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3,689 Vancouver to Alaska Cruise Reviews

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
Seven days, Vancouver to Seward, AK, August 2019.This was our third cruise on Crystal (Harmony was first and Serenity was second). Compared to our one cruise on Holland America Prinsendam (no longer in service) and another on the Viking ... Read More
Seven days, Vancouver to Seward, AK, August 2019.This was our third cruise on Crystal (Harmony was first and Serenity was second). Compared to our one cruise on Holland America Prinsendam (no longer in service) and another on the Viking Sea last winter: Crystal is tops -- far ahead of Viking and clearly ahead of Holland America, too. Our fellow travelers included people of all ages (though obviously the average age would be higher than the general population) There were apparently a number of family groups travelling together, including children. All of the children we encountered were exceptionally well behaved (as were all of the adults, with only a couple minor exceptions). By the way, my wife and I are "seniors" in our so-called Golden Years (ha!). Service was excellent. Needs anticipated and met. In the past, service on Crystal service has been a little pretentious on occasion. Not this time. Pleasant, low key, but on top of the game. We had butler for our Seabreeze Penthouse cabin, who seemed very nice but we never really took advantage of what she might have done for us. We're just not butler-kind-of-people. The computer room staff was an excellent help in getting our devices hooked up with the ship's WiFi. We tried all of the dining venues (excepting the private party Vintage Room) and enjoyed them all. We had a number of lunches in the Marketplace (formerly Lido Cafe), but found breakfast there chaotic the first morning and after that we had breakfast in the main dining room (Waterside), or via room service. We tried Silk, Churrascaria,Umi Uma, and Prego each one time. All met our high expectations, as did Waterside. The only slight issue was that in Churrascaria the servers were slow with the meat offerings, and Waterside was real slow on breakfast one morning -- not sure why. The only poor meal I had was a steak one evening in Waterside, but I fault myself for that because I broke my own rule, which is: "Never order steak on a cruise ship." Overall dining was excellent -- no one's perfect. Our cabin was a Seabreeze Penthouse with Veranda (SH), No. 9035. No complaints, but did take us a while to get the hang of the lighting system, and our butler had to show us how to open the reading lights over our bed. Excellent lighting in all spaces, including the bathroom. The size of the room was good and it was well laid out. All in, the best cruise ship cabin we've ever had. We went to all the shows and entertainment. The variety was good. The house band and song and dance team did a variety of shows (only one of which was a little campy). Beyond that, there were a couple of good comedians, and some other featured performers. Same with the "enrichment" lectures -- Jay Wolff (a regular on Crystal) is a good story teller, and journalist Ken Walsh was very interesting and informative on presidential matters. I've forgotten his name, but the evening entertainer in the Avenue Saloon was great. The Avenue Saloon is a favorite place for us. The only downside is that you have to walk past the smelly cigar smoking room to get to it. For a reason or reasons beyond comprehension, they keep the door to the cigar room wide open into the hall. We only went on two shore excursions sponsored by the ship, one was to a bear viewing boardwalk outside Ketchikan, where we were lucky to hit the jackpot and could watch black bears feasting (or attempting to) on salmon (Humpies, a/k/a Pinks) coming up the creek to span. That's only going to happen for a short period of time each year. This tour also included a visit to a raptor rehabilitation center, an old saw mill and, naturally, a gift shop. The latter three things weren't of any value, but watching the bears was great. We have black bears roaming around one of our homes in the lower 48, but had never seen them in the salmon catching environment. In Skagway we rode on the Yukon & White Pass RR, which I'd recommend to anyone. Our weather wasn't great, but in southeast Alaska you take your chances on that. In Juneau we went off on our own to have lunch at the Red Dog Saloon, a tourist must do, and then to visit the Alaska Museum, also quite worthwhile. The only downside of Juneau is that to go from the ship into the town you have to pass a large number of typical cruise port shops along the street selling jewelry, watches, etc., etc., with very unpleasant and aggressive staff people standing at the doors trying to drag you in. The time at Hubbard Glacier was good, too, though calving activity was much weaker than we'd seen at other tidewater glaciers (including likely Hubbard) on a cruise 23 years ago. Again, this is something that's random -- you take your chances. Now, the really big disappointment. The first day was supposed to be "Cruising the Inside Passage." That did not happen. We were in Pacific the entire day. I asked Capt. Thomas Larsen about this omission at the "Captain's Reception" later and he simply said, "We did take last night." Not satisfactory. My guess, and it can only be that, is that Larsen avoided the Inside Passage route because it would have been too difficult for him to navigate. Oh, well. Finally, flying out to Vancouver from the east coast USA we missed our connection in Denver (weather related delay). However, United Airlines re-booked us on Air Canada to Vancouver from Denver, and I called Crystal to update them on our new arrival time for the transfer. Crystal's representatives met us at the Vancouver airport and had a car ready to take the two of us to the ship, which we made with 15 minutes to spare. We had some anxious moments, but thanks to United and Crystal we made the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
CRITERIA: We wanted an Alaska cruise that stopped at a truly impressive glacier, that left and returned to the same port, and lasted no more than 7 days due to work/life restrictions. Many of the one-way or 10-day or 14-day cruises have ... Read More
CRITERIA: We wanted an Alaska cruise that stopped at a truly impressive glacier, that left and returned to the same port, and lasted no more than 7 days due to work/life restrictions. Many of the one-way or 10-day or 14-day cruises have stops at the good northern glaciers, but this Celebrity one was the only RT that was 7 days and stopped at the stunning Hubbard Glacier. We also had family spanning ages 8 - 72 in our group, so we wanted a ship that offered activities for all the ages in our group (8, 40s, 70s). Finally, we wanted a cruise line with good food, so we booked Royal Suite 1241 in order to have the option of dining in any and all of the restaurants onboard, and having Luminae as our primary dining room. This cruise was to celebrate our mom's 70th bday and we chose this stateroom for several reasons: (1) She a homebody and does NOT like going out to public spaces. We knew she would refuse to go to the library, Lawn Club, Sky Lounge, Michael's or any public areas to hang out, so having a living room and dining table in the suite was of upmost importance. She is the type to stay mainly in her stateroom, so we wanted her to be as comfortable as possible. (2) Since she is inclined to stay in her stateroom, we chose a large one with a dining table and butler so that she could have high tea served in the suite, as well as some lunches or even dinners catered in. (3) She wanted really good food, so Suite Class meant that she could eat at the best options on the ship without even having to think about upcharges. Suite Class pretty much means you can eat anywhere without extra fee. Pre-departure: Shoreside Concierge never reach out to us. We had to hunt down a number and call them to make our requests. We spent time on two lengthly phone calls with them covering our requests but mainly covering the food sensitivities of the three Suite Class passengers. Port of Departure: Vancouver. Amazing city. We visited for a total of 6 days before and after our cruise, and we liked it more than the cruise itself, LOL. Can't say enough great things about our experience in this city, and since it isn't technically part of the cruise experience, I won't delve into all the things we loved. Suffice it to say, if you're choosing a departure port, Vancouver would be my pick, hands down. Embarkation: We enjoyed how, as Suite Class, we were escorted right onto the ship. The girl checking us in at port did an awful job and we encountered problem after problem with our SeaPass cards throughout the cruise because of all the things she forgot to do at check-in. But we wouldn't find out until later; beyond that, the check-in process was smooth. The port of Vancouver is an enormous building, but signs and people made it clear which way Celebrity was to go vs HAL. There was no real curbside check-in; we had to take our luggage and roll it to where port workers were collecting them. It was no more than 100 yards from where the taxis dropped us off, but it is still a struggle for two seniors and two adults to handle a child and 8 rolling bags. Once onboard, they whisked us pass the champagne to Michael's Lounge, but there was no champagne offered to us there nor later. The staff in Michael's told us to head to Luminae for our embarkation day lunch without telling us how to get there. They unceremoniously kicked us out of the lounge, in effect, and we had to fend for ourselves, grabbing champagne as we passed through the busy entry hall, confused as to where Luminae was or how to go there. Shoreside