This was a very last minute cruise booked within one week of travel. Got a decent price for a partially obstructed stateroom, which was actually larger than I expected. Having just gotten off RCL's Mariner of the Seas one week ... Read More
This was a very last minute cruise booked within one week of travel. Got a decent price for a partially obstructed stateroom, which was actually larger than I expected. Having just gotten off RCL's Mariner of the Seas one week earlier, I was worried that the Eurodam was going to be boring by comparison. But our experience was better than I expected. For this cruise, it was just my 6 yo & me (late30s). We normally travel as a family of 4 (my husband & our 9 yo), plus grandparents. In complete honesty, this ship would probably have bored my 9yo who has become accustomed to our previous cruises' "bells & whistles" from the likes of Disney, Norwegian, and Royal. But my 6yo & I enjoyed the slower, more relaxed pace. I think the more "chill" vibe was very fitting for the serenity of Alaska. Compared to our most recent cruise on the Mariner, Eurodam 's food at the Lido & MDR was much better, although HAL needs to have more vegetarian options. Service in Lido was hit or miss.
I often had to get my own drink or clear my own table. I appreciated that servers served portions, versus allowing guests to handle the tongs. Entertainment was good, especially the magician show as well as BB Kings. I do think HAL needs to up their entertainment options, compared to their rivals, who have more lively entertainment often. Fitness Center was sufficient and I even saw whales a couple times while I was using the elliptical. My 6yo enjoyed the kids club, but compared to Disney, Royal, & Norwegian, I thought HAL could do a better job with kiddie activities, playroom, and hours. Excursion & Guest Services did a good job addressing my questions and I appreciated being able to use Port Valet service. Overall, I recommend the Eurodam for an Alaskan itinerary. I'd consider cruising HAL again given the right itinerary and price. Read Less
Before boarding, we spent several days in Alaska on our own. The day we boarded, we traveled from Anchorage to Seward via the Coastal Classic route on the Alaska Railroad. Although we booked independently from NCL, they still checked our ... Read More
Before boarding, we spent several days in Alaska on our own. The day we boarded, we traveled from Anchorage to Seward via the Coastal Classic route on the Alaska Railroad. Although we booked independently from NCL, they still checked our bags straight through from Anchorage, and they were waiting for us in our cabin when we boarded! The Coastal Classic train 100% surpassed expectations, it was absolutely breathtaking!
Once in Seward, we boarded an independently booked excursion through Major Marine Tours, the 6 hour Kenai Fjords tour. Again, absolutely exceeded our expectations, it was fantastic! So many marine creatures that we saw: otters, sea lions, seals, whales, eagles, puffins... And Aialik Glacier was awe-inspiring. The blue ice was so vivid, and in the smaller boat we were able to get much closer than the cruise ship could get, so we could easily hear the sonic boom when it calved!
Embarkation went very smoothly, we were through the line and on the ship in probably 10-15 minutes. We missed the main muster drill because we were still on our excursion, so we attended the make-up drill just before sailaway.
The dining was typical, no complaints, but the only really memorable meals were at the specialty restaurants (we ate at Cagneys, La Cucina, and Moderno this cruise).
We had the social media internet package, and it worked well for Facebook, texts, Instagram, Twitter, etc, but I was surprised that it wouldn't let me update my Wordpress blog. No complaints on speed, it worked reasonably well.
The entertainment was generally excellent, especially the shows. Velvet was interesting, although I wouldn't have paid an upcharge for it like I think is happening on other ships. Vlad and Anna, the acrobats, were absolutely fantastic, both in their own show and in the Cirque Bijou show the last night. We found the comedian on this cruise, Larry Omaha, highly entertaining as well. My only criticism for the cruise director's staff would be the scheduling of activities - inexplicably, while we were in port, there were a bunch of activities scheduled (including our personal favorite, trivia), but on the sea days, there seemed to actually be fewer activities scheduled, which seems odd. Not the end of the world as I'm perfectly capable of entertaining myself on sea days, even in Alaska, but it was a bit weird.
Service was fantastic, absolutely no complaints. Every crew member we encountered was friendly and helpful.
The ports were a bit more hit or miss in my opinion. Seward was great, as previously stated. The next port was Icy Strait Point, which was not a favorite. With the Joy in port at the same time, it was very crowded, and everything seemed even more overpriced than the rest of Alaska. We attended the In Alaska's Wildest Kitchen excursion through NCL, and it was interesting, but not nearly worth what it cost in my opinion. We then walked the Memorial Trail into Hoonah, where we had been told we could catch the shuttle back one-way. First of all, there's basically nothing of interest in Hoonah, or if there was, it certainly wasn't obvious. Secondly, the shuttle system was a big cluster. TWICE, we had a shuttle appear only to be informed moments later that she couldn't take us after all, as she had to pick up customers at the airport. We waited a good 20+ minutes for a shuttle, in a long line, and then two more showed up immediately after. We heard of others waiting 45 minutes or more. In addition, the shuttle pickup was not marked. At all. We just saw a bunch of people heading that way (I assume from where they'd been dropped off), and followed.
Next stop was Juneau, where we rented a car at the nearby Avis rental and drove to Mendenhall Glacier. You can't get very close to the glacier without an excursion directly to it, we found, but we were able to see it, and to hike the area, including Nugget Falls, and the salmon ladder, where black bears were evident. The Visitor Center was interesting, but couldn't occupy one for more than 30 minutes. We drove back to Juneau and stopped at the Juneau city museum, which was interesting - probably a 30-45 minute stop. We then headed back for a 1pm all-aboard so we could go to Dawes Glacier on the ship that afternoon. Both Hubbard and Dawes were nice, but not comparable to the experience we had getting close up to Aialik.
Next port was Skagway, where we booked the White Pass and Yukon train through Chilkoot Charters. Very professional and well done, the train ride is very scenic as well as interesting to hear the narration of the history of the area. We then boarded a bus that headed further into the Yukon territory, including lunch near Carcross and several photo stops. Our driver, Jennie, was great, very informative as well as entertaining. I had managed to injure my leg that morning running back to the ship to get our passports, so we weren't able to do any real exploring in Skagway, unfortunately.
In Ketchikan, we had booked a Black Bear tour through Kiwanti Adventures, and definitely saw the bears. Of course, so did a lot of people who paid a lot less for a rainforest tour, as well as some that may have just happened to be in the parking lot at the right time. That said, we were much closer to the bear and probably got much better photos. If seeing a black bear is important, it's a good tour to book!
We disembarked in Vancouver, and did the Vancouver City Highlights tour through LandSea Adventures. In retrospect, we should have booked their Vancouver Delights tour instead, as it has very high ratings, but it's a longer tour and would have started to make me nervous about getting to the airport in time. In any case, the City Highlights tour was good, we got to see a lot of the City, including Granville Island, Stanley Park, and the English Bay area. Our driver, Ira, was very informative and entertaining as well.
Overall, we will definitely be back, although may try to mix things up with some different ports if possible! Read Less
I chose this cruise because it started and ended in the beautiful city of Seattle which adds another couple of days of sight seeing on our own prior to the cruise departing. We arrived Friday afternoon and explored Seattle that night, full ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it started and ended in the beautiful city of Seattle which adds another couple of days of sight seeing on our own prior to the cruise departing. We arrived Friday afternoon and explored Seattle that night, full next day and morning of cruise. We booked our own hotel. Perfect!
