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20 Whittier to Alaska Princess Golden Princess Cruise Reviews

We wanted to see the interior of Alaska, as well as the tidal glaciers and seaports. Our guide on land was outstanding. Alexa was so knowledgeable and she was able to give us history or the area, plus making sure our tours and ... Read More
We wanted to see the interior of Alaska, as well as the tidal glaciers and seaports. Our guide on land was outstanding. Alexa was so knowledgeable and she was able to give us history or the area, plus making sure our tours and accommodations were ready for us. We had Club Class dining, and that was a new experience for us, but and really enjoyed the extras that came with that. Most of all the wait staff was great and there was never a line to get seated. The excursions were very well done as well. We enjoyed the gold panning at Dredge 8, and sternwheel trip on the river, the train ride out of Skagway was over the top. It is a wonder the rail road got built and how the people made the trip to the gold fields was amazing. They must have had the true pioneer spirit. The entertainment on board the ship was fantastic !!!! We really enjoyed the productions shows and the comic was really funny and the singer had a wonderful voice. I highly reccommend this cruise. If you go in Sept. as we did, dress in layers and be prepared for rain and it was chilly late at night when we went out to see the Nnorthern Lights. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The cruise was fine. Standard for a traditional line. The ship had entertainment venues that were waaaayyyy too small (more than once it was standing room only in the main theater and we left). I did NOT like getting asked/pitched to ... Read More
The cruise was fine. Standard for a traditional line. The ship had entertainment venues that were waaaayyyy too small (more than once it was standing room only in the main theater and we left). I did NOT like getting asked/pitched to purchase drinks in the dining room however. Especially when we said no and they continued to pitch it. Previous reviews mentioned the international cafe as a great place to grab food that should cost money. I don’t know why to be honest. The food never changed here and the desserts were exactly the same as the buffet. The buffet food was standard: large selection but mediocre quality. Some of it was really good (they had a pasta that was delicious and the waffles in the morning were a staple) and some was really bad (sushi - it could barely even be called that and Mexican fajita meat supposedly but it just tasted bad). The dining room was traditional. I was a little upset that on formal night they allowed guests in with sweatshirts and jeans (other cruises would’ve asked that they change or eat somewhere else). Rather if they’re going through the effort of setting things up for formal with a higher menu and staff and ask people to dresses up yet you don’t maintain that standard for your guests what’s the point? The main dining room has decent food. They have a staple menu that never changes (which I have mixed feelings on: on one hand you’re guests have something to fall back on, on the other it seems like a cop out so you don’t have to try as hard). The other menu changed daily and was generally good. I’m fairly picky and had something to eat every night. As far as princess themselves (company - not cruise staff) I will not be returning. I arranged flights through them. No where did it mention the port is an hour drive from the air port in that. It had a section that said call travel agent to arrange shuttle to port which is fine but that makes me think a taxi will work. So three days prior to cruise I look into getting a taxi and realize how far it is and the restricted tunnel you have to go through that many taxis won’t take (it can take up to 30 minutes to get through if you don’t time it right). I called my travel agent and they called princess only to be told they can’t add it on with only three days (why?) and I should’ve booked it sooner. Fine. Mishandled and miscommunicated. But fine. I booked a private company for The same price and it’s less money that I gave to Princess. Add on my issue with flights that changed constantly and needed rebooked for more expensive options. Flights were booked through the cruise line, they called me at some 800 number to ask me to change them because it supposedly didn’t follow their requested windows. I didn’t answer because well it’s an 800 number I assume it’s a robot so they left a message. I called back to figure out what’s happening and was put on hold. 40 minutes later I’m still on hold. So I hang up (it told me it was the end of the day and and they probably wouldn’t get to me - super great after waiting 40 minutes). I called back in the middle of the day the following and I asked how long the hold was before they did and was told an hour. An hour. On hold. For an issue that wasn’t reflected in their website. When they’re the ones that called me. With no call back option like every other company that has long hold times. Dealing with my cable company was easier