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65 Whittier to Alaska Cruise Reviews

The cruise was fine. Standard for a traditional line. The ship had entertainment venues that were waaaayyyy too small (more than once it was standing room only in the main theater and we left). I did NOT like getting asked/pitched to ... Read More
The cruise was fine. Standard for a traditional line. The ship had entertainment venues that were waaaayyyy too small (more than once it was standing room only in the main theater and we left). I did NOT like getting asked/pitched to purchase drinks in the dining room however. Especially when we said no and they continued to pitch it. Previous reviews mentioned the international cafe as a great place to grab food that should cost money. I don’t know why to be honest. The food never changed here and the desserts were exactly the same as the buffet. The buffet food was standard: large selection but mediocre quality. Some of it was really good (they had a pasta that was delicious and the waffles in the morning were a staple) and some was really bad (sushi - it could barely even be called that and Mexican fajita meat supposedly but it just tasted bad). The dining room was traditional. I was a little upset that on formal night they allowed guests in with sweatshirts and jeans (other cruises would’ve asked that they change or eat somewhere else). Rather if they’re going through the effort of setting things up for formal with a higher menu and staff and ask people to dresses up yet you don’t maintain that standard for your guests what’s the point? The main dining room has decent food. They have a staple menu that never changes (which I have mixed feelings on: on one hand you’re guests have something to fall back on, on the other it seems like a cop out so you don’t have to try as hard). The other menu changed daily and was generally good. I’m fairly picky and had something to eat every night. As far as princess themselves (company - not cruise staff) I will not be returning. I arranged flights through them. No where did it mention the port is an hour drive from the air port in that. It had a section that said call travel agent to arrange shuttle to port which is fine but that makes me think a taxi will work. So three days prior to cruise I look into getting a taxi and realize how far it is and the restricted tunnel you have to go through that many taxis won’t take (it can take up to 30 minutes to get through if you don’t time it right). I called my travel agent and they called princess only to be told they can’t add it on with only three days (why?) and I should’ve booked it sooner. Fine. Mishandled and miscommunicated. But fine. I booked a private company for The same price and it’s less money that I gave to Princess. Add on my issue with flights that changed constantly and needed rebooked for more expensive options. Flights were booked through the cruise line, they called me at some 800 number to ask me to change them because it supposedly didn’t follow their requested windows. I didn’t answer because well it’s an 800 number I assume it’s a robot so they left a message. I called back to figure out what’s happening and was put on hold. 40 minutes later I’m still on hold. So I hang up (it told me it was the end of the day and and they probably wouldn’t get to me - super great after waiting 40 minutes). I called back in the middle of the day the following and I asked how long the hold was before they did and was told an hour. An hour. On hold. For an issue that wasn’t reflected in their website. When they’re the ones that called me. With no call back option like every other company that has long hold times. Dealing with my cable company was easier and friendlier honestly. Even if the cruise was great I wouldn’t be using princess again from that miserable experience. Also I never changed my flight and it was fine and they never called me back so I guess it wasn’t that but it an issue? When I brought this up to an agent they said nothing. Customer service on the ship (shore excursion desk) wasn’t much better. I had a question and was asked if I didn’t read the excursion instead of them just answering my question. Thanks princess. You get me so frustrated before the cruise that you’re right I will come back new. Most of the cruise staff on the actual ship was great. The shows and entertainment were all geared towards like 60 year olds. So entertainment for the under 30s isn’t really a thing. Also! There is no where to hide in this ship. There’s a “library” that’s right off the main piazza and is also the computer lab for anyone who needs access to their reservations. It has exactly 4 uncomfortable chairs for reading and you have to put up with sound leaking in from the center point of entertainment on the ship and people being frustrated over their reservations. Everywhere else is a meeting room that rotates events. The only place to be alone and not kicked out or bothered is the deck. On an Alaskan cruise. Or your room. Not great. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was suggested by our travel agent because we wanted to pair it with a land Cruisetour. Land tour was amazing. The ship seemed very old. You could see where repairs in a number of areas needed to be made. Shopping was limited ... Read More