My parents are avid cruisers so they booked us rooms that had windows (which we wanted) but we all had obstructed views to keep the costs down. See my cabin review for more details. This is the third time I have cruised INSIDE PASSAGE with Princess Cruises. This cruise went to Tracy Arm Fjord (I personally prefer Glacier Bay for more magnificent views). We booked the EXPERIENCE THE YUKON & SUSPENSION BRIDGE for our 3rd time and each time it's been a fantastic value for SKAGWAY. This shore excursion is extremely thorough and the coach takes you all the way into the Yukon (passed amazing scenery) and much further than the train. You end up at Caribou Crossing Trading Post which is an amazing stop where you can play with Alaskan huskeys, ride a mushing vehicle (extra), pan for gold (extra), view an amazing animal museum, gift shop, yummy bbq lunch included, ice cream shop, and tons of farm animals. It's great for fun photos as well. I think EXPERIENCE THE YUKON WITH SUSPENSION BRIDGE is the best excursion for the cost. In Juneau, to save money, we booked strictly the MENDENHALL GLACIER (self guided tour) which got us there and gave us plenty of time to hike to NUGGET FALLS. In KETCHIKAN, we immediately went to the visitors center and got the walking map which was a free walking self guided tour and was quite fun (walking required). Our tour guide also pointed out several bald eagles and some Juneau info as we went to and from the cruise dock.
On board the ship, there are so many activities to please all ages and tastes. The crew was so friendly, professional and went out of their way to serve everyone.
We chose "anytime dining" as not to be restricted in schedule. We would just choose 5 or 7 and be first in line so never had to wait to be served in formal dining room. One opens at 5 and one 7. Horizon buffet was really impressive too. Having pizza, burgers and ice cream available was an added bonus. The food was a huge variety and very well prepared.
I've been 3 times on INSIDE PASSAGE and I would go again. It's such a great value.
Embarkation at Seattle and disembarkation was flawless and professional. Read Less
I wanted to introduce the family to Alaska. Princess cruises from San Francisco so we did not have to fly. They have lots of on board activities and entertainment for a wide variety of tastes so we rather enjoyed the sea days. The ports ... Read More
I wanted to introduce the family to Alaska. Princess cruises from San Francisco so we did not have to fly. They have lots of on board activities and entertainment for a wide variety of tastes so we rather enjoyed the sea days. The ports were all interesting. And I always promised my wife I would take her to Butchardt Gardens in Victoria. I knew Princess would be a good choice and I could afford the costs for the nine of us. The ship was older but had recently been refurbished and was very elegant and spacious. The cabins were great. They had ample room and nice amenities. The dining was good. The staff was very friendly and made us feel at home. We took shore excursions at three ports and they were all good. There was a wide selections of excursions. Next trip I'll choose new ones. I would go again. Read Less
The cruise fit our travel schedule and we picked the best weather for the week. Sunshine everyday. We had no issues with embarkation or disembarkation during our port stops. Dining in the dining rooms was better than the buffet but it ... Read More
The cruise fit our travel schedule and we picked the best weather for the week. Sunshine everyday. We had no issues with embarkation or disembarkation during our port stops. Dining in the dining rooms was better than the buffet but it depended on your schedule as to which one to use. We used both. We did not take the cruise because of the food selections so as long as it was nourishing, it was okay. Unless you are looking for jewelry or art, don't get caught up in the sales pitches, it takes away from your valuable time for both sailing and excursions. Entertainment was very good, enjoyed the theater shows. A little too breezy for watching movies under the stars but did enjoy the walks on deck. Cabin was spacious but air was not working properly and refrigerator got warm b/c of lack of ventilation. Recommend balcony rooms just because of the views and privacy. Stateroom steward was excellent and the front desk was very helpful. I would definitely go again if the opportunity presented itself. I wish we would have had more time in some of our ports. The excursions took a lot of the time away from just seeing the towns where we stopped, but they were all very good. The train ride in Skagway, the Mendenhall Glacier excursion in Juneau or the tours of Ketchican and Victoria, they were all terrific. Read Less
To celebrate Mother's 80th birthday
Embarked from Seattle, Washington Terminal 91 - the Terminal 91 and Star Princess Staff made the process very smooth and enjoyable.
Star Princess staff was very friendly and helpful throughout ... Read More
To celebrate Mother's 80th birthday
Embarked from Seattle, Washington Terminal 91 - the Terminal 91 and Star Princess Staff made the process very smooth and enjoyable.
Star Princess staff was very friendly and helpful throughout the entire cruise, the dining staff made excellent recommendation of meal selections.
So many choices for dining that you should pace yourself so you can try everything they have to offer.
All of the Star Princess Entertainment was great and were a joy to watch, take everything in and you will have a wonderful time.
Take advantage of the shopping and duty free items that they have to offer while your onboard.
Excursions were wonderful and we were able to see many great things and wild life. take advantage of these as they will make your time better
Disembarkation was as smooth a process as Embarkations.
Highly recommend this cruise - go and enjoy, eat and have fun. Read Less
To celebrate our 50th anniversary. Recommend by our travel agent. I had heard that Princess was a great cruise. The entertainment was awesome. The quality of entertainment was very surprising. Great crew and staff. We liked the voice of ... Read More
To celebrate our 50th anniversary. Recommend by our travel agent. I had heard that Princess was a great cruise. The entertainment was awesome. The quality of entertainment was very surprising. Great crew and staff. We liked the voice of the ocean and the games played in the lounges. The cuisine was out of this world. I tried so many new and different foods. The staff was so polite and accommodating. Our stateroom was always clean and well cared for. The bartenders were very friendly and knew how to make anything. Our vow renewal of 50 years was the highlight of our trip. The special discounts and gifts we received for our anniversary were very nice and in expected. What an awesome way to celebrate 50 years of marriage. Thanks Princess for all the wonderful memories of our first cruise. You and your staff know how to treat people and create memories Read Less
We wanted a cruise that our daughter and son-in-law wanted to take, and they liked the idea of taking their first Alaskan cruise. We had been once, and had bad weather in the Northern stops. This time, the weather was reversed, with ... Read More
We wanted a cruise that our daughter and son-in-law wanted to take, and they liked the idea of taking their first Alaskan cruise. We had been once, and had bad weather in the Northern stops. This time, the weather was reversed, with great weather in Juneau, Glacier Bay, and Sitka, and rain and cold in Ketchikan and Victoria (B.C.). The ship itself has been recently refurbished, with nice new furniture in the suites (and elsewhere), and large flat-screen TVs with free movies. The service has always been exceptional, and this cruise was even better. We also enjoyed the Lincoln Center string quintet, with excellent young musicians playing a wide range of lovely music from Baroque through Broadway, tangos, and jazz. The main dining room's food was the best we've experienced, with great choices and lovely presentation. Free room service, with a good selection of choices throughout the day, was a nice touch as well. Read Less
This cruise afforded us the opportunity to see the wonders of nature in a relaxing and fun filled way. The service was great. The food was good and the portions were perfect size so that you were able to have all three courses and not ... Read More
This cruise afforded us the opportunity to see the wonders of nature in a relaxing and fun filled way. The service was great. The food was good and the portions were perfect size so that you were able to have all three courses and not feel overly stuffed. Entertainment was funny and had good variety. Drinks were well made. Gym and spa were good. Steakhouse Crown Grill was fabulous. The naturalists on board were very informative about the glaciers and sightings wild life . The ship just hung out and circled about while by the glaciers so that you could see the calving from either side of the ship. Awesome and beautiful. The entire inside passage was extremely calm sailing so that you didn’t even feel like you were on a boat . You could see whales and sea otters from the deck at various times . Very casual in clothing dress on ship and land!! Excellent especially for a first cruise. All of the Princess excursions were excellent . The entire Princess operation is well organized and executed without a hitch in transportation , luggage etc. Read Less
Just finished Vancouver to Seward trip on Millennium. Can't say enough about the Revolution refresh. Gone are the browns & oranges, replaced with neutrals & lighter colors. Plenty of USB & power outlets, lots of new ... Read More
Just finished Vancouver to Seward trip on Millennium. Can't say enough about the Revolution refresh. Gone are the browns & oranges, replaced with neutrals & lighter colors. Plenty of USB & power outlets, lots of new storage. We actually had unused drawers & shelves.