and friendlier honestly. Even if the cruise was great I wouldn’t be using princess again from that miserable experience. Also I never changed my flight and it was fine and they never called me back so I guess it wasn’t that but it an issue? When I brought this up to an agent they said nothing. Customer service on the ship (shore excursion desk) wasn’t much better. I had a question and was asked if I didn’t read the excursion instead of them just answering my question. Thanks princess. You get me so frustrated before the cruise that you’re right I will come back new. Most of the cruise staff on the actual ship was great. The shows and entertainment were all geared towards like 60 year olds. So entertainment for the under 30s isn’t really a thing. Also! There is no where to hide in this ship. There’s a “library” that’s right off the main piazza and is also the computer lab for anyone who needs access to their reservations. It has exactly 4 uncomfortable chairs for reading and you have to put up with sound leaking in from the center point of entertainment on the ship and people being frustrated over their reservations. Everywhere else is a meeting room that rotates events. The only place to be alone and not kicked out or bothered is the deck. On an Alaskan cruise. Or your room. Not great. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was suggested by our travel agent because we wanted to pair it with a land Cruisetour. Land tour was amazing. The ship seemed very old. You could see where repairs in a number of areas needed to be made. Shopping was limited ... Read More
This was suggested by our travel agent because we wanted to pair it with a land Cruisetour. Land tour was amazing. The ship seemed very old. You could see where repairs in a number of areas needed to be made. Shopping was limited aboard ship and very expensive. Dining room food was pretty good, but Horizon Court was pretty bad. Entertainment was so so. Very little interactment with the staff. Unable to hear an announcements in our cabin and even if you could hear them the PA system was very muffled. It seemed like there wasn’ enough staff in the dining rooms. Sometimes we waited quite a while for service after getting water poured. Sometimes we were asked if we wanted a drink and sometimes not and sometimes we had to ask them or remind them. After such a wonderful time on our land tour the cruise part was pretty disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It was chosen for us as part of a local-sponsored cruisetour of Alaska. In all the information we were given ahead of our trip, nothing was mentioned about having a flu shot before going. By the third day on the cruise a bulletin was put ... Read More
It was chosen for us as part of a local-sponsored cruisetour of Alaska. In all the information we were given ahead of our trip, nothing was mentioned about having a flu shot before going. By the third day on the cruise a bulletin was put out about colds/flu being reported on the ship, and I was already experiencing symptoms. I followed the recommendations and went to the medical clinic, where there were numerous very sick people. My symptoms weren't as serious as those I saw, but my concern was for my husband because he has a compromised immune system. I had no fever and the doctor said I only had a cold and I was right to be concerned about my husband. If you were diagnosed with the flu, you and your companion received Tamiflu and any shore excursions you had paid for were stamped and you would receive a refund. When I asked about my circumstance, the doctor told me I would be fine and go ahead and enjoy my excursions. By the end of the next day I had almost totally lost my voice and remained that way the rest of the trip. A couple days after I got sick, my husband became ill also. When I got home, a week after becoming ill, I went to my doctor. He swabbed me and my husband and we both tested positive for the flu. We then received Xoflueza, a flu medicine which we really needed in the first 48 hours, but he hoped it would help us some. He told us we were highly contagious, the first flu cases reported in our area, and to go home and stay away from everyone. He said they had to sanitize everywhere we had been. That's when we realized that when we walked onto the Golden Princess, we walked into the flu, because there was no way there was time between cruise sailings to disinfect that ship. The morning we left the ship, we were told to be out of our cabins by 8AM, because they had to be ready for the next group of people by 11:30AM. We had to wait in the Wheel House Lounge until departure about 10AM, using the public restrooms, having no idea we had the flu. When we left the ship, we collected our luggage and waited in an area until our bus to Seattle arrived. As we stood there, we watched people checking in for the Golden Princess. It's sad to think that people walk into this situation, completely unsuspecting and it's just the luck of the draw who comes into contact with the flu bug. I imagine whoever got our cabin next had an unpleasant surprise waiting for them. Princess doesn't care; they already