1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Princess Cruises
  4. Island Princess Review
  5. Island Princess Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: September 2018
We took the trip as a group of my wife's high school reunion. This was the first time we had a cruise ship trip. The scenes along Alaska shore were spectacular. The meals, especially dinner, were great. The product shows at Princess ... Read More
We took the trip as a group of my wife's high school reunion. This was the first time we had a cruise ship trip. The scenes along Alaska shore were spectacular. The meals, especially dinner, were great. The product shows at Princess Theater were outstanding. We also enjoyed free ice cream at top deck viewing ocean and mountains. The balloon party at Atrium on the last day was phenomenal. It was a very decent trip overall. We flew to Anchorage the day before. We took a bus trip down to Whittier where we embarked the ship. The first two days were all on ship without stops. The ship sailed through Harbour Glacier the first day and Glacier Bay National Park the next day. Then she stopped at Stagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan the next three days. The last day was all on sea again and the ship arrived at Vancouver harbor the next morning. The only major drawback was that no internet access unless you want to pay a ridiculous fee (e.g., $69 per hour). We remember that about 15 years ago, almost every hotel around world charged internet fees. When someone started to offer free wifi access, it became popular and soon every other hotels followed trend. I would imagine that this will happen to cruise ship as well. Someone smart enough to provide free internet access (even for a couple of hours per day) will immediately gain popularity. We are looking for our next cruise trip choice with this feature at top of our list. I was also expecting a Poker tournament but it did not happen. The casino was too small to host one. There was only one poker table and it was electronic. I did not see anyone playing poker the entire trip. Certainly it probably saved me a few bucks but I was disappointed nonetheless. Also, the photos were too expensive ($35 per picture). We would've bought some if the rates were lower. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We choose this particular cruise because we wanted to see Alaska as late in the season as possible. We hoped to see the Northern Lights and our best chance was mid- September. We spent 11 days on land, followed by a 7 day cruise. ... Read More
We choose this particular cruise because we wanted to see Alaska as late in the season as possible. We hoped to see the Northern Lights and our best chance was mid- September. We spent 11 days on land, followed by a 7 day cruise. Boarding the ship couldn't have been any easier. We arrived via tour bus and from the time we dropped our luggage off to the Porter's outside and to us actually getting on the ship was maybe an hour. I was surprised to find that our stateroom was ready immediately and our luggage was waiting for us. The ship was on the smaller side but still quite nice, our cabin was small, but the large closet area made it so much less cramped once we were able to unpack our bags and get our suitcases out of the way. Dining left something to be desired. The food was simply okay at best whether it was in the buffet, dining room, or one of the specialty restaurants. We traveled as a group of 4, and often used the words "interesting" and " unimaginative" to describe whatever it was we were eating. It wasn't necessary good or bad-- just Interesting. I'll admit to being a bit of a picky eater, however there were times I'd go through all of the buffet lines and only come out with a bowl of Alfredo Pasta. I ate the same meal all 3 times we went to the dining room for a lack of anything else. Yes. I'm picky, but not THAT picky. Even my husband who will eat quite literally ANYTHING was pushing food away saying he didn't really like it. The most surprising part was that there was no food available ( other than room service) after 11pm. Entertainment and Actives were a disappointment as well. We booked the cruise knowing Princess was geared towards an older crowd-- which was perfectly fine as we're not really inclined to do much drinking or partying and we were planning to use the time to wind down and relax. The Princess Patter would arrive every evening and we'd read through it and circle whatever activities seemed appealing to us. There wasn't much to choose from.... There were 2 comedy shows offered, and maybe 2-3 of the typical game shows. The major Showtime production was " The Modern Man of the 60's, 70's and 80's." All of the activities ended by 10:30pm and we found ourselves headed to our cabin to watch TV for a lack of anything else to do. On one hand we were disappointed but on the other hand we didn't feel as if we were missing out on anything when we went to our cabin and took a nap. BTW we're in our early 30's, we don't knit, play bingo, eat dinner at 4pm or go to bed by 8:30...... Service was great. Everyone seemed happy and more than willing to accommodate any requests we may have had, Our room attended was always joking around with us and the bartenders would recognize us and remember our drink order. We did not do any shore excursions so I cannot comment on that, but the Ports were nice. Everything was well within walking distance, and they had plenty of stores and shops to poke around in. The scenery was amazing. Disembarking was fairly easy. Nothing out of the ordinary there. We sat next to a couple at the airport who had just taken the same cruise as us. They were a bit older, maybe 50's - early 60's and they more or less said the same thing. They were disappointed in the food and entertainment. We all said this was our First, and Last cruise with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We thought the cruise tour would be the best in experience, food and service. We thought the service was overall very good. The food was very average at best. We used the Crab Shack experience and it was HORRIBLE. We were one of ... Read More