Great naturalist on this trip, very passionate and knowledgeable. Frequently helped us spot wildlife from Cosmos lounge.
The new Oceanview was much improved. The way they have spread the food stations makes it seem more spacious and less congested. New color scheme & furniture is very nice, as are the multiple hand-washing stations.
We were on the 11th floor Aqua, sunset stateroom. It's the best for Alaska, 180 degree viewing all the time. Not sure why, but we all felt the ship was more spacious, rarely a crowd.
For me, at 6'5", the shower was tight, but the new bathrooms are very nice.
Bonus - perfect weather, very unusual! Read Less
We were on the Island Princess for one week Alaskan cruise Northbound (July 31, 2019 to Aug, 7, 2019) traveling from Vancouver to Whittier. We really enjoyed this itinerary, Voyage of the Glaciers, and the ship! With approximately 2200 ... Read More
We were on the Island Princess for one week Alaskan cruise Northbound (July 31, 2019 to Aug, 7, 2019) traveling from Vancouver to Whittier. We really enjoyed this itinerary, Voyage of the Glaciers, and the ship! With approximately 2200 passengers, we never felt crowded or lost. We particularly enjoyed having a room toward the front of the ship as the Horizon buffet was also at the front, and it had an excellent view with so many windows facing the front. Our balcony room was on the Dolphin (9th) deck. Our balcony view was magnificent, particularly because the weather cooperated so well. Sunny skies, around 70 degrees each day, and not one drop of rain throughout our cruise. Our room was kept super clean by Jovey, our room steward. Clean is a biggie with us, and we especially enjoyed a carefully cleaned bathroom with towels replaced throughout the day by our room steward. We learned the layout of the ship on our first day of cruising. The atrium covers three floors and is lovely with the glass elevators for an added touch. We enjoyed the theater productions, especially the dancers, singers, and male comedian (Delena). Anytime dining was wonderful too; we enjoyed ordering from a menu and the staff was extremely helpful.
We are an active, retired couple. This was our fourth cruise to Alaska in six years, so we have a frame of reference concerning Alaskan cruises. On the previous three Alaska cruises, my husband and I traveled alone as a couple, but this time we asked my husband's sister and her husband to join us. It was fun watching them see Alaska for the very first time. And, the Island Princess certainly made our cruise very memorable, from the food to the staff. Everything went well on this trip, and we highly recommend the Island Princess for a relaxed, memorable, and enjoyable journey to Alaska. Read Less
We wanted to see he coast of Alaska and had cruised with Princess before. They offered a package that included airfare, transportation and the cruise. We enjoyed everything. My husband uses a motorized scooter on the ship. All the ... Read More
We wanted to see he coast of Alaska and had cruised with Princess before. They offered a package that included airfare, transportation and the cruise. We enjoyed everything. My husband uses a motorized scooter on the ship. All the ports and lots of the excursions could accommodate the scooter. Touring the Glaciers was incredible! Especially College fjord. Having a Naturalist as per of the crew was wonderful. His commentary as we cruised through the Glaciers was perfect and we enjoyed his seminars. This ship is smaller than the last few ones we've been on, so there weren't as many shops and the casino was small. The food in all the restaurants and the buffet was good and there was a nice variety. All the crew were very pleasant and helpful. The ship is easy to get around - my husband uses a motorized scooter on board so that is an important factor for us. Also, on this cruise, all the Ports and quite a few of the excursions could accommodate the scooter. Read Less
We went on this very 1st cruise as a family (2 parents in their 50's & 3 adult children in their 20's in a separate room). I picked this ship and itinerary after hours of researching the best option for us. I knew I really ... Read More
We went on this very 1st cruise as a family (2 parents in their 50's & 3 adult children in their 20's in a separate room). I picked this ship and itinerary after hours of researching the best option for us. I knew I really wanted to be on a smallish ship that could get close to Hubbard Glacier and take us thru Granite Bay (Captain Todd McBain did a fantastic job getting us within 1/4 mile to Hubbard), with full day stops at the ports in Alaska and a balance of enjoyable entertainment for us adults and adult kids. We were not dissappointed. My husband and I especially enjoyed the shows - Encore, Bayou, Cheasa, Comedian, (not magician though as his show was a bit corny) & going to the game shows put on my cruise ship staff. My kids especially enjoyed the games, such as egg drop in the atrium and ping pong contests, trivia, and the other staff led evening shows. The staff was very energetic and our steward, Benjamin Venida, was extremely personable and attentive.
We also enjoyed soaking in the hot tub while overlooking the scenic glaciers, watching movies under the stars with blankets they provided for warmth, and my daughters liked reading books in the quiet library.
We liked our Anytime Dining experience and the ability to make reservations day of. When we requested seating by the window, we were kindly accommodated and ended up having a regular table (32) which was in the corner by the window. We really enjoyed the lobster and filet mignon especially when we were able to apply our dining credit to the special menu when Sabitini's was booked. We also at in the Bayou Dining rooms which was very nice as well and our waiter was excellent. The food/dessert was generally tasty. The Baked Alaska parade on the last night was fun and we enjoyed hearing the staff sing Happy B-day/Anniversary to guests as well as the taste of the creme brulee - yum!
We regularly ate breakfast in the Horizon Buffet which was a great location at the top of the ship with windows surrounding it. The waiters came around asking if we would like beverages. My husband and son ate pizza at the pizzaria. They said the pizza was too hot and the cheese melted quite a bit and it tasted better when it was cold. We also ate lunch at the Grill by the pool area.The seafood chowder was tasty. I felt bad for the poor girl at the ice cream shop who seemed overworked and under appreciated but access to ice cream at anytime was a nice feature.
We stayed in an inside stateroom on the Carribe deck (10th floor) in room C517 which I would highly recommend since it is sandwiched between two other stateroom decks. It was quiet, close to muster stations, mid ship so didn't feel much movement.
