115 Whittier to Alaska Princess Coral Princess Cruise Reviews

I just really have always wanted to take an Alaskan cruise. The Coral Princess in September was a wonderful experience. The crowds were smaller and the weather was just about perfect. There was not a mosquito to be found. The shore ... Read More
I just really have always wanted to take an Alaskan cruise. The Coral Princess in September was a wonderful experience. The crowds were smaller and the weather was just about perfect. There was not a mosquito to be found. The shore excursions were first rate. The stops in Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway offered a variety of experiences. There was plenty of time for shopping and exploring even with taking shore excursions. The Glacier cruising was awe inspiring. Cruising in September means that you get to see even more glaciers because there are some areas that are closed to cruise ships until September As always on a Princess cruise the food was delicious. The Entertainment was professional class. The Crew is always friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.Even the transfer from Anchorage to Whittier was first rate with a bus driver/tour guide who was great telling us about life in Alaska and pointing out interesting things along the way.. We even were able to take a shore excursion in Vancouver after we disembarked and before we had to fly out. Not only did it give us a great overview of Vancouver, it also lessened our time sitting in the airport. Our balcony stateroom offered stunning views. The ship is a slightly smaller ship and that made getting around very easy. Everything went smoothly from embarking to disembarking. Princess knows how to do things right. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We went on this very 1st cruise as a family (2 parents in their 50's & 3 adult children in their 20's in a separate room). I picked this ship and itinerary after hours of researching the best option for us. I knew I really ... Read More
We went on this very 1st cruise as a family (2 parents in their 50's & 3 adult children in their 20's in a separate room). I picked this ship and itinerary after hours of researching the best option for us. I knew I really wanted to be on a smallish ship that could get close to Hubbard Glacier and take us thru Granite Bay (Captain Todd McBain did a fantastic job getting us within 1/4 mile to Hubbard), with full day stops at the ports in Alaska and a balance of enjoyable entertainment for us adults and adult kids. We were not dissappointed. My husband and I especially enjoyed the shows - Encore, Bayou, Cheasa, Comedian, (not magician though as his show was a bit corny) & going to the game shows put on my cruise ship staff. My kids especially enjoyed the games, such as egg drop in the atrium and ping pong contests, trivia, and the other staff led evening shows. The staff was very energetic and our steward, Benjamin Venida, was extremely personable and attentive. We also enjoyed soaking in the hot tub while overlooking the scenic glaciers, watching movies under the stars with blankets they provided for warmth, and my daughters liked reading books in the quiet library. We liked our Anytime Dining experience and the ability to make reservations day of. When we requested seating by the window, we were kindly accommodated and ended up having a regular table (32) which was in the corner by the window. We really enjoyed the lobster and filet mignon especially when we were able to apply our dining credit to the special menu when Sabitini's was booked. We also at in the Bayou Dining rooms which was very nice as well and our waiter was excellent. The food/dessert was generally tasty. The Baked Alaska parade on the last night was fun and we enjoyed hearing the staff sing Happy B-day/Anniversary to guests as well as the taste of the creme brulee - yum! We regularly ate breakfast in the Horizon Buffet which was a great location at the top of the ship with windows surrounding it. The waiters came around asking if we would like beverages. My husband and son ate pizza at the pizzaria. They said the pizza was too hot and the cheese melted quite a bit and it tasted better when it was cold. We also ate lunch at the Grill by the pool area.The seafood chowder was tasty. I felt bad for the poor girl at the ice cream shop who seemed overworked and under appreciated but access to ice cream at anytime was a nice feature. We stayed in an inside stateroom on the Carribe deck (10th floor) in room C517 which I would highly recommend since it is sandwiched between two other stateroom decks. It was quiet, close to muster stations, mid ship so didn't feel much movement. Positivities Loved the enthusiasm of the staff and warm personalities. The atrium was very pretty. Seating near the windows during meal times - lovely. Getting so close to the glaciers. Meeting such friendly guests. Cleanliness. Great shows. I really liked this ship and the open decks, including semi-private one on the Caribbe floor. It never felt really crowded. Everyone was helpful and friendly. Very relaxing and enjoyable experience. Will definetely cruise with Princess again, and specifically Coral due to the size and layout of ship. Some suggestions: We would love to get all the daily Patters (schedules for each day) at the beginning of the cruise instead of day by day so we could plan our dinners (had anytime dining) and entertainment in advance. In addition, we were told in advance that formal nights are sea days, yet were surprised (as were others seated at our table that night) when we learned fairly last minute that the 2nd formal night was the evening we ported in Juneau. My daughter eats a gluten & dairy free diet. The chefs were kind enough to come out to give her recommendations in the dining rooms and she really liked their gluten free bread. Edible options in the Horizon Buffet were not clearly marked. They did not have almond milk that she knew of nor gluten free cereal. We would have liked signage for gluten free and dairy free items and it would be great if they had almond milk and gluten free bread/cereal available. For us, some food, such as eggs and biscuits, were overcooked but they had a good variety of options. My 3 adult kids shared a separate room. The top bunk bed was uncomfortable for my daughter. It was hard for 2 of the 3 to watch tv since the location of the tv was blocked from view though they did not really spend much time in their rooms at all. Perhaps a moveable mount could help. I felt that the pillows were a bit too squishy and my husband and myself in our room and we kept sinking toward the middle of the queen bed though it was generally comfortable. Benjamin Venida was a terrific, personable, and attentive steward. He was cheerful, called us by name, wished us a great day and good evening regularly, and even gave my son a few extra candies which was appreciated. He kept our room very clean. I wrote him a note and wanted to leave a tip and thank him personally, but I didn't seen him the day we disembarked and felt uncomfortable leaving it in my room since the door was ajar. My suggestion: Give thank you notes and tip if you choose when you see your steward; don't wait until the last day. The cruise director (John/aka Mr. Energy) was hilarious. We really enjoyed the staff led gameshows, etc. The big shows were excellent. The comedian was funny, (we would have loved to see his 2nd show but our dinner reservations could not be changed and we didn't know they were going to overlap) but we did not care for the magician show which felt corny. Sales The coupons, sales, and credits were helpful and encouraged me to buy merchandise. I really liked the free gift from Etsy of my pretty silver anchor necklase. A wonderful rememberance of a lovely cruise experience. Photos I wish the photos were less expensive and we could alter the size and have a cheaper package option (less than $150 minimum). They were good quality photos though. Casino We had fun playing Bingo one afternoon. Spa I did not use the spa, but my son did. Wish I could have let him use my credit as it was pricey for his service. Art: I went to the auction, which was fun but went long (it would be great if they could tell you how long it will be since we had to leave early for the wine tasting). My son got art work at a good price but the cost to ship it and time it takes to arrive is a bit pricey and long. Disembark As first time cruisers, this part was confusing to us. The elevators were full and carrying luggage downstairs dangerous. I think I would better plan ahead next time by leaving our large luggage outside our room. Excursions They were wonderful ports. I didn't appreciate that some shops, in particular jewelry shops, had people standing outside trying to convince us to come in and visit. Some ship excursions seemed very rushed - for example, covering too much ground in not enough time, so we booked some excursions on our own. Skagway: We walked off the port and over the creek bridge into town. We saw a man catch a huge fish. We also attended the '98 Show in the Saloon which was fun and ate lunch at the brewery - the beer garden provided excellent views. My daughter did rock climbing/rapelling, while the rest of us took the van up and bike ride down the mountain. A great active scenic option to sitting on a train. Juneau. We bought tickets at the St. Robert's tram (short walk) with a AAA discount at 8am. Were some of the first to board the tram and hike at the top. Definetly hike to the cross and windsock if you have time. Views are spectacular. Afterward, we called a taxi to meet us at the Red Dog Saloon. She drove us to Mendenhall Glacier where we visited the visitor center and walked the paved trail to beautiful Nugget Falls. Our driver on the way back stopped to buy us some lemonade from kids at a stand. Off the clock. They both provided great stories of the culture and of living there as locals. Finally, we ate at the Red Dog Saloon. Had to have the 'Duck Fart' shot which was fun and tasty. Ketchikan: We all had booked excursions in Ketchikan and were very stressed about making it back in time since the time changed and was scheduled to disembark 45 mins. earlier than originally told. This was a tendered location. I wish Ketchikan port stay was longer so it could have been more enjoyable. We walked through town, saw the salmon in the river. My daughters went on the kayak excursion and me - the group canoe and rainforest trip on the lake. (The clam chowder was excellent!) My husband and son went salmon fishing with Baranoff. My husband caught three - son, none. A couple with them gave them their catch and they were all shipped home. We are eating some fillets for dinner tonight. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The cruise was awesome. All of the staff we encountered were very pleasant except for one and I chalk that up for just having a bad day. We all of them occasionally. The reason I say this is, every time we saw this person after the ... Read More
