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508 Whittier to Alaska Cruise Reviews

I took the Royal Princess Southbound on the Voyage of the Glaciers itinerary. The ship was great and the crew were very efficient and friendly. I had booked an inside cabin and it was more than adequate for the trip. I came to see ... Read More
I took the Royal Princess Southbound on the Voyage of the Glaciers itinerary. The ship was great and the crew were very efficient and friendly. I had booked an inside cabin and it was more than adequate for the trip. I came to see Alaska, not hang out in my cabin, so I feel I that I didn't 'miss anything' by having an interior cabin. Food was good - it was all very well prepared and presented. I ate in the main dining room every night and never tried the specialty dinner restaurants. I thought that there was a nice variety of shore excursions to choose from. My favorite was a canoe to and hike on Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. Cruise director Matt O is amazing - I will probably go out of my way to sail on a ship he is working on in the future. I will definitely sail on Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Chose a connoisseur land/cruise tour based on advice from travel agent and brochures. Amenities not as stated in the brochures. Cruise did not meet our expectations. Length 7 days. Embarkation and disembarkation ok until you get ... Read More
Chose a connoisseur land/cruise tour based on advice from travel agent and brochures. Amenities not as stated in the brochures. Cruise did not meet our expectations. Length 7 days. Embarkation and disembarkation ok until you get to lengthy customs. Ship entertainment very sparse at best. Not as stated online and in the brochures. Only 2 short shows the whole week. Nothing for 19-21 year olds to do. Food average in the buffet and anytime seating. Crown Grill dining the best. No whales sited. Our stateroom was on deck 16 and unfortunately there were very noisy kids on deck 17 running up and down ALL DAY & ALL NIGHT! Port stops ok. Typical tourist stuff. Skagway was fun. Museum, downtown shopping and a show representing the old "red light" district. Excursions were plentiful. We did our own and saved money. Glacier and wilderness the best. Tram (dont take if you don't like heights...1800 ft off the ground)in Ketchikan and shore plane tours ok. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We just completed a 7 day Alaskan cruise on Royal Princess ship. Princess Medallion System, in my opinion, is a breach of privacy. You wear or carry this medallion around your neck on somewhere on your body all the time. It has all your ... Read More
We just completed a 7 day Alaskan cruise on Royal Princess ship. Princess Medallion System, in my opinion, is a breach of privacy. You wear or carry this medallion around your neck on somewhere on your body all the time. It has all your personal info on it. It is used as your cabin key, access to get on and off the ship, drink or any other purchases you make on the ship. The problem we had was another person's picture (whom we had no idea who he was, nor did Princess) appeared on the screen outside our cabin. After 2 days, Princess was finally able to correct. But, anytime you have your medallion on you, and you are near a Princess computer screen (to order drinks, purchase anything on ship, etc) anyone with their medallion on in that area, if you are purchasing or not, your picture info appears on their screen. I believe this is also why it takes bar service so long to ring up your drink - shuffling through lots of photos. Plus the medallion unlocks your cabin door long before you get to your cabin. I feel it should only unlock the cabin door after you swipe the medal on the screen outside your door. And if you are using medallion on Princess - make sure you download the app before you get on ship. It took us an entire morning to get this done. Waited in 3 long lines for staff to assist. First 2, said they didn't know what to tell us, finally the 3rd was able to help. But then you're always attached to iPhone.... and chat feature does not alert you when you have a chat. Also we had balcony cabin on 11th floor (B631). Balcony is very small compared to other cruise lines we've been on. And balcony door very hard to get opened from inside. Dining room - if you want surf/turf or steak will cost an add'l $29/person. If you need to store luggage post cruise, there is a hotel at the end of pier that will store for $10/day. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Bed as twins felt like falling out of bed Carpet very worn different colors Our stateroom attendant was more interested in going home changed stateroom attendants middle of cruise Captain aborts Hubbard glacier due to weather and ... Read More
Bed as twins felt like falling out of bed Carpet very worn different colors Our stateroom attendant was more interested in going home changed stateroom attendants middle of cruise Captain aborts Hubbard glacier due to weather and fog Princess now serves cool whip in place of whip cream Cream bulee now egg Custer not creamy Princess in crown grill now serves imo instead of sour cream Potatoes were watery due to being steamed rather than baked Onion soup full of bread Hardly any broth Porterhouse stats are just trine steaks very little meat on left side and full of fat one could get better steak at outback This is no longer five star dining maitre said it was carnival Corp that went to cool whip and he was in agreement with me Food in the buffet if you look for it has great meats We ate buffet after second night on cruise except for crown grill spinach was cold and not creamed not sure what they put on it bad over all Hour 45 minute wait in anchorage for transfer to Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Overall we enjoyed the cruise. Some solid entertainment, however timing was off based on your dinner seating. The food bland and unexciting. The lounge, bar and restaurant staff could not produce drinks that were not on the menu; and ... Read More
Overall we enjoyed the cruise. Some solid entertainment, however timing was off based on your dinner seating. The food bland and unexciting. The lounge, bar and restaurant staff could not produce drinks that were not on the menu; and the drinks were also not good. All fruity with no punch. The staff (wait, buffet, bar) seemed unpersonable and disinterested. Our room (mini-suite) was a good size and so was the bathroom and clothing storage. Our room steward was the only truly personable staff on the ship. Getting on/off easy. Tours coordination was ok for the most part. Alaska is a seasonal worker paradise, but it seems the land workers are also overworked. The ship is older, even though it went through a major renovation in 2017. The cruise director, though the right personality--upbeat and helpful seemed like a winded up doll, saying the same questions and speech along with and "my name is Natalie" was overkill. Kristoff, cruise director staff was pretenious and rude at times. Other cruise lines offer a better overall experience. Many guests were repeat passengers, however I would not choose again. Alaska though was great! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Wow. Horrible. Bad food, bad service as a simple summary. Lots of whales sighted though (both at sea and at the buffet). Comically bad waiters sticking our menus into our food. Several meals in the dining room were not really edible ... Read More
Wow. Horrible. Bad food, bad service as a simple summary. Lots of whales sighted though (both at sea and at the buffet). Comically bad waiters sticking our menus into our food. Several meals in the dining room were not really edible so had to chase that meal with a visit to the buffet in the hopes of something better than “hot dog pineapple salad”. (No, I didn’t make that up). The on-board naturalist also stated (amongst many other oddities) that Canada doesn’t have any glaciers. That was said while we were actually looking at a glacier in Canada. The beds were very saggy due to the many “girthy” guests that preceded us. The mini putt and kids’ centres were closed each of the 5+ times we tried to go into them. The list goes on but I’m out of room. Scenery was great but with 5 cruise ships in port simultaneously the small towns were overrun and it was horrible on shore. Won’t be back. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My wife and I added this trip on to an inland photography workshop we attended up north (Lake Clarke Park). We hadn't seen the inland passage and wanted to enjoy a bit of luxury on the way home vs simply jumping on an airplane in ... Read More
