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561 Vancouver to Alaska Cruise Reviews

Meh
One and done, complied with bucket list and 7k poorer. I upgraded, I thought to a larger cabin facing but it turned out to be a basic hotel room size, bed hard as a rock couch hard as a rock but it was my first time so maybe my ... Read More
One and done, complied with bucket list and 7k poorer. I upgraded, I thought to a larger cabin facing but it turned out to be a basic hotel room size, bed hard as a rock couch hard as a rock but it was my first time so maybe my expectations were too high. And also the Wi-Fi that I paid for sucks so bad that nobody should buy it, just do without. I know it’s a satellite-based Wi-Fi but they shouldn’t try to sell it if it doesn’t work. The room TV was nice except it didn’t work unless you want to watch commercials for people trying to sell you watches, diamonds and artwork, up selling everything on the ship when I see there’s not much to look at when on the high seas. Crew was very friendly and the excursions made the trip. If I had to do it again I’d fly to Ketchikan and use that as my base of operations. The people of Alaska make it a great place to visit. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The embarkation was terrible it took 41/2 hours to get us all aboard. There were three cruise ships, 9,000 people boarding at the same time. Lots of people saying they have never experienced such a wait and would never do this cruise ... Read More
The embarkation was terrible it took 41/2 hours to get us all aboard. There were three cruise ships, 9,000 people boarding at the same time. Lots of people saying they have never experienced such a wait and would never do this cruise again. Definately put me off going on a Princess cruise again. Ended up leaving an hour late! The food was mediocre, and please when you do an Italian dish, look it up as it was was not made properly. Our room was cold and a shower would be better then a bath as people with certain disabilities find it hard to climb in. Otherwise the entertainment was great, but the casino could have more of a variety of slot machines. Ship is very clean and so is the restaurant. When making milkshakes straws are used NOT spoons. The staff were excellent and very helpful. The advertising for Effee needs to be toned down a lot. On the whole I had fun. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Here's how we would (and do) compare Regent to Oceania. The ship was lovely, our cabin was spacious, and the walk-in closet was more than sufficient. In addition, the service was very good, albeit not quite up to what we have come to ... Read More
Here's how we would (and do) compare Regent to Oceania. The ship was lovely, our cabin was spacious, and the walk-in closet was more than sufficient. In addition, the service was very good, albeit not quite up to what we have come to expect on Oceania. The showroom and shows were every bit as good as Oceania. The entertainment director, Andy, was the best we have ever had and we met some really nice couples, whom we hope to hear from in the not too distant future. Now, the reason we will not go back to Regent any time soon. The food was inconsistent, ranging from usually just OK to downright it had to be sent back, and even after that, the replacement was only 50% good, starting with two lamb chops ordered medium-rare. one of us had overly salted meals, mostly in the main dining room, one of which was almost inedible, but she did not send it back because she was eating very little. She found other meals too salty, as well. Finally, in our favorite restaurant, the Italian, where we did not need reservations and where we ate 4 times, the 4th time the meal surprisingly was almost incredibly over-cooked. It seems the only restaurant of the four (including the main dining room) that could cook meat as ordered was Prime 7, the steak restaurant. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Let me start with explaining why I only gave this a 3 out of 5. It started out great in that it was a pleasant surprise that we were able to board right after going through all the check in procedures to start taking advantage of the ... Read More
Let me start with explaining why I only gave this a 3 out of 5. It started out great in that it was a pleasant surprise that we were able to board right after going through all the check in procedures to start taking advantage of the boats’ amenities. Get there early, as it does take a while to get through check-in/customs. Now, in my eyes, a cruise ship should be fit & ready to sail according to its itinerary that you paid for. Ours was not. Did we sail at 4:30 as scheduled, NO, did we sail at 7:00 pm, NO, did we sail as they said the delay would take til at midnight – NO. We sailed at 3:00 am of which at dinnertime the evening before while still in port but on the boat, they announced would have to change the itinerary as we would no longer be able to go to our first stop Juneau. REALLY, Juneau, the capital of Alaska and port probably 100% of the people were most looking forward to as it was only a 2 port stop and to be our most northern part of Alaska we were sailing to, so to look forward to excursions like the glaciers, dog sledding, seeing the wildlife, etc. Most, if not all, booked specifically to see “Alaska” and in changing Juneau to now go to Rupert, British Columbia as the alternate port was to say the least VERY DISAPPOINTING. If I’d of known of this change before sailing, and given the option of not going & getting our money back, I would gladly have rescheduled and used that money to book a future ALASKAN only cruise. So the small compensation we