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Sail Date: June 2019
My hubby and I have wanted to do this cruisetour for 25 years and I have always dreamed of seeing Alaska! The Ports were all perfect as were the College of the Fjords and Glacier National Park! We booked excursions with Princess and they ... Read More
My hubby and I have wanted to do this cruisetour for 25 years and I have always dreamed of seeing Alaska! The Ports were all perfect as were the College of the Fjords and Glacier National Park! We booked excursions with Princess and they were all perfect with excellent guides and naturalists! We loved the room (a balcony which we paid a lot for), the coffee at the Coffee Shop (which we paid for), and the amount of time in Alaska(which we also paid for)! Do NOT go for the food! The food was overcooked with no flavor! The food was obviously frozen and made in advance of the cruise. Unseasoned and very bland! For example, in one of the main dining rooms, I ordered crab quiche as an appetizer. It was served barely warm and had real crab as well as fake crab in it! (Fake crab is that stuff you buy that is make out of Pollak fish and is reshaped to look like a crab leg but is this awful red color!). We were in Alaska so we thought that they might have at least used 100% crab! The COFFEE was terrible unless you purchased it from the coffee shop and was made by a Barista! $3 to $7 for a good cup of coffee! We prepurchased the coffee cards prior to the cruise because I had read that Princess uses a coffee concentrate instead of brewing coffee!!!!!!!!!! The Pizzeria did serve wonderful pizza but how much pizza do you really want to eat on a $7-10,000 cruise for 2? Please be very careful when using the buffet! Many people used the Purell and handwashing stations but there were twice as many who did not use good hand hygiene! Make your reservations for dinner prior to boarding the ship! We wanted to use our shipboard credit to pay for our specialty dinners but once we were on board, we were told that all the reservations were full for the steak house, Italian restaurant, and Crab Shack! Maybe that is where they hide the good food? We certainly didn't get any! We were so looking forward to all of the Naturalists and Alaska speakers that we would be able to hear from! We saw every presentation on Alaska that we could but there were 1,000 times more opportunities to listen to EFFY DIAMOND personnel! Yes you could actually purchase diamonds on this trip and LOTS OF THEM! I THOUGHT WE WERE GOING TO ALASKA AND DIDN'T BRING MY DIAMOND MONEY WITH ME!!!!! I was truly disappointed with all of the above but not with Alaska! It was beautiful, majestic, and so awe inspiring! We had incredible moments seeing Bald Eagles in their nests and hunting! We loved the Glaciers and learning how the land was formed! We loved Denali National Park and the caribou, moose, eagles, and wildlife that we saw! We loved sitting on our balcony and watching whales in the distance surface and slap their tales! Go to Alaska and breath in every second and just admire how wonderful this place is! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
The ship is very clean and beautiful. We booked 10 cabins. Overall we had a great time but our biggest complaint was the constant wrong information from the Princess employees. An example: a passenger in the buffet wanted a to go cups of ... Read More
The ship is very clean and beautiful. We booked 10 cabins. Overall we had a great time but our biggest complaint was the constant wrong information from the Princess employees. An example: a passenger in the buffet wanted a to go cups of coffee. The staff told her there’s a cafe on deck 5. That’s true but how about the cafe that’s located right in the buffet. Almost every cabin had 1 person with a medallion issue. Most were resolved with a short phone call prior to the cruise. I contacted Princess at least 7 times to resolve my issue. Everyone was very nice and said they would notified Tech support, most issues are resolved in a day and don’t worry when you get to the port everything will work. WRONG!!! No one ever called me back, I never received my medallion at home, my group was told they could not wait for me at the port, when I got my medallion at the port it did not work (delayed at security, I could not get in my cabin, I could not get a drink!!!). Result: I used an access card until the evening on day 3 of the cruise when they delivered a working medallion. They notified us to try and get to the port from 10am to noon to help with the boarding proses. We did unfortunately no one outside the port is ready for passengers. We dragged our luggage though a maze of ramps, elevator, garage, etc so we could sit and wait for the ship to allow passengers. Our friends got there at noon and walked right on with no wait and no maze to follow. Everyone, I mean everyone, was very very nice but Princess is definitely lacking in efficiency. Last, I tried to contact Princess after our cruise to tell them about our experience directly, they informed my that they don’t take complaints over the phone and it has to be in writing. I don’t like writing reviews, but if you want it in writing...., Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We booked this cruise 3 days before the trip because prices were too good. The ship is very large with 3600 passengers but fairly new and everything worked nicely. Surprisingly no lines for buffets in Horizon food court. Few times ... Read More
We booked this cruise 3 days before the trip because prices were too good. The ship is very large with 3600 passengers but fairly new and everything worked nicely. Surprisingly no lines for buffets in Horizon food court. Few times it was hard to find the table. For made to order eggs they take the order and give you slip of paper which you give to waiter. This cuts down lines. Wait staff was very helpful and brought tea/water/lemonade quickly to the table. Our cabin was C108, CARIB deck balcony. We enjoyed the scenery but didn't stay in the balcony too long (due to cold). I would say we used balcony much less than warmer climates. Also best views are found on top decks for glaciers, the ship actually makes multiple 360 degree turns to give everyone a good view. I would seriously consider not purchasing balcony on Alaska cruise. You don't see much wildlife anyways. Better save the money for excursions. The bedding on this ship was the best, very comfortable. Our room steward took good care of us. Unlike Carnival on Princess they still do room cleanup twice a day. This cabin location was ideal for Princess lounge and Symphony dining room (mid ship). Due to airline mistake we didn't get luggage till 3rd day on the cruise and Princess customer service was very good to us. They provided us free express laundry and tuxedo rental for me. Ports Ketchikan - It was raining so not much to do. We took the multiple stop tour from the pier and it was OK, didn't see any wildlife or Salmons (probably not the season yet). Juneau - Took the Mendenhall Glacier and whale watching tour from the pier. It was good and we got to see whales few times. Skagway - Nice shopping town. Took the White Pass Yukon junction train ride. It was very scenic and nice but I am not sure it's worth the $138 they charge per person. Glacier Bay and College Fjord - Both are very scenic, wish it was sunny but we enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I was looking for a cruise out of San Francisco and Princess fit the bill. The cruise terminal is easy to reach and Princess was well organized to board 3,000 passengers. My advice to cruisers is to exit your vehicle (taxi, Uber or ... Read More
