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3,687 Vancouver to Alaska Cruise Reviews

Chose it because it was in our time line and it was an appropriate price. I had traveled with Princes before and I was looking for the good service. I was terribly disappointed. Princess booked our flights to and from. Our flight arrived ... Read More
Chose it because it was in our time line and it was an appropriate price. I had traveled with Princes before and I was looking for the good service. I was terribly disappointed. Princess booked our flights to and from. Our flight arrived just before our cruise. No one greeted us and no photos. When we tried to make reservations for specialty restaurants, there was only one line and one person to make the reservations for the entire ship. We never got through on the phone line and spent valuable time waiting on the phone. We went to one specialty restaurant to make reservations in person. The staff told us they could not only the person in charge could, and he would not be available for a while. Check back, more wasted time. We finally reached a person on the third day and had a lovely, delicious dinner. I have never had to work so hard on a cruise before, Outrageous! When we went for happy hour before dinner, we were told happy hours had stopped on Princess Lines a while ago. We asked to order horsd'oeuveres and were told none were available only peanuts were available. This is ridiculous and disappointing. Who ever heard of not being able to order them on a cruise. We could go upstairs for pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers or to the buffet. We couldn't just order a drink, appetizers and relax. We would have to chase around for food.Try that for a happy hour. Not a good thing. We have always enjoyed the towel animals on our bed. We were told only people with children got them because too many towels were being taken home, Excuse me. You make enough money to afford a few towels. Our tender told me he would make one if I wanted. I said no. You would have thought he would have done it anyway to appease my question. I always looked forward to these towel animals when I get to my room after a fun, exciting, tiring day. We left the ship to go on the magnificent train ride to Denali Princes Wilderness Lodge. The train ride was wonderful and the narrator was so well informed, friendly and a good speaker. This train ride is not to be missed. The beauty is incredible. However, when we arrived, our luggage had been lost. I had my back-pack with my medications and little else, and so did my roommate. When we inquired, the desk told us they would call us and keep track of where and when it was coming. We did have someone else's luggage in our room which was picked up later. Towards the evening we inquired again about our luggage, and they said no information, however, they had never bothered to advise us. If we didn't check with them, they never kept us abreast of anything. Finally, we wanted to take a shower & change our shirts, so the front desk gave each of us a voucher for $25, All the shirts in the shop started around $36 up. Went back & they gave us another $25 voucher, This only bought us a shirt each and minimal toiletries and nothing else. Next day, again, we had to inquire about our luggage, but they had no information. No clothes. We did the best we could with what we had. We had no clothes, curling iron, make up, underwear, etc which is so important on a vacation. We did our Denali National Park bus tour which was exciting, beautiful and so enjoyable. We saw bear, Moose, reindeer, fox, and even a coyote. Our tour stops were fun. We even road a short distance on a dog sled. Great. When we got back, no suitcases and we had to inquires. They never called us. Next day we went on a Riverboat cruise down the Chena River. It was great, we saw lots of beautiful homes, stopped at a Athabasca village and toured it to see how those people lived in these primitive places. We loved this and the River Boat, they even gave us Salmon with crackers. Good tasting. We went to inquire again and complained we needed more funds to purchase our needs. They gave us each an additional $50 each. We could purchase little because of the high cost of everything. We left next day to go to Fairbanks. FINALLY, we had our suitcases in our room. this, of course, was the day before we left to fly home. Not a pleasant situation. I felt I was begging when I talked to the front desk about compensation for our necessities. They said they were being more than fair. Not to our estimation. As a result, I will NOT take a Princess Cruise again. I do plan on taking other cruises with other companies. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose HAL again after examining the Alaska ports visited, length of cruise, & the passenger capacity of the Volendam. It can accommodate (per the HAL website) 1432 guests and only has about 9 floors. We booked directly with HAL ... Read More
We chose HAL again after examining the Alaska ports visited, length of cruise, & the passenger capacity of the Volendam. It can accommodate (per the HAL website) 1432 guests and only has about 9 floors. We booked directly with HAL & received no perks, just their lowest price for a Large Ocean View stateroom for 2 adults, roundtrip airfare, transfer from/to airports, & travel insurance. We also "guaranteed" the type of stateroom desired, selected open dining & paid all at once on our credit card which gave us air miles for the purchase. Exactly 90 days before our cruise date we received the exact category of room assignment & confirmation of our airline tickets. We were directed to website called FlightEase to see the exact info about the tickets. Our airline confirmation number was listed there-- the "Airline Locator" number -- so we could also lookup the info on the airline's website. If you go to any cruise-related website &/or the HAL website you can search for the cabin category & find the location of the cabin category you are assigned. Our cabin was initially in the farthest back, lowest deck on the ship. Twenty days before sailing & up until the day before, the email offers started coming in -- "Club Orange" offer for $25/person/day (which apparently is included in the price of any HAL suite); 4 times we were offered an ever decreasing price to upgrade to a CA category, which if you look on the chart is a Lanai cabin with a sliding door to the ship's exterior deck and 2 reserved deck chairs. In the middle of all these offers we were automatically upgraded one floor up, & moved toward to middle of the ship to the DA category with out any action from us. Ten days prior to sailing we booked 2 shore excursions (Tracy Arm Fjord & Glacier Explorer, White Pass Summit Scenic Railroad) thru the HAL website. Looking back, we should have booked thru a travel agent to see what free perks we could have received with our booking at the same price;we should have waited to book our excursions onboard the first day to receive the onboard spending credit which counts toward your "Mariner Society" loyalty program (every $300 converts to one bonus cruise day to help you move up the program levels); we also should have paid out the balance over time. If the price decreased, we could have called & asked for the lower price. Once you pay for it all, they wont make any adjustments. After the major walk thru "Canada Place" boarding dock to check in, the stateroom was underwhelming to say the least. Despite being very clean, one could not overlook the tired look of the furnishings. The drapery hung limply on the rods, obviously needing pressing; the upholstery was worn, showing obvious signs of wear. The TV was an 18' type from the the 1990s. The window needed exterior cleaning. We were amazed at the large amount of closet space for hanging. We didnt even use 2 of the 4 closets available. There are even drawer units under the bed. Each bedside table had 2 ample drawers. The bed was 2 twin mattresses pushed together -- very comfortable. With "Open Seating" dining, one can still call for a reservation. However they are available at only 530pm or 745pm. Nothing in between. If you tell them you will sit at a 4-8 person table you will have to wait till all are seated before you can order. We were 30 minutes late to our 515 reservation & had to wait in the long line with those lacking reservations. We tried our luck other nights, opting for walking up whenever we were ready to eat dinner & being led to a table having 2 available seats. Only once we opted to dine in the Lido Market on the 8th floor due to a 20min wait time for 2. In the main dining room, you order all your courses at once & you can order more than one item if you desire it. Alcohol orders are taken & served by servers different from food servers. The food is delicious, beautifully presented, with modest-sized portions. Dont expect very attentive service. The servers are quite concerned with taking orders quickly, clearing other tables away, bringing dishes to be washed & bringing out the food. They are literally rushing as fast as they can to perform those duties first. We found attentive service to the diners is LAST. It appeared