My wife and I added this trip on to an inland photography workshop we attended up north (Lake Clarke Park). We hadn't seen the inland passage and wanted to enjoy a bit of luxury on the way home vs simply jumping on an airplane in Anchorage and fly back to Phoenix. The Island Princess is smaller than some of the larger ships and included views of Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier, where other ships didn't go into these areas. So the timing and itinerary worked for us. The embarkation was painless even having to take a coach from Anchorage to Whittier. Interesting driver/guide made the ride worthwhile. Very easy and quick to get into the room. For perspective (and fairness) this was our 7th cruise but the first on a Princess ship. Our daughter worked on Celebrity for several years so we obviously chose her cruises. We have no other Princess ships with which to compare the Island. But compared to the other ships we've spent time on, the Island was older and it showed. There was no issue with it's cleanliness however. Older fixtures outside were painted over and our outside balcony light was hanging from a broken bracket. Also, on the third day, the device which ensured our cabin door shut fell off and was never fixed. The humidity on this trip was difficult to keep up with and there were blowers going in the passage ways constantly. There also was slight musky smell-probably due to the humidity. The floor of the cabin had raised areas which compressed when you walked on them. Sounds worse than it was. Just old but clean. The service in the dining area was not close to what we were used to in terms of warm welcomes and friendly attitudes. Two servers were great (exceptional) but the others and the managers were dour. Just seemed unhappy being there. Bar servers were very good. The food was what we expected and the buffet area servers were much more accommodating than their dining room counterparts. The one experience we had with the Princess tour support people was not good at all. We had signed up for a train ride in Skagway (turned out to be outstanding) and the 2 hour kayaking which went with it. There was rain and strong winds projected and we wanted to know if there were options if we felt it would be either unsafe or miserable to kayak. We were not asking to cancel or any concession. The individual either didn't speak English well or wasn't interested in getting involved in the complexity we were bringing to the table, because he merely repeated "must go rain or shine". We tried a couple of different ways to ask the question of what if we decide to forgo the kayak-can we just stay on the small bus or in a shelter or on the train. "must go rain or shine". Not an ambassador I would want representing my company. The production entertainment was disappointing (but remember our daughter-she was a dancer and aerialist on Celebrity-so we are very likely biased). The talent was very good but the productions varied from mediocre to poor. Now the good parts-the ports (and scenic cruising). Just outstanding! We loved the naturalist and guests who gave inland passage related information and stories. Saw whales, otters, seals, dolphins, puffins, etc. The ports were quaint and interesting. The history of Skagway is fascinating, Juneau, the only landlocked and foreign boardering Capital in the United States, has an incredible glacier view minutes from town, and thought Ketchikan was exactly what it should be-quaint and historic. Even the goofy lumberjack show was fun and memorable. As mentioned the excursion was exceptional (yup some rain and wind but not dangerous) so we paddled like crazy-great guides. We would definitely recommend the inside passage cruise but are hesitant to recommend the Island Princess for the reasons above. Just average. If it's your only choice then you would likely find the ship would be ok. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This cruise was definitely a step up...in food, in service, and in our destinations. We LOVED going to Hubbard Glacier AND Glacier Bay. We were thrilled as we saw whales galore on our Whale Watching tour, and we loved the train at Skagway. ... Read More
This cruise was definitely a step up...in food, in service, and in our destinations. We LOVED going to Hubbard Glacier AND Glacier Bay. We were thrilled as we saw whales galore on our Whale Watching tour, and we loved the train at Skagway. Our outside cabin was arranged differently, and better we felt, than any other cabin we have been in. This is our 4th cruise, and we definitely felt more pampered on this cruise, and that the staff was super happy to be doing their jobs. Ok, specifically, the food now, and the service that went with it. So our first experience eating was at the buffet, and it was wonderful because everyone needed to wash their hands before going to the buffet...great move! Then the waiter's even took our drink orders and put our napkins on our laps if you wanted them to, at the buffet! So you can imagine how awesome the dinners were...the service was 1st rate. And the food was seriously as good as it possibly could get! Great variety each night, and the way the food was presented, and tasted, we could have been at any of the best restaurants in the world. Loved, loved, loved this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Getting to Alaska Our flight to Seattle was on a Virgin Airlines Boeing 787 in Economy. We had looked to upgrade to Premium Economy but the price was prohibitive. It was a good flight with decent food and great cabin crew. Immigration ... Read More
Getting to Alaska Our flight to Seattle was on a Virgin Airlines Boeing 787 in Economy. We had looked to upgrade to Premium Economy but the price was prohibitive. It was a good flight with decent food and great cabin crew. Immigration at Seattle Airport was a nightmare, taking an hour to actually get into the immigration hall and another hour to get seen. The immigration official was very polite. As per our instructions, we got the hotel shuttle from the airport to the Hilton Doubletree Hotel. This was ideally located about 5 minutes from the airport. It is a VERY large hotel and I had read reviews about long queues at the Front Desk, which was indeed the case, taking about 20 minutes to get to the front and get checked in. Our room was somewhat old-fashioned but clean and comfortable with very comfortable beds. We had a very pleasant dinner at the 13 Coins restaurant a few minutes along the road from the hotel. We had booked the whole flight package through Princess and they had very kindly booked us on to an Alaska Airlines flight to Fairbanks at 0630 the next morning, meaning a 4am wake-up call... Fairbanks Due to the early flight, we arrived in Fairbanks by mid-morning, taking into account that Alaska is one hour behind Seattle - 9 hours behind the UK. We were met at the airport by a Princess Rep and transferred to the Fairbanks Princess Lodge very efficiently with a small number of other people. The Lodge is nicely situated on the river with pleasant public areas, although the main restaurant was rather dark and dreary. The buffet breakfast was not good. Our room was fairly basic but again had comfortable beds and we were lucky to have one with a river view. On day one, we took a shuttle into the town centre for a walk around in the pleasant, sunny weather. We went to the local cultural centre, which provided an interesting film and lots of interesting exhibits showing the history and way of life in Alaska. we then had a nice wander along the river and a very tasty, home-made, blueberry ice cream before getting the shuttle back to the hotel. In the evening, we had a pre-booked excursion to Pioneer Park for a Salmon Bake meal, followed by a theatre show all about Fairbanks and the Gold-rush. It was all very touristy - but hey, we are tourists! On day two, we were on an all-day included tour. This started at the site of the Alaska Oil Pipeline, an 800 mile pipe transporting oil across the State. We then boarded a replica train to visit Gold Dredge 8, a restored gold dredging 'factory'. It was interesting to learn about how they dredged for gold and we all got a chance to pan for – and find – some small chips of gold. Mine were – apparently – worth $18. You can of course buy a myriad of things to put your gold into – most costing more than the gold you had just panned!Complimentary Coffee & Cookies were served in the on-site shop. After the return train journey and further coach ride, we arrived at a Steamer Landing Stage, where we had an included lunch before getting on the Paddle Steamer. The sail along the river included seeing a float-plane take off and land, a stop alongside a famous Husky Kennels with demonstration and a visit to a re-created Athabascan Native Village with guided tour. Again the weather was warm & sunny and a good time was had by all. Complimentary snacks were served on board and you could also buy beers etc. That night, we ate at 'Pike's Landing' just up the road from the Princess Lodge. It was a pleasant meal taken out on the terrace by the river and was very busy. A local woman with her niece asked if they could share our table and we enjoyed great conversation with them. Denali On day three, we transferred to