cruises shops on board open late buffet pretty limited nasty waiters in buffet they need more English speaking crew * YOU ARE NICKLE'D AND DIME'D FOR EVERYTHING... AGAIN, YOU ARE NICKLE'D AND DIME'D FOR EVERYTHING!!!!! example: hot tea, you are charged, soda's your charged, bottle water you are charged, internet $109.00 for cruise, so many, can't remember them all! excursions: expensive but what can you do, your here have see Alaska... try to chek prices private companies. Italian Restaurant.... not quality do'n bother... "on average C+" Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I enjoyed being on the smaller Island Princess. My cabin was on deck 8 and I highly recommend it as it was easy to walk downstairs to meals and other activities. The food was excellent. The cruise directors staff were all very fun, ... Read More
I enjoyed being on the smaller Island Princess. My cabin was on deck 8 and I highly recommend it as it was easy to walk downstairs to meals and other activities. The food was excellent. The cruise directors staff were all very fun, especially the Cruise Director Natalie. I don't think anyone does Alaska better than Princess. The puppies in the piazza were super fun. I loved the Iditarod lady who spoke and showed pictures. Entertainment was good and live music was always going on somewhere around the ship. Alaska itself was gorgeous. The 2 days cruising the glaciers was phenomenal. Arriving in Whittier and having a private tour on our way to Anchorage Airport was just icing on the cake. Very relaxing cruise. Very few ties on formal night. I love the size of the Island Princess, but really did miss not having the 24 hour International Cafe to get snacks. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
St. Petersburg, Russia has been on our bucket list for years as has the Scandinavian Countries. We chose this cruise because it encompassed all of the countries we wanted to visit without having to pack and unpack, haul luggage on trains ... Read More
St. Petersburg, Russia has been on our bucket list for years as has the Scandinavian Countries. We chose this cruise because it encompassed all of the countries we wanted to visit without having to pack and unpack, haul luggage on trains or to planes and it was our hotel, our meals and our entertainment neatly packaged!!! We were impressed with how Princess handled the 3500 passengers both embarking, disembarking and on board. The ship was booked solid but it did not feel like there was a crowd with the exception of certain meal times when the Horizon Court was packed. However, there was always an alternative and we ate many of our meals in the Dining Rooms where service, food and presentation was impeccable. Every area of the ship was immaculate and the staff was friendly, knowledgeable and professional. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. This particular 11 day cruise included 6 ports which was hectic if you took shore excursions in each one, which we did. We valued the Sea Days for rest and relaxation! This was our first cruise in the 49 years we have traveled together and it will not be our last! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Leaving from Seattle was a nice plus for me. Getting to ship was easy and embark process was quick and easy. Had a balcony cabin, and having a balcony was my favorite part, especially with all the fjords and passageways. The room was a ... Read More
Leaving from Seattle was a nice plus for me. Getting to ship was easy and embark process was quick and easy. Had a balcony cabin, and having a balcony was my favorite part, especially with all the fjords and passageways. The room was a bit dated but overall was satisfied and it was very clean. Plenty of space for a stateroom . Decor could be updated. Dining was absolutely awful. Both anytime dining options were very very bad. Service was mediocre. Other options for food was the buffet which was just ok, the international cafe which had almost the same selection all week and almost as bad as main dining. Didn't try the pay places because we figured would be equally bad. The theater entertainment was pretty good, nice shows etc. A lot of the onboard activities were kind of a joke though. The cruise director was super cheesy and overall vibe of the cruise was very cheesy. How many times can you be begged to clap for the same thing. Maybe some people enjoy this type of thing, just not for me. To be fair to the cruise director he did a great job, I just think he had to play to the vibe that princess wanted. The cruise was mainly folks over 55 and families with young kids. Stateroom service was wonderful. Room service pretty good as well. Ports seemed a bit rushed, especially Victoria and Juneau. Shore excursions were overpriced. The lumberjack show is awful. Overall service staff isn't very friendly or helpful. Alaska was great but would not recommend this brand or ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