The cruise was awesome. All of the staff we encountered were very pleasant except for one and I chalk that up for just having a bad day. We all of them occasionally. The reason I say this is, every time we saw this person after the "not so good" day, they were always in a pleasant professional mood. Even though Princess states the Coral was completely refurbished a few years ago - it really is need for a complete overhaul again. It is showing its age. Everything was clean. The entertainment we saw was what I would term as "typical". Nothing mind blowing but good. I would suggest to everyone to spend the little extra and opt for a balcony room. It was "post card beautiful" admiring everything from our private balcony while inside the Alaskan passage. You don't have other people bothering you or complaining etc. Our experience at Sabatina's Princess's premier Italian restaurant was nothing special. Actually after my wife and I left - we both agreed the Italian food we prepare in our own kitchen was as good as we just tried. Maybe we had a bad night?? Not sure, but on our next cruise, we would opt for something else. As for the ports and excursions - we opted not to pre-book a lot of excursions and just allow spontaneity to take over when we arrived, we would do much different on next cruise to Alaska. We did pre-book 2 excursions, but would do many more next time. The ports are beautiful and quaint, but way over commercialized !! Depending on how many ships are at port, you could have several thousand people in a small village at same time, which = WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE for me ;) We would book several excursions that would take us away from all of the commercialism at the ports. The bottom line is; would we go back - ABSOLUTELY!! and actually have started to put our thoughts and ideas together for another Alaskan adventure in 2 years. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Getting to Alaska Our flight to Seattle was on a Virgin Airlines Boeing 787 in Economy. We had looked to upgrade to Premium Economy but the price was prohibitive. It was a good flight with decent food and great cabin crew. Immigration ... Read More
Getting to Alaska Our flight to Seattle was on a Virgin Airlines Boeing 787 in Economy. We had looked to upgrade to Premium Economy but the price was prohibitive. It was a good flight with decent food and great cabin crew. Immigration at Seattle Airport was a nightmare, taking an hour to actually get into the immigration hall and another hour to get seen. The immigration official was very polite. As per our instructions, we got the hotel shuttle from the airport to the Hilton Doubletree Hotel. This was ideally located about 5 minutes from the airport. It is a VERY large hotel and I had read reviews about long queues at the Front Desk, which was indeed the case, taking about 20 minutes to get to the front and get checked in. Our room was somewhat old-fashioned but clean and comfortable with very comfortable beds. We had a very pleasant dinner at the 13 Coins restaurant a few minutes along the road from the hotel. We had booked the whole flight package through Princess and they had very kindly booked us on to an Alaska Airlines flight to Fairbanks at 0630 the next morning, meaning a 4am wake-up call... Fairbanks Due to the early flight, we arrived in Fairbanks by mid-morning, taking into account that Alaska is one hour behind Seattle - 9 hours behind the UK. We were met at the airport by a Princess Rep and transferred to the Fairbanks Princess Lodge very efficiently with a small number of other people. The Lodge is nicely situated on the river with pleasant public areas, although the main restaurant was rather dark and dreary. The buffet breakfast was not good. Our room was fairly basic but again had comfortable beds and we were lucky to have one with a river view. On day one, we took a shuttle into the town centre for a walk around in the pleasant, sunny weather. We went to the local cultural centre, which provided an interesting film and lots of interesting exhibits showing the history and way of life in Alaska. we then had a nice wander along the river and a very tasty, home-made, blueberry ice cream before getting the shuttle back to the hotel. In the evening, we had a pre-booked excursion to Pioneer Park for a Salmon Bake meal, followed by a theatre show all about Fairbanks and the Gold-rush. It was all very touristy - but hey, we are tourists! On day two, we were on an all-day included tour. This started at the site of the Alaska Oil Pipeline, an 800 mile pipe transporting oil across the State. We then boarded a replica train to visit Gold Dredge 8, a restored gold dredging 'factory'. It was interesting to learn about how they dredged for gold and we all got a chance to pan for – and find – some small chips of gold. Mine were – apparently – worth $18. You can of course buy a myriad of things to put your gold into – most costing more than the gold you had just panned!Complimentary Coffee & Cookies were served in the on-site shop. After the return train journey and further coach ride, we arrived at a Steamer Landing Stage, where we had an included lunch before getting on the Paddle Steamer. The sail along the river included seeing a float-plane take off and land, a stop alongside a famous Husky Kennels with demonstration and a visit to a re-created Athabascan Native Village with guided tour. Again the weather was warm & sunny and a good time was had by all. Complimentary snacks were served on board and you could also buy beers etc. That night, we ate at 'Pike's Landing' just up the road from the Princess Lodge. It was a pleasant meal taken out on the terrace by the river and was very busy. A local woman with her niece asked if they could share our table and we enjoyed great conversation with them. Denali On day three, we transferred to Denali by coach to the Denali Princess Lodge, just down the road from the entrance to the National Park. This is apparently the largest hotel complex in Alaska. Rooms are in mainly two-storey blocks scattered around the site, again on the edge of the river. The site includes several restaurants and shops but there are also independent restaurants and shops just across the road. Our room looked recently refurbished and was comfortable but could have benefited from better lighting. That evening we had pre-booked an excursion to go on a horse-drawn wagon into the Tundra and have a meal in a wooden pavilion. This was great fun and to our surprise also included alcoholic refreshment with dinner! Day 4 saw us on our full-day Tundra Wilderness Tour in Denali National Park. This took us some 65 miles into the Park amidst great scenery and we saw lots of Caribou, a Moose, Ptarmigan (the State bird of Alaska) and Dall Sheep. Sadly we did not see any bears. Nor were we luck enough to get to see the top of Mount Denali, the highest mountain in North America. Due to cloud cover only about a third of visitors get to see it. That night we tried to eat at a local restaurant but there was a long wait so we ended up eating on-site at 'Fannie Q's', named after a local pioneer woman. It was a nice meal with a singer/pianist entertaining us too. As in Fairbanks, it was strange to see the sun still pretty high in the sky after 1100pm! Day 5 saw us transferring by rail to Coral Princess in Whittier for our cruise. This was 8.15am – 5.30pm. I thought this might feel like a long day but it flew by. It is a double-decker train with 'dome-car' on the top level for good views and restaurant facilities downstairs, together with outside viewing platforms. The food was surprisingly good and pretty much on a par cost-wise with the Lodges. We enjoyed pleasant conversation with both Breakfast and Lunch table-mates. The scenery was amazing on this trip and really show-cased how diverse the State is, passing by/through mountains, plains and coast. Also, we were lucky enough to get a great view of Mount Denali along the way. Coral Princess We had deliberately chosen the Coral as we both prefer (by today's standards) smaller ships. She is just over 90,000 tons (so a smidgeon bigger than P&O's Arcadia) and carries approximately 2000 pax. Built in 2002, she obviously shows some small signs of wear – mainly around balcony doors etc. but is very well-cared-for internally. She had a re-fit in January this year. Internally, she is typically Princess, with many similarities to P&O's Oceana, which of course was previously Ocean Princess. Our standard balcony cabin was fine, although the shower stall was pretty tiny. She has very good facilities for her size – Main Theatre, two show-rooms – one over two decks, four bars, two main dining rooms and two for-fee restaurants, two pools (one indoors) and five jacuzzis. Food and service were very good – probably a notch above P&O. Whilst I seldom have any complaints about P&O, the staff on Coral were generally quite outgoing without being over the top or 'in your face'. Evening menus were good, with meats cooked exactly as requested but as is usually the case with USA cruise lines, vegetable accompaniments were not exactly generous. We ate in Sabatini's, the Italian for-fee restaurant one evening, where the food was fabulous but served in far too large portions. The Horizon buffet was far superior to those on P&O but as someone who is fairly conservative with food tastes, I sometimes felt the choice was limited for me. Princess cater to a very diverse cross-section of pax meaning a lot of asian dishes daily. This was particularly difficult at breakfast time, when dishes included noodles, congee, steamed cabbage, baked apple and bread & butter pudding with custard... The breakfast in the main dining room strangely had a very limited menu and when I did have Eggs Benedict there, I was somewhat disappointed at the cheap, thin cut of 'ham'. Musical Entertainment was very good, with the production shows being outstanding. To be honest, they blew P&O out of the water with the shows in all respects - staging, performance and professionalism. Their most recent shows are produced by Steven Schwarz, who wrote the Broadway & West End hit show, 'Wicked'. We didn't see any of the comedy shows or partake in quizzes as we thought they would be totally geared to Americans. We heard very, very few other English accents on board. Princess provided very good, expert guides to the area to broadcast across the ship whilst glacier viewing etc. Thanks to having cruised with Princess before and many with P&O, we were both at Elite Level in the Captain's Circle Loyalty scheme. This gave us priority boarding in Whittier, upgraded toiletries, Canapés in our cabin on Formal nights, Deluxe Afternoon Tea in the cabin on one day, a stocked mini-bar, 150 internet minutes (each), unlimited free laundry, Elite