I was looking for a cruise out of San Francisco and Princess fit the bill. The cruise terminal is easy to reach and Princess was well organized to board 3,000 passengers. My advice to cruisers is to exit your vehicle (taxi, Uber or personal transportation) at the curb before turning in and wheel your luggage to the ship's porters the last one hundred yards. The cab ride from the hotel to the cruise port took 10 minutes--the ride from the cruise port's turn-in to the ship took another 20 minutes because it takes time to off-load luggage and once you are in the queue you're stuck. Disembarkation was also well organized. I purchased the airport transfer service and got there in record time. The ship was very nice with subdued decor (my previous cruises were on Carnival--enough said.) I stayed in a balcony cabin, towards the front of the ship. The elevators were slow and sometimes very crowded with scooters, wheelchairs, and a generally older crowd that can't negotiate the stairs too well, but most people took it in stride. The excursions I took were interesting but too short for the money. A naturalist gave talks about Alaska's wildlife, botany, etc. and that helped make the whole experience more interesting. The food was good (lots of fresh fish) and varied although sometimes a bit bland. Service was friendly and efficient. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Five travelers ages 58,57,56,22,21. Enjoyed the ports in Alaska and the accommodations were perfect (balcony/suite). There were few activities during the day (unless you like trivia) and the evening entertainment did not meet our ... Read More
Five travelers ages 58,57,56,22,21. Enjoyed the ports in Alaska and the accommodations were perfect (balcony/suite). There were few activities during the day (unless you like trivia) and the evening entertainment did not meet our expectations; no karoke, no dance club, productions were less than average and the comedy shows are not offered nightly and not very good either. Cruise ship seemed like a ghost town after 10pm. No late night dining or snack options. Somewhat disappointing for our young adult daughters. Poor service every night in dining room; took on average 20 minutes to get drinks and another 20 minutes to be served. The food was tastier at the buffet than at dinner. Our 21 and 22 year old daughters were disappointed in the age of the crowd cruising on the Coral Princess. Not sure if this is the case on every Alaska cruise line, but if you're looking for entertainment for the young adults, you might consider another cruise line. If you want to see Salmon, wait until July or August. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Very unhappy with Amalfi dining room. Changed to Portofino which was much better for service and food quality. Princess seems to nickel and dime for too many things - soda, bottled water. No longer offers happy hour prices and drinks very ... Read More
Very unhappy with Amalfi dining room. Changed to Portofino which was much better for service and food quality. Princess seems to nickel and dime for too many things - soda, bottled water. No longer offers happy hour prices and drinks very expensive. Star is old and showed its age - worn out furnishings. We have said with princess many times but will no longer choose them. Limited kid activities for a family centered destination. Horizon buffet very poor. Food and staff not good. Entertainment was good but shows crowded and seats hard to get. Cabin stewards very good but cabins are old and worn out. Embarkation was quick and easy and disembarking also is smooth. Most dissatisfied with food overall. Quality and selection have suffered since our last princess cruise 3 years ago. We will not sail with them again. Sad to see it falter so much but there are better lines. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Alaska is such a beautiful place. Princess is a great cruise line. Everything was great. Other than one day of rough seas, everything was perfect. I could almost just stay on the ship and not go to any ports. We so enjoyed exploring the ... Read More
Alaska is such a beautiful place. Princess is a great cruise line. Everything was great. Other than one day of rough seas, everything was perfect. I could almost just stay on the ship and not go to any ports. We so enjoyed exploring the ship and finding nice areas to sit and be quiet was great. We're not into nightlife or gambling, but enjoyed the shows. The scenery is to die for. Loved sitting on the balcony and enjoying it by ourselves. Loved the ports. I was disappointed that we weren't able to go down Tracey Arm to see the glacier. That is one of the highlights and was sorry we missed out on that. Port time is too short and too late in Victoria. Food is fabulous and the staff goes above and beyond in their service. So gracious. Enjoy talking with them and finding out where they are from. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
First time to Alaska and this was the way to do it. With the combination of sea and land we were able to maximize our trip of a life time. A MUST is a balcony cabin as you can see whales and the glaciers, you do not have to run to a side ... Read More
First time to Alaska and this was the way to do it. With the combination of sea and land we were able to maximize our trip of a life time. A MUST is a balcony cabin as you can see whales and the glaciers, you do not have to run to a side on deck the ship rotates so you have a direct view of the glacier. Balcony has two (2) chairs and a table. We used the Princess planner for our excursions and air reservations. This is a good practice to protect you if your ship may leave and going through Princess it puts the responsibility on Princess to get you to the ship. We had a handicap cabin with a rented scooter (Scootaround) and had plenty of room to move round and enjoy ourself. TV had morning show that looped so you could see the activities on the ship and showed the excursions in port. Also, in the evening they read a bedtime story with the ships mascot Captain Stanley. Was even good for the big kids in us. Found that the excursion pre cruise were the best price. The land side was the glass domed passenger car and the 9:5 hour train ride to Denali. On our way the we saw 9 moose and 2 bears. The views were breath taking and your pictures will not do it justice. Yes, we will go again it is a must!!, Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
After three years of battling brain cancer, my mom and I took this cruise as a celebration. Cruises are an excellent way for me to travel because I am able to easily rest when my energy gets low. This was my first time to cruise the ... Read More
