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114 Whittier to Alaska Cruise Reviews

It was our relatives that were going on and it was recommenced by our travel agent. we were astonished by the number of activities. we were not pleased with the breakfast accommodation especially for the people that wanted a quick ... Read More
It was our relatives that were going on and it was recommenced by our travel agent. we were astonished by the number of activities. we were not pleased with the breakfast accommodation especially for the people that wanted a quick breakfast and cup of coffee without having to pay extra. also, we were not appreciative of the fact that we that we tried on sunday to make a reservation for thursday and we were told that there were no reservations available. this was calling five days in advance. Not happy. when we tried to make a reservation we were put on hold for a long.........................period of time. we finally went to the customer service desk and they were able to get to the dinner reservation call center after a long period of time and they were told there were no reservations available for the rest of the week. (this was on sunday when we were trying to make reservations for a wedding anniversary) !!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The food was ok . The state room was outstanding but it was a upgrade suite . The ship was very big very nice very clean . Staff was very friendly and the food was average at best except in the specialty restaurants it was outstanding ... Read More
The food was ok . The state room was outstanding but it was a upgrade suite . The ship was very big very nice very clean . Staff was very friendly and the food was average at best except in the specialty restaurants it was outstanding . The entertainment on board the ship was very good especially the comedian who we saw two times he was awesome AJ if he was ever around my area I definitely go see him again he was very funny he also did two entirely different routines . The room that does the show run was large it was very comfortable every seat was very positioned so that you could see everything and hear everything is very pleasant experience. Only problem is they didn’t have enough people in there to get you drinks there was like two people in the whole room so you waited forever to get drinks otherwise you have to go get them yourself they need many more people in there if they want to you know so drinks I had a package so it was sort of a pain because I had to go get it myself. The only thing I had a problem with was when you get on the ship they try to sell you all the spa treatments and all this crap you really don’t want in that cost way more than it’s worth in my opinion they take you on a tour which I didn’t want to take . I have been on four different ships and have cruised four different times the ship was nice people and staff were nice the food was subpar especially for the price we paid . Don’t think I take another princess cruise we had problems with our shore excursions half of them well actually three of them out of the four were canceled . You need to be extremely specific on sure excursions times dates ask as many questions as you possibly can whether it’s better to go in the morning the afternoon because we booked morning trips and they were all canceled due to the fact that they were fogged in early in the morning there was also a train that was canceled but that’s because of a rockslide . Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Getting to Alaska Our flight to Seattle was on a Virgin Airlines Boeing 787 in Economy. We had looked to upgrade to Premium Economy but the price was prohibitive. It was a good flight with decent food and great cabin crew. Immigration ... Read More
Getting to Alaska Our flight to Seattle was on a Virgin Airlines Boeing 787 in Economy. We had looked to upgrade to Premium Economy but the price was prohibitive. It was a good flight with decent food and great cabin crew. Immigration at Seattle Airport was a nightmare, taking an hour to actually get into the immigration hall and another hour to get seen. The immigration official was very polite. As per our instructions, we got the hotel shuttle from the airport to the Hilton Doubletree Hotel. This was ideally located about 5 minutes from the airport. It is a VERY large hotel and I had read reviews about long queues at the Front Desk, which was indeed the case, taking about 20 minutes to get to the front and get checked in. Our room was somewhat old-fashioned but clean and comfortable with very comfortable beds. We had a very pleasant dinner at the 13 Coins restaurant a few minutes along the road from the hotel. We had booked the whole flight package through Princess and they had very kindly booked us on to an Alaska Airlines flight to Fairbanks at 0630 the next morning, meaning a 4am wake-up call... Fairbanks Due to the early flight, we arrived in Fairbanks by mid-morning, taking into account that Alaska is one hour behind Seattle - 9 hours behind the UK. We were met at the airport by a Princess Rep and transferred to the Fairbanks Princess Lodge very efficiently with a small number of other people. The Lodge is nicely situated on the river with pleasant public areas, although the main restaurant was rather dark and dreary. The buffet breakfast was not good. Our room was fairly basic but again had comfortable beds and we were lucky to have one with a river view. On day one, we took a shuttle into the town centre for a walk around in the pleasant, sunny weather. We went to the local cultural centre, which provided an interesting film and lots of interesting exhibits showing the history and way of life in Alaska. we then had a nice wander along the river and a very tasty, home-made, blueberry ice cream before getting the shuttle back to the hotel. In the evening, we had a pre-booked excursion to Pioneer Park for a Salmon Bake meal, followed by a theatre show all about Fairbanks and the Gold-rush. It was all very touristy - but hey, we are tourists! On day two, we were on an all-day included tour. This started at the site of the Alaska Oil Pipeline, an 800 mile pipe transporting oil across the State. We then boarded a replica train to visit Gold Dredge 8, a restored gold dredging 'factory'. It was interesting to learn about how they dredged for gold and we all got a chance to pan for – and find – some small chips of gold. Mine were – apparently – worth $18. You can of course buy a myriad of things to put your gold into – most costing more than the gold you had just panned!Complimentary Coffee & Cookies were served in the on-site shop. After the return train journey and further coach ride, we arrived at a Steamer Landing Stage, where we had an included lunch before getting on the Paddle Steamer. The sail along the river included seeing a float-plane take off and land, a stop alongside a famous Husky Kennels with demonstration and a visit to a re-created Athabascan Native Village with guided tour. Again the weather was warm & sunny and a good time was had by all. Complimentary snacks were served on board and you could also buy beers etc. That night, we ate at 'Pike's Landing' just up the road from the Princess Lodge. It was a pleasant meal taken out on the terrace by the river and was very busy. A local woman with her niece asked if they could share our table and we enjoyed great conversation with them. Denali On day three, we transferred to Denali by coach to the Denali Princess Lodge, just down the road from the entrance to the National Park. This is apparently the largest hotel complex in Alaska. Rooms are in mainly two-storey blocks scattered around the site, again on the edge of the river. The site includes several restaurants and shops but there are also independent restaurants and shops just across the road. Our room looked recently refurbished and was