7 Whittier Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

The cabin was fine, and the cabin steward did a good job. Nothing special except ice - no towels folded into animals, for example. The food was medicre, except for pizza and hamburgers, which were very good. The dining room food, ... Read More
The cabin was fine, and the cabin steward did a good job. Nothing special except ice - no towels folded into animals, for example. The food was medicre, except for pizza and hamburgers, which were very good. The dining room food, though, clearly showed efforts at cost cutting - New York strip steaks were a little on the tough side, for example, and I think that the scallops were not scallops, but rather a whitefish cut to look like them. They were tiny! Deserts in the sit down dining area were good, but those in the buffet area tended to be dry. Service in the dining room was lackadaisical in some cases. Drink packages did not appear to be a good deal. An upgraded meal in the main dining room was as expensive as at a good establishment on shore, which seems odd - after all, you have already paid for some meals. Nevertheless, it felt as if we were subjected to a constant upsell. The music in the production shows was good, but the choreography was clumsy in two of the three relevant shows. The magician was good; the comedian was doing impressions of old comedians - using their jokes - which wern't all that great when the originals gave them (exception - excellent Jack Nicholson impression). Good naturalist, but this was his last trip. One of our party was hadicapped. Good help getting that person on board at the beginning, but none with debarking or reboarding for shore excurions. This was our first and last experience with Princess. Previous trips with both Carnival and Royal Carribbean were better for food, service, and onboard shows. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husbands dream vacation has always been to go to Alaska. We finally saved enough money to go. He is handicapped. We took a land & sea tour, May 14 – 26. It all started with the molded wheel being totally broken off ... Read More
My husbands dream vacation has always been to go to Alaska. We finally saved enough money to go. He is handicapped. We took a land & sea tour, May 14 – 26. It all started with the molded wheel being totally broken off when we arrived at our room at the Denali Lodge. It’s very hard to break them off. I did go to the front desk & the baggage department to report it & advise them their staff should be more careful when throwing luggage around. I also had to go to the front desk 4 times to get a new room card, as our door wouldn’t open. It was very hard for me to go back & forth with my back. They finally sent someone to fix the door. It took over 2 hours to get it resolved. We stayed at the Denali Lodge for 2 nights. We put out our tagged suitcases & wheelchair to be transported to our next hotel, the McKinley. Our luggage arrived but not our wheelchair. The manager was gracious enough to call the Denali. They told him our wheelchair was there and they would send it directly to the Cruise ship Royal Princess. The unacceptable nightmare began there. We had no problem boarding the ship. We never received our luggage until 11am the next day, no wheelchair! We find out that we were assigned to 3 rooms. Our luggage was found in one of the other 2 rooms. We checked with guest services every day. They did give us one of their wheelchairs, but I couldn’t push or maneuver it as I have had 2 back surgeries. My husband has a lightweight transport chair, which I can maneuver. I tried using it for the 1st excursion at Skagway. I couldn’t maneuver it, he even tried pushing me. We weren’t able to go ashore at Juneau because there was no shuttle. We did do a shore excursion at Ketchikan because a bus picked us up right at the ship. We were confined to only part of the ship due to our lack of a wheelchair that I could maneuver. We were at least fortunate enough to be close to the elevators. Luckily we had transport services at the airport for both of us. 11:30pm on the evening we returned home I received a phone call from the Golden Princess asking me where we were. He had our wheelchair. He said they didn’t return to port until June 1st. I emailed lost properties when were returned. Received a return that they have 2 weeks to respond. We had another trip booked for June 5 - 9. We had to borrow a scooter from a friend. Unfortunately it broke down on our 2nd day. Now we have the added expense of fixing their scooter. We were fortunate enough that we had brought 2 of our grandchildren along. They were able to push both of us in wheel chairs. I received a call while on our trip on June 8th, advising me that our wheelchair was being shipped via FedEx. We received it yesterday; June 12th. My husband has had 5 ventral hernia & 2 back surgeries. He has neuropathy in both his feet & lower legs. He also walks around the house with 2 canes. As I stated earlier I have had 2 back surgeries and am in need of another. I feel Princess Vacations could have been more sympathetic as they ruined our Alaska dream vacation. This Alaska vacation was a total disappointment & waste of our money. I feel everything that happened was totally unacceptable & avoidable. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This cruise was the second leg of a B2B. It included the most interesting excursion we've likely ever done....or at least one at the very top. We visited the Kroschel Animal Sanctuary near Haines, Alaska. Getting there is a bit of ... Read More
