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508 Whittier to Alaska Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because we ran out of time planning a trip to Alaska on our own. We had friends who had done the cruise a couple of weeks before and they said it is a wonderful cruise, scenic, and with good stops/excursions. I was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we ran out of time planning a trip to Alaska on our own. We had friends who had done the cruise a couple of weeks before and they said it is a wonderful cruise, scenic, and with good stops/excursions. I was not expecting much. I am a "I am never going to cruise again" person after my first and only cruise before this (21 years ago!!) Now I feel dumb! What a beautiful ship, what excellent service, what a great choice of restaurants and what FUN! As to the ship, it's refurbished, very comfortable and easy to get around. It's very lovely and anywhere you choose to take a selfie, you'll look good! The starboard side is heated, so sitting on the deck on a cooler/cold day (yes, even in July/August!) was not an issue. Lots of outside deck chairs and the view is spectacular. There were 2100 people on this cruise and I would not have guessed unless I decided to eat in the Horizon dining room (buffet) which I did a couple of times for breakfast. Our cabin was an interior which I selected with the help of people on this site, so THANK YOU!!! We were in Cabin 521C, 10th floor. It's midship and very quiet. No window, no problem, remember, it's just a place to sleep and it had a very, very comfortable bed. Besides, it's Alaska, it's daytime all the time and I like to sleep in a quiet, dark room. I would choose this room again, no problem. BUT FOLKS, PLEASE NOTE: Do reserve THE SANCTUARY on your scenic cruising days!! Especially when you go to Glacier Bay National Park! This is a MUST. We did, just by accident as this was a day they had four chairs, and it was the BEST way to see the glaciers. It's limited in seating, you're not 5/6 people deep at the rails, and they feed your breakfast, lunch, snack and drinks. Bonus: Princess Cruise mug and Sanctuary ear covers/head wrap. Your own lounge chair and blanket. We had a beautiful day for Glacier Bay and would do it again in a heartbeat. Well worth the price of admission! Your first meal on the ship is in the Horizon dining, and the food was great and the choices were plentiful. We had a scheduled time in the restaurant on the sixth floor, but anytime fine dining (i.e., not buffet) was on the fifth floor and just amazing. There were three other restaurants that were available, but for pay. We went to the bars at these restaurants, but I had no complaints about the food, so it was easy to stay with the dining options already included. Plenty of entertainment, most of it wonderful, some of it reminded me of my first cruise, very dated. Funche, Sound Explosion and a solo guitar folk singer were very talented. The chef and head Maitre d' had a fun show about cooking, funny and sweet. We are not big on entertainment, so I am not your best source for this type of information. We did plenty of excursions, do that as to your taste of adventure, but we loved the Nenana Whitewater rafting, the raft trip down and the UTV adventure! The Discovery Paddle wheel ride and Gold dredge was super fun! Exiting the ship was such a breeze, honestly, I have not ONE complaint! This ship and it's crew are professional, organized and just wonderful people who enjoy their jobs. Go. Go and have fun! I hope you all have as much fun as we did! Yes, we're going again, no doubt! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
8 adult family members traveling together on a cruise for the second time. The first was on the NCL Pride of America in 2015 to Hawaii. For this trip, my mother-in-law selected the Princess "Voyage of the Glaciers" because ... Read More
8 adult family members traveling together on a cruise for the second time. The first was on the NCL Pride of America in 2015 to Hawaii. For this trip, my mother-in-law selected the Princess "Voyage of the Glaciers" because of the option to add the land tour. 4 of the family did not take the land tour. My husband and in-laws and I added the 3 day extra option, and arrived in Fairbanks on Sunday prior to sailing. We met a few other people that had done the cruise first and land tour second. I'm glad we did the reverse - the people we spoke to were having a good time, but were already exhausted from the excitement of the cruise and weren't thrilled about schlepping from lodge to lodge for an additional period of time. I am very glad we did the land tour - we toured Gold Dredge 8 and did the Riverboat Discover tour in Fairbanks. It's pretty slow paced, but kind of fun. My MIL really liked panning for gold. The entire party enjoyed the Riverboat and seeing sled dogs and the Chena Village. Next we went to Denali. We did not see the mountain (rain and fog, so not surprising since the mountain is only visible like 8 times the entire summer), but had a several-hour drive through the national park. After Denali, we took the railroad to the ship which was AMAZING. We had gorgeous sunny weather, which helped. The outdoor viewing platforms are small and will get crowded at times, but it's a nice break from sitting in the seat upstairs. The domed cars are great for sightseeing - but if the sun is out they will get pretty warm by the end of the trip. What was even better was to have embarkation agents join us a couple of hours out to make sure we had all of our documents ready. We received our key cards as we pulled up to the ship, and walked directly through security on board. One note about the Princess lodges - they aren't super fancy, but they're clean, and how much time do you really spend in the hotel anyway? Be prepared to spend $20-$25 a person for a lunch or dinner though, whether eating at the lodge or at a neighboring place. Breakfast might be a little cheaper if you do coffee and a muffin, but we did the buffet 2 mornings in Fairbanks and it was worth it. My cabin review is below. We did the standard dining with assigned time/table. I'd seen other reviews that said the waitstaff wasn't friendly or helpful - we had the opposite experience. Our team of waiters (Vincente, Jaco and Maddela) were fabulous. By night 3 of the cruise, they had our standard drink orders and preferences down. They were also great when one of our party caught a salmon in port and wanted it served the next night at dinner. The food was good quality. I think NCL had more options in their main dining room each night, but no one in our party left hungry. My FIL can't have cow dairy for allergy reasons, and he always had options or they'd special order for him. We also ate at the buffet - very good, service also helpful. My husband and I also really liked the pizza on the lido deck. Our drinks package included specialty coffees so we made good use of that option. While there were a good variety of bars, we were a little disappointed that there weren't good places to get a drink and just sit outside watching the ocean or scenery. We could sit on our balcony, but the majority of the public bars are either interior or the exterior bars don't have much seating (such as near the pool decks). Scenic cruising was the major activity on this cruise, and it was well worth it. I am so glad we had a balcony so that I didn't have to jostle anyone else to get a good spot for taking photos. It was also nice to be able to step back into the cabin to hear the commentary on the TV, get a drink or use the bathroom quickly. I think I spent hours on the balcony enjoying the views. I also used the hot tub 3 different times which was nice when it was raining and glaciers were going by. I liked the "Movies Under the Stars" too - very fun, even if it doesn't truly get "dark" for parts of the trip. We didn't participate in many of the other ship activities - but we were also some of the younger people on the cruise. One activity that we liked was the culinary demonstration and galley tour - that was amazing! The entertainers (comedian and dancers/singers) were on par with what we've seen on other cruises, although the theater on the Island Princess is smaller and the sound not as nice. Ports - Skagway is very touristy - we were told by a guide that only about 300 people live there year-round. Everyone was very nice, but it's pretty clear that 80% of downtown closes down once the cruise ships leave. My husband found a little walking trail to a scenic lookout on TripAdvisor, so we did that before our excursion, and that was nice. We didn't want to do the "old west" or railroad tours, so we took the ferry to Haines to the eagle preserve. It was a good excursion, but a long day. Juneau is the biggest city that we had port in, and I think there were either 4 or 5 ships there at the same time. It's also very touristy around the cruise ship terminals. Local coffee at Heritage is the BEST. I took a photo safari that was amazing - whale watching and the Mendenhall Glacier. I liked this port the best. Ketchikan - we did 4x4 Jeep/canoeing, and that was a lovely change of pace from being on the ship. We also walked around the cruise ship area - again, there were multiple ships on that day, but it didn't seem too chaotic. The Arctic Bar is a must-do. Overall, the ports are clean and easy to navigate. Plenty of transportation