We thought the cruise tour would be the best in experience, food and service. We thought the service was overall very good. The food was very average at best. We used the Crab Shack experience and it was HORRIBLE. We were one of the last parties seated and I assume we got the last of the food available. The crab was dried out and the shrimp had no taste. There was no desert left for a party of 6. The wait staff brought us 3 dried out plates from the buffet. Then of course, we were charged the full price of $29 per person. Being our first cruise and a very expensive one at that we expected the ship to be great, sparkling clean and a ton of fun. However, th ship was run down and it was being "upgraded" while we were sailing. They were replacing the carpet in our hallway during the cruise & we didn't think that was appropriate. The hallways are dingy and very small. A lot of the thresholds were loose and my husband would trip as he has mobility issues. The Princess lounge on deck 7 needed a deep cleaning and repairs. During a concert one of the panels one the front of the stage fell off. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Princess does not provide the best customer service. Alaska is beautiful, so highly recommend it as a destination. I just recommend you select a cruise line other than Princess. We have taken several cruises and have found other cruise ... Read More
Princess does not provide the best customer service. Alaska is beautiful, so highly recommend it as a destination. I just recommend you select a cruise line other than Princess. We have taken several cruises and have found other cruise lines to provide much better customer service. Food choices with Princess are very limited and most staff not very personable or customer service oriented. Particularly Guest Services staff and staff at the Excursions desk could really use some Customer Service training. Select a room with a balcony for sure. The views are unlike any other I have ever seen. The entertainment on this cruise was fabulous. Many choices to select from and all were quality performances. Princess could certainly rate much higher if they would provide better coffee and provide a few complimentary bottles of water. Could not believe after all the money we spent, they were going to charge us a fee to print our airline boarding passes. Will try another cruise line next time for sure! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We took the southbound voyage from Whittier to Vancouver. Flying into Anchorage is a treat as you fly over snow capped mountains as far as the eye can see. The journey from Anchorage airport to the port town of Whittier is unique. Your ... Read More
We took the southbound voyage from Whittier to Vancouver. Flying into Anchorage is a treat as you fly over snow capped mountains as far as the eye can see. The journey from Anchorage airport to the port town of Whittier is unique. Your coach is given a "tunnel time", an exact time in which to enter the 2 1/2 mile tunnel that was blasted through the mountain near Whittier. It felt like this was an excursion unto itself. Warm and friendly staff on board the Island Princess and a comfortable number of fellow guests, coupled with breathtaking scenery and warm temps, made this a truly memorable Alaskan adventure for us. We cruised to the Hubbard Glacier along with the Margerie in Glacier Bay followed by the three traditional Alaskan ports, and then one more sea day, in this relaxing itinerary. We sat outside on the comfortable deck chairs as much as we could. After dinner we enjoyed three of Princess' current shows "Encore", "On the Bayou" and the newest "The Secret Silk". They were all Broadway calibre shows. Our comedian was Steve Moris of the Beach Boys and he was hilarious. Love the Voice of the Ocean finale also. Skaway is a self-contained, pioneer town that is ideal for exploring.We went gold panning at the Back Alley Rock Shop, an experience I would highly recommend especially if you have kids. In Juneau we went to a Husky summer camp and hung out with 160 huskies. We learnt about the Ididarod and went on a thrilling dog sled ride summer style, and held a couple of the pups. This was by far the highlight of our port stops. Then in Ketchikan we saw the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show which is always a blast. Shopping for souvenirs and clothing is very good in Ketchikan. If I was to never see Alaska again, I feel that this is the perfect way for this unique state to leave a lasting impression. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I chose this land/sea tour because it gave me 2 full days at Denali. It began in Anchorage with a Princess rep. meeting me at the airport and taking me to the hotel. I had the afternoon free to explore Anchorage on my own. The 1st ... Read More