This cruise was the second leg of a B2B. It included the most interesting excursion we've likely ever done....or at least one at the very top. We visited the Kroschel Animal Sanctuary near Haines, Alaska. Getting there is a bit of a pain, but it is well worth the effort. We did it thru the ship--bus to the ferry, ferry to Haines, bus to the sanctuary over very bad, under construction roads. At the sanctuary we interacted with animals who, for various reasons, can never live in the wild--a moose orphaned as an infant, etc. I don't mean that we SAW animals, I mean that we touched, petted, fed, kissed, and photographed the animals. The sanctuary is often used for wildlife films as the animals are trained to interact with humans. I won't tell you all the secrets, but there was a wolf, bear, reindeer, etc. as well as smaller creatures. It was overall a great excursion...despite the long transportation time. In fact, if this had been our first excursion, I would have not selected the other wildlife oriented excursions we did on the first leg. Dining on board was some of the best shipboard dining we've had in the last 20 years. Because we were in a window suite, we were automatically in "club class" dining. It is the same menu as any other dining with the addition of one item each evening. But the food is excellent (didn't taste mass produced) and the service was superb. Activities on board, with the exception of the day the National Park Rangers did their presentations (also great) were rather boring. There were some destination speakers who were good...but trivia, shows, etc. were rather the typical Princess stuff. The evening entertainment was blah (same shows on every Princess ship we've been on for the last 5 years). The ship itself was in surprisingly good repair after what we'd read. One aft elevator was out of order (had been for months per reports), but otherwise, none of the leaks or smells we'd been warned about. The ship looked good and was well maintained. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This is our third cruise on Princess. Our first was a round trip from Seattle to Skagway, second was a Panama Canal partial transit. This was a trip from Anchorage to Vancouver. It was a great experience. We took a longer ... Read More
This is our third cruise on Princess. Our first was a round trip from Seattle to Skagway, second was a Panama Canal partial transit. This was a trip from Anchorage to Vancouver. It was a great experience. We took a longer transfer/tour from Anchorage to Whittier (Anchorage Tours and Transfers, Half Day Sightseeing Tour). So on the route we got to stop several times for the views of Turnagain Arm and Beluga Point. Redoubt volcano was visible in the distance, which was cool. We saw a few mountain goats on the hillside. But just an easy, carefree transit. We arrived at the ship at about 5 and had no lines at all for boarding. There were 8 of us in a party. We were on the Lido deck, midship port. All the cabins were clean and we were tended to very well. The bed was comfy. I had plenty of hot water any time of day (I did have to override the water temp handle on the shower to allow for hotter water, which some people seemed to struggle with.) The room was quiet and comfortable. We skipped the internet package, but I did opt for AT&T Cellular at Sea, which worked ok for the few days we were totally out of range. But once we got within cell shot, it went away and I could never connect again for some reason. But that was AT&T, not Princess. We'll have a chat with them about that. We ate at Horizon court buffet and the main dining room on various nights. The vast majority of people were scrupulous about washing hands in the basins before entering the dining areas, and staff were present most of the time to encourage that. I saw no evidence of anyone being sick during our trip. I found the food in both venues to be very good overall, with a few misses. I found we were all better off if we paid attention to Virgil's menu recommendations! He knows his stuff. After the first night, he remembered I like a dry martini before dinner, so he would have it ready for me right away. And he and his coworker Ryan kept us filled and entertained each night. High praise for them. I also couldn't really understand some of the earlier comments about ship condition. There's some wear and tear, yeah, but I saw no water running anywhere, nor did I have "sewer smells" anywhere either. ?? No idea what that is referring to. The entertainment was fun, but a few passengers made it awkward for the rest of us by saving huge swaths of seats for their parties. Stupid, but it was a little entertaining watching them get cursed at repeatedly by people trying to find seats! lol. As far as the itinerary, Glacier Bay was very impressive, and the most memorable part of the trip. After a foggy day at Portage the day before, the captain worked hard to give us plenty of time at Margerie glacier, where we saw several incidents of calving, and listened to the constant cracking and explosions as the glacier moved forward. Lots of sea otters floating around as well, which was fun to watch for. Just a remarkable experience. Everyone loved it. On the sea days, I found good spots to sit by a large window, read a book and just watch the scenery go by. Service was quick and attentive. I had a few drinks during the day, and my nightly martini. Our total with tips was about $370. On the way to Skagway, we were accompanied by a humpback whale for a little while. The naturalist on board helped teach us how