Denali by coach to the Denali Princess Lodge, just down the road from the entrance to the National Park. This is apparently the largest hotel complex in Alaska. Rooms are in mainly two-storey blocks scattered around the site, again on the edge of the river. The site includes several restaurants and shops but there are also independent restaurants and shops just across the road. Our room looked recently refurbished and was comfortable but could have benefited from better lighting. That evening we had pre-booked an excursion to go on a horse-drawn wagon into the Tundra and have a meal in a wooden pavilion. This was great fun and to our surprise also included alcoholic refreshment with dinner! Day 4 saw us on our full-day Tundra Wilderness Tour in Denali National Park. This took us some 65 miles into the Park amidst great scenery and we saw lots of Caribou, a Moose, Ptarmigan (the State bird of Alaska) and Dall Sheep. Sadly we did not see any bears. Nor were we luck enough to get to see the top of Mount Denali, the highest mountain in North America. Due to cloud cover only about a third of visitors get to see it. That night we tried to eat at a local restaurant but there was a long wait so we ended up eating on-site at 'Fannie Q's', named after a local pioneer woman. It was a nice meal with a singer/pianist entertaining us too. As in Fairbanks, it was strange to see the sun still pretty high in the sky after 1100pm! Day 5 saw us transferring by rail to Coral Princess in Whittier for our cruise. This was 8.15am – 5.30pm. I thought this might feel like a long day but it flew by. It is a double-decker train with 'dome-car' on the top level for good views and restaurant facilities downstairs, together with outside viewing platforms. The food was surprisingly good and pretty much on a par cost-wise with the Lodges. We enjoyed pleasant conversation with both Breakfast and Lunch table-mates. The scenery was amazing on this trip and really show-cased how diverse the State is, passing by/through mountains, plains and coast. Also, we were lucky enough to get a great view of Mount Denali along the way. Coral Princess We had deliberately chosen the Coral as we both prefer (by today's standards) smaller ships. She is just over 90,000 tons (so a smidgeon bigger than P&O's Arcadia) and carries approximately 2000 pax. Built in 2002, she obviously shows some small signs of wear – mainly around balcony doors etc. but is very well-cared-for internally. She had a re-fit in January this year. Internally, she is typically Princess, with many similarities to P&O's Oceana, which of course was previously Ocean Princess. Our standard balcony cabin was fine, although the shower stall was pretty tiny. She has very good facilities for her size – Main Theatre, two show-rooms – one over two decks, four bars, two main dining rooms and two for-fee restaurants, two pools (one indoors) and five jacuzzis. Food and service were very good – probably a notch above P&O. Whilst I seldom have any complaints about P&O, the staff on Coral were generally quite outgoing without being over the top or 'in your face'. Evening menus were good, with meats cooked exactly as requested but as is usually the case with USA cruise lines, vegetable accompaniments were not exactly generous. We ate in Sabatini's, the Italian for-fee restaurant one evening, where the food was fabulous but served in far too large portions. The Horizon buffet was far superior to those on P&O but as someone who is fairly conservative with food tastes, I sometimes felt the choice was limited for me. Princess cater to a very diverse cross-section of pax meaning a lot of asian dishes daily. This was particularly difficult at breakfast time, when dishes included noodles, congee, steamed cabbage, baked apple and bread & butter pudding with custard... The breakfast in the main dining room strangely had a very limited menu and when I did have Eggs Benedict there, I was somewhat disappointed at the cheap, thin cut of 'ham'. Musical Entertainment was very good, with the production shows being outstanding. To be honest, they blew P&O out of the water with the shows in all respects - staging, performance and professionalism. Their most recent shows are produced by Steven Schwarz, who wrote the Broadway & West End hit show, 'Wicked'. We didn't see any of the comedy shows or partake in quizzes as we thought they would be totally geared to Americans. We heard very, very few other English accents on board. Princess provided very good, expert guides to the area to broadcast across the ship whilst glacier viewing etc. Thanks to having cruised with Princess before and many with P&O, we were both at Elite Level in the Captain's Circle Loyalty scheme. This gave us priority boarding in Whittier, upgraded toiletries, Canapés in our cabin on Formal nights, Deluxe Afternoon Tea in the cabin on one day, a stocked mini-bar, 150 internet minutes (each), unlimited free laundry, Elite Lounge each evening with complimentary snacks and low-priced drink specials, free wine-tasting event and disembarkation lounge with refreshments. There were only 30 Elite pax on this sailing so in lieu of a 'most-travelled' event, we were given one complimentary cover charge per person to use in either of the specialty restaurants. The afternoon tea was ridiculously generous and the food would have served 4 easily. There were 10 finger sandwiches/rolls, 7 scones (with jam & cream), 10 cakes and 6 cookies! Needless to say, we couldn't get through anywhere near all of it! Apparently we were in the top 10 most-travelled on this cruise. We were also lucky enough to receive a bottle of champagne at the Captain's Circle Party when ours was one of the three invitations drawn out at the 'raffle'. If we had purchased anything in the on-board boutiques, we would have received 10% discount but to be honest, neither of us actually ventured into the shops. Drinks on-board were – as you would probably expect – expensive. A couple of g&ts routinely came in at around $21 (£17)and a couple of cocktails at $23 (£19) by the time the 18% gratuity was added on to the bar prices. The cheapest bottle of wine was around $38 (about £32). Overall, I was pretty impressed with Princess and would happily consider cruising with them again. The major drawback for me is that they have very few 'smaller' ships sailing where I might want to go. Hubbard Glacier The first day was a sea day, with a visit to the Hubbard Glacier in the afternoon. A very impressive glacier and we stayed here for a couple of hours. Glacier Bay Day two of the cruise was also at 'sea' in Glacier Bay National Park. We had visits to two glaciers here as well as passing by others. A glorious day in lovely weather. Skagway Our first port of call, a pleasant little town – quite picturesque. We had booked an independent tour here (with Dyea Dave) which took us up into the Yukon Territory of Canada by mini-bus. As part of this, we visited a small Husky Dog-Sledding kennel, where we were able to meet some 4 week-old puppies, a stop at Carcross Desert – an area of sand dunes totally unexpected in where it is – Emerald Lake and the village of Carcross, where we had lunch. On the way back to Skagway, we were dropped off at Fraser to get the White Pass & Yukon Railroad, a narrow gauge railway with spectacular views and twists & turns. Along the Klondike Highway we were lucky enough to see a number of Black Bears, which made up for not seeing any in Denali! On arrival back in Skagway, we had to visit the Skagway Brewing Company to try their famous Spruce Tip Blonde Ale – which incorporates hand-picked Sitka Spruce Tree tips. It was gorgeous. Juneau The State Capital of Alaska but quite small by our standards. Here, we had pre-booked a helicopter flight through Coastal Helicopters up to the Herbert Glacier, where we were able to get out of the helicopter and walk around on the glacier, tasting some of the ice-cold melt-water too. Wonderful sunny day and a fabulous experience. When we returned to the town, we walked around the main sites before going back to the ship. Ketchikan A small, quaint albeit touristy town. We had pre-booked an independent tour with Island Wings on a float-plane up to an area called the Misty Fjords National Monument. It was far from misty, being another gorgeous, warm & sunny day. The scenery from the plane was stunning and we then landed in a remote fjord and were able to get out of the plane on a small beach. Another stunning day. On our return, we had some lunch on the ship and then went for a little walk around the pretty town and picked up some last minute souvenirs. Vancouver After the last day at sea, we disembarked in Vancouver, where we had three nights booked at the Pinnacle Vancouver Harbour Hotel. Disembarkation was fine but there was a long queue for taxis. Tip – if you can manage your luggage easily, go through the Convention Centre/Hotel and pick up a taxi in front of the hotel! During our time here, we saw Gas Town, Fly Over Canada, the Capilano Suspension Bridge & Park, Granville Island and Stanley Park. Well worth a few days at the end of the cruise. Getting Home We took a taxi to the airport for our Air Canada flight home. We had upgraded to Premium Economy and it was worth it for the extra space alone. The flight was on time and after landing at Heathrow, were back to my house within less than 2 hours of touch-down. Conclusion This was a stunning trip and easily the most fantastic holiday I have ever had. The natural wonders were the star of the show and the middle three days of the cruise were amazing. I have to keep convincing myself that I have done this. It is a long flight and it is a very expensive holiday but thoroughly worth it. I am very happy we chose to do it with Princess and would highly recommend them for Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