comfortable but could have benefited from better lighting. That evening we had pre-booked an excursion to go on a horse-drawn wagon into the Tundra and have a meal in a wooden pavilion. This was great fun and to our surprise also included alcoholic refreshment with dinner! Day 4 saw us on our full-day Tundra Wilderness Tour in Denali National Park. This took us some 65 miles into the Park amidst great scenery and we saw lots of Caribou, a Moose, Ptarmigan (the State bird of Alaska) and Dall Sheep. Sadly we did not see any bears. Nor were we luck enough to get to see the top of Mount Denali, the highest mountain in North America. Due to cloud cover only about a third of visitors get to see it. That night we tried to eat at a local restaurant but there was a long wait so we ended up eating on-site at 'Fannie Q's', named after a local pioneer woman. It was a nice meal with a singer/pianist entertaining us too. As in Fairbanks, it was strange to see the sun still pretty high in the sky after 1100pm! Day 5 saw us transferring by rail to Coral Princess in Whittier for our cruise. This was 8.15am – 5.30pm. I thought this might feel like a long day but it flew by. It is a double-decker train with 'dome-car' on the top level for good views and restaurant facilities downstairs, together with outside viewing platforms. The food was surprisingly good and pretty much on a par cost-wise with the Lodges. We enjoyed pleasant conversation with both Breakfast and Lunch table-mates. The scenery was amazing on this trip and really show-cased how diverse the State is, passing by/through mountains, plains and coast. Also, we were lucky enough to get a great view of Mount Denali along the way. Coral Princess We had deliberately chosen the Coral as we both prefer (by today's standards) smaller ships. She is just over 90,000 tons (so a smidgeon bigger than P&O's Arcadia) and carries approximately 2000 pax. Built in 2002, she obviously shows some small signs of wear – mainly around balcony doors etc. but is very well-cared-for internally. She had a re-fit in January this year. Internally, she is typically Princess, with many similarities to P&O's Oceana, which of course was previously Ocean Princess. Our standard balcony cabin was fine, although the shower stall was pretty tiny. She has very good facilities for her size – Main Theatre, two show-rooms – one over two decks, four bars, two main dining rooms and two for-fee restaurants, two pools (one indoors) and five jacuzzis. Food and service were very good – probably a notch above P&O. Whilst I seldom have any complaints about P&O, the staff on Coral were generally quite outgoing without being over the top or 'in your face'. Evening menus were good, with meats cooked exactly as requested but as is usually the case with USA cruise lines, vegetable accompaniments were not exactly generous. We ate in Sabatini's, the Italian for-fee restaurant one evening, where the food was fabulous but served in far too large portions. The Horizon buffet was far superior to those on P&O but as someone who is fairly conservative with food tastes, I sometimes felt the choice was limited for me. Princess cater to a very diverse cross-section of pax meaning a lot of asian dishes daily. This was particularly difficult at breakfast time, when dishes included noodles, congee, steamed cabbage, baked apple and bread & butter pudding with custard... The breakfast in the main dining room strangely had a very limited menu and when I did have Eggs Benedict there, I was somewhat disappointed at the cheap, thin cut of 'ham'. Musical Entertainment was very good, with the production shows being outstanding. To be honest, they blew P&O out of the water with the shows in all respects - staging, performance and professionalism. Their most recent shows are produced by Steven Schwarz, who wrote the Broadway & West End hit show, 'Wicked'. We didn't see any of the comedy shows or partake in quizzes as we thought they would be totally geared to Americans. We heard very, very few other English accents on board. Princess provided very good, expert guides to the area to broadcast across the ship whilst glacier viewing etc. Thanks to having cruised with Princess before and many with P&O, we were both at Elite Level in the Captain's Circle Loyalty scheme. This gave us priority boarding in Whittier, upgraded toiletries, Canapés in our cabin on Formal nights, Deluxe Afternoon Tea in the cabin on one day, a stocked mini-bar, 150 internet minutes (each), unlimited free laundry, Elite Lounge each evening with complimentary snacks and low-priced drink specials, free wine-tasting event and disembarkation lounge with refreshments. There were only 30 Elite pax on this sailing so in lieu of a 'most-travelled' event, we were given one complimentary cover charge per person to use in either of the specialty restaurants. The afternoon tea was ridiculously generous and the food would have served 4 easily. There were 10 finger sandwiches/rolls, 7 scones (with jam & cream), 10 cakes and 6 cookies! Needless to say, we couldn't get through anywhere near all of it! Apparently we were in the top 10 most-travelled on this cruise. We were also lucky enough to receive a bottle of champagne at the Captain's Circle Party when ours was one of the three invitations drawn out at the 'raffle'. If we had purchased anything in the on-board boutiques, we would have received 10% discount but to be honest, neither of us actually ventured into the shops. Drinks on-board were – as you would probably expect – expensive. A couple of g&ts routinely came in at around $21 (£17)and a couple of cocktails at $23 (£19) by the time the 18% gratuity was added on to the bar prices. The cheapest bottle of wine was around $38 (about £32). Overall, I was pretty impressed with Princess and would happily consider cruising with them again. The major drawback for me is that they have very few 'smaller' ships sailing where I might want to go. Hubbard Glacier The first day was a sea day, with a visit to the Hubbard Glacier in the afternoon. A very impressive glacier and we stayed here for a couple of hours. Glacier Bay Day two of the cruise was also at 'sea' in Glacier Bay National Park. We had visits to two glaciers here as well as passing by others. A glorious day in lovely weather. Skagway Our first port of call, a pleasant little town – quite picturesque. We had booked an independent tour here (with Dyea Dave) which took us up into the Yukon Territory of Canada by mini-bus. As part of this, we visited a small Husky Dog-Sledding kennel, where we were able to meet some 4 week-old puppies, a stop at Carcross Desert – an area of sand dunes totally unexpected in where it is – Emerald Lake and the village of Carcross, where we had lunch. On the way back to Skagway, we were dropped off at Fraser to get the White Pass & Yukon Railroad, a narrow gauge railway with spectacular views and twists & turns. Along the Klondike Highway we were lucky enough to see a number of Black Bears, which made up for not seeing any in Denali! On arrival back in Skagway, we had to visit the Skagway Brewing Company to try their famous Spruce Tip Blonde Ale – which incorporates hand-picked Sitka Spruce Tree tips. It was gorgeous. Juneau The State Capital of Alaska but quite small by our standards. Here, we had pre-booked a helicopter flight through Coastal Helicopters up to the Herbert Glacier, where we were able to get out of the helicopter and walk around on the glacier, tasting some of the ice-cold melt-water too. Wonderful sunny day and a fabulous experience. When we returned to the town, we walked around the main sites before going back to the ship. Ketchikan A small, quaint albeit touristy town. We had pre-booked an independent tour with Island Wings on a float-plane up to an area called the Misty Fjords National Monument. It was far from misty, being another gorgeous, warm & sunny day. The scenery