Let me start with explaining why I only gave this a 3 out of 5. It started out great in that it was a pleasant surprise that we were able to board right after going through all the check in procedures to start taking advantage of the ... Read More
Let me start with explaining why I only gave this a 3 out of 5. It started out great in that it was a pleasant surprise that we were able to board right after going through all the check in procedures to start taking advantage of the boats’ amenities. Get there early, as it does take a while to get through check-in/customs. Now, in my eyes, a cruise ship should be fit & ready to sail according to its itinerary that you paid for. Ours was not. Did we sail at 4:30 as scheduled, NO, did we sail at 7:00 pm, NO, did we sail as they said the delay would take til at midnight – NO. We sailed at 3:00 am of which at dinnertime the evening before while still in port but on the boat, they announced would have to change the itinerary as we would no longer be able to go to our first stop Juneau. REALLY, Juneau, the capital of Alaska and port probably 100% of the people were most looking forward to as it was only a 2 port stop and to be our most northern part of Alaska we were sailing to, so to look forward to excursions like the glaciers, dog sledding, seeing the wildlife, etc. Most, if not all, booked specifically to see “Alaska” and in changing Juneau to now go to Rupert, British Columbia as the alternate port was to say the least VERY DISAPPOINTING. If I’d of known of this change before sailing, and given the option of not going & getting our money back, I would gladly have rescheduled and used that money to book a future ALASKAN only cruise. So the small compensation we got for the “inconvenience” by no means made up for this loss.
Now, once we did sail, as far as rating the Island Princess for its amenities, restaurants, shows, cabin, staff, etc, I would rate it a 5+. Having said that, there is a lot of advertising for the boat shopping (and in ports) both in leaving paperwork at your cabin door and within the events listed in the Patter newsletter. We got caught up in going to some events that were nothing more than advertising and they get you by offering free items or free draws. Once we figured this out we could get on with some of the more fun/informative events. A lot of events overlap so you truly have to pick & choose which is better for you and not falling for these advertised events makes it easier to weed out. I wish in the Patter it would have listed the duration of events and a brief explanation of them. All the music and entertainers were top-notch. Cruise Director Natalie as announcer or host was an enhancement to all entertainment, she was high energy and so funny. The cooking demonstration with Exec Chef, Maitre d’Hotel & Natalie was so funny, followed by a galley tour, was one of our fave events.
The Naturalist Mark Harris gave great lectures. I only wish he would have narrated more landmarks along the way through the outside speakers on the deck (especially when whales or dolphins were nearby), or to know where we were, as spectacular sites when close to land.
Had a mid-ship balcony cabin that is well worth it, just to look out when you are in your room and having a lot of light come in is well worth it. Plus being mid-ship is the most stable part of the ship. Not that it rocked at that much but did in a few parts, for the most-part was calm sailing.
Didn’t take a beverage package as you got free water & coffee at meals, plus O.J. for breakfast that was good enough for us. Plus we did bring on board our own water bottles and some pop cans that we kept in our mini fridge and took out with us throughout the day that was great. We also didn’t take an alcoholic package but I think if we were on a longer 7 day cruise we would have.
A lot of different bars w/different types of entertainment, singers, quizes, karaoke, etc. all excellent.
No problems getting in any of the restaurants and the staff & food at all were excellent. We did pay extra for going into 2 out of the 3 fine dining restaurants – the Italian and the New Orleans/Steakhouse. Both were an additional $29, well worth it. They opened the New Orleans restaurant once for lunch for British pub food at no additional cost, which was delicious. The outlet that served pizza was also very good. Basically ALL the food was out of this world delicious.
We bought an internet plan before the cruise paying $19.99 for up to 4 devices. We did have a few issues at the beginning losing connection but after going to the info desk to get it straightened out we were good to go. Worked for the most part – spotty a few times, but still worth it. We had taken U.S. money with us thinking if you bought anything on board you paid for it by cash (shopping/drinks, etc), but you don’t. You show your room key and everything is charged through that to your account. One good thing with the internet is you could go online to your account to keep track of all your extra charges which was nice.
Also know you are automatically charged a $14.50/p.p./p.d. tipping fee. You do have the option to change this to whatever you want. Just go to the service desk on board & tell them what you want to change it to and it will be changed on your account.
This boat not only had an outdoor pool w/hottubs but also an indoor pool w/hottubs. Handy for cool or rainy days. Also basketball court, shuffleboard, mini-golf but those were outdoors so could only partake in when not raining. Also indoor ping-pong and lots of other games to par-take in. They also had a library with books/cards/games that was popular. A Theatre with lovely night-time shows. And an outdoor huge screen with movies showing at different times, casino, and much more activities/shopping stores/fine art sales, etc.
Only negative of a cruise, if it really is a negative, is there is there is so much going on at all times, it is a little hard to fit in all you want to do. We tried at one time to just sit & relax to read our books and listen to our music through earphones but then quickly realized we were missing out on an event we wanted to see, so quickly abandoned the R&R time and off we went - LOL!
This was an approx. 2000 person cruise with over 900 staff. Just a perfect size we thought, where it was never overly busy in any one area for the most part, and I would say about 85% adults vs children. It was a very well-run ship.
Would we take another cruise, definitely, would we take it on Princess after that delay/change in itinerary, not sure. Read Less