to spot them by the "blow", and sure enough the entire deck shouted and pointed as soon as one was spotted off the port side. We went on a non-Princess whale-watching excursion (Dolphin Jet Boat Tours) in Juneau and had another great time. Saw numerous whales over 2 hours and learned about their habits and personalities. Well worth the money. Ketchikan was a great place to stop for souvenirs. It was a beautiful sunny day and fun to just walk around. I had a beer in one of the little dive bars and chatted with a local about life there. I found people were friendly and funny. I would not hesitate to recommend this ship or itinerary to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The scenery was lovely, the excursions were great. We didn't know what to expect so in the end we had a good time because we were with family. Highly unique cruise experience in terms of destination. Ship was fine and had what ... Read More
The scenery was lovely, the excursions were great. We didn't know what to expect so in the end we had a good time because we were with family. Highly unique cruise experience in terms of destination. Ship was fine and had what you'd expect. Service and food left a little something to be desired. It wasn't the most luxurious of boats but we didn't mind. The room was nice and we had fun with our group. HOWEVER, the crowd is what really brought the experience downhill. There were many elderly folks aboard - I don't know if it was the destination, the time of year, or prince point - we couldn't quite tell - and both my husband and I got very sick because of this crowd who were coughing and hacking all over the ship. It was quite ironic considering how much Princess must have spent on hand sanitizing machines. (That said, they clearly neglected to sanitize door handles, coffee machines, elevator buttons and chair handles.) Secondly, Princess are obsessed with branding themselves and working to suck every hard-earned dollar out of you that they possibly can. It was **heavily** saturated with gift shops at every stop. This is expected on a cruise but got old very quick. You had to walk a considerable distance (or take a physically active excursion) to avoid this. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose a land sea tour of Alaska with the land portion first. Princess handled the land portion well in terms of organization of buses, and trains. Getting us our travel material for each hotel and providing a number of interesting ... Read More
We chose a land sea tour of Alaska with the land portion first. Princess handled the land portion well in terms of organization of buses, and trains. Getting us our travel material for each hotel and providing a number of interesting trips at each "Wilderness Lodge" We chose a North South Cruise following our land trip and it gave us lots of opportunities for shore excursions. We also had two day of Glacier viewing with stays near Hubbard Glacier followed by another visit to Glacier Bay. I believe that taking the cruise following the land portion gives you some time to unwind and still see sites. If you have no interest in our air issues you can skip this next part The air part of the trip booked using Princess air was a very poor introduction to our vacation. We never got any advice that would take us from BWI to Fairbanks with a minimum of stops (changing planes). Our path was early flight from BWI to Dallas. Plane delayed for a brake light failure with brakes working. That put us behind schedule on our American Airlines flights by an hour and 1/2. Once in Dallas having missed our connection we tried throughout the day to get on standby for our flight to Seattle. Finally we did board where we encountered a problem with the window seal. That was another hour plus wait first on board then at gate and then back on board. We then got to Air Alaska 10 minutes before that flight went to Fairbanks. So given our luck that put us back a few more hours as we could not board. We arrived at our hotel at 2:30 am their time for about a 26 hour traveling experience. Our trip home was also quite interesting. My wife needed assistance to get off ship ant through the airports. We got to the appointed place to meet on ship, but unfortunately we went from the 7th floor area, moved on to the 5th floor area (could not get off), up to the 6th floor area where we also could not get off, and finally back to the same 7th floor area. The person in charge of that area was friendly, but apparently never told the rookie aide that the ramp was right around the corner from our original meeting place. Then we continued with a race to the bus and just got to our early flight on time. Now comes our Toronto experience. We had a turbo prop plane to BWI. It was all the way (seemed like a couple of miles) from where our first plane came in. My wife was passed on to at least 6 different people to help her and we got the special pleasure of doing customs twice (once for Canada and once for U.S.) and I think two security check through procedures. We did not want a turbo-prop plane. Once booked on a restricted fare we could not change without excessive fees beyond our original booking fee. Also we later found out that air out to Fairbanks could have been much easier. Alaska Airlines did offer a flight to Seattle and then another flight from Seattle to Fairbanks. Instead we got to travel through 3 plane changes. So much for service and definitely Princess Air was not geared to find us the easiest route. Now back to the Land Fairbanks (3 nights) We came in a day early. At least that was