Lounge each evening with complimentary snacks and low-priced drink specials, free wine-tasting event and disembarkation lounge with refreshments. There were only 30 Elite pax on this sailing so in lieu of a 'most-travelled' event, we were given one complimentary cover charge per person to use in either of the specialty restaurants. The afternoon tea was ridiculously generous and the food would have served 4 easily. There were 10 finger sandwiches/rolls, 7 scones (with jam & cream), 10 cakes and 6 cookies! Needless to say, we couldn't get through anywhere near all of it! Apparently we were in the top 10 most-travelled on this cruise. We were also lucky enough to receive a bottle of champagne at the Captain's Circle Party when ours was one of the three invitations drawn out at the 'raffle'. If we had purchased anything in the on-board boutiques, we would have received 10% discount but to be honest, neither of us actually ventured into the shops. Drinks on-board were – as you would probably expect – expensive. A couple of g&ts routinely came in at around $21 (£17)and a couple of cocktails at $23 (£19) by the time the 18% gratuity was added on to the bar prices. The cheapest bottle of wine was around $38 (about £32). Overall, I was pretty impressed with Princess and would happily consider cruising with them again. The major drawback for me is that they have very few 'smaller' ships sailing where I might want to go. Hubbard Glacier The first day was a sea day, with a visit to the Hubbard Glacier in the afternoon. A very impressive glacier and we stayed here for a couple of hours. Glacier Bay Day two of the cruise was also at 'sea' in Glacier Bay National Park. We had visits to two glaciers here as well as passing by others. A glorious day in lovely weather. Skagway Our first port of call, a pleasant little town – quite picturesque. We had booked an independent tour here (with Dyea Dave) which took us up into the Yukon Territory of Canada by mini-bus. As part of this, we visited a small Husky Dog-Sledding kennel, where we were able to meet some 4 week-old puppies, a stop at Carcross Desert – an area of sand dunes totally unexpected in where it is – Emerald Lake and the village of Carcross, where we had lunch. On the way back to Skagway, we were dropped off at Fraser to get the White Pass & Yukon Railroad, a narrow gauge railway with spectacular views and twists & turns. Along the Klondike Highway we were lucky enough to see a number of Black Bears, which made up for not seeing any in Denali! On arrival back in Skagway, we had to visit the Skagway Brewing Company to try their famous Spruce Tip Blonde Ale – which incorporates hand-picked Sitka Spruce Tree tips. It was gorgeous. Juneau The State Capital of Alaska but quite small by our standards. Here, we had pre-booked a helicopter flight through Coastal Helicopters up to the Herbert Glacier, where we were able to get out of the helicopter and walk around on the glacier, tasting some of the ice-cold melt-water too. Wonderful sunny day and a fabulous experience. When we returned to the town, we walked around the main sites before going back to the ship. Ketchikan A small, quaint albeit touristy town. We had pre-booked an independent tour with Island Wings on a float-plane up to an area called the Misty Fjords National Monument. It was far from misty, being another gorgeous, warm & sunny day. The scenery from the plane was stunning and we then landed in a remote fjord and were able to get out of the plane on a small beach. Another stunning day. On our return, we had some lunch on the ship and then went for a little walk around the pretty town and picked up some last minute souvenirs. Vancouver After the last day at sea, we disembarked in Vancouver, where we had three nights booked at the Pinnacle Vancouver Harbour Hotel. Disembarkation was fine but there was a long queue for taxis. Tip – if you can manage your luggage easily, go through the Convention Centre/Hotel and pick up a taxi in front of the hotel! During our time here, we saw Gas Town, Fly Over Canada, the Capilano Suspension Bridge & Park, Granville Island and Stanley Park. Well worth a few days at the end of the cruise. Getting Home We took a taxi to the airport for our Air Canada flight home. We had upgraded to Premium Economy and it was worth it for the extra space alone. The flight was on time and after landing at Heathrow, were back to my house within less than 2 hours of touch-down. Conclusion This was a stunning trip and easily the most fantastic holiday I have ever had. The natural wonders were the star of the show and the middle three days of the cruise were amazing. I have to keep convincing myself that I have done this. It is a long flight and it is a very expensive holiday but thoroughly worth it. I am very happy we chose to do it with Princess and would highly recommend them for Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
In comparison to other cruises that we have taken, there were some obvious similarities as well as differences. Some services were great, some weren't. I will break it down (We took 7 day cruise with Coral Princess from Whittier to ... Read More
In comparison to other cruises that we have taken, there were some obvious similarities as well as differences. Some services were great, some weren't. I will break it down (We took 7 day cruise with Coral Princess from Whittier to Vancouver). Embarkation/ Disembarkation: We boarded from Whittier, Alaska which is a fairly small port. Ours was the only ship. Luggage drop off and check in was very smooth as we already have our luggage tagged. We were in the ship in less than 20 minutes after we got off our bus (by the way, bus ride from Anchorage to Whittier was great and quite scenic. I highly recommend doing this if possible). Similarly, disembarkation was fairly smooth. One pointer is that they would drop off instructions out of your stateroom for luggage tags. If you want to change the time you get off ship, just go to customer service and they will be happy to change the tags for you. On the subject, we were considering transfer by cruise line from Vancouver cruise port to the airport which was 29$ per person if arranged by Princess. However, we decided to use private taxi service which was only 30 Canadian dollars for minivan taxi and was very comfortable. Please note that there is no Uber or Lyft in Vancouver. We did not get greeted while boarding in the ship like we have with Disney or Royal Caribbean. They both provide very warm welcome upon entering the ship. This was definitely missing here with Princess. Ship: Ship looked average size. Not too small, not too big. It was fairly easy to get to our stateroom with minimal help from staff. First impression of ship was that of a fairly clean, well maintained ship with passengers over 50. Cabin: Since we have one year old traveling with us, we decided to choose Ocean view rather than balcony that we typically choose. Stateroom was very clean, well maintained and didn't seem too cluttered. Proper use of the space was very evident in comparison to some other ships we have been in. Overall, good experience. Dining/ Service: As we had issues with this, I am going to combine the two. First day on the cruise, we went to talk to Maitre D as some of the people in our group wanted changes made to our menu which is what we have done for every cruise we have taken without issues. Usually, they are HAPPY to accommodate as it is very simple request. Maitre D on Princess gave us lecture on how US regulation doesn't allow him to cater different menus as he has to worry about food and guest safety. He made it sound like we are cruising for the first time. The request was as simple as providing Chinese/ Mexican/Indian food items for some of the meals for example. I don't see how that interferes with US regulations. He was very difficult to work with. Even some of the servers in buffet dining area (Horizon dining) were far outright rude. When we went to first night of dining, we made similar request to head server and he was very accommodating. Our servers in evening dining area were great. Food quality was above average but nothing to brag about. Not many choices besides Pizza and burgers in off times. Evening snacks were good. We did not have internet service for the entire first 24 hours and could not get internet manager to come on the phone to explain why. Even after that there were issues. When it worked, it was fast. On last day, they sent us a letter stating that we would get refund of one day as a gesture. Gesture would have been to make entire package complimentary. Giving money back for the service not used is not gesture, it is expectation. As Princess won't allow me to buy internet per day, they should not be allowed to refund it for a day either. For the inconvenience of no availability of internet, proper customer service would have been apology and full refund in my opinion (by the way, I am still waiting for my one day refund). Entertainment and activities: Limited choices of shows, very few performances. Big screen didn't show too many movies. Definitely can improve. Ports and shore excursions: As Alaska cruise is mainly about excursions, I would strongly recommend pre-booking excursions either directly with Princess which is what we did or independently. We saw many families who wanted to book on the ports and could not get as they were all sold out. We also strongly recommend checking charges. We have a one year old who was charged for all excursions when we pre-booked it but when the passes came, his passes didn't. Upon inquiry, they told us that infants under 1 are free for all excursions. However, we still got charged at the time of booking and yet to see refund. Conclusion: Alaska is a must see destination anyway. I strongly recommend cruise with excursions to enjoy wilderness as few friends who explored Alaska by renting a car and hotels at the same time we did cruise felt that they did not get to see as much when we compared notes and pictures. However, I would pick right cruise. It seemed like Princess Cruise was not family friendly with less family oriented activities with rude staff. Princess needs to change culture with focus on customer service for paying customers. We will probably not use Princess for our next several cruises. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Chose because of itinerary. Ship needs to be refurbished, food was not up to Princess standards and neither was the service. Loved the ports, but would cruise on a newer ship. Entertainment poor except for comic one night. Cruise ... Read More