for anyone that can't walk very far. I will say that the security checks to come back on ship from port seemed a bit chaotic and not well organized, but that's just compared to our experiences with NCL. Disembarkation was smooth - other members of our party chose to have their luggage taken from their rooms the night before, but my husband and I carried our own bags off. We didn't have an excursion in Vancouver, so we did the bus direct to airport and skipped Canadian customs. It went smoothly - just be prepared to spend some time at the airport since they want you off the ship ASAP whichever option you choose. It took us about 35-40 minutes to get from the cruise terminal to the airport on the bus. Then we had hours to kill before our flight at 2 PM. Luckily, the airport has good WiFi and a pretty good selection of places to eat or get a drink. If you're flying from Vancouver back to the US, they will pre-clear you with customs (we didn't know this ahead of time). It's a great time saver, especially if you're making a connection state-side to a second location. No picking up luggage to clear customs and re-check bags. It was a very well organized process. Overall, this was an amazing cruise. We had a good experience on Princess. I do think this cruise itinerary and line cater toward an older crowd than we've experienced on NCL. I would, however, cruise with Princess again in the future. I would recommend it to anyone wanting a taste of Alaska. We hope to go back! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
ship was old - worn holes in chair in room - carpet had worn spots - carpet was coming apart in doorways - mold in shower - food in main dining room was boring & tasteless - showers very small - the only thing that I can say I liked ... Read More
ship was old - worn holes in chair in room - carpet had worn spots - carpet was coming apart in doorways - mold in shower - food in main dining room was boring & tasteless - showers very small - the only thing that I can say I liked about the cruise were the beds - very comfortable - doubtful we will ever go on a Princess cruise again - help was not that friendly, almost like they were too busy to really get to know you. The main dining room servers were aloof, almost as if they were 'above' you, you were just a faceless person. The entertainment was just as disappointing as the ship itself - mostly the crew doing the entertaining. The shore excursions were 'just ok'. We feel that we did not get very good value for our money. The views were fantastic - but that is expected, it was Alaska after all. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I've always heard that the land tour and cruise are the best for seeing Alaska and that Princess was the first line there. So I decided to book directly through Princess and it was a cluster from day one. The booking agent was ... Read More
I've always heard that the land tour and cruise are the best for seeing Alaska and that Princess was the first line there. So I decided to book directly through Princess and it was a cluster from day one. The booking agent was incompetent. Supervisors are rude and inconsiderate. The ship is old and decrepit. But I must admit the food was above average and the entertainment was decent. Under no circumstances would I ever recommend Princess. The service on board the vessel was mediocre at best – waitstaff are rude and many of the stewards are arrogant. Trip itself was great. We sailed Princess once before and the food was below average, and the ship workers were unfriendly. We thought it was a fluke. It is a systemic problem with Princess. But for my great assistant helping to fix all the travel problems with airlines booked through Princess, we never would've made it and there were five of us traveling. I went all the way to the top of the food chain of customer service and was treated without any courtesy or respect. I am no longer an investor in this cruise line and I will only sail celebrity, Royal Caribbean, or Holland America. I will never recommend Princess to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
enjoyed talk on iditarod...enjoyed the captain's cocktail hour....enjoyed the classical music trio....our first glacier sighting was a wash due to weather...too bad we couldn't have gone closer...other glacier encounters were ... Read More
enjoyed talk on iditarod...enjoyed the captain's cocktail hour....enjoyed the classical music trio....our first glacier sighting was a wash due to weather...too bad we couldn't have gone closer...other glacier encounters were great...especially in the glacier bay national park; cruising there was great....we did a great float plane excursion in ketchikan to visit the anan wilderness area...highly recommend this tour..(not a princess tour, but rather through family air in ketchikan). we like to dance, but rock and roll night with the crew director and his staff is a complete waste...don't know why they feel compelled to do this.....completely wastes one night with the band....enjoyed happy hour in the far rear nightclub....very smooth embarkation experience, were in our room with our luggage within one half hour......disembarking was equally easy......princess isn't the best at everything but they are good value for the money..would be helpful if their shipboard wifi was better, doesn't always work great in your room Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
After looking at the various brochures and excursions, I felt confident Princess Cruises would be the best choice. The pictures showed the wildlife in Denali National Park as plentiful and when I experienced Denali National Park by Tour ... Read More
After looking at the various brochures and excursions, I felt confident Princess Cruises would be the best choice. The pictures showed the wildlife in Denali National Park as plentiful and when I experienced Denali National Park by Tour Bus, we didn't see much of anything. Very disappointed by this, the 10th day of my 11 day Alaska Package with Princess Cruises, I finally seen some of the wildlife I was looking forward to see. This was an excursion in Ketchikan, AK. The cruise's entertainment was very poor. I walked out on most shows and entertainment. I compare this with Holland American and Norwegian cruises I have taken in the past. Those shows were perfection compared to the Las Vegas type entertainment. I don't know where Princess Cruises' entertainment coordinator was when they ended up with the entertainment on this cruise. I found many times to be bored to tears whereas the other cruises kept me so busy and entertained, I didn't have time to sleep. The food, especially the buffet, were a disappointment. What happened to the midnight buffet and the ice carvings? This last cruise with Princess had one buffet open and I visited 2 days into the cruise for lunch. It was not visually appealing and appetizing. It looked like an inexpensive buffet you'd find in any city. Nothing special. The dining experience was good as long as you had assigned seating. The dining room had good quality food for the most part, but there were times I had to reject the food due to it being undercooked or bad taste. I'm not a picky eater so it must have been bad! The embarkation was poorly coordinated. Princess Cruises released me off the ship too late and missed my flight from Vancouver to Seattle and then to Phoenix. To top that off Alaska Air had a 4 hour delayed flight I was on again missing my connection and luggage. Alaska Air treated me very nice, compensated my inconvenience with a discounted ticket for future travel, and never charged me for rebooking due to Princess Cruises lack of getting me off the ship in time for my flight. Allow 4 hours at the airport when going through customs...that's what I was later told at the airport. I was told by my Trip Advisor at Princess Cruises to complain to Customer Service. I wrote them an e-mail (address provided by my Trip Advisor) 3 weeks ago and I have not heard a word back from them. They have terrible service all the way around. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was a great cruise with a wonderful itinerary. You must see Glacier Bay. It was wonderful to have a park ranger come on board during our cruising that day to talk about the area. I enjoyed the naturalist on board during the week who ... Read More
This was a great cruise with a wonderful itinerary. You must see Glacier Bay. It was wonderful to have a park ranger come on board during our cruising that day to talk about the area. I enjoyed the naturalist on board during the week who shared about the wildlife we were seeing. Our captain was wonderful- enthusiastic and friendly, which I believe made the staff happy and enthusiastic. We traveled with our two children (3 and 5) who ADORED the kid's zone. I appreciated the way that cleanliness was promoted- hand sanitizers around the ship at dining rooms, staff cleaning up constantly. Our room was great. Beds were comfortable, balcony was so enjoyable. Our steward, Marilyn, was friendly and hard-working. Our remote on tv was impossible to work, but she mentioned that our first day in the room and that they were trying to replace them. All of the shore excursions we did were fabulous. We are sad to be home and can't wait to return. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This is a trip we would recommend to anyone. This was a 10 day with 3 day land beginning on 6/25 in Anchorage and ending in Vancouver. We booked through Costco which is always hassle free. The one thing we didn't realize is that ... Read More