In comparison to other cruises that we have taken, there were some obvious similarities as well as differences. Some services were great, some weren't. I will break it down (We took 7 day cruise with Coral Princess from Whittier to ... Read More
In comparison to other cruises that we have taken, there were some obvious similarities as well as differences. Some services were great, some weren't. I will break it down (We took 7 day cruise with Coral Princess from Whittier to Vancouver). Embarkation/ Disembarkation: We boarded from Whittier, Alaska which is a fairly small port. Ours was the only ship. Luggage drop off and check in was very smooth as we already have our luggage tagged. We were in the ship in less than 20 minutes after we got off our bus (by the way, bus ride from Anchorage to Whittier was great and quite scenic. I highly recommend doing this if possible). Similarly, disembarkation was fairly smooth. One pointer is that they would drop off instructions out of your stateroom for luggage tags. If you want to change the time you get off ship, just go to customer service and they will be happy to change the tags for you. On the subject, we were considering transfer by cruise line from Vancouver cruise port to the airport which was 29$ per person if arranged by Princess. However, we decided to use private taxi service which was only 30 Canadian dollars for minivan taxi and was very comfortable. Please note that there is no Uber or Lyft in Vancouver. We did not get greeted while boarding in the ship like we have with Disney or Royal Caribbean. They both provide very warm welcome upon entering the ship. This was definitely missing here with Princess. Ship: Ship looked average size. Not too small, not too big. It was fairly easy to get to our stateroom with minimal help from staff. First impression of ship was that of a fairly clean, well maintained ship with passengers over 50. Cabin: Since we have one year old traveling with us, we decided to choose Ocean view rather than balcony that we typically choose. Stateroom was very clean, well maintained and didn't seem too cluttered. Proper use of the space was very evident in comparison to some other ships we have been in. Overall, good experience. Dining/ Service: As we had issues with this, I am going to combine the two. First day on the cruise, we went to talk to Maitre D as some of the people in our group wanted changes made to our menu which is what we have done for every cruise we have taken without issues. Usually, they are HAPPY to accommodate as it is very simple request. Maitre D on Princess gave us lecture on how US regulation doesn't allow him to cater different menus as he has to worry about food and guest safety. He made it sound like we are cruising for the first time. The request was as simple as providing Chinese/ Mexican/Indian food items for some of the meals for example. I don't see how that interferes with US regulations. He was very difficult to work with. Even some of the servers in buffet dining area (Horizon dining) were far outright rude. When we went to first night of dining, we made similar request to head server and he was very accommodating. Our servers in evening dining area were great. Food quality was above average but nothing to brag about. Not many choices besides Pizza and burgers in off times. Evening snacks were good. We did not have internet service for the entire first 24 hours and could not get internet manager to come on the phone to explain why. Even after that there were issues. When it worked, it was fast. On last day, they sent us a letter stating that we would get refund of one day as a gesture. Gesture would have been to make entire package complimentary. Giving money back for the service not used is not gesture, it is expectation. As Princess won't allow me to buy internet per day, they should not be allowed to refund it for a day either. For the inconvenience of no availability of internet, proper customer service would have been apology and full refund in my opinion (by the way, I am still waiting for my one day refund). Entertainment and activities: Limited choices of shows, very few performances. Big screen didn't show too many movies. Definitely can improve. Ports and shore excursions: As Alaska cruise is mainly about excursions, I would strongly recommend pre-booking excursions either directly with Princess which is what we did or independently. We saw many families who wanted to book on the ports and could not get as they were all sold out. We also strongly recommend checking charges. We have a one year old who was charged for all excursions when we pre-booked it but when the passes came, his passes didn't. Upon inquiry, they told us that infants under 1 are free for all excursions. However, we still got charged at the time of booking and yet to see refund. Conclusion: Alaska is a must see destination anyway. I strongly recommend cruise with excursions to enjoy wilderness as few friends who explored Alaska by renting a car and hotels at the same time we did cruise felt that they did not get to see as much when we compared notes and pictures. However, I would pick right cruise. It seemed like Princess Cruise was not family friendly with less family oriented activities with rude staff. Princess needs to change culture with focus on customer service for paying customers. We will probably not use Princess for our next several cruises. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Chose because of itinerary. Ship needs to be refurbished, food was not up to Princess standards and neither was the service. Loved the ports, but would cruise on a newer ship. Entertainment poor except for comic one night. Cruise ... Read More
Chose because of itinerary. Ship needs to be refurbished, food was not up to Princess standards and neither was the service. Loved the ports, but would cruise on a newer ship. Entertainment poor except for comic one night. Cruise Director not very engaging. Grandson loved it, met new friends. The meals in the main dining room were certainly not enticing to teens. Taking us from port to port the ship served its purpose. When sailing through Glacier Bay not enough narrative before entering to explain how long we would be there. Glacier Bay was breathtaking and just awesome, would have loved some hot coffee or hot chocolate to be served on the outside decks. I guess this crew and service staff just weren’t into going that extra mile for the passengers. The cruise made wonderful memories and lasting impressions of Alaska, but Alaska did that it had nothing to do with the ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
So many events and shows to keep you busy. Best of all, all the staff were super awesome, friendly, attentive and courteous!! We were treated like royalty throughout the trip!!! This reason alone makes us want to do it again! Thank you ... Read More
So many events and shows to keep you busy. Best of all, all the staff were super awesome, friendly, attentive and courteous!! We were treated like royalty throughout the trip!!! This reason alone makes us want to do it again! Thank you Nino, Mariam and Seon! Everywhere you went on the ship were clean! There’s enough staff to ensure you have everything you needed and more! Food was delicious and plenty. There were so many varieties that anyone with specific food allergies or specific diet can find food to eat! On our ship, besides our “typical” dining room, we had two other restaurant to choose from. We decided to have an Italian dish. Right off the bat, the freshly baked bread dipped in olive oil was to die for! The next 5 course meal was so good that even though I was stuffed, I could not pass it up!! We will definitely cruise again and I will make sure we book another princess cruise!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was in the planing for a few years, as it was a very spacial cruise for us to celebrate my husband turning 70,I was turning 65 two major mile stones in our life,also we were married 45 years also a major mile stone , I also retired, ... Read More