Chose because of itinerary. Ship needs to be refurbished, food was not up to Princess standards and neither was the service. Loved the ports, but would cruise on a newer ship. Entertainment poor except for comic one night. Cruise Director not very engaging. Grandson loved it, met new friends. The meals in the main dining room were certainly not enticing to teens. Taking us from port to port the ship served its purpose. When sailing through Glacier Bay not enough narrative before entering to explain how long we would be there. Glacier Bay was breathtaking and just awesome, would have loved some hot coffee or hot chocolate to be served on the outside decks. I guess this crew and service staff just weren’t into going that extra mile for the passengers. The cruise made wonderful memories and lasting impressions of Alaska, but Alaska did that it had nothing to do with the ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
So many events and shows to keep you busy. Best of all, all the staff were super awesome, friendly, attentive and courteous!! We were treated like royalty throughout the trip!!! This reason alone makes us want to do it again! Thank you ... Read More
So many events and shows to keep you busy. Best of all, all the staff were super awesome, friendly, attentive and courteous!! We were treated like royalty throughout the trip!!! This reason alone makes us want to do it again! Thank you Nino, Mariam and Seon! Everywhere you went on the ship were clean! There’s enough staff to ensure you have everything you needed and more! Food was delicious and plenty. There were so many varieties that anyone with specific food allergies or specific diet can find food to eat! On our ship, besides our “typical” dining room, we had two other restaurant to choose from. We decided to have an Italian dish. Right off the bat, the freshly baked bread dipped in olive oil was to die for! The next 5 course meal was so good that even though I was stuffed, I could not pass it up!! We will definitely cruise again and I will make sure we book another princess cruise!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was in the planing for a few years, as it was a very spacial cruise for us to celebrate my husband turning 70,I was turning 65 two major mile stones in our life,also we were married 45 years also a major mile stone , I also retired, ... Read More
This was in the planing for a few years, as it was a very spacial cruise for us to celebrate my husband turning 70,I was turning 65 two major mile stones in our life,also we were married 45 years also a major mile stone , I also retired, these were all very important mile stones in our life ,we were very disappointed in that this was told to travel agent and to princess and we were not shown anything for our celebrations,e.g. people had posters on there doors ,also others told us they received a voucher from princess. we also noticed that our cabin person didn't do the towels any more, like on our previous cruses,it was always a surprise to come back to your room and wonder what they had arranged this time with the towels. nothing felt special on this cruise . We both as many other people we spoke to that the shower recess appears much smaller than on other ships,we were constantly flooding the bathroom as you had no room to move in the shower,you constantly were hitting your arms on the hand rail and if you washed your feet you hurt your self on the tap all the time .I think this is the smallest shower we have been in on all seven cruises The shows were only two and the comedian was not that good . Bingo has now become to expensive to play on board the ship . It's now become electronic and you are at a disadvantage playing unless you have an electronic pad , as every one who won were the ones with electronic pads , this is not right either everyone is given an electronic pad ,this means you need quiet a few, or all have paper bingo and make the playing field an even one .If this is a non profit bingo games then why is it now so expensive to play a game ? We wanted to use the pool but the children that were on the cruise took over both pools and all the spas that if you were in there you could not talk to the person next to you for the noise and diving bombing of the children, spas if you wanted a drink and sit in there the kids just made it uncomfortable for the adults till they left, drinks would be splashed into with spa water you could not drink it then , the yelling and screaming ,no one parents or staff would tell them to stop and behave,its a public area and adults are made to feel as if they should be in there cabin or some were else but not the pool/ spa area. We could not get over the number of parents /grandparents having children in the casino this I found disturbing,but who do you say something to. There was an incident at the ice cream bar where 4 girls around 10 to 12 years old and a boy , they were so rude and nasty to the lady behind the counter, they upset her so much that she jammed her finger in the fridge door ,you could see the tears in her eyes but she kept a straight face and finished serving them ,when they left I asked if she needed some assistance for her hand but she said no,she gave me what i needed and left I did mention it to someone in the dinning room, this lady needs to be commended for tolerance and patience . We found it disappointing that there was no one playing music before the two dinner sittings, while people were having their pre dinner drinks ,is this now the normal ,no musicians playing, it was missed by many people , how asked the waiter were was the music but he was unable to give an answer but there was elevator music, which is definitely not the same. I have medication that needs to be keeped cold and ice packs that needed to be frozen to use over night, this was very difficult to organize, I went to reception and dropped them off on the morning and picked them up on our last return to our cabin for the night so as no one had to go out of there way for me,but they were never frozen they were soft like they had been in a fridge not a freezer,this was something that is needed and was just so hard to get if it went to the medical freezer it had to be picked up early evening ,this was not a go as they would have defrosted by midnight. can you tell me what to do next time please ? IT was an amazing trip, seeing the glaziers , the mountains with some snow, the Ice floating in the ocean,we did see one Moose in Denali National Park, but when ever there was something to photograph the bus could not or would not stop, this led to a lot of disappointing passengers.,we also went to the salmon fisheries were we saw the Bald Eagles , our guide for the first week was fantastic and we enjoyed our stay in the two lodges, the train trip to the ship was interesting.very funny the conductor and his gravel pits . The ports we called into were so crowded to get the feel or atmosphere of the town, to have around 4-5 cruise ships all at once made it overwhelming for the people that work and live in these ports, having over 10 thousand plus people around was difficult to get good service .everyone is trying to do there best for the crowds that are there I would recommend anyone to do this trip, but not in the American school holidays. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise ship because it sails along the inside passage in Alaska, and it is the only ship that has the permission to approach glaciers. The weather was not cooperative, yet we still got to see the beauty of Alaska. In terms ... Read More
We chose this cruise ship because it sails along the inside passage in Alaska, and it is the only ship that has the permission to approach glaciers. The weather was not cooperative, yet we still got to see the beauty of Alaska. In terms of the ship itself. The embarkation and disembarkation was smooth, including all disembarkations for daily visits. The ship is not overly large, which is a blessing. It is also not new, but well maintained and very clean. We traveled with two teenagers, and the accommodations are a bit of challenge. We booked a room with a window and two bunk beds. We were then upgraded to a room with a balcony, but only one bunk bed and a trundle. For two people, this room would have been awesome. Spacious and convenient. However, for four people, it was a bit of a tight squeeze, especially when the trundle was open. We hardly spent any time in our room, and it all worked out well, but for our next cruise we may re-visit the accommodations. The dining was excellent. We actually liked the buffet, and had breakfast there every day. Great assortment of yummy dishes. We also enjoyed the dinners. The food was delicious and the service precise and friendly. Our kids loved the endless pizza, ice cream and burger bars. We did not eat in the specialty restaurants. There was no need. We enjoyed all the entertainers on board. Even our teenagers raved about Howley Magic. In general, all entertainers were fabulous. We went to every show every night. The days at sea were also fun and full of activities. We enjoyed the martini and the fruit demonstrations the most. Miranda, the cruise director, is a wonderful presence, and seemingly does not sleep. The service was lovely, professional and friendly. One exception was the service for the afternoon tea. We went only once because we could not get our server to refill our tea cups or get extra goodies. He was the only cranky person on board, and we did not come back. The ports were well selected, and we were able to explore each port within the allocated time. We especially enjoyed the salmon hatcheries in Kechikan, the hanging gardens in Juneau and the glaciers. This was our first cruise with our children, and as mentioned, they are teenagers. We were worried about them being bored. They both told us that it was the best vacation ever. They enjoyed exploring the ship, the food and most of all Alaska itself. We also enjoyed the ship very much. The promenade deck is a real one and circled the entire ship. It was one of the highlights of the day to walk around and look for whales. The only suggestion is to perhaps hold an early session on good passenger behavior at sea or senior citizens behaving with respect to others. I was amazed at how many elderly passengers felt absolutely no qualms about pushing me and my kids out of the way in the buffet line, or using their canes to shove people in the theater. I understand that the sailing population is an older one, but manners should not be left on shore. Coral Princess, however, was a truly lovely experience for us all, and we would sail with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We did the 7 day land & 7 day cruise & 3 day Vancouver Cruisetour! We did the land first so we could see the interior of Alaska first. The scenery is breathtaking!!! One of the highlights was taking the tour boat out of Homer. ... Read More