This is a trip we would recommend to anyone. This was a 10 day with 3 day land beginning on 6/25 in Anchorage and ending in Vancouver. We booked through Costco which is always hassle free. The one thing we didn't realize is that virtually everything is Princess. The lodges, the motor coaches and even the railway. Everything was incredibly seamless and went like clockwork. The Princess Lodges in McKinley and Denali were beautiful and the rooms rustic and charming. We had very good weather on the land portion but Denali was only partially visible at any given time. The restaurants in the lodges were very good albeit a little pricey. The cruising portion of the trip was fantastic. The service on the ship is really over the top excellent. It's hard to point out any particular person because they're all terrific. The food was very good and we did "anytime" dining. Although it was a full ship we never had to wait for seating. As with everything else the service in the restaurants was excellent.. We are pretty good drinkers but on a trip like this the drink package is a waste of money. Unlike a Caribbean cruise you're too busy all day to drink. Pre order a case or 2 of water which will be in your room upon arrival and costs $6.90 for 12 bottles as opposed to $2 per bottle onboard. Drinks are $8 and they have several happy hours with buy 1 get 1 for a $1. Hard to justify $52 per day per person. The Island Princess is a very nice ship. Very slightly dated in some areas but overall very appealing. Our stateroom D217 was in a very good location. Starboard side towards the front of the ship in the "bump out" so your balcony view is not blocked by other balconies. A very good location on the Dolphin Deck because there are staterooms above and below so there is no noise from common areas. The only drawback as noted by everyone is the size of the shower. My wife and I are thin and could barely fit. No way a large person could get in. We booked our 3 excursions through Princess and were very satisfied with them all. The Denali Explorer trip which is included in the tour went 30 miles into the park was very well moderated even though we saw no wildlife coming or going. A bit disappointing. Our paid excursions were the White Pass Railroad in Skagway (fun), Whale watching in Juneau (very successful. Saw many whales, incredible) and the Duck Boat tour of Ketchikan which was made especially entertaining by the moderator Cody. Overall the weather on land was very good and the weather in ports was spotty. Overcast mostly and only actually rained in Ketchikan. Temps in the mid to high 50's. I have to add that the scenic cruising of the glaciers, Hubbard and Glacier National Park was something you can't describe and have to witness. I'm not really a "show" person but the 2 shows we saw were excellent. comedian Michael Wilson was very funny and the Piano Man show was very well executed. We had previously sailed on Celebrity to the Caribbean, not quite as interesting an itinerary and the ship and service were very good. That being said, I can't imagine any cruise line doing Alaska better than Princess. Bravo! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Overall a great cruise. Food was the best we have ever had on any cruise-line. Drinks were properly made and served. Cabin was a little small - but we expected that. Unfortunately, the weather was not good - but the cruise can not ... Read More
Overall a great cruise. Food was the best we have ever had on any cruise-line. Drinks were properly made and served. Cabin was a little small - but we expected that. Unfortunately, the weather was not good - but the cruise can not be blamed for that. The only two small complaints - the entertainment was terrific, but way too early. We had the late seating, and most of our shows were at 7 (pre-dinner). When you are in port till 7, you do not want to run back to make a show - so we missed many. Also, that meant that after dinner our choices were limited to the casino or the piano bar. The other small complaint was the lack of an indoor or covered pool. Again, bad weather meant that no one was going to swim or "hang" by the outdoor pool. Again, minor complaints. Service, food and the ship itself made the trip A+ Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We've cruised with Crystal before and have high expectations for this cruise line. The checkin and buses from downtown to Whittier was very confusing and a big mess, with no one really seeming to know what was happening, but the ... Read More
We've cruised with Crystal before and have high expectations for this cruise line. The checkin and buses from downtown to Whittier was very confusing and a big mess, with no one really seeming to know what was happening, but the buses arrived and we all got to the port eventually (our group was split over 3 buses). Cabins were ready early so we were able to unpack before dinner, which you don't see on the larger ships. The cabins are also much quieter and better insulated than other cruise lines. The quality of the food seems to have gone down a bit as well and they didn't have a formal night (which would have been nice to know in advance to save packing tux & dress). The daily tea time is wonderful and I highly recommend it. The service was good and staff very pleasant. Our main concern is that we had ongoing issues with our toilet not flushing properly that was never really resolved. Add to that a strong sewer odor in the hallway on our deck (7) outside our cabin. This made for a most unpleasant experience walking to/from the cabin. Fortunately it didn't smell INSIDE our cabin or I would have been most upset! Even our cabin steward said she had reported the sewer smells in the hallway. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I had traveled with Tauck Tours in Europe and choose their land and sea cruise to Alaska. I was nervous about the Princess Cruise, but Tauck sent me assurances Tauck guest would me "a group on its own" for the most part." ... Read More
I had traveled with Tauck Tours in Europe and choose their land and sea cruise to Alaska. I was nervous about the Princess Cruise, but Tauck sent me assurances Tauck guest would me "a group on its own" for the most part." Of our 39 guests, I imagine 70-80% came back sick with a cough and sneezes. 100% of our group of 4 came home sick. We returned to Vancouver last July 1 and I have been sick for 11 days. My husband is also sick. I never saw anyone cleaning the railing or elevators. Princess turned the "Any-Time dining room" into a Flee market - $10 Chinese made items - twice during our 3 days at sea!!! The muster drill was a joke. We had to walk down 5 flights of stair to an interior corridor. I wouldn't know how to get off the ship. After a hour of muddling around inefficiently, we were told to follow the crew if there was an emergency. If you love being sick, if you love terrible food, and you love to buy key chains and purses from China (don't worry, they also set up tables though-out the ship) and be bothered by having at least 6 pictures of each of the 2800 passengers taken, this is the cruise for you. I recommend, before you go, to schedule a doctor's appointment for a day or two after you return home. Or call the CDC. You will be sick. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our second cruise to Alaska. This time we wanted to do the land tour to Denali. We choose to again cruise with Princess. The Star Princess was wonderful and so was our land tour. Princess is very organized and all the staff ... Read More
This was our second cruise to Alaska. This time we wanted to do the land tour to Denali. We choose to again cruise with Princess. The Star Princess was wonderful and so was our land tour. Princess is very organized and all the staff very friendly and helpful. Every staff member we passed always greeted us with a smile or a "Hello, have a good day". Our balcony cabin on the Aloha Aft Deck was quiet. Our cabin was very clean as was the whole ship. Our only complaint was we noticed the carpet is showing wear in our cabin. In fact we did not hear any complaints from other guests we met. The food was very good on the Star. This was our first time doing Anytime Dining and we never had to wait to be seated at dinner. The shows were very good and the theatre was packed nightly. We had 2 shore excursions and both were small group sizes, traveling in a van. Our guides were good and provided entertaining information. They always stop or slow down when wildlife is sighted. The 4 day land tour was amazing. We had excellent service from Princess. They had plenty of staff to keep us all organized and informed on our travels between the McKinley Princess and Denali Wilderness Princess. The 9 hour train ride back to Whittier went surprisingly fast. The train was very comfortable and we enjoyed going down stairs to eat lunch in the dining car. We also took advantage of the outdoor area on the train. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was the Alaskan cruise we had been talking about taking for some time. First a 7 day cruise tour and then the cruise. Land tour was great except for too many long bus rides. Every day or every other day we were getting up very early ... Read More