wait staff was under-staffed: many websites state the Volendam crew number at about 675. The "Voyage Log" we received in our cabin on the last night stated they had only 567! It sure is felt in the dining room. The attentive service is felt in the bar areas. The ship has an abundance of areas to serve drinks. Wherever people gather, the ship takes the opportunity to sell drinks--even when lining up to disembark! Happy hour specials occur almost ever 2 hours: second drink for $2; 5 wine sampler $25; food wine pairing $7. You'll also feel in-room dining is well done. We had coffee delivered EVERY morning including the last morning. When thy didnt get something quite right, they called the next time to see if all was good with the order. The last morning on the ship we ordered full breakfast for 6am. Our attendant advised we take that delivery time & not gamble with the 7am delivery option (You fill out a card & hang it on your outer door knob before 2am). Feel free to write-in whatever else you would like if its not listed--they aim to please. At night we enjoyed the casino, the double piano bar & looking thru the shops occasionally. We seemed to be the only ones that didnt know the "Mainstage" theater has been renamed "BB King Blue Club", another live music venue. All the ship maps still have the old name, but the "Where & When" daily planner doesnt mention the name change. A large band with 2 singers would play there some nights. It was fun seeing the musicians stroll around the ship & speak to them. Same for the speakers who would lead nature talks during the day. By far the most enjoyable day on ship was the morning spent in Glacier Bay, narrated by a US Forest Ranger. Words cannot describe the other beautiful ports we saw: Juneau (& excursion to Tracy Arm), Skagway (& excursion on White Pass Railway); Ketchikan (we rented a car for the day, $100). We were pretty tuckered out after all this fun & sightseeing, the dinner, drinks & music afterward were just right. Sailing days were spent sleeping in, going to the spa (wait to book on board when the daily specials start arriving in your stateroom), in the "Crows Nest" looking at the scenery, going to nature talks, having a fancy coffee at the coffee bar, religious observation, taking afternoon tea, in addition to breakfast, lunch & dinner! The swimming pools were unremarkable & I didnt see many folks in them. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Although the cruise was nice, going through customs at the Vancouver Airport PLUS the registration at Holland America requires a ton of walking and standing. My feet throbbed for two days after getting on the ship. We are both in our ... Read More
Although the cruise was nice, going through customs at the Vancouver Airport PLUS the registration at Holland America requires a ton of walking and standing. My feet throbbed for two days after getting on the ship. We are both in our 70's and are fortunate to not need a wheelchair. However, there was a lot of unnecessary walking at the warehouse prior to boarding. On one leg of the walk we had to go up the escalator, walk down the hall into a room, check-in, down to the end of the room, turn left, turn left again, only to see we were leaving the same room. We had circled rows and rows of empty folding chairs when we could have simply turned around and gone out the same door we came in. After going through customs at the Airport,which was a ton of waiting and walking, we were tired. All of the unnecessry walking involved in Holland America registration just made it worse. I heard many guests complaining about the amount of walking to get there. One said, "it was torture". Another said, "they make you do all that walking so when you get here, you think everything is wonderful". I also wanted to comment on the Totem Pole tour. they should describe is as a "walking tour". If we had known it was all walking, we never would have signed up. Yes, you take the bus to the Totem Pole Park, but you have to walk the entire tour. If you are bothered by cigarette smoke, don't plan on going into their Casino as they allow smoking in the Casino. As soon as you get off the elevator on the 5th level, you can smell the smoke. It was very annoying and prevented us from going into the Casino as much as we would have liked. All in all, the cruise was very nice. The Holland America team offered excellent customer service at every turn. We would use your Cruise line again, but never, never, will we ever cruise out of Vancouver again. Thank you for your time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was a great cruise. Princess does a good job on their Alaska cruises. Their attention to detail was top notch. No glitches whatsoever. Service was excellent the whole week. The food was very good in the Horizon Room (the buffet), ... Read More
This was a great cruise. Princess does a good job on their Alaska cruises. Their attention to detail was top notch. No glitches whatsoever. Service was excellent the whole week. The food was very good in the Horizon Room (the buffet), but it was crowded and noisy. Dining was better in the dining room we were assigned to. Food was excellent - like dining in a 5 star restaurant every night. We used the buffet for breakfast and always ate dinner in the dining room. We also ate in two of their specialty restaurants - Sabatini's and the Bayou Grill. Also very good. Every night we received a "newsletter" outlining the next days' schedule, activities, news, etc. The embarking and disembarking procedures were flawless. Before departure we had experienced a long day of airline flights and a horribly long process to clear Customs in Vancouver. Once Princess took over for our transportation to our ship, it went very smoothly for check-in and getting to our room. Made us feel much better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I had higher expectations because Princess high end reputation. I booked because itinerary and destination ports. I have 10+ cruise experience with Carnival and Norwegian. This is my First time with Princess and I’m very disappointed. ... Read More
I had higher expectations because Princess high end reputation. I booked because itinerary and destination ports. I have 10+ cruise experience with Carnival and Norwegian. This is my First time with Princess and I’m very disappointed. Very pour entertainment performance quality, small food portions, lack of variety or options at Lido food court and restaurant dinners, ship outdated revamp need, bad coffee including the bistro, no blankets to see the outside movies, very old towels at pools and room, rest of the staff looks very exhausted because it was almost the end of the season, no engaged, excellent room cleaning, specialty restaurant (Baju) was good and learnt experience, excursion by Princess are ok but seems pricey, this is cater for senior citizens, gambler or sinkers, not to much entertainment during the day or night, not good value for what I paid. Not planning to book Princess Cruises because this experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
After years of hearing from friends that an Alaskan cruise is THE cruise of a lifetime, we bit the bullet and pushed it to the top of our bucket list. Having cruised Princess once before (this would be our 25th cruise though only second ... Read More
After years of hearing from friends that an Alaskan cruise is THE cruise of a lifetime, we bit the bullet and pushed it to the top of our bucket list. Having cruised Princess once before (this would be our 25th cruise though only second on Princess), we had some expectations of quality of service and condition of equipment. Considering the Island Princess is one of it's oldest ships, for the most part, it met our expectations. Had we done the cruise only portion, would have rated this only "Good". However coupled with the add on land portion, the trip truly was a very good trip, nearing great. The land portion was excellent in almost all respects. Here's our impressions and tips. Embarkation: Best ever. Vancouver has it nailed. Stayed prior night near Canada Place and walked over to drop bags off at noon and just about walked on to the ship. Longest line was U.S. Customs but that went smoothly. Dining: Late dining in the Provence Dining Room. Food was ok, not great but then again, I'm not a gourmand so no complaints. Head waiter (Apollo) was attentive though at times a bit stretched. Great stablemates and conversation. Never felt rushed. Breakfast and Lunch always in Horizon for the buffet. Finding a place to sit can be a challenge during peak times. Selection was a bit limited (would have loved a real pasta bar). Cookies were overbaked. But we didn't starve. Pizza was pretty good. Burgers were not. Liked that someone was stationed at entrance to get people to wash their hands (unfortunately when they weren't around passengers wouldn't do it). Entertainment: Went to all but the last show. The dancers were very good. The singers were not. Magician (Trigg) was really good and did two shows. The comedian (also two shows) was average and second show was similar to the first, material just tweaked a bit. Guest Soprano was very good