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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Booked 2 mini-suites thru travel agent. We also did the land portion in Fairbanks. Excellent sight-seeing and food/drink service on the Princess train to Whittier. Good balcony spaces (port side - land view headed south) and comfy beds. ... Read More
Booked 2 mini-suites thru travel agent. We also did the land portion in Fairbanks. Excellent sight-seeing and food/drink service on the Princess train to Whittier. Good balcony spaces (port side - land view headed south) and comfy beds. Food and entertainment onboard decent but didn't sample all possibilities. "Sanctuary" section highly recommended - free, but book onboard for luxury AM or PM service. Most excursions seemed over-priced. I'd recommend booking your own, particularly for active options like cycling, kayaking, etc. We were particularly disappointed in the Ketchikan "Wildlife & Crab Fest" - just a quick boat ride to pull a trap and casual frozen crab leg lunch for $169 each. The Juneau all-day excursion to the Mendenhall glacier and whale watch left no shopping time in town, but excellent boat trip to see seals, whales, eagles and otters - highly recommended. The Skagway stop was bused from Haines (about 10 miles west) due to rock slide at Skagway port. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I arrived in Fairbanks and was excited to take the well planned and educational excursions there and in Denali. The 9.5 hour train trip was beautiful and a great way to meet more new friends! The cruise ship was well appointed, the ... Read More
I arrived in Fairbanks and was excited to take the well planned and educational excursions there and in Denali. The 9.5 hour train trip was beautiful and a great way to meet more new friends! The cruise ship was well appointed, the staff was very good, and the onboard ensemble entertainment was exceptional, as was the set and lighting of each program! The ports we visited were good and the weather was phenomenal - sun almost every day, very uncommon for this time of year, and the excursions were well planned. We were unable to visit Skagway directly due to a landslide which took out the dock we would have used. People with excursions were credited for the cost of the ferry to/from Haines where we docked. I was delighted to be able to visit Haines, as I had not yet been there (this was my 4th Alaskan cruise) so was very happy to tour the town using the local shuttle, do a walking tour of the first Army fort in Alaska, and also add an excursion to Chilkoot Lake on a pontoon with a very knowledgeable guide! I also got pictures of a bear, salmon, an eagle, and beautiful waterfalls. However, there was a serious outbreak of a respiratory virus which spread through the ship, with many people restricted to their cabins and at least 2 people taken to hospitals. At no time did I see staff cleaning banisters, door knobs, elevator buttons, etc .(common illness prevention tasks!!!), or providing masks for healthy or unhealthy people on board for safety's sake! I had a great oceanview cabin with a wonderful stewardess who took good care of me! I would definitely take this trip again! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I chose this particular sailing because the price was decent, the timing was right for my schedule, and because I hadn't cruised to Alaska in over 20 years and why not now? It was the first time in over 15 years that I flew directly to ... Read More
I chose this particular sailing because the price was decent, the timing was right for my schedule, and because I hadn't cruised to Alaska in over 20 years and why not now? It was the first time in over 15 years that I flew directly to join a cruise, and I wished I had flown west earlier because the jetlag bothered me for the first couple of days. The entire process of transfer and boarding was extremely efficient. It's a bit of a hike from the terminal at SeaTac airport to the boarding area for cruise transfers, but Princess staff were available everywhere to help and direct us. Once I reached the boarding area, I was called to board a bus in less than ten minutes. At the pier, the process was also super-swift for Elite and Platinum customers, and I was actually into my stateroom before the time advertised when boarding would begin. The benefits of sticking to one cruise line certainly paid off! I had previously sailed on Caribbean Princess, and found that this near-sister ship was similar-to-identical in most areas. It was easy to find my way around right from boarding. Also my stateroom was identical to the one I had occupied on Caribbean Princess -- except that this ship is now equipped with the super-comfortable new deluxe beds which Princess is rolling out across its fleet. My cabin steward, Marlon, quickly remembered my name and gave all sorts of little extra touches of help beyond what I had previously seen -- like carrying in my big bag for me, and running an extra trip when I fell asleep and missed the delivery of the daily ice bucket. One of my favourite features of this ship is the promenade which circles the entire ship from bow to stern. I got in some good long walks on that deck during sea days, and there are also old-fashioned wooden deck chairs with cushions which are great for sitting on if you don't want to be out in the direct sun. Meals: food in the Horizon Court buffet was even more varied than on previous cruises, with a much wider assortment of dishes from meal to meal. I ended up eating the majority of my meals there. Service for drinks was always prompt and available, as was help finding a vacant