This was the Alaskan cruise we had been talking about taking for some time. First a 7 day cruise tour and then the cruise. Land tour was great except for too many long bus rides. Every day or every other day we were getting up very early to put the luggage out and get on the bus. The scenery was great. Got to the ship only to be told that we couldn't fly home from Vancouver because we had passport cards and not our actual passports. Everything including air was booked through Princess. Nobody ever told us to bring passports and when booking, they asked for our passport card number. Took four days for them to finally change our departing flight to Seattle. We were told that a refund would be coming but haven't seen it yet. Star is the same ship we were on in the Mediterranean 10 years ago. Looks about the same to us. The employees were great. The food had its ups and downs. My wife believes it's due to the limited ports available for re-stocking. The shorts ribs could not be cut, most of the food was very under-seasoned, the beef wellington was pretty good, and the crab legs were good. The shrimp cocktails were similar to the smallest and cheapest shrimp you could buy in a grocery store. Desserts were all very good. Bring your own bottled water as they want $2.50 for a 16 oz bottle of water. The magician was good as was the variety dance show. The casino is tight. We didn't see hardly anyone winning. We chose anytime dinning which worked out well. After the first night with an efficient but unsociable waiter we switched dining rooms and ended up with Nicholas, who was fantastic. If you did not set up excursions with the ship you could buy them on land. Some had flexibility in their pricing. Most of the towns were tourist traps. We did not buy a meal package on the land tour and quickly discovered that almost all of the meals ended up being $30+ for two people. We ended up with a wildlife tour in Ketchikan that was not worth $65. Never tried the hamburgers but heard they were pretty good. The pizza was pretty good. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Did this cruse 15 years ago and being our first cruse was a bit overwhelmed, so wanted to have a do-over. This time we were ready with better excursions and did the weather really cooperated for us providing nearly clear days. We even ... Read More
Did this cruse 15 years ago and being our first cruse was a bit overwhelmed, so wanted to have a do-over. This time we were ready with better excursions and did the weather really cooperated for us providing nearly clear days. We even saw the entire Denali range cloud free from the McKinley lodge! Our itinerary brought us to the Kenai lodge where we took the Kenai Fjords cruse and that was fantastic seeing glaciers, whales, sea lions and puffins. We were on the Star Princess last time and while the ship showed some wear it was still in very good shape as far as I was concerned. Did not attend many of the shows, but movies under the stars was fun. As for the shipboard excursions I liked the White Pass railroad tour the best although all of them were good. In all, I thought Princess did very well and would recommend this trip to others. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise because it was our 40th wedding anniversary. After research and talking with our travel agent we found out that Princess had it's own lodges for the land portion we wanted and was one of the few cruise lines that ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was our 40th wedding anniversary. After research and talking with our travel agent we found out that Princess had it's own lodges for the land portion we wanted and was one of the few cruise lines that could cruise Glacier Bay and get up close to the glaciers. We had previously done 2 cruises with Oceania but their itinerary did not work for our time. We knew Princess would not be Oceania but had heard good things about them also. We did have a wonderful time but some things I wanted to write about. We flew into Fairbans and Princess was there to meet us and take us to their Lodge in Fairbanks. We had a long travel day so we just walked the grounds of the lodge and had dinner outside on the deck to enjoy the beautiful weather and sunshine. The Princes RIverside Lodge sits on the Chena River. The our room was very basic but clean, This lodge could use some updating. Our dinner was very good. They told us that we could pack a bag that they would take ahead to the ship. We would then pack another bag with enough clothes for the next 3 days and our necessities we needed to stay with us. If someone would of told us this before we left it would of simplified our packing at home. The next day we had a morning excursion on The Riverboat Discovery for a narrated cruise along the Chena and Tenana River. We enjoyed this very much. It was a beautiful day and we sat up top of the boat. The narrator was terrific and staff very friendly. You get to watch a sea plane take off and land on the river in front of you. The PIlot talked by radio and it it piped over the loud speaker. Along the way you stop at Susan Butchers Iditarod sled dog kennel. Her husband brings dogs to the shoreline and you watch from the boat. Later at the Athabasca Village they bring dogs to the village and a musher gives a talk. You can also purchase the book of her famous dog Granite, makes a great gift especially for a grandchild. Coming back you get off at the Athabasca Village and young Alaskan Native Guides give talks on native lifestyle, clothing, and fishing. They also tell you about all the homes along the river. The river was kind of muddy but the scenery was beautiful. After you dock they have a gift shop and box lunches for purchase or if your tour includes lunch they have a restaurant. Ours did not and the box lunches were picked over by the time we got to them. They needed more staff at registers and a better system of getting the lunches. We ate outside on a beautiful day. We then boarded a bus for our trip to Denali Princess WIlderness Lodge. This took about 3 hours and we arrived very late afternoon. Our bus driver was Steve and he was great. The Lodge and grounds were beautiful. Our room was just fine. We had to repack and have our bags out early in the morning. We then went for a walk and enjoyed the late sunshine and dinner at The KIng Salmon restaurant. It was very good and we enjoyed our server who was delightful. We had time to do a little shopping in the gift shop and order our box lunch for after our tour the next day. The next morning we went to the coffee shop for breakfast and they told us they didn't serve some of the hot items any longer even though they were up on the board. We then left to go into the Park on our tour. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about so much of the Park. He was very personable and we enjoyed him. The only thing we didn't like was the part of the tour where you walked to a cabin and a lady talked about what it was like to live there many years ago. I think she thought she was performing a play instead of talking to us, also the mosquitos were so bad you could hardly pay attention. The rest of the tour we saw moose, bald eagles, a bear, way off in the distance and a native Alaskan gave a talk about culture. If we ever get to go back we would love to go further into the park. After retuning to the Lodge we picked up our boxed lunch we ordered and then took a 3 hours bus ride to Mt McKinley Lodge. Our bus driver was ok she seemed to forget quite a bit of what she was talking about and rambled. We went and heard a talk by a lady who was on a expedition to climb Denali. After 3 weeks and an 11 day storm they had to go back. She was very interesting to hear. We loved the Princess Lodge at Mt McKinley. The flowers were beautiful and we sat on the large porch outside. Denali was in the clouds so we did not see it, as most people don't. They had an outside fire pit area which looked very cool but very crowded. At our restaurant we did not have a good experience. We sat at the bar and our server was not polite to us, she was very busy. Finally another man came and helped us and by that time we were getting unhappy. The food was just ok and not worth the hassle of we had to go thru to get it. Our room was nice and in a separate part away from the main lodge. THhe next morning we took a bus ride to Talkeetna, it was pouring rain but our driver was fantastic!. SHe was a young lady with spunk and an interesting story. We LOVED Talkeetna. If we go back again we would stay there and do day trips from there. It is a quirky, colorful town and definitely tourist friendly. We had breakfast at The Roadhouse. You sit at a family style table with anyone. We sat with several local people and another couple traveling like us. The breakfast was great and huge. The bakery was amazing. We got a raspberry cinnamon roll to go and ate it as we walked thru town and did some shopping. They then took us by bus to the train station where we then went to the cruise ship in Whittier. It was an enclosed glass train car and you are assigned seats so you don't now who you are sitting with. The trip is 6 hours to the cruise ship port. We were able to order lunch and drinks on the train. They do a narrative along the way. The scenery is beautiful and we were glad we did it, it's just a long trip. We arrived in the rain at the port. After going thru security, we