I chose this land/sea tour because it gave me 2 full days at Denali. It began in Anchorage with a Princess rep. meeting me at the airport and taking me to the hotel. I had the afternoon free to explore Anchorage on my own. The 1st Princess excursion I was supposed to have was Gold Panning in the Wilderness at the McKinley Lodge. When I arrived I was informed it was cancelled, no explanation given. This left me wandering around with no options to fill the void since we would be there only that afternoon. The next morning we traveled by bus to Denali Lodge. I had cancelled the Princess canned History tour (received $100 refund) at Denali and through the Denali National Park Service (NPS) on line, bought a green shuttle bus ticket to the interior of the park. Best darn deal of the trip, the ticket cost $43. We went further into the park (and to some of the most scenic portions!) with excellent narratives given by the drivers. They even stopped the bus for wildlife viewing and photo ops. I was able to get off the bus that had taken me into the park and get on a different bus later in the afternoon when I was ready to go with no problem at all. The double decker train ride from Denali to Whitter (to board the ship) was beautiful. We saw Fall colors at their peak most of the way to the ship. The train was the way to go! I was somewhat disappointed with the cruise portion of the trip after the land tour. It was a constant sell job from the moment you stepped on deck and it did not let up. They were pushing jewelry, buy their jewelry on the ship or buy their jewelry at the ports at the Princess owned Diamond International shops. I would strongly suggest you avoid the whole jewelry sell job. Everything is overpriced and they try and rush you into a sale on pieces that may not be of certifiable quality. This is both on ship as well as at port. On a somewhat related note, other items that were sometimes 'suggested' you try were not disclosed as an additional cost item until it was too late. Buyer beware! Ask if there is a charge before saying yes. An additional note regarding the Island - the food is very bland. They give their dishes fancy names but everything that came out of the kitchens had no flavor, no matter what the dish was. I used the main dining room for dinner, the Horizon Court (buffet) for breakfast and ate at Sabitini's one night for dinner (had grilled steak as everything else looked awful). It was all the same, very bland. At Sabitini's several folks actually returned their first choice dish because it was not tasty and opted for the grilled steak instead. In the dining room for lunch I once ordered a hamburger and fries. The hamburger was hard and dry and the fries were limp. McDonald's does a better job with this simple order! The ports - Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan each had their own vibe. There were several nights where there were Northern Lights, however they were hidden by the cloud cover. I would like to strongly recommend the excursion tour to the Jewell Gardens with Glassblowing. It was a real hands on personal glass blowing experience (and they served lunch at no extra cost!) and then ship your personally made treasure back to your home. The size of the group is limited to 10, so look for it and book it early! The service overall all was average, there was not an area that stood out from the rest. This trip was done by a solo traveler in their 60's with no mobility problems. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
27 years ago I was on a Nile River cruise but had never been on an ocean cruise. So as a newbie my eyes were wide open. We booked this Princess cruise tour because it was the best fit with available dates using my frequent flyer miles. We ... Read More
27 years ago I was on a Nile River cruise but had never been on an ocean cruise. So as a newbie my eyes were wide open. We booked this Princess cruise tour because it was the best fit with available dates using my frequent flyer miles. We have friends who always book Princess and like it. We booked an Obstructed Ocean View Guarantee. The ship sold out and we ended up in an Obstructed Ocean View cabin E334. More on that later. PROS The Princess organization on the land portion was flawless. Buses were there on time and baggage was handled efficiently. Embarkation in Whittier was chaotic due to at lease three trainloads of us stacked up on the other side of the tunnel. The line did move quickly at the ship, though, and we were "soon" in our cabin. CONS No eggs at the salad bar. BOO. I've been in hotels around the world and have never failed to find egg at the salad bar. My pet peeve. 27 years ago I was on a Nile River cruise but had never been on an ocean cruise. So as a newbie my eyes were wide open. We booked this Princess cruise tour because it was the best fit with available dates using my frequent flyer miles. We have friends who always book Princess and like it. We booked an Obstructed Ocean View Guarantee. The ship sold out and we ended up in an Obstructed Ocean View cabin E334. More on that later. With the Princess Riverside so close to the Fairbanks airport and advertising a free airport shuttle, I didn't see the need to purchase transfers. When we finally arrived at Fairbanks after Midnight our room key and baggage tags were none the less waiting for us at baggage claim. And we were told to board the same bus as everyone else. A short ride to the resort and we were in our room in minutes. It took the bags an hour to catch up with us. It was maybe 1:30 AM Alaska time (3:30 AM back home body time) when we finally turned the lights out. I had planned no excursions for the next morning knowing we needed our sleep after a 20 hour travel day. In the afternoon, however, we called Gold Dredge 8 