We did the 7 day land & 7 day cruise & 3 day Vancouver Cruisetour! We did the land first so we could see the interior of Alaska first. The scenery is breathtaking!!! One of the highlights was taking the tour boat out of Homer. Great scenery & saw a lot of wildlife. Saw glaciers up close & glacier calving up close & the scenery was OUTSTANDING. Our tour director on land was outstanding. He provided us with a lot of good information. I also would recommend that you get the land tour with the meal ticket included. It was well worth it. It was great going on the ship & going to Hubbard Glacier & Glacier Bay National Park. This is the cruise that you need to get a Balcony. We usually get inside cabin but the view on the Balcony was outstanding during this cruise & well worth the extra money! All the ports of call were really great. We extended our cruise with 3 days in Vancouver & Victoria Island. Butchart Gardens are outstanding!!! I wish we had more time. The hotel accommodations at the Empress Hotel on Victory Island & Westin Bayshore in Vancouver were really great. I would recommend the 3 day extension in Vancouver it is well worth it. I would recommend this Princess land/sea cruise to all my friends!!! Worth every penny!!! The VIEW is OUTSTANDING & Breath-taking!!! 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
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
The food was never warm and not very good. Our steward was very friendly. The ship itself was not the cleaness. Poor entertainment 2 nights were ok. Not much to really do as we had sailed on Royal Caribbien and it was clean, good ... Read More
The food was never warm and not very good. Our steward was very friendly. The ship itself was not the cleaness. Poor entertainment 2 nights were ok. Not much to really do as we had sailed on Royal Caribbien and it was clean, good food, and great entertainment.. We loved Alaska but the ground tour the food was very expensive. If recommending a cruise line to Alaska I would not recommend Princess.... The people were friendly and the staff was also friendly. Princess has a monopoly on most of the restaurants were very expensive on land. On the morning of disembarkation tried to order room service for coffee and it was closed of all mornings, I loved Alaska and several friends have ask if we would recommend Princess? Our answer was no. two nights of entertainments were good but 2 out of 7 is not good. I recommend you review our concerns Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We went on this cruise with another couple we knew from college..... We found the process of changing from one location to another VERY smoothly handled... from the airport transfer to the first lodge (in Fairbanks) to the second location ... Read More
We went on this cruise with another couple we knew from college..... We found the process of changing from one location to another VERY smoothly handled... from the airport transfer to the first lodge (in Fairbanks) to the second location (Denali) and then on to the port of Whittier to be first class in every way. Luggage was moved efficiently and was always where it needed to be.... The ship is "mid sized" which meant that we ALMOST knew our way around perfectly by a few days in... that always helps.... The cabin itself with a balcony was comfortable and always cared for well by our steward. We did not use the cruise ship's excursions at all (we always like to plan our own). The entertainment that we did see was good. There was one snafu where many of us were seated in the venue listed on the day's program of activities for a particular show... the venue changed, and by the time all of us who were in that location tried to move to the other we were unable to see the show... not enough seats.... We thoroughly enjoyed the presentations by the on board naturalist, Gloeta. We attended every one of her talks and found them to be information and entertaining at the same time.... a feat not easily mastered.... especially when the topics are glaciers, bears and whales. In our opinion, she should have the biggest venue possible for her talks... they almost always draw a crowd.... It would be nice if they were streamed later in the cruise for those who missed it. We enjoyed the food at the main dining rooms and never used the specialty dining. If Princess were traveling somewhere else we wanted to go, I would certainly not hesitate to travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The ports were great and Princess handled the arrivals and excursions very well. My husband and I enjoyed the touring and we have no complaints about the way the naturalist narrated the on-ship visit to the glaciers. The cruise ship ... Read More
The ports were great and Princess handled the arrivals and excursions very well. My husband and I enjoyed the touring and we have no complaints about the way the naturalist narrated the on-ship visit to the glaciers. The cruise ship left lots to be desired. We had a mini suite and paid for club class. The first evening I spent from 11:00 PM to 1:00 AM waiting for a maintenance person to figure out why our toilet wouldn't flush. He had to cut into a wall and although he resolved the issue, the odor in the bathroom persisted all seven days. I had considered asking for another cabin, but when I heard about the problems that others were experiencing, I decided not to do that. Others had water pouring into their suites and large commercial dehumidifiers set up to dry out various areas. The dehumidifiers were also set up in some of the hallways. Other people mentioned the odor that was quite foul—combination of garbage and sewage. I was not impressed with club class. We signed up for it since it was advertised that we would get preferred seating and special selections in the dining room. We did get preferred seating, but there were no special selections. The club class also included canapés each evening. Since they came the first two days without ordering, I was surprised to find that on the third day, they had to have been ordered 24-hours in advance. The food was not what we have come to expect on cruise ships. Our most recent experiences had been on Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. The food on those lines was fabulous—tasty and top class. On Princess, sauces had no taste and steaks were tough. I learned after the first few days to order fish, which was much better. The salmon was especially good, but there weren't enough meals that were memorable. Fresh vegetables were scarce and desserts were not that good. We ate dinner late and had been accustomed to attending the entertainment at a late showing on previous cruises. We missed some of the entertainment because we had dinner late. The service up at the pool level was terrible. I had to get up and walk to the bar each time I desired a drink. The app that Princess set up so that we could communicate via text message with other passengers was interesting but not practical. It did not send notifications. So, messages were received, but unless you were staring at the phone or checking regularly, there was no way to know that a message was received. Another thing that I think Princess has to consider is that just because one of the persons in a couple made the arrangements, both will have expenses and opinions. My husband made the arrangements online, but both of our emails were registered with Princess. In advance of the trip, I received many emails requesting that I book excursions. After the trip, only he received an evaluation form. I went online and requested my own form, but did not receive one. Additionally, on the app used for managing expenses incurred while on the ship, he could see my charges, but I could not see his. If it is a "room" account, we should no longer experience such discrimination. 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
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
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
This was a great cruise with a wonderful itinerary. You must see Glacier Bay. It was wonderful to have a park ranger come on board during our cruising that day to talk about the area. I enjoyed the naturalist on board during the week who ... Read More
This was a great cruise with a wonderful itinerary. You must see Glacier Bay. It was wonderful to have a park ranger come on board during our cruising that day to talk about the area. I enjoyed the naturalist on board during the week who shared about the wildlife we were seeing. Our captain was wonderful- enthusiastic and friendly, which I believe made the staff happy and enthusiastic. We traveled with our two children (3 and 5) who ADORED the kid's zone. I appreciated the way that cleanliness was promoted- hand sanitizers around the ship at dining rooms, staff cleaning up constantly. Our room was great. Beds were comfortable, balcony was so enjoyable. Our steward, Marilyn, was friendly and hard-working. Our remote on tv was impossible to work, but she mentioned that our first day in the room and that they were trying to replace them. All of the shore excursions we did were fabulous. We are sad to be home and can't wait to return. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise because it was our 40th wedding anniversary. After research and talking with our travel agent we found out that Princess had it's own lodges for the land portion we wanted and was one of the few cruise lines that ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was our 40th wedding anniversary. After research and talking with our travel agent we found out that Princess had it's own lodges for the land portion we wanted and was one of the few cruise lines that could cruise Glacier Bay and get up close to the glaciers. We had previously done 2 cruises with Oceania but their itinerary did not work for our time. We knew Princess would not be Oceania but had heard good things about them also. We did have a wonderful time but some things I wanted to write about. We flew into Fairbans and Princess was there to meet us and take us to their Lodge in Fairbanks. We had a long travel day so we just walked the grounds of the lodge and had dinner outside on the deck to enjoy the beautiful weather and sunshine. The Princes RIverside Lodge sits on the Chena River. The our room was very basic but clean, This lodge could use some updating. Our dinner was very good. They told us that we could pack a bag that they would take ahead to the ship. We would then pack another bag with enough clothes for the next 3 days and our necessities we needed to stay with us. If someone would of told us this before we left it would of simplified our packing at home. The next day we had a morning excursion on The Riverboat Discovery for a narrated cruise along the Chena and Tenana River. We enjoyed this very much. It was a beautiful day and we sat up top of the boat. The narrator was terrific and staff very friendly. You get to watch a sea plane take off and land on the river in front of you. The PIlot talked by radio and it it piped over the loud speaker. Along the way you stop at Susan Butchers Iditarod sled dog kennel. Her husband brings dogs to the shoreline and you watch from the boat. Later at the Athabasca Village they bring dogs to the village and a musher gives a talk. You can also purchase the book of her famous dog Granite, makes a great gift especially for a grandchild. Coming back you get off at the Athabasca Village and young Alaskan Native Guides give talks on native lifestyle, clothing, and fishing. They also tell you about all the homes along the river. The river was kind of muddy but the scenery was beautiful. After you dock they have a gift shop and box lunches for purchase or if your tour includes lunch they have a restaurant. Ours did not and the box lunches were picked over by the time we got to them. They needed more staff at registers and a better system of getting the lunches. We ate outside on a beautiful day. We then boarded a bus for our trip to Denali Princess WIlderness Lodge. This took about 3 hours and we arrived very late afternoon. Our bus driver was Steve and he was great. The Lodge and grounds were beautiful. Our room was just fine. We had to repack and have our bags out early in the morning. We then went for a walk and enjoyed the late sunshine and dinner at The KIng Salmon restaurant. It was very good and we enjoyed our server who was delightful. We had time to do a little shopping in the gift shop and order our box lunch for after our tour the next day. The next morning we went to the coffee shop for breakfast and they told us they didn't serve some of the hot items any longer even though they were up on the board. We then left to go into the Park on our tour. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about so much of the Park. He was very personable and we enjoyed him. The only thing we didn't like was the part of the tour where you walked to a cabin and a lady talked about what it was like to live there many years ago. I think she thought she was performing a play instead of talking to us, also the mosquitos were so bad you could hardly pay attention. The rest of the tour we saw moose, bald eagles, a bear, way off in the distance and a native Alaskan gave a talk about culture. If we ever get to go back we would love to go further into the park. After retuning to the Lodge we picked up our boxed lunch we ordered and then took a 3 hours bus ride to Mt McKinley Lodge. Our bus driver was ok she seemed to forget quite a bit of what she was talking about and rambled. We went and heard a talk by a lady who was on a expedition to climb Denali. After 3 weeks and an 11 day storm they had to go back. She was very interesting to hear. We loved the Princess Lodge at Mt McKinley. The flowers were beautiful and we sat on the large porch outside. Denali was in the clouds so we did not see it, as most people don't. They had an outside fire pit area which looked very cool but very crowded. At our restaurant we did not have a good experience. We sat at the bar and our server was not polite to us, she was very busy. Finally another man came and helped us and by that time we were getting unhappy. The food was just ok and not worth the hassle of we had to go thru to get it. Our room was nice and in a separate part away from the main lodge. THhe next morning we took a bus ride to Talkeetna, it was pouring rain but our driver was fantastic!. SHe was a young lady with spunk and an interesting story. We LOVED Talkeetna. If we go back again we would stay there and do day trips from there. It is a quirky, colorful town and definitely tourist friendly. We had breakfast at The Roadhouse. You sit at a family style table with anyone. We sat with several local people and another couple traveling like us. The breakfast was great and huge. The bakery was amazing. We got a raspberry cinnamon roll to go and ate it as we walked thru town and did some shopping. They then took us by bus to the train station where we then went to the cruise ship in Whittier. It was an enclosed glass train car and you are assigned seats so you don't now who you are sitting with. The trip is 6 hours to the cruise ship port. We were able to order lunch and drinks on the train. They do a narrative along the way. The scenery is beautiful and we were glad we did it, it's just a long trip. We arrived in the rain at the port. After going thru security, we were the last people on board the ship. Our luggage was in our room, Dolphin Deck Room 333. We had to immediately go to the muster drilll in the Princess Theater. AFter that we went to dinner in the MDR. After a long day of travel we ordered a glasss of wine and they said they did not have that wine. It seemed odd to us since it was the first day of our cruise and they were already out of something. We purchased the beverage alcohol package. They then said they had a bottle of something similar. At this point we were tired and just said ok. Something seemed off, the staff kept trying to sell us things all along, like a wine tasting, photos. We just wanted to eat dinner and have a glass of wine at leisure and not be rushed. We felt that way every time we went to the MDR. We even had to tell our waiter one time to just slow down we didn't want to be rushed that way. Our next day was a sea day and it was cruising Hubbard Glacier. We enjoyed the day very much. Then Glacier Bay National Park was next. The Park Service brought a ranger on ship and she gave a talk and then pointed out high lights as we cruised. Our captain got as close to the glacier as he could and stayed on each side about 45 minutes. It was raining so we went to our room balcony and got fantastic views!. We loved this day. The first day into a port was Skagway. We had booked our excursions ahead of time and 2 planned for that day. The morning we did the White Pass Scenic Railway Tour. If we would have known our train ride previously was 6 hours we would not have done this. It was just ok, didn't need another train ride. The afternoon we did the CHilkoot Train HIke and Float Adventure. They took you out of town in a van to start the hike. This was a 2 mile hike in with a guide who was wonderful and told us all about the rain forest we were in. Then we floated back down the river to meet the van. We loved this. We saw several bald eagles, beautiful scenery and felt like we were experiencing Alaska. It was a Discovery Exclusive Excursion. We got back to town with no time to see the town. It looked nice from the van as we rode thru. We would go back to Skagway. The next day was Juneau. We had booked the Alaska Whales and Mendenhall Trail Animal Planet Recommended excursion. We had another great day!. Our guide met us and we drove out of town to the Mendenhall Glacier Trail. It was a 1 mile hike, really a walk to a lake with a beautiful view of the Mendenhall Glacier. Annie was fantastic, She was very knowledgable and funny. She follows the whales from Alaska in the summer to Hawaii in the winter. She encouraged questions and gave us ample time for photos. We then took the van to a marina and picked up a whale watching boat. It was a smaller boat with only about 25 people on it. The windows all opened and there was plenty of opportunity for photos. They took us as close as possible to the whales we saw and it was AMAZING! Our captain was very good and took us several places and moved with the whales. On our way back in Juneau we drove thru the town and it looked great. I had time to check out a few of the shops before the boat left, it was an early day to leave. Our final stop was Ketchikan. Again we loved it here. Our excursion was The Misty Fjords Wilderness Flight and Cruise. There was about 10 of us on the small flight. Our pilot was great and got us as close as possible to the mountains to take photos. Plenty of beautiful scenery. We then landed at a boat marina in the middle of a fjord. We took a scenic catamaran back to town. The cruise was longer than we expected. They did have light snacks but it was very long. We did have time to go shopping in Ketchikan and ate a late lunch at Annabelle's Chowder House. This was recommended by a local shop merchant who owned a great gallery called Arctic Spirit Gallery. They have beautiful local jewelry and gifts. MIchael is the owner and is wonderful. His wife also owns the store next door. It was nice to have a quality local store to shop in and not just touristy jewelry and souvenir stores. The last day was a sea day. It was beautiful and we spent most of the time outside by the pool. We pulled into Vancouver on our last day early. We had been there before so we were going home. It was a beautiful skyline going into the harbor. Disembarkation was smooth and they had our bags at the airport. Something's about our boat: The Coral Princess is the smaller of 2 boats that cruise Alaska. It was clean but it big need of updating. Our cabin was a balcony cabin. It was clean but definitely needed updating. The shower/tub had a gouge in it and needed to be recalled. The bathroom tile did not match. There was a updated different tile strip on the wall but old harvest gold tile on the floor. Our steward, Raymond was fantastic. Very nice, friendly and did a wonderful job every day. One day they came to so some painting on our balcony when we were gone all day. They never did come back to clean up their paint chips where they had scraped and repainted. You could also see other areas of rusitng and areas where they just repainted over old paint. The 2 shows we went to were good and we enjoyed them. The buffet was very good. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner there during our trip. All the food was good and looked fresh. The staff had a hard time keeping up with cleaning tables. There was also the annoying people selling bellini's constantly going by. All in all we had a very nice trip. The land portion was too much moving for us and bus time. If we did it again we would structure it differently on land. We enjoyed the towns and would go back. The Captain and Cruise Director seemed very good. We enjoyed the Crooners Bar for cocktails, and the pizza and grill for lunches. The outside bar also served good pool side drinks. I am not sure we should of bought the drink package I don't think we drank enough to make it worth while but it was convenient. I don't think we would cruise Princess again. For what you got it seemed expensive and they were constantly trying to sell you more but we wanted this itinerary and the dates were what we needed so we tried it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My husband and I enjoyed this Cruise/Tour 4 years ago and loved it. I decided it would be a great trip to use to introduce my sister and my two cousins to cruising (hubby stayed home with the pups). This was my seventh Princess cruise, but ... Read More