were the last people on board the ship. Our luggage was in our room, Dolphin Deck Room 333. We had to immediately go to the muster drilll in the Princess Theater. AFter that we went to dinner in the MDR. After a long day of travel we ordered a glasss of wine and they said they did not have that wine. It seemed odd to us since it was the first day of our cruise and they were already out of something. We purchased the beverage alcohol package. They then said they had a bottle of something similar. At this point we were tired and just said ok. Something seemed off, the staff kept trying to sell us things all along, like a wine tasting, photos. We just wanted to eat dinner and have a glass of wine at leisure and not be rushed. We felt that way every time we went to the MDR. We even had to tell our waiter one time to just slow down we didn't want to be rushed that way. Our next day was a sea day and it was cruising Hubbard Glacier. We enjoyed the day very much. Then Glacier Bay National Park was next. The Park Service brought a ranger on ship and she gave a talk and then pointed out high lights as we cruised. Our captain got as close to the glacier as he could and stayed on each side about 45 minutes. It was raining so we went to our room balcony and got fantastic views!. We loved this day. The first day into a port was Skagway. We had booked our excursions ahead of time and 2 planned for that day. The morning we did the White Pass Scenic Railway Tour. If we would have known our train ride previously was 6 hours we would not have done this. It was just ok, didn't need another train ride. The afternoon we did the CHilkoot Train HIke and Float Adventure. They took you out of town in a van to start the hike. This was a 2 mile hike in with a guide who was wonderful and told us all about the rain forest we were in. Then we floated back down the river to meet the van. We loved this. We saw several bald eagles, beautiful scenery and felt like we were experiencing Alaska. It was a Discovery Exclusive Excursion. We got back to town with no time to see the town. It looked nice from the van as we rode thru. We would go back to Skagway. The next day was Juneau. We had booked the Alaska Whales and Mendenhall Trail Animal Planet Recommended excursion. We had another great day!. Our guide met us and we drove out of town to the Mendenhall Glacier Trail. It was a 1 mile hike, really a walk to a lake with a beautiful view of the Mendenhall Glacier. Annie was fantastic, She was very knowledgable and funny. She follows the whales from Alaska in the summer to Hawaii in the winter. She encouraged questions and gave us ample time for photos. We then took the van to a marina and picked up a whale watching boat. It was a smaller boat with only about 25 people on it. The windows all opened and there was plenty of opportunity for photos. They took us as close as possible to the whales we saw and it was AMAZING! Our captain was very good and took us several places and moved with the whales. On our way back in Juneau we drove thru the town and it looked great. I had time to check out a few of the shops before the boat left, it was an early day to leave. Our final stop was Ketchikan. Again we loved it here. Our excursion was The Misty Fjords Wilderness Flight and Cruise. There was about 10 of us on the small flight. Our pilot was great and got us as close as possible to the mountains to take photos. Plenty of beautiful scenery. We then landed at a boat marina in the middle of a fjord. We took a scenic catamaran back to town. The cruise was longer than we expected. They did have light snacks but it was very long. We did have time to go shopping in Ketchikan and ate a late lunch at Annabelle's Chowder House. This was recommended by a local shop merchant who owned a great gallery called Arctic Spirit Gallery. They have beautiful local jewelry and gifts. MIchael is the owner and is wonderful. His wife also owns the store next door. It was nice to have a quality local store to shop in and not just touristy jewelry and souvenir stores. The last day was a sea day. It was beautiful and we spent most of the time outside by the pool. We pulled into Vancouver on our last day early. We had been there before so we were going home. It was a beautiful skyline going into the harbor. Disembarkation was smooth and they had our bags at the airport. Something's about our boat: The Coral Princess is the smaller of 2 boats that cruise Alaska. It was clean but it big need of updating. Our cabin was a balcony cabin. It was clean but definitely needed updating. The shower/tub had a gouge in it and needed to be recalled. The bathroom tile did not match. There was a updated different tile strip on the wall but old harvest gold tile on the floor. Our steward, Raymond was fantastic. Very nice, friendly and did a wonderful job every day. One day they came to so some painting on our balcony when we were gone all day. They never did come back to clean up their paint chips where they had scraped and repainted. You could also see other areas of rusitng and areas where they just repainted over old paint. The 2 shows we went to were good and we enjoyed them. The buffet was very good. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner there during our trip. All the food was good and looked fresh. The staff had a hard time keeping up with cleaning tables. There was also the annoying people selling bellini's constantly going by. All in all we had a very nice trip. The land portion was too much moving for us and bus time. If we did it again we would structure it differently on land. We enjoyed the towns and would go back. The Captain and Cruise Director seemed very good. We enjoyed the Crooners Bar for cocktails, and the pizza and grill for lunches. The outside bar also served good pool side drinks. I am not sure we should of bought the drink package I don't think we drank enough to make it worth while but it was convenient. I don't think we would cruise Princess again. For what you got it seemed expensive and they were constantly trying to sell you more but we wanted this itinerary and the dates were what we needed so we tried it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My husband and I enjoyed this Cruise/Tour 4 years ago and loved it. I decided it would be a great trip to use to introduce my sister and my two cousins to cruising (hubby stayed home with the pups). This was my seventh Princess cruise, but ... Read More
My husband and I enjoyed this Cruise/Tour 4 years ago and loved it. I decided it would be a great trip to use to introduce my sister and my two cousins to cruising (hubby stayed home with the pups). This was my seventh Princess cruise, but then I have never cruised another line to compare. I have never felt the need, as Princess has almost always been enjoyable. We had a mini suite on Dolphin Deck. As others have posted, the remotes were difficult, if not impossible at times, to operate. Our steward, Raymond, was great. Very efficient, but low key. He got our room in top shape almost as a ghost. If we left the room, he magically appeared and freshened it! The ship itself needs a refit. Lots of rust and peeling paint on the balcony and carpets a little soiled. Beds were Princess quality comfortable. If I could figure out how to get one of the mattresses in my bag, I would take it home! My family loved the shows, but I found them only ok. It would be good if they could vary the themes. I have seen Motor City on almost every cruise I have taken, as well as the other variety shows. Time for a change there! Food was not as fabulous as previous cruises. Breakfast in the Horizon was good, but lunches were not to my liking. We only had one evening meal there and "it filled the void", but was not something that was memorable. We did anytime dining and only had to wait a short while one evening. We took our buzzer and sat in the lounge outside the Bordeaux and enjoyed a cocktail. No problem. Food there was ok, not as varied as previous cruises. Service was slow most nights, but the staff was great. Romeo serenaded us one evening and was very attentive. Alisie (not sure of spelling) was great also. He took great care of four old ladies, but service from the back took a while. Again, we enjoyed our time to visit, so no major problem. Our Embarkation and Disembarkation were both a breeze. Crew came aboard our train as we traveled from the Denali Princess Lodge to the ship and had everything but our photos taken care of before we arrived at the ship. Once there, it was a quick walk inside. No wait at all. The two days of voyages to the glaciers were spectacular. We had plenty of time to drink in the beauty and take lots of photographs. This is something everyone should experience. We took independent tours in Juneau and Skagway. We took the Princess tour to the Lumberjack Show. It is a short, pleasant walk from the ship. The show itself is light entertainment. My family loved it. We had plenty of time to wander the streets of downtown Ketchikan, where my family did their part to feed the local economy. Way too many tourist shops for my taste, but it definitely provides jobs for lots of the locals. My big complaint comes with our flights booked through Princess and EZ Aire. We could not book a flight that got us into Anchorage the day before as they arrived just before midnight and there was no offer for shuttle service or hotel accommodations,even at an additional expense. The flight we had to take had us arriving late the night before our land tour began (around 11 pm). Only time to sleep and have breakfast, no time to see the city. Our return flights were a nightmare. We took the Princess excursion of Stanley Park and downtown Vancouver when we disembarked. We had to disembark at 8:05 a.m., the tour lasted about 4 hours, which meant we were dropped at the airport around noon. Our flight did not depart until 10:59 p.m. That makes for a very long day! We are four older ladies who did not feel comfortable leaving our luggage at the area provided at the airport and going back into town by train on our own. United Airlines provided their own chapter to that tale.A tale with more details that you want to hear! None of them good! If you have read to this point, I applaud you. I also encourage you to check this one off your bucket list. Don't just continue to dream about it, DO IT! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This cruise was for our 25th anniversary so we splurged a little more than we normally would have. We booked almost a year early to make sure we got the room we wanted (B416 mini-suite on the port forward facing bump-out). That may have ... Read More