from the plane was stunning and we then landed in a remote fjord and were able to get out of the plane on a small beach. Another stunning day. On our return, we had some lunch on the ship and then went for a little walk around the pretty town and picked up some last minute souvenirs. Vancouver After the last day at sea, we disembarked in Vancouver, where we had three nights booked at the Pinnacle Vancouver Harbour Hotel. Disembarkation was fine but there was a long queue for taxis. Tip – if you can manage your luggage easily, go through the Convention Centre/Hotel and pick up a taxi in front of the hotel! During our time here, we saw Gas Town, Fly Over Canada, the Capilano Suspension Bridge & Park, Granville Island and Stanley Park. Well worth a few days at the end of the cruise. Getting Home We took a taxi to the airport for our Air Canada flight home. We had upgraded to Premium Economy and it was worth it for the extra space alone. The flight was on time and after landing at Heathrow, were back to my house within less than 2 hours of touch-down. Conclusion This was a stunning trip and easily the most fantastic holiday I have ever had. The natural wonders were the star of the show and the middle three days of the cruise were amazing. I have to keep convincing myself that I have done this. It is a long flight and it is a very expensive holiday but thoroughly worth it. I am very happy we chose to do it with Princess and would highly recommend them for Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Princess always has been and is still the best cruise line for Alaskan cruises. The itinerary is the best. The cabin was a balcony, the only way to go in Alaska. The cabin steward was extremely efficient and was always on top of keeping ... Read More
Princess always has been and is still the best cruise line for Alaskan cruises. The itinerary is the best. The cabin was a balcony, the only way to go in Alaska. The cabin steward was extremely efficient and was always on top of keeping the room serviced. The buffet and international cafe are fantastic. Excellent selections, hot food. The International buffet is second to none on alternative to buffet for eating. It also offers the option of entertainment in the Plaza deck. Sabitinis was fantastic. Well worth the money. The crew on the ship was outstanding and very friendly. The always had a smile on their face and truly looked as if they enjoy their job. On several occasions they went above and beyond when dealing with your requests. The Dining room is definitely a place you should avoid unless you simply wish to waste 2 hours to eat your dinner. The quality was clearly sub par to the buffet. The entertainment was 50/50. The Comedian was exceptional. The magician was bad. The performances of the production shows was at best average. Have cruised 12 times previous princess. This was by far the worst selection of entertainment. The best experience eating was the English Pub Lunch at the Wheelhouse/Crown. The fish and chips was outstanding. Of the three bars the Plaza Bar was by far the best. The service and staff were beyond expectations. The Wheelhouse and Crooners was sub par. Poor service and no drink ever came back the same. They always acted confused. Although not part of the cruise, I should mention the land part of the package. Mt McKinley Lodge was outstanding as was the train ride. Denali Lodge was very disappointing. The lodge should be noted to "NOT BE KID FRIENDLY". Even the pizza restaurant was only for over 21. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We took the trip as a group of my wife's high school reunion. This was the first time we had a cruise ship trip. The scenes along Alaska shore were spectacular. The meals, especially dinner, were great. The product shows at Princess ... Read More
We took the trip as a group of my wife's high school reunion. This was the first time we had a cruise ship trip. The scenes along Alaska shore were spectacular. The meals, especially dinner, were great. The product shows at Princess Theater were outstanding. We also enjoyed free ice cream at top deck viewing ocean and mountains. The balloon party at Atrium on the last day was phenomenal. It was a very decent trip overall. We flew to Anchorage the day before. We took a bus trip down to Whittier where we embarked the ship. The first two days were all on ship without stops. The ship sailed through Harbour Glacier the first day and Glacier Bay National Park the next day. Then she stopped at Stagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan the next three days. The last day was all on sea again and the ship arrived at Vancouver harbor the next morning. The only major drawback was that no internet access unless you want to pay a ridiculous fee (e.g., $69 per hour). We remember that about 15 years ago, almost every hotel around world charged internet fees. When someone started to offer free wifi access, it became popular and soon every other hotels followed trend. I would imagine that this will happen to cruise ship as well. Someone smart enough to provide free internet access (even for a couple of hours per day) will immediately gain popularity. We are looking for our next cruise trip choice with this feature at top of our list. I was also expecting a Poker tournament but it did not happen. The casino was too small to host one. There was only one poker table and it was electronic. I did not see anyone playing poker the entire trip. Certainly it probably saved me a few bucks but I was disappointed nonetheless. Also, the photos were too expensive ($35 per picture). We would've bought some if the rates were lower. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The dates and itinerary of this cruise fit our needs well. Prior to embarking on the seven-night cruise, our package included a full day in Fairbanks and a day in Denali National Park. We enjoyed the land-portion of the trip but those two ... Read More
The dates and itinerary of this cruise fit our needs well. Prior to embarking on the seven-night cruise, our package included a full day in Fairbanks and a day in Denali National Park. We enjoyed the land-portion of the trip but those two days went blindingly fast. Fairbanks is a slow-paced little town. Our museum at the University of Alaska was very informative and well worth the visit. We traveled to Denali by train which was scenic and enjoyable. Denali was beautiful. We boarded the ship in Whittier, which is just outside of Anchorage. The weather, from Anchorage to Vancouver, our debarking port, was unseasonably sunny and clear. There was even one night where passengers that happened to be on the top decks after midnight saw the northern lights. Our cruise took us along beautiful coastlines backed by high, snow-covered mountains. This cruise offered the most beautiful scenery of any trip we've taken. The scenery in Alaska is just magnificent! We cruised up to the face of Hubbard Glacier and visited Glacier Bay. Our ports of call included Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. I'd particularly recommend taking a tour of the Alaska Brewery. The tour can be purchased in town for $25 and includes transportation to the brewery, tastings, and a very informative talk about how the company was founded. We saw streams full of spawning Pink and Coho salmon in Ketchikan. We passed breaching whales, particularly on the stretch of ocean south of Ketchikan. Our experiences on the Star Princess were very good overall. The ship carried about 2,600 passengers so, while large, the ship didn't feel like a floating city. This cruise was after most schools were in session and I counted about a dozen children on the entire boat. The boarding process went smoothly and quickly. The interior cabin room we were assigned was of average cruise ship size. The bed was quite comfortable and we slept well every night. Having a small