had our money and made even more money on the medical charges; they don't accept insurance. I've been home nearly two weeks now and I'm not well yet, which has not only been miserable but has ruined other plans I had when I returned home. I hopes this helps save someone else from a disappointing trip!! Also, we got very tired of having a camera in our face every thing we did and the pushy sales on the ship. Some of the crew were pleasant, but many were rude and didn't speak very good English. An example: one evening they had sled dog puppies that you could see and pet. Each puppy was on a pillow and tired and sleepy. When you pet the puppy, they had to take your picture petting the puppy. My cousin, as she walked away from petting a puppy, just reached down and patted another puppy on the head. She was immediately told that she wasn't allowed to pet "two" puppies, that she had already petted a puppy. Of course, all these pictures were for sale, $25 a picture. We mostly dined at the Horizon Court Buffet, because we prefer to dine early and be free to dine as we wish. We were encouraged to dine traditional in the main dining room by the tour group we were with, but that meant dining at 7:15 every night at the same table with the same people and since we wanted more flexibility, we chose anytime dining. I celebrated my 70th birthday on the cruise and we ate at the Crowne Grill. It was very good; the steak was cooked just as we ordered. We especially liked being able to choose a sample plate of the four desserts available. We also ate one day at the pizzeria and once at the burger place; they weren't anything special, but good. We didn't participate in any ship activities, except the Glacier Bay assembly, which was very interesting and informative. We enjoyed viewing the glaciers and wildlife all day, as we wandered in and out and viewed the glaciers from different places on board the ship. We enjoyed all of our shore excursions, despite being ill most of that time. In Skagway we rode a bus throughout the town to the White Horse summit, into Canada and back. It was a nice informative ride, but unfortunately mostly foggy, so a limited view. In Juneau we visited a salmon hatchery, where we enjoyed seeing thousands of young salmon. From there we visited Glacier Gardens, colorful and a nice ride through the Tongass Rainforest and a beautiful cafe and gift shop. Our last stop was at Mendenhall Glacier, which was beautiful and my favorite glacier, that we saw. In Ketchikan we took the Historical Walking tour with a local Tlingit guide. That was the best tour we had while on the cruise portion; it was very interesting and a good look into the local native culture. We also visited the Saxman Native Village in Ketchikan; we were disappointed that the native carver of totem poles wasn't there and the native dance was interrupted by lots of babies crying and noises behind the curtain; not very professional. There were some interesting totems to see. As far as our guides and tour bus drivers, all were very good, giving us a lot of insight into the Alaskan life. Service on the cruise ship was mixed. Our cabin steward was very good, but some of the waiters in the dining areas didn't speak very good English and were almost rude. And some of those in sales situations were downright pushy and rude. We bought some metal pictures on the ship, and when we picked them up a couple days later, the person helping us didn't seem to know they were supposed to be individually wrapped and have hangers with them. We talked to others that had the same problem. There were 3 jewelry shops, a cologne shop, a miscellaneous shop with some clothing and a travel shop onboard. It would have been nice, since it was an Alaskan cruise, to have had more nice Alaskan merchandise. Although there were good things on the cruise, mainly the scenery and wildlife, because of the exposure to the flu and the pushiness of sales, it really dampened our spirits about the cruise ship and we won't likely cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I had not sailed on Princess before and not sure I will again. I suggest before selecting a cruise, check the age of the ship and when it was last updated. The Golden Princes was in need of updating and repair. It was older and seemed very ... Read More
I had not sailed on Princess before and not sure I will again. I suggest before selecting a cruise, check the age of the ship and when it was last updated. The Golden Princes was in need of updating and repair. It was older and seemed very sad and dingy, the carpet needed to be replaced through out the ship. In addition, the staff was not very friendly and they charged for everything...even bottled water. I would rather they just bump up the price a few dollars to cover for bottled water and don’t charge. On board the ship the food was not all that good and lacked variety. It felt as though the the crew was tired since this was one of the last cruises this season. Although we only participated in one onboard activity (Bingo), I can't speak to the entertainment on board. The one Bingo session seemed lack luster and tired. The was a large amount of excursions to choose from and we were pleased with the ones we selected. Prior to the cruise, we took the escorted land tour and it was excellent! First class service and the food & tours were really good. Most meals were included as we were given vouchers for the restaurants on site at the lodges. The lodges were not updated as much as I thought they should be but overall there wasn't a problem with the accommodations. Our tour guide went above and beyond to accommodate the variety of people in the tour with diatery needs and/or special requests for accommodations I suggest, to do your homework before spending as much money as I did. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had no real problems with the land tours other than the barage of coughing people and found them very well organized and exactly what we had wanted. The staff we could find no fault with and they were well organzied and friendly. ... Read More
We had no real problems with the land tours other than the barage of coughing people and found them very well organized and exactly what we had wanted. The staff we could find no fault with and they were well organzied and friendly. However the cruise part of the trip was a huge disappointment. First there were so many sick coughing and hacking people everywhere.on board and on all the excusions. Having been a nurse I know an outbreak when I am in one and this boat should have declared a respiratory outbreak but did not. Even worse was the food on board. Was that tang they were serving for orange juice or what? It was some powdery substance we know was not real orange juice. The dryed out toast had a crust on it so thick that we needed a chainsaw to cut through. We were basically stuck ordering the same chicken over and over because the selections were mostly fish or pasta. If you wanted a steak you had to pay extra for it. Formal night the menu was no different from any other night. The sauces and dressings were watered down and runny, the fruit loked like it came from a second hand warehouse, our salad had rust on somepieces. We observed one man take a bite of his main fish plate and push it away and another woman next to us the next night ate a sample the spagetti and meatballs and pushed her main entree away as well. Being so sick we ordered room service on the last night.I got the same every day soup of the day which was potatoe and hubby ordered a roast beef sandwich with coleslaw as a side. That coleslaw looked like a dog barfed up in the little bowl. Totally disgusting. When we disembarked it was well organized but those next passengers on their way to Australia we heard, that same day were probably going to have the same nasty respiratory illness on board. We sure didnt expect to pay over ten thousand dollars for a cruise to eat food that I believe our local homeless shelter prepares better. There are way better crusie lines that have their passengers satisfaction as a priority but Golden Princess sure did not. A complete stranger boarding a plane told us she would never sail Princess ever again because of the lousy food and we are in total agreement with her. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
It was our relatives that were going on and it was recommenced by our travel agent. we were astonished by the number of activities. we were not pleased with the breakfast accommodation especially for the people that wanted a quick ... Read More
It was our relatives that were going on and it was recommenced by our travel agent. we were astonished by the number of activities. we were not pleased with the breakfast accommodation especially for the people that wanted a quick breakfast and cup of coffee without having to pay extra. also, we were not appreciative of the fact that we that we tried on sunday to make a reservation for thursday and we were told that there were no reservations available. this was calling five days in advance. Not happy. when we tried to make a reservation we were put on hold for a long.........................period of time. we finally went to the customer service desk and they were able to get to the dinner reservation call center after a long period of time and they were told there were no reservations available for the rest of the week. (this was on sunday when we were trying to make reservations for a wedding anniversary) !!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Great service from our steward, Moore Bjorn to our waiters Arata Mirza and Peradi Gintino. Dinner was very enjoyable every night in the Donatello Dining Room.They went above and beyond on our first cruise. The entertainment was excellent. ... Read More
Great service from our steward, Moore Bjorn to our waiters Arata Mirza and Peradi Gintino. Dinner was very enjoyable every night in the Donatello Dining Room.They went above and beyond on our first cruise. The entertainment was excellent. It started with the 7:15 Princess Theater and continued on at 8:15, 9:15 and 10:15 in the other lounges and bars. Then I finished the night at the casino. The cruise director, Matt was fabulous and always wanted you to have a GOOD TIME!! Matt's crew was excellent too. They hosted bingo, karaoke and game shows to mention a few. The shore excursions were very nice as I loved the train ride in Skagway the best. There were lots of stores and scenery at every port. You need to get off the boat and enjoy the life style of each town. The ship was easy to get around as each floor had maps, so you knew where you were as all times. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