This was suggested by our travel agent because we wanted to pair it with a land Cruisetour. Land tour was amazing. The ship seemed very old. You could see where repairs in a number of areas needed to be made. Shopping was limited aboard ship and very expensive. Dining room food was pretty good, but Horizon Court was pretty bad. Entertainment was so so. Very little interactment with the staff. Unable to hear an announcements in our cabin and even if you could hear them the PA system was very muffled. It seemed like there wasn’ enough staff in the dining rooms. Sometimes we waited quite a while for service after getting water poured. Sometimes we were asked if we wanted a drink and sometimes not and sometimes we had to ask them or remind them. After such a wonderful time on our land tour the cruise part was pretty disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We enjoyed the destination and staff, but there are any number of areas that need to be improved. Entertainment, food quality and the land cruise portion come to mind. However, the glaciers and landmass so spectacular its difficult not ... Read More
We enjoyed the destination and staff, but there are any number of areas that need to be improved. Entertainment, food quality and the land cruise portion come to mind. However, the glaciers and landmass so spectacular its difficult not to be in awe - so definitely visit Alaska. The land portion was spectacular in terms of the natural beauty (and we hit the perfect time for fall leaf color). Unfortunately the staff were at the end of the season and it showed in terms of responsiveness and behavior (screams from the kitchen two night in a row). We understand these young adults have worked hard for the entire season, however, this was our vacation and this impacted our enjoyment. The Royal Princess cruise director was excellent and tried hard, however, the actual show content was kind of embarrassing at times. The talent tried hard but the actual productions were disjointed and do not compare to Norwegian. We also had the same comedian as the main entertainment two night - he was great - but two out of limited number of nights on board. The spa area has an area called 'the Enclave' and we were sold on the extra cost because it looked great. The problem is that it is need of a face lift and the number of passes sold is misrepresented (it varies by who you speak with!). I shared the feedback with the manager and she was engaged and grateful, however, nothing actually changed (there was still no hot water in locker room!). The dining hall service was very good, but the food was very much hit or miss. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have been on about 15 cruises, last one 15 years ago. We have been all over the Caribbean, Mexican Rivera a number of times. Been through the Panama Canal, New Zealand and Australia. First cruise I have been on were I was charged ... Read More
We have been on about 15 cruises, last one 15 years ago. We have been all over the Caribbean, Mexican Rivera a number of times. Been through the Panama Canal, New Zealand and Australia. First cruise I have been on were I was charged for a soda. First cruise I have been on were they wanted to charge me $40 per person per day to look off the stern of the ship. Charged $29 per day service charge for my stateroom and 18% for every drink or soda I ordered. And that was after I paid $4,000 for the cruise. This will be the last Princess Cruise for me. The stateroom was nice, the service was great and the entertainment was good. That embarkation and debarkation was handled great. They did a great job handling luggage on and off the ship. Picked it up at the airport, next time we saw it was in our stateroom. Getting off, put our luggage outside our stateroom and didn’t see it again until we were at the airport. I have to give them a excellent grade on that. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I had not sailed on Princess before and not sure I will again. I suggest before selecting a cruise, check the age of the ship and when it was last updated. The Golden Princes was in need of updating and repair. It was older and seemed very ... Read More
I had not sailed on Princess before and not sure I will again. I suggest before selecting a cruise, check the age of the ship and when it was last updated. The Golden Princes was in need of updating and repair. It was older and seemed very sad and dingy, the carpet needed to be replaced through out the ship. In addition, the staff was not very friendly and they charged for everything...even bottled water. I would rather they just bump up the price a few dollars to cover for bottled water and don’t charge. On board the ship the food was not all that good and lacked variety. It felt as though the the crew was tired since this was one of the last cruises this season. Although we only participated in one onboard activity (Bingo), I can't speak to the entertainment on board. The one Bingo session seemed lack luster and tired. The was a large amount of excursions to choose from and we were pleased with the ones we selected. Prior to the cruise, we took the escorted land tour and it was excellent! First class service and the food & tours were really good. Most meals were included as we were given vouchers for the restaurants on site at the lodges. The lodges were not updated as much as I thought they should be but overall there wasn't a problem with the accommodations. Our tour guide went above and beyond to accommodate the variety of people in the tour with diatery needs and/or special requests for accommodations I suggest, to do your homework before spending as much money as I did. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
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
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