Loved the enthusiasm of the staff and warm personalities. The atrium was very pretty. Seating near the windows during meal times - lovely. Getting so close to the glaciers. Meeting such friendly guests. Cleanliness. Great shows.
I really liked this ship and the open decks, including semi-private one on the Caribbe floor. It never felt really crowded. Everyone was helpful and friendly. Very relaxing and enjoyable experience. Will definetely cruise with Princess again, and specifically Coral due to the size and layout of ship.
We would love to get all the daily Patters (schedules for each day) at the beginning of the cruise instead of day by day so we could plan our dinners (had anytime dining) and entertainment in advance. In addition, we were told in advance that formal nights are sea days, yet were surprised (as were others seated at our table that night) when we learned fairly last minute that the 2nd formal night was the evening we ported in Juneau.
My daughter eats a gluten & dairy free diet. The chefs were kind enough to come out to give her recommendations in the dining rooms and she really liked their gluten free bread. Edible options in the Horizon Buffet were not clearly marked. They did not have almond milk that she knew of nor gluten free cereal. We would have liked signage for gluten free and dairy free items and it would be great if they had almond milk and gluten free bread/cereal available. For us, some food, such as eggs and biscuits, were overcooked but they had a good variety of options.
My 3 adult kids shared a separate room. The top bunk bed was uncomfortable for my daughter. It was hard for 2 of the 3 to watch tv since the location of the tv was blocked from view though they did not really spend much time in their rooms at all. Perhaps a moveable mount could help. I felt that the pillows were a bit too squishy and my husband and myself in our room and we kept sinking toward the middle of the queen bed though it was generally comfortable.
Benjamin Venida was a terrific, personable, and attentive steward. He was cheerful, called us by name, wished us a great day and good evening regularly, and even gave my son a few extra candies which was appreciated. He kept our room very clean. I wrote him a note and wanted to leave a tip and thank him personally, but I didn't seen him the day we disembarked and felt uncomfortable leaving it in my room since the door was ajar. My suggestion: Give thank you notes and tip if you choose when you see your steward; don't wait until the last day.
The cruise director (John/aka Mr. Energy) was hilarious. We really enjoyed the staff led gameshows, etc. The big shows were excellent. The comedian was funny, (we would have loved to see his 2nd show but our dinner reservations could not be changed and we didn't know they were going to overlap) but we did not care for the magician show which felt corny.
The coupons, sales, and credits were helpful and encouraged me to buy merchandise. I really liked the free gift from Etsy of my pretty silver anchor necklase. A wonderful rememberance of a lovely cruise experience.
I wish the photos were less expensive and we could alter the size and have a cheaper package option (less than $150 minimum). They were good quality photos though.
We had fun playing Bingo one afternoon.
I did not use the spa, but my son did. Wish I could have let him use my credit as it was pricey for his service.
I went to the auction, which was fun but went long (it would be great if they could tell you how long it will be since we had to leave early for the wine tasting). My son got art work at a good price but the cost to ship it and time it takes to arrive is a bit pricey and long.
As first time cruisers, this part was confusing to us. The elevators were full and carrying luggage downstairs dangerous. I think I would better plan ahead next time by leaving our large luggage outside our room.
They were wonderful ports. I didn't appreciate that some shops, in particular jewelry shops, had people standing outside trying to convince us to come in and visit. Some ship excursions seemed very rushed - for example, covering too much ground in not enough time, so we booked some excursions on our own.
We walked off the port and over the creek bridge into town. We saw a man catch a huge fish. We also attended the '98 Show in the Saloon which was fun and ate lunch at the brewery - the beer garden provided excellent views. My daughter did rock climbing/rapelling, while the rest of us took the van up and bike ride down the mountain. A great active scenic option to sitting on a train.
We bought tickets at the St. Robert's tram (short walk) with a AAA discount at 8am. Were some of the first to board the tram and hike at the top. Definetly hike to the cross and windsock if you have time. Views are spectacular.
Afterward, we called a taxi to meet us at the Red Dog Saloon. She drove us to Mendenhall Glacier where we visited the visitor center and walked the paved trail to beautiful Nugget Falls. Our driver on the way back stopped to buy us some lemonade from kids at a stand. Off the clock. They both provided great stories of the culture and of living there as locals.
Finally, we ate at the Red Dog Saloon. Had to have the 'Duck Fart' shot which was fun and tasty.
We all had booked excursions in Ketchikan and were very stressed about making it back in time since the time changed and was scheduled to disembark 45 mins. earlier than originally told. This was a tendered location. I wish Ketchikan port stay was longer so it could have been more enjoyable. We walked through town, saw the salmon in the river. My daughters went on the kayak excursion and me - the group canoe and rainforest trip on the lake. (The clam chowder was excellent!) My husband and son went salmon fishing with Baranoff. My husband caught three - son, none. A couple with them gave them their catch and they were all shipped home. We are eating some fillets for dinner tonight. Read Less
We have had this on our bucket list for some time now. We took our two kids 13 and 15, intending for an Alaskan cruise to be a surprise. We told them we were going to an island in Canada, I even bought them red Canada hooded sweatshirts. ... Read More
We have had this on our bucket list for some time now. We took our two kids 13 and 15, intending for an Alaskan cruise to be a surprise. We told them we were going to an island in Canada, I even bought them red Canada hooded sweatshirts. My 15 year old found a printed email confirmation a couple days ahead, and my 13 year old was very surprised and told her the day we flew out instead of driving to Canada. (The poor girl packed her own towels and wash cloths.) She said, in hindsight, she would have liked a series of gifts as clues (for all of you out there who want to surprise your children).
First of all, I MUST to mention that we topped off our vacation with a Tesla picking us up from the dock to the airport. Mike from Camy's Limo Service was very professional and showed the kids all the bells a whistles of his beautiful shiny black car. This was one of our highlights of this trip, I know even after going to Alaska. https://camysteslalimousine.com/ 602-733-9354 (I'm serious about this, it was so much fun!)
Book this service early in your trip planning. Another Tesla service told me we would have too much luggage that we would not be able to use a Tesla, but as it turned out, we found out that their car was unavailable, there's lots of room in a Tesla. If we go back to Seattle, we'll book this service again just to tour the town fancier car with a guide. Just think, if you have a couple of hours but don't know how to tote around your luggage, they can keep the luggage in their car and let you get out for photo ops and hop back in without parking etc.
Here are some things I could not find out from the reviews beforehand:
1. The free coffee? It was great, we took a large coffee mug and filled it every morning. Note: I am not a coffee snob but I do like it rich.
2. I wondered if the halls overlooking the lobby would be loud at night: The halls are enclosed by windows, There wasn't much, if any, sound coming from the evening entertainment to the cabins above.
3. Shampoo and Body Wash? It smelled nice but it was sulfate free, I was glad to have brought my own. I just felt cleaner, I am a little picky about my soap.
4. The covered pool? It was covered the entire cruise and the pool was heated. There were smokers in that area so it wasn't where I enjoyed sitting though. The open pool was cool, my kids liked that one better anyway after their body acclimated to the temperature.