got for the “inconvenience” by no means made up for this loss. Now, once we did sail, as far as rating the Island Princess for its amenities, restaurants, shows, cabin, staff, etc, I would rate it a 5+. Having said that, there is a lot of advertising for the boat shopping (and in ports) both in leaving paperwork at your cabin door and within the events listed in the Patter newsletter. We got caught up in going to some events that were nothing more than advertising and they get you by offering free items or free draws. Once we figured this out we could get on with some of the more fun/informative events. A lot of events overlap so you truly have to pick & choose which is better for you and not falling for these advertised events makes it easier to weed out. I wish in the Patter it would have listed the duration of events and a brief explanation of them. All the music and entertainers were top-notch. Cruise Director Natalie as announcer or host was an enhancement to all entertainment, she was high energy and so funny. The cooking demonstration with Exec Chef, Maitre d’Hotel & Natalie was so funny, followed by a galley tour, was one of our fave events. The Naturalist Mark Harris gave great lectures. I only wish he would have narrated more landmarks along the way through the outside speakers on the deck (especially when whales or dolphins were nearby), or to know where we were, as spectacular sites when close to land. Had a mid-ship balcony cabin that is well worth it, just to look out when you are in your room and having a lot of light come in is well worth it. Plus being mid-ship is the most stable part of the ship. Not that it rocked at that much but did in a few parts, for the most-part was calm sailing. Didn’t take a beverage package as you got free water & coffee at meals, plus O.J. for breakfast that was good enough for us. Plus we did bring on board our own water bottles and some pop cans that we kept in our mini fridge and took out with us throughout the day that was great. We also didn’t take an alcoholic package but I think if we were on a longer 7 day cruise we would have. A lot of different bars w/different types of entertainment, singers, quizes, karaoke, etc. all excellent. No problems getting in any of the restaurants and the staff & food at all were excellent. We did pay extra for going into 2 out of the 3 fine dining restaurants – the Italian and the New Orleans/Steakhouse. Both were an additional $29, well worth it. They opened the New Orleans restaurant once for lunch for British pub food at no additional cost, which was delicious. The outlet that served pizza was also very good. Basically ALL the food was out of this world delicious. We bought an internet plan before the cruise paying $19.99 for up to 4 devices. We did have a few issues at the beginning losing connection but after going to the info desk to get it straightened out we were good to go. Worked for the most part – spotty a few times, but still worth it. We had taken U.S. money with us thinking if you bought anything on board you paid for it by cash (shopping/drinks, etc), but you don’t. You show your room key and everything is charged through that to your account. One good thing with the internet is you could go online to your account to keep track of all your extra charges which was nice. Also know you are automatically charged a $14.50/p.p./p.d. tipping fee. You do have the option to change this to whatever you want. Just go to the service desk on board & tell them what you want to change it to and it will be changed on your account. This boat not only had an outdoor pool w/hottubs but also an indoor pool w/hottubs. Handy for cool or rainy days. Also basketball court, shuffleboard, mini-golf but those were outdoors so could only partake in when not raining. Also indoor ping-pong and lots of other games to par-take in. They also had a library with books/cards/games that was popular. A Theatre with lovely night-time shows. And an outdoor huge screen with movies showing at different times, casino, and much more activities/shopping stores/fine art sales, etc. Only negative of a cruise, if it really is a negative, is there is there is so much going on at all times, it is a little hard to fit in all you want to do. We tried at one time to just sit & relax to read our books and listen to our music through earphones but then quickly realized we were missing out on an event we wanted to see, so quickly abandoned the R&R time and off we went - LOL! This was an approx. 2000 person cruise with over 900 staff. Just a perfect size we thought, where it was never overly busy in any one area for the most part, and I would say about 85% adults vs children. It was a very well-run ship. Would we take another cruise, definitely, would we take it on Princess after that delay/change in itinerary, not sure. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for a couple reasons. First of all we sailed on the Jewel last year from Vancouver to Tokyo, and on to Singapore where it went into dry dock for a refurbishment, and we wanted to see the changes. Secondly, some friends ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a couple reasons. First of all we sailed on the Jewel last year from Vancouver to Tokyo, and on to Singapore where it went into dry dock for a refurbishment, and we wanted to see the changes. Secondly, some friends of ours were sailing on it, and asked us to join them. We also had made friends with many of the crew members, and were eager to see who would still be on the ship. It made us extremely happy that Dan was still the Cruise Director! We really think he's great, and extremely personable and approachable. He happily welcomed us back. To