refrigerator in the room was a plus. Restrooms on the ship were kept very clean. There were stations at the entrance to the buffet to wash one's hands before and after meals. There are a number of swimming pools and hot tubs on the Star Princess. Those were never crowded. The entertainment and onboard lectures offered on this cruise were exceptional. The boat had a very knowledgeable onboard botanist that gave lectures on the geology, flora, and fauna. There was also an onboard author that had lived and traveled in Alaska for decades and who gave several talks. There were several other entertainers that live in Alaska or Canada that were well-known, established entertainers or storytellers. The headliner shows on the Princess Star were outstanding - easily as good as one might find in Las Vegas. The shows put on by the Star Princess singing and dancing troup were also at a professional level - these guys and gals can really sing and dance - far better than the well-meaning but amateur productions that we've seen on some other cruise lines. The ship also offered all kinds of the typical sales events with clothing, jewelry, paintings, etc. There is an onboard casino. And there are karaoke contests, talent shows, games and game shows which we opted not to attend. The quality of the food was above average. We have, so far, cruised on Viking, Princess, Holland, Royal Carribean and Celebrity lines. We'd rate the food in that order. My biggest food-related gripe was that the coffee included with the cruise is powdered instant Nescafe. To get a real, brewed cup of coffee costs about $2.80 per cup. There were a lot of local food included in the menu choices. I enjoyed fresh grilled or smoked salmon every day I was on the boat. We ate a dinner and a lunch in the Capri dining room, where we were assigned. The service there was REALLY slow. Each time, we sat for 45 minutes before our first course arrived and, overall, both meals took about 90 minutes. After those experiences, we ate at Horizon Court buffet. The Horizon Court was very well managed and offered excellent food. There were lots of choices, the dishes were well prepared, hot food was always hot, and every meal there were about a dozen tempting dessert choices. We also had some snacks and desserts at the International Cafe - really good! Tip: When you get desperate for real coffee or an espresso drink, those are available at the International Cafe. Generally, the crew and staff were cordial and helpful. Our room steward was engaging, thorough, and anxious to please. One problem that occurred was that to use the onboard laundries, one needed to purchase tokens from a dispenser. Going to several of the laundries, none of the coin dispensers worked - no out of order signs. After running all over the ship visiting the various laundry rooms trying to find tokens we found that the only way to use the laundries was to stand in line at the Purser's desk and purchase them there. My wife and I greatly enjoyed this experience. We hope to take other Princess Cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This cruise was the second leg of a B2B. It included the most interesting excursion we've likely ever done....or at least one at the very top. We visited the Kroschel Animal Sanctuary near Haines, Alaska. Getting there is a bit of ... Read More
This cruise was the second leg of a B2B. It included the most interesting excursion we've likely ever done....or at least one at the very top. We visited the Kroschel Animal Sanctuary near Haines, Alaska. Getting there is a bit of a pain, but it is well worth the effort. We did it thru the ship--bus to the ferry, ferry to Haines, bus to the sanctuary over very bad, under construction roads. At the sanctuary we interacted with animals who, for various reasons, can never live in the wild--a moose orphaned as an infant, etc. I don't mean that we SAW animals, I mean that we touched, petted, fed, kissed, and photographed the animals. The sanctuary is often used for wildlife films as the animals are trained to interact with humans. I won't tell you all the secrets, but there was a wolf, bear, reindeer, etc. as well as smaller creatures. It was overall a great excursion...despite the long transportation time. In fact, if this had been our first excursion, I would have not selected the other wildlife oriented excursions we did on the first leg. Dining on board was some of the best shipboard dining we've had in the last 20 years. Because we were in a window suite, we were automatically in "club class" dining. It is the same menu as any other dining with the addition of one item each evening. But the food is excellent (didn't taste mass produced) and the service was superb. Activities on board, with the exception of the day the National Park Rangers did their presentations (also great) were rather boring. There were some destination speakers who were good...but trivia, shows, etc. were rather the typical Princess stuff. The evening entertainment was blah (same shows on every Princess ship we've been on for the last 5 years). The ship itself was in surprisingly good repair after what we'd read. One aft elevator was out of order (had been for months per reports), but otherwise, none of the leaks or smells we'd been warned about. The ship looked good and was well maintained. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
3rd cruise on Princess, first in 11 years. Normally we go Royal but this was the only itinerary hitting both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay. Bad weather. Fog out of Whittier which plagued us for 3 days. We only got a glimpse of Hubbard ... Read More
3rd cruise on Princess, first in 11 years. Normally we go Royal but this was the only itinerary hitting both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay. Bad weather. Fog out of Whittier which plagued us for 3 days. We only got a glimpse of Hubbard before the cptn decided the conditions were too bad. Fog in Skagway which made our White Rail trip less scenic. Finally got OK weather in Juneau. Then rain in Ketchikan. Sun finally came out for our sea day to Vancouver. Ship isnt bad but has a few issues. A handrail in Princess Theater came off and almost sent an old man sprawling. Problem with water 1 day and they turned it off from 830 to noon. Some carpet got wet on promenade and we had a musty smell. Other than that it was ok. Ship was built for 2600. Now they pack on up to 3200. Feels crowded. Theater is too small. Not enough places to sit in common areas. Food was passable, though the menu was a bit fancy for our tastes. Entertainment was pretty good but not as good as what weve seen on Royal. For shore excursions - you get a lot of pressure to book in advance which we did. Bad idea. You can get these from vendors at port. And, if weather stinks, you dont lose your money. We blew 340 for an excursion in Ketchikan that should have been cancelled but was not. Balcony room a must. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Love Alaska. The scenery is magnificent and the citizens are great. The weather in Anchorage was rainy and the first day at sea was also. As that was natural, it could hardly have been a negative for the cruise, but it could have been ... Read More
Love Alaska. The scenery is magnificent and the citizens are great. The weather in Anchorage was rainy and the first day at sea was also. As that was natural, it could hardly have been a negative for the cruise, but it could have been better, of course. Otherwise, great. The ships entertainment staff was excellent. The shows were at least as good as any we have ever seen in over 40 cruises on different ships and lines. The ship itself was attractive and not as gaudy as for instance Carnival ships. More traditional wood motifs and much more attractive to the eye than all of the chrome accents on some other ships. The dining rooms were very attractive and the wait staff was attentive and friendly. Princess (Coral) is an very well staffed and attractive ship. It seems I need a few more words to complete my review. This is added for meeting the requirements of the survey. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Princess is a great ship, friendly staff, Clean and Balcony view was amazing. Dining had excellent food and the Wait staff made you feel like you were family. Entertainment was great- Music and shows were top notch! Everyone we ... Read More