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
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
We thought the cruise tour would be the best in experience, food and service. We thought the service was overall very good. The food was very average at best. We used the Crab Shack experience and it was HORRIBLE. We were one of ... Read More
We thought the cruise tour would be the best in experience, food and service. We thought the service was overall very good. The food was very average at best. We used the Crab Shack experience and it was HORRIBLE. We were one of the last parties seated and I assume we got the last of the food available. The crab was dried out and the shrimp had no taste. There was no desert left for a party of 6. The wait staff brought us 3 dried out plates from the buffet. Then of course, we were charged the full price of $29 per person. Being our first cruise and a very expensive one at that we expected the ship to be great, sparkling clean and a ton of fun. However, th ship was run down and it was being "upgraded" while we were sailing. They were replacing the carpet in our hallway during the cruise & we didn't think that was appropriate. The hallways are dingy and very small. A lot of the thresholds were loose and my husband would trip as he has mobility issues. The Princess lounge on deck 7 needed a deep cleaning and repairs. During a concert one of the panels one the front of the stage fell off. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Princess does not provide the best customer service. Alaska is beautiful, so highly recommend it as a destination. I just recommend you select a cruise line other than Princess. We have taken several cruises and have found other cruise ... Read More
Princess does not provide the best customer service. Alaska is beautiful, so highly recommend it as a destination. I just recommend you select a cruise line other than Princess. We have taken several cruises and have found other cruise lines to provide much better customer service. Food choices with Princess are very limited and most staff not very personable or customer service oriented. Particularly Guest Services staff and staff at the Excursions desk could really use some Customer Service training. Select a room with a balcony for sure. The views are unlike any other I have ever seen. The entertainment on this cruise was fabulous. Many choices to select from and all were quality performances. Princess could certainly rate much higher if they would provide better coffee and provide a few complimentary bottles of water. Could not believe after all the money we spent, they were going to charge us a fee to print our airline boarding passes. Will try another cruise line next time for sure! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Thought princess was #1 but the food was nothing good and ship decor was dated. Soda package was not worth price. Cheaper to buy individually. Must too inconvenient to greet a pop. Alaska was beautiful but better seen by land than shipni ... Read More
Thought princess was #1 but the food was nothing good and ship decor was dated. Soda package was not worth price. Cheaper to buy individually. Must too inconvenient to greet a pop. Alaska was beautiful but better seen by land than shipni think. Excursions thru princess were a rip off. Was rushed and not able to enjoy. Spoke to people that did ones not provide d by princess and they had much more fun. Staff was not the friendliest but there were a 1-2 that were. My kids love the youth program and had a great time there. Wheelchairs were hard to push around with the door partitions. One elevator was broke thebwhole week we were on ship. Spent a lot of time waiting for elevators. Buffet food was horrible. Dining room food was ok. Room service was not good. Bathroom dingy. Beds were comfy. Noise above our room was horrible as there was a kitchen or something above and carts rolling all hours. Art displays on our floor were so noisy moving paintings all the time and cause noise through the wall. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Our 40th year in Alaska - so an Alaskan Cruise was a treat. Overall we had a great time! Alaska is such a beautiful place and cruising is a great way to see it although your time is short while visiting most places (even with the ... Read More
Our 40th year in Alaska - so an Alaskan Cruise was a treat. Overall we had a great time! Alaska is such a beautiful place and cruising is a great way to see it although your time is short while visiting most places (even with the midnight sun), so, pick your favorite and come back and stay a while. Overall, Princess did a great job with providing for our needs and we didn't experience any real problems. As a 3 time cruiser, I have given an average rating as I was a little disappointed with a few things which made the voyage less than expected. Those being the sewer smell, food quality (traditional dining) and specifically the sewage which had spilled from a pipe and onto the deck of our balcony which dried and was not cleaned up on the outer walls and under the honey-comb mat. It was gross. I spent very little time on the balcony because of this. What did we like the most...The Captain did a great job of getting us close to the glaciers, the party band, Oneway, was excellent, John the Cruise Director did a great job, good selection of foods at the Horizon buffet, the small group entertainment was fantastic and the production shows we all excellent especially British Invasion (all the music, costume and set changes, very well done). As a (local), we did take a few shore excursions and enjoyed them as much or more than most as with a state as big as Alaska, we don't always get to view what you can see on a cruise. We want to especially thank all the people who were there to serve us each day. The Princess employees did a fantastic job as each tried to do their best and their great service to us was noticed. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I chose this land/sea tour because it gave me 2 full days at Denali. It began in Anchorage with a Princess rep. meeting me at the airport and taking me to the hotel. I had the afternoon free to explore Anchorage on my own. The 1st ... Read More