and just highlighted how much better her voice was than the regular singers. Tried to go to some of the onboard lectures but as space is limited on this ship for large audiences, if you don't get there well in advance you might as well skip it and grab another piece of pizza. Service: room attendant was efficient. Didn't see him much but when requested to leave extra towels each cleaning, he did. Though for some reason, never left any ice (no problem as I brought ice back from the buffet each morning). Room service was very good, timely and orders were always correct. Ports: Icy Strait Point (Hoonah): nothing there. Nice walk to Hoonah and back. That's about it. Juneau: Walked to chairlift and went up the mountain (on our own, no excursion). Great views, nice walking paths up top, pretty good shops. Well worth it. Then took city bus ($2 each from bus station) to Mendenhal (well as close as you can get on the city bus which is about 1.5 miles from entrance - easy flat walk on a paved path). Walk to the falls (another mile to/from) for best views. Note: no food available in park so plan accordingly. Bring water. Lunch at Red Dog Saloon - crowded of course, food was ok, entertainer was pretty profane. Skagway: best stop. Ship excursion to White Pass via railroad. Easy walk to train, nice scenic ride. Good commentary along the way. Dropped off in town, strolled around, grabbed a fantastic cinnamon roll (Sweet Tooth Cafe) and visit the NPS building and watch their show. A fun town to just stroll around and do a bit of souvenir shopping. Glacier Bay: TIP: best view is on Port side (at least it feels like the ship stayed on the port side the longest). Saw a few small calving. Very nice but the best glacier was just to come... College Fjord: Wow, so many glaciers (port side is the best). Spent a long time just in front of the largest. Peaceful and what Alaska is all about. Whittier: nothing there but hop off and on to the train (or busses). TIPs: Want better chance of seeing wildlife (whales and things): starboard on the northbound route. Better for glaciers: Port Best side on White Pass Train: Left side. If doing Denali Land portion and the Kantishna Experience excursion: sit on driver side of the bus. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We boarded the Island Princess in Vancouver. The Vancouver port is beautiful, but the embarkation process is spread out throughout the terminal. You went from one end to another end and back which didn't seem very efficient. It was ... Read More
We boarded the Island Princess in Vancouver. The Vancouver port is beautiful, but the embarkation process is spread out throughout the terminal. You went from one end to another end and back which didn't seem very efficient. It was very organized just not efficient. In my opinion, the ship itself was the perfect size for an Alaska cruise, small and intimate. We had an aft balcony suite and I can't say enough about how wonderful it was. We could sit on the balcony comfortably most of the time, because the wind was blocked. Even in Glacier Bay we did not need heavy coats to enjoy the balcony. We had Club Class anytime dining. The food was very good in the dining room and our wait staff were excellent. The buffet was ok, but it was hard finding a table and the variety was limited. The pizza on board was very good, great crust! We ate at the Bayou Cafe but not at Sabatini's. The Bayou food was good. I felt the entertainment could be improved upon. I wish there was a production show every night and that the comedy shows had there own theater. There could have been more activities during the day also, but you come to Alaska to see the sights, not for the ship activities. Our service throughout the ship was great. Everyone was attentive and helpful. Our room steward was wonderful. Our excursions were whale watching in Icy Strait Point, dog sled camp in Juneau, and White Pass Train in Skagway. They were all booked through Princess and were all great. Each of them was only part of the day, so we had plenty of time to walk around the ports also. I have to say my favorite was probably the dog sled camp. It was informative and lots of fun. Disembarkation was a breeze! It was so organized and smooth. Kudos to Princess for making it so stress free, especially when you don't want to leave! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We elected to go northbound to also do an active land portion on our own afterward. The cruise was FANTASTIC!!! Specialty dining was great (esp. Le Bistro and Cagney's). If you plan to do speciality dining make ... Read More
We elected to go northbound to also do an active land portion on our own afterward. The cruise was FANTASTIC!!! Specialty dining was great (esp. Le Bistro and Cagney's). If you plan to do speciality dining make reservations--especially for the sea days. Shows are at 7:15 and 9:15 so plan accordingly. If you want a peaceful breakfast go to O'Sheehans on level 8. Lots of windows. Same with the main dining room, but busier. We skipped the buffet for all meals except one lunch. Ports were wonderful and the 3 sea days were perfect--sitting on the balcony or on deck or in Spinnaker Lounge watching whales, seals, otters and the glaciers. We had a starboard (right side) balcony and it was perfect for viewing. If you are not doing land I would elect a round trip, but do not miss these places. We met a few people doing a northbound and then southbound (same ship). That would have been amazing as well. The comedian was VERY funny in his early show, but his adult time show was gross. It was unnecessarily filthy and did not appeal to us. The dancers were very talented --Cirque style (The show was fabulous). Ketchikan--Lumberjack Show is silly. Do not do a tour. Just take free shuttle to town and buy a ticket (or pre-purchase and pick up there). Juneau--BEST tour ever--costly, but worth every dime. Helicopter/airboat to Taku Glacier. A Once in a lifetime amazing view of the glacier. Skagway--we just did the historical walking tour and hiked. Very nice. Many took the train ride tour. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Embarkation was illogical- lines going upstairs, then downstairs to immigration then lines to Border patrol. Disembarkation was poorly organized in the theater for those traveling to Seward via the Alaskan train. The NCL person was ... Read More
Embarkation was illogical- lines going upstairs, then downstairs to immigration then lines to Border patrol. Disembarkation was poorly organized in the theater for those traveling to Seward via the Alaskan train. The NCL person was giving out confusing info regarding leaving the theater. People were exiting the ship without any knowledge of the train. Upon disembarking, I turned over my voucher to the Train and received my seat assignment. Total misinformation from NCL. Inside Cabin 9673 was very quiet. Cabin Steward Muhammad Shalahuddin was very gracious, helpful and attentive. As a solo cruiser, when eating in the buffet-my table was cleared regardless of my iPad, book, or backpack being visible. I was hit, bumped, knocked, kicked and pushed by small Asian women moving in herds. Cruisers leaving food and dishes outside of their cabin. It’s rude, makes it difficult to pass the narrow hallways with others and cabin crew’s carts. Those leaving elevators all took the same idea that no one else was around and continued to block the exiting area to have a conversation. Casino’s Black Jack was seemingly not controlled by number of people at the table coupled with amount the person was playing/hand with the dealer pushing buttons at each hand. On the brand new ships: Epic, Breakaway, Getaway, Bliss and I’m guessing the upcoming Encore, the dealers are always pressing buttons before each hand is dealt. (Cruiselines don’t have State Gambling Laws to follow). CAGNEY’S STEAKHOUSE-enjoyable with great service LE BISTRO-located off a bar area with “live music” the hostess closed the outer doors which silenced the bad performer. The chocolate fondu is the best dessert. LA CUCINA- Why is the Caesar salad removed from this menu? This restaurant is directly under the basketball court. People at 8:00pm were playing basketball and the entire ceiling of La Cucina was shaking while being pounded. Cruisers all were questioning the wait staff. The answer was, “the court is closed but people climb around the closed ropes.” Why wasn’t security called to address this huge issue while people were paying extra for the specialty restaurant? AZURA RESTAURANT: very noisy Thermal Suite Spa- clean, quiet, single-sex areas, with a handful of people. Sam, the Spa Manager is delightful, sweet, and engaging. VELVET- very disappointing for NCL’s live entertainment. The (Lexi) female lead’s pitch was often off. The company dancers were poor. Feet, arm placement, hands of all the dancers were always off and never together. The extremely overweight male “dancer’ (Marc) that appeared on stage was simply outrageous, hideous and far from entertaining. He simply was laughable and horrifying. My 10th NCL Cruise- the sound techs continue to be clueless in sound production: Balance, treble, bass, and dynamic levels were all problematic. THE COMEDY OF ACE GUILLEN: This act should be re-named, ACE GUILLEN: HIS MUSICAL OUT-TAKES. There was no comedy to this performance. However, the last night on the ship, Ace did a show featuring his ‘adult comedy.’ He was quite funny. LE CIRQUE BIJOR: most entertaining featuring (Vlad & Anna) and (2 male gymnasts). The dancing was together. A NCL person said VELVET was a new production. POOL: has a lifeguard on duty. I was baffled by the Alaskan ports claiming ‘duty free’ when we are traveling in the US. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise as the itinerary included both Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier and I could not recommend it more wholeheartedly, especially if you can fit the cabin we had in your budget. This was a couple's trip and belated 25th ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the itinerary included both Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier and I could not recommend it more wholeheartedly, especially if you can fit the cabin we had in your budget. This was a couple's trip and belated 25th anniversary adventure. Our suite really made this cruise sensational, particularly as we were blessed with wonderful weather. We were in cabin 10500, right at the front, directly under the bridge. Taking breakfast in our suite on glacier days was absolutely wonderful. Embarkation in Vancouver was seamless and departing from this city was ideal for us. We flew in from Sydney a few days earlier and enjoyed many magical eating experiences traversing this very walkable city. Getting out into the fresh air, spending time in Stanley Park and a Gastronomic Gastown Tour on foot helped us adjust to the time difference. Once on board on embarkation day, we had lunch in Moderno which provides breakfast and lunch for suite guests for the duration of the cruise. We had breakfast here three times, and had the breakfast delivered from here to our suite on glacier days. Henry, our butler, brought the breakfast and set the table for us. He was wonderful, as was cabin attendant, Rene. We had a few lunches in Moderno as well and found the service and food selections really good. We had a three specialty dining package and chose Le Bistro, Cagney's and Teppanyaki. Teppenyaki was a lot of fun and highly recommended. Cagney's steak was perfectly cooked, and the meal generally was very good, although we waited far too long and our first waiter was quite disinterested. They use an iPad for wine selections and you can't narrow selections to the $15 limit of the beverage package, which was a bit dumb. Le Bistro didn't acquit the french onion soup as well as you'd expect. The crout was soggy to the point of dissolving and the cheese was overpoweringly plentiful and runny. It was difficult to eat. The rest of the meal was quite good though and the service, although patchy, was attentive. We also ate in Azura a couple of nights and found the service excellent and the meals very enjoyable - the rib eye was a standout. Most of our entertainment was our cabin balcony, although we attended Velvet (kitchy but fun) and Le Cirque Bijou (amazing, spectacular). We also happened upon one round of trivia and a married couple game, both had witty hosts and were good for a laugh. The bar staff were great and very accommodating. Special shout out to the Rum Cake cocktail in Magnums, tasted just like Christmas Pudding! All of our excursions were arranged through the ship - a little more expensive than private arrangements perhaps, but for simplicity, we were happy with our choices. Getting on and off the ship in each port was easy and uncomplicated. First stop was Ketchican, with the Aleutian Ballad our chosen tour. The guys on the boat were great and you didn't need to be a fan of World's Deadliest Catch to enjoy all the seadog stories and appreciate how tremendously dangerous crab fishing in the Bering Sea is. This was our first opportunity to see Bald Eagles and sea life of all kinds, including crabs, a variety of other crustacea and a very cranky octopus. Ketchican itself is quite interesting, but the highlight was the salmon struggling valiantly to climb waterfalls and ford fast flowing rapids to reach their spawning ground. In Juneau, we took the helicopter to Mendenhall Glacier and dog sledding. Spectacular!! The views from the helicopter were incredible, as the icefields came into view over the hills surrounding the port. The dogs were gorgeous (especially the puppies!) and just love running, with our musher (an Iditarod competitor) very interesting and sledding on the snow exhilarating. Well worth the money - but as previously mentioned, this was a special trip. Juneau day was rounded out with king crab legs at Tracy's Crab Shack (get the mixed plate but order the extra crab leg, you won't regret it) and a lost afternoon at the Red Dog Saloon with a hilarious old guy conducting singalongs and a superb barman. Our Skagway tour was Froschel Wildlife Centre, a ferry ride and bus trip away in Haines. This centre takes in injured and orphaned creatures, hosted by Steve who was a bit nuts but lots of fun. We saw a very well trained wolverine, fed a porcupine, kissed a moose, got charged by a bear and up close and personal with minks, reindeer and other beasties. The guide on the ferry and driver of the bus were very entertaining and educational. At the end of the cruise, we spent a further week in Alaska on a self directed trip. We were fortunate to see the northern lights at Chena Hot Springs near Fairbanks, enjoyed two fabulous journeys on Alaska Rail (Seward end port to Anchorage and Fairbanks to Anchorage), and a remarkable 12 hour bus trip in Denali with lots of bears, moose, caribou and Dall Sheep as well as an arctic squirrel and geyrfalcon and chick. Apparently only 30% of Alaskan visitors see Denali and we were fortunate to see this spectacular mountain on the train trip back to Anchorage. We were also very lucky with timing to see beautiful fall colours. This really was a trip of a lifetime and we enjoyed every minute. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our first cruise. We wanted to cruise Alaska and Norwegian offered us that opportunity. The staff on this ship are exceptional hosts. We felt very welcomed and pampered. Honestly we did not know what to expect and were pleasantly ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We wanted to cruise Alaska and Norwegian offered us that opportunity. The staff on this ship are exceptional hosts. We felt very welcomed and pampered. Honestly we did not know what to expect and were pleasantly surprised. We were on an enormous ship with hundreds of people yet chose our own activities and seemed to always make new acquaintances. We saw two fabulous shows, Vlad and Anna and Le Cirque Bijou. The Glacier Bay National Park tour was a highlight as well as the talk by Becca - the park ranger. Whale watching was great, our guides were excellent. There are some excursions I wish we would have gone on but it was our first cruise and we picked excursions based on the web site info. We took a tram up to Mt. Robert in Juneau - beautiful view. Each little town had its own uniqueness and charm so we really enjoyed them all. Food on the ship was good. My husband wanted more seafood options and I'm more of a land lover so was happy with my choices. We did most of our dining in the Garden Cafe. We also had meals at the Tsar, Azura and O'Sheehan. The food was good, the service was amazing. We extended our trip to Denali and were in awe of our guides on each leg of our tour. Cruising is an interesting way to travel, a lot more structured than our usual excursions. Well organized and the people - a remarkable group, well trained and exceptional service providers. They convinced us, on a daily basis, that they were happy to have us on board. I cannot say enough good things about the staff. Washy, washy. Happy, happy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I just wanted to take a ship to Alaska. The Jewel fit my itinerary and took me there. I had little expectations other than to go from BC to Seward. The meals were absolutely incredible, the service and staff were off the charts, the ... Read More
I just wanted to take a ship to Alaska. The Jewel fit my itinerary and took me there. I had little expectations other than to go from BC to Seward. The meals were absolutely incredible, the service and staff were off the charts, the entertainment was great, the classes were an added bonus, and the itinerary was incredible! I loved stopping at the Ports and exploring. I was a solo traveler with few people my age but the staff and crew became 'friends.' Everyone was so kind. I would wake up and go to the fitness room for a class, take a couple of walking laps around the ship, sit down at a nice restaurant for breakfast, and then explore a Port (usually taking a hike and finding a coffee shop). I would get back on the boat, meet with my solo traveler group, go to the 'show' that night, have a nice dinner and coffee, and then head up to a lounge for the evening. Would definitely recommend and take this trip again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As a former Hal loyalist, I was excited to cruise again after a short 2-3 years break. I grabbed my son to go with me as my hubby didn’t want to visit Alaska for the Nth time. The first indication that things weren't as rosy as ... Read More