our dismay, many of our other favorite crew members were no longer on board. We do realize contracts end, and no one is guaranteed to come back to the same ship upon renewal. We had a balcony room on deck 9--one door down from our cabin last year. We also had the Unlimited beverage package, and the three specialty dining package, and 250 minutes of wi-fi, along with $50 towards each shore excursion and $50 on board credit per person as our perks. We couldn't make use of the friends and family are free, or the free air fare. The entertainment was excellent as usual. The production company is extremely talented, and very friendly when you see them on board ship when they're not performing. We had good service from our cabin steward who was very friendly and eager to help with anything. The shore excursions were excellent for the most part. The Salmon Bake was not as good as we had expected. I wouldn't do that again. The Crab Fest, and the White Mountain Yukon Pass Railroad ride I've done twice now. Obviously, I think they're absolutely worth doing again. We were disappointed that LeBistro Restaurant didn't match the quality or service that we have experienced on previous cruises. Cagney's also was better on past cruises. The bar service was lacking as well. I would make a suggestion for the Starlight Theater that you get cup holders for the chairs. I noticed that the refurbishment there only consisted of reupholstering the chairs, new carpet, and a brand new stage curtain. Thank goodness you got rid of the Peacock! We are planning another cruise next year on the Jewel, and are hoping that a longer cruise will pan out to be better than this one. We're sailing from Hawaii to Papeete, and Papeete to Austrailia--a repositioning cruise. As a loyal NCL Platinum Latitudes member , and a travel agent, I am hopeful that some of my concerns will be addressed, so my clients will not be disappointed when I recommend and book an NCL cruise for them. I purchased four Cruise Next certificates for use next year, and I'm hoping NCL doesn't disappoint me. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise for my wife and me, but also invited my in-laws for their 50th wedding anniversary. Not sure if most of my comments apply to most cruises ship/cruise lines. But all in all, it did not impress us as a first ... Read More
This was our first cruise for my wife and me, but also invited my in-laws for their 50th wedding anniversary. Not sure if most of my comments apply to most cruises ship/cruise lines. But all in all, it did not impress us as a first experience. Pros : - Ship is in in good condition and cabin was fairly big and comfortable - Friendly professional staff, at restaurants and everywhere else - Buffet restaurant is good quality and good variety - Most shows were very good quality, talented performers! - Very nice gym onboard Cons - Biggest issue is that almost everything on-board is design to get more money out of you: expensive upsell for all the specialty restaurants, alcohol and automatic tips are expensive, casino, - Food at the main restaurant had good variety but was often blend. - My wife and me are vegeterian, and options were not great - Not very many activities to do on board, the upper deck with the lawn and glass blower, but also the game room an everything else, it's ok, but not very entertaining... - Automatic tipping is expensive, especially that for us, the canadian dollar doesn't compare well to the US dollar. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had enjoyed a previous cruise with Celebrity and so we chose them again for our Alaska trip but found this cruise disappointing in several ways. First, though, some of the positives which just about scrape it an 'average' ... Read More
We had enjoyed a previous cruise with Celebrity and so we chose them again for our Alaska trip but found this cruise disappointing in several ways. First, though, some of the positives which just about scrape it an 'average' rating in our book! An excellent state room and balcony, good customer service desk who organised an early check-out for us on the last day very efficiently. Good destination choices in Icy Strait Point and Juneau,fab time at - and commentary on - Hubbard glacier, lovely Persian garden steam and sauna and relaxation facilities and a library which, though small, had some really good - and up to date - and even British (!) authors. As for the shows, a couple of good comedians and a good magician but the ship's troupe, though talented, are saddled with lacklustre shows - and there were no less than three of these during the seven nights. The negatives: the endless attempts to up-sell are really, REALLY irritating, especially when (as here) they begin with someone trying to sell you speciality dining as you make your way towards the gangway (not even on the ship yet!) at the very start of the cruise. Mind you, after seven nights in the main dining room and breakfast and lunch in the buffet, we can see why the specialties might be popular. The dining room evening meals were mostly undistinguished and the buffet was constantly crowded to an extent that wholly undermined the relaxation element of the cruise. On the subject of up-selling, it became clear to us during this cruise that this ship's staff are personally rewarded for the extras they can sell - not sure how much this happens on other cruises, but it seemed a matter of considerable importance and even stress to staff on this ship, which is troubling and suggests they may be be being under-paid for their routine duties. Also worth pointing out that the alcohol on board is grossly over-priced, even before you add on the 20% service charge, so again the