5. Clothing? We were lucky to have great weather (60s-70s highs and 50s lows), I could have worn shorts everyday, I chose to wear leggings and layered t shirt and sweatshirt. I am so happy that I left our winter jackets behind at the last minute. We would not have worn them. There are plenty of reasonably priced jackets and gloves in the gift shops in town and on the boat.
6. Running: The exercise room warmer than I would have liked. I did not see a fan, but I only went in once and ran on the treadmill. It took a little getting used to rocking on the boat and running on a machine. Tenth floor running on deck was AMAZING! 3.5 laps = 1 mile. Run early though, the deck can fill up fast with whale watchers and walkers that can reduce your pace.
7. The food? How can anyone complain about the food. I did not need seasonings (I thing someone mentioned that) The food was so good! That may be something I could complain about, it was annoying that I felt the need to eat every single meal because it was so good!
8. Which side of the boat? We randomly chose starboard side, I really don't think it matters but on our cruise, most of the whales were right outside our deck. We got really lucky!! We chose Mid deck 4 - my son gets sea sick, he wore the patches but we're not even sure if he needed them. I'd choose that room again.
9. Cleanliness of boat? Better than our cruise 15 years ago, they are constantly cleaning and picking up after others all around the ship. We tipped out room steward cash every morning, they work so hard.
10. Faster to the fun? Thankfully it was sold out, we registered at midnight the 90 days before the cruise, so we could board at 11:30. We arrived at the dock at 11:15 and was on the boat by 11:30. After that, we would not have seen another opportunity for us to use "Faster to the Fun".
11. We did not participate in the entertainment most shows were during late night hours. My daughter did the teen camp and enjoyed it, but the times were limited and often later at night. I am still rating it excellent. We love our sleep and had to wake too early to attend the entertainment.
12. My son took his XBox and brought his own small TV, but wasn't able to connect to the internet. It saved us money on the arcade games.
13. Laundry: There was one washer and two dryers per floor, we washed clothes early on the trip after that the room was very busy. It was card only so you won't need quarters, the box to run the machine was next to the ironing board. I would not have known how to start the machine if the lady that was ironing wasn't in the room.
Before the cruise: We stayed at the Inn on Pleasant Beach on Bainbridge Island. It was fabulous! There's a little beach close to walk along, not for swimming, the Inn has an incredible heated pool, AND the rooms were so nice. This resort is off the beaten path with free parking and no traffic. Book this early! https://www.pleasantbeachvillage.com/inn
Tracy Arm: We booked the tour, saw the glacier as close as we could get, got close to a water fall, ate donuts and had hot chocolate. Turned around and the Legend was right behind us, they saw everything we did.
Skagway: Our Helicopter mushing camp was canceled, I'm not even sure why. So DH booked the train, it was beautiful but just OK, some people booked the bus to the summit and they were able to stop at the "Welcome to Alaska" sign at the border.
We walked up the Lower Dewey Lake Trail it was quite a challenge for us flatlanders, but beautiful and fun, it took us about 2 hours start to finish and all the way around the lake.
Juneau: AMAZING!!! We did the Taku Lodge Float Plane and Salmon Bake and two bears came out. It was a beautiful sunny day, we all wore shorts and a sweatshirt. My husband wished he would've had long pants on though. Words cannot describe this experience. We wished we had an appetite for Tracy's Crab Shack.
Ketchikan: It was foggy, so our Zodiac Wilderness Adventure was cancelled but it began later and with limited time we were not able to book anything similar. We fond a local excursion to look at bears, orcas and totem poles. I think we wasted our money. Were seconds away and missed some bears, he said you might see orca out the window as we drive around. We had a very informal presentation of totem poles. Waste of time.
Victoria: We were just too full and tired to go to town at 7:30 at night, we walked along this long pier overlooking the water. They explained that the "Jones Act" requires the ship to stop at a foreign port.
We did have a great cruise, I'm so thankful that we could have this experience of seeing the incredible views 24 hours a day and hundreds of whales including a pod of Orca. I'll check one this off of the bucket list. Read Less
The Jewel crew originated mostly from southeast Asia. That means the pizza on board tasted terrible but the Malaysian and Indian food was the best I ever had. I gained 10 pounds. My wife gained 7 pounds. Our 1 year old daughter gained 2 ... Read More
The Jewel crew originated mostly from southeast Asia. That means the pizza on board tasted terrible but the Malaysian and Indian food was the best I ever had. I gained 10 pounds. My wife gained 7 pounds. Our 1 year old daughter gained 2 pounds. We got off the ship fat and happy.
I really appreciated the Guppies playroom. My daughter and I were there at least 4 hours a day on Sea days. They have interactive programs and tons of toys to keep my daughter entertained.
A few tips regarding the Jewel:
-Teppanyaki is the most popular option on board. You must book a reservation 3 months before your sailing date.
-Grab a seat for shows 30 minutes before showtime. Evening entertainment is very popular.
-Book a shore excursion with less people. I went dog sledding in the afternoon instead of the morning, which was the less popular time slot. Everybody in my group got lots of cuddle time with their own puppy!
-Juice is only served in the mornings. The rest of the day, their beverage stations serve flavored water. Fill a container in the morning and store in your mini fridge
Vancouver cruise terminal is horribly inefficient. Long lines and grumpy workers ruined our embarkation day.
Our cabin filled with cigarette smoke on the 5th day. The staff did their best to remove the smell but I wish they could have thrown all the smokers overboard instead. Read Less
How often can you say that you had a vacation with almost no complaints? This was my first cruise, as well as my first time in Alaska. I couldn't have imagined a better experience! My friend and I arrived in Vancouver a few days ... Read More
How often can you say that you had a vacation with almost no complaints? This was my first cruise, as well as my first time in Alaska. I couldn't have imagined a better experience! My friend and I arrived in Vancouver a few days early to check out the city, and I'm glad we did. Beautiful city with something for everyone. The cruise itself? The embarkation was the only not-so-great experience (standing in line for 1+ hours in any situation is not fun, let alone to check in for your cruise). We made the mistake of not eating lunch, figuring we would eat on the ship, only to arrive on the ship just as food venues were closing for the emergency drill, so we were more than a bit hangry. Lesson learned, and moving forward.
The staff on the ship was so, so amazing at each and every turn. Everyone from the general manager to the stewards to the dining staff was pleasant and efficient. The ship was very clean and constantly being improved with touch-up paint here or oiling a hinge there. The food was good, especially in the main dining rooms (Azura was amazing!), with a good selection all-around. I can't speak to the specialty restaurants, but we tried out all of the complimentary venues and had good experiences with all. We enjoyed walking laps around the promenade deck or jogging track up top to catch the beautiful views and enjoy that amazing, fresh air. Cruising Glacier Bay National Park while listening to the ranger's commentary was certainly a highlight.