To celebrate our 50th anniversary. Recommend by our travel agent. I had heard that Princess was a great cruise. The entertainment was awesome. The quality of entertainment was very surprising. Great crew and staff. We liked the voice of ... Read More
To celebrate our 50th anniversary. Recommend by our travel agent. I had heard that Princess was a great cruise. The entertainment was awesome. The quality of entertainment was very surprising. Great crew and staff. We liked the voice of the ocean and the games played in the lounges. The cuisine was out of this world. I tried so many new and different foods. The staff was so polite and accommodating. Our stateroom was always clean and well cared for. The bartenders were very friendly and knew how to make anything. Our vow renewal of 50 years was the highlight of our trip. The special discounts and gifts we received for our anniversary were very nice and in expected. What an awesome way to celebrate 50 years of marriage. Thanks Princess for all the wonderful memories of our first cruise. You and your staff know how to treat people and create memories Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This cruise afforded us the opportunity to see the wonders of nature in a relaxing and fun filled way. The service was great. The food was good and the portions were perfect size so that you were able to have all three courses and not ... Read More
This cruise afforded us the opportunity to see the wonders of nature in a relaxing and fun filled way. The service was great. The food was good and the portions were perfect size so that you were able to have all three courses and not feel overly stuffed. Entertainment was funny and had good variety. Drinks were well made. Gym and spa were good. Steakhouse Crown Grill was fabulous. The naturalists on board were very informative about the glaciers and sightings wild life . The ship just hung out and circled about while by the glaciers so that you could see the calving from either side of the ship. Awesome and beautiful. The entire inside passage was extremely calm sailing so that you didn’t even feel like you were on a boat . You could see whales and sea otters from the deck at various times . Very casual in clothing dress on ship and land!! Excellent especially for a first cruise. All of the Princess excursions were excellent . The entire Princess operation is well organized and executed without a hitch in transportation , luggage etc. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I chose Princess Cruises based on the strength of the cruiseline's reputation and the many glowing recommendations of my travel agent and friends. I was incredibly disappointed in the land portion (7 days) of our Cruisetour that ... Read More
I chose Princess Cruises based on the strength of the cruiseline's reputation and the many glowing recommendations of my travel agent and friends. I was incredibly disappointed in the land portion (7 days) of our Cruisetour that preceded the actual cruise which probably set us up for a disappointing experience on the ship. Princess has been doing this a long time and this shows in the seamless embarkation, disembarkation, and handling of our luggage. These things went extremely well. However, so many other things that COULD have gone well didn't... and I attribute this to the volume of business Princess handles. The excursions staff are poorly trained and so when things don't go as planned, no one knows how to handle the situation. Missing buses, mis-handled excursions, and incorrect billing are all things that happen... but they also need to be remedied and not addressed with a shoulder shrug. Amenities should also be as advertised. The "Fun Zone" was closed on the ship, the video arcade removed, and the space where Princess Links was supposed to be located was nothing more than some old astro turf with a few cup holes. Kid-friendly really means "kid-tolerant" as there was nothing for my young boys to actually do that was age appropriate aside from parking them at the Kids Club. (Needless to say, they aren't anxious to cruise with Princess again although we might be able to get them on a Disney ship.) NOTE: I spent a lot of time walking around the ship to entertain my boys and our favorite game became spot the broken stuff. The busted and missing railings count was up to 7 when I disembarked. As for the food. I don't understand why so many people rave about it. The Horizon buffet is mediocre and there is so much sodium in the food, it make me feel sick. We had dinner at the Crown Grill which was delicious (which should be with the extra charge!), but our celebratory Wedding Dinner at Sabatini's could have been bested by The Olive Garden. Our main