seat or table at busy times. I had dinner two nights in the main dining room, and service was adequate but rather cold and unfriendly on the first night. The second occasion was much friendlier. The menus contained many familiar dishes from previous cruises, but also some fresh Alaskan seafood which added a welcome variation. The specialty restaurants were a big letdown. First, this ship does not offer the specialty Italian restaurant, Sabatini's. I missed that one big time. I dined at the Crown Grill steak house, and the service was appalling. On other Princess ships this has always been a relaxing experience, but here the servers were actually running to try to keep up because they were so short staffed. They certainly did the best they could, but the shortage meant that I had to wait a total of 20 minutes before I received my drink and ordered my meal. the great race kept up until just as I was digging into my steak when a whole crew of extra people suddenly materialized and things calmed down. The food was excellent, the disorganized service anything but. NOT impressed. I didn't attend any of the big shows but certainly enjoyed the lighter musical entertainment in the Piazza, and in the Wheelhouse Bar. The bar servers in the Wheelhouse were right on top of their game, always close at hand when you needed a refill or had a question. Same was true of the deck waiters on the topside Lido and Sun decks. Port calls in Juneau and Skagway were standard, and I thoroughly enjoyed both the whale watching cruise in Juneau and the White Pass rail excursion in Skagway. The scenery along the rail line is monumental, but the experience means even more if you read up ahead of time about the gold rush -- you'll get far more out of that port when you know more about the events than the tour guides have time to give you. Our day in Glacier Bay was phenomenal with blazing sunshine and still air so that the bay was like glass. The naturalist on board gave detailed explanations over the sound system as we stood on deck watching the huge glaciers. Similar weather conditions prevailed on the Misty Fjords boat tour out of Ketchikan, where clear weather is almost never seen. Incredible luck there. I also greatly enjoyed the talk about the traditional lifestyle and social systems of the First Nations, given by an elder and artist who sailed on the Misty Fjords tour with us. The drawbacks: Princess is determined to include a port call at Victoria on their 7-day Alaskan itinerary out of Seattle. To do this, they have to give only 5 hours ashore at Ketchikan and 5 hours in the evening at Victoria. That's selling both places incredibly short. They should just do the sensible thing and run the cruise as an 8-day voyage, rather than 7 days, with a full day at each port. The Alaskan cruise was an amazing experience, and one everyone should do. But I don't think I would choose to sail on Ruby Princess again without some assurance that the bumps in the dining and restaurant service were ironed out and brought up to the line's standards. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I chose this land/sea tour because it gave me 2 full days at Denali. It began in Anchorage with a Princess rep. meeting me at the airport and taking me to the hotel. I had the afternoon free to explore Anchorage on my own. The 1st ... Read More
I chose this land/sea tour because it gave me 2 full days at Denali. It began in Anchorage with a Princess rep. meeting me at the airport and taking me to the hotel. I had the afternoon free to explore Anchorage on my own. The 1st Princess excursion I was supposed to have was Gold Panning in the Wilderness at the McKinley Lodge. When I arrived I was informed it was cancelled, no explanation given. This left me wandering around with no options to fill the void since we would be there only that afternoon. The next morning we traveled by bus to Denali Lodge. I had cancelled the Princess canned History tour (received $100 refund) at Denali and through the Denali National Park Service (NPS) on line, bought a green shuttle bus ticket to the interior of the park. Best darn deal of the trip, the ticket cost $43. We went further into the park (and to some of the most scenic portions!) with excellent narratives given by the drivers. They even stopped the bus for wildlife viewing and photo ops. I was able to get off the bus that had taken me into the park and get on a different bus later in the afternoon when I was ready to go with no problem at all. The double decker train ride from Denali to Whitter (to board the ship) was beautiful. We saw Fall colors at their peak most of the way to the ship. The train was the way to go! I was somewhat disappointed with the cruise portion of the trip after the land tour. It was a constant sell job from the moment you stepped on deck and it did not let up. They were pushing jewelry, buy their jewelry on the ship or buy their jewelry at the ports at the Princess owned Diamond International shops. I would strongly suggest you avoid the whole jewelry sell job. Everything is overpriced and they try and rush you into a sale on pieces that may not be of certifiable quality. This is both on ship as well as at port. On a somewhat related note, other items that were sometimes 'suggested' you try were not disclosed as an additional cost item until it was too late. Buyer beware! Ask if there is a charge before saying yes. An additional note regarding the Island - the food is very bland. They give their dishes fancy names but everything that came out of the kitchens had no flavor, no matter what the dish was. I used the main dining room for dinner, the Horizon Court (buffet) for