We chose some really wonderful shore excursions (whale watching, rainforest island adventure, musher/sled dog camp) and honestly felt like each shuttle driver and tour guide was the best one they had. Entertainment and activities on the ship were high-quality and varied; again, with something for everyone. If you were bored--which we weren't--it was your own fault. We loved listening to the musicians at the lounges and atrium, and the main theatre shows were great (Anna and Vlad were wonderful and Cirque Bijou on the last night was AMAZING!). I think I'm at the point of gushing now so I'll stop, but I really can't say enough good about this experience. I HIGHLY recommend this cruise and will definitely cruise with Norwegian again. Read Less
Norwegian cruise was a smooth sail for us all. The checkin/checkout process was very well organized compared to any other cruise we have done so far. The range of restaurants and variety of food this ship offered was amazing. Housekeeping ... Read More
Norwegian cruise was a smooth sail for us all. The checkin/checkout process was very well organized compared to any other cruise we have done so far. The range of restaurants and variety of food this ship offered was amazing. Housekeeping was great. At the sea entertainment had things for all ages. Dance party was great!! Service was exceptional. We really enjoyed our cruising experience. The ports were perfect and so was the weather for us!!
Beverage package is worth it only if you have 2 or more drinks per day, otherwise you could just purchase drinks on the go. Speciality dining was good, we enjoyed the food and ambience in La Cucina. We were a little disappointed with the Teppanyaki restaurant, the portion sizes were huge and lot of food was wasted.
The photo package could definitely be improved, the current package has no savings per se, as the individual photos are cheaper than the package.
Overall, we had a great cruising experience. Read Less
We just finished a northbound Alaska cruise from Vancouver to Seward. This is our second NCL cruise in less than 12 months and we continue to be impressed with the level of service. We always buy the specialty dining packages and they are ... Read More
We just finished a northbound Alaska cruise from Vancouver to Seward. This is our second NCL cruise in less than 12 months and we continue to be impressed with the level of service. We always buy the specialty dining packages and they are very reasonable for the quality of the food. The promotion packages are also part of the reason we book early as they are a good deal... just beware you pay tax on them even though they are “ free” ( the cost of tax of the premium beverage package can be a bit spendy) as Latitude members we got to board in the priority line this time and it really made a difference. The suites get you access to breakfast and lunch in Moderno restaurant (exclusive to suites and Haven guests) which was nice as I really dislike the chaos of the buffet! The crew was amazing as always, and one of the reasons we have chosen to sail exclusively with NCL. We already have our next cruise ( Panama Canal) boooked on NCL! Read Less
This was our second cruise with Celebrity, and it certainly won’t be our last… In fact it was our second cruise on the Eclipse; we’d been around the Baltics and to St Petersburg (another superb itinerary) when she was newer and shone ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Celebrity, and it certainly won’t be our last… In fact it was our second cruise on the Eclipse; we’d been around the Baltics and to St Petersburg (another superb itinerary) when she was newer and shone a little bit more, but the slightly older lady definitely hasn’t lost her sparkle!
This was one amazing itinerary- sailing out of Vancouver (spectacular in itself), on to Icy Strait Point, a trip to Hubbard Glacier, back to Juneau, Ketchikan and back down the Inside Passage towards home. The sights in the right weather, which we were lucky enough to have all week, are unsurpassed: snow-topped mountains, small islands dotted with pines, early morning mists, clear blue skies, humpbacks, orcas, porpoises, sea otters, sea lions, seals, bald headed eagles, bears, and a glacier which grew before our eyes in a glassy sea dotted with curiously shaped ice blocks, some the size of a iceberg…
Celebrity looked after us, and very well we felt: our balcony stateroom was cleaned twice a day by Imade, the best cabin steward we’ve ever had in our six cruises to date. Yes, it’s knocked about a little bit since the last time we were on board, but we’re all a bit weathered with age… Food was exceptionally good in the Moonlight Sonata Dining Room where service was prompt and good humoured, thanks to Julius Caesar (minus his helmet), Santos and wine waiter, Rakman. We enjoyed the variety and quality of the buffet but found it difficult to get a table at times, one of the disadvantages of doing a cruise where many would otherwise stay outside on their sunbeds from dawn til dusk. On this cruise, we took to having lunch back in the main dining room, where we enjoyed all sorts of treats such as duck and steaks. Service in the bars was good although we felt that there should have been more staff on occasions. The main shows in the theatre were a little odd for our tastes at times- some strange song choices, and some weird concepts, one of which involved a top hat (!) but the singers and dancers were all well drilled and worked hard around the ship with their ad hoc shows to keep us entertained. Well sone to Simon, our Cruise Director. We particularly liked Savannah Smith, and knew that if ever the ship’s fog-horn lost its bellow, Savannah would step right in. What a pair of lungs! We enjoyed her so much, we ate lunch early one day just to attend her extra matinee show.
With only three ports in the week we chose to book independent excursions at Icy Strait Point (whale watching) and Juneau (a city tour, a trip to the Mendenhall Glacier and another whale watch) which were cheaper than those on offer with the cruise company. We were also on smaller boats for the whale watching, an obvious plus. We chose the Lighthouse, Totems and Eagles tour in Ketchikan and were glad we did. The added advantage of this particular itinerary was the fact that so much was seen from the ship itself- the scenery, the glacier and the wildlife were all completely unforgettable.
This was the first cruise we’ve done which included a drinks package- and what a difference that made! And despite various crew members’ efforts to get us to upgrade from the Classic to the Premium, we felt our needs were more than catered for with the basic one on offer. Bottled water, coffees, hot chocolates, endless cocktails and glasses of wines from around the world kept us more than satisfied. In fact we’ve told ourselves that we’d have to think twice before booking another cruise without that particular offer…
We were lucky enough to be invited onto the helipad for the Vancouver sailaway where we were treated to exceptional views of the disappearing city while drinking complimentary champagne. We also found ourselves invited to a lunchtime drinks and canapes party up in the Sky Observation lounge, our favourite bar- a generous gesture we felt. And we couldn’t believe our luck when we were sent a special invitation to dine with the Hotel and the Public Relations Directors in the Tuscan Grille one evening… all these little touches made it a holiday to remember.