courses were simply inedible, overcooked to the point where we couldn't even cut the shrimp. The special Crab Shack night was fun, but definitely not worth the $29 cover charge per person. Fortunately we tried Donatello's and it proved to be the best choice; so we dined well here for the remainder of the week. What did got well was the attentive service by staff in the bars and restaurants. These members of the staff work incredibly long hours and they make an effort to ensure the passengers are having a good experience. The same can be said for the Steward who cared for our suite. There were plenty of entertainment choices for the varied tastes of my family members (Bingo and the game show style events were our favorites), but the Lotus Spa (which I really looked forward to) was a bit of a disappointment. Services were of average quality (mani/pedi, massages, facial, blow out, and a shave were all had by my family) for premium prices which was expected, but the hard sell of products by the staff was extremely distasteful. The adjoining Fitness Center was also a bit of disappointment as hygiene wasn't a concern. I showed up for the yoga class which was held in the same area as spin class... and the instructor didn't even pretend to clean the gross floor before rolling out a bunch of dirty mats for the passengers. I have never felt so ripped off for the $17 I spent for the class. If you have read my review and gotten to this point, I do want to say that a lot of people around us LOVED the cruise. I can see how a lot of people wouldn't have cared about any of the things I mentioned. If you don't have young children, have low expectations for the quality of your meals, and just want to be on a floating hotel where you can drink, be entertained, and see some sights in Alaska, then a Princess cruise IS for you. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This cruise was definitely a step up...in food, in service, and in our destinations. We LOVED going to Hubbard Glacier AND Glacier Bay. We were thrilled as we saw whales galore on our Whale Watching tour, and we loved the train at Skagway. ... Read More
This cruise was definitely a step up...in food, in service, and in our destinations. We LOVED going to Hubbard Glacier AND Glacier Bay. We were thrilled as we saw whales galore on our Whale Watching tour, and we loved the train at Skagway. Our outside cabin was arranged differently, and better we felt, than any other cabin we have been in. This is our 4th cruise, and we definitely felt more pampered on this cruise, and that the staff was super happy to be doing their jobs. Ok, specifically, the food now, and the service that went with it. So our first experience eating was at the buffet, and it was wonderful because everyone needed to wash their hands before going to the buffet...great move! Then the waiter's even took our drink orders and put our napkins on our laps if you wanted them to, at the buffet! So you can imagine how awesome the dinners were...the service was 1st rate. And the food was seriously as good as it possibly could get! Great variety each night, and the way the food was presented, and tasted, we could have been at any of the best restaurants in the world. Loved, loved, loved this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We booked a Mini-Suite on this cruise when my work schedule conflicted with our Royal Caribbean itinerary in May aboard Jewel of The Seas. Our hopes were high about sailing on Princess to Alaska based on friends' and online reviews. ... Read More
We booked a Mini-Suite on this cruise when my work schedule conflicted with our Royal Caribbean itinerary in May aboard Jewel of The Seas. Our hopes were high about sailing on Princess to Alaska based on friends' and online reviews. Overall, The Golden Princess is an old ship (2001 I believe), and its age is showing. In general the public spaces felt cramped with limited seating, the decor was dated, and the layout of the decks and elevator locations made for a difficult to navigate ship. We were constantly confused about which direction was aft or forward. Directional signage would go a long way. We are in our early 40's, and can't imagine what that's like for older cruisers. The mini-suite is smaller than the Junior suite on RCCL, and this being an older ship, the stateroom also showed quite a bit of wear. There were only two functional outlets in the room. With cameras and other electronics to keep charged, this was inadequate. Also, the fold-out sofa bed was unable to be folded back up into a sofa for sitting. A Pullman bed is probably a better option. They could only provide two deck chairs for our family of three. On the plus side, the closet was huge, and the King bed was very comfortable. Food in the main dining hall and buffet was barely average, which ran counter to everything we heard prior to sailing on Princess. The real head-scratcher was the absence of hot chocolate onboard for an Alaska cruise. Dining staff were not very personable, this may be because we did anytime dining. The itinerary was fine. Juneau and Ketchikan were fantastic places to visit and the excursions (Juneau whale watching with Princess, Ketchikan independent Float Plane operator) were excellent. The Juneau stopover could be hours longer, and the tourist trap of Skagway much shorter. Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay were excellent. All in all this was a ship at the end of its sailing life doing a trip at the end of the season. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My husband had never been on a cruise before and we decided on the Alaskan trip. We enjoyed the ports and shore excursions and the food. The employees and food were wonderul. The ship was a big disappointment though. When we walked ... Read More