This cruise was for our 25th anniversary so we splurged a little more than we normally would have. We booked almost a year early to make sure we got the room we wanted (B416 mini-suite on the port forward facing bump-out). That may have led to the only "negative" we had on this cruise. When we booked there was no such thing as "Club Class" so when Club Class was announced I pretty much ignored it and what it might add. It turns out our booking was Club Class but that was never really conveyed to us. That led to some confusion at times. There was champagne in our room that we didn't expect and the first night we skipped right past the club class dining room line since we didn't think we were and got into the anytime dining line instead. The next evening the dining room hostess pointed out that our cards said "Club Class" and got us straightened out...though our waiter seemed upset we weren't there the previous evening. Not bad problems to have and really was the worst thing that happened the entire trip :D Hotel: We arrived in Anchorage 2 days early so we could sight see a bit. Princess put us up in the Captain Cook. Hotels are just places to sleep for us. We don't make much use of amenities and don't care much for the door holding and button pushing that swankier hotels do. That said, our room was very nice and the staff was courteous. We were quite happy with our stay. Transfer to the Coral Princess: This was one of two points in our trip that we self imposed some anxiety. This trip was part 25th anniversary cruise and part "pick up another state marathon" for my wife. The marathon was the morning of the 17th...same day as ship departure. Princess had scheduled us an 11AM transfer direct from the hotel to the ship. We talked with one of the Princess representatives in the lobby and explained that my wife would likely not finish her race until 11:30AM and was there another option. They were incredibly understanding! 11AM was the last direct bus from our hotel, but they worked out a solution where we could just walk a few blocks down the the Egan center and take a Princess shuttle over to the airport and from their grab a later shuttle to the ship. They suggested to send our bags on ahead form the hotel so we wouldn't have to drag them all over. This worked out great for us! The hotel allowed us to check out at 12:45 instead of the normal 12:00 which was enough time for my wife to finish her race and get a shower. A short walk to the Egan center and we were on our way to the airport by 1:00. We caught a 2:00 shuttle from he airport to the ship which was well narrated and hit the tunnel just early enough to let us out for 5 minutes to get some stunning glacier photos before ducking through the tunnel and to the ship. By the time we got on board, our luggage was already in our room. Perfect! Deluxe Balcony Breakfast: We wound up with 2 of these! We got ourselves one for Glacier Bay day and our son got us one for our anniversary. Glacier Bay day was too cold to eat outside so we had them set up inside for us. This was fine with the mini-suite but not sure how it would work in a normal balcony room. The food was very good and perhaps a bit excessive! The second breakfast we did have on our balcony. It was on the last sea day. The weather was absolutely beautiful. The ship must have been matching the speed of a tail wind perfectly because it was perfectly still on the balcony. The balcony is a bit small for all the food they bring but we suffered through :) Ultimate Balcony Dinner: Too cold for outside so we had them set up inside again. For dinner they set up a fold up table for the meal. Really not sure how that would have fit on the smaller mini-suite balcony or in one of the smaller balcony rooms without the extra seating area the mini-suite has. I felt bad that the servers stand outside the room while you finish each course so they can bring the next course in at the right time. The food was very good...we both had surf-n-turf. The photographer took us out on the balcony for photos where it was cold and windy and my poor wife had a shelterless/backless evening gown on...she looks cold in every picture they took :( Surprises: We loved our room for Yakutat and Glacier bay cruising! I would sit on the balcony with my long camera lens and my wife would sit just inside the door where she was warmer and could hear the naturalist over the TV. In glacier bay, the naturalist announced a whale siting at 1:00 off the starboard bow. Sigh...our room is port side. But wait! The friendly people here on CC had mentioned the Coral has aft public decks! We quickly walked from our room to the aft deck on our floor and got there just in time to see a humpback waving at us just off the starboard side. There were only 2 other people on the entire deck! We got to watch him wave for a good long time as the ship slowly cruised deeper into the bay. Shortly after we returned to our room we got another wildlife announcement. Bear at 3:00...starboard...sigh. We figured the bear was more likely to vanish into the trees so we quickly hopped up to Lido deck and across to starboard. The bear was still at our 3:00. My wife and I walked aft along the deck to keep even with him until we realized we didn't have to walk any more. The Captain stopped the ship! This was amazing! The bear was only a hundred or so yards away on shore and we could easily watch him root under rocks looking for food. I got some great pictures :D After about 10 minutes, the ship started moving slowly deeper into the bay and we watched as the bear continued to walk along the beach until it was out of sight. Many kudos to Captain Michelle Tuvo for this experience! We're not sure why but we got invited to visit the bridge on our last sea day. We met Captain Tuvo several times out and about...he's a very personable and entertaining individual! We didn't ask why we got invited (Maybe Club Class? Maybe because we renewed our vows on board?) we just went. We spent almost an hour on the bridge and Captain Tuvo was remarkably entertaining :) Excursions: We booked all our excursions through Princess...this was a splurge trip :) We ended up with 2 excursions and both Skagway and Katchikan and one at Juneau (because we couldn't fit in a second one!) Plus we also booked the city/park tour from the ship to the airport on disembarkation. Skagway White Pass Railway: Listen to the nice people here on CC. Do NOT get onto the first car you come to. The nice people helping board the train even suggest there's better seating to be had if you continue walking. We got onto the second to last car they were boarding. It turned out to be the car the tour guide sits in. It also turned out to only have 3 other couples seated in it. I was the only one standing on the outside platform :) Everyone inside got to switch side to side as they pleased :) It didn't hurt that the weather was fabulous and the scenery gorgeous! A very nice trip. Skagway Chilkoot Kayaking: Some people missed the tour...we had to catch the fast fairy to Haines and they didn't make it in time. There wound up being only us and one other couple on the tour. Because of the low number we were able to get onto the water much quicker and our guide took the opportunity to take us to some places they don't normally make it to with larger groups. The lake was calm and the kayaking easy...we never felt exerted or rushed. Afterwards they took us on a tour of Haines which was a nice bonus. Juneau Whale Watching an Mendenhall Glacier: We were the first boat out for the day. Good for us in that we had a little more time on the water...bad for us in that no one had found the whales yet. We only had 14 out of a max of 20 so the boat wasn't overly crowded. Part of the fun was helping search for the whales. Other boats were starting to call in sightings but they were well south of us. The captain was just about to give up and head south when someone caught site of a plume. We were racing out to the general area of the sighting when not 100 yards in front of us she surfaced heading straight for us! It was a remarkable site seeing a bus sized whale heading right for our 40 foot boat! Captain Annette was