and booked a time later that day. Even with the shuttle cost to their out of town location, we came out ahead over booking through Princess. We enjoyed the dredge tour and we panned our rather tiny amount of gold. The look of gold in the bottom of the pan was still a thrill. I recommend this experience. The next day we boarded a bus for the ride to Denali. Great scenery once we got close to Denali. The first stretch from Fairbanks not so much. Checked in to the Denali Princess and made the obligatory walk across the highway to peruse the souvenir shops. The weather there was cool and on and off wet. We booked no excursions. The following day we did take the shuttle over to the Denali NP Visitor Center to get our National Parks passports stamped. While there we were told about a sled dog demonstration nearby and got in line for that. Park employees conducted the demonstration and we learned they use the dogsleds to deliver supplies around the park in winter. Interesting. Afterwards we got on the free park shuttle and rode it to Savage River and back. Wednesday was the all day train ride to Whittier. We both loved it. Scenery was awesome and we even saw a critter or two. We got to our ship late because of a problem in the tunnel but so did almost everyone else. Thursday we visited Hubbard Glacier, the high point of the cruise for both of us. This is one place not to be missed. A 300 foot high 6 mile wide wall of ice pushing relentlessly to the sea. We were not disappointed and saw several calving events. The sound of the ice cracking just prior echoed around the inlet. Friday more glaciers at Glacier NP. Park rangers on board giving commentary. Saturday Skagway. Must see the gold rush museum. And we walked around town. Skipped the train ride due to a very tight budget. Sunday Juneau. More walking. Monday Ketchikan. Watched the salmon spawning in a nearby stream. Tuesday at sea. Wednesday AM arrived Vancouver and debarked? Consider spending an extra night or two in Vancouver. We did. And took the all day bus and ferry tour to Vancouver Island. Saw Victoria and Butchart Gardens. Big ship cruising was new to me. We explored every nook and cranny of the Island Princess, finding something new each day. We ate twice in the Bordeau Room. The rest of the time in the buffet. The Bordeau Room offered miniscule portions but of course you could always order more. The Horizon Buffet on a top deck at the bow offered great views and ok food. I realize Princess caters to an international clientele and the offering reflected that. But after a week, I was so looking forward to some recognizable comfort food. They had meatloaf that looked nothing like any meatloaf I had ever seen. I didn't try it. One night was BBQ night and everything looked good. We're from Kansas City, the home of great BBQ, and these ribs were disappointing, mostly globs of fat. Way too many dessert choices. Too tempting. The breakfast buffet was terrific. We did watch two performances at the Princess Theater. One a comic and the other doing Whitney Houston songs. Both were well done. We ignored the art auctions and the casino. Neither our thing. A surprise were the performances in the Atrium by a talented String Quartet. I enjoyed all of them. Despite having two thousand passengers on board, we never felt crowded. There were no long lines no matter where we went on the ship. I am not a violent man but I fantasized about tossing the ship photographer overboard. If we want our pictures taken we will find you. I realize this is a profit center for Princess, but............. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
The scenery was lovely, the excursions were great. We didn't know what to expect so in the end we had a good time because we were with family. Highly unique cruise experience in terms of destination. Ship was fine and had what ... Read More
The scenery was lovely, the excursions were great. We didn't know what to expect so in the end we had a good time because we were with family. Highly unique cruise experience in terms of destination. Ship was fine and had what you'd expect. Service and food left a little something to be desired. It wasn't the most luxurious of boats but we didn't mind. The room was nice and we had fun with our group. HOWEVER, the crowd is what really brought the experience downhill. There were many elderly folks aboard - I don't know if it was the destination, the time of year, or prince point - we couldn't quite tell - and both my husband and I got very sick because of this crowd who were coughing and hacking all over the ship. It was quite ironic considering how much Princess must have spent on hand sanitizing machines. (That said, they clearly neglected to sanitize door handles, coffee machines, elevator buttons and chair handles.) Secondly, Princess are obsessed with branding themselves and working to suck every hard-earned dollar out of you that they possibly can. It was **heavily** saturated with gift shops at every stop. This is expected on a cruise but got old very quick. You had to walk a considerable distance (or take a physically active excursion) to avoid this. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We did the land and sea packet that was recommended to us my many people and we will pass our recommendation on to others. We experienced the great beauty of the natural form of Alaska and we had the opportunity to interact with the unique ... Read More