We’re particularly pleased that we’ve already got our next Celebrity cruise booked- to the far East at Christmas on the Millenium. We’re already considering the next, to Venice, and the next, to South America…
Thanks to all the thoroughly nice people we met on board, crew and fellow travellers, who made our first trip to Alaska a trip of a lifetime! Read Less
After doing research on cruise lines, we chose Norwegian based on the amenities and the itinerary, and they did NOT disappoint! This was our first cruise and from preparations and pre-cruise communications to embarkation, we knew exactly ... Read More
After doing research on cruise lines, we chose Norwegian based on the amenities and the itinerary, and they did NOT disappoint! This was our first cruise and from preparations and pre-cruise communications to embarkation, we knew exactly how to prepare and what to expect. We boarded the ship with ease and had one of the most incredible experiences of our lives! Our cabin was bigger than we expected and worked well for three adults and all of our stuff (lots of storage)! The bathroom was spacious with a roomy shower. Our balcony gave us 24 hour views of the scenery, fresh air, and the experience of watching multiple dockings. We enjoyed many of the bars and some of the entertainment. We saw Jersey Boys, which we really liked, and sat in on trivia and other games in the Atrium. We also took in live music in the Atrium and Observation Lounge. One of our favorite spots was the aft bar Spice H20 which was adults only for most of the day. We sat in the hot tubs and sipped drinks while taking in the majesty of Alaska. The food was also delicious! The buffet had a wide variety of choices for every meal and a special dinner offering each night that was well advertised. The main dining rooms had lots of options and great wait staff. We tried three specialty dining restaurants that we also enjoyed...we especially loved Ocean Blue! We opted for the in-room continental breakfast several mornings and appreciated the option to have an easy and relaxing morning as we prepared for the day. Overall, the ship staff was always friendly and greeted us everywhere we went. We always had our questions answered and needs met. We did excursions in 2 out of 4 ports and were extremely satisfied. All of our guides were great, and the White Pass/Yukon Railroad is a must!! Getting on and off the ship, even on short port calls, was so much easier than we expected and we never had a problem. We had such an amazing time that we've already put down a deposit on our next Norwegian Cruise! We can't wait to come aboard again!! Read Less
We loved everything about our land and sea cruise with Princess! The ship was gorgeous. Our mini suite was spotless with a balcony large enough for two. The food on ship was excellent, especially Sabatini's - our favorite meal! ... Read More
We loved everything about our land and sea cruise with Princess! The ship was gorgeous. Our mini suite was spotless with a balcony large enough for two. The food on ship was excellent, especially Sabatini's - our favorite meal! Alfredo's pizza was also delicious. It's a very popular place for lunch so we didn't mind waiting 10 minutes. The wait staff was very professional at all dining venues. We especially liked the International Cafe to grab a cheese plate for happy hour on our balcony. We had coffee delivered to our room each morning and the service was prompt. We went to all 3 shows which were entertaining, especially the choreography. The comedian, AJ Jamal was hilarious! We went to both of his shows and wish he performed more. The cruise director, Matt O. was fantastic! He was very entertaining and so personable. We enjoyed chatting with him throughout our cruise.
We got off the ship at all 3 ports and booked our excursions through Princess. Skagway - White Pass Scenic Railway is a must. Juneau - shuttle to Mendenhall Glacier. Rick, our bus driver, was excellent. Ketchikan - Lumberjack Show which was very entertaining. There's not enough time and space to list everything, but it was a fabulous trip. We highly recommend cruising with Princess. They are a class act. Feel free to get back to me with questions. Read Less
This is my fourth cruise, second on Princess, and my husband's second cruise in general. My mom joined us for this cruise and it is her 6th. We chose this cruise as it was over my husband's birthday. We also have always talked ... Read More
This is my fourth cruise, second on Princess, and my husband's second cruise in general. My mom joined us for this cruise and it is her 6th. We chose this cruise as it was over my husband's birthday. We also have always talked about going to Alaska and the idea of going the inside passage with Glacier Bay National Park was what sealed the deal for us on this cruise. We booked all our tours through Princess, as well as transfer to the airport after the cruise.
I enjoyed going out of Seattle as I have always wanted to visit, and we went a day before to spend some time in the city. When we woke up the morning of embarkation, we grabbed a coffee (Starbucks in the Hotel Lobby, of course.) and took a shuttle to Pier 91.
As we approached Pier 91 the Ruby greeted us on a wonderfully clear morning. The shuttle dropped us off around 10:45am. My mom, husband and I dropped our luggage with a porter before going into the terminal at Pier 91. All the staff at the terminal were extremely nice. We asked for a wheelchair for my mom who needed the extra help for getting onto the Ruby. We were escorted to an elevator, that took us to the floor above, where we had to walk a short walk to check in. A quick glance at our passports and we had our cruise-cards. It was a very quick check in process.
We then sat in the ‘Assistance’ area, where we were told a wheelchair would be right over and that we would be let on the ship momentarily. We sat for just long enough for me to put our boarding passes and passports back in my travel document keeper before one of the cruise ship staff came with a wheelchair and lead us on. I am glad we asked for a wheelchair as it was a bit of a walk to the deck. After a scan of the card and a quick picture, the gentleman who brought us onboard asked where we wanted to go. We ended up asking to go to Horizon Court on the Lido Deck. He brought us right to a window seat before going to get more passengers that needed assistance. We all got some lunch and sat at the window for an hour or so.
We decided to let others have a chance at our “prime real estate” window table and we went down to deck 7 for the Captain’s Circle Desk. Husband and I had switched to “Gold” so we got our pins as well as our cruise passports and stickers.
We then went down to the International Cafe. Between the two of us, we had around 20 punches left on some Coffee Cards from the Crown in 2017. We got our favorite salted caramel latte and sat and listened to the performer in the atrium. The atrium was decorated in “50 years in alaska” banners. The musician was singing solo with a guitar, and it was very pleasant. We sat for about 15 minutes and enjoyed the performance and our latte’s.
Around 1:30pm the announcement was made that Staterooms were ready and we decided to go up to our rooms. We chose our staterooms on deck 10 (Caribe) as on our last Princess Cruise on the Crown in 2017 we had a balcony stateroom on the same deck and I personally loved how it was basically in the middle of everything. This cruise however we had inside cabins. My mother stayed in C244 and we stayed in C245. The Ruby was refurbished in October 2018 and I will say that it is very obvious. The carpet in the hallways to the staterooms looks great, and the LED screens for the conversion to Medallion Class is nice. I will admit I missed the little ‘name cards’ on the mailbox at the door, however.
Once we got my mom settled, and got her luggage into her room and confirmed the walker with seat she ordered was in her room, we went to ours. The first thing I noticed is how the room didn't seem small. The mirrors really make it seem larger than it is. The bed was configured in a queen style which I assume helped as well. The next thing I noticed was a large flower arrangement on the dressing table. The note said they “Enjoy your stay on the Ruby Princess, Compliments of the Hotel General Manager”. This was a wonderful surprise. The Televisions in the staterooms have been upgraded We both loved the “Love Boat” themed safety video. We took advantage of the TV shows and Movies on demand a lot.
We had traditional dining at 5:00pm. We had a table in the Botticelli Dining Room - which is located deck 6 aft. We found our table which was set for 3 people. We had the most amazing team in the dining room. RIza, assisted by Nikolai and head waiter Alberto. My mom has a food allergy so he helped us with making sure what she ordered she was able to eat. He made sure to check on us each night we were in the MDR. The food in the MDR was amazing and the service was the best I have ever had on a cruise.
We did eat at the Crown Grille one evening, and in my opinion it wasn't worth the cover fee, especially when with the service we had at the MDR.
We had a naturalist on board and we did take advantage of seeing his talk in the Princess Theatre on the first sea day His name is Michael Modzelewsi. I will say if you ever get the pleasure of cruising to Alaska with this amazing gentleman, I highly suggest it.
The shows in the princess theatre each night were great. Oscar Carlos and Michael Minor were guest stars, as well as Libby Riddles. The shows of Colors of the World and Once Upon a Dream were well done, but Magic To Do was the real show-stopper. We didn’t see Voice at Sea finale, as it honestly didn't interest us.
We did excursions in Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan. Juneau - Mendenhall Glacier and Mt. Roberts Tramway, Skagway - White Pass Scenic Railway and Ketchikan - Great American Lumberjack Show with Totem Bight State Park. All Excursions were worth the money and got a lot out of them. Every driver we had for excursions was very knowledgeable and very proud to talk about Alaska.
Glacier Bay was amazing. They had park rangers on board, and it was really great to hear them talk and point out sights to us.