Princess is a great ship, friendly staff, Clean and Balcony view was amazing. Dining had excellent food and the Wait staff made you feel like you were family. Entertainment was great- Music and shows were top notch! Everyone we traveled with LOVED the entertainment. Princess is seamless with ports, shore excursions and travel. This was a long awaited trip and was worth it! We saw so much wild life I could not believe it! From our balcony we saw Killer Whales, Sea lions, Glaciers, School of Dolphins and on shore we saw Fox, Hares, tons of Moose their babies, Prairie Dog aka Breakfast Burrito, Bald Eagles... even a Porcupine! I could keep going on and on... Exceptional trip. The Princess Star even had a kids discovery center on board, I didn't travel with kids but they sure looked like they were having a great time. The only thing negative I would say is that when you would go to the seminars or book massage or other services they would try to sell/push you products... 1st time was fine but after the it got to be annoying but I assume this happens on all cruise ships. I would still give them 5 stars and do it all over again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Did land tour 3 days prior to the ship. Land tour was very busy the big event..Denali could not be seen, but a lot of other animals were seen and the scenery is breathtaking. Ship is older but everything worked fine the food was very ... Read More
Did land tour 3 days prior to the ship. Land tour was very busy the big event..Denali could not be seen, but a lot of other animals were seen and the scenery is breathtaking. Ship is older but everything worked fine the food was very good, as we all expected. The entertaiment in the theater was the singers and dancers and one man singer so nothing much but the entertainment around the ship was good, it just seemed that the entertaiment stopped too early. Casino was good to me, but the casino was pretty empty all the time, the bar at the casino had no TV, so no sports at the casino maybe this was the problem. The majority of the guests are over 55.. Room was fine and again - no towel animals, I keep expecting them, but to no avail..they are discontinued. The ports were great, July 4th in Juneau the parade was fun and entertaining. On the days at sea gong through the glacier the naturalist needed to be on the PA, heard some but not all. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We were a group of 5, 2 of which had never cruised before. Thought the ship was very nice, comfortable, no complaints. Service was all very good (from embarkation, dining, housekeeping, shore excursions, bars, shopping etc). Embarkation ... Read More
We were a group of 5, 2 of which had never cruised before. Thought the ship was very nice, comfortable, no complaints. Service was all very good (from embarkation, dining, housekeeping, shore excursions, bars, shopping etc). Embarkation was quick and our staterooms were ready by 1pm, luggage arrived a couple hours later. Disembarkation was fine, except the port of Vancouver is a chaotic nightmare unless you have a transfer pre arranged. If you are not off the ship first thing and plan independent transfers, prepare to wait up to 3 hours for a taxi. This is a fault of the port and city of Vancouver (really strange taxi laws and no Uber), not the cruise line. We didn't take in much of the entertainment (shows, comedian), but spent a few evenings in the bars listening to bands, recorded music and participating in trivia. We had anytime dining and never waited for a table and we usually dined between 6 and 7. Dining room service was very good. We were disappointed in the buffet, much of the time the food was cold and not particularly tasty. Sabitinis was amazing and well worth the additional charge. The light fare at the International Cafe is also quite good. Milkshakes by the pool were excellent. Pizza ws Ok, as well as the snack bar by the pool. Movies under the Stars was great, all curled up in blankets. Casino was fun, but I do wish it was not smoking all the time. We attended a couple of the port talks which were informative. Our excursions booked with Princess were good, albeit a little pricey. The Salmon Bake in Juneau is excellent as well as the White Pass Train ride. I would skip Jewel Garden in Skagway next time. The lunch served was terrible and really there is not much to see. Overall service on the ship was very good. There were no issues with cleanliness, our cabin was comfortable. Did not experience any plumbing issues and public washrooms were also very clean and seemed to always be in working order. We spent time (independently) pre cruise in Anchorage and Denali. Not much to do in Anchorage, but Denali was beautiful. We stayed at the Princess Wilderness Lodge. Accommodations were very comfortable. We did the 4 hour tour in Denali and I would recommend the 12 hour tour instead if you have the time. You see so much more. Also did rafting with the Denali River Rafters which was a blast. The guys are great. Drove to Talkeetna and walked around there for a bit. Also drove to Seward and Girdwood (just outside Anchorage). The tram ride at Alyeska Ski Resort is well worth it. Glacier Bay and Hubbards glacier scenic cruising was beautiful. We didn't see much of Whittier as it was very heavy rain. Skagway is really neat town, as well as Juneau. Ketchikan is also very nice. We enjoyed all the ports. Vancouver we did independently. I would love to do this trip again. The scenic cruising was amazing as were the ports. Overall a successful cruise for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I arrived in Fairbanks and was excited to take the well planned and educational excursions there and in Denali. The 9.5 hour train trip was beautiful and a great way to meet more new friends! The cruise ship was well appointed, the ... Read More
I arrived in Fairbanks and was excited to take the well planned and educational excursions there and in Denali. The 9.5 hour train trip was beautiful and a great way to meet more new friends! The cruise ship was well appointed, the staff was very good, and the onboard ensemble entertainment was exceptional, as was the set and lighting of each program! The ports we visited were good and the weather was phenomenal - sun almost every day, very uncommon for this time of year, and the excursions were well planned. We were unable to visit Skagway directly due to a landslide which took out the dock we would have used. People with excursions were credited for the cost of the ferry to/from Haines where we docked. I was delighted to be able to visit Haines, as I had not yet been there (this was my 4th Alaskan cruise) so was very happy to tour the town using the local shuttle, do a walking tour of the first Army fort in Alaska, and also add an excursion to Chilkoot Lake on a pontoon with a very knowledgeable guide! I also got pictures of a bear, salmon, an eagle, and beautiful waterfalls. However, there was a serious outbreak of a respiratory virus which spread through the ship, with many people restricted to their cabins and at least 2 people taken to hospitals. At no time did I see staff cleaning banisters, door knobs, elevator buttons, etc .(common illness prevention tasks!!!), or providing masks for healthy or unhealthy people on board for safety's sake! I had a great oceanview cabin with a wonderful stewardess who took good care of me! I would definitely take this trip again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Booked 2 mini-suites thru travel agent. We also did the land portion in Fairbanks. Excellent sight-seeing and food/drink service on the Princess train to Whittier. Good balcony spaces (port side - land view headed south) and comfy beds. ... Read More