As a former Hal loyalist, I was excited to cruise again after a short 2-3 years break. I grabbed my son to go with me as my hubby didn’t want to visit Alaska for the Nth time. The first indication that things weren't as rosy as I’d remembered was our embarkation lunch at the Lido. We selected a variety of items from the Asian section (Thai) and the meat was dry, tough and too salty. We thought, "Ok, maybe this is because it's embarkation day so quality control isn't as thorough..." How naive we were. Over the next couple of days, we realized that the Lido had severe issues. The Asian station's meat was consistently too dry, tough and salty. The pasta tasted like pure salt and no other flavours. Desserts usually had raw tasting dough. The waffle cones tasted stale. The printed menu on display was frequently wrong (as in the wrong menu was put up altogether or ingredients were missing compared to the printed version). And the plates are often too hot to hold. The only consistently decent hot food was from the Homestead station! How about the MDR food? Well, the taste there was quite a bit better but we found that the only thing consistent about the kitchen was their inconsistency... and their overly salty soups (we end up asking for half a bowl of soup and diluting it with hot water whenever we felt like soup). In the MDR, we've had two orders of the same item come differently(missing ingredients), a salmon filet filled with bones and pasta the texture of soggy cardboard. Our warm/hot water has come smelling/tasting like the pool and a medium-rare steak arrived overcooked. The most disappointing thing was the prime rib I ordered - it came was so filled with those fatty hard-to-cut parts I ended up not having a single bite because I literally could not cut the beef with my knife... even after I requested for another steak knife! Other than food issues, we've noticed the effects of budget slashing coupled with a lack of proper planning/training. We had to visit the photo gallery three times to receive our complimentary mariner picture of the shop and received a different answer/information each time. The Exploration Cafe didn't offer ceramic cups until the third day - the paper cups offered were completely inadequate: hot drinks were scalding to hold even using two cups. The paper cups were also prone to crumple if you kept cold drinks in them! Ordering hot water kettles from inroom dining resulted in kettles with hot handles most of the time.... The women’s washroom on Deck 3 was had completely unusable toilets one day (all of them!). Hotel management seemed a mess because we received the wrong information documents to our cabin... But although all these issues were disappointing, they weren’t completely “vacation ruining”. We can choose to eat the decent stuff in the Lido and the crew usually tried their best to fix things when problems happen (which was fairly often... we became VERY well acquainted with Guest services). It was our experience with the beverage manager that utterly ruined our vacationing mood. Here's the background: we aren't heavy alcohol drinkers so we purchased the quench beverage package planning to avail ourselves of mocktails, smoothies and specialty coffee. Unfortunately, we immediately noticed that all the bar menus on-board had been revamped for the worse. The drinks' description were removed, and most pertinently, the section on mocktails and smoothies disappeared. Not a problem, we can still ask the bar to make the drinks right? Well... Sort of! Turns out the bars no longer make drinks using real fruits. Instead it's "syrup" all the way! This caught us off-guard because we've had real fruit smoothies on previous cruises and during our cruise planning we saw another cruiser's May 2019 beverage menu and THAT one (multiple ones actually) still had drinks with detailed descriptions and real fruits stated. As we weren't reconciled to having only "syrup" ( corn syrup with a small % of real juice plus other favouring ingredients and preservatives) drinks, we wrote in to guest services and after a series of back and forths... we finally ended up speaking to the beverage manager in person. Horrible mistake. The beverage manager ( Cyrill?) had the worst service attitude ever and was confrontational to boot. He stated that he was the one in charge of ordering everything related to drinks. When asked about using real fruits in drinks, he basically implied we were lying about having it before or that it was some special one-off service. He swore that in all his 20+ years of service across multiple ships that he has NEVER ordered fruits to the bar and that drinks made due with just syrup. He even grabbed one of the bystanding crew members to collaborate his claim. Really? Was the poor guy going to contradict his BOSS to his face?! Talk about abuse of authority. When pressed, he told us to try the inroom dining... MAYBE they could make us a real fruit smoothie. As for if there was a charge there? He said he wasn’t sure. What kind of manager are you...? So after giving us a "that's that" attitude with no effort to apologize or make things better, he left and all we felt was incredulity. How did someone like this become a manager?! Was nepotism involved somewhere...?! On the spot, we weren't able to refute his highhanded claims but we afterwards we found the website with photo proof of previous/other ships having fruits in their drinks. (That url previously mentioned) We later also spoke privately to older bartenders who acknowledged that yes, they used to make drinks with real fruits. In fact, they still did so on their last contract a few months ago! So, the beverage manager straight up lied to our faces while trying to browbeat both us and his staff into accepting HIS way. This encounter with that disgrace of a manager completely destroyed any goodwill we felt towards HAL. In fact, because it's the beverage manager who has been such a disappointment, it's affected my impression of the whole beverage department and more... I know I’m sort of on the emotional side (really, most women are right? XD) but I ended up going out of my way to NOT walk by the bars if I could. Of course, we responded to Guest services about the horrendous treatment we received and the next day we met with the Food and Beverage DIRECTOR (one step up the chain?). He was a lot more gracious and friendly. We were given complimentary freshly made juice for breakfast/dinner (MDR) and one mocktail/smoothie of our choice each day for the remainder of the cruise. So in summary: - the kitchen was consistently inconsistent: the food was missing ingredients, under-cooked, over-cooked, too salty, wrong portions, etc - drinks from the bar for non-alcoholic drinkers nowhere near a “premium” experience - hotel management seems to have a systematic issue with procedures/training - crew was still great and did their best... except for ONE notable counterexample Final rating: Would not recommend and we’ll be trying other cruise lines in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We enjoyed another great cruise on the Eclipse to Alaska leaving from Vancouver. We had two days in Vancouver prior to sailing and one day after. We had a great time in Vancouver and would highly recommend spending a few days in this ... Read More
We enjoyed another great cruise on the Eclipse to Alaska leaving from Vancouver. We had two days in Vancouver prior to sailing and one day after. We had a great time in Vancouver and would highly recommend spending a few days in this beautiful city. This was our first trip to Alaska but it will not be our last. This was one of the most scenic beautiful cruises we have taken. We stayed in a Sky Suite on the 10th floor in 1198. This was a corner aft and it was perfect for the beautiful Alaska viewing. We did a whale watching cruise from Icy Straight Point with a company called Glacier Wind Charters. This company was amazing and the tour was great. We loved everything about it. We also did a Helicopter/Glacier walk booked thru Celebrity. This one was not worth the 900.00 in our opinion. The helicopter ride was amazing but the Glacier walk was quite disappointing. Just not worth the money. The last tour we took was another one booked thru Celebrity it was a ketchikan wilderness tour & Rain forest walk - this tour was also well worth the money and so much fun. Our day at Hubbard Glacier was magical and words cannot describe the incredible beauty of this area. We ate most of our meals in Luminae and the service was beyond exceptional. We enjoyed some of the shows and others were just ok - this is obviously very subjective. The bottom line for us is we loved our trip and we will be back on Celebrity as our go to cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife and I are not big cruisers; our last cruise was 20 years ago on the Celebrity Century to the Western Caribbean. But this was Alaska, so it had to be by ship. The Celebrity Eclipse made us rethink cruising, as it was a pleasure from ... Read More
My wife and I are not big cruisers; our last cruise was 20 years ago on the Celebrity Century to the Western Caribbean. But this was Alaska, so it had to be by ship. The Celebrity Eclipse made us rethink cruising, as it was a pleasure from beginning to end. I was surprised to learn it will go for refurbishment in March, as it is pristine. With 2800+ passengers, the ship is big but never felt overly crowded, except maybe at the lunch buffet. There were many public spaces-- the library, card room, that felt almost intimate. We had a verandah cabin, which was worth the extra cost for the daylight and feeling of openness. Plus it was great when we neared Hubbard Glacier, where the captain did a 360 degree pirouette with the ship so that everyone had equal viewing. Spectacular! One of the highlights of the cruise. We had late dining, which initially concerned us because we usually have dinner at 7-7:30. But it wasn't a problem. And we were fortunate to be seated with two couples from New Zealand and one from Canada. Very refreshing to meet people outside of our orbit, who were intelligent and fun to be with. It was another highlight of the trip. Specialty dining at the Tuscan Grille and Murano was outstanding, and well worth the extra $45-50 person. Great service, outstanding food, and flexible dining times made these great choices. Highly recommended. We booked shore excursions through Shore Excursion Group rather than through the cruise line; these were identical excursions for about 10% less money. I learned from a savvier shopper on one of our excursions that I might have saved even more money had I shopped online more. The highlight was the whale-watching excursion at Icy Strait Point (the first port); we took a short bus ride to the dock where we took a boat with about 12-14 passengers to Hoonah, Glacier Bay. The captain and the "guide", two young men who were passionate about their work and extremely knowledgeable took us out to sea. We were fortunate to see both orcas and humpbacks, one of whom breached several times right outside of the boat. Incredible! The next day, another sunny and warm one (luckily, like all of our days on the cruise), we approached Hubbard Glacier and the blue waters surrounding it: majestic and awe-inspiring, we could only marvel at its size and beauty, and fear for its future. We heard the thunderous sound as it calved, and watched as fragments crashed into the water. On Thursday, we reached Juneau, where we took an excursion to Mendenhall Glacier. Unfortunately, a big disappointment after seeing Hubbard. It lacked the spectacle of Hubbard. I would skip this excursion. Although we did go to a salmon bake as the second part of the excursion. It was outside in a large picnic area under canopies. We watched the silver salmon being grilled, and helped ourselves to side of cornbread, potatoes, cole slaw, and blueberry cake. Very tasty. Although when we got back into the city of Juneau, we saw people eating huge crab legs at a restaurant near the dock. If we ever go back... Finally, to Ketchikan for our final stop. There we took an off-road Jeep Safari through the Tongass Forest, where a guide took us through the winding, rocky path in four-wheel drive Jeeps. Everyone had a chance to drive; lots of fun. That was followed by a short canoe trip:10-12 passengers per canoe, to an area in the woods where we enjoyed fish chowder, salmon salad, and homemade bread and jam. A fun excursion that I recommend. Otherwise, we found the service on the ship to be exceptional, from the cabin steward to the restaurant staff. The entertainment was fine--comedians, singers, and an ersatz Cirque de Soleil that was very good. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Wife and I travelled with her parents, my son 18 and my mother. Everyone had a great time and I thought I would share my thoughts with you. We cruised on the Equinox in April and found this ship and experience to be nearly identical to ... Read More
Wife and I travelled with her parents, my son 18 and my mother. Everyone had a great time and I thought I would share my thoughts with you. We cruised on the Equinox in April and found this ship and experience to be nearly identical to that one. This was a 7-day round trip Alaska cruise out of Vancouver. EMBARKATION - For the first time ever we spent time in town prior to the cruise and boarded on the latter end of the time window - just after 2:00. The luggage drop off, check-in and other areas felt like a ghost town. It was truly eerie, making us wonder if we were in the right place even though we went through here two years ago. There were zero waits except at customs where we waited 2-3 minutes. Other than this it was walk up, take care of business, walk to the next place. The entire process took about 20 minutes, with most of that time spent walking from one place to another. We walked slowly with elderly parents with us. While we love to board early and begin our cruise experience early, we also love avoiding lines. We may start boarding late for a better embarkation experience. PUBLIC AREAS - We walked the ship and got a feel for the layout, confirming it was exactly like the Equinox except we had Cellar Masters wine bar where they had the Gastropub, which we preferred with the TV and beer theme. Other than that, everything was clean, well maintained, very classy. FOOD - We thoroughly enjoyed the food on board. We dined in the "traditional" areas, Oceanview Cafe for breakfast and lunch, Moonlight Sonata for dinner. Food was very good in all areas, with lunch being especially nice with many choices and great quality throughout. My only complaint was the length of dinner. Service was good but a bit slow in the evening. I'm not sure if they waiters thought we would enjoy taking our time in a 2 hour dinner, or they were just so busy during the busy times we ate that they simply could not keep up. We had some slow eaters with us but dinners should have taken 90 minutes not two hours. We had any time dining and ate at all different times, from 6:30 to 8:00. Desserts in Oceanview were never as good as they looked - although ice cream was very good. Desserts in the sit down restaurants were all very good. We also had a meal in Tuscan Grill and one in Murano. Service and food were very good, but had a few minor service issues in Murano - including my wife with an allergy to shellfish had a minor reaction to the flambeed lobster from another table. She had to leave in the middle of the meal to make sure the reaction didn't become a major one. Had they asked about her allergy or mentioned this as a possible allergic reaction, we may have done things differently. We ate family style in Tuscan Grill and it was very enjoyable - highly recommended. BARS - We had a drinks package and enjoyed many of the bars. Service and drink quality was very good throughout. We discovered a few new drinks we had not had before. ENTERTAINMENT - I saw three shows and one comedian. The comedian was OK, the shows were good. Especially enjoyed the last show - Euphoria - but all three had some real high points. The musicians on board were good but not great. None stood out to us. We really enjoyed DJ Leo, especially on the first night. Loved his work on the "turntable". CABIN - see below. DEBARKATION - We had an 11:00 AM flight so we worked hard to make sure we made our flight. Here's what we did for the perfect early debarkation: - We met around 7:05 at Cafe al Bacio. We got in line soon after, with about 30 people in front of us. We schlepped our own bags - not an easy task with three elderly people in our party - but we did it without incident. - The line to debark started moving around 7:30. - Ship exit and customs was very fast. We probably got in our two cabs by 7:40. - I expect we arrived at the airport around 8:05. Cabs were $32 each Canadian. - All lines at the airport were short including flight check-in, bag drop, customs, and security. We were on our way to the gate by 8:35. So a process we expected would get us to the gate by 10:30 instead got us there almost two hours early. Lesson - if you plan to get off the ship early, even a 10:00 AM flight is possible unless there are unexpected delays. Our plane ride home was uneventful and we landed in Raleigh before 9:00 PM. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The first part of the critique here is about the Celebrity experience… This was our first time sailing with Celebrity. Overall it was excellent across the board, with a couple of notable exceptions. We were traveling with another ... Read More