breakfast and ate at Sabitini's one night for dinner (had grilled steak as everything else looked awful). It was all the same, very bland. At Sabitini's several folks actually returned their first choice dish because it was not tasty and opted for the grilled steak instead. In the dining room for lunch I once ordered a hamburger and fries. The hamburger was hard and dry and the fries were limp. McDonald's does a better job with this simple order! The ports - Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan each had their own vibe. There were several nights where there were Northern Lights, however they were hidden by the cloud cover. I would like to strongly recommend the excursion tour to the Jewell Gardens with Glassblowing. It was a real hands on personal glass blowing experience (and they served lunch at no extra cost!) and then ship your personally made treasure back to your home. The size of the group is limited to 10, so look for it and book it early! The service overall all was average, there was not an area that stood out from the rest. This trip was done by a solo traveler in their 60's with no mobility problems. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
The scenery was lovely, the excursions were great. We didn't know what to expect so in the end we had a good time because we were with family. Highly unique cruise experience in terms of destination. Ship was fine and had what you'd ... Read More
The scenery was lovely, the excursions were great. We didn't know what to expect so in the end we had a good time because we were with family. Highly unique cruise experience in terms of destination. Ship was fine and had what you'd expect. Service and food left a little something to be desired. It wasn't the most luxurious of boats but we didn't mind. The room was nice and we had fun with our group. HOWEVER, the crowd is what really brought the experience downhill. There were many elderly folks aboard - I don't know if it was the destination, the time of year, or prince point - we couldn't quite tell - and both my husband and I got very sick because of this crowd who were coughing and hacking all over the ship. It was quite ironic considering how much Princess must have spent on hand sanitizing machines. (That said, they clearly neglected to sanitize door handles, coffee machines, elevator buttons and chair handles.) Secondly, Princess are obsessed with branding themselves and working to suck every hard-earned dollar out of you that they possibly can. It was **heavily** saturated with gift shops at every stop. This is expected on a cruise but got old very quick. You had to walk a considerable distance (or take a physically active excursion) to avoid this. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
27 years ago I was on a Nile River cruise but had never been on an ocean cruise. So as a newbie my eyes were wide open. We booked this Princess cruise tour because it was the best fit with available dates using my frequent flyer miles. We ... Read More
27 years ago I was on a Nile River cruise but had never been on an ocean cruise. So as a newbie my eyes were wide open. We booked this Princess cruise tour because it was the best fit with available dates using my frequent flyer miles. We have friends who always book Princess and like it. We booked an Obstructed Ocean View Guarantee. The ship sold out and we ended up in an Obstructed Ocean View cabin E334. More on that later. PROS The Princess organization on the land portion was flawless. Buses were there on time and baggage was handled efficiently. Embarkation in Whittier was chaotic due to at lease three trainloads of us stacked up on the other side of the tunnel. The line did move quickly at the ship, though, and we were "soon" in our cabin. CONS No eggs at the salad bar. BOO. I've been in hotels around the world and have never failed to find egg at the salad bar. My pet peeve. 27 years ago I was on a Nile River cruise but had never been on an ocean cruise. So as a newbie my eyes were wide open. We booked this Princess cruise tour because it was the best fit with available dates using my frequent flyer miles. We have friends who always book Princess and like it. We booked an Obstructed Ocean View Guarantee. The ship sold out and we ended up in an Obstructed Ocean View cabin E334. More on that later. With the Princess Riverside so close to the Fairbanks airport and advertising a free airport shuttle, I didn't see the need to purchase transfers. When we finally arrived at Fairbanks after Midnight our room key and baggage tags were none the less waiting for us at baggage claim. And we were told to board the same bus as everyone else. A short ride to the resort and we were in our room in minutes. It took the bags an hour to catch up with us. It was maybe 1:30 AM Alaska time (3:30 AM back home body time) when we finally turned the lights out. I had planned no excursions for the next morning knowing we needed our sleep after a 20 hour travel day. In the afternoon, however, we called Gold Dredge 8 and booked a time later that day. Even with the shuttle cost to their out of town location, we came out ahead over booking through Princess. We enjoyed the dredge tour and we panned our rather tiny amount of gold. The look of gold in the bottom of the pan was still a thrill. I recommend this experience. The next day we boarded a bus for the ride to Denali. Great scenery once we got close to Denali. The first stretch from Fairbanks not so much. Checked in to the Denali Princess and made the obligatory walk across the highway to peruse the souvenir shops. The weather there was cool and on and off wet. We booked no