I chose this land/sea tour because it gave me 2 full days at Denali. It began in Anchorage with a Princess rep. meeting me at the airport and taking me to the hotel. I had the afternoon free to explore Anchorage on my own. The 1st Princess excursion I was supposed to have was Gold Panning in the Wilderness at the McKinley Lodge. When I arrived I was informed it was cancelled, no explanation given. This left me wandering around with no options to fill the void since we would be there only that afternoon. The next morning we traveled by bus to Denali Lodge. I had cancelled the Princess canned History tour (received $100 refund) at Denali and through the Denali National Park Service (NPS) on line, bought a green shuttle bus ticket to the interior of the park. Best darn deal of the trip, the ticket cost $43. We went further into the park (and to some of the most scenic portions!) with excellent narratives given by the drivers. They even stopped the bus for wildlife viewing and photo ops. I was able to get off the bus that had taken me into the park and get on a different bus later in the afternoon when I was ready to go with no problem at all. The double decker train ride from Denali to Whitter (to board the ship) was beautiful. We saw Fall colors at their peak most of the way to the ship. The train was the way to go! I was somewhat disappointed with the cruise portion of the trip after the land tour. It was a constant sell job from the moment you stepped on deck and it did not let up. They were pushing jewelry, buy their jewelry on the ship or buy their jewelry at the ports at the Princess owned Diamond International shops. I would strongly suggest you avoid the whole jewelry sell job. Everything is overpriced and they try and rush you into a sale on pieces that may not be of certifiable quality. This is both on ship as well as at port. On a somewhat related note, other items that were sometimes 'suggested' you try were not disclosed as an additional cost item until it was too late. Buyer beware! Ask if there is a charge before saying yes. An additional note regarding the Island - the food is very bland. They give their dishes fancy names but everything that came out of the kitchens had no flavor, no matter what the dish was. I used the main dining room for dinner, the Horizon Court (buffet) for breakfast and ate at Sabitini's one night for dinner (had grilled steak as everything else looked awful). It was all the same, very bland. At Sabitini's several folks actually returned their first choice dish because it was not tasty and opted for the grilled steak instead. In the dining room for lunch I once ordered a hamburger and fries. The hamburger was hard and dry and the fries were limp. McDonald's does a better job with this simple order! The ports - Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan each had their own vibe. There were several nights where there were Northern Lights, however they were hidden by the cloud cover. I would like to strongly recommend the excursion tour to the Jewell Gardens with Glassblowing. It was a real hands on personal glass blowing experience (and they served lunch at no extra cost!) and then ship your personally made treasure back to your home. The size of the group is limited to 10, so look for it and book it early! The service overall all was average, there was not an area that stood out from the rest. This trip was done by a solo traveler in their 60's with no mobility problems. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The scenery was lovely, the excursions were great. We didn't know what to expect so in the end we had a good time because we were with family. Highly unique cruise experience in terms of destination. Ship was fine and had what ... Read More
The scenery was lovely, the excursions were great. We didn't know what to expect so in the end we had a good time because we were with family. Highly unique cruise experience in terms of destination. Ship was fine and had what you'd expect. Service and food left a little something to be desired. It wasn't the most luxurious of boats but we didn't mind. The room was nice and we had fun with our group. HOWEVER, the crowd is what really brought the experience downhill. There were many elderly folks aboard - I don't know if it was the destination, the time of year, or prince point - we couldn't quite tell - and both my husband and I got very sick because of this crowd who were coughing and hacking all over the ship. It was quite ironic considering how much Princess must have spent on hand sanitizing machines. (That said, they clearly neglected to sanitize door handles, coffee machines, elevator buttons and chair handles.) Secondly, Princess are obsessed with branding themselves and working to suck every hard-earned dollar out of you that they possibly can. It was **heavily** saturated with gift shops at every stop. This is expected on a cruise but got old very quick. You had to walk a considerable distance (or take a physically active excursion) to avoid this. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This is second Princess cruise to Alaska. 5 total princess plus 3 others. First cruise tour. Loved land portion. Princess lodge rooms not up to normal Princess standard. Lodges themselves are great. McKinley lodge very isolated. ... Read More