The cruise and timing were good, and weather was better than expected despite some rain and cold air. We had no issues with embarkation or disembarkation during our port stops. We were pleasantly surprised at the option to check out ... Read More
The cruise and timing were good, and weather was better than expected despite some rain and cold air. We had no issues with embarkation or disembarkation during our port stops. We were pleasantly surprised at the option to check out luggage in from the ship. This was such a relief and made the return home feel so much lighter having picked up some items at each port. The Dining in the dining rooms was better than the buffet the only early option of 5 PM was too early. It put a rush on our timing back from visiting the ports and other activities on the ship. The food was not as good as I would have liked, and options were lean but the wait staff provided great service and a heart to ensure we were treated well. I needed gluten free and they made sure to get my order the night before so I could be served with the other people at our table. The options and food quality at the buffet were less than desirable. I felt food was overcooked and salty. Omelets were difficult to get, and the process was difficult and long. Waited almost 20 minutes for an omelet on the days the ship was at sea. The shopping experience on board was better than expected. Variety and sale options were good and timed appropriately. Entertainment was okay but music options on board were not good not timing between meals and other activities. Missed a lot trying to navigate between areas and activities. I did enjoy the naturalist and the sled puppies on board. Really heightened the experience of the cruise. We did not take in the “Movies Under the Stars” based on the weather despite having blankets to use which was a nice touch. Cabin was spacious and were cleaned well each day. The excursions took a lot of the time away from just visiting in the port towns but well worth every penny. Learned a lot about Alaska and the environment and climate issues. Loved every minute of Tracy Arms, Whale Watching and the train ride in Skagway. Did our own port town walk Ketchikan and Victoria, both delightful and so much fun to visit. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We did the same cruise Sep 2017 and loved it, so we came back with friends this time. The positives were easy boarding process, friendly staff, beautiful fjords, cool ports, great excursions, good food and fun entertainment on board. The ... Read More
We did the same cruise Sep 2017 and loved it, so we came back with friends this time. The positives were easy boarding process, friendly staff, beautiful fjords, cool ports, great excursions, good food and fun entertainment on board. The ship was clean and had plenty of room to spread out. I'd recommend splurging on a balcony room; the views are stunning. We got to the fjords at 5 am and it's nice to watch the beauty from our own balcony. Great photo opportunities too. We enjoyed game shows and trivia at night and Gary the cruise director is hilarious. The shows and the bands were excellent. There were lots of food choices at the buffet and the main dining room was good too, although I'd have preferred a few more choices there. Overall a great experience! The one reason I didn't give it 5 stars was a spa visit. The massage itself was great and reasonably priced but the aggressive up-sell tactics took away any relaxation from it. Even when I explained that a massage was the only splurge I was going to make, I was still presented with a package of other procedures that I could "save" money on. After I declined, the expensive lotions were presented, along with reasons why I really needed them. Again no thanks. Finally I was told that my massage experience included a free consultation with a doctor before I could check out. The doctor was very nice and I'm sure she was knowledgeable but I had to reiterate that I wasn't interested in botox or fillers for wrinkles. I spent over $150 including tip and felt like I had to repeatedly justify not spending triple that or more. That will be my last spa experience with Princess. But otherwise, the cruise was seamless and the Alaska itinerary is beautiful and amazing! Highly recommend this cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Alaska was beautiful and I highly recommend going there. However, I do not recommend the Gold Princess boat. We have previously cruised with Carnival before and had a much better experience than we did with Princess. All of the issues were ... Read More