My husband had never been on a cruise before and we decided on the Alaskan trip. We enjoyed the ports and shore excursions and the food. The employees and food were wonderul. The ship was a big disappointment though. When we walked to our room the ship had a stale smoke smell to it. When we got to our room we had to open the balcony door to air out the room because it had an odor in it also. It gave me the feeling of a dirty room although it wasn't. The toilet in the bathroom didn't work so had to have someone work on it...still had trouble at times. The cold water in the shower didn't work so had to have someone fix that. There was mold around the ceiling in the shower. There were buckets sitting in the hall all week because of leaks in the ceiling. The coin machines in the laundry room didn't work so had to have someone look at them. The ship wasn't what I expected at ALL. I wouldn't recomment Golden Princess to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This cruise was the second leg of a B2B. It included the most interesting excursion we've likely ever done....or at least one at the very top. We visited the Kroschel Animal Sanctuary near Haines, Alaska. Getting there is a bit of ... Read More
This cruise was the second leg of a B2B. It included the most interesting excursion we've likely ever done....or at least one at the very top. We visited the Kroschel Animal Sanctuary near Haines, Alaska. Getting there is a bit of a pain, but it is well worth the effort. We did it thru the ship--bus to the ferry, ferry to Haines, bus to the sanctuary over very bad, under construction roads. At the sanctuary we interacted with animals who, for various reasons, can never live in the wild--a moose orphaned as an infant, etc. I don't mean that we SAW animals, I mean that we touched, petted, fed, kissed, and photographed the animals. The sanctuary is often used for wildlife films as the animals are trained to interact with humans. I won't tell you all the secrets, but there was a wolf, bear, reindeer, etc. as well as smaller creatures. It was overall a great excursion...despite the long transportation time. In fact, if this had been our first excursion, I would have not selected the other wildlife oriented excursions we did on the first leg. Dining on board was some of the best shipboard dining we've had in the last 20 years. Because we were in a window suite, we were automatically in "club class" dining. It is the same menu as any other dining with the addition of one item each evening. But the food is excellent (didn't taste mass produced) and the service was superb. Activities on board, with the exception of the day the National Park Rangers did their presentations (also great) were rather boring. There were some destination speakers who were good...but trivia, shows, etc. were rather the typical Princess stuff. The evening entertainment was blah (same shows on every Princess ship we've been on for the last 5 years). The ship itself was in surprisingly good repair after what we'd read. One aft elevator was out of order (had been for months per reports), but otherwise, none of the leaks or smells we'd been warned about. The ship looked good and was well maintained. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
3rd cruise on Princess, first in 11 years. Normally we go Royal but this was the only itinerary hitting both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay. Bad weather. Fog out of Whittier which plagued us for 3 days. We only got a glimpse of Hubbard ... Read More
3rd cruise on Princess, first in 11 years. Normally we go Royal but this was the only itinerary hitting both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay. Bad weather. Fog out of Whittier which plagued us for 3 days. We only got a glimpse of Hubbard before the cptn decided the conditions were too bad. Fog in Skagway which made our White Rail trip less scenic. Finally got OK weather in Juneau. Then rain in Ketchikan. Sun finally came out for our sea day to Vancouver. Ship isnt bad but has a few issues. A handrail in Princess Theater came off and almost sent an old man sprawling. Problem with water 1 day and they turned it off from 830 to noon. Some carpet got wet on promenade and we had a musty smell. Other than that it was ok. Ship was built for 2600. Now they pack on up to 3200. Feels crowded. Theater is too small. Not enough places to sit in common areas. Food was passable, though the menu was a bit fancy for our tastes. Entertainment was pretty good but not as good as what weve seen on Royal. For shore excursions - you get a lot of pressure to book in advance which we did. Bad idea. You can get these from vendors at port. And, if weather stinks, you dont lose your money. We blew 340 for an excursion in Ketchikan that should have been cancelled but was not. Balcony room a must. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