This was in the planing for a few years, as it was a very spacial cruise for us to celebrate my husband turning 70,I was turning 65 two major mile stones in our life,also we were married 45 years also a major mile stone , I also retired, these were all very important mile stones in our life ,we were very disappointed in that this was told to travel agent and to princess and we were not shown anything for our celebrations,e.g. people had posters on there doors ,also others told us they received a voucher from princess. we also noticed that our cabin person didn't do the towels any more, like on our previous cruses,it was always a surprise to come back to your room and wonder what they had arranged this time with the towels. nothing felt special on this cruise . We both as many other people we spoke to that the shower recess appears much smaller than on other ships,we were constantly flooding the bathroom as you had no room to move in the shower,you constantly were hitting your arms on the hand rail and if you washed your feet you hurt your self on the tap all the time .I think this is the smallest shower we have been in on all seven cruises The shows were only two and the comedian was not that good . Bingo has now become to expensive to play on board the ship . It's now become electronic and you are at a disadvantage playing unless you have an electronic pad , as every one who won were the ones with electronic pads , this is not right either everyone is given an electronic pad ,this means you need quiet a few, or all have paper bingo and make the playing field an even one .If this is a non profit bingo games then why is it now so expensive to play a game ? We wanted to use the pool but the children that were on the cruise took over both pools and all the spas that if you were in there you could not talk to the person next to you for the noise and diving bombing of the children, spas if you wanted a drink and sit in there the kids just made it uncomfortable for the adults till they left, drinks would be splashed into with spa water you could not drink it then , the yelling and screaming ,no one parents or staff would tell them to stop and behave,its a public area and adults are made to feel as if they should be in there cabin or some were else but not the pool/ spa area. We could not get over the number of parents /grandparents having children in the casino this I found disturbing,but who do you say something to. There was an incident at the ice cream bar where 4 girls around 10 to 12 years old and a boy , they were so rude and nasty to the lady behind the counter, they upset her so much that she jammed her finger in the fridge door ,you could see the tears in her eyes but she kept a straight face and finished serving them ,when they left I asked if she needed some assistance for her hand but she said no,she gave me what i needed and left I did mention it to someone in the dinning room, this lady needs to be commended for tolerance and patience . We found it disappointing that there was no one playing music before the two dinner sittings, while people were having their pre dinner drinks ,is this now the normal ,no musicians playing, it was missed by many people , how asked the waiter were was the music but he was unable to give an answer but there was elevator music, which is definitely not the same. I have medication that needs to be keeped cold and ice packs that needed to be frozen to use over night, this was very difficult to organize, I went to reception and dropped them off on the morning and picked them up on our last return to our cabin for the night so as no one had to go out of there way for me,but they were never frozen they were soft like they had been in a fridge not a freezer,this was something that is needed and was just so hard to get if it went to the medical freezer it had to be picked up early evening ,this was not a go as they would have defrosted by midnight. can you tell me what to do next time please ? IT was an amazing trip, seeing the glaziers , the mountains with some snow, the Ice floating in the ocean,we did see one Moose in Denali National Park, but when ever there was something to photograph the bus could not or would not stop, this led to a lot of disappointing passengers.,we also went to the salmon fisheries were we saw the Bald Eagles , our guide for the first week was fantastic and we enjoyed our stay in the two lodges, the train trip to the ship was interesting.very funny the conductor and his gravel pits . The ports we called into were so crowded to get the feel or atmosphere of the town, to have around 4-5 cruise ships all at once made it overwhelming for the people that work and live in these ports, having over 10 thousand plus people around was difficult to get good service .everyone is trying to do there best for the crowds that are there I would recommend anyone to do this trip, but not in the American school holidays. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Recently cruised 7 days Anchorage to Vancouver. I could hardly believe the poor food in the buffet, often lukewarm and poor quality, mostly stews it seemed. But the worst was the lack of cleanliness. Railings were shiny on top but I ... Read More
Recently cruised 7 days Anchorage to Vancouver. I could hardly believe the poor food in the buffet, often lukewarm and poor quality, mostly stews it seemed. But the worst was the lack of cleanliness. Railings were shiny on top but I usually avoid the top rail because every other person has touched it. The 2nd row was almost always a sticky mess.This is not acceptable. Buffet on sister ship the Regal was great 1 1/2 years ago and I expected the same. As mentioned previously quality of food was a big letdown. No hot eggs or meats. Desserts not very tasty. the first 2 days of the cruise there was a person by the hand washing station leaning against the far wall requesting people to wash. I figure about 90% compliance. After those 2 days here was no staff person there, about 10% of people were actually washing hands, hand sanitizer dispenser was around the corner where it could barely be seen. I find this completely unacceptable, especially as most cruisers were first time on Princess so need to learn infection control. Kid in Pyjamas in front of hot counter sneezing with no hand coverage just pushed me over the edge. It appears Princess has changed their bed linens also, no top sheet and duvet cover is about 3o" shorter than the duvet so your feet are covered by a duvet that probably was used for the last person too. I did not like this either. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The food is less than desirable. You will want to EAT at PORT as much as you can. I had Anytime dining and tried the main dining rooms and Allegro for breakfast. The food overall is bland, and I did not take more than a bite or two from ... Read More
The food is less than desirable. You will want to EAT at PORT as much as you can. I had Anytime dining and tried the main dining rooms and Allegro for breakfast. The food overall is bland, and I did not take more than a bite or two from anything I tried for dinner. The main dining rooms were so disappointing I figured the specialty dining rooms had to be better, so I tried Sabatini’s. While the burrata appetizer was great, the pasta was bland, and the lobster was so salty (plus the same salty lobster from the main dining rooms), that I didn’t take more than a bite at Sabatini’s’ either. I even tried the tiramisu but I’m not sure how that was tiramisu. I quickly learned that the breakfast was also poor with the pancakes being hard and anything with eggs salty. I tried the Horizon Bistro and Horizon Court for the rest of the cruise thinking I could find something edible but was wrong…there was zero nutritional value in most of the food offered and the quality was that of a grade school cafeteria at best. I waited in line for the sushi one day thinking that was safe in Alaska, but the fresh salmon and tuna had absolutely no taste. My main diet for the week consisted of the pizza (which was good) and hamburgers (which were OK) on the Lido Deck. I ate as many meals as possible while at port and off the ship. The activities schedule is disappointing. The performances and bands were all sub-par. There was one pianist that I would listen to in the Wheelhouse Bar but that was it. It was the same musicians for the entire trip that played the same songs every day. The comedian/ventriloquist was not funny at all and I lasted 5 minutes before walking out. I did attend the comedian show both evenings and I questioned how Princess allowed him to perform as he was quite offensive to many in the audience for a family show…it was not a 21+ audience only. The itinerary is 4 days stuck on this ship. There are only 3 days at port. The only days enjoyed for the entire vacation were the 3 days of excursions off the ship. All of our excursions were booked directly with the vendors. You will save quite a bit of money so I do not recommend booking any excursions with Princess unless you want to pay more for the exact same trips. Overall, Princess is sub-par and needs to do some bench marking against their competitors. My impression is Princess is a low cost, low quality cruise line for passengers that have never been on a cruise, have low expectations and don’t have any comparisons. Princess marketing itself as being a premiere cruise line is inaccurate. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I wanted to see what is becoming the last frontier in the most comprehensive way. Alaska is so huge that a cruise seemed the most efficient and relaxing way to go about it. Arriving just in time for the summer solstice festival in ... Read More