The first part of the critique here is about the Celebrity experience… This was our first time sailing with Celebrity. Overall it was excellent across the board, with a couple of notable exceptions. We were traveling with another couple who have previously sailed several times on Celebrity and persuaded us to join them on this trip. POSITIVES: BY FAR, the biggest Celebrity Eclipse stand out experience for us, was the restaurant LUMINAE which is exclusive to suite guests. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The staff, service, and cuisine were virtually flawless the entire week. Meal after meal exceeded some of the more exceptional restaurant experiences we’ve had anywhere in the world. Personally, (and if you possibly can swing it and/or are considering a suite), LUMINAE alone would be worth the upgrade. Some of the other suite perks are worthwhile as well, the suite package included their “1-2-3” with fast unlimited internet, package, premium beverage package and the varying credits aboard”. The rest of the suite “perks” are more limited (at least at the Sky level and this class of ship). Although the butlers do a very good job, I believe they have too many guests to attend to at times, which is not their fault. The housekeeping staff were just great as well. Zero complaints. The ships interior (and this is pre-remodel coming in 2020/2021) are very very nice. The open atrium effect , the “Solarium” indoor adult pool area, spa, restaurants, etc etc. were all just fantastic. ______________ Daisy our butler was first rate all the way. Even when a couple of minor issues occurred she was able to more than compensate and/or resolve. We loved her and her smiling face every day. She's a very hard worker with great attention to detail and your customers' satisfaction. We were very very happy with her. Juan Pablo and Jose our servers every day at Luminae did a non-stop outstanding job. Quickly learned our likes, dislikes and accommodated us at every single opportunity. Smiles and friendliness as well as great attention to detail and professionalism were ever present. On one occasion that my husband left dinner to return to the suite not feeling well, Hugo quickly asked me how he could assist. He sent ginger ale, a bread basket and chicken soup to the room within minutes. Another outstanding interaction. Absolutely loved getting to chat with Bianca at Luminae. She is just awesome!!! _______________ The "suite" experience really made the trip for us. The benefits were well worth it to us. I've already recommended two friends to the Celebrity line and that they at least get a Sky Suite to enjoy the perks. On the negative side, I wanted to make a point of relaying that almost every interaction we had with staff members at Cafe al Bacio was bad! Between us and the other couple we were traveling with (also in a Sky Suite) we stopped by Cafe al Bacio every day. It wasn't just one or two people. It was daily, and not limited to anyone person, different people. I couldn't give you one good recommendation or come up with a name of one person there that even smiled or who wasn't looking and acting like they couldn't give a damn. Sometimes we were kept waiting while two or three were congregated chatting with one customer or each other. Attitude. Attitude. Attitude. And weren't going for complicated coffee drinks. It was for a couple of sweets, some tea, a coffee to go, etc. It was very unfortunate. Not even the Suite room card changed there attitude. I'm only speaking for the four of us in our traveling group. We talked about it daily, and tried each time we went back to smile ourselves and temper our requests. The Sunset Bar bartenders were also all and always unfriendly. No interaction or personality or smiles. In contrast all of the bartenders at Ocean, Mast and the other bars were great. The only other comment (negative) is about the room service. Which, food wise, was very unfortunate. The so-called extended menu I assume for suite guests, as you know, is only a few extra items. The one night we stayed in the suite and ordered from that portion of the menu, we got a filet (passable) and a ribeye (AWFUL), crab cakes. Gross. I'm sure we were spoiled with the great food at Luminae, but ... My suggestion would be to have a REAL expanded menu for suite guests that was actually above par. I'm sure the intent is to get guests to the restaurants for the best experience, but occasionally dining is preferred, and it shouldn't be such a sad experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Took full advantage of wheelchair assistance and porter, made it a lot easier – on both of us. Delivered to stateroom door at embarkation. Quality of food varied, meat generally overcooked on the Lido, meat and seafood tough in the ... Read More
Took full advantage of wheelchair assistance and porter, made it a lot easier – on both of us. Delivered to stateroom door at embarkation. Quality of food varied, meat generally overcooked on the Lido, meat and seafood tough in the Canaletto and beautiful and tasty in the Tamarind. Lack of consistency across the board. Why should we have to pay extra to have a great experience. Tamarind was the best part of the cruise. Five courses for $25 each [4-star discount] Apple, Utra, Dhana provided gracious service, even getting us a second anniversary cake, as we were too full the first night, so we returned. Not only was the food presented in a beautiful manner, the taste was exquisite.Frustrating to come onboard mid-afternoon after excursion, Lido closing despite people in-line. Only dining option salads or Dive In. Miss the bands in the lounges. Stefanie Bolton of the BB King All-Star band was the highlight every evening. Juneau rained all day, but were forewarned so brought warmer clothing. Took the ship’s excursion for Whale watching and wildlife quest. Enthusiastic wildlife specialist gave us all sorts of information on wildlife we encountered. Particularly interesting was learning the returning whales have been given names, made the sightings more meaningful. Enjoyed various nibbles throughout the cruise, smoked salmon and kelp pickles at the end of course were the best. And just at the end we found the whales! In Skagway walked off the ship, and found the street car tour. Could use our ship’s card to pay for it, so made it very convenient . Driver was dressed in frontier dress, bit eccentric, as she swerved all over the road to avoid hitting the caterpillars? Would have preferred her narration vice recorded version, so could have a more personalized experience. In Ketchikan, berthed directly in the middle of town. Easy access to Visitor Information and shops; picked up discounted? Ketchikan Wildlife Tour. Last of the day, no other passengers so it became a private tour for the two of us. Sonia took personal delight in sharing her town with us. Because DH couldn’t walk far, we didn’t go to the Totem poles. Instead of the Dolly House which didn’t interest us, she graciously took us directly back to the ship. Medevac of patient occurred last day in Inside Passage, skillfully handled, kept low key. Only thing Captain had to cancel his “Questions” session, and wasn’t able to present the Mariner rewards. Two hour delay did not affect the schedule, kept up the slow cruising of the Inside Passage and made up time during the night Discouraged by the impoliteness of fellow guests, barging into the elevator before passengers disembark, blocking the way of a wheelchair bound passenger’s assisted departure of the tour boat. All going to the same place at the same time. Verbal+Finger salute from obviously a disgruntled passenger as she went the entire length of the luggage room on disembarkation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We decided with friends we wanted to do an Alaskan cruise for our special Anniversaries and we researched a few alternatives and finally chose Holland and America. Having cruised before with other companies we had an idea of what we liked ... Read More
We decided with friends we wanted to do an Alaskan cruise for our special Anniversaries and we researched a few alternatives and finally chose Holland and America. Having cruised before with other companies we had an idea of what we liked and didn’t like. Holland and America did not disappoint, the ship was a good size with plenty of space. We had a lovely outside cabin with a good sized bathroom. The choices of dining was very good made better by a complimentary meal in the Pinnacle Grill on our first night which served up one of the best beef tenderloins I have ever tasted, all our meals were good so we booked to go back on our last night and again didn’t disappoint, would definitely recommend.All the staff on the ship were very friendly and helpful. The choice of excursions were excellent and ports of call good. We enjoyed what Holland and America had on offer and will definitely choose them again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We wanted to see the glaciers of Alaska, and Princess provided a good price for this voyage. The inside cabin with obstructed view was very obstructed with rescue boat blocking the whole window (625). The ship on the whole was in good ... Read More