After three years of battling brain cancer, my mom and I took this cruise as a celebration. Cruises are an excellent way for me to travel because I am able to easily rest when my energy gets low. This was my first time to cruise the Princess line and I was incredibly pleased. In the past, I have cruised mostly Norwegian, with a few Royal Caribbean cruises sprinkled in. EMBARKATION AND DISEMBARKATION- 5 stars Both embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and efficient. My mom and I traveled with several bags (Total of four large bags, and two smaller carry-ons and two “under the seat” carry-ons.” Two of my bags were necessary because they carried medical equipment. One of the carry-ons was solely for souvenirs (we purchased this one onboard, an expandable duffle, for around $35USD). For embarkation from Vancouver, we took a taxi from our hotel to the port terminal around 10:30am, our taxi was directed and pulled up right to the porters for the Golden Princess, where our bags were dropped. A short walk from there took us to the cruise check in, which involved only a short wait. After that we went through customs quickly. Passengers were then lead to a waiting area until the ship was ready for boarding. My mom and I waited only about 5-10 minutes before we were allowed to board. Once onboard, we found our cabin was already prepared and accessible. This has not been my experience with other lines. Also, our bags were delivered to our room more quickly than typical on other lines I have cruised. Disembarkation from Whittier was also smooth and efficient. Princess divided the passengers into over a dozen groups assigned locations in which to wait. This was nice, because we were able to wait while sitting and exit quickly rather than standing in long lines. Bags were collected between 7pm and 10pm the evening before and were easy to locate once off the ship. It was then a very short walk to buses, vans, etc. Also, carts were available to assist with moving luggage. We used the Anchorage Cruise Transfer (ACT) Buses and found them to be very helpful. The bus driver also pointed out sites and provided information during the drive, which made it feel more like a tour than a transfer. SHIP- 5 stars The ship is in good condition and is of reasonable size. No areas were filled to capacity with two exceptions. First, I observed that the Princess Theater was only filled to capacity twice during the cruise. The first time was during a presentation of the onboard "naturalist," Sandy Schempp, on Alaskan wildlife. The second was for the first showing (8:00pm) of the production show "Born to Dance." Ample space was available for all other shows, including the juggler/comedian on Embarkation Day, the "British Invasion" production show, and the "Voice of the Ocean" show. Second, the beautiful Piazza was extremely crowded during certain Alaska enrichment events, primarily "Puppies in the Piazza," where puppies were brought on board to interact with passengers--a clear hit with families with children. The ship is clean with laundry facilities on several deck (these can get crowded as well). Decks were adequately supplied with lounge chairs--I never had a issue securing a chair, and offered wonderful views of Alaska scenery. Dining areas were less crowded than typical on a cruise ship. The buffet, Horizon Court, is located on both the Port and Starboard sides of the ship, with indoor and covered outdoor seating. I never had trouble finding a table with a window view. Likewise, I found that I was always able to get a window view when eating in the Bernini Restaurant. My mom and I booked “anytime” dining, which allowed us to eat in Bernini between 5:00pm and 9:00pm, or Donatello for breakfast, lunch, or dinner between 7:15 and 9:30pm. We found Donatello to be more crowded, but only ate there for breakfast and lunch. There are several bars to suit every personality. Mom and I enjoyed either Piña Coladas or cappuccino in the Promenade Lounge and Bar almost every day. This lounge overlooked the Piazza and often you could hear live music within the lounge from coming from the Piazza. Lounge chairs & couches in all the common areas were comfortable. Once concern is that the Internet on Princess was incredibly slow. Princess even recognizes this. I believe it ran slower than other cruise lines I’ve experienced, but it is hard to say. I was not pleased with the internet desk. I had pre-purchased an internet package, and they were unhelpful in explaining how to access it. I eventually figured it out myself. CABIN- 5 Stars I was very pleased with our Cabin. I booked an Obstructed View to save money, but was pleasantly surprised to discover that our cabin, E517, was only partially obstructed, in between two life boats, leaving a decent, but not full, view of the incredible Alaskan coastline. The cabin was also on the Starboard (right) side of the ship. I found this side to have the more beautiful view. If your cruise views College Fjord, all but one glacier is best viewed from the Port (left) side. However, there are plenty of spaces on the ship to view the coastline if you have an obstructed view or an interior cabin. As for cabin size, it was set up very spaciously. My mom and I never felt crowded. We had a two twin bed set-up. With ample space between beds, and between the desk and left bed. A desk is located to the left of the beds, near the window. Two chairs are provided, one for the desk and a one for the window. Both were comfortable. The cabin is also equipped with a small refrigerator! The television was also sizable. The closet was surprisingly spacious with plenty of hangers and a cabinet with drawers and a safe. Plenty of other drawers are located near bedsides, and the desk. My mom and I each had onboard outfits, two formal night outfits, and clothing for shore excursions, including coats & jackets, and standard clothing (pajamas, hats, shoes etc.), as well as toiletries and hair products. We didn’t even have to use all of the cabinet space. The closet was also large enough to hold all of our suitcases so that we did not have to use space under our beds, which would have been large enough for suitcases should we have needed to use them. The bathroom was clean and spacious for a cruise cabin bathroom. Our cabin was kept clean. Mom and I found that our cabin was routinely cleaned with towels replaced. Because I nap everyday and have to take medicine at certain times, we returned to the cabin often. We always found the beds made up, towels refreshed, and trash emptied—an impressive task for our cabin steward. DINING- 5 stars Dining on the Golden Princess was the best I have had in my cruising experiences. Particularly dinners in the restaurants were phenomenal. We opted to forgo specialty dinning because dining in the main restaurants was so good. Particularly remarkable were the Cod (on the first evening) and the Beef Wellington (on the final formal night). Desserts were exceptional, particularly chocolate desserts, which Princess specializes in. Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets in the Horizon lounge did not disappoint. Breakfast includes a selection of breads, eggs, cereals and fruits. Although not widely advertised, they provide made-to-order omelets. If you have difficulty finding how to place a order, ask many of the servers stationed in your buffet area. Servers bring coffee, juices and tea so that you do not have to wait in line for beverages. For lunch and dinner, the selection was wide and delicious. There is a special area displaying desserts. We had afternoon tea in the Horizon court one day, which included sandwiches and pastries. The International Court on deck 6 provides both sweet and savory snacks at no cost. I sampled shrimp and a sugar-free pastry which were very good. Due to my restricted diet we did not try the ice cream parlor, the pizza, or the grill (hotdogs, hamburgers, etc), but they all smelled very good and passengers seemed pleased. Room service was also fast and tasty. ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES- 5 Stars We found the entertainment and activities to be exceptional. Particularly unique to other lines, Princess offers an enrichment series, called North to Alaska. This series had multiple lectures by an on board naturalist. Lectures included talks on Alaskan wildlife, vegetation, and marine life. The naturalist also was available to point out marine life and wildlife visible from the ship, and glaciers in College Fjord. We saw whale, sea otters, bald eagles, puffin, and various birds. During the cruise throughout Glacier Bay National Park, three park rangers boarded the cruise to provide information through the PA system on the glaciers. They also set up a “Ranger’s station” onboard the ship, which included information on glacier bay, including guides, photo books, and gifts for sale. The enrichment series also included presentations by lumberjacks and Iditarod winners, and a folk harmonica group to name a few. We did not make used of any of the many pools or hot tubs, which include both indoor and outdoor, as well as kids and adult-only pools. We did observe many people enjoying the pool facilities. We toured the Spa and it appeared standard for cruise lines, but we did not purchase any services. We loved the games, including trivia and other games. They were always entertaining and a great way to meet other passengers. We played BINGO once, and it was standard for what is to be expected on a cruise ship. I came out even in the Casino, which was small and did not have a wide selection of slot machines. SERVICE- 4 Stars Service overall was adequate and exceptional for our room steward and the Mater D at Bernini, Greg. I would say that for all over areas service was average for what would be expected for a cruise. I found in other cruises, I got to know staff better than on this particular cruise. Nonetheless, I have no specific service complaints. PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS-5 Stars Of course, in Alaska, the best can be seen from the ship itself. Snowcapped mountains arising from the sea, glaciers and wildlife seen from your window constitute breathtaking experiences that are unparalleled anywhere else on the globe. This cannot be understated. Our itinerary stopped in Ketchikan, where we attended a Lumberjack show and Totem Bight Park; Juneau, where we took an independent pedi-cab tour, a whale watching tour and Mendenhall Glacier; and Skagway, where we took the White Pass Train tour. All ports allowed ample time for shopping and stores were easy to find and within walking distance. Our various tours were all excellent and unique enough to give us a full Alaskan experience. Our tours, except for the independent pedi-cab tour in Juneau, were pre-booked online through the Princess website. Princess offered a talk early on in the cruise about ports, which provided helpful information and confirmed that we had made good choices for our excursions. TIPS 1. Bring a power strip. There are limited outlets in the cabin. I required two plugs just for medical equipment, and my mom and I also needed to charge our phones. Princess allows power strips to be brought onboard. We found one power strip satisfied our outlet needs. 2. Book E517 if you go with an “obstructed window.” E517 is not fully obstructed, but you can get it at an obstructed price. It offered a beautiful view of the Alaskan coastline. 3. Do not feel pressured to book a balcony. Although the balconies are nice. Alaska can get cold. Window cabins are spacious and offer wonderful views. Even for those in interior or obstructed windows, the ship offers ample deck and indoor window space to admire the beautiful views of Alaska. Certain shore excursions (e.g. whale watching, White Pass Train in Skagway) offer incredible views as well. So, you can save money and still get wonderful viewing opportunities. 4. Book the Sanctuary on Glacier Bay Day. If your itinerary includes a cruise around Glacier Bay, book a spot at the “Sanctuary,” which is an adult-only covered area which provides lounge chairs, and blankets. My mom and I did this and it was perfect. We got 360 views of Glacier Bay. The package was $60 per person, and included access to the Sanctuary (with reserved lounge chairs) from breakfast through late afternoon, which buffet breakfast including bloody Mary’s and Samosas, lunch buffet, two free ship photographer pictures with a large glacier in the background, ear warmers, and a coffee tumbler. The package would have been worth the price just for the views (especially if you do not have a window view or balcony). Be sure to book early to get the best lounge chairs. 5. Bring sunscreen and sunglasses. During our cruise we experienced both cold and warm weather. The weather varies. Even on chilly mornings, when we were on deck, I found myself slightly burned and needing sunglasses. Otherwise, be sure to dress in layers, especially when going on shore. Remember to bring a light rain jacket. 6. Pre-purchase water bottles. I purchased three packages of 12 water bottles on the Princess website before the cruise. This helped because we found ourselves feeling dehydrated on the cruise many times, whether it was the weather or our activity, we drank lots of water. It helped to have an ample supply of bottles in our room, which we kept in the refrigerator, so that we did not have to bring water down from the buffet or order from room service. We were also able to take bottles on our excursions. The order was reasonable in price. 7. Log out of Account after using Internet-If you fail to do so, you will run your package down. This happened to me. It is not enough to merely close out your window on your phone, Princess requires you to actively log off the Internet. Overall, the Cruise was as close to perfect as it could be and I would definitely do it again. I believe I will now primarily cruise on Princess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We did this cruise for the itinerary, overall the cruise ship was good. Food was pretty good, boat was big enough not to feel too crowded, decor was nice and fairly new, entertainment (except for the very funny comedian) was ok, ... Read More
We did this cruise for the itinerary, overall the cruise ship was good. Food was pretty good, boat was big enough not to feel too crowded, decor was nice and fairly new, entertainment (except for the very funny comedian) was ok, enrichment was also ok (some presenters seemed very politically motivated)... just the facts would have been better. Beach Club for teens was excellent. Embarkation and getting off the boat were both easy; we registered and checked out in advance. We did see lots of unhappy people sitting around on the last day waiting for their luggage as we left. Our steward and waiters were good. Room was adequate, good space for closet and our things. Worst parts were the too small balcony (seriously) and the room got really small when the drop down bunks were being used. 3 people in this room were ok... 4 is more difficult. Beds and pillows were comfortable. Movies under the stars is a nice idea but was too cold on our trip. We moved and watched in our cabin, which was nice. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
The ship is beautiful and well kept. The staff was mostly friendly but many didn’t seem to know the right answers - new crew? Not well trained? The drinks at Good Spirits were outstanding. The very handsome blonde guy who taught ... Read More