My husband and I enjoyed this Cruise/Tour 4 years ago and loved it. I decided it would be a great trip to use to introduce my sister and my two cousins to cruising (hubby stayed home with the pups). This was my seventh Princess cruise, but then I have never cruised another line to compare. I have never felt the need, as Princess has almost always been enjoyable. We had a mini suite on Dolphin Deck. As others have posted, the remotes were difficult, if not impossible at times, to operate. Our steward, Raymond, was great. Very efficient, but low key. He got our room in top shape almost as a ghost. If we left the room, he magically appeared and freshened it! The ship itself needs a refit. Lots of rust and peeling paint on the balcony and carpets a little soiled. Beds were Princess quality comfortable. If I could figure out how to get one of the mattresses in my bag, I would take it home! My family loved the shows, but I found them only ok. It would be good if they could vary the themes. I have seen Motor City on almost every cruise I have taken, as well as the other variety shows. Time for a change there! Food was not as fabulous as previous cruises. Breakfast in the Horizon was good, but lunches were not to my liking. We only had one evening meal there and "it filled the void", but was not something that was memorable. We did anytime dining and only had to wait a short while one evening. We took our buzzer and sat in the lounge outside the Bordeaux and enjoyed a cocktail. No problem. Food there was ok, not as varied as previous cruises. Service was slow most nights, but the staff was great. Romeo serenaded us one evening and was very attentive. Alisie (not sure of spelling) was great also. He took great care of four old ladies, but service from the back took a while. Again, we enjoyed our time to visit, so no major problem. Our Embarkation and Disembarkation were both a breeze. Crew came aboard our train as we traveled from the Denali Princess Lodge to the ship and had everything but our photos taken care of before we arrived at the ship. Once there, it was a quick walk inside. No wait at all. The two days of voyages to the glaciers were spectacular. We had plenty of time to drink in the beauty and take lots of photographs. This is something everyone should experience. We took independent tours in Juneau and Skagway. We took the Princess tour to the Lumberjack Show. It is a short, pleasant walk from the ship. The show itself is light entertainment. My family loved it. We had plenty of time to wander the streets of downtown Ketchikan, where my family did their part to feed the local economy. Way too many tourist shops for my taste, but it definitely provides jobs for lots of the locals. My big complaint comes with our flights booked through Princess and EZ Aire. We could not book a flight that got us into Anchorage the day before as they arrived just before midnight and there was no offer for shuttle service or hotel accommodations,even at an additional expense. The flight we had to take had us arriving late the night before our land tour began (around 11 pm). Only time to sleep and have breakfast, no time to see the city. Our return flights were a nightmare. We took the Princess excursion of Stanley Park and downtown Vancouver when we disembarked. We had to disembark at 8:05 a.m., the tour lasted about 4 hours, which meant we were dropped at the airport around noon. Our flight did not depart until 10:59 p.m. That makes for a very long day! We are four older ladies who did not feel comfortable leaving our luggage at the area provided at the airport and going back into town by train on our own. United Airlines provided their own chapter to that tale.A tale with more details that you want to hear! None of them good! If you have read to this point, I applaud you. I also encourage you to check this one off your bucket list. Don't just continue to dream about it, DO IT! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This cruise was for our 25th anniversary so we splurged a little more than we normally would have. We booked almost a year early to make sure we got the room we wanted (B416 mini-suite on the port forward facing bump-out). That may have ... Read More
This cruise was for our 25th anniversary so we splurged a little more than we normally would have. We booked almost a year early to make sure we got the room we wanted (B416 mini-suite on the port forward facing bump-out). That may have led to the only "negative" we had on this cruise. When we booked there was no such thing as "Club Class" so when Club Class was announced I pretty much ignored it and what it might add. It turns out our booking was Club Class but that was never really conveyed to us. That led to some confusion at times. There was champagne in our room that we didn't expect and the first night we skipped right past the club class dining room line since we didn't think we were and got into the anytime dining line instead. The next evening the dining room hostess pointed out that our cards said "Club Class" and got us straightened out...though our waiter seemed upset we weren't there the previous evening. Not bad problems to have and really was the worst thing that happened the entire trip :D Hotel: We arrived in Anchorage 2 days early so we could sight see a bit. Princess put us up in the Captain Cook. Hotels are just places to sleep for us. We don't make much use of amenities and don't care much for the door holding and button pushing that swankier hotels do. That said, our room was very nice and the staff was courteous. We were quite happy with our stay. Transfer to the Coral Princess: This was one of two points in our trip that we self imposed some anxiety. This trip was part 25th anniversary cruise and part "pick up another state marathon" for my wife. The marathon was the morning of the 17th...same day as ship departure. Princess had scheduled us an 11AM transfer direct from the hotel to the ship. We talked with one of the Princess representatives in the lobby and explained that my wife would likely not finish her race until 11:30AM and was there another option. They were incredibly understanding! 11AM was the last direct bus from our hotel, but they worked out a solution where we could just walk a few blocks down the the Egan center and take a Princess shuttle over to the airport and from their grab a later shuttle to the ship. They suggested to send our bags on ahead form the hotel so we wouldn't have to drag them all over. This worked out great for us! The hotel allowed us to check out at 12:45 instead of the normal 12:00 which was enough time for my wife to finish her race and get a shower. A short walk to the Egan center and we were on our way to the airport by 1:00. We caught a 2:00 shuttle from he airport to the ship which was well narrated and hit the tunnel just early enough to let us out for 5 minutes to get some stunning glacier photos before ducking through the tunnel and to the ship. By the time we got on board, our luggage was already in our room. Perfect! Deluxe Balcony Breakfast: We wound up with 2 of these! We got ourselves one for Glacier Bay day and our son got us one for our anniversary. Glacier Bay day was too cold to eat outside so we had them set up inside for us. This was fine with the mini-suite but not sure how it would work in a normal balcony room. The food was very good and perhaps a bit excessive! The second breakfast we did have on our balcony. It was on the last sea day. The weather was absolutely beautiful. The ship must have been matching the speed of a tail wind perfectly because it was perfectly still on the balcony. The balcony is a bit small for all the food they bring but we suffered through :) Ultimate Balcony Dinner: Too cold for outside so we had them set up inside again. For dinner they set up a fold up table for the meal. Really not sure how that would have fit on the smaller mini-suite balcony or in one of the smaller balcony rooms without the extra seating area the mini-suite has. I felt bad that the servers stand outside the room while you finish each course so they can bring the next course in at the right time. The food was very good...we both had surf-n-turf. The photographer took us out on the balcony for photos where it was cold and windy and my poor wife had a shelterless/backless evening gown on...she looks cold in every picture they took :( Surprises: We loved our room for Yakutat and Glacier bay cruising! I would sit on the balcony with my long camera lens and my wife would sit just inside the door where she was warmer and could hear the naturalist over the TV. In glacier bay, the naturalist announced a whale siting at 1:00 off the starboard bow. Sigh...our room is port side. But wait! The friendly people here on CC had mentioned the Coral has aft public decks! We quickly walked from our room to the aft deck on our floor and got there just in time to see a humpback waving at us just off the starboard side. There were only 2 other people on the entire deck! We got to watch him wave for a good long time as the ship slowly cruised deeper into the bay. Shortly after we returned to our room we got another wildlife announcement. Bear at 3:00...starboard...sigh. We figured the bear was more likely to vanish into the trees so we quickly hopped up to Lido deck and across to starboard. The bear was still at our 3:00. My wife and I walked aft along the deck to keep even with him until we realized we didn't have to walk any more. The Captain stopped the ship! This was amazing! The bear was only a hundred or so yards away on shore and we could easily watch him root under rocks looking for food. I got some great pictures :D After about 10 minutes, the ship started moving slowly deeper into the bay and we watched as the bear continued to walk along the beach until it was out of sight. Many kudos to Captain Michelle Tuvo for this experience! We're not sure why but we got invited to visit the bridge on our last sea day. We met Captain Tuvo several times out and about...he's a very personable and entertaining individual! We didn't ask why we got invited (Maybe Club Class? Maybe because we renewed our vows on board?) we just went. We spent almost an hour on the bridge and Captain Tuvo was remarkably entertaining :) Excursions: We booked all our excursions through Princess...this was a splurge trip :) We ended up with 2 excursions and both Skagway and Katchikan and one at Juneau (because we couldn't fit in a second one!) Plus we also booked the city/park tour from the ship to the airport on disembarkation. Skagway White Pass Railway: Listen to the nice people here on CC. Do NOT get onto the first car you come to. The nice people helping board the train even suggest there's better seating to be had if you continue walking. We got onto the second to last car they were boarding. It turned out to be the car the tour guide sits in. It also turned out to only have 3 other couples seated in it. I was the only one standing on the outside platform :) Everyone inside got to switch side to side as they pleased :) It didn't hurt that the weather was fabulous and the scenery gorgeous! A very nice trip. Skagway Chilkoot Kayaking: Some people missed the tour...we had