Concierge requests: We discovered, once onboard, that several of our requests to Shoreside Concierge was never taken care of. Given that we had two rather long conversations with them, this was extremely disappointing to find out. The three biggest things they missed: (1) we were never put on the waitlist for the Hubbard Glacier Excursion; (2) two out of the three Suite guests had food sensitivities that were discussed extensively but not noted at all, including the guest of honor who cannot have dairy or beef; and (3) the room was not decorated for the 9 year old's bday celebration on the final night of our sailing. That last one was a huge let-down, because the room WAS decorated for grandma's bday celebration on our first night, so he was looking forward to the same treatment. Stateroom attendants: We had nothing but wonderful things to say about the stateroom attendants for both the Royal Suite and Aqua Class staterooms. They did an amazing job, so diligent and so unobstrusive and so thorough. One of the best things about the ship. My mom is meticulous and she was so happy with the job her stateroom attendant did, plus, it was tricky to catch the suite empty, given how much time she spent in the suite! Kudos to him. Food&Dining: LUMINAE *Hugo was a star, always welcoming and solicitous. We had several really extensive food restrictions in our group, and he always worked so hard to make modifications to address that. *Definitely a far superior menu to main dining room menu, but service was unacceptably slow. It should not take one hour between appetizers and entrees. It got so bad that we started to avoid eating here; no one wants to spend 3 hours eating two course at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Seriously. *The Daniel Boulud specialty menu was a disaster and not even close to evoking our experiences dining in his various establishments. *The food substitutions were not the most interesting food. A fruit plate is not a clever substitute. We did a much better job of requesting modifications to the menu than going with what the chef came up with. One exception was a stunning platter of 16 prawns that the chef grilled up for my mom's dinner on the last night. That plate was delicious and on par with the rest of the menu. Other than that, our own modifications and requests were much more successful than the chef's. *At Luminae, the staff was completely unaware that guests of Suite Class guests invited to dine with them had no surcharge for kids 12 and under. We literally had to tell the staff multiple times and show them Celebrity's own printed materials to convince them of the correct policy. Honestly, guests should not know more than the ship's staff. We only had this problem at the first meal, however, as this problem did not come up again. *Overall, by the end of the cruise, the servers were finally getting to know us, even though we dines here maybe a dozen times. By contrast, on a Disney cruise, by your third encounter, they know you and your preferences very well. BLU *Excellent octopus dish, overall lighter and pleasant menu, but the service was really lacking. Almost every time, water glasses would sit empty until the meal was almost done, or refilled only after the meal was already done. Coffee refills would be hit or miss. Juice would never be refilled for us, though it was at other tables. *This felt very impersonal and unfriendly. Definitely uneven service. *One standout server was Unica, who took the trouble to remember guests. She was the ONLY person on the entire cruise whose service level was truly memorable. After just one breakfast with her, she remembered both our pastry and fruit preferences. The next time we saw her a breakfast, we didn't even have to say and word and she just showed up with what we liked. She would be a star on Disney Cruise Line, where this is often par for the course from their dining staff. On Celebrity, no one remembered us except Unica. And we certainly got the feeling that she was given some grief for caring about the guests. MURANO *Excellent menu, excellent service, excellent pacing. Best restaurant on the ship, we felt. *If the menu didn't feel so heavy, and if it wasn't always the same, we would have eaten here more often. We were able to modify our dishes with ease, though our mother's food restrictions were not communicated to the staff here and she was very annoyed when they put a beef amuse bouche in front of her. LOL *For all the places were we had to pay surcharges for members of our family sailing in Aqua Class (we could not all fit in the Suite), this one was worth the money. *They could be a little more friendly, take a page from Danny Meyer's book on hospitality. SUSHI on FIVE *Servers here extremely nice, some of the nicest onboard. *Udon broth and rolls involving fresh crab were good. Other than that... *This was the WORST nigiri sushi ever. Worse than what you'd get at a grocery store. Such a HUGE disappointment given how much fresh fish was available at all the ports we stopped at. *This place has so much potential and its a shame what they have NOT done with it. AND it is the one restaurant on the ship where everyone is supposed to pay, Not worth the time or money. AVOID until they make some drastic changes to their sushi/sashimi selection. OCEANVIEW CAFE *Convenient (almost always open), huge, and nice change from the heavier menus we were being service. Difficult to find a table during busy times but not at all impossible. *Horrible coffee, tho. Always go to Il Bacio. *Son gave jello thumbs up and had about three per day, after we discovered this place. *Only place on the ship I could find Passionfruit Orange Guava juice cocktail. Best stuff ever, but water it down with sparkling or still water because it is too sweet. CAFE AL BACIO *THE place to get coffee and tea on the ship. They serve Lavazza, which I love, and a decent selection of Tea Forte teas. The associated gelateria was never manned, but you could always ask someone at the coffee counter. They did a great job with every coffee I ordered, and all my soy milk cappuccinos ordered in Luminae, BLU or Murano came from here. *Staff here was never friendly or welcoming. Despite seeing our faces every day, no one welcomed you like one would be welcomed at your local coffee shop. Again, very impersonal and standoffish vibe. They were more interested in socializing and joking around with each other than interacting with guests. Entertainment: *The ship's staff of singers are extremely talented and the aerialists are also very good. The shows themselves are really blah, however, with unclear storylines/plots. Disney definitely does a better job telling stories, but these singers were better, I feel, as pure singers. *The comedian we saw was funny, though relied too much on racist stereotypes (equal opportunity racist, he called himself). Many of the jokes went over my 8 year old's head, but he still thought the guy was funny, especially given this was my son's first exposure to a comedian. *The three singers who did the soul show were also very talented and fun. Overall, it was fun to catch the shows, though the changing of showtimes each night made it tricky to book dining reservations times (and we had to bc not everyone in our group was Suite Class and we paid to have guests in Luminae with us; also, we ate at Murano 3x). And with how slow dinner service was in BLU (which was STILL faster than Luminae's ridiculous 1 hr between appetizer and entree), you were never sure if you were going to make it to the show anyway. Ports of Call: *Very fun since Sitka, Juneau and Ketchikan are only accessible by air and sea. In order to get some good variety of experiences, we booked a private tour in Sitka, booked directly with the tour company in Juneau, and booked through the cruise line in Ketchikan. SITKA Our experience in Sitka was amazing. Our ship arrived late to port b/c of engine trouble. Our tour time could not be moved b/c the captain had a group right after ours. He told us to try and be among the first off the ship so that we could get onto one of the first buses and down to the harbor as quickly as possible. When we went down to disembark, our hearts sank because the queues snaked all around the atrium and across the ship. We just so happened to cross paths with the Michael's Club Concierge, who was escorting another group. She told us to follow her, and walked us right to the doors. We were the first people off the ship, the first people on the first bus, and the first people down at the harbor. NOW, if we had not run into the Concierge, there was no way we would have lucked out like this. Having made multiple visits to Michael's Club, NO ONE ever explained to us how to obtain priority disembarkation for the ports. That would have been something they should have covered in one of our conversations. Anyway, Sitka is a small town, and we ate at a local food truck, Captain JuJu's, featuring some great local catch, which was a lot of fun. We spent the afternoon doing a private land tour, visiting the bear rescue, raptor rescue and totem park. It was stunning to see humpback whales (one was REALLY close), sea otter, sea lions and SO MANY FLIPPING (into the air) SALMON! The bears at the rescue were really interesting, and the different injured raptors were cool to see up close. Sitka is really quite beautiful and a great first port stop. HUBBARD GLACIER Technically not a port because we didn't dock, but we lucked out with the most clear day imaginable. The onboard naturalist was PHENOMENAL and told us such interesting things about the glacier. The helipad was overcrowded, but I liked how they provided blankets, headsets and warm drinks. However, in the end, we just returned to our staterooms and took in the beauty from our two verandahs, which