I wanted to see what is becoming the last frontier in the most comprehensive way. Alaska is so huge that a cruise seemed the most efficient and relaxing way to go about it. Arriving just in time for the summer solstice festival in Anchorage got the trip to a great start. Mingling with the natives and having my first taste of reindeer sausage got me in the mood for our Alaskan adventure. My husband along with another couple (close friends) took in the Alaskan midnight sun and hiked the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail topped with a birthday dinner at the Glacier Brewhouse with a waitress with just the right amount of sassiness! What a first day! And because of Princess organization, it just got easier from there. Just a little pre-planning of what we needed to have on our person, and our luggage showed up at the next stop without us having to lug it. No need to check-in - keys pre-delivered to us! Land highlights included a side-trip stop in Talkeetna - good beer, good shopping, and good meeting the legendary mayor - a cat! Loved the treehouse at Princess Mt. McKinley Lodge where other guests loaned us their binoculars to get a glimpse of that elusive summit of Denali. But nothing could beat the all-day Kantishna Denali Park tour - where a mama bear and two cubs literally sauntered along the side of our bus. Caribou, moose, fox - all made an appearance for us! Felt quite lucky as I know that this is not Disneyland and animals cannot be made to appear. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the wildlife and the history of the park, and I am now a Fannie Quigley fan! What better way to conclude the land portion with a glass car train-ride back south to Whittier where we saw the best view of Denali, rivers, and forests with amazing service and narration. Just like the rest of the trip, the transition to ship was seamless. I am not sure how they get 600+ people off the train and onto the ship without long lines and waiting. We were in our stateroom in minutes. This was my first cruise and although the stateroom was compact, the furniture/cabinets were well-designed with plenty of room for all our luggage. Having a balcony was key for me as I loved sitting in a private space with my husband to watch the water, glaciers, and islands. The good was good in the buffet, and our service at the Provence dining room was exceptional. I liked the sinks to wash hands right by the buffet - I felt everything was done to keep the ship germ-free. We loved playing games/cards in the library, and listening to the singers who encouraged taking requests and sing-alongs. I definitely recommend having excursions booked at each port as the actual towns are touristy stocked mainly with souvenir shops. The land tour and excursions were the excitement portion of the trip. The cruise with all the fine service and entertainment was the relaxation portion of the trip. In tandem, this was a perfect mix of adventure, education, and rest! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Princess always has been and is still the best cruise line for Alaskan cruises. The itinerary is the best. The cabin was a balcony, the only way to go in Alaska. The cabin steward was extremely efficient and was always on top of keeping ... Read More
Princess always has been and is still the best cruise line for Alaskan cruises. The itinerary is the best. The cabin was a balcony, the only way to go in Alaska. The cabin steward was extremely efficient and was always on top of keeping the room serviced. The buffet and international cafe are fantastic. Excellent selections, hot food. The International buffet is second to none on alternative to buffet for eating. It also offers the option of entertainment in the Plaza deck. Sabitinis was fantastic. Well worth the money. The crew on the ship was outstanding and very friendly. The always had a smile on their face and truly looked as if they enjoy their job. On several occasions they went above and beyond when dealing with your requests. The Dining room is definitely a place you should avoid unless you simply wish to waste 2 hours to eat your dinner. The quality was clearly sub par to the buffet. The entertainment was 50/50. The Comedian was exceptional. The magician was bad. The performances of the production shows was at best average. Have cruised 12 times previous princess. This was by far the worst selection of entertainment. The best experience eating was the English Pub Lunch at the Wheelhouse/Crown. The fish and chips was outstanding. Of the three bars the Plaza Bar was by far the best. The service and staff were beyond expectations. The Wheelhouse and Crooners was sub par. Poor service and no drink ever came back the same. They always acted confused. Although not part of the cruise, I should mention the land part of the package. Mt McKinley Lodge was outstanding as was the train ride. Denali Lodge was very disappointing. The lodge should be noted to "NOT BE KID FRIENDLY". Even the pizza restaurant was only for over 21. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Travel agent recommended it for our Alaskan cruise. Embankment was the worst. Had to arrange own way to Whittier to board ship when many were shuttled from Airport. We were not on their list of eligible travelers. They could not tell ... Read More
Travel agent recommended it for our Alaskan cruise. Embankment was the worst. Had to arrange own way to Whittier to board ship when many were shuttled from Airport. We were not on their list of eligible travelers. They could not tell us why. The dock was a mad house with people pushing and shoving to get their luggage to the Shore-man. It was raining. The climb to the boat was steep and the transition down from the walkway to the boat had a small ramp that was wet with not rails to assist seniors who could fall due to wetness and steepness, the crew stood and watched many people struggle to go down the ramp without offering to assist. An accident looking for a place to happen. For the most part the food was not acceptable, nothing like the other cruises. They had a Pizza place that had good food but the other restaurants were not good except for the ones that were additional charge. We ate at one of the steak houses on a special occasion that was good but expensive. All the Excursions was not worth the money. The whale watching one, there were too many people on board and when a whale was spotted, everyone ran over to that side of the boat and if you are not fast all you could see was the back of someones head. Took an ATV ride up a mountain to watch wild life and of course nothing was seen. After arriving back home we did our evaluation for the cruise line and gave them a poor rating. They left a message on our voicemail and said that someone from their customer relations department would call us. They never called. They did call our Travel agent and had him call us and tell us that they would not give us any refund. Funny thing, I did not ask for one. They did offer through him a free bottle of wine if we travel again on Princess Cruise lines. I told him to tell them that that will never happen. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My husbands dream vacation has always been to go to Alaska. We finally saved enough money to go. He is handicapped. We took a land & sea tour, May 14 – 26. It all started with the molded wheel being totally broken off ... Read More