This is second Princess cruise to Alaska. 5 total princess plus 3 others. First cruise tour. Loved land portion. Princess lodge rooms not up to normal Princess standard. Lodges themselves are great. McKinley lodge very isolated. Cruise itself was let down from last Princess cruise to Med in 2012. Caribe deck cabin with large balcony is best option for balcony cabins. Room was clean, steward very attentive, on downside on other lines you get a couch without going to mini suite. Quality of food was very good. Crown Grill was as outstanding as we remembered. On the downside. Fewer choices in main dinning room than in the past. It just seems there was less there to choose from than last time. Buffet was good, but as it was cold in Alaska outdoor spaces were not good choice to sit, inside tables hard to come by at times. Hot tubs are about 98 to 100 degrees. Need to be 102 plus for Alaska. Casino had no holdem tournament which is my only casino pleasure. All in all good cruise ( never had bad cruise). Have pre booked another Princess cruise but may investigate Celebity next time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We took the Island Princess as part of an Alaska Cruise Tour. The inland portion of the tour was excellent. This was primarily due to selecting the connisseur tour. While more expensive it probably proved cheaper in the long run. Our ... Read More
We took the Island Princess as part of an Alaska Cruise Tour. The inland portion of the tour was excellent. This was primarily due to selecting the connisseur tour. While more expensive it probably proved cheaper in the long run. Our guide was excellent and informative. We got the best times for the tours and the best seats in the restaurants. Meals were included and very good. Would have cost a lot of money if we would have had to pay for them. We upgraded to a mini suite for the trip and were very satisfied with the accommadations and the steward we had. I requested a room near an elevator as I told the Princess representative I booked with I had bad ankles and leg and did not want to walk too far. This was our first cruise and we were not familiar with the ship. We got a room close to the elevator but in the rear of the ship. However, everything that you wanted to do on the ship was in the front so it involved a lot of walking. The major disappointment for the cruise was the quality of the meals (or lack thereof). We had heard many good things about the quality of the food on the ship. Breakfasts were good. Hard to screw up a buffet. We had pizza for lunch when we were on the ship and it was good. The evening meals were major disappointments. Had one good meal out of the six we had. When I ordered seafood - 3 of the nights it was overcooked and dry. One night the sea bass was do done I couldn't eat much of it. It also smelled very fishy and should not have even been served. Because of the poor quality of the seafood I even violated one of my principles - don't order steak on a ship. Although cooked correctly is usually tasteless. One night our server forgot to bring the soup I ordered. Several other couples on our inland tour had the same opinion of the food. We were also turned off by the "nickel and diming" during cruise. Every time we wanted a specitaly coffee or soda it was $4. I even had to pay for a soda when I wanted one with my dinner. At $57/day per person the unlimited drink option was a useless investment, especially when wine was only 50% off. My wife and I were also turned off by the constant bombardment of advertising for the shops on the ship. I we wanted to go shopping we would have gone to a store. I almost broke out laughing when we went to the new cruisers presentation and the Princess Representative was touting their frequent cruiser program. All smoke and mirrors as if $25/ per person off is an incentive to travel with them again. We have taken several river cruises in Europe and they are the "A" List standard for cruising. Meals are superb. Wine and beer are included with the evening meal and soda and specialty coffee are free any time. Compared to the river cruises Princess gets a C-. I was discussing my this with a concierge at our hotel on the post cruise stay and her comment was that the river cruises were a lot more expensive. My response was that they were the same price so I have the same expectations. After returning I have talked to several people who have said they have heard that Princess Cruises have declined. We will be hard pressed to consider another large ship cruise in the future. We also selected to stay in Vancouver for a 3 day post cruise stay. Princess booked us at the Fairmont Empress on Victoria Island and the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver. Both are 5 star hotels. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We started our trip with a five-day land tour staying at the Princess Lodges. Alaska was beautiful. The weather for the land portion was warmer (80s) than expected and the cruise portion was cooler than expected. I wish we had packed ... Read More
