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116 Whittier Princess Island Princess Cruise Reviews

We have been on about 15 cruises, last one 15 years ago. We have been all over the Caribbean, Mexican Rivera a number of times. Been through the Panama Canal, New Zealand and Australia. First cruise I have been on were I was charged ... Read More
We have been on about 15 cruises, last one 15 years ago. We have been all over the Caribbean, Mexican Rivera a number of times. Been through the Panama Canal, New Zealand and Australia. First cruise I have been on were I was charged for a soda. First cruise I have been on were they wanted to charge me $40 per person per day to look off the stern of the ship. Charged $29 per day service charge for my stateroom and 18% for every drink or soda I ordered. And that was after I paid $4,000 for the cruise. This will be the last Princess Cruise for me. The stateroom was nice, the service was great and the entertainment was good. That embarkation and debarkation was handled great. They did a great job handling luggage on and off the ship. Picked it up at the airport, next time we saw it was in our stateroom. Getting off, put our luggage outside our stateroom and didn’t see it again until we were at the airport. I have to give them a excellent grade on that. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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
This cruise was chosen because the Inside Passage cruise has been a bucket list item for many years. It totally exceeded our expectations. The Island Princess was extremely accommodating with great passenger to staff ratio. The staff and ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because the Inside Passage cruise has been a bucket list item for many years. It totally exceeded our expectations. The Island Princess was extremely accommodating with great passenger to staff ratio. The staff and crew were fantastic, and were genuinely happy to attend to our needs. The balcony cabin was excellent, and maintained extremely well. Each Port entry was handled efficiently and smoothly, again with great service from the crew. Being a smaller ship in the Princess lineup, the Horizon Buffet was less catered for than on larger ships, but there was always great service and choices. The other food choices, Pizza, Burgers, Hot Dogs, Ice cream, Bars, were all excellent. The access to bars was superb, Crooners, Wheelhouse, Explorers, and all had plenty of seating. The on-board entertainment around the ship was great, with a great selection of entertainers. The anytime dining was very good, and again the service was excellent. There were 26 of us in the group, and staff and crew always made every effort to accommodate our needs. All in all, the cruise was the best we have experienced, and will certainly cruise again with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Overall we enjoyed the cruise. Some solid entertainment, however timing was off based on your dinner seating. The food bland and unexciting. The lounge, bar and restaurant staff could not produce drinks that were not on the menu; and ... Read More
Overall we enjoyed the cruise. Some solid entertainment, however timing was off based on your dinner seating. The food bland and unexciting. The lounge, bar and restaurant staff could not produce drinks that were not on the menu; and the drinks were also not good. All fruity with no punch. The staff (wait, buffet, bar) seemed unpersonable and disinterested. Our room (mini-suite) was a good size and so was the bathroom and clothing storage. Our room steward was the only truly personable staff on the ship. Getting on/off easy. Tours coordination was ok for the most part. Alaska is a seasonal worker paradise, but it seems the land workers are also overworked. The ship is older, even though it went through a major renovation in 2017. The cruise director, though the right personality--upbeat and helpful seemed like a winded up doll, saying the same questions and speech along with and "my name is Natalie" was overkill. Kristoff, cruise director staff was pretenious and rude at times. Other cruise lines offer a better overall experience. Many guests were repeat passengers, however I would not choose again. Alaska though was great! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Wow. Horrible. Bad food, bad service as a simple summary. Lots of whales sighted though (both at sea and at the buffet). Comically bad waiters sticking our menus into our food. Several meals in the dining room were not really edible ... Read More