I had made sure were on opposite sides of the ship, so that there was always at least one good view. Though ALL the views were good that day. Once in a lifetime experience. Could not have asked for a more perfect day weatherwise. JUNEAU Well, for every good day, there is a bad one. Our dogsled camp excursion had been touch and go all summer b/c the heat and high temps were making dog camps shut down weeks, even months, earlier than usual. It turned out that Mendenhall stayed open until the end fo August, so we were so excited to go. Unfortunately, they could not get us on the earlier helicopters, and by the time it was our turn to fly out, the fog had gotten so bad that all choppers and seaplanes were grounded. This also meant that our back-up plan with the glacier walkabout could not happen. I was disappointed to find that the tour company we had booked with could not drive us to the glaciers instead, because that was an option and we had a long enough day at this port to go. I don't know if our experience would have been any better had we booked our excursion through the cruise line (if they could have booked us on a good alternative), but I took the opportunity to explore the port. Too many touristy shops, but we did get to have King Crab legs at Tracy's, as was the plan. There's a lovely museum in town, but most of the main strip are touristy shops, which is a shame. There were a few cute shops and restaurants further afield, north of the port area. The main area around the port is just not very charming nor interesting. KETCHIKAN Yet another drizzly day, but this time, our excursion site was reached via bus and ziplining can be done even in the rain. This excursion was booked thru the cruise line and I appreciated how organized they were in getting us to the right buses and providing timely buses to bring us back. We did not choose to explore the downtown area, but the zipline adventure itself was lovely. We were SO HIGH up in the trees that I was seeing vegetation that I was completely unfamiliar with. They did loan us rain jackets for ziplining, but I packed the wrong kind of pants and shoes, and was pretty drenched from the hips down. Still, a beautiful and exhilarating afternoon in the beautiful and majestic temperate rainforest. The excursion offered by Celebrity went smoothly and was perfect for what we wanted to do. Michael's Club Other than the bartender, there was never ANY staff in there during the day. We must have stopped by over two dozen times to find no one at the desk. We always had to leave phone messages for the Concierge if we had any questions. I feel like Michael's Club should have a permanent Guest Services staff to take care of all the issues we constantly had to go to Guest Services for, such as our Sea Pass cards not working to paying for drinks, meals, etc. Such as my father's misprinted Sea Pass card that showed no beverage package. Those issues should have been handled within the Club Lounge. If there was ever anyone in there...which there wasn't. Canyon Ranch Spa Having been to Canyon Ranch Lenox, I was looking forward to their menu of treatments. They didn't offer some of my favorites (parafango), but the Revitalizing Ritual and Seaweed Detox Wrap were both AMAZING, mostly due to my wonderful wonderful spa therapist. She did just a great job explaining and massaging. I loved the two treatments I booked. The counter was a bit hectic on embarkation day, but I didn't wait to long when I came by throughout the cruise. The family members sailing in the suite all purchased Persian Garden passes and EVERYONE LOVED THE HEATED TILE LOUNGERS. The family members booked in Aqua Class got access as part of their perks. There are never enough of those things, and some people stay longer than the recommended 20 minutes. For the most part, the majority of people were really good about getting up and giving others a chance. I would have appreciated a larger variety of hydrotherapy showers, especially a warm water one. I liked the temperate sauna, but found it on one day to be cold and smelling of urine. That was only one day out of five visits, so not bad. Visited the steam sauna once and the dry sauna once. The nice showers in both the Royal Suite and Aqua Class staterooms meant that I didn't have to Toiletries I actually preferred the milder scented shampoo/conditioner/body wash/lotion of the Aqua Class stateroom to the overly perfumed Bulgari products in the suite. Just my preference. Still, H2O (Disney Cruise Line), L'Occitane (Regent Seven Seas), Aveda (Crystal) or Molton Brown (Seabourn) would be my top picks. Kids programming Maybe it is because we're used to sailing Disney, but I found it so odd that the Kids Clubs would be closed at three points during the day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. You had to pay extra for your kids to participate in a "dining program" during those times. WHAT?!? So odd. BUT, what I loved is that, unlike Disney, with fewer kids, the counselors really rounded up the kids to have them participate in the different activities. You did not have to worry that your kid would go to the kids club and just sit on the XBox for two hours. It would have been nice to give them a little more unstructured play time, but overall, they kind of forced to kids to get to know each other and interact a bit. I loved that. They even hosted a family even one night where you got to see what their "camp" program was like. Very fun, very well run. Overall, I was impressed (though still puzzled by the closures throughout the day). Recreation It was nice that the allowed a family swim btwn 4-6p each day in the enclosed solarium pool, bc the unenclosed pools are REALLY COLD on an Alaskan cruise! LOL Though I am sure that the adults in the adult-only area did NOT like their solarium being overrun every day from 4-6p, it gave adults with kids a chance to swim each day. We did the glass blowing and it was an AMAZING experience. Glass blowing is interesting and fun, in and of itself, but doing it on the top deck of a large ship was unique. We also did a Reidel workshop. No one else showed up, so it became a private tasting lesson with the Murano sommelier. Super fun AND you get a code for four free wine glasses (to order) once you get home. There is an arcade, though we never went. Also saw some taller guys shooting basketball, so my 8 yr old did not want to join in. There was a nice lawn on the top deck, but the signs were always turned to "keep off" when I went up there. Library had lots of adult books, no kid books, and some nice reading chairs and nooks that I always found passengers to be napping in, LOL. Card room had a few different games but never enough for the number of tables in the room. Only 1 mah jong set (with a few replacement tiles for missing tiles), that one old lady would be guarding like a hawk while her cardmates were eating or whatnot. It was very hard to get hold of that set to play with. Concierge should have extra sets of cards, mah jong, other games in Michael's for suite class guests to borrow and play in their own stateroom. We asked our Butler, but he said nothing was available to play in our suite. Some members of our family popped into the casino, but it wasn't a huge draw for our family. THE LETDOWN: Butler and overall Service So, we booked the Royal suite instead of two smaller suites because we wanted the butler service and in-room dining. Unlike with previous reviewers of this cruise, who had good experiences, our biggest disappointment was, unfortunately, our Suite Butler. Upon meeting us, he immediately told us that he was in charge of a lot of staterooms, so that he would be quite busy during this sailing. Anything we asked for was begrudgingly taken care of at best. There wasn't a lot of common sense; when we asked for more herbal tea selections to add to our choices, he took away the original assortment, which we had also wanted! When we told him which one we liked, he never restocked it. We always had to restock it ourselves from Michael's or Cafe Al Bacio. As opposed to reports of being able to cater Hubbard Glacier day with food from the sushi restaurant, in addition to other foods, we were told that we were limited to the room service menu and the main dining room menu. He did cater us a lunch on Hubbard Glacier Day, but it was much less of a festive celebration; he made it feel like an imposition. We tried to order the food from room service directly, but was told we HAD to do it thru our butler, whose very attitude told us that he did not really want to help us. Out of four days of wanting high tea served in the suite, it was done once. Out of three days of wanting lunch served in the suite, we also only did it once because our butler made us feel like it was such an enormous and excessive undertaking that was an imposition on him. We never even bothered to ask about any dinners. We were highly underwhelmed and disappointed by our butler's attitude. He was nice, just not proactive nor welcoming nor dedicated to providing true service. For future bookings, I would not recommend booking this stateroom category for the butler, just for the space/roominess of stateroom. Overall, this did not impress the first time cruisers nor the repeat cruisers in our group. OVERALL I think the problem with this sailing was really the service. Other than a handful (count on one hand?) of people who took the time to recognize or familiarize themselves with us, this ship felt like a machine churning out soulessness. Staff really should be more friendly with guests they're seeing often on a 7-night sailing. Most of the Celebrity Eclipse staff just could not be bothered. For each stateroom's occupants, we only felt that our stateroom attendant, spa therapist, Hugo in Luminae, our server (I forget his name) in Sushi on 5, and Unica in BLU really cared about having us as their guests on this ship. That's 5 people out of dozens and dozens of staff members we came across regularly. And that's sad when you're choosing Suite Class on Celebrity for their reputation, service quality, and being treated like VIPs. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Travelled mid August 2019, Inside Passage. Cabin was very comfortable, service both for cabin and dining venues was excellent and menu choice extensive. Entertainment was varied, both content and interest, however commedian / big band ... Read More
Travelled mid August 2019, Inside Passage. Cabin was very comfortable, service both for cabin and dining venues was excellent and menu choice extensive. Entertainment was varied, both content and interest, however commedian / big band music very good. However, the ship was too big, challenged by size, too many people, would prefer a smaller ship (around 2,000 pax). Onboard friendliness, as well as disembarkation / embarkation was without incident. Did one excursion Yukon White Pass Railway from Skegway, very good from both the scenery and railway infrastructure, and would rate it as a must do. However, most disappointed we didn’t get into Juneau (Alaska), aborted (reported wind/gusts too high), spent the day at sea, but at least 4 smaller ships entered. On follow up indication is confrontation between Princess and the cruise pilots around larger ships from going into Juneau which is understandable, just wish Princess were more up front, looking for a new cruise provider. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and I loved our last cruise to Alaska and wanted to try a Princess cruise due to their long standing experience in Alaska. We brought friends along, who had never cruised before, for a potentially wonderful vacation. Sadly, ... Read More
My husband and I loved our last cruise to Alaska and wanted to try a Princess cruise due to their long standing experience in Alaska. We brought friends along, who had never cruised before, for a potentially wonderful vacation. Sadly, after an efficient boarding experience and luggage delivery, our experience was not what we had hoped for. From the 'ripped up bath robe' to the 'standing room only' theater performances, we were disappointed. Even the route was disappointing since we did not travel the inside passage that we had so enjoyed on the previous cruise. The food was average and desserts were poor. "Any Time" dining translated to "By Reservation Only," as that was the only way our party of 4 could be seated in a main dining room. The Deluxe Balcony room (an upgrade) was smaller than our usual balcony room with other cruise lines. However,it was clean and well maintained by our steward. The specialty steak house was not worth the additional expense, in terms of both quality and service. The buffet area was too crowded and finding seating for 4 adults was an ongoing challenge. We passed on the $45.00 Deluxe breakfast in room dining option, a service that we had enjoyed many times on another cruise line when it was "complementary". The entertainment was good but we did have issues with seating. It was "Standing Room Only" during one performance and we could not even enter the theater for another. Matt O (Cruise Director) and his staff provided endless entertainment but again, seating was limited and we stood wherever we could, to enjoy those activities! At the end of the cruise, all four of us were ready to leave. On the day we disembarked, two of us contracted a respiratory illness which caused us to miss the scheduled Denali land tour. That was the ultimate disappointment of our vacation! It is unfortunate that this cruise will always be remembered for the many troubles and disappointments. We had so looked forward to retuning to Alaska!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our 11th cruise with Princess. This is our first negative review. Very disappointed in management's poor decision to cruise Alaska with this ship. First, the Royal did NOT go inside Vancouver island as advertised. ... Read More
This was our 11th cruise with Princess. This is our first negative review. Very disappointed in management's poor decision to cruise Alaska with this ship. First, the Royal did NOT go inside Vancouver island as advertised. Second, we were UNABLE to get into Juneau Aug 20 because the winds were beyond the "operational capabilities" of the Royal Princess. By the way, weather.com said the winds were about 13 knots. All other large ships sailing that day and that week got into Juneau with no problems. We missed a major brown bear excursion via sea plane ... this was the most recent of many cruises on a Princess ship and we're pretty upset they sent a ship to Alaska that was not able to navigate the waters with ease........and with safety. Earlier in the year, Southeast Alaska Pilots Association (SEAPA) was worried about the Royal's ability to maneuver in these waters.....and it was suggested to have tugs stationed to help the Royal due to her limitations. But apparently due to the expense of the tugs, the cruise line balked at the price of the service. Third, Royal's poor maneuvering capabilities (and planning) affected us in another way as well. Namely, just 3 days before departure Princess notified us that the Royal was going to depart one hour before the previously scheduled departure time ... due to tides. Really! I skippered a small boat for 8 years and I can tell you that any skipper can look up what the tides will be like months or even years in advance. This last minute change forced us to change our flight date by an entire day.......and we had to purchase last-minute accommodations in a very crowded and, therefore, expensive Vancouver hotel. What was Princess thinking sending this ship into Alaskan waterways. We have cruised many times on Princess and we would never have thought the company would have made such an error in planning. The Royal Princess is a beautiful vessel and we enjoyed the creature comforts, entertainment, and food. But, it is of overriding importance that the ship the cruise line chooses for a particular voyage is fit for the trip being offered. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Princess cruises was chosen because of the reviews and it's reputation for doing Alaska the best. I had researched it in , 2015, 2017, 2018 & booked in 2018 to cruise Aug 2019. It was a 30th Anniversary Celebration!!! I ... Read More
Princess cruises was chosen because of the reviews and it's reputation for doing Alaska the best. I had researched it in , 2015, 2017, 2018 & booked in 2018 to cruise Aug 2019. It was a 30th Anniversary Celebration!!! I don't jump into anything & I do my research. I spoke to many people that did the same cruise with glowing reviews. Our friend is a travel agent and we joined a group of 10 that was already planning to go Aug 2019. We told our other friends and added 16 of us to the count. It was everyone's dream vacation. Good friends, a beautiful venue, a cruise & land travel to lodges had the perfect recipe to fulfill the dream. Everyone in our party were adults. Embarkation was busy at the luggage drop off with little direction and no signs with directions. Once the luggage was dropped off & you found your way to the line to proceed through the convention center it was smooth sailing! We did not pre-register for the medallion so we had to go through the line to get our medals. It was quick and easy. When you have your embarkation photo taken remember the time of embarkation & get the name of the photographer in case you need to find your photo. Mine was printed but when I went to purchase it the next night it was gone and never found. We searched the computers with a team member but it was not located. That was the only photo that looked great! The cruise was the 1st 7 days. The ship was large with the "city center" of everything located on Levels 5,6,7.The buffet dining was on Deck 16 by the pools, and outdoor movies under the stars deck. The lounges and entertainment theater were on the front & rear of the ship. The spa was in a good location as traffic from the elevators let out near it. The elevators were in 3 areas of the ship(front, middle, rear). Maximum capacity was 10-18 depending on the elevator but they were snug with 10 people in them, so I could not imagine getting 18 people in an elevator. They were crowded when shows were starting or ending, other than that they were easy to maneuver. The mini-suite cabin was a great size with a queen bed that was comfortable and warm. There were storage drawers, a couch, 2 tvs, a balcony with 2 chairs, foot stools, & a table. The restroom is snug but fine. The shower has dispensers for shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. There is a blow dryer in the drawer in the living area.The body wash was scented and fine to use. The shampoo was fine for a man, but I needed my product or my hair just wasn't cooperative. The balcony room was also an adequate size if savings are needed. I would not want an inside room as the views are a MUST in Alaska and having a balcony is terrific. We had a set dining schedule of 5 pm. Our group of 16 were spread out over 3 tables and were next to each other. The original 10 were at a table near us also. We were able to visit each table and catch up on the days events.The food was good but not great. There was a variety of choices each night from a meat, chicken, fish, pasta, or for a fee you could add a specialty item like filet mignon. The desserts were good & a nice ending to the meal,with about 5 choices each night. There were other dining options at the buffet, or Alfredos, The International Cafe. There were 2 specialty dining restaurants for an up-charge, but we did not do that. One night there was a Seafood Buffet for an additional fee, also, I did not do that, but others in our group enjoyed it very much. We really liked the location of Gideon's Bar and the excellent bartenders & servers.The seating by the window were cozy.. There was a large bar height table that sat 8-10 people so gathering together was easy. Many of the activities and entertainment overlapped so sometimes it was difficult to get from one venue to the next without being late. Once the show started it was difficult to find seats in the dark. It would have been nice to have ushers to help seat guests.There were a lot of "present to win" drawings that could monopolize your time. It was about the sales of jewelry, art, and other products in the shops. The service was good. Sometimes it was difficult to understand the accents but by the 3rd day it was better. The servers knew our preferences by the 2nd-3rd day. They were very nice. We were scheduled to go to 3 ports: Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. The seas were rough in the open waters and we experienced nausea despite the natural ear patch & Sea bands, and Bonine. Ketchikan was a busy port with lots of charm and shopping. Salmon was plentiful in the water streams. We missed the 2nd port which was Juneau because of wind and seas which became another sea day. Later we learned from other passengers on other ships that they were able to dock in Juneau without issues. That left us wondering why our ship could not dock. The reason was the larger the ship the more difficult it is to navigate in less than ideal conditions.An online site had other reasons that we did not like reading. Skagway was the 3rd port on the itinerary that we visited. It was quiet and quaint. Brewery visits are the big hype everywhere and Skagway filled the needs for those that went there. There was another night of rough seas with expectations of 12-14 ft seas expected overnight. The crew prepared the ship with what I was told are baffles/stabilizers and they did a good job easing the excess motion. We took Bonine just in case, & wore Sea Bands on our wrists for prevention of motion sickness. We were able to sleep through the night without sickness. There were so many excursions to choose from that it was overwhelming. We scheduled 1 to 2 at each port so we could walk the towns and see what they had to offer. Ketchikan was the busiest and largest shopping area but that port has the less time to shop everything. -Would I go again? When I was on the cruise ship we had decided it was so beautiful that we would like bring our 2 adult children to Alaska to enjoy it's wonderous beauty. Now,after the land experience, that is to be determined. We had the bad experience of rough seas, & the disappointment of missing Juneau and the excursions there. The scenery was beautiful in the Glaciers with wildlife and ice floating in the water. -The Princess Lodges need updating/modernization, as they are a lot dated. -Kenai Lodge itself was quaint. The restaurant was great with a very creative menu. The food was very tasty, and not one person in our group of 12 had a bad meal. Then the land portion was a bad experience at Kenai Lodge because of heavy smoke & embers from the wild fires that were about 10 miles away, & flooding of the river that closed it. All outdoor excursions were cancelled. We were handed 3M N95 Repirator masks to wear to protect our lungs and airways from the smoke. We wore the masks but within 2-4 days about 6 people in our group had to see a PA for sinus infections from the smoke & needed antibiotics. Then a few others returned home to see a Dr that diagnosed sinus infection and gave antibiotics. Another in our group was given antibiotics for sinus, and 3 days later when they returned home they had the flu that they are certain they contracted from the person before them that had been diagnosed with the flu! We were not told about the fire conditions at the lodge when we disembarked the cruise ship to board the bus.We felt they should have notified us and given us the option to go to a different lodge and not exposed us to the hazardous conditions. -When we were in Denali, Princess finally moved the guests from Kenai to the Denali Lodge because of the fires & the smoke causing health issues. I also had to reschedule my return flight home moving it up 1 day to get home for hurricane Dorian, as the airports were scheduled to shut down on Sunday when my flight was scheduled to arrive in FL. One of us is a 1st Responder & once a state of emergency is declared all vacations are cancelled and all personnel must return to duty at a specified day and time. We were working with EZ Air to get the flights rescheduled. That was more difficult then it should have been as it took me several phone calls between Princess EZ Air & the airlines. It was about 3 hours of phone time (and vacation time)to get it accomplished. -There were too many unplanned(bad) events that occurred during this trip. It felt like National Lampoons Family Vacation!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had been planning to take an Alaska Cruise for sometime. We heard good comments about Princess Cruise and got a good deal from them. Our family of 15 members consisting of my husband and I, our three children, their spouses and seven ... Read More
We had been planning to take an Alaska Cruise for sometime. We heard good comments about Princess Cruise and got a good deal from them. Our family of 15 members consisting of my husband and I, our three children, their spouses and seven grandsons ages 3 -13 were on this trip and we all loved the experience. The Medallion concept is great. Love the way the Medallion opened the cabin door and showed our picture. The Medallion was great when boarding and disembarking the ship. The staff on board the ship were excellent and very friendly. The service in the restaurants was very good. The sailing was smooth all the way, only one night there was a possibility of rough sailing. Liked the way Captain kept us informed about what to expect. Although we missed stopping in Juneau, I appreciated that the Captain made the right decision to sail through to avoid the bad weather. We spent seven nights on the ship and three nights on the land. There were enough activities for the children to be entertained. Overall, it was a very good experience. Hope to go in a cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The ship was extremely large with many people to contend with. We were shocked by the comments of the cruise director at was to be a family friendly venue. his remarks were very raw with children present at a dance contest including a ... Read More
The ship was extremely large with many people to contend with. We were shocked by the comments of the cruise director at was to be a family friendly venue. his remarks were very raw with children present at a dance contest including a child as a contestant. there were six adults in our party and we had to get up and leave. The cabin was very nice and extremely comfortable. The cabin steward was very professional. The main dining room was very elegant and you were treated like royalty. The entertainment had much to be desired. We booked our excursions prior to our cruise through the internet. We lost the opportunity to visit one of our ports of call due to high winds also due to the size the Royal Princess cruise ship. All services (dining, stateroom, embarkation, disembarkation, and food bars) were very good and usually efficient. I would not cruise again with princess but would find a smaller cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Wanted to experience an Alaska cruise. This one was offered as a two for one, but, actually was more reasonable at the regular rate. Once on the ship, we were impressed by the friendliness of the staff and by the enthusiasm of the ... Read More
Wanted to experience an Alaska cruise. This one was offered as a two for one, but, actually was more reasonable at the regular rate. Once on the ship, we were impressed by the friendliness of the staff and by the enthusiasm of the cruise director. He kept us well informed and with his energy kept us wanting to attend events he was sponsoring such as trivia shows etc. There were lots of opportunities to find interesting shore excursions both privately on shore and through the cruise line. The cabin was comfortable and clean and the balcony was well used, particularly on the warm sunny days. The food in the restaurant was average. The corn, tomato, and squash came with burn marks on the underside where it has been on the grill too long. We sent several meals back. However, the serving staff were very accommodating and knew both our name, cabin number, and food allergies after the first sitting. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was a back to back cruise to Alaska taking place in August 2019. We booking this particular ship due to its lower cost. The entertainment was very much lacking on this Royal Princess cruise ship. Nick Jans gave a talk about living in ... Read More
This was a back to back cruise to Alaska taking place in August 2019. We booking this particular ship due to its lower cost. The entertainment was very much lacking on this Royal Princess cruise ship. Nick Jans gave a talk about living in Alaska which was so bad and full of misinformation we walked out in the middle of his presentation. Living in a rural area ourselves it was easy to see through his presentation. The ship was beautiful, but very crowded. The fish and seafood was great, but like all Princess ships the beef was tough and generally of poor quality. We severely miss the Happy Hour which Princess ended a couple of years ago. There has been a lot of negative comments pertaining to the larger ships going to Alaska and while we didn't go through the Inland Passage as advertised we were close enough to witness the calving of the glaciers and saw several whales by traveling west of Vancouver Island. Apparently the cruise pilots are the ones prohibiting the larger ships from going through the Inside Passage, which is understandable. I just wish Princess would be more up front and truthful in their booking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I have been on many cruises and the Holland America Line has to be the worst cruise I have been on. The activities during the day consisted of seminars Sail away party consisted of nothing on deck, no live performance - just music ... Read More
I have been on many cruises and the Holland America Line has to be the worst cruise I have been on. The activities during the day consisted of seminars Sail away party consisted of nothing on deck, no live performance - just music and the ship selling their drinks as much as they can. No Games No Karoke Comedian - Terrible Illusiionist - Was Good Dancing Show in Theatre - Awful Centre Stage - Violinist - I find this boring - was not interested though there were many elderly people that were Piano Bar - Ok BB Kings - was by far the best entertainment on the ship. But How much can you listen to blues songs everynight. Rated my worst cruise ever. Ports - Destination Alaska 7 nights - Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Glacier Bay all beautiful areas. Ship itself, clean and tidy Cabin steward - very nice Dining - Average variety of food - nothing special Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We love the Royal Princess! Excellent service, staff is very courteous, helpful, and friendly! Ship is wow beautiful, and our balcony was roomy and clean. Our steward always kept our room looking great, he was very prompt when we requested ... Read More
We love the Royal Princess! Excellent service, staff is very courteous, helpful, and friendly! Ship is wow beautiful, and our balcony was roomy and clean. Our steward always kept our room looking great, he was very prompt when we requested something. The ship has many dining options with awesome food, especially the variety of the food offered. International café serves tasty food, such as, muffins and croissants for a light breakfast, and the coffee is so good. We dined in the formal dining room and had a wonderful dining experience due to the friendliness of our waiters. Always love our lobster and prime rib nights! Horizon Court's buffet is exceptional, so many choices. We enjoyed the shows in Princess theater, kudos to the Princess orchestra, they are fantastic! Also kudos to Matt O (cruise director) and company for providing so much laughter, and fun! Loved Glacier Bay, it was amazing, a must see! The ship moved slowly so we were able to take it all in. The Medallion experience was awesome, it was easy to locate our family, view events for the day, and order drinks! Loved this itinerary! Princess cruises You are the BEST! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our group of four cruised on the Royal Princess from Vancouver, Canada to Whittier, Alaska from August 17-24, 2019. Unfortunately, our trip was compromised when the ship was unable to navigate into Juneau due to windy conditions. This ... Read More
Our group of four cruised on the Royal Princess from Vancouver, Canada to Whittier, Alaska from August 17-24, 2019. Unfortunately, our trip was compromised when the ship was unable to navigate into Juneau due to windy conditions. This was to have been our longest port stop and we ended up with an unplanned sea day, circling for about 14 hours. We later learned that the other cruise ships that were around us throughout the trip DID make it into port that day. A simple google search disclosed that Princess had been warned that this 'megaship' did not have the maneuverabilty to handle the ports in windy conditions common to Alaska (https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2019/04/20/southeast-alaska-marine-pilots-concerned-about-royal-princess-megaship/) but they chose to use such a large ship and deny us our chance to experience Juneau and the excursions that we had planned for that day! We thought they could have tried harder to get us into the port (by waiting a few hours or by tendering us to shore) but they made the decision before 7am to abort the stop ... so disappointing! Not a weather emergency, but rather poor planning (greed?) on the part of Princess. If the ports are important to you, consider a smaller ship with another cruise line. We splurged for neighboring balcony rooms on the Riviera Deck so we could enjoy the scenery and it didn't disappoint! We loved that the balcony partition could be unlocked allowing us to share a large balcony! The ship was as expected ... nice decor, nice cabins, good service, lots of food choices, expensive drinks, movies, trivia, etc. A lot of the daytime 'entertainment' is sales related ... art auctions, back pain, foot pain, photo packages, pop-up shops so not really entertainment. The Cruise Director, Matt and his crew were high energy and lots of fun at the trivia games and dance parties. Good live music at various bars throughout the ship but no 'broadway' quality production shows were offered on our trip. We did see a couple of very good comedy shows. They also provided a Naturalist and Forest Rangers to narrate the fjords and glaciers which was very educational. We opted for Anytime Dining and had only one breakfast and one dinner (King Crab Legs) in the Dining Room. We found the Dining Room food and service just okay with plain presentation. We really enjoyed the variety and quality of food in the buffet although it was sometimes difficult to get a table since very few people were using the outdoor tables in the cool Alaskan weather and people tended to linger on sea days. Impressed that the tea was always HOT and the cookies were yummy! Overall, we loved our Alaska vacation but feel very ripped off about missing Juneau. So, we'll choose a line other than Princess for any future cruises as we feel it was a foreseeable issue for them. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Thought Princess was the best but I was wrong. Never saw the Captain he elected not to stop in Juneau although there were several ships including the Coral Princess that went into port. No real compensation - this was a bucket list for ... Read More
Thought Princess was the best but I was wrong. Never saw the Captain he elected not to stop in Juneau although there were several ships including the Coral Princess that went into port. No real compensation - this was a bucket list for folks! Poor customer service. Best part was two bartenders they were exceptional. Food choices were boring and seemed the same every night. Crab fest was disappointing mine was cold at times like it was frozen and then cooked. Food needed to be hot and more selections. Needed to reserve seats on buses due to medical - Princess wouldn’t do that I had to get there early and rush to get a seat up front. Never happened with other lines!!! I am a travel professional and took a group of 30 on the cruise and 21 on the land. Princess took us into Kanai Lodge which was engulfed in Smoke to the fact they gave us masks when we arrived. They should have warned us with lung and heart issues and rerouted those days. Poor customer care. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The ship itself is beautiful and full service. The staff were almost all very friendly and helpful. The food is mediocre at best. Breakfast buffet is like a "cattle call" with a game of "musical chairs". The ... Read More
The ship itself is beautiful and full service. The staff were almost all very friendly and helpful. The food is mediocre at best. Breakfast buffet is like a "cattle call" with a game of "musical chairs". The other breakfast options are the restaurants that close at 9 am. Aren't we on vacation so that we can wake up and get ready for the day at our own pace? Be prepared to get bombarded with marketing schemes and every possible effort to extract every penny that you might have left, from WAY over-priced and under-poured alcoholic beverages to very expensive and spotty internet and sales pitches at every turn. I got a massage in the spa. It was expensive but great (one at the same quality is half the price at home). Then at the end, while all relaxed...the sales pitch!!! "Buy this bath spa product for only $63..." You just ruined my massage! Did you know that the vast majority of shops at the ports are actually OWNED by the cruise lines? I didn't either. Try to shop local. There is on-board entertainment that was fun. Our cruise director and his staff were amazing. The Medallion program is great in concept. Just needs some fine-tuning. After you've spent all the money upfront for your cruise, be prepared to hold onto your wallet. They are going to do everything they can to exact every last penny from it once you arrive. Of course, the scenery and ports of call were amazing. The excursions were worth doing (but you could book many of them independently or, in some cases, on shore when you arrive for a lot less money). A cabin with a balcony is almost a "must have" for an Alaskan cruise. On most cruises it may not be as important. But on an Alaska cruise, you'll likely miss some amazing scenery from a view-point and setting that is worth the extra costs. Also, I HIGHLY recommend that you include the "Concierge Package". It more than pays for itself in a lot less hassle with luggage, transports, embarkation, etc. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We did the cruise/land tour departing from Vancouver. The ship was attractive and the balcony cabin comfortable and spacious enough for our needs. It was well maintained by the steward. Not all staff were of the same level of competence on ... Read More