We started our trip with a five-day land tour staying at the Princess Lodges. Alaska was beautiful. The weather for the land portion was warmer (80s) than expected and the cruise portion was cooler than expected. I wish we had packed warmer clothes for the cruise. We were also told that Aug is usually the rainy season for Alaska something we didn't know. It rained alot during the cruise portion but it was never a rain out so it was OK. The land portion was was busy but we should have expected that since we changed hotel almost every night. The Princess Lodges were comfortable but not particularly fancy. The Lodge at McKinley was the plainest (no hangers in the room) and we felt isolated (Telneeka was an hour away by bus). The highlights of the land portion were the Princess included Riverboat Cruise and gold panning in Fairbanks, Jeff King's optional Husky Homestead Adventure in Denali was a highlight of the trip along with the Helicopter ride in Skagway up to walk on the glaciers. The optional river float in Telneeka was fun but we really didn't see any wildlife. The most overpriced tour ($189) was the optional Mendenhall Glacier/Whale watch. The most disappointing part of the trip was the food on the cruise. We'll sailed on Princes before and this food was not up to par. The starters and appitizers was the best part of the menu but the entrees were disappointing. I didn't have a restaurant quality entree during the cruise in either the Main dining room or in Sabatini's (awful). My wife had two restaurant quality meals, one in the Main dining room and one in Sabatini's. Entertainment onboard was very good with the exception of John Bressler, the piano comic. I purchased the drink package and the mixed drinks were good but was disappointed in the wine selection. We also were disappointed that Princess charged $140 to use the steam room during the cruise when it always has been complimentary in the past. As with most cruises, the merchandising was non stop ($3 for a shot of Lemoncello at every meal). We attended the Capt.'s reception for repeat cruisers which turned out to be one free drink and a half-hour sales pitch. I would never fall for that again. Finally, our room was comfortable and well-maintained but it only had two useable outlets. I'm glad we brought portable chargers for our devises. Princess handled the land transfers, embarkation and disembarkation well. Would I recommend Princess for future Alaska Cruises, maybe, maybe not. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was our fourth cruise and our first since 2004, and our first on Princess (although two prior cruises were with its parent, Carnival). TRANSFER TO SHIP We opted for the transfer to the ship from downtown Anchorage, which was ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise and our first since 2004, and our first on Princess (although two prior cruises were with its parent, Carnival). TRANSFER TO SHIP We opted for the transfer to the ship from downtown Anchorage, which was handled really well. We arrived at 10 AM for a noon transfer, and they were already open and checked us in and took our bags in no time flat. We could even leave our carry-on temporarily while we walked around Anchorage. The bus was clearly outsourced to a local company, as I suspect they all are. The bus was well-maintained and the driver was friendly and professional. The baggage handling was seamless, although it did not appear in our stateroom until quite late in the day, even though we boarded around 2:30 PM. Overall, I recommend the transfer, as Whittier itself is nothing to write home about, and the bus followed the train route exactly. The baggage handling made it so easy! SPA The three of us had signed up in advance for spa treatments on our first day at sea. We went to the spa to confirm our reservations, where the spa manager up-sold my wife and daughter from 50 and 75 minute Swedish to 75 minute Hot Stone massage treatment. The treatments themselves were fine...nothing to write home about, and the stones aspect was about 70% as good as the BEST hot stone massage I've had, from a private practitioner in the Bay Area. So yeah...good enough! And the price seemed normal for resort/cruise spa treatments. I also purchased a pedicure, which was pretty good, but I really didn't need the 50 minute job, especially when it didn't include paraffin treatment already. Downsides: 1 - The ship was offering a free 15 minute "add on" to any massages purchased on board for the first two days of the voyage. They did not mention this during the up-sell, and I only happened to stumble upon it when reviewing the Ship's "Special Offers" on the Princess at Sea website on board. When I went back to ask if we could change to 50 minute sessions, and add on the 15 minutes, I was told we could not because it was within the cancellation period (by about 2 hours) and we had booked it in advance (They DID say they would allow it for my wife, since her original booking was for 50 minutes and they had up-sold her; however, they never did adjust it in practice, but instead added 15 minutes to her 75 minute purchase and still charged the full price). So we were punished for booking in advance......BAD BUSINESS PRACTICE...they should have negotiated something so we felt satisfied, or honored our request to be treated as well as the last-minute buyers. 