First of all, take an Alaskan cruise. The inside passage through Glacier Bay NP was phenomenal, and we loved everything about our time in Alaska. But consider a different cruise line. We sailed with Royal Caribbean in the past, and in ... Read More
First of all, take an Alaskan cruise. The inside passage through Glacier Bay NP was phenomenal, and we loved everything about our time in Alaska. But consider a different cruise line. We sailed with Royal Caribbean in the past, and in comparison, Princess is really missing the mark...
1. Excellent staff: all of the staff were extremely attentive and hard working. We were amazed at their efficiency and ability to keep things running so smoothly all of the time. We loved getting to know the staff in the dining rooms and bars. Great group of people. We both noticed, however, that many of the staff members seemed exhausted, stressed, and overworked at times.
2. The outdoor decks and pools: We loved the spacious outdoor decks, many pools and hot tubs, and amble seating on decks. It felt like there was more outdoor space on this cruise than our last.
3. Balcony: We booked an aft facing corner balcony. The room felt very spacious, and the balcony was huge. What a view! The room was very clean upon arrival, though the furnishings and carpet are somewhat dated. Our stateroom attendant was excellent, and really went the extra mile in everything.
4. Ports of call: We visited Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Victoria. Each of these places were amazing.
5. Embarkation/ Disembarkation: Never had a smoother, easier embarkation and disembarkation than this. Princess did a great job here. We were able to drop off our luggage at the pier at 11am the day we were scheduled to sail. Our boarding time wasn't until 1:30, which left us with plenty of time to walk and explore Seattle. By the time we got on the ship at 1:30, we were able to walk right on, and our luggage was already in the room. Very impressed.
1. The food: We aren't foodies, nor are we picky eaters. This food, however, was pretty bad. This was our biggest complaint, and the reason we would choose another cruise line. The buffet served the same things over and over, and oftentimes you would see yesterdays lunch or dinner show up in the next mornings scrambled eggs (mushroom scrambled eggs one day, salmon scrambled eggs the next, etc). The problem was, the dishes weren't even very good the first time, and we were pretty sick of the food after the 5th time eating the same dish. We thought the dining room would be an improvement, and while it offered a different menu, the quality was no better. There's lots of choices, but as I said, you'll see those same choices every single day. There's always a salad bar, a few veggie choices, a couple meat choices, and a couple indian dishes (which all tasted very similar but were actually quite good). Steer clear from the desserts though- not even remotely worth it.
2. General maintenance: The ship is only ten years old, but its starting to show its age. In high traffic areas, such as in front of the elevators, the carpet is literally threadbare. The carpet in many of the hallways and in the staterooms looks dingy. Many of the hot tubs were closed throughout the week, though the remaining open tubs were packed with guests. The fitness center equipment is old but adequate, and some pieces were out of order. Read Less