The ship is beautiful and well kept. The staff was mostly friendly but many didn’t seem to know the right answers - new crew? Not well trained? The drinks at Good Spirits were outstanding. The very handsome blonde guy who taught how to make the cocktails was great. We were initially assigned to D207 a deluxe balcony, but the room had a terrible odor either dirty feet or vomit. We mentioned it to our attendant who actually argued that it didn’t smell. Jerk! After waiting in the long long first day line at guest services and explaining that my daughter has respiratory problems and couldn’t sleep there (true) we were upgraded to a mini suite which was so much larger and roomy with a beautiful bathtub. No extra charge - so kind since I actually would have paid to upgrade if I had to. This was A205 with an excellent attendant name Cyrus. The balcony on the mini suite was just as narrow as the balcony on our first room. Their ridiculously narrow balconies could very well push me away from a future Princess cruise. We were the first Royal ship to have the Hubbard Glacier Excursion offered and if you are offered this excursion DO IT. A much smaller boat - I believe it carried 148 passengers - came up alongside the ship and we boarded her very easily. the boat took us into the bay and much closer than the big ships can. It was great to get that close to the glacier and see sea lions, harbor seal, arctic terns and black legged kittiwake (gulls) Dinner at Alfredo’s was good. One night I had the stuffed ravioli things - can’t remember the name, the second time Hawaiian pizza which was ok. Good service, no extra charge. Crowne Grill was very good. Had lobster tail which was delicious but I recommend asking them to go light on seasoning. Our waiter Danilo and assistant Carlos were excellent. My only disappointment was that our birthday celebrations that I mentioned when making the reservation, weren't acknowledged. The buffet was typical buffet fare. Good or bad, it offered something for everyone. I liked that they had late hours for those of us out prowling the ship after 10pm, although I don't know what time they actually shut down. We had dinner in the main dining room one night which was good, typical dining room fare. Not memorable. The International Cafe was a handy place to pick up a specialty coffee or tea and a snack, but I wished they changed the food choices up. Over the 7 days it seemed that they had the same sandwiches and salads offered every day, and usually the same desserts too. Had the English Pub lunch at the Wheelhouse which was ok. The Lotus Spa staff was outstanding, especially therapist Marytah. She had amazing hands, was very knowledgeable and extremely caring. The Enclave was nice but very expensive and probably not worth it unless you have plenty of time onboard - we didn’t. The internet was the fastest I’ve ever experienced on a ship. The medallion system is confusing and although I'm sure in time it will improve, right now the only good thing about it was the find a friend app. Overall I still prefer Celebrity but had a great time on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We took a cruise on the Royal Princess that stopped at Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. We did a pre-cruise tour so the embarkment process was very smooth. Majoirty of check-in was done prior to our arrival at the cruise port.The interior ... Read More
We took a cruise on the Royal Princess that stopped at Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. We did a pre-cruise tour so the embarkment process was very smooth. Majoirty of check-in was done prior to our arrival at the cruise port.The interior room was your average cruise room. We did anytime dining and it was very disapointing compared to other cruises I have been on. The food options were limited and the seafood dished were over cooked. The serive at the resturants was okay but none of the servers stood out. The activities on the cruise were mainly focused around selling various products. We booked our excursions directly through Princess, the process was very easy. All of the excursions were a good time and they match the description given. The BEST and most AMAZING experience of the cruise was the staff at Good Spirits Bar. We met them one our first day and went back every day to visit them. They were extremely friendly and very knowledgeable. My experiences at Good Spirits is the main reason I would consider a Princess Cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I always wanted to see Alaska and I had three friends that wanted to see it with me so we decided we would check out princess cruises.embarkation was not hard the line was easy it went pretty smoothly and I was fairly impressed the problem ... Read More
I always wanted to see Alaska and I had three friends that wanted to see it with me so we decided we would check out princess cruises.embarkation was not hard the line was easy it went pretty smoothly and I was fairly impressed the problem was when I got on board the ship I realized how old it was. there was no Grand promenade no shops no Grand cafes no bars no restaurants just a plain interior with nothing special.I look around and realize that the carpet looked old and worn very well dated very well used the paint looks very sad wallpaper was so outdated I couldn't believe they'd even used it. there was none of the grandeur and the splendor in the pampered that you usually associate with Cruise lines it was just a plain old vanilla ship.I immediately went to my room and found out that it was in the same condition sort of old and tired and look like there's just been too many people in there for too long and it needs an update. the first thing we did of course was go to the food because that's the first thing you always do on a cruise ship and we went to daVinci's to have lunch. the food wasn't bad but it wasn't anything special either and I thought all well dinner tonight will be spectacular as it always is.unfortunately when we got to dinner it wasn't anything special my girlfriend ordered Cornish game hen and when it arrived it actually was a little bit gray.I thought so myself how old is this it is this the type of food that we're going to have the entire cruise and sure enough I wasn't disappointed that was the food for the entire cruise.it wasn't really great and it wasn't really bad there was nothing spectacular about it it was just plain old food not at all what I was used to having on normal Cruise lines. it took a long time for the drinks to come in the food to arrive and it wasn't just our table it was all of the tables around us complaining about how long it took for service. the waitstaff seemed a bit tired and over it they would serve the food they would serve the drinks but they always seem to have that look in their eye like I wish this was over I wish I didn't have to do this anymore Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose Princess to Alaska because 20 years ago we sailed the same cruise for our honeymoon. Having set our expectations during the first cruise, we were disappointed to find that smoking is still allowed in so many areas of the ship. ... Read More
We chose Princess to Alaska because 20 years ago we sailed the same cruise for our honeymoon. Having set our expectations during the first cruise, we were disappointed to find that smoking is still allowed in so many areas of the ship. It was impossible to enjoy any of the outside decks, or even our private balcony, due to second-hand tobacco smoke. Even worse, apparently smoking is allowed within the event horizon of the fresh air intake manifold and our stateroom was intermittently inundated with the smell of smoke, making it untenable. Repeated requests to address the situation were fruitless. We were finally offered compensation but then were given a smaller amount than promised as a credit on our account. One does not expect great value from a cruise -- everything is overpriced -- but no amount of compensation will offset our ruined 20th-anniversary cruise experience. Another issue was with the online booking of spa services. The online description was quite a departure from the actual service we encountered. The staff at the spa acknowledged the difference, even saying that this had been the same for other guests who had reserved the same service. However, they were not authorized to refund the money, so we paid extra for an upgrade and, in the end, we received services that would have cost a quarter of the amount at home. This is our last cruise with Princess unless they have a non-smoking cruise option. PS: The scones at high tea used to be freshly made from scratch with NO RAISINS and were served with a selection of jams other than raspberry. What's the world coming to?! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to take our kids and grandkids to Alaska. This cruise fit their schedules. Food was poor to mediocre. One breakfast at Horizon Court is an example. Eggs, cheese slices and bread all the same temperature then I was served cold ... Read More
We wanted to take our kids and grandkids to Alaska. This cruise fit their schedules. Food was poor to mediocre. One breakfast at Horizon Court is an example. Eggs, cheese slices and bread all the same temperature then I was served cold coffee, very diluted orange juice and "ice water" with 2 small ice cubes floating in it. Service carts in hallways made passage difficult, I often had to fold up my wife's walker and carry it. Room attendant and dining room servers were pushy and rude at times. Almost forced to buy bottled drinking water, which was not only extremely overpriced but then they added an 18% "gratuity" to bottled water,. Could no longer order ice water from room service, even with food. Disimbarkation was like a "Chinese fire drill", completely disorganized. On shore excursion in Kechikan, nobody knew where we needed to go or how we were supposed to get to the venue except by walking several blocks, my wife is mobility challenged. Someone finally did get a cab for us but it was very frustrating. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
This was a family trip to celebrate an anniversary. 10 folks going to have a wonderful time and we really did. Embarkation was ideal, first one on the ship and off to lunch right away. Rooms were ready very soon, and cabin was very ... Read More
This was a family trip to celebrate an anniversary. 10 folks going to have a wonderful time and we really did. Embarkation was ideal, first one on the ship and off to lunch right away. Rooms were ready very soon, and cabin was very clean and ready for our week. Food on the cruise was fantastic. Everything from room service, to coffee to main dining room and buffet, all were great. Buffet was easy for all of us, and we were able to get seating for the group. Went to Juneau and hiked up to Mount Roberts. Took us 2.5 hours but it was well worth it, not much mud, but the views were wonderful. Nice place to have a beer at the top after the long hike, and the tram company even gives you a free ride down the tram if you spend $10.00 each if you hike up the mountain. Service on the cruise ship was great, the Cruise Directors staff was so much fun. Zumba was a real treat, and a great workout. Daily games and trivia were entertaining and kept everyone involved. Movies on the TV were very good, lots of different venues. All in all this was a wonderful cruise for all ages, teens had a great time, older folks enjoyed shopping and outdoor activities and evening activities. Looking for a way to enjoy a great week with everyone in mind, this might be the perfect trip. Disembarkation was just as easy as getting on the ship. This is just about the easiest trip you will ever have. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
As stated in the title, this was our very first cruise. We took it to celebrate my son's high school graduation so it was my husband, myself and my son sharing our midship balcony cabin. Maybe it's because we've never ... Read More
As stated in the title, this was our very first cruise. We took it to celebrate my son's high school graduation so it was my husband, myself and my son sharing our midship balcony cabin. Maybe it's because we've never cruised before and didn't know what to expect but we all had a fantastic time. The cabin was tight but we knew it would be and we had everything we needed so when we were there, we were comfortable. I was grateful for all the reading I did on cruise hacks because the magnetic and suction hooks, plastic over-the-door shoe holder and poo-pourri I brought ensured we could all comfortably fit our things and avoid unpleasant smells. :) The only minor complaint we had was that it was difficult to see the t.v. from 2 of the three beds so we often were cramming together on one twin bed to watch things. It should have been mounted above the little alcove cabinet instead of on the wall, but other than that, we made do just fine. The balcony was a wonderful amenity that I'm glad we opted to pay for with this itinerary. One of my top reasons for wanting to visit Alaska was to view wildlife and with the balcony I could wrap myself up in a blanket and sip wine whilst spotting whales, porpoises, otters and eagles. That was truly amazing. Also, while we were in Glacier Bay we had the best view we could hope for because the captain made sure both sides of the boat had ample viewing time. I know on some cruises people recommend saving money by skipping the balcony but in my opinion this is not one of those cruises. Get a balcony. Waking up to the beauty of another port or being able to watch the majestic mountains glide by in your bathrobe were not to be missed. We only ate in the buffets, Cafe Caribe and Horizon Court, because we always forgot to make reservations at the other places but were 100% satisfied with the food there. I had read some complaints about the buffets before we went and I have to say I'm mystified. It was as nice as any high-end buffet I've ever been to. Impeccably clean (someone is always stationed at the entrance to make sure people use hand sanitizer) and filled with a huge variety of tasty favorites with some exotic choices. Everything we ate was prepared well and delicious. We went during busy times and had no trouble finding a place to sit. Water was served to us promptly and our dishes cleared quickly. Every single staff member we encountered there or elsewhere on the ship was friendly and polite. The highlight of the entertainment for us on the cruise was the onboard naturalist Michael Mogdalewski. We were a bit taken aback by his appearance at the first talk we attended because he didn't strike us as "outdoorsy" but we quickly learned not to judge the book by its cover because Mr. Mogdalewski knows his stuff. He gave several talks on wildife, the indigenous people of the area and narrated much of our time in glacier bay over the ship's p.a. system. His style of storytelling is truly riveting. The final talk he gave in Club Fusion about how climate change and other human activities are impacting the environment had us in tears. He cares deeply about the things of which he speaks and it shows. We did some other things like karaoke night, trivia and the art auctions, but didn't enjoy any of them nearly as much as we did his talks. Honestly, all the other stuff like the constant hype over the jewelry "sales" and art "giveaways" were super cheesy - verging on annoying. We couldn't figure out who spends thousands of dollars to be on a cruise and then wants to spend thousands more on art and jewelry they could buy from home but hey, to each their own! We booked our own excursions for each port and saved a ton of money as well as allowing us to be on private/semi-private, smaller groups. Who wants to be in pristine wilderness on a giant bus or huge boat? Plus the cruise automatically tacks on its profit for something you can do yourself. They try to scare you about independent operators who might bring you back late for boarding time, which is nonsense. All the excursion folks know exactly when the cruise ships dock and depart and guarantee to get you back on time. We were never even close to getting back late, so trust me on this one, you will have more fun by researching and customizing your own experience with one of the amazing companies at each port. Embarkation and disembarkation were simple and easy for us. Overall, the best vacation of my life thus far. I would definitely cruise again and hope to return to Alaska - this was a fantastic way to be introduced!