2 - The cross-selling of products was OBNOXIOUS. At seemingly every turn, from our pre-mentioned confirmation and subsequent upgrades, through the conclusion of the treatment, there was unsolicited SELLING of products, other services, etc. It felt like a used-car sell job. UGH. The upside is that, once I let them run through the pitch and politely declined, they graciously said, "no problem!" What was explicitly clear is that they had been FORCED to do this selling by management, even though I told my therapist that I would not be buying anything and she didn't need to waste her time, she said she needed to go through it. Barf. 3 - I hesitate to mention this, because it's second-hand information, but we chatted with another spa customer, who had arrived for treatment, only to be told that her appointment had been cancelled, and that "someone had already contacted you to tell you of the cancellation." The woman had never received any notice of cancellation, and when she told the manager this, the response was, "Well, this person is VERY experienced and would NEVER have failed to contact you." So effectively, the customer was called a liar. When this customer escalated to upper ship management, the "Customer is probably lying" vs. "Customer is always right" treatment continued, even though she was not asking for ANYTHING except an apology. When the apology finally came, the manager called and said, "Well, I hear I am supposed to apologize..." Having met this Manager, and seen her demeanor, and having chatted with the shipmate for quite a while, I am reasonably certain that our shipmate customer was telling the truth. FOOD and DRINK The Sip and Sail promotion we took advantage of may or may not have been our best financial decision, but it was WONDERFUL. There were VERY few drinks which were not included in the package. Top shelf liquor and very good beers and wines were included. And a 40% discount off bottles of wine was quite welcome. MINOR downside: We brought our own bottle of wine to a premium restaurant one night, and even though we had the booze package, and would have otherwise consumed many glasses of their wine at NO CHARGE, they insisted on charging us the $15 corkage fee....just doesn't make a whole lot of sense, IMHO. Otherwise, the food in the dining room and specialty restaurants (we did Crab Shack and the Cajun steakhouse) was excellent, as was the service. Prompt, efficient, friendly but not obsequious...excellent! SUGGESTION: It's an Alaska cruise. More smoked salmon in the buffet would be nice, and every other cruise we've done featured lots of it...just seemed weird, and the whitefish was not very good. POOLS and HOT TUBS The weather made tubbing accessible, and I even took a swim one day. The pools were clean and the tubs, too. Lots of tubs meant not overcrowded, and the food/drinks were readily available, though we only had waitstaff service about 15% of the time....I think they were focused on those who could write in tips. Pro Tip: If you don't like screaming children by the pool, stay on the outside deck, where it doesn't echo as much... CASINO Games and machines were adequate. But the staff (other than the ebullient Casino Manager and the nice folks at the Cashier cage) were rather sour-faced. They seemed nervous and uptight. Drink service was again VERY spotty for us. CIGAR BAR Very disappointing. Terribly ventilated, obviously neglected room off of the Atrium, it was clearly where the 2nd Class Citizens were banished. No staff on any visit, and the cigar selection was clearly limited, although I never even had an unlocked cabinet look, since no one was ever there. BARS GREAT! Martini's and other drinks were excellent at the Crooners Bar, and the staff was consistently happy, smiling, accommodating and professional. PRICE For what we got, I think the price was reasonable. However, the issues with the odor in the room and the general feeling that much of the staff was scared of messing up....these things will most probably keep us from choosing a Carnival family brand again, and CERTAINLY keep us from the Coral Princess, at least until the Captain is replaced. Remember, it all starts at the top. (PS: We NEVER saw the captain) Read Less
Sail Date July 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
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
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
Travel Agent suggested it because Princess handles everything in Alaska for tours. Everything well handled. Non of the on board activity suited us, but we did use the free library. We are over 60 but not interested in shows, casinos, ... Read More
Travel Agent suggested it because Princess handles everything in Alaska for tours. Everything well handled. Non of the on board activity suited us, but we did use the free library. We are over 60 but not interested in shows, casinos, playing games. Recommend constant check of on ship credits from customer service - if you don't pay gratuity (approx $13.80 for each meal) ahead is taken out daily from EACH passenger, not by the couple. If you have non-refundable credits you won't get it back so spend it in the store. The menu in the named restaurants is limited. Eat the buffet for all meals instead of one of the other restaurants on board, much more available to eat. If you have not purchased a package for water prior to boarding be prepared to pay $2.50 per bottle. Sodas are $2.50 each. Don't be afraid to ask questions about your bill or you will get surprised with a large bill. They bought a nature commentator on board when going to the glaciers which was very good . . Internet is high and slow so cost increases. Don't use it unless urgent. Alaska is beautiful and happy to have seen it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017

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