amazing. She immediately shut the boat down to protect the whale who submerged again just in front of us...and surfaced not 20 feet off our starboard side! We could hear her blow and then suck in another breath! We were much closer than the allowed range but this was no fault of our captain. The whale came up unexpectedly close to us on first surface and the engines were shut down when she resurfaced the second time. The captain did a remarkable job of keeping us a safe distance from he whale while trying to slowly maneuver around so we could get a good tail shot. We followed this whale for 4-5 dives they high-tailed it to the south side of the channel where orcas were spotted! Unlike for the humpback, we didn't have the orcas to ourselves. Captain Annette expertly pulled us into traffic (conversing with the other captains continuously) so we had a good view. We followed the orcas...a pod of 1 male and 2 female...for about 15 minutes before it was time to head back to shore. Zodiac Tour: The weather was bright and sunny...yes, in Ketchikan! They bundled us up but good in additional wool socks, heavy rain gear, wool hood and mask and gloves...we didn't need any of it. It was great to know they had the equipment because were it rainy we would have needed it! The boats are very stable and surprisingly comfortable. Our guide was very alert and ensured we were safe at all times as we crossed the channel and cruised along the coast of some of the islands. We didn't see any bear, but our guide did bring a couple of perch to feed the bald eagles. The snatched the fish out of the water not 20 feet in front of us! Wildlife Tour: Unfortunately we didn't get to see much wildlife this tour. Some eagles of course...they're everywhere! We got close to some seals lounging about. We searched a good long while along the coast for bear but never saw any...the group before us were excitedly chatting about the black bear they saw as they were getting off the boat. We were a little disappointed as we were speeding our way back in. We were chatting with our guide when she suddenly perked up and hurried up to tell the captain she had seen a whale. He swung the boat around and took us back so we could get some great views but we couldn't stay long since we needed to be back for all aboard. The captain and our guide were very knowledgable and it was a very pleasant few hours even if we didn't get to see a bear. Vancouver City and Stanley Park Tour: This was the second of our self inflicted points of anxiety. The tour says not to book if your flight is before 2:00PM. When we booked, our flight was 2:45PM. That time change many times before our trip so we just kept the booking thinking we'd cancel onboard if it seemed like a problem. Our final flight time was 1:40PM. We decided to keep the tour anyway. The tour was nice...the guide very nice. We got to stop a couple places in Stanely Park to flex our legs. We lost 2 people at our first stop :( The driver spent almost 20 minutes looking for them and calling the other busses to see if they had gotten on another one by accident. Finally he had to finish the tour for the rest of us. We never did get a satisfying story but the two missing people did make it to the airport before us somehow. Our driver had was constantly checking with other busses and dispatch to try and hunt them down and figure out how to reunite them with their stuff. It was disappointing to know we could have been left behind, but reassuring that he was making an honest effort to fix the situation. We got to the airport just after 12:00. The airport was crowded from ship traffic but we got expedite stickers and were hurried through security and made it to the gate just minutes before they started boarding the plane. Renewal of Vows: We did this on sea day...the last day of our cruise. The videographer met with us to try and sell us the video package. It was way too expensive and we didn't care much for the way the sample video they showed us was cut so we declined them even trying to video. The photographer did a decent enough job and we did buy that package. He led us around the ship afterward to get some nice photos at various places. The rest of the experience was exemplary! We went with the standard vows which the captain made us repeat. The flowers we received were very nice. The chapel was done up well. Perhaps the best part was all the oohs and aahs from the other passengers as they congratulated us and commented how pretty my lovely wife was in her dress carrying her flowers! Champagne and strawberries and chocolates appeared in our room and we got to keep the glasses...in the end, well worth the price, I thought. The reality is it'll likely be years before we make it back to Alaska but we'd leave again tomorrow and not even look at anyone other than Princess given our experience this cruise! Princess will very likely be a first contended for any other itinerary we might decide on in the future as well. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise with Princess because it stopped at the ports that we were interested in and fit the dates that our granddaughter (14) could travel. Our past cruising experience has been one short trip on Royal Caribbean out of Ft. ... Read More
We chose this cruise with Princess because it stopped at the ports that we were interested in and fit the dates that our granddaughter (14) could travel. Our past cruising experience has been one short trip on Royal Caribbean out of Ft. Lauderdale and two trips on the Viking Ocean line (Viking Star.) We didn't expect Princess to live up to our experiences on Viking. The cost on Princess was much less. However we anticipated much better quality of food in all dining locations. The pizza was great near the pool and much better than anything in Horizon Court. We found the service in Horizon Court to be very spotty. Tables were not cleaned quickly when there were people waiting for tables. Service in the Amalfi Dining Room was excellent. However, our servers had too many tables to serve and were constantly rushed. I felt sorry for them. We arrived at 5:30 but felt rushed out to get the next seating ready. We spent a lot of time sitting in the Wheelhouse Bar playing cards with our granddaughter. Service there was excellent and prompt. We enjoyed the music as background to game playing both before and after dinner. I found the constant attempt to sell you something very annoying. I'm not a shopper so it was uninteresting to me. Also the furniture throughout the ship was in terrible shape. Hopefully that will all be replaced when the ship goes for refurbishment in December. We obviously chose the wrong ship for our cruise to Alaska. I have heard that the Star is being refurbished in December and that will make a huge difference. We'll continue to cruise but on smaller ships. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Land portion was great - except for placing your suitcase in the hallway of the Lodges about 6 am. Nice accommodations at three Princess lodges, pricey food in dining rooms, excellent included tour packages. (By the way, nobody ... Read More
Land portion was great - except for placing your suitcase in the hallway of the Lodges about 6 am. Nice accommodations at three Princess lodges, pricey food in dining rooms, excellent included tour packages. (By the way, nobody mentioned that a FOOD PACKAGE was available for Lodges and train ride! Would have been nice and saved us some money.) Cruise was okay - not bad, not great. Since the ship is smaller, only two real add-on restaurants are available. The Crab Shack used one half of the buffet a few evenings and placed screens to "make it another venue" from the rest of that floor. We were rushed through our meal. As you put your fork down, the next course is in front of you. We had been asked by the server to select our dessert along with our appetizer and entree. Wham, bam describes the feeling. Dinner menu had a limited number of choices every night and the concept of "always available" didn't have things like a simple steak. Speaking of dinner, Princess "Anytime Dining" means anytime that they have a table for you. You can call for a reservation at 8am or stand in line - "anytime that you would like to eat." Our waiter Joey was more than efficient - made dining interesting! Most of staffing was good but a few klinkers who were brand new left room for improvement. Excursions were great - saw things that we had not expected. Mostly reasonable costs for our trips. Will continue to use Princess for future cruises... but will only book larger ships. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose the Coral Princess as we knew that the mattresses had been replaced recently. (We had problems with this on a prior Princess cruise.) The mattress was great! This was the first time we had a mini-suite and appreciated the extra ... Read More