Booked 2 mini-suites thru travel agent. We also did the land portion in Fairbanks. Excellent sight-seeing and food/drink service on the Princess train to Whittier. Good balcony spaces (port side - land view headed south) and comfy beds. Food and entertainment onboard decent but didn't sample all possibilities. "Sanctuary" section highly recommended - free, but book onboard for luxury AM or PM service. Most excursions seemed over-priced. I'd recommend booking your own, particularly for active options like cycling, kayaking, etc. We were particularly disappointed in the Ketchikan "Wildlife & Crab Fest" - just a quick boat ride to pull a trap and casual frozen crab leg lunch for $169 each. The Juneau all-day excursion to the Mendenhall glacier and whale watch left no shopping time in town, but excellent boat trip to see seals, whales, eagles and otters - highly recommended. The Skagway stop was bused from Haines (about 10 miles west) due to rock slide at Skagway port. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
27 years ago I was on a Nile River cruise but had never been on an ocean cruise. So as a newbie my eyes were wide open. We booked this Princess cruise tour because it was the best fit with available dates using my frequent flyer miles. We ... Read More
27 years ago I was on a Nile River cruise but had never been on an ocean cruise. So as a newbie my eyes were wide open. We booked this Princess cruise tour because it was the best fit with available dates using my frequent flyer miles. We have friends who always book Princess and like it. We booked an Obstructed Ocean View Guarantee. The ship sold out and we ended up in an Obstructed Ocean View cabin E334. More on that later. PROS The Princess organization on the land portion was flawless. Buses were there on time and baggage was handled efficiently. Embarkation in Whittier was chaotic due to at lease three trainloads of us stacked up on the other side of the tunnel. The line did move quickly at the ship, though, and we were "soon" in our cabin. CONS No eggs at the salad bar. BOO. I've been in hotels around the world and have never failed to find egg at the salad bar. My pet peeve. 27 years ago I was on a Nile River cruise but had never been on an ocean cruise. So as a newbie my eyes were wide open. We booked this Princess cruise tour because it was the best fit with available dates using my frequent flyer miles. We have friends who always book Princess and like it. We booked an Obstructed Ocean View Guarantee. The ship sold out and we ended up in an Obstructed Ocean View cabin E334. More on that later. With the Princess Riverside so close to the Fairbanks airport and advertising a free airport shuttle, I didn't see the need to purchase transfers. When we finally arrived at Fairbanks after Midnight our room key and baggage tags were none the less waiting for us at baggage claim. And we were told to board the same bus as everyone else. A short ride to the resort and we were in our room in minutes. It took the bags an hour to catch up with us. It was maybe 1:30 AM Alaska time (3:30 AM back home body time) when we finally turned the lights out. I had planned no excursions for the next morning knowing we needed our sleep after a 20 hour travel day. In the afternoon, however, we called Gold Dredge 8 and booked a time later that day. Even with the shuttle cost to their out of town location, we came out ahead over booking through Princess. We enjoyed the dredge tour and we panned our rather tiny amount of gold. The look of gold in the bottom of the pan was still a thrill. I recommend this experience. The next day we boarded a bus for the ride to Denali. Great scenery once we got close to Denali. The first stretch from Fairbanks not so much. Checked in to the Denali Princess and made the obligatory walk across the highway to peruse the souvenir shops. The weather there was cool and on and off wet. We booked no excursions. The following day we did take the shuttle over to the Denali NP Visitor Center to get our National Parks passports stamped. While there we were told about a sled dog demonstration nearby and got in line for that. Park employees conducted the demonstration and we learned they use the dogsleds to deliver supplies around the park in winter. Interesting. Afterwards we got on the free park shuttle and rode it to Savage River and back. Wednesday was the all day train ride to Whittier. We both loved it. Scenery was awesome and we even saw a critter or two. We got to our ship late because of a problem in the tunnel but so did almost everyone else. Thursday we visited Hubbard Glacier, the high point of the cruise for both of us. This is one place not to be missed. A 300 foot high 6 mile wide wall of ice pushing relentlessly to the sea. We were not disappointed and saw several calving events. The sound of the ice cracking just prior echoed around the inlet. Friday more glaciers at Glacier NP. Park rangers on board giving commentary. Saturday Skagway. Must see the gold rush museum. And we walked around town. Skipped the train ride due to a very tight budget. Sunday Juneau. More walking. Monday Ketchikan. Watched the salmon spawning in a nearby stream. Tuesday at sea. Wednesday AM arrived Vancouver and debarked? Consider spending an extra night or two in Vancouver. We did. And took the all day bus and ferry tour to Vancouver Island. Saw Victoria and Butchart Gardens. Big ship cruising was new to me. We explored every nook and cranny of the Island Princess, finding something new each day. We ate twice in the Bordeau Room. The rest of the time in the buffet. The Bordeau Room offered miniscule portions but of course you could always order more. The Horizon Buffet on a top deck at the bow offered great views and ok food. I realize Princess caters to an international clientele and the offering reflected that. But after a week, I was so looking forward to some recognizable comfort food. They had meatloaf that looked nothing like any meatloaf I had ever seen. I didn't try it. One night was BBQ night and everything looked good. We're from Kansas City, the home of great BBQ, and these ribs were disappointing, mostly globs of fat. Way too many dessert choices. Too tempting. The breakfast buffet was terrific. We did watch two performances at the Princess Theater. One a comic and the other doing Whitney Houston songs. Both were well done. We ignored the art auctions and the casino. Neither our thing. A surprise were the performances in the Atrium by a talented String Quartet. I enjoyed all of them. Despite having two thousand passengers on board, we never felt crowded. There were no long lines no matter where we went on the ship. I am not a violent man but I fantasized about tossing the ship photographer overboard. If we want our pictures taken we will find you. I realize this is a profit center for Princess, but............. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We had been planning for this cruise for over a year as part of our 40th anniversary celebration. This was our 3rd cruise and overall the experience, both on the land and sea portions, were generally positive. The wait staff on the ship ... Read More