My husbands dream vacation has always been to go to Alaska. We finally saved enough money to go. He is handicapped. We took a land & sea tour, May 14 – 26. It all started with the molded wheel being totally broken off when we arrived at our room at the Denali Lodge. It’s very hard to break them off. I did go to the front desk & the baggage department to report it & advise them their staff should be more careful when throwing luggage around. I also had to go to the front desk 4 times to get a new room card, as our door wouldn’t open. It was very hard for me to go back & forth with my back. They finally sent someone to fix the door. It took over 2 hours to get it resolved. We stayed at the Denali Lodge for 2 nights. We put out our tagged suitcases & wheelchair to be transported to our next hotel, the McKinley. Our luggage arrived but not our wheelchair. The manager was gracious enough to call the Denali. They told him our wheelchair was there and they would send it directly to the Cruise ship Royal Princess. The unacceptable nightmare began there. We had no problem boarding the ship. We never received our luggage until 11am the next day, no wheelchair! We find out that we were assigned to 3 rooms. Our luggage was found in one of the other 2 rooms. We checked with guest services every day. They did give us one of their wheelchairs, but I couldn’t push or maneuver it as I have had 2 back surgeries. My husband has a lightweight transport chair, which I can maneuver. I tried using it for the 1st excursion at Skagway. I couldn’t maneuver it, he even tried pushing me. We weren’t able to go ashore at Juneau because there was no shuttle. We did do a shore excursion at Ketchikan because a bus picked us up right at the ship. We were confined to only part of the ship due to our lack of a wheelchair that I could maneuver. We were at least fortunate enough to be close to the elevators. Luckily we had transport services at the airport for both of us. 11:30pm on the evening we returned home I received a phone call from the Golden Princess asking me where we were. He had our wheelchair. He said they didn’t return to port until June 1st. I emailed lost properties when were returned. Received a return that they have 2 weeks to respond. We had another trip booked for June 5 - 9. We had to borrow a scooter from a friend. Unfortunately it broke down on our 2nd day. Now we have the added expense of fixing their scooter. We were fortunate enough that we had brought 2 of our grandchildren along. They were able to push both of us in wheel chairs. I received a call while on our trip on June 8th, advising me that our wheelchair was being shipped via FedEx. We received it yesterday; June 12th. My husband has had 5 ventral hernia & 2 back surgeries. He has neuropathy in both his feet & lower legs. He also walks around the house with 2 canes. As I stated earlier I have had 2 back surgeries and am in need of another. I feel Princess Vacations could have been more sympathetic as they ruined our Alaska dream vacation. This Alaska vacation was a total disappointment & waste of our money. I feel everything that happened was totally unacceptable & avoidable. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We took the trip as a group of my wife's high school reunion. This was the first time we had a cruise ship trip. The scenes along Alaska shore were spectacular. The meals, especially dinner, were great. The product shows at Princess ... Read More
We took the trip as a group of my wife's high school reunion. This was the first time we had a cruise ship trip. The scenes along Alaska shore were spectacular. The meals, especially dinner, were great. The product shows at Princess Theater were outstanding. We also enjoyed free ice cream at top deck viewing ocean and mountains. The balloon party at Atrium on the last day was phenomenal. It was a very decent trip overall. We flew to Anchorage the day before. We took a bus trip down to Whittier where we embarked the ship. The first two days were all on ship without stops. The ship sailed through Harbour Glacier the first day and Glacier Bay National Park the next day. Then she stopped at Stagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan the next three days. The last day was all on sea again and the ship arrived at Vancouver harbor the next morning. The only major drawback was that no internet access unless you want to pay a ridiculous fee (e.g., $69 per hour). We remember that about 15 years ago, almost every hotel around world charged internet fees. When someone started to offer free wifi access, it became popular and soon every other hotels followed trend. I would imagine that this will happen to cruise ship as well. Someone smart enough to provide free internet access (even for a couple of hours per day) will immediately gain popularity. We are looking for our next cruise trip choice with this feature at top of our list. I was also expecting a Poker tournament but it did not happen. The casino was too small to host one. There was only one poker table and it was electronic. I did not see anyone playing poker the entire trip. Certainly it probably saved me a few bucks but I was disappointed nonetheless. Also, the photos were too expensive ($35 per picture). We would've bought some if the rates were lower. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We choose this particular cruise because we wanted to see Alaska as late in the season as possible. We hoped to see the Northern Lights and our best chance was mid- September. We spent 11 days on land, followed by a 7 day cruise. ... Read More
We choose this particular cruise because we wanted to see Alaska as late in the season as possible. We hoped to see the Northern Lights and our best chance was mid- September. We spent 11 days on land, followed by a 7 day cruise. Boarding the ship couldn't have been any easier. We arrived via tour bus and from the time we dropped our luggage off to the Porter's outside and to us actually getting on the ship was maybe an hour. I was surprised to find that our stateroom was ready immediately and our luggage was waiting for us. The ship was on the smaller side but still quite nice, our cabin was small, but the large closet area made it so much less cramped once we were able to unpack our bags and get our suitcases out of the way. Dining left something to be desired. The food was simply okay at best whether it was in the buffet, dining room, or one of the specialty restaurants. We traveled as a group of 4, and often used the words "interesting" and " unimaginative" to describe whatever it was we were eating. It wasn't necessary good or bad-- just Interesting. I'll admit to being a bit of a picky eater, however there were times I'd go through all of the buffet lines and only come out with a bowl of Alfredo Pasta. I ate the same meal all 3 times we went to the dining room for a lack of anything else. Yes. I'm picky, but not THAT picky. Even my husband who will eat quite literally ANYTHING was pushing food away saying he didn't really like it. The most surprising part was that there was no food available ( other than room service) after 11pm. Entertainment and Actives were a disappointment as well. We booked the cruise knowing Princess was geared towards an older crowd-- which was perfectly fine as we're not really inclined to do much drinking or partying and we were planning to use the time to wind down and relax. The Princess Patter would arrive every evening and we'd read through it and circle whatever activities seemed appealing to us. There wasn't much to choose from.... There were 2 comedy shows offered, and maybe 2-3 of the typical game shows. The major Showtime production was " The Modern Man of the 60's, 70's and 80's." All of the activities ended by 10:30pm and we found ourselves headed to our cabin to watch TV for a lack of anything else to do. On one hand we were disappointed but on the other hand we didn't feel as if we were missing out on anything when we went to our cabin and took a nap. BTW we're in our early 30's, we don't knit, play bingo, eat dinner at 4pm or go to bed by 8:30...... Service was great. Everyone seemed happy and more than willing to accommodate any requests we may have had, Our room attended was always joking around with us and the bartenders would recognize us and remember our drink order. We did not do any shore excursions so I cannot comment on that, but the Ports were nice. Everything was well within walking distance, and they had plenty of stores and shops to poke around in. The scenery was amazing. Disembarking was fairly easy. Nothing out of the ordinary there. We sat next to a couple at the airport who had just taken the same cruise as us. They were a bit older, maybe 50's - early 60's and they more or less said the same thing. They were disappointed in the food and entertainment. We all said this was our First, and Last cruise with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The dates and itinerary of this cruise fit our needs well. Prior to embarking on the seven-night cruise, our package included a full day in Fairbanks and a day in Denali National Park. We enjoyed the land-portion of the trip but those two ... Read More