We chose the Coral Princess as we knew that the mattresses had been replaced recently. (We had problems with this on a prior Princess cruise.) The mattress was great! This was the first time we had a mini-suite and appreciated the extra space. Our cabin was on the port side almost at the back of the ship, but there were no issues being so far back. In fact, it's a very quiet location and was convenient to the laundry room. On "glacier days" we had great views from our cabin and the balcony at the back of the ship on our floor. We did our land tour first and everything was well organized, even though it was hard to have luggage out so early. Our train ride to the ship was disappointing as our car had no speaker and thus we had no narration on this long ride. Our bartender did not deliver two of my drink requests. Embarkation was quick and our luggage was already in the room when we arrived. Disembarkation was fine once we corrected our transportation mistake prior to the day. (Somehow we were listed as leaving by plane the same morning, rather than being on our own.) I eat gluten free and the head waiter was very accommodating meeting my dietary needs on-board the ship. He did suggest eating in the dining room where the preparation was controlled. I had no issues, so I am certain my needs were met. Our cabin steward was efficient and accommodated all of our requests. Service in the dining room was good, though at times, slow. We wondered if Princess had cut back on serving staff. Our three shore excursions were as expected. We particularly enjoyed the "all you can eat" crab excursion in Ketchikan. We did the photo glacier/whale watching which was a good excursion, but didn't receive as many photo tips as we had hoped, but it was a small group which we appreciated. We did the nature excursion on Haines Island, but were somewhat disappointed with this excursion. All employees we encountered were friendly and helpful. We only had two disappointments. First, there are few quiet places with light where you can go and read during sea days as it was too cool to do this outside. Secondly, we felt the entertainment was only average. However, we were often too tired to take advantage of shows like we normally do, or times weren't convenient with eating times. Also, the TV system is not as sophisticated as it is on the larger ships like the Royal or even on the Caribbean Princess. All in all, though, if this ship were going to a destination we were looking for, we would book again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Loved the cruise however this ship has seen better days. There are maintenance issues with sewer smells in the stairwells, tattered furniture in public areas and bathrooms that have holes in the doors, with lots of rust all around. Our ... Read More
Loved the cruise however this ship has seen better days. There are maintenance issues with sewer smells in the stairwells, tattered furniture in public areas and bathrooms that have holes in the doors, with lots of rust all around. Our Balcony cabin was nice and our steward was very attentive. Service was to be expected in the dinning room but nothing above and beyond. Entertainment was just ok but nothing outstanding would have enjoyed more dancing, didn't really do too many of the general activities as they weren't really of interest to us. We did enjoy the balloon drop and dancing. Did a balcony dinner and Sabatini's, that food and service was amazing so I know they can deliver, wish the dinning room was the same way. We did a cruisetour of Fairbanks and Denali Princess Lodges is was very nice. Really enjoyed the 9 1/2 hour dome train ride to Whittier, beautiful scenery. We did not travel with kids and we are in our mid fifties and were the lower age group on this ship. We would definitely do Alaska again, but do not think I would do the Island unless it has been renovated. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I liked the idea of a one way cruise, rather than a round-trip journey. Very smooth embarkation process. The scenery couldn't have been more stunning, and we were favored with good weather 6 out of 7 days; I've been told ... Read More
I liked the idea of a one way cruise, rather than a round-trip journey. Very smooth embarkation process. The scenery couldn't have been more stunning, and we were favored with good weather 6 out of 7 days; I've been told that's a rare occurrence! Crew and staff were delightful and very professional in every way. The ship is a little dated but comfortable enough. Decorations are bland and inoffensive, clearly aimed at a conservative older clientele. Gym was small, no workout mats to be seen, no shower facilities. Cruise director was very good, and didn't overdo it with announcements. Entertainment staff did a fine job with the typical cabaret-style entertainment offered. Personally I would prefer to see an actual musical theatre show, like some other cruise lines have to offer. Unfortunately I became sick the last day of the cruise, and had occasion to visit the medical center. The hours were rather limited, but I was seen almost immediately and was able to get some medication from the ships doctor. My last thoughts have nothing to do with this cruise in particular, but with The Princess marketing department. This was my first Princess Cruise, and I was terribly disappointed with the videos of the shore excursions. They were so uninspiring, often showing people getting on or off buses, or just talking about the excursions rather than actually showing them. Princess needs to step up its act in this department, this could be improved so easily! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The ship was very nice, rooms were clean and large. The food was not good at all, The best food was the hot dogs and pizza. The casino was so quiet you could sleep in it. The shows not good at all, I fell down and broke my leg on the ... Read More
The ship was very nice, rooms were clean and large. The food was not good at all, The best food was the hot dogs and pizza. The casino was so quiet you could sleep in it. The shows not good at all, I fell down and broke my leg on the stairs and they took me below and check me out and send me a bill of 1000 dollars, took me off the boat on my first day and stayed in a hospital for 5 days, I wanted my money back for the unused days of port fees and tips. Tried to call someone and will not give a customer service number out. You have to email them which I did and still did not hear from them.I did not have trip insurance and that was a BIG mistake.If you like to sit around a bunch of old people and eat all day and freeze by the pool then go for it. I rather be in Vegas and have fun . Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This cruise, combined with a land tour, was an excellent way to see Alaska. In every port we focused on activities such as sight-seeing, whale watching, visiting glaciers, native villages, and National Park Visitor Centers. Sure, we also ... Read More
This cruise, combined with a land tour, was an excellent way to see Alaska. In every port we focused on activities such as sight-seeing, whale watching, visiting glaciers, native villages, and National Park Visitor Centers. Sure, we also went into gift shops, however, it was the former that really gave us a taste of Alaska. The embarkation area in Whittier was a zoo, disembarkation in Vancouver was more organized but still took awhile. The main dining rooms, Capri and Portofino's, were fine, but the food quality was uneven. Some favorites were the tender Beef Wellington, crab legs and dip, lobster tail, and breakfast. Meatloaf and turkey dinners were just okay, and like prior Princess cruises, the chicken was overcooked. Crown Grill was excellent with a pork chop, salmon, and the sampler dessert. The best dinner was at Sabatini's with 3-way lobster, short rib penne pasta, artichoke dip, and tiramisu. The Horizon Court Buffet was so-so. Breakfasts were not hot and seating was always a problem, but one improvement was the dessert island was outside the main food area. The International Café was a favorite spot to pickup specialty coffees, cookies and treats, or light breakfast and lunch sandwiches. Located next to the gangway while in port, be aware that you are not allowed to carry beverages off the ship. We only saw a few shows, the dance musicals being our favorites. The onboard naturalist was a valuable source of information, the Atrium shows were nice as well as lounge performers, a highlight hearing the singer with Two Many Chiefs in the Wheelhouse Bar. The slot machines were tight and the Casino was smoky outside the bar that allows smoking. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We choose the Star Princess due to itinerary and land cruise options. And the cruise did not disappoint . Weather was very rainy and cool but it never stopped us from enjoying all the stops. Dining room food and service was very good, ... Read More
We choose the Star Princess due to itinerary and land cruise options. And the cruise did not disappoint . Weather was very rainy and cool but it never stopped us from enjoying all the stops. Dining room food and service was very good, Probably the best in last 4 or 5 cruises. International cafe was great with nice pastrties and sandwiches plus all the different types of coffee. Bar service was great, we spent a lot of time in the Wheelhouse Bar before dinner listening to music and enjoying the drinks which by the way were great. Perfect coctails and fast service, on disappointment it usually closed at 11 pm. The only disappointment was the entertainment, I guess it was geared to the more senior crowd. One comic one night and Magician 2 nights and ship entertainers . A lot of the bars closed early on the ship. A definite step down on entertainment from other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017

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