We had been planning for this cruise for over a year as part of our 40th anniversary celebration. This was our 3rd cruise and overall the experience, both on the land and sea portions, were generally positive. The wait staff on the ship was exceptional. They couldn't do enough for you. The captain was very engaging and funny and made an extrordinary effort to steer the ship close to the glaciers, which were spectacular. He also made sure that both the port and starboard sides of the ship had a chance to see these magnificent jewels of nature. Our stateroom, a balcony, was comfortable, with plenty of room for our clothes and other items. The entertainment on the ship was good, if not spectacular. Especially enjoyed Steve, the comedian, who really engaged the audience and had everyone howling with laughter. It was nice to see a comedian who didn't have to use crude or off colored jokes to make us laugh. Also a shout out for all of the national park staff who came aboard the ship and helped up understand all of the beauties of Alaska. They were outstanding, and we learned quite a bit about this last frontier. The only downside of the cruise portion was the food, which we thought was about the same as the two previous cruises we had taken. We believed that Princess was a step up from Royal Caribbean and Carnival, but the food was about the same. Not bad, but not exceptional either. I think we enjoyed the land portion of the experience just as much if not more than the cruise portion. The 8 hr train ride from Denali Princess to Whittier was unbelievable. The scenery, especially the first 2 hours, was gorgeous. I would have preferred if our guide would have talked less and let us just soak in the panoramic views. We also took a plane ride over a glacier from Talkatneeta, which was a once in a lifetime experience. We also got to see close up humpback wales and bald eagles on an excursion from Ketchikan on a rubber raft to a small rain forest island park. Overall we really enjoyed ourselves, and in this 2-week adventure built a lifetime of wonderful memories. . Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I chose this cruise for the stops and the fact that it was a southbound cruise and the dates fit into my calendar. It was a great cruise. We did have a hiccup and were not able to dock in Skagway due to a rock/mud slide at the port. ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the stops and the fact that it was a southbound cruise and the dates fit into my calendar. It was a great cruise. We did have a hiccup and were not able to dock in Skagway due to a rock/mud slide at the port. Instead we docked at Haines. while disappointing, it was not the cruise company's fault. At least we got to dock and were able to take a water ferry to Skagway and complete our tour. Fortunately I had booked a private tour that was accommodating. The staff on the ship were awesome--they wait on you hand and foot and you never have to wait for anything! (except the elevators). We had a great balcony room. As others have commented, the ship does need to be refurbished in places, but overall, we were very happy with the cruise and Princess. We booked all our excursions outside of the Princess ones so can't comment on that. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I have wanted to cruise Alaska for a while and this cruise was arranged for us after a fortnight in an RV touring the Canadian Rockies. The flight from Vancouver to Anchorage, hotel and train were all arranged through Princess and went ... Read More
I have wanted to cruise Alaska for a while and this cruise was arranged for us after a fortnight in an RV touring the Canadian Rockies. The flight from Vancouver to Anchorage, hotel and train were all arranged through Princess and went smoothly. We were first to arrive at Whittier and had to wait for check-in to open so were quickly on board and luggage delivered quickly. Our first impressions of the ship were good - loved the elegant decor (not glitzy). We had an outside obstructed view but could see over the lifeboat and when we were at the glaciers we went out on deck. Found the bed to be very comfortable and although the bathroom had a few shabby areas, overall not as bad as I expected having read earlier reviews. We ate in the Portofino dining room each night and mostly the food was good. Husband had fish one night which was a little dry and a slightly chewy steak but generally it was okay (only got petit fours one night - another cutback?) Captain Micele Tuvo was great and really added to the cruise with his friendly banter and informative messages including when he woke us all at 5 am so we could see the Northern Lights. He got the ship as close as possible to the glaciers and we were the first cruise ship this year to see the John Hopkins Glacier. Our first port of call was meant to be Skagway but we woke up to find ourselves in Haines due to a landslide damaging the pier. The Shore Excursion staff had a lot of work that morning and we had to replay our day but it worked out wel for us. We had a walk around Haines which is a lovely local town (not touristy) and the local shopkeepers were pleased to see us, very friendly and welcoming. We were going to go on the White Pass Railway but ended up going to the wildlife sanctuary which was very interesting and we saw bears in the river on the way there and back (saw one catch a fish!). In Juneau we went on the helicopter trip to Mendenhall Glacier. We were lucky to be a small group of 4 and the only ones at the glacier which was great. Really go the feel of the size of the glacier actually flying over it and then walking around. This was followed by the salmon bake which was ok. Our final port of call was Ketchikan were we walked around the town, saw a lot of salmon in the spawning area and a young elk which was lurking behind some parked cars! The final day at sea was a beautiful sunny day and we spent the day out on deck whilst cruising through the Inside Passage with Captain Tuvo alerting us when whales or dolphins were around. The cruise director, J C, was one of the best we have come across. We enjoyed the shows we saw and the comedian was very funny. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Chose Princess for price and based on its reviews. Did the land package before the cruise, 1 night McKinley Lodge, lodge ok, bit older and rustic, great views of Denali Mountain. if it's out! Took bus ride down to town of Talkeetna ... Read More
Chose Princess for price and based on its reviews. Did the land package before the cruise, 1 night McKinley Lodge, lodge ok, bit older and rustic, great views of Denali Mountain. if it's out! Took bus ride down to town of Talkeetna for breakfast, cute town, great place to view mountain is it's out. Food at the lodge was okay. Excursion was UTV - great experience. 2 nights at Denali Lodge, a bit older and rustic. Denali is a commercial area. Took the 4 hour bus tour of Denali Park, was worth it, didn't see a lot of animals, only a few. Sled dog demonstration inside park, a must see! Only ate pizza at this location. Excursion was Covered Wagon Dinner, was okay, a tourist thing to do. Ship on older side, some renovations, but still feels old. Staff was great. Upgraded to suite with perks that were worth it. Laundry service every day, no waiting in line at anytime dinner. Nightly manager's reception with snacks. Embarkation disappointing, embark into a long narrow hallway, was uninviting. Entertainment staff was wonderful. Facial in spa disappointing, not worth cost, massage was good. Excursions on cruise: Skagway - White Pass train ride -beautiful scenery - don't every get off the train. Juneau - Mendenhall glacier by helicopter - excellent; Sled dog camp - fantastic. Ketchikan - salmon fishing - fun and worth it; Wilderness Cruise in the Mystic Fjords - very long (4 hours) beautiful scenery, some wildlife. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
What a fantastic bucket list trip. Started in Fairbanks and a day alone going up the Dalton Highway following The Alaskan pipeline north. Flew back from Cold-foot. Fairbanks was great....riverboat cruise and gold mining (better if 1 hour ... Read More