We wanted to see the glaciers of Alaska, and Princess provided a good price for this voyage. The inside cabin with obstructed view was very obstructed with rescue boat blocking the whole window (625). The ship on the whole was in good working order. The staff seemed understaffed and Customer Service (Purser) were not on the ball for a billing/corkage charges to our account. Food on the whole was good, except the hot steamers on the Horizon Buffet did not seem to hold the food warm, cold at times. Our cabin was well maintained. Ship clean. The debarking at the ports went well, except it would be nice if the signs directing direction to gangplank might be more informative. Visit to Ketchican was a rainy and the Salmon Fishing trip was cancelled. Both the Junnea and Skagway went well, a lot of interesting scenery. The Train Trip at Skagway was a pleasant way of seeing a lot of scenery and learning some history. The two cruise day in fiords some good weather and some spectacular scenery was enjoyed. It was nice to have Park Rangers sometimes giving a description of the area the ship was in. While not knowing how we were getting to the airport, it was handled smoothly and had tour explanation of the route to the airport and Anchorage. Not giving the trip 5 stars was for the miscues on us by the staff and the cold steamers. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We like Royal Caribbean cruise line and this specific trip included all the things we wanted to see and do. The excursions we took we fantastic especially the white water rafting in Juneau. Suspension bridge and train in Skagway was also ... Read More
We like Royal Caribbean cruise line and this specific trip included all the things we wanted to see and do. The excursions we took we fantastic especially the white water rafting in Juneau. Suspension bridge and train in Skagway was also excellent. Saw some whales on our excursion at Icy Strait and the excursion-"Lighthouse Totem Poles and Eagles" in Kitchikan was lots of fun especially when one of the crew members broke out in song-A Drunken Sailor". The evening entertainment was way above what we had seen in the past, with the shows in the theater top notch and the performers in the various venues being wonderful. A big plus for us was the offering of pickleball that we got to do three times while cruising. Seeing the Hubbard Glacier with perfect weather was a huge event for us.The land part of our trip was just as good with a most interesting tour guide(Michelle) who kept us entertained throughout our journey. She went out of her way to take my wife and some other other guests on a late night adventure to see the northern lights. We saw Mt. Danali fully which makes us 10% of those that go to see this magnificent mountain. In conclusion I will say this probably was the best ever trip we have taken. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
First time doing Princess Cruises, have done Norwegian, Celebrity, as well as many Carnival cruises. Cruise ship is designed well, easy to access everything. Balcony view was good, room design works well with lots of closet space. ... Read More
First time doing Princess Cruises, have done Norwegian, Celebrity, as well as many Carnival cruises. Cruise ship is designed well, easy to access everything. Balcony view was good, room design works well with lots of closet space. Bathroom shower could be a little larger (couldn't fit well). Room Stewart was A#1, welcoming very helpful. Food was great, good selections updated daily. Portions were fine. Service was #1. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Would have given 5 Stars if not for Land Tour promotional pkg. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Seems some Princess Cruises promotions include "Cruisetour Cash" to be spent on the Land portion of your cruise EXCEPT they book you into a hotel that does not accept it. !!!!! What's with that???? We were the only couple in our group that had "Cruisetour Cash". We were the only couple that was booked into Bear Lodge. Bear Lodge DOES NOT accept "Cruisetour Cash". Bear Lodge is NOT a Princess Hotel. Seems everyone else was booked into a Princess hotel that would have accepted the cash. Even the two Tour Bus drivers thought it was odd driving only one couple to a separate hotel. Did Princess do this Intentionally???? I think YES !!!! Odd as we booked 8 months in advance and were told there was no room left at the Princess Hotel.? Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise as it seemed to be one of the few to visit Glacier Bay. With climate change we found the glaciers disappointing especially after seeing the ones in Argentina. The Volendam is a small ship and we were again ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it seemed to be one of the few to visit Glacier Bay. With climate change we found the glaciers disappointing especially after seeing the ones in Argentina. The Volendam is a small ship and we were again disappointed by the entertainment, it wasn't a patch on larger ships ( as you might expect), but was outshone by Fred Olsen which is a similar size. We found the drinks expensive and didn't like the 15% on top for service when we had already paid a general daily service charge. We had freedom dining and for the most part it worked, except when we made a booking for a certain time on a formal night and we still had to wait for a table. However the food was quite good. In spite of what they say in the dress guidance, they do not enforce the formal dress code and when we took the trouble to dress formally it was a shame that many passengers didn't and arrived as if it was a casual night. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This is a terrific cruise line. The staff was a wonderful cruise. Every meal delicious; prepared and presented beautifuly. The suite was very well appointed and the room attendant took spotless care. The only disappointment was the lack ... Read More
This is a terrific cruise line. The staff was a wonderful cruise. Every meal delicious; prepared and presented beautifuly. The suite was very well appointed and the room attendant took spotless care. The only disappointment was the lack of entertainment. It was very hard to find live musical entertainment early in the evening. It seemed all of the music was at off hour and you had to hunt to find it. This was a real missed opportunity. A combo with singer in the lounge a 5:00 would be lovely. They had an enrichment speaker but could have used another on another subject matter. The exercise facility was adequate and the spa was serviceable but not luxury. I had a massage in the spa and it was good and the spa prices were reasonable for a luxury line. Overall we had a wonderful cruise but we did miss nightly pre-dinner lounge entertainment. We also missed hearing music as we walked about the ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because of the timing, it was perfect for our vacation days off and we always wanted to go to Alaska. I haven't been on a cruise for awhile and forgot about the hidden fees when searching, the cruise lines should ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the timing, it was perfect for our vacation days off and we always wanted to go to Alaska. I haven't been on a cruise for awhile and forgot about the hidden fees when searching, the cruise lines should be more up front on the mandatory fees such as: Taxes & Port Expenses, not when you book it, also don't waist your time buying the wifi internet, its very expensive and very slow, when it works, about 50% of the time. We ate at the buffet most of the time, what could I say, It was a buffet, I'm not a fan of buffet food to start with so lets say it was okay, one of the reasons I don't care for any buffet is that people with illness, poor hygiene and made to wash there hands before entering the dinning room (it really shows how disgusting some people are), although I remember two nights in particular which we had Shrimp cocktail one night and Pho soup on another night, both where outstanding, the rest of the time it was okay, we did eat at the restaurant on two nights and it was better than the buffet but nothing to write home about. The most important thing you should remember is stay away from the Casino, I must say we love to play the slots and we did have fun doing so, but the problem is just in case you happen to win, don't expect the casino to credit your account, we spent a total of $90.00 dollars and when we decided to quit playing we had a credit of between $35.00 - $45.00, we did have a casino employee explain to us that we had to use our ship card to charge our credit card in order to play, and there would be an accounting of all transaction both charge and credit, on the statement that was put next to our door the night before leaving the ship showed the charge but not the credit, I asked the employee at the info desk and they told me the casino is closed and will not open until the ship departs on the next cruise, but not to worry because they will send me a check in two weeks for the credit, it's been almost a month and no check, I asked why is it so easy to charge my credit card when playing the slots and for every extra thing I purchased on the ship but difficult to credit back money, the look I got was like a deer staring into the headlights of a car. All in all the trip was nice, we loved Alaska and all it had to show us, the food at the restaurants on shore where awesome, the people where great and very friendly, and the sites where amazing. A must if you never have, next time we will travel via air and ferry boat (more bang for the buck) Read Less
Sail Date August 2019

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