Victoria was a late port day - We got off and took a bus into town. It was a little pricey - 15.00 CAD each round trip, but it was worth not having to walk the long way into downtown. Busses ran roughly every 15 minutes to and from the port. We had our passports stamped here as well at the Customs desk.
We had an amazing experience with the photo staff as well, who helped my mom with a package and loaded pictures onto her USB as well as giving us a private photo sessions at Glacier Bay. Rene was the name of the crew member that helped us at the photo area and honestly she was very good at her job!
Disembarkation went strange, with my mom needing the wheelchair off, we ended up being off the ship about 15 minutes before our luggage was off. The staff member who had her in the wheelchair waited with us, and a porter grabbed our luggage as soon as it came out. We had the Transfer to SEA booked through Princess, and we got to SEA without a hitch. The bus driver was very knowledgeable and told us a lot about Seattle on our way to the airport.
This has been my favorite of the four cruises I have taken, and honestly has been the best of the two I have done with Princess, and I only ended up with one punch left on my coffee card! Read Less
Because we wanted to see Alaska and it was our first cruise and it was our 40th anniversary and we wanted to go on a cruise. The food was excellent and the waiters was really nice. Everything on the Ruby Princess was great, you had, movie ... Read More
Because we wanted to see Alaska and it was our first cruise and it was our 40th anniversary and we wanted to go on a cruise. The food was excellent and the waiters was really nice. Everything on the Ruby Princess was great, you had, movie nights and theater and dances. You 4 different swimmingft pools and hot tubs and you had great coffee. We thought Alaska cruise would be fun because, everyone says it is a really great cruise to go on and you had a lot to do at each port. We couldn't fit everything in 1 cruise, so we plan on making 3 to 4 more cruises and maybe we will see everything that we wanted to see. If you have never been on a cruise, I suggest the Alaska cruise because it is so beautiful up there and the wife love it. Thank you for everything that the Ruby Princess did for us and the crew members took great care of us. Read Less
We just completed a 7 day Alaskan cruise on Royal Princess ship. Princess Medallion System, in my opinion, is a breach of privacy. You wear or carry this medallion around your neck on somewhere on your body all the time. It has all your ... Read More
We just completed a 7 day Alaskan cruise on Royal Princess ship. Princess Medallion System, in my opinion, is a breach of privacy. You wear or carry this medallion around your neck on somewhere on your body all the time. It has all your personal info on it. It is used as your cabin key, access to get on and off the ship, drink or any other purchases you make on the ship. The problem we had was another person's picture (whom we had no idea who he was, nor did Princess) appeared on the screen outside our cabin. After 2 days, Princess was finally able to correct.
But, anytime you have your medallion on you, and you are near a Princess computer screen (to order drinks, purchase anything on ship, etc) anyone with their medallion on in that area, if you are purchasing or not, your picture info appears on their screen. I believe this is also why it takes bar service so long to ring up your drink - shuffling through lots of photos. Plus the medallion unlocks your cabin door long before you get to your cabin. I feel it should only unlock the cabin door after you swipe the medal on the screen outside your door. And if you are using medallion on Princess - make sure you download the app before you get on ship. It took us an entire morning to get this done. Waited in 3 long lines for staff to assist. First 2, said they didn't know what to tell us, finally the 3rd was able to help. But then you're always attached to iPhone.... and chat feature does not alert you when you have a chat.
Also we had balcony cabin on 11th floor (B631). Balcony is very small compared to other cruise lines we've been on. And balcony door very hard to get opened from inside.
Dining room - if you want surf/turf or steak will cost an add'l $29/person.
If you need to store luggage post cruise, there is a hotel at the end of pier that will store for $10/day. Read Less
Just left Ovation on August 2. I cruised with my three teens in 2 balcony rooms connected at the balcony. This was our 9th cruise with Royal, and it was the best. Embarkation was a breeze. Got to the port at 10:30, boarding started at ... Read More
Just left Ovation on August 2. I cruised with my three teens in 2 balcony rooms connected at the balcony. This was our 9th cruise with Royal, and it was the best. Embarkation was a breeze. Got to the port at 10:30, boarding started at 11:03 and we were aboard by 11:15. It looked crowded, but staff moved us right along.
The rooms had plenty of space and storage. Room attendant was fantastic.
Itinerary was breathtaking. We did Mendenhall Glacier /whale watching / Orca Point Lodge in Juneau. Wish we had more time at Mendenhall to hike to Nugget Falls, but still saw salmon running and got close enough to falls and glacier for good photos. Saw plenty of whales, seals and sea lions. In Scagway we did the Liarsville gold rush camp, Red Onion Saloon and a drive into Canada and the train ride back. It was all incredible. The kids loved that they could tour a historic “house of ill repute” and really enjoyed the train ride. They stayed on the back balcony of the train 80% of the time! We “missed” Dawes Glacier due to excessive ice in the channel, but stayed in the Endicott Arm area longer, among the beautiful blue ice floes. Honestly, I didn’t mind, because we had already seen three glaciers and saw more wildlife, like whales and Dalls Porpoise, in the Arm. In Victoria, Butchart Gardens were nice, but a walk through town was actually more enjoyable for this non-flower guy.
As far as the ship, it was wonderful. We have been spoiled on Oasis class, but Ovation was less crowded, so easier to get into shows. Yes, you trade in the broadway shows and diving shows for that, but a fair trade. Ifly and Northstar were easy to reserve when boarding early. We got Northstar at 1 pm on Dawes and Endicott day (well after the paid slots ended). I’d recommend that time, because you see whales at that point.
The kids loved the teen club, and had a group of friends by day 1. I managed to get together with them every day at dinner and for excursions. Otherwise, the parent just isn’t cool enough I suppose.
Food...I’ve never had an issue with main dining room food and I’d read here that many didn’t enjoy Ovation MDR. Apologies to the naysayers, but Ovation scored big for us at the MDR. We ate at Solarium day one, but the MDR was at its best every other night. Attentive and friendly staff. Food was awesome. I even asked the servers for spicy food and they came up with some incredible Indian chicken and fish dishes and were right on target. It wasn’t the Four Seasons, so no artsy displays of tiny food, but it was a great meal every time. Breakfast was best at Solarium Bistro. We tried Windjammer once, but way too crowded and nearly impossible to find a table. We did 270 on the last morning, and sad we waited! Good quick breakfast sandwiches and burritos. Lunch at the hot dog, fish&chips or Sorrentos pizza was good.
I tried the deluxe beverage package for the first time and it was borderline worth it. Considering all the soda, mixed drinks and specialty coffee I “purchased”, the math tells me I about broke even each day, but only because I drank a bit more with the package. So I would get it again, simply for the convenience of having it all “covered” ahead of time.
Was it perfect? Of course not. We could have waited more at the elevators, many did wait too long, but we took the stairs often. Sometimes even just going up or down one level meant a quicker elevator arrival. This could have been an issue if we had young children or someone who had difficulty with stairs. Also, it took a few hours the first day to connect to the WiFi. Signal was spotty and slow in certain spots on the ship, but not in our stateroom. This may be an issue with satellites and high latitudes, though.
So our bottom line was stellar cruise, great ship and an amazing cruise line. Read Less