the plan. So our late arrival led to us just recovering that day. The Princess Wilderness Riverside Lodge was fine. Lobby attractive and several restaurants to choose from. But lots of duplication among them in terms of selection. Our excursion on our 2nd day was a combo Gold Dredging (train) and Riverboat trip. This was excellent. The hotel did have some fairly short walking trails near the river with paths around the woods. This was nice diversion for me since we did not go on as many trips as planned. Princess handled our transfers and gave us our welcome packets including room key and excursions, meals included. This saved us impacting front desk. Denali Wilderness Lodge (2 nights) Loved our cabin-like rooms. And had wonderful breakfasts at the King Salmon Restaurant. Nice variety and was a coupon voucher included meal. Took the Tundra bus trip on our second day at the lodge. This was a long day in a school bus vehicle. We had rain, heat, cold, sleet and snow. Still a great trip with lots of animal sightings. After a long day, back around 10:30 had pizza at the lynx restaurant. You order they bring to table. Billed itself as best pizza south of the Yukon River. Who knows, but coming from NYC the pizza was pretty poor. The price for what you got was high. I would skip unless you believe their hyperbole and/or must find a place to eat after a long day of traveling. Our first night included Music of Denali show/meal. Service was good, food was fine and show though hokey used our waiter/actor well. Enjoyed the evening. Again welcome packet set us up well. Mt. Mckinley (1 night) We are among the 30% who could see the mountain completely. Room was small and room was hot even with fan on. Lodge itself was nice with great view from back deck of the Mountain. We took a covered wagon excursion which was fun, and also included a stop for reindeers along with smore"s over a fireplace. This trip started at lodge and returned us to lodge so we did not have to add another 45 min to an hour to connect with excursion all after a long bus ride to the lodge. Packet once again got us for our day there. We had dinner at the Mountain View Restaurant. Yes there was a view. Room itself was average especially compared to King Salmon Restaurant at Denali. Meal was great and made greater because our voucher covered it all. Otherwise this would have been one very expensive meal. Train ride to Whittier- Long, but very scenic using domed cars. Food available with non alcoholic and alcoholic drinks. Now on to the ship (yay) Service Service with one exception was excellent. Here is the exception. We dined in the specialty Italian restaurant. Meal was on voucher. We also had a free bottle of wine on another voucher. I asked if we could upgrade and pay the difference. We were told that the difference was $7 for the one picked by us. Later the bill showed the difference as $19.10. Tried to correct this with telephone calls to restaurant and up the ladder of management. Told that it might be a waitress mistake. We responded but why should we be penalized. Then told maybe we misheard the amount of difference. 4 people in our party heard $7. Told once paid that we could not get any credit. Next told that a manager from the Italian restaurant would meet us at the Steakhouse next night and offer us an apology. He never showed up. But did give us a house wine (white or red) 4 glasses. Not really a satisfactory resolution we felt as we did not want that wine from the beginning of our conversation at the restaurant. Food Main dining room had good variety . Food was hot and tasty. We had a choice of Alaska specialties and 50th anniversary items. For breakfasts we ate mostly in the buffet. The food was good and the variety included fresh made omelets and eggs. Also had lunch which was good and ate a lot at the International Cafe which had sandwiches, soups and salads. The pizza restaurant on deck 5 was great. As others mentioned the only thing you could not get was salads. You could bring them in from those available at the International Cafe. Excursions 3 ports (Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan) Took private tour (not from ship) in Skagway. Chilkoot Tours gave us a train and mini-bus tour that was excellent. Whale Watching Tour from ship got us Whales Whales and More Whales. Throw in Seals, Eagles...Oh My!! On our own wandered near Mt. Roberts Tram to Tracy's King Crab Shack. Great and Beyond Great. But bring plastic as it was pricey. In Ketchikan wandered around on my own with the rain (light to heavy modifying my plans) Went to South Eastern Discovery Museum (free for seniors if you have your National Parks Card otherwise $5) Small but Interesting Museum with bonus of a place to dry out and clean restrooms. Entertainment Only went to two show. One a large musical review was ok. Comedian magician did not really hit my funny bone. Getting on/off Ship Easy getting on. Already covered our getting off experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This is my second cruise with Princess and third overall. I cruised Princess two years ago (Sapphire) and had some serious issues with wheelchair accessibility. Based on Princess indicating that was not the norm and the rave reviews of ... Read More