We did the land and sea packet that was recommended to us my many people and we will pass our recommendation on to others. We experienced the great beauty of the natural form of Alaska and we had the opportunity to interact with the unique people of Alaska. Princess gave us the opportunity to select wonderful adventures that included train rides, visits to natural wonders and interaction with the dog sleds. We had a balcony, which we normally do not do - but it is a must for an Alaskan cruise. Make sure you bring a rain suit so that the wet weather does not spoil your fun. We enjoyed the ship and the staff. The enrichment activities were spot on. Mark Harris, the destination lecturer was outstanding. Daryl Pederson, extraordinary photographer was an added plus and I hope he continues to be part of the Alaskan experienceThey did a good job. We have no complaints. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We were invited to join five couples on this cruise. Eight of us did the land portion and we met up with the other four on the ship. We We flew from CT to Seattle and then on to Fairbanks. We were scheduled to have an eight-hour ... Read More
We were invited to join five couples on this cruise. Eight of us did the land portion and we met up with the other four on the ship. We We flew from CT to Seattle and then on to Fairbanks. We were scheduled to have an eight-hour layover in Seattle, but when we went to check in with Alaska Airlines, they told us we could take an earlier flight that was leaving in an hour. The charge was $25 for each of us. Really sweet! When we got to Fairbanks, the Princess desk was right next to the baggage carousel We got an envelope that had all our information for our first hotel, including keys. As soon as we retrieved our bags, we handed them over to Princess baggage personnel. There were buses that took us to the hotel.When we got to our room, our bags were waiting. We stayed at the Fairbanks Princess Riverside which is located on the Chena River. It was beautiful. There are two restaurants on site and we ate at the pub both nights. Very relaxing and the food was good. Outside of the restaurants, there is plenty of room for groups to gather. They also have a great gift shop. Room was very clean and bed was comfortable. We were hoping to see the Northern Lights but it went from a beautiful, sunny day in the high 50s to being cloudy late at night. We took the shuttle in to Fairbanks but everything was closed! It was Sunday! It was Labor Day weekend! And it was the end of the season! We were able to go to the Visitors Center and spent a couple hours there. Lots to see. On Monday, we took a riverboat cruise on the Chena River. I would highly recommend it. Our guide was fabulous. He had so many interesting stories to share. On Monday afternoon, we took a bus to Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. Our bags were in the room waiting for us. Again, the hotel was beautiful. All the views were breathtaking. It had a huge room with tables where people could eat, play games, or just visit. The following morning, we went to Denali on the Natural History Tour. We didn't see much wildlife, but we were part of the 25% who actually saw Denali! Our next hotel was Mt. McKinley Wilderness Lodge where we stayed on Tuesday night. It was also a lovely property consisting of cabin-style buildings that each contained several hotel rooms. On Wednesday, we left on our bus that took us to the train to Whittier! We were assigned tables on the train and were able to purchase lunch and beverages. It was a beautiful ride and our train guide, Esther, was very knowledgeable and entertaining! We got to the ship late but they held it for us! While we were on the train, our passports were checked and we received our cabin keys. We had quite the line checking in because there were so many people at once. But some things can't be controlled--like tunnel traffic between Anchorage and Whittier. We had a large group (12) and did Anytime Dining. We had two tables of six and changed around every night. The food was excellent! Our servers were excellent! The production shows were good. There was always something going on around the ship as far as entertainment and activities were concerned. Lots to choose from. The first two days were spent cruising the glaciers and they were breathtaking. We enjoyed watching from our balcony but also viewed from other areas of the ship. We took the White Pass Railway excursion in Skagway as well as the trip to Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. We enjoyed both of them. After the cruise, we spent an additional two nights in Vancouver. What a gorgeous city! My husband and I each took one large suitcase and I used packing cubes. We had a backpack for the land trip that we used to carry our valuables while on the buses and train. I also packed a pretty large fold-up bag in my suitcase. When we got to the hotel, I filled my fold-up bag with items I knew I wouldn't need till the cruise. That bag got a tag that said "Take Me to the Ship", we left it outside our room and we didn't see it until we got to our cabin on the Island. Our suitcases followed us from hotel to hotel. I'm happy that we did the land portion first. And I'm also glad we went a day early. The time difference was four hours for us so we had a day to adjust. You know all those jackets everyone recommends buying for $29.99? My husband got one at our first hotel and wore it all the time. Based on this cruise, I'd highly recommend Princess. They know how to move people around seamlessly and gave us a great travel experience to Alaska! Read Less
Island Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

Find an Island Princess Cruise

Email me when prices drop