excursions. The following day we did take the shuttle over to the Denali NP Visitor Center to get our National Parks passports stamped. While there we were told about a sled dog demonstration nearby and got in line for that. Park employees conducted the demonstration and we learned they use the dogsleds to deliver supplies around the park in winter. Interesting. Afterwards we got on the free park shuttle and rode it to Savage River and back. Wednesday was the all day train ride to Whittier. We both loved it. Scenery was awesome and we even saw a critter or two. We got to our ship late because of a problem in the tunnel but so did almost everyone else. Thursday we visited Hubbard Glacier, the high point of the cruise for both of us. This is one place not to be missed. A 300 foot high 6 mile wide wall of ice pushing relentlessly to the sea. We were not disappointed and saw several calving events. The sound of the ice cracking just prior echoed around the inlet. Friday more glaciers at Glacier NP. Park rangers on board giving commentary. Saturday Skagway. Must see the gold rush museum. And we walked around town. Skipped the train ride due to a very tight budget. Sunday Juneau. More walking. Monday Ketchikan. Watched the salmon spawning in a nearby stream. Tuesday at sea. Wednesday AM arrived Vancouver and debarked? Consider spending an extra night or two in Vancouver. We did. And took the all day bus and ferry tour to Vancouver Island. Saw Victoria and Butchart Gardens. Big ship cruising was new to me. We explored every nook and cranny of the Island Princess, finding something new each day. We ate twice in the Bordeau Room. The rest of the time in the buffet. The Bordeau Room offered miniscule portions but of course you could always order more. The Horizon Buffet on a top deck at the bow offered great views and ok food. I realize Princess caters to an international clientele and the offering reflected that. But after a week, I was so looking forward to some recognizable comfort food. They had meatloaf that looked nothing like any meatloaf I had ever seen. I didn't try it. One night was BBQ night and everything looked good. We're from Kansas City, the home of great BBQ, and these ribs were disappointing, mostly globs of fat. Way too many dessert choices. Too tempting. The breakfast buffet was terrific. We did watch two performances at the Princess Theater. One a comic and the other doing Whitney Houston songs. Both were well done. We ignored the art auctions and the casino. Neither our thing. A surprise were the performances in the Atrium by a talented String Quartet. I enjoyed all of them. Despite having two thousand passengers on board, we never felt crowded. There were no long lines no matter where we went on the ship. I am not a violent man but I fantasized about tossing the ship photographer overboard. If we want our pictures taken we will find you. I realize this is a profit center for Princess, but............. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We were invited to join five couples on this cruise. Eight of us did the land portion and we met up with the other four on the ship. We We flew from CT to Seattle and then on to Fairbanks. We were scheduled to have an eight-hour ... Read More
We were invited to join five couples on this cruise. Eight of us did the land portion and we met up with the other four on the ship. We We flew from CT to Seattle and then on to Fairbanks. We were scheduled to have an eight-hour layover in Seattle, but when we went to check in with Alaska Airlines, they told us we could take an earlier flight that was leaving in an hour. The charge was $25 for each of us. Really sweet! When we got to Fairbanks, the Princess desk was right next to the baggage carousel We got an envelope that had all our information for our first hotel, including keys. As soon as we retrieved our bags, we handed them over to Princess baggage personnel. There were buses that took us to the hotel.When we got to our room, our bags were waiting. We stayed at the Fairbanks Princess Riverside which is located on the Chena River. It was beautiful. There are two restaurants on site and we ate at the pub both nights. Very relaxing and the food was good. Outside of the restaurants, there is plenty of room for groups to gather. They also have a great gift shop. Room was very clean and bed was comfortable. We were hoping to see the Northern Lights but it went from a beautiful, sunny day in the high 50s to being cloudy late at night. We took the shuttle in to Fairbanks but everything was closed! It was Sunday! It was Labor Day weekend! And it was the end of the season! We were able to go to the Visitors Center and spent a couple hours there. Lots to see. On Monday, we took a riverboat cruise on the Chena River. I would highly recommend it. Our guide was fabulous. He had so many interesting stories to share. On Monday afternoon, we took a bus to Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. Our bags were in the room waiting for us. Again, the hotel was beautiful. All the views were breathtaking. It had a huge room with tables where people could eat, play games, or just visit. The following morning, we went to Denali on the Natural History Tour. We didn't see much wildlife, but we were part of the 25% who actually saw Denali! Our next hotel was Mt. McKinley Wilderness Lodge where we stayed on Tuesday night. It was also a lovely property consisting of cabin-style buildings that each contained several hotel rooms. On Wednesday, we left on our bus that took us to the train to Whittier! We were assigned tables on the train and were able to purchase lunch and beverages. It was a beautiful ride and our train guide, Esther, was very knowledgeable and entertaining! We got to the ship late but they held it for us! While we were on the train, our passports were checked and we received our cabin keys. We had quite the line checking in because there were so many people at once. But some things can't be controlled--like tunnel traffic between Anchorage and Whittier. We had a large group (12) and did Anytime Dining. We had two tables of six and changed around every night. The food was excellent! Our servers were excellent! The production shows were good. There was always something going on around the ship as far as entertainment and activities were concerned. Lots to choose from. The first two days were spent cruising the glaciers and they were breathtaking. We enjoyed watching from our balcony but also viewed from other areas of the ship. We took the White Pass Railway excursion in Skagway as well as the trip to Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. We enjoyed both of them. After the cruise, we spent an additional two nights in Vancouver. What a gorgeous city! My husband and I each took one large suitcase and I used packing cubes. We had a backpack for the land trip that we used to carry our valuables while on the buses and train. I also packed a pretty large fold-up bag in my suitcase. When we got to the hotel, I filled my fold-up bag with items I knew I wouldn't need till the cruise. That bag got a tag that said "Take Me to the Ship", we left it outside our room and we didn't see it until we got to our cabin on the Island. Our suitcases followed us from hotel to hotel. I'm happy that we did the land portion first. And I'm also glad we went a day early. The time difference was four hours for us so we had a day to adjust. You know all those jackets everyone recommends buying for $29.99? My husband got one at our first hotel and wore it all the time. Based on this cruise, I'd highly recommend Princess. They know how to move people around seamlessly and gave us a great travel experience to Alaska! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
We did the land and sea packet that was recommended to us my many people and we will pass our recommendation on to others. We experienced the great beauty of the natural form of Alaska and we had the opportunity to interact with the unique ... Read More
We did the land and sea packet that was recommended to us my many people and we will pass our recommendation on to others. We experienced the great beauty of the natural form of Alaska and we had the opportunity to interact with the unique people of Alaska. Princess gave us the opportunity to select wonderful adventures that included train rides, visits to natural wonders and interaction with the dog sleds. We had a balcony, which we normally do not do - but it is a must for an Alaskan cruise. Make sure you bring a rain suit so that the wet weather does not spoil your fun. We enjoyed the ship and the staff. The enrichment activities were spot on. Mark Harris, the destination lecturer was outstanding. Daryl Pederson, extraordinary photographer was an added plus and I hope he continues to be part of the Alaskan experienceThey did a good job. We have no complaints. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
After my husband had a major heart attack, we decided once he was well enough to start on his bucket list. His big item was a cruise to Alaska. We wanted to go for more than 7 days and looked at Princess because they were significantly ... Read More
After my husband had a major heart attack, we decided once he was well enough to start on his bucket list. His big item was a cruise to Alaska. We wanted to go for more than 7 days and looked at Princess because they were significantly less expensive than some competitors. Bad decision! I guess you get what you pay for! We booked our excursions through Princess and included a night before and after the cruise dates in their affiliated hotels (International Mark Hopkins and the Westin).We flew into San Francisco and the Princess representative had our name wrong looking for us in baggage claim. That was not a big deal but it went down hill from there! We had filled out all the handicapped accessibility paperwork and Princess Cruises KNEW we were coming with medical supplies such as insulin, insulin pump supplies, CPAP machine and such. We had two suitcases each plus our medical supplies and hubby's walker. The Princess rep said "Is all THIS your's?".......YES! They knew we would not fit in a Toyota Prius so tried to find a minivan or SUV taxi to take us to our hotel. It took about 45 minutes after baggage claim to finally get a taxi to take us to the hotel. Get to the hotel and read the instructions another time to make sure we followed them for the morning pick up of our bags. The following morning, no porter came to the room during the time the instructions said to have the bags ready. I headed downstairs to the lobby to find a Princess representative. They had one and she was not the most friendly person and curtly told me that "There are only 4 of you and the porter will be up later to get the bags." Once the porter did come, we went to the lobby and stood around waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Eventually, the tour bus came to take us to the pier. Just as we are boarding the bus, the Princess rep tells the group that we will need our documents out and will go through a TSA type screening to get onboard the ship. Well.....had we known that ahead of time, I would not have packed the items of medical equipment that could not be xrayed in our baggage! I had to search through our bags to find