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
This is a great trip! We were first time cruise takers and the Golden Princess cruise from Anchorage to Vancouver made an awesome first impression on us. The ship is clean, well run, and the staff is professional, courteous, friendly and ... Read More
This is a great trip! We were first time cruise takers and the Golden Princess cruise from Anchorage to Vancouver made an awesome first impression on us. The ship is clean, well run, and the staff is professional, courteous, friendly and extremely helpful. The sights of Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay are awesome!! The three ports of call (Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan) were fun and full of exciting and fun-filled shore excursions. We highly recommend this cruise!!! We also highly recommend that you stay in a room with a balcony. The first two days of the cruise are spent at sea viewing glaciers (Hubbard Glacier on day #1 and Glacier Bay on day #2). Being able to relax on your own deck and watch the glaciers is very enjoyable. Also, since the ship travels in an interior passage and not in the open waters, there is land on both sides of the cruise for you to scan with binoculars for the entire trip. The Alaskan cruise is very calm as there are no rough seas. Just do it and book an Alaksan cruise. You won't regret it! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Thought princess was #1 but the food was nothing good and ship decor was dated. Soda package was not worth price. Cheaper to buy individually. Must too inconvenient to greet a pop. Alaska was beautiful but better seen by land than shipni ... Read More
Thought princess was #1 but the food was nothing good and ship decor was dated. Soda package was not worth price. Cheaper to buy individually. Must too inconvenient to greet a pop. Alaska was beautiful but better seen by land than shipni think. Excursions thru princess were a rip off. Was rushed and not able to enjoy. Spoke to people that did ones not provide d by princess and they had much more fun. Staff was not the friendliest but there were a 1-2 that were. My kids love the youth program and had a great time there. Wheelchairs were hard to push around with the door partitions. One elevator was broke thebwhole week we were on ship. Spent a lot of time waiting for elevators. Buffet food was horrible. Dining room food was ok. Room service was not good. Bathroom dingy. Beds were comfy. Noise above our room was horrible as there was a kitchen or something above and carts rolling all hours. Art displays on our floor were so noisy moving paintings all the time and cause noise through the wall. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Our 40th year in Alaska - so an Alaskan Cruise was a treat. Overall we had a great time! Alaska is such a beautiful place and cruising is a great way to see it although your time is short while visiting most places (even with the ... Read More
Our 40th year in Alaska - so an Alaskan Cruise was a treat. Overall we had a great time! Alaska is such a beautiful place and cruising is a great way to see it although your time is short while visiting most places (even with the midnight sun), so, pick your favorite and come back and stay a while. Overall, Princess did a great job with providing for our needs and we didn't experience any real problems. As a 3 time cruiser, I have given an average rating as I was a little disappointed with a few things which made the voyage less than expected. Those being the sewer smell, food quality (traditional dining) and specifically the sewage which had spilled from a pipe and onto the deck of our balcony which dried and was not cleaned up on the outer walls and under the honey-comb mat. It was gross. I spent very little time on the balcony because of this. What did we like the most...The Captain did a great job of getting us close to the glaciers, the party band, Oneway, was excellent, John the Cruise Director did a great job, good selection of foods at the Horizon buffet, the small group entertainment was fantastic and the production shows we all excellent especially British Invasion (all the music, costume and set changes, very well done). As a (local), we did take a few shore excursions and enjoyed them as much or more than most as with a state as big as Alaska, we don't always get to view what you can see on a cruise. We want to especially thank all the people who were there to serve us each day. The Princess employees did a fantastic job as each tried to do their best and their great service to us was noticed. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Golden Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.1

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