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of Glacier Bay. And we hadn’t sailed with princes yet. The good. Service staff in the dining room was exceptional. Same with cabin staff. Food was ok in buffet and very good in main dining room. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of Glacier Bay. And we hadn’t sailed with princes yet. The good. Service staff in the dining room was exceptional. Same with cabin staff. Food was ok in buffet and very good in main dining room. Plenty of room around ship, never felt crowded. The bad. Main dining took forever, every night. I’m talking to hours plus for dinner. Biggest problem was that we booked multiple cabins. My dad is is 80 was promised a cabin next to ours and we were put on deck 12 and he was on 5. (We used the assigned cabin feature to save money) The point is you cannot trust what the phone representatives tell you. We used the princess website to put in food allergies for a couple of the guest. Staff had no clue when we went to dinner the first night. No robes in room which was another request. Entertainment was definitely subpar compared to other cruises I’ve been on Customer service at the service desk ,could care less and our problems. And that’s what I saw as they dealt with other people. You should definitely choose a different line based on my experience and opinion. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
This cruise was part of a much longer tour- 28 days in all. So, I didn't actually choose this. Now having been on it, I wouldn't do it, or anything like it again. This was my forth cruise, the other three being on much ... Read More
This cruise was part of a much longer tour- 28 days in all. So, I didn't actually choose this. Now having been on it, I wouldn't do it, or anything like it again. This was my forth cruise, the other three being on much smaller boats with much fewer people which is what I prefer. This trip confirmed it for me. To me the ship looks tired and is in desperate need of a makeover. The main atrium area is very nice but rooms and main restaurants are 'beige' and uninteresting. Some smaller eating places and bars are much nicer than the bigger restaurants, decor wise. The food was pretty average. I didn't have a single stand out dish in the whole week. We ate in Sabatini's one night, at extra cost and I wouldn't recommend this. It is simply not worth the money. It should be outstanding if I am paying an extra premium on top. Often drinks ordered took ages to come, one night we waited 50 minutes for a glass of wine and were already half way through our meal. Having to eat off and drink out of plastic is a disgrace in the Horizon buffet. Just really awful and tacky. We upgraded to a mini suite and I'm glad we did. The room was a good size but it would want to be for an extra almost $1000. Decor is unappealing and uninteresting. We didn't use many of the facilities on board, spa was ridiculously expensive, I'm not a gym person. But we loved the movies under the stars. This was fabulous. Front desk staff were very helpful and efficient. Thought they were great. Embarking and disembarking proceedures were very well handles. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Over all we enjoyed our first cruise very much and felt like it was a great value. We give the highest scores on most categories except dining (very good but not excellent). The dining rooms were beautiful and service was very good. We ... Read More
Over all we enjoyed our first cruise very much and felt like it was a great value. We give the highest scores on most categories except dining (very good but not excellent). The dining rooms were beautiful and service was very good. We felt the regular menue at each meal was a bit limited and felt somewhat tricked by the pay-extra choices at our first dinner. We didn't know better and ordered entrees that had a fee. We discovered this a couple days later when reviewing our onboard statement. We felt tricked. However - the steak and lobster we had was fantastic! The rest of the cruise we felt we had to be on our guard so as to not order something with additional charges. There were these intimidating men with blue jackets at each meal in the dining rooms. They were intense and stern looking and you could tell the staff were terrified of them. We called them "the goons". They gave an uncomfortable vibe to the dining room. They need to lighten up! Unless we were in a hurry, we skipped the Horizon buffet dining room. The mass feeding- frenzy was kind of gross to deal with. We had a couple room service meals that were nice and easy, and quick. Ate on our balcony. Almost all the staff were encountered were wonderful and gave us great service. They all seemed overworked however, and spoke of 12-15 hour shifts, everyday. They were all from oppressed countries and it seemed they were being taken advantage of by Princess. Did not encounter a single American staff member on the ship. Princess doesn't have ultimate control over this but we found the port stops to be extremely touristy - a big turn-off for us. Ketchikan and Juneau were especially bad. Lots of people, souvenir shops and jewelry stores!! Everything else was wonderful. A great way to see some Alaska highlights! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband and I enjoy cruising and we didn't want to stop after having our beautiful daughter. Alaska was on our short list of cruise destinations and we've heard that Princess is the best cruise line to see Alaska right. We ... Read More
My husband and I enjoy cruising and we didn't want to stop after having our beautiful daughter. Alaska was on our short list of cruise destinations and we've heard that Princess is the best cruise line to see Alaska right. We were not disappointed! Vancouver was an easy city to navigate and made for a stress-free embarkation day. The Coral Princess ship felt spacious and gorgeous; it definitely didn't feel like a small or older ship. We had a balcony cabin (PERFECT for viewing the breathtaking Alaskan mountains, glaciers, whales, etc.) and it was well worth the extra cost over a inside cabin. We had plenty of space to store all our extra baby gear, for the little one to walk around & play, and to get away from napping baby out on the balcony. We were able to do sit down dining EVERY NIGHT. I thought this would be impossible with a teething 12mo old, but our amazing waiter (Carlos de Mexico) made extra effort to make sure our daughter was happy and entertained all evening. Carlos brought out appetizer portions of different meals for baby girl to try, and the chef blended meats & veggies every night so baby girl could have fresh baby puree. Although the buffet was smaller than the larger ships we're used to, it was not lacking in options or deliciousness. Room service also brought Gerber baby food to our room any time baby girl needed an extra snack between meals. Although we weren't able to go to any of the main shows (past baby's bed time), we did catch a couple daytime productions and they were fantastic! The actors, music, and lights were wonderful and even captivated a 1yo for the entire hour. The ports of Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway were super fun and offered lots of excursions for all types of groups. We found family-friendly activities, but there are definitely more adventurous options. We loved sailing through Glacier Bay and College Fjord. The ship had park rangers over the intercom narrating our journey, pointing out exciting things to look at/take photos with, and genuinely making the sea days more exciting. The entire family had a wonderful experience and would highly recommend the Coral Princess for your next vacation. The ship is beautiful, the food was delicious, and the staff were beyond amazing. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