The dates and itinerary of this cruise fit our needs well. Prior to embarking on the seven-night cruise, our package included a full day in Fairbanks and a day in Denali National Park. We enjoyed the land-portion of the trip but those two days went blindingly fast. Fairbanks is a slow-paced little town. Our museum at the University of Alaska was very informative and well worth the visit. We traveled to Denali by train which was scenic and enjoyable. Denali was beautiful. We boarded the ship in Whittier, which is just outside of Anchorage. The weather, from Anchorage to Vancouver, our debarking port, was unseasonably sunny and clear. There was even one night where passengers that happened to be on the top decks after midnight saw the northern lights. Our cruise took us along beautiful coastlines backed by high, snow-covered mountains. This cruise offered the most beautiful scenery of any trip we've taken. The scenery in Alaska is just magnificent! We cruised up to the face of Hubbard Glacier and visited Glacier Bay. Our ports of call included Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. I'd particularly recommend taking a tour of the Alaska Brewery. The tour can be purchased in town for $25 and includes transportation to the brewery, tastings, and a very informative talk about how the company was founded. We saw streams full of spawning Pink and Coho salmon in Ketchikan. We passed breaching whales, particularly on the stretch of ocean south of Ketchikan. Our experiences on the Star Princess were very good overall. The ship carried about 2,600 passengers so, while large, the ship didn't feel like a floating city. This cruise was after most schools were in session and I counted about a dozen children on the entire boat. The boarding process went smoothly and quickly. The interior cabin room we were assigned was of average cruise ship size. The bed was quite comfortable and we slept well every night. Having a small refrigerator in the room was a plus. Restrooms on the ship were kept very clean. There were stations at the entrance to the buffet to wash one's hands before and after meals. There are a number of swimming pools and hot tubs on the Star Princess. Those were never crowded. The entertainment and onboard lectures offered on this cruise were exceptional. The boat had a very knowledgeable onboard botanist that gave lectures on the geology, flora, and fauna. There was also an onboard author that had lived and traveled in Alaska for decades and who gave several talks. There were several other entertainers that live in Alaska or Canada that were well-known, established entertainers or storytellers. The headliner shows on the Princess Star were outstanding - easily as good as one might find in Las Vegas. The shows put on by the Star Princess singing and dancing troup were also at a professional level - these guys and gals can really sing and dance - far better than the well-meaning but amateur productions that we've seen on some other cruise lines. The ship also offered all kinds of the typical sales events with clothing, jewelry, paintings, etc. There is an onboard casino. And there are karaoke contests, talent shows, games and game shows which we opted not to attend. The quality of the food was above average. We have, so far, cruised on Viking, Princess, Holland, Royal Carribean and Celebrity lines. We'd rate the food in that order. My biggest food-related gripe was that the coffee included with the cruise is powdered instant Nescafe. To get a real, brewed cup of coffee costs about $2.80 per cup. There were a lot of local food included in the menu choices. I enjoyed fresh grilled or smoked salmon every day I was on the boat. We ate a dinner and a lunch in the Capri dining room, where we were assigned. The service there was REALLY slow. Each time, we sat for 45 minutes before our first course arrived and, overall, both meals took about 90 minutes. After those experiences, we ate at Horizon Court buffet. The Horizon Court was very well managed and offered excellent food. There were lots of choices, the dishes were well prepared, hot food was always hot, and every meal there were about a dozen tempting dessert choices. We also had some snacks and desserts at the International Cafe - really good! Tip: When you get desperate for real coffee or an espresso drink, those are available at the International Cafe. Generally, the crew and staff were cordial and helpful. Our room steward was engaging, thorough, and anxious to please. One problem that occurred was that to use the onboard laundries, one needed to purchase tokens from a dispenser. Going to several of the laundries, none of the coin dispensers worked - no out of order signs. After running all over the ship visiting the various laundry rooms trying to find tokens we found that the only way to use the laundries was to stand in line at the Purser's desk and purchase them there. My wife and I greatly enjoyed this experience. We hope to take other Princess Cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Alaska had always been on our list, and felt this was the best way to see it. The lodges were mediocre, understaffed, and running out of provisions because of "end of season". The ship was average, service was good IF you ... Read More
Alaska had always been on our list, and felt this was the best way to see it. The lodges were mediocre, understaffed, and running out of provisions because of "end of season". The ship was average, service was good IF you didn't ask for anything specific, if you did, it took a long time. Bar/Lounge service was the worst. Food was plentiful, as usual, but not anything special. Could never get a really hot meal at the dinning room. There was only one truly good Entertainer a piano player which also had a comedy routine , the others were so so. One comedian was truly inappropriate for the type of audience. The ports were very interesting, and made you wish you had more time to explore. Most of the shore excursions were very good and good value. Overal we had a great time, and were able to overlook some of the issues. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Land and cruise option was the way we wanted to go on our second trip to Alaska. Our loved all the evening shows in the Princess Theatre. There were two entertainers that we especially enjoyed - John Bressler and Steve White. Glad we ... Read More
Land and cruise option was the way we wanted to go on our second trip to Alaska. Our loved all the evening shows in the Princess Theatre. There were two entertainers that we especially enjoyed - John Bressler and Steve White. Glad we decided to take this cruise with our Senior Center so that we could experience all the land portion has to offer since our first trip to Alaska was only a cruise. Great dining service at a scheduled time each evening. Our Cabin Steward was Maria for cabin B641 and she was helpful and always said hello to us when we saw her in the hallway. The ship looked like the carpeting had been replaced recently which I like...don't care for worn out carpeted areas. I enjoy BINGO and the caller, nicknamed Baby Face Bingo, was funny and made bingo a lot of fun. Marcus, the Cruise Director, is also great at his job informing us of all activities as well as bring humor into all his chats. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We booked a Mini-Suite on this cruise when my work schedule conflicted with our Royal Caribbean itinerary in May aboard Jewel of The Seas. Our hopes were high about sailing on Princess to Alaska based on friends' and online reviews. ... Read More
We booked a Mini-Suite on this cruise when my work schedule conflicted with our Royal Caribbean itinerary in May aboard Jewel of The Seas. Our hopes were high about sailing on Princess to Alaska based on friends' and online reviews. Overall, The Golden Princess is an old ship (2001 I believe), and its age is showing. In general the public spaces felt cramped with limited seating, the decor was dated, and the layout of the decks and elevator locations made for a difficult to navigate ship. We were constantly confused about which direction was aft or forward. Directional signage would go a long way. We are in our early 40's, and can't imagine what that's like for older cruisers. The mini-suite is smaller than the Junior suite on RCCL, and this being an older ship, the stateroom also showed quite a bit of wear. There were only two functional outlets in the room. With cameras and other electronics to keep charged, this was inadequate. Also, the fold-out sofa bed was unable to be folded back up into a sofa for sitting. A Pullman bed is probably a better option. They could only provide two deck chairs for our family of three. On the plus side, the closet was huge, and the King bed was very comfortable. Food in the main dining hall and buffet was barely average, which ran counter to everything we heard prior to sailing on Princess. The real head-scratcher was the absence of hot chocolate onboard for an Alaska cruise. Dining staff were not very personable, this may be because we did anytime dining. The itinerary was fine. Juneau and Ketchikan were fantastic places to visit and the excursions (Juneau whale watching with Princess, Ketchikan independent Float Plane operator) were excellent. The Juneau stopover could be hours longer, and the tourist trap of Skagway much shorter. Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay were excellent. All in all this was a ship at the end of its sailing life doing a trip at the end of the season. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018

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