We did the cruise/land tour departing from Vancouver. The ship was attractive and the balcony cabin comfortable and spacious enough for our needs. It was well maintained by the steward. Not all staff were of the same level of competence on the ship. Service at the International cafe was a bit of a shambles at times and we were served the wrong meal a couple of times in the main dining room. We generally avoided dining on deck 16. .Of the first seven days which were spent at sea only two involved ports of call. As other people have noted we missed Juneau and for what I believe were avoidable reasons. We enjoyed wandering around Ketchikan and in Skagway we organised our own travel to Emerald Lake. I understand the train broke down so we made a good choice.Both places are interesting, picturesque and entertaining for a few hours. The land tour involved a great deal of travel and I calculate that over seven days we spent about 26 hours in transit from one place to another which includes time sitting waiting for bus or train. It is worth noting that on this itinerary for the land portion you are largely "prisoners" of Princess in that once at the lodge there is often nowhere else to eat so, for example, expensive meals that were not particularly wonderful are inescapable. In Kenai through no fault of Princess excursions were cancelled so we spent a day at Seward; at Mt McKinley there was the feeling this was just an expensive stop in the journey to Denali. I cannot comment on Denali as I contracted the flu from passengers on the bus and thus missed all excursions.. In Fairbanks the day gold panning and travelling on the river was rather corny but good fun with entertaining commentary. We stayed on in Fairbanks for two more days so we could really experience the city and then flew to Anchorage for two days. Here we visited the Wildlife Refuge which was great and got excellent photos of the animals that we did not see anywhere else. Alaska is a wonderful place with beautiful scenery, wonderful people, great stories and we are immensely glad that we made this trip. We are just not enamoured of the way Princess constructed and conducted the trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I sailed with celebrity earlier and remembered a cruise ( in Caribbean) as innovative and top notch especially very good service and food. This time I was in some ways disappointed. However the balcony cabin(6035) was fine and with ... Read More
I sailed with celebrity earlier and remembered a cruise ( in Caribbean) as innovative and top notch especially very good service and food. This time I was in some ways disappointed. However the balcony cabin(6035) was fine and with good service. The cafe Bacio was nice and with good service and nice food/cakes. The intertainment in the theatre was so so. The service in MDR and in the buffet restaurant was scarce. There are not nearly as many waiters as necessary. It is not OK that you must wait and signal to a busy waiter in MDR that you want your glass of water filled up. It is not OK that you must look after a waiter for many minutes to order something to drink in the buffet restaurant. The quality and preparation of the food in MDR could be a lot better. The hot food was normally not hot. 2 dishes, (Drumfish that was as dry a desert , and Baked Alaska that was a mockery against how this cake normally is served) I had to send out. If celebrity wants to maintain an image of luxury it is time to upgrade the restaurants in respect to service and food. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and I previously cruised to Bermuda and Alaska, and had such a horrible experience the second time (on Norwegian) that we didn't do it again for 15 years. I'm glad we have it another shot, because the Celebrity ... Read More
My husband and I previously cruised to Bermuda and Alaska, and had such a horrible experience the second time (on Norwegian) that we didn't do it again for 15 years. I'm glad we have it another shot, because the Celebrity Millennium was wonderful, especially post-revolution. We stayed in the Sky Suite and the service was impeccable. Ramir, our butler, Elvie, our stateroom attendant, and everyone at Luminae and the Retreat Lounges were always there with a smile. My child loved the Camp and begged to go there every chance he got. The nightly entertainment was okay, save for the one Russian acrobatic team which was really spectacular. The service at Luminae was amazing, and the good was very good but nothing memorable stuck out. We had our sommelier choose wines for us every night and he did a marvelous job. The Retreat Sundeck didn't get much use, since the weather was rather cool, but we did get great views of Hubbard Glacier without having to jockey for space. I would've like to see how the Sundeck and Lounge got used in the other cruises, because they were both fairly empty all the times we were there. I wasn't a big fan of desserts/sweets served in the MDR or Luminae, but surprised myself at Cafe Bacio because their stuff was great. This cruise is highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We did the cruise and the land tour following the cruise. We loved the cruise...everything was top notch. We had a couple of small issues with our room, but the room steward, Sejaz quickly resolved them for us. Room was comfortable and ... Read More
We did the cruise and the land tour following the cruise. We loved the cruise...everything was top notch. We had a couple of small issues with our room, but the room steward, Sejaz quickly resolved them for us. Room was comfortable and well laid out. The food outstanding and the entertainment was great. We had a fabulous time! For excursions, we highly recommend the helicopter/2 hour glacier trek in Juneau and the whale watch excursion in Icy Strait Point. Hubbard Glacier was breathtaking. We did sign up for the Persian Garden as an additional add on since we were not staying in an Aqua class room. Unfortunately that was a little disappointing without the individual loungers in the relaxation room which is what we have had on other ships... it’s now a communal sofa/waiting area. My husband wasn’t happy with the steam room, which wasn’t hot enough for him and the hot tubs were not hot enough for him as well. In hind sight, we shouldn’t have spent the money on the Persian Garden, we didn’t use it nearly enough to justify the extra cost. The land tour was good, but wasn’t as good as the cruise... Our tour group was plagued with the flu running its way through the group and by the third day it got me and my husband. That put a bit of a damper on the tour, but even with that we had a great time. Denali and Talkeetna were the highlights of the land portion of the tour. It was the trip of a lifetime for us! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We took the northernglacier cruise,cabin 2034 with window,, with stops in Icy Point, Juneau,Skagway,and Ketchikan and a 8A cruise tour that included 1 night in Anchorage and in Talkeetna and 2 nights in Denali NP. The cruise tour cost ... Read More
We took the northernglacier cruise,cabin 2034 with window,, with stops in Icy Point, Juneau,Skagway,and Ketchikan and a 8A cruise tour that included 1 night in Anchorage and in Talkeetna and 2 nights in Denali NP. The cruise tour cost more than double the cruise cost. A veranda is fairly useless as the weather typically is rainy and too cold-very low 60s. Food service was excellent but anytime dining did nt work well. We were advanced reserved for 7pm but onboard we were told on many days that was not available. Thanks to a manager from a past cruise most of the 7 pm slot at table 323 were restored. Sirlloin steak anytime optin levares muchto be desired and if you liked dessert cheesecake it was only available inthe main dining and not at Bacio. We booked 2 excursions, Icy Point whaling where we were guaranteed whales and saw humpbck and orcas, and Skagway where we again(15 years before) rode the rr. Very little in Icy Point other than shops at the terminal, townitself is 2 blocks long withnothing really to visit. In Juneau we booked M&M tours glacier express, $42 pp, RT to Mendenhall Glacier VC and walked to the glacier viewpoint, also saw bears feeding in the fenced off area by the bus drop-off. Other ports are 3-4 blocks long by 2 blocks deep with typical old time saloon and t-shirts and tanzanite galore-much more commercialized than 15 years ago. For past cruisers (11) on board entertainment can be repetitive as with the violinist and the beatles tribute group. The comedians this time around were quite good and the acrobats were excellent. Substantive programs continuet o be lacking- a scientist speaker was very dull and by the 2nd leccture played to almost an empty house/ Weather was unusually clear unlike the rainyforecst shown prior to our cruise and cruise tour. Cruisetour: Talkeetna is a quaint 3 block main street with a nice Forest Service film and exhibit anda short lake trail by the Forest Service. Hotel shuttle has limited hours so you are captive to the expensive hotel restaurants unless you want to rely on the single taxi. The beds at Talkeetna were soft and left much to be desire. Denali Park Village had motel units that were complained about by mos tof the 40 with us-we were fortunately in a cabin by the river, hoever the maid service was abysmal and the cabin was not fully cleaned for 2 days. Hotel shuttle can take you to NP Vis Center. If youdo nothing else,take the included 7-8 hour modified schoolbus Tundra Wilderness Tour witha narrated driver and viewing camera for distant animals which is not available onthe park bus which goes the length of the 92 mile road. The 12- hr Kantishna excursion which goes the fullroad