This is my second cruise with Princess and third overall. I cruised Princess two years ago (Sapphire) and had some serious issues with wheelchair accessibility. Based on Princess indicating that was not the norm and the rave reviews of those on this forum, I figured that I would try it again, given that they had such a superior itinerary to any other carrier (Glacier Bay, specifically). I couldn't have been more wrong. I don't want to get in to a long and drawn out explanation here, but I will simply say that if you are in a wheelchair and would like to function with some degree of independence, this ship is going to present some real challenges for you. First, the balcony ramp design is grossly flawed. The first issue is that the ramp going to the balcony was not wheelchair accessible unless I would get someone to help me. There was a metal bar on the ramp that had to be manually pushed down to mitigate the gap between the two ramps and that bar had to be pushed up to be able to close the door. It took until Monday at 3pm until this issue was finally resolved (A ramp was installed that didn't have this metal flap/bar). It is mind boggling to even think about what Princess was thinking when they designed this. There were also some serious issues with the bathroom setup, which I was told was "by design." After two days of back and forth, I finally told them to forget it as they couldn't come up with a solution. It made for an uncomfortable trip. There are also significant thresholds on many entrance ways that you will have to take on with care. You will also need to be strong to wheel through some really tough spots in the carpet where it is extremely thick and hard to wheel. You will also encounter a challenge in getting out to the Promenade deck due to big lips/thresholds on the ramps. It really is a challenge. If you aren't going to have any assistance, I'd advise to avoid the Star Princess. The Princess attitude on this seems to be "Just ask a crew member for help," but I don't want to constantly have to ask for help. I want to be able to do it on my own. We also requested that our Mom be delivered balloons and a Happy Anniversary (for her 41st) card/sign. This wasn't done. When I called at 3pm the day of the anniversary, we were told it would be taken care of. It wasn't done before dinner (5:30pm) but when she got back to her cabin at 8pm, she had balloons and a "Happy Birthday" sign when it was her anniversary. Unlike the accessibility stuff, this is a really straight forward request that shouldn't have been messed up. As far as service, we found that some staff members (Hilario and his assistant Angelito and Dejan and his assistant Nikola in the dining room) (Cabin Stewards Edgar and Roderick were also excellent) were terrific while others weren't particularly helpful. Regarding food, I would say that it all depends on your point of comparison. If you come from a big city (NYC, DC, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles etc.), it isn't 4 or 5 star restaurant quality food. It is probably more like 3 star quality of food. Some things were very good (Goat Cheese Souffle) while others (Gnocchi) were very poor. With that being said, if quantity is your thing, you will like this cruise. There are tons of places to get food. On the Alaska side, Alaska was just awesome. We flew in to Anchorage, took the Alaska railroad to Whittier, and then embarked there. The embarkation process wasn't too bad. Hubbard Glacier was incredible as was Glacier Bay National Park. Whale watching (done through an outside vendor) in Juneau was amazing (Got to see Orcas). In Skagway, we did the free ranger guided tour, which was just okay. We also did Jewell Gardens glass blowing experience, which we enjoyed (Also booked that outside of Princess). In Ketchikan, we did the Misty Fjords cruise through Princess and found it disappointing in that there was so much travel (1-1.5 hours each way) that we didn't get to enjoy the Fjords or wildlife (Harbor Seals) as much as we would have liked. Three hours of travel on a 4.5 trip makes for a less than interesting adventure. We also didn't get back to the ship as the tour was 30 minutes late until 20 minutes after the all aboard time, but we were fortunate that this was a Princess excursion so they were aware that the tour was running late. We disembarked in Vancouver, which was complete chaos. It is probably the worst I have seen on a Princess ship. In Vancouver, you will be asked for your Passport about 6 times and I would plan on getting there a good two hours before your flight. It was a complete mad house at the airport. As far as food at the Vancouver Airport, Tim Horton's was the best bet, in our view. It is reasonably priced for the airport and the food was fresh and pretty decent (for airport food). As far as entertainment, some activities were interesting (Trivia) while others (the shows) seemed really geared to the older crowd (Lots of old songs). We all felt that the offerings as far as entertainment are concerned were really limited. On a previous cruise, the naturalist had a bunch of presentations on what kind of wildlife one might expect to see and where they might see it. That wasn't done on this cruise. It was odd because on previous cruises these events drew a full house in the theater. On this cruise (as far as the naturalist goes), there was a seminar on the sounds sea creatures make, an informal Q&A, and a seminar on creatures after dark (which I didn't attend). As a wheelchair bound individual, I won't be using Princess again after having two bad cruise experiences. The company's approach to accessibility is really flawed in my opinion. I would heartily recommend a cruise to Alaska though (with another line). Princess gets a 2/10 and Alaska gets a 10/10 from me. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015

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