Alaska was beautiful and I highly recommend going there. However, I do not recommend the Gold Princess boat. We have previously cruised with Carnival before and had a much better experience than we did with Princess. All of the issues were minor but collectively did not leave a great impression of princess. Here are some issues: -wanted to change our dinner seats so we would be with the people we traveled with. Staff informed us this should be very easy since their table was not full. The line to see the Maitre'D was not long but moved incredible slow and the Maitre'D was not very friendly. It seemed like we were inconveniencing him with a simple request. -Buffet required you to wash your hands before hand, which is very good, but they only had two sink at each entrance so during busy meal times there was always a line to get into the buffet -Spa service was poor. I tried to book a pedicure with the person I was travelling with and we were told it was full so the other lady opted for a manicure. Once there the second pedicure chair was empty the whole time. I found my lady was judgmental and the polish was wrecked the next day, thankfully they did fix this with no issue. -On board entertainment was bad and not many options available. -We were told one of the days would be "scenic cruising" to the College Fjord but we weren't scheduled to get there until the evening so it was really more of a a sea day. We didn't actually end up getting to the College Fjord due to weather. I understand the boat cannot control this but no other on board activities were provided to fill the time. -Room staff were friendly but they missed taking out some used dishes on a few occasions. On a positive, food was delicious, room/bed were very nice, excursions were great and it was a great trip as Alaska was wonderful to see. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Ok so my grandparents took me on this cruise ship and I wasn’t so sure if it would be a good experience. Legitimately right as we stepped foot on the ship we were greeted by so many polite staff members. This one man, John who was the ... Read More
Ok so my grandparents took me on this cruise ship and I wasn’t so sure if it would be a good experience. Legitimately right as we stepped foot on the ship we were greeted by so many polite staff members. This one man, John who was the person that cleaned our room, did a phenomenal job at socializing with me, answering questions I had about his experience and the awesome things that I would do, and also making the cabin super clean and cozy. He really made me feel at home and it really shows how awesome the staff are on this ship. That’s just one crew member out of a thousand. A fantastic part of the cruise in my opinion as a teenager was the all you can eat ice cream that was worked by very kind and patient women who by the end of the trip knew my order when they saw me walking up to them. Continuing the food topic, the buffet serves breakfast which was filled with a huge variety of delicious foods like Belgian waffles, pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, cereal, and lots of fancy stuff that I don’t remember the names of. Then when it was time for lunch the buffet would always surprise us with different things every single day. Now I know what your thinking, maybe all you can eat food that you can have any time you want, might not be your favorite, which is why I’d like to inform you that they had a pizza place where they hand made pizza of your choice and an area where you can order a burger with some fries. Moving to dinner, there was several places we could go to eat that all had amazing food and awesome waiters and waitress. I can’t remember his name, but this one waiter did magic tricks which entertained my family as we ate delicious food. I’m going to save the dessert for you to explore for yourself, but all I want to say Is that you should order the chocolate journey dessert because it tasted better than my words could describe it. Aside from eating tons of food, I would go to one of the pools. To be honest, I’m not sure how many there were, but it felt like a lot. I’d also go to the teen room which was an area I could socialize with other teens which helped me to have a gooOoOoooOD Time! I’d also go to the magic acts, and the comedian shows which were both totally awesome. There was also a “The Voice” competition that was held where people would sing and try to win the grand prize, which was fantastic to say the least. My dad actually made it into the finals and sang “The Summer of 69” by Bryan Adams which had the crowd cheering which was kind of weird to be experiencing as his son. There was also a game called The High Seas Heist which was basically a huge game of clue that you really needed to use brain power to figure it out. We also made 3 stops and a tour on the boat where we watched parts of glaciers fall off and make huge splashed which amazed everyone. We also did whale watching which required lots of patience, but ended up being so beautiful to see. One minor detail that I realized would be the maps that were placed around everywhere which helped me a lot when trying to find my way around. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I walked into the cruise ship expecting nothing to be fun for me, but walked out literally hugging and high-fiving the crew because of how much enjoyment they gave me. This ship has made me into a new person and I can’t wait to go back for another cruise very soon! Thanks for reading this through, make sure to have a Goooood Time! Read Less
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