to catch the fast fairy to Haines and they didn't make it in time. There wound up being only us and one other couple on the tour. Because of the low number we were able to get onto the water much quicker and our guide took the opportunity to take us to some places they don't normally make it to with larger groups. The lake was calm and the kayaking easy...we never felt exerted or rushed. Afterwards they took us on a tour of Haines which was a nice bonus. Juneau Whale Watching an Mendenhall Glacier: We were the first boat out for the day. Good for us in that we had a little more time on the water...bad for us in that no one had found the whales yet. We only had 14 out of a max of 20 so the boat wasn't overly crowded. Part of the fun was helping search for the whales. Other boats were starting to call in sightings but they were well south of us. The captain was just about to give up and head south when someone caught site of a plume. We were racing out to the general area of the sighting when not 100 yards in front of us she surfaced heading straight for us! It was a remarkable site seeing a bus sized whale heading right for our 40 foot boat! Captain Annette was amazing. She immediately shut the boat down to protect the whale who submerged again just in front of us...and surfaced not 20 feet off our starboard side! We could hear her blow and then suck in another breath! We were much closer than the allowed range but this was no fault of our captain. The whale came up unexpectedly close to us on first surface and the engines were shut down when she resurfaced the second time. The captain did a remarkable job of keeping us a safe distance from he whale while trying to slowly maneuver around so we could get a good tail shot. We followed this whale for 4-5 dives they high-tailed it to the south side of the channel where orcas were spotted! Unlike for the humpback, we didn't have the orcas to ourselves. Captain Annette expertly pulled us into traffic (conversing with the other captains continuously) so we had a good view. We followed the orcas...a pod of 1 male and 2 female...for about 15 minutes before it was time to head back to shore. Zodiac Tour: The weather was bright and sunny...yes, in Ketchikan! They bundled us up but good in additional wool socks, heavy rain gear, wool hood and mask and gloves...we didn't need any of it. It was great to know they had the equipment because were it rainy we would have needed it! The boats are very stable and surprisingly comfortable. Our guide was very alert and ensured we were safe at all times as we crossed the channel and cruised along the coast of some of the islands. We didn't see any bear, but our guide did bring a couple of perch to feed the bald eagles. The snatched the fish out of the water not 20 feet in front of us! Wildlife Tour: Unfortunately we didn't get to see much wildlife this tour. Some eagles of course...they're everywhere! We got close to some seals lounging about. We searched a good long while along the coast for bear but never saw any...the group before us were excitedly chatting about the black bear they saw as they were getting off the boat. We were a little disappointed as we were speeding our way back in. We were chatting with our guide when she suddenly perked up and hurried up to tell the captain she had seen a whale. He swung the boat around and took us back so we could get some great views but we couldn't stay long since we needed to be back for all aboard. The captain and our guide were very knowledgable and it was a very pleasant few hours even if we didn't get to see a bear. Vancouver City and Stanley Park Tour: This was the second of our self inflicted points of anxiety. The tour says not to book if your flight is before 2:00PM. When we booked, our flight was 2:45PM. That time change many times before our trip so we just kept the booking thinking we'd cancel onboard if it seemed like a problem. Our final flight time was 1:40PM. We decided to keep the tour anyway. The tour was nice...the guide very nice. We got to stop a couple places in Stanely Park to flex our legs. We lost 2 people at our first stop :( The driver spent almost 20 minutes looking for them and calling the other busses to see if they had gotten on another one by accident. Finally he had to finish the tour for the rest of us. We never did get a satisfying story but the two missing people did make it to the airport before us somehow. Our driver had was constantly checking with other busses and dispatch to try and hunt them down and figure out how to reunite them with their stuff. It was disappointing to know we could have been left behind, but reassuring that he was making an honest effort to fix the situation. We got to the airport just after 12:00. The airport was crowded from ship traffic but we got expedite stickers and were hurried through security and made it to the gate just minutes before they started boarding the plane. Renewal of Vows: We did this on sea day...the last day of our cruise. The videographer met with us to try and sell us the video package. It was way too expensive and we didn't care much for the way the sample video they showed us was cut so we declined them even trying to video. The photographer did a decent enough job and we did buy that package. He led us around the ship afterward to get some nice photos at various places. The rest of the experience was exemplary! We went with the standard vows which the captain made us repeat. The flowers we received were very nice. The chapel was done up well. Perhaps the best part was all the oohs and aahs from the other passengers as they congratulated us and commented how pretty my lovely wife was in her dress carrying her flowers! Champagne and strawberries and chocolates appeared in our room and we got to keep the glasses...in the end, well worth the price, I thought. The reality is it'll likely be years before we make it back to Alaska but we'd leave again tomorrow and not even look at anyone other than Princess given our experience this cruise! Princess will very likely be a first contended for any other itinerary we might decide on in the future as well. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Land portion was great - except for placing your suitcase in the hallway of the Lodges about 6 am. Nice accommodations at three Princess lodges, pricey food in dining rooms, excellent included tour packages. (By the way, nobody ... Read More
Land portion was great - except for placing your suitcase in the hallway of the Lodges about 6 am. Nice accommodations at three Princess lodges, pricey food in dining rooms, excellent included tour packages. (By the way, nobody mentioned that a FOOD PACKAGE was available for Lodges and train ride! Would have been nice and saved us some money.) Cruise was okay - not bad, not great. Since the ship is smaller, only two real add-on restaurants are available. The Crab Shack used one half of the buffet a few evenings and placed screens to "make it another venue" from the rest of that floor. We were rushed through our meal. As you put your fork down, the next course is in front of you. We had been asked by the server to select our dessert along with our appetizer and entree. Wham, bam describes the feeling. Dinner menu had a limited number of choices every night and the concept of "always available" didn't have things like a simple steak. Speaking of dinner, Princess "Anytime Dining" means anytime that they have a table for you. You can call for a reservation at 8am or stand in line - "anytime that you would like to eat." Our waiter Joey was more than efficient - made dining interesting! Most of staffing was good but a few klinkers who were brand new left room for improvement. Excursions were great - saw things that we had not expected. Mostly reasonable costs for our trips. Will continue to use Princess for future cruises... but will only book larger ships. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose the Coral Princess as we knew that the mattresses had been replaced recently. (We had problems with this on a prior Princess cruise.) The mattress was great! This was the first time we had a mini-suite and appreciated the extra ... Read More
We chose the Coral Princess as we knew that the mattresses had been replaced recently. (We had problems with this on a prior Princess cruise.) The mattress was great! This was the first time we had a mini-suite and appreciated the extra space. Our cabin was on the port side almost at the back of the ship, but there were no issues being so far back. In fact, it's a very quiet location and was convenient to the laundry room. On "glacier days" we had great views from our cabin and the balcony at the back of the ship on our floor. We did our land tour first and everything was well organized, even though it was hard to have luggage out so early. Our train ride to the ship was disappointing as our car had no speaker and thus we had no narration on this long ride. Our bartender did not deliver two of my drink requests. Embarkation was quick and our luggage was already in the room when we arrived. Disembarkation was fine once we corrected our transportation mistake prior to the day. (Somehow we were listed as leaving by plane the same morning, rather than being on our own.) I eat gluten free and the head waiter was very accommodating meeting my dietary needs on-board the ship. He did suggest eating in the dining room where the preparation was controlled. I had no issues, so I am certain my needs were met. Our cabin steward was efficient and accommodated all of our requests. Service in the dining room was good, though at times, slow. We wondered if Princess had cut back on serving staff. Our three shore excursions were as expected. We particularly enjoyed the "all you can eat" crab excursion in Ketchikan. We did the photo glacier/whale watching which was a good excursion, but didn't receive as many photo tips as we had hoped, but it was a small group which we appreciated. We did the nature excursion on Haines Island, but were somewhat disappointed with this excursion. All employees we encountered were friendly and helpful. We only had two disappointments. First, there are few quiet places with light where you can go and read during sea days as it was too cool to do this outside. Secondly, we felt the entertainment was only average. However, we were often too tired to take advantage of shows like we normally do, or times weren't convenient with eating times. Also, the TV system is not as sophisticated as it is on the larger ships like the Royal or even on the Caribbean Princess. All in all, though, if this ship were going to a destination we were looking for, we would book again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Coral Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 4.0
Enrichment 4.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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