it because I had take it out of our carry on luggage thinking we were done with TSA screenings until we were flying home after the cruise was over. Once at the pier, you were on your own and basically went through the embarkation and clearing process like cattle in the stockade! Finally got onboard and thought okay......from here it should be better! NOPE........first thing was a muster drill. Princess had their crew block the elevators so you could not use them in the muster drill to get to your muster location. OK, I understand you would not normally want to use an elevator in an emergency, BUT..........just exactly HOW is a handicapped person supposed to get down four (4) decks if they are wheelchair bound? We could make it with hubby's cane but there were passengers in wheelchairs, on oxygen, on electric scooters that could not have done it! After the mandatory muster was done, the crew members that blocked the elevators were gone and it was a free for all in trying to get an elevator to take you back UP the four decks. Those same passengers in wheelchairs, scooters and on oxygen were not afforded priority to the elevators. I guess in a real emergency, they would have drowned! Stateroom was cold. Thermostat put out cold air no matter what setting you put it on. The floor from the bathroom towards the bed was often wet so the seal between these two rooms is not sufficient to keep shower water from running to the carpeted bedroom. Dining......We had signed up for anytime dining. Any time you went to get to the buffet dining area, you had to travel through an exposed area and wet decks to get to the dining hall. There, it was so cold, most passengers kept their coats and scarves on or shivered through their meal. The food was mediocre at best in the buffet. Several times, the buffet was closed down to only one side so you had long lines to get to the food. The food in the Michelangelo Restaurant was good. We had reservations for one other night a specialty dining and it was good but even though the restaurant was empty, the staff would not seat us until exactly at the hour of our reservations. We hate to be late and had arrived about 30 minutes ahead of time. I could understand it if it was a busy night and they were already full but the place was virtually empty of passengers! Excursions.....The disembarkation in Juneau was a nightmare! Passengers with handicaps had to travel down a gangway that was at a much too steep angle! The Security personnel walked backwards in front of the passenger's walker or wheelchair to keep it from falling or going down the gangway and toppling the passenger on their faces but it was entirely too steep and dangerous! Once on the pier, their was no instruction on how to meet up with your excursion transport. This may not be the fault of the cruise line but they have the power to tell the port authority or town council that they need to provide better service to the many passengers the cruise line brings to their town. There was very limited covered area for being out of the bad weather....again, the town council could be made aware and fix this if the cruise line wished to be proactive. Skagway was a much smoother disembarkation and experience. The experience going through Glacier Bay was nice and the scenery shots were fabulous! The stop in Ketchikan was short but pleasant for our excursions.....HOWEVER, those same handicapped passengers were left to hike about a mile from the lumberjack show to the pier in a very short time to be back in time to get on the transport to the ship. Not easy for someone who is handicapped. We had misheard our meeting time for our bus to return from our excursion in Victoria, British Columbia. It was our fault and we accept full responsibility for it. As soon as we discovered we had been left behind, we contacted the appropriate personnel and got a taxi to get us back to the ship. We had been told that the booking through Princess for excursions meant you would not be left behind. We were told we would not make it back in time and the captain would sail promptly on time. The taxi driver did his level best and wove in and out of traffic trying to get us back to the ship as fast as possible. We were being constantly called by the ship and asked how far out are you? How in the **ll would we know!? We did not live in Victoria, British Columbia! They were more concerned that we had our American passports than the fact we were doing everything possible to get back as quickly as possible. Yes, it was our fault that this situation existed, but we were told we would be about 5-7 minutes late getting back to the ship. It's a mighty big ocean out there and you cannot tell me the captain could not make up 5-7 minutes! Pilots do it all the time! I even pleaded that they tell the captain that my husband was an insulin dependent diabetic and open heart surgery recovery patient and our insulin was in our stateroom! He continued to say he was sailing promptly on time! I did have a little insulin with me but this callus and cold attitude was absolutely insane! We were not asking for 20-30 minutes......just 5-7 minutes! Will we cruise again.......probably not. Would we recommend Princess Cruiseline.......ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!! Read Less
PrincessCruises3, Social Team, Princess Cruises has responded
Hi Kodosmom, we apologize for your disappointing experience onboard Grand Princess. Our team strives to provide impeccable service to each and every guest, and we are sorry that you did not receive this on your recent vacation. We hope you’ll connect with our team at 1-800-Princess to further discuss your concerns.