savings - on various drinks deals, meagrely worthwhile as they are - can seem attractive. On our previous Celebrity cruise (Solstice), we'd been quite impressed with the coffee shop. Here, the coffee shop staff were boorish and uninterested - as a previous reviewer has remarked, more interested in their own conversations. Also outraged and belligerent at the mere suggestion that they'd made me a latte when I'd asked for a flat white. Again (of course) ridiculously overpriced, (And, as has been previously pointed out, the freecoffee on the buffet deck was dreck (which I don't recall it being on the Solstice three years ago!). Less enrichment activity on this cruise than on that previous one - are Celebrity dialling this back, I wonder? That said, their anthropologist was very good and in particular he gave a fine lecture on the fascinating First Nation tradition of potlatches. There seems more of an emphasis on this ship of raucous entertainment - Mr and Mrs shows et al - which is fine if you like that but I felt that the superb classical duo on board were under-used by being positioned mainly in a fairly quiet bar. If you DON'T like raucousness, which (you'll have gathered!) we don't much, you'll be glad to know that he sound-proofing on this ship seems superb - said raucousness echoed up the dazzling and dizzying main lift area but then was muffled to nothing by the time you got into our state room not far away from there on deck seven. Perhaps the biggest negative of all was a particularly odd one: in several years of cruising, I have never experienced such an inept initial safety and evacuation drill, which seemed to consist simply of watching a daft spoof 'Jane Bond'-type video whose sound was turned so low that no one could follow it and which did not involve any attempt to ensure that passengers were able to put on their life jackets. Worrying that a company as big and professional as Celebrity should be so lacking in this area… Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The ship itself and the staff were great. Accomodation was good. Entertainment other than the 2 shows was very poor. The game shows and karaoke and especially the ventriloquist were infantile. The stops at Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan ... Read More
The ship itself and the staff were great. Accomodation was good. Entertainment other than the 2 shows was very poor. The game shows and karaoke and especially the ventriloquist were infantile. The stops at Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan were just opportunities for the cruise line to sell souvenirs from their own stores. Some of the tours were very good. We felt pressured into buying continuously on the ship. Expensive souvenirs, art and photos. Food was very good. Formal evening again just an opportunity to sell photos. The cruise of the glacier bays was stunning. Made up for a lot of the other stuff. We also felt we were in a retirement home. So many people who couldn’t move themselves. Breakfast was good and choices were fine. A lot of fried salty food but there were alternatives if that’s not for you. Embarkation was terrible. No fault of the ship. The US customs were very slow and didn’t care at all and the process took 2 hours Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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 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
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
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
Alaska was beautiful and I highly recommend going there. However, I do not recommend the Gold Princess boat. We have previously cruised with Carnival before and had a much better experience than we did with Princess. All of the issues were ... Read More
Alaska was beautiful and I highly recommend going there. However, I do not recommend the Gold Princess boat. We have previously cruised with Carnival before and had a much better experience than we did with Princess. All of the issues were minor but collectively did not leave a great impression of princess. Here are some issues: -wanted to change our dinner seats so we would be with the people we traveled with. Staff informed us this should be very easy since their table was not full. The line to see the Maitre'D was not long but moved incredible slow and the Maitre'D was not very friendly. It seemed like we were inconveniencing him with a simple request. -Buffet required you to wash your hands before hand, which is very good, but they only had two sink at each entrance so during busy meal times there was always a line to get into the buffet -Spa service was poor. I tried to book a pedicure with the person I was travelling with and we were told it was full so the other lady opted for a manicure. Once there the second pedicure chair was empty the whole time. I found my lady was judgmental and the polish was wrecked the next day, thankfully they did fix this with no issue. -On board entertainment was bad and not many options available. -We were told one of the days would be "scenic cruising" to the College Fjord but we weren't scheduled to get there until the evening so it was really more of a a sea day. We didn't actually end up getting to the College Fjord due to weather. I understand the boat cannot control this but no other on board activities were provided to fill the time. -Room staff were friendly but they missed taking out some used dishes on a few occasions. On a positive, food was delicious, room/bed were very nice, excursions were great and it was a great trip as Alaska was wonderful to see. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019

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