What a fantastic bucket list trip. Started in Fairbanks and a day alone going up the Dalton Highway following The Alaskan pipeline north. Flew back from Cold-foot. Fairbanks was great....riverboat cruise and gold mining (better if 1 hour shorter). Next day Denali. Skies turned blue for two days. Fantastic. Took Denali jeep private trip. Great experience. Then to Mt Mckinkey Lodge. Very nice. Highlight of trip next day. K2 airline otter plane ride around Denali, glaciers, valleys and mountains. Breath taking. Highly recommend K2. Next to captain cook hotel in Anchorage. Very nice hotel. Met new friends and went to 49th state brewery. Cool place. Got on ship in Whittier. Very smooth transition. Hubbard glacier then glacier national park. Life changing views and Experience. In Skagway, we did a raft trip to see eagles. Really cool. In Juneau we did a whale trip and glacier trip. In ketchican we did a float plane flight and boat trip through the fjord. Our excursions, both private and with princess will never be forgotten because of all we experineced The ship was good. Aging but nice. Food ok, we have had better. Dancing great if you like that. Specialty restaurants were excellent. Now on to bad,horrible. I got horribly sick on the last night. Lost all my contents, if you know what I mean. Temp 100.5. Flu they said on day of disembackment. I was quarantined. Warning to all. Wash your hands, I certainly did. And if you cough or sneeze, please cover you mouth with your sleeve. Please. Not a good way to end 15 wonderful days. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This is the same trip that we made last year except this time it was with a group of friends. The last time we were on the Island Princess we took the ship from Whittier, AK to Vancouver, BC, to Ft. Lauderdale, the last Alaska voyage and ... Read More
This is the same trip that we made last year except this time it was with a group of friends. The last time we were on the Island Princess we took the ship from Whittier, AK to Vancouver, BC, to Ft. Lauderdale, the last Alaska voyage and on to the first Panama Canal voyage. It felt like we had just left the ship and we were back on it. We started in Fairbanks going south to Whittier. Stopped off in Denali and would recommend the "Music of Denali" on arrival day. The Kantishna Experience was well worth the time, 13 hours on a school bus, and the expense to see wild animals as well as the wilderness. Not sure how the cruise lines chooses people to sit in the rail cars, but we had one with tables and others had airplane style seats with trays and power outlets. There were not any significant changes made to the Island and it looks like it has been under a lot of wear. We were in a mini-suite and it was very nice to have all the extra room. The Alaskan cruise made the ship feel nice and the staff was excellent. We are Platinum level so getting on in Whittier was a breeze and since we had made travel arrangements with Princess E-Z Air, travel to the Vancouver Airport had no problems. We looked forward to the English Pub during our day a sea near Vancouver which was very good. If you like fish and chip, then this is for you. Order 3 portions and split the one extra. Most of the nights we had excellent dining room service and two nights we took way to long in the dining room. One night we did not get offered coffee or tea with our dessert. Show were very good; however, there were times when the dancers looked like they had forgotten their steps. All of the singers were excellent and the one comic was not very funny. He tried to make people laugh by picking on the attendees and embarrassing them. Just not funny. All in all another excellent trip and looking forward to the next Princess cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I must start off by saying the best thing of all was the weather!!!!! We went on this same cruise in 2003 and enjoyed it enough to go back and hope for better weather. Most days in our 2003 trip were cloudy and rainy. Never saw Mt. ... Read More
I must start off by saying the best thing of all was the weather!!!!! We went on this same cruise in 2003 and enjoyed it enough to go back and hope for better weather. Most days in our 2003 trip were cloudy and rainy. Never saw Mt. Denali and very little wildlife. They say only 25 to 30 percent of travelers get to view Mt. Denali. Wonder what the odds are for having 10 straight days of sunshine this time of year? That's what we had and a wonderful view of the mountain. Princess was "over the top" on handling all aspects of our 4 day land tour. All arrangements, especially transfers, were done extremely efficiently from the time we got off our plane in Fairbanks to the time we stepped into our ship's cabin in Whittier. If you are planning a trip that includes transportation between Denali Lodge and McKinley Lodge, we highly suggest you spend the few extra dollars and travel by rail. We would have gladly paid twice the cost. It was a highlight of the trip! The excursions were terrific and that is coming from a couple who have been disappointed in several that we took over the last several years. The guides were knowledgeable and fun. Wildlife sightingsC616 were abundant and my wife fulfilled a desire to see grizzly bears fishing for salmon. Would you believe within 25 feet!! Our guild said that was the closest she has ever been to a grizzly. She (the bear) was only interested in the salmon. If you are interested in photography, consider the Denali Photo Workshop excursion that Princess offers. It is limited to only 4 adults and is a great opportunity to take great pictures and learn some very helpful tips and tricks. Other excursions we enjoyed and would recommend are: In Skagway the "Evening Wildlife Tour in Haine"s, in Juneau the "Mendenhall Glacier and Whale Quest" in Ketchikan the "Rainforest Walk and Crab Fest" (the Dungeness Crabs, fresh caught and fresh served - they were wonderful!). There is a lot to see in Vancouver if you have time or several days - Victoria Island, Butchart Gardens, Stanley Park, Granville Island, Chinatown, etc. The Coral Princess was very nice. Well maintained and well staffed. Everything was quite acceptable. If you are getting the feeling that it wasn't super great, We must say that in the last ten years of cruising the food and entertainment on every cruise line we have been on has deteriorated. Not that it isn't still good, it just isn't great. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Ports of call were great. Most lodges were nice but lots of coach riding and trains. Saw very little wildlife but weather was fabulous. Got to see Denali finally after the clouds passed. I felt excursions were way over priced but very ... Read More
Ports of call were great. Most lodges were nice but lots of coach riding and trains. Saw very little wildlife but weather was fabulous. Got to see Denali finally after the clouds passed. I felt excursions were way over priced but very well organized by Princess. Our balcony was larger than most we've had. Beds in cabin were the very best and got good sleep. Entertainment during the day was lacking. Entertainment at night was just so so. Thought we should of had more variety and theater seemed so small. If you weren't there several minutes prior to start...no where to sit. Several areas on ship smelled of sewer gas and was extremely bad just outside the theater that you had to cover your nose when walking through. Could smell it in many other areas as well. Dining area nice but if you were seated at a table of eight it took 90 minutes to finish. We did anytime dining and had no waiting time to get it but we ate early at about 5:30. Over all cruise was good but prefer other cruise lines. Felt a little bored on Coral Princess. Read Less
Sail Date July 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 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

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