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our 3rd cruise to Alaska, and we sailed with friends. We ranged in age from 71 to 55. I think it was our 10th Princess cruise. Honestly, everything was great--from an easy (Platinum) embarkation and debarkation--Great, ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise to Alaska, and we sailed with friends. We ranged in age from 71 to 55. I think it was our 10th Princess cruise. Honestly, everything was great--from an easy (Platinum) embarkation and debarkation--Great, helpful, friendly crew. Clean ship. Plenty of shipboard activities, and enough shopping for two shopping divas. We had a balcony cabin Caribe deck, C752. This is a corner aft cabin. In the past it has been a great location, but this time DH had a sciatic issue, and I had a walking issue, which made it a long walk throughout the ship. These corner aft cabins are very good locations, so it won't be a problem for anyone who has no walking issues. The balcony is a bit larger and curves around to one side, so you have great views. It has a table, 2 chairs, and 2 foot rests. These are not the plastic ones either, but the nicer mesh/wood ones. The one thing that surprised us was how small the closet and the bathroom vanity were. We have had the same class cabin on other PCL ships that had larger ones. It wasn't a deal breaker, but we don't travel light (medical equipment), so it was annoying. Also, the bedside lamps were really trashed. Again, this is a MINOR thing, but I was surprised because the ship was dry docked not too long ago. Overall, the ship was in good condition, and most of the public areas had new carpeting which looked very nice. The food was really good. We ate breakfast in the dining room. Lunch was at the pool area where they serve pizza, burgers, and hot dogs. We had early, traditional dining, at 5:30, in the Botticelli dining room. We didn't have too much trouble getting an elevator down, so that was great. Our servers were Jose, from Mexico, and his assistant, Nikola, from Bosnia. They were fabulous. Nikola also served in the breakfast dining room, so he waited for us every morning so we could sit in his area. What a special guy ! We also ate in the Crown Grill, and that was great too. The fillet I had was the best ever. We didn't eat in the buffet, so I can't comment about the food. What I did notice was that the gel stations have been replaced by a large sink where you were supposed to wash. Those, I didn't like. Too messy and slow. We have been on a lot of cruises, so we didn't see any of the entertainment. We did attend some of the activities, which we enjoyed. We have learned to arrive early, like 30-45 minutes early-to get a seat in the piazza. Our shore excursions were: Juneau-Mendenhall Glacier and Glacier Gardens. Skagway-White Pass train ride. Ketchican-Deadliest Catch. Victoria-O Canada. We have been here 2x before and have taken other tours. Okay----This is where we ALL had the biggest complaint---and I mean big complaint. Skagway, Ketchican, and Victoria were fine, but Juneau was a disaster. Disembarkation was a free for all. No order whatsoever. We had early shore excursions, so we went down fairly early. The line snaked around from the shore excursion desk, ALL THE WAY thorough the casino, and around to the other side of the desk. It took us almost an hour standing in that hot line just to get off the ship. Some of the busses weren't there. Not happy at all !!!!!! Enough ranting. :) All of our excursions were very nice, and we enjoyed them. Absolutely loved Victoria, and Ketchican is a favorite port. So, to recap---almost everything was great !!!! We will be going back to Alaska, and we will be sailing with Princess. The Grand is not my favorite ship, but that won't stop me from sailing with her again. Read Less
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