I am glad we were booked on a small ship and were able to cruise Glacier Bay, but we will never cruise with Princess again. The ship is in desperate need of a complete overhaul. Everything was old and outdated. Princess also needs to ... Read More
I am glad we were booked on a small ship and were able to cruise Glacier Bay, but we will never cruise with Princess again. The ship is in desperate need of a complete overhaul. Everything was old and outdated. Princess also needs to overhaul the food and entertainment onboard. I have never had such bad food on a cruise ship. Not only was the quality and execution bad, the portions were very small. The only decent meals we had were at the Crab Pot and Bayou. While all of the servers/employees did an adequate job, none of them excelled. Actually, our room steward was a little lacking. I had to call to get a breakfast room service card each day and he kept trying to turn down our bed at 5:00 while we were in the room. We really enjoyed the excursions, but they are run by outside companies, so I cannot give the credit to Princess. We also enjoyed all of our time on the land portion of our tour. The only complaint I have is that at each and every location, there were no temperature controls for the room. We had to sleep with the windows open in order to have a little comfort. In the future, we will stick with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Cabin steward and service throughout ship was good. Cabin well above 70 degrees throughout even though thermostat set on cold. Glad balcony had a door which opened. Food was disappointing- buffet breakfast was a zoo fighting aggressive ... Read More
Cabin steward and service throughout ship was good. Cabin well above 70 degrees throughout even though thermostat set on cold. Glad balcony had a door which opened. Food was disappointing- buffet breakfast was a zoo fighting aggressive people for a table. Lunch and dinner selections big on sushi, Indian....stuff I don't eat. Main dining room more civilized. Food selections inconsistent -ribs tough, muffaletta little meat on a bun. Mixed grill good. Scallops and shrimp 3 miniscule scallops with 3 very small shrimp and a dollop of mashed potatoes. Outbreak of flu then upper respiratory illness. Theatre New Orleans themed show good. Other entertainment primarily trivia, bingo,karaoke, talent show, food demo, selling jewelry. National Park Service presentation good. Glacier Bay was highlight. Booked tour before cruise. Regimented and rushed. It was a way to cover much ground in little time. Logistics of luggage very smooth- was positively amazed. This was a once in a lifetime bucket list trip. It was a father&son adventure. However, convinced me to not take a prepackaged tour or cruise again. At premium prices. Value for price poor. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
This is our sixth cruise on the Grand, and our most disappointing. When we last cruised on this ship, we knew it was going into dry dock, and asked what was going to be refurbished. We realized that most of the crew would not really ... Read More
This is our sixth cruise on the Grand, and our most disappointing. When we last cruised on this ship, we knew it was going into dry dock, and asked what was going to be refurbished. We realized that most of the crew would not really know what the plans were, only corporate big wigs had that info, but scuttlebutt usually gets some good insight. We were told that the staterooms were to be updated, bars and lounges refreshed, dining rooms altered, and new electronics added. Well it was about half right. Two of the lounges were updated, the theater got newly upholstered seats, the staterooms got new tv's, the pools were remodeled, and the ship got new bottom paint and new propellers. The new electronics consisted of prewiring for the new Medalion service coming sometime next year. They should have spent more money on the staterooms, because they are very rundown. The carpet in our room was badly soiled, the sofa bed had some very gross stains, the fixtures were very dusty, and the whole room should have been redone, or at least steam cleaned. While this was a big disappointment, the cruise itself was great. All the destinations were wonderful, the dining experience was first class, and the specialty dining at Sabatini,s was beyond our expectations. We had heard that Sabatini's had redone their menu, and while we had a very bad experience there on a prior cruise, we were willing to try it. We went without reservations, and the receptionist said they were full. He then looked at his reservation book, and relented and fit us in on a small table. The menu actually had Italian food that I recognized, unlike on earlier menus. We had one of the best meals we have ever had in an Italian restaurant. Another disappointment on this cruise was the entertainment. We did enjoy one of the musical groups, The Rhapsody String Trio, but all the other lounge groups were very poor. The Princess Theater entertainers, two comedians and one singer, were sub par, but the Princess singers and dancers were exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
The Grand Princess went round trip from San Francisco, our local area. We did not want to fly and stay overnight for a cruise to Alaska, and this was convenient. This is an older lady with a newly painted face. The Grand was rehabbed in ... Read More
The Grand Princess went round trip from San Francisco, our local area. We did not want to fly and stay overnight for a cruise to Alaska, and this was convenient. This is an older lady with a newly painted face. The Grand was rehabbed in dry dock in March and all carpets and tile look new. I would call her the Grand Old Lady because while many elements were retrofitted inside, she still shuddered with the propellers feeling out of sync with each other, there was rust peaking out many areas, the dining rooms were very bland feeling. But mostly, for a sightseeing cruise to Alaska, THEY NEVER WASHED THE PUBLIC WINDOWS!! THEY WERE FILTHY!! I was astonished as this is such an easy thing to rectify. Were were forced out onto the windy deck to take photos of the wonderful Alaska mountains and seascapes and it was COLD and WINDY out there. This is unbelievable how terrible an impression it made. It marred an otherwise inside well-maintained old lady of the ships, and she could have been stately, if somewhat dated, but they neglected such an obvious and easy thing to fix. I think Princess has had their day and is on their way out. I will not sail with them again. Read Less
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