was not worth it per our driver. We saw bears and caribou on an amazingly clear day (think jrain) andspecks of all sheep on the top of the mountains. Denali is not your typical NP andis really gared totheactive backcountry hiker. Wetook the moderate Mckline trailconnecting to theTripleLakesTrail to Rily campground, about 3 m RT and passing over a small suspension bridge. Fairbanks was our return flight destination. Sophie's Station Suites is a 2* hotel with 1970s decor and soft beds, and a shuttle that will bring u downtown-also take the city Red Line from the dowtnownTransit Center, free for seniors, from downtown to hotel,a free 20 minute ride. A Safeway and Fred Meyer grocery stores are a 5 minute walk-- a nice fried chicken dinner with sweet potatoe fries from Safeway. The included excrusion to the Univ Alaska Museum of the North and the hokey Disccovery3 steamboat trip were interesting. Fairbanks downtown is 4 bloks long by 2 blocks wide-vidsitthesmallcommunity museumintheco-op builiding and the NP Morris Thomshon Cultural center,and eat a few blocks up from the park at Noodles Thai and Salty.s across the streetwhich had great omellettes util 2pm and nice sandwiches. Both are far less touristed and are better than the other restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I enjoyed being on the smaller Island Princess. My cabin was on deck 8 and I highly recommend it as it was easy to walk downstairs to meals and other activities. The food was excellent. The cruise directors staff were all very fun, ... Read More
I enjoyed being on the smaller Island Princess. My cabin was on deck 8 and I highly recommend it as it was easy to walk downstairs to meals and other activities. The food was excellent. The cruise directors staff were all very fun, especially the Cruise Director Natalie. I don't think anyone does Alaska better than Princess. The puppies in the piazza were super fun. I loved the Iditarod lady who spoke and showed pictures. Entertainment was good and live music was always going on somewhere around the ship. Alaska itself was gorgeous. The 2 days cruising the glaciers was phenomenal. Arriving in Whittier and having a private tour on our way to Anchorage Airport was just icing on the cake. Very relaxing cruise. Very few ties on formal night. I love the size of the Island Princess, but really did miss not having the 24 hour International Cafe to get snacks. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
pros: professional staff very helpful ( except Dinner reservations very rude) Room Stewart very nice and accommodating security very good embarkation very organized disembarkation in ports ... Read More
pros: professional staff very helpful ( except Dinner reservations very rude) Room Stewart very nice and accommodating security very good embarkation very organized disembarkation in ports very easy Dinning Room Staff very nice but push you at least once a meal to eat w/ others. piazza wonderful sheets and pillow cases very soft entertainment top notch for cruise Cons: food not as good as other cruises shops on board open late buffet pretty limited nasty waiters in buffet they need more English speaking crew * YOU ARE NICKLE'D AND DIME'D FOR EVERYTHING... AGAIN, YOU ARE NICKLE'D AND DIME'D FOR EVERYTHING!!!!! example: hot tea, you are charged, soda's your charged, bottle water you are charged, internet $109.00 for cruise, so many, can't remember them all! excursions: expensive but what can you do, your here have see Alaska... try to chek prices private companies. Italian Restaurant.... not quality do'n bother... "on average C+" Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Very disappointed in the entertainment except for the comedian. the food was great but the buffet was a zoo. there should have been another one for that many passengers. We went to the dining room for all our meals after the first day ... Read More
Very disappointed in the entertainment except for the comedian. the food was great but the buffet was a zoo. there should have been another one for that many passengers. We went to the dining room for all our meals after the first day which always took longer. The food was great everywhere but the desserts were poor. They all looked beautiful but tasteless. Our Junior suite was a perfect size and the balcony was just the right size but it never got cleaned and there was hair and dirt on it. I personally washed the table off each day. The girl looking after our cabin was very nice and helpful but run off her feet with all the cabins she had to look after. We talked to lots of staff and got to know them in the restaurants and everywhere else on the ship and they are all extremely friendly and polite. NCL needs to have more help for the cabins though. Tons of employees in the dining rooms, but cleaning staff no.The shore excursions were great but extremely expensive. You are better off to go ashore and book your own. There are lots waiting for you and you don't have to worry about getting back to the ship before it sails because everyone knows when you have to be back. You just have to be sensible about what you want to do. The ship is beautifully decorated no expense spared there. We booked the Denali 12 day trip and when we got to the buss at the end of the cruise it was not the "luxury coach" they advertised. The seats were too close together and depending on which seats you sat in your knees were touching the back of the seat in front of you so no stretching. No TV screens, there were a few through out the bus but they are never used. There was a group of 12 people plus their tour director from "Tours of Distinction" who immediately "Reserved" the first 6 rows of the bus for her group and this was on a NCL bus! They had all their meals booked and paid for while the rest of us were dropped off in the middle of downtown and given an hour to find our own. There were 49 people on the bus and the other 36 people on the bus were not impressed and it was discussed a lot. people even spoke up about the unfairness of it but it was ignored. I feel sorry for Patrick our bus driver because it seemed the T. of D. guide was calling the shots. The Denali Forest is awesome but come on 5:30 in the morning for pick up and 6-8 hours on another bus that was like a school bus. We were all crippled getting off at the end of the day. The train we were supposed to ride on with the dome cars was not running for 2 days before we got off the ship but no one told us until we asked because we were hearing it was cancelled and that was the biggest reason for that part of the tour. Finally we were informed we might be able to get on it tomorrow. Wild fires and slides had stopped it. I know you can't control these things but we should have been informed before we ever got off the ship, they knew 2 days earlier that the train wasn't running. This whole experience left a bad taste in our mouth and we won't be sailing with NCL again. When you pay over 11 thousand dollars not including airfare for a cruise you expect better. The exercise room was a quarter the size needed. There were lots of activities for children but only 3 decks of cards in the games room and it was packed. We bought a deck of cards but was difficult to find somewhere quiet to play where the wind didn't blow the cards away. The buffet dining tables were not available to use and the dining room that they told us to use, the lady who is the one in a uniform was in there listening to someone playing the piano and she shooed us out of there even when we told her the signs on the table told us to go there if we wanted somewhere quiet to play cards. There was a casino or you could go to one of the lounges to listen to employees of the ship sell you a service on board or where to shop at their stores at the next port. Everything was geared to get more money out of you. I thought cruises were inclusive except for alcohol but I soon found out the paying never stops. The one major thing we learned was the cruise lines have created an industry where every port they pull into , the majority of the businesses are owned by them and the locals have no control. We felt much better shopping for trinkets and T-shirts from Anchorage and Fairbanks where you could buy something actually made by someone in Alaska not china and cheaper. I wonder are all cruise ports of call the same. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
If you want to see what global warming is doing, do the glacier cruise. Over the past 10 years, the glaciers have receded by 100 feet and probably 50 feet in height. Due to the melting, the glaciers are covered with layers of rock. We ... Read More
If you want to see what global warming is doing, do the glacier cruise. Over the past 10 years, the glaciers have receded by 100 feet and probably 50 feet in height. Due to the melting, the glaciers are covered with layers of rock. We did this cruise in 2005 and it was outstanding. Now, the little towns are filled with the same jewelry shops and tourist traps. Very few locals as it was in 2005 If you like quantity instead of quality, a cruise is just the think. We have only taken a few cruises and found the quality of the food on the decline. The buffet was good for breakfast and lunch. Dinner was just ok and the food in the other restaurants were general not hot. The specialty restaurants were not that good and would not recommend them. We attended only 1 of the shows offered on the boat. This show was good but after attending so many NY Broadway show, it is difficult to watch anything else. We did not play bingo or any other of the activities offered.. The serviced and staff on the boat were outstanding.. They really made the cruise a pleasure. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019

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