Wow. Horrible. Bad food, bad service as a simple summary. Lots of whales sighted though (both at sea and at the buffet). Comically bad waiters sticking our menus into our food. Several meals in the dining room were not really edible so had to chase that meal with a visit to the buffet in the hopes of something better than “hot dog pineapple salad”. (No, I didn’t make that up). The on-board naturalist also stated (amongst many other oddities) that Canada doesn’t have any glaciers. That was said while we were actually looking at a glacier in Canada. The beds were very saggy due to the many “girthy” guests that preceded us. The mini putt and kids’ centres were closed each of the 5+ times we tried to go into them. The list goes on but I’m out of room. Scenery was great but with 5 cruise ships in port simultaneously the small towns were overrun and it was horrible on shore. Won’t be back. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My wife and I added this trip on to an inland photography workshop we attended up north (Lake Clarke Park). We hadn't seen the inland passage and wanted to enjoy a bit of luxury on the way home vs simply jumping on an airplane in ... Read More
My wife and I added this trip on to an inland photography workshop we attended up north (Lake Clarke Park). We hadn't seen the inland passage and wanted to enjoy a bit of luxury on the way home vs simply jumping on an airplane in Anchorage and fly back to Phoenix. The Island Princess is smaller than some of the larger ships and included views of Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier, where other ships didn't go into these areas. So the timing and itinerary worked for us. The embarkation was painless even having to take a coach from Anchorage to Whittier. Interesting driver/guide made the ride worthwhile. Very easy and quick to get into the room. For perspective (and fairness) this was our 7th cruise but the first on a Princess ship. Our daughter worked on Celebrity for several years so we obviously chose her cruises. We have no other Princess ships with which to compare the Island. But compared to the other ships we've spent time on, the Island was older and it showed. There was no issue with it's cleanliness however. Older fixtures outside were painted over and our outside balcony light was hanging from a broken bracket. Also, on the third day, the device which ensured our cabin door shut fell off and was never fixed. The humidity on this trip was difficult to keep up with and there were blowers going in the passage ways constantly. There also was slight musky smell-probably due to the humidity. The floor of the cabin had raised areas which compressed when you walked on them. Sounds worse than it was. Just old but clean. The service in the dining area was not close to what we were used to in terms of warm welcomes and friendly attitudes. Two servers were great (exceptional) but the others and the managers were dour. Just seemed unhappy being there. Bar servers were very good. The food was what we expected and the buffet area servers were much more accommodating than their dining room counterparts. The one experience we had with the Princess tour support people was not good at all. We had signed up for a train ride in Skagway (turned out to be outstanding) and the 2 hour kayaking which went with it. There was rain and strong winds projected and we wanted to know if there were options if we felt it would be either unsafe or miserable to kayak. We were not asking to cancel or any concession. The individual either didn't speak English well or wasn't interested in getting involved in the complexity we were bringing to the table, because he merely repeated "must go rain or shine". We tried a couple of different ways to ask the question of what if we decide to forgo the kayak-can we just stay on the small bus or in a shelter or on the train. "must go rain or shine". Not an ambassador I would want representing my company. The production entertainment was disappointing (but remember our daughter-she was a dancer and aerialist on Celebrity-so we are very likely biased). The talent was very good but the productions varied from mediocre to poor. Now the good parts-the ports (and scenic cruising). Just outstanding! We loved the naturalist and guests who gave inland passage related information and stories. Saw whales, otters, seals, dolphins, puffins, etc. The ports were quaint and interesting. The history of Skagway is fascinating, Juneau, the only landlocked and foreign boardering Capital in the United States, has an incredible glacier view minutes from town, and thought Ketchikan was exactly what it should be-quaint and historic. Even the goofy lumberjack show was fun and memorable. As mentioned the excursion was exceptional (yup some rain and wind but not dangerous) so we paddled like crazy-great guides. We would definitely recommend the inside passage cruise but are hesitant to recommend the Island Princess for the reasons above. Just average. If it's your only choice then you would likely find the ship would be ok. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I wanted to see what is becoming the last frontier in the most comprehensive way. Alaska is so huge that a cruise seemed the most efficient and relaxing way to go about it. Arriving just in time for the summer solstice festival in ... Read More
I wanted to see what is becoming the last frontier in the most comprehensive way. Alaska is so huge that a cruise seemed the most efficient and relaxing way to go about it. Arriving just in time for the summer solstice festival in Anchorage got the trip to a great start. Mingling with the natives and having my first taste of reindeer sausage got me in the mood for our Alaskan adventure. My husband along with another couple (close friends) took in the Alaskan midnight sun and hiked the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail topped with a birthday dinner at the Glacier Brewhouse with a waitress with just the right amount of sassiness! What a first day! And because of Princess organization, it just got easier from there. Just a little pre-planning of what we needed to have on our person, and our luggage showed up at the next stop without us having to lug it. No need to check-in - keys pre-delivered to us! Land highlights included a side-trip stop in Talkeetna - good beer, good shopping, and good meeting the legendary mayor - a cat! Loved the treehouse at Princess Mt. McKinley Lodge where other guests loaned us their binoculars to get a glimpse of that elusive summit of Denali. But nothing could beat the all-day Kantishna Denali Park tour - where a mama bear and two cubs literally sauntered along the side of our bus. Caribou, moose, fox - all made an appearance for us! Felt quite lucky as I know that this is not Disneyland and animals cannot be made to appear. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the wildlife and the history of the park, and I am now a Fannie Quigley fan! What better way to conclude the land portion with a glass car train-ride back south to Whittier where we saw the best view of Denali, rivers, and forests with amazing service and narration. Just like the rest of the trip, the transition to ship was seamless. I am not sure how they get 600+ people off the train and onto the ship without long lines and waiting. We were in our stateroom in minutes. This was my first cruise and although the stateroom was compact, the furniture/cabinets were well-designed with plenty of room for all our luggage. Having a balcony was key for me as I loved sitting in a private space with my husband to watch the water, glaciers, and islands. The good was good in the buffet, and our service at the Provence dining room was exceptional. I liked the sinks to wash hands right by the buffet - I felt everything was done to keep the ship germ-free. We loved playing games/cards in the library, and listening to the singers who encouraged taking requests and sing-alongs. I definitely recommend having excursions booked at each port as the actual towns are touristy stocked mainly with souvenir shops. The land tour and excursions were the excitement portion of the trip. The cruise with all the fine service and entertainment was the relaxation portion of the trip. In tandem, this was a perfect mix of adventure, education, and rest! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We took the trip as a group of my wife's high school reunion. This was the first time we had a cruise ship trip. The scenes along Alaska shore were spectacular. The meals, especially dinner, were great. The product shows at Princess ... Read More
We took the trip as a group of my wife's high school reunion. This was the first time we had a cruise ship trip. The scenes along Alaska shore were spectacular. The meals, especially dinner, were great. The product shows at Princess Theater were outstanding. We also enjoyed free ice cream at top deck viewing ocean and mountains. The balloon party at Atrium on the last day was phenomenal. It was a very decent trip overall. We flew to Anchorage the day before. We took a bus trip down to Whittier where we embarked the ship. The first two days were all on ship without stops. The ship sailed through Harbour Glacier the first day and Glacier Bay National Park the next day. Then she stopped at Stagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan the next three days. The last day was all on sea again and the ship arrived at Vancouver harbor the next morning. The only major drawback was that no internet access unless you want to pay a ridiculous fee (e.g., $69 per hour). We remember that about 15 years ago, almost every hotel around world charged internet fees. When someone started to offer free wifi access, it became popular and soon every other hotels followed trend. I would imagine that this will happen to cruise ship as well. Someone smart enough to provide free internet access (even for a couple of hours per day) will immediately gain popularity. We are looking for our next cruise trip choice with this feature at top of our list. I was also expecting a Poker tournament but it did not happen. The casino was too small to host one. There was only one poker table and it was electronic. I did not see anyone playing poker the entire trip. Certainly it probably saved me a few bucks but I was disappointed nonetheless. Also, the photos were too expensive ($35 per picture). We would've bought some if the rates were lower. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
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 September 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
Sail Date August 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
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
Sail Date July 2018
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
Sail Date September 2017
27 years ago I was on a Nile River cruise but had never been on an ocean cruise. So as a newbie my eyes were wide open. We booked this Princess cruise tour because it was the best fit with available dates using my frequent flyer miles. We ... Read More
27 years ago I was on a Nile River cruise but had never been on an ocean cruise. So as a newbie my eyes were wide open. We booked this Princess cruise tour because it was the best fit with available dates using my frequent flyer miles. We have friends who always book Princess and like it. We booked an Obstructed Ocean View Guarantee. The ship sold out and we ended up in an Obstructed Ocean View cabin E334. More on that later. PROS The Princess organization on the land portion was flawless. Buses were there on time and baggage was handled efficiently. Embarkation in Whittier was chaotic due to at lease three trainloads of us stacked up on the other side of the tunnel. The line did move quickly at the ship, though, and we were "soon" in our cabin. CONS No eggs at the salad bar. BOO. I've been in hotels around the world and have never failed to find egg at the salad bar. My pet peeve. 27 years ago I was on a Nile River cruise but had never been on an ocean cruise. So as a newbie my eyes were wide open. We booked this Princess cruise tour because it was the best fit with available dates using my frequent flyer miles. We have friends who always book Princess and like it. We booked an Obstructed Ocean View Guarantee. The ship sold out and we ended up in an Obstructed Ocean View cabin E334. More on that later. With the Princess Riverside so close to the Fairbanks airport and advertising a free airport shuttle, I didn't see the need to purchase transfers. When we finally arrived at Fairbanks after Midnight our room key and baggage tags were none the less waiting for us at baggage claim. And we were told to board the same bus as everyone else. A short ride to the resort and we were in our room in minutes. It took the bags an hour to catch up with us. It was maybe 1:30 AM Alaska time (3:30 AM back home body time) when we finally turned the lights out. I had planned no excursions for the next morning knowing we needed our sleep after a 20 hour travel day. In the afternoon, however, we called Gold Dredge 8 and booked a time later that day. Even with the shuttle cost to their out of town location, we came out ahead over booking through Princess. We enjoyed the dredge tour and we panned our rather tiny amount of gold. The look of gold in the bottom of the pan was still a thrill. I recommend this experience. The next day we boarded a bus for the ride to Denali. Great scenery once we got close to Denali. The first stretch from Fairbanks not so much. Checked in to the Denali Princess and made the obligatory walk across the highway to peruse the souvenir shops. The weather there was cool and on and off wet. We booked no excursions. The following day we did take the shuttle over to the Denali NP Visitor Center to get our National Parks passports stamped. While there we were told about a sled dog demonstration nearby and got in line for that. Park employees conducted the demonstration and we learned they use the dogsleds to deliver supplies around the park in winter. Interesting. Afterwards we got on the free park shuttle and rode it to Savage River and back. Wednesday was the all day train ride to Whittier. We both loved it. Scenery was awesome and we even saw a critter or two. We got to our ship late because of a problem in the tunnel but so did almost everyone else. Thursday we visited Hubbard Glacier, the high point of the cruise for both of us. This is one place not to be missed. A 300 foot high 6 mile wide wall of ice pushing relentlessly to the sea. We were not disappointed and saw several calving events. The sound of the ice cracking just prior echoed around the inlet. Friday more glaciers at Glacier NP. Park rangers on board giving commentary. Saturday Skagway. Must see the gold rush museum. And we walked around town. Skipped the train ride due to a very tight budget. Sunday Juneau. More walking. Monday Ketchikan. Watched the salmon spawning in a nearby stream. Tuesday at sea. Wednesday AM arrived Vancouver and debarked? Consider spending an extra night or two in Vancouver. We did. And took the all day bus and ferry tour to Vancouver Island. Saw Victoria and Butchart Gardens. Big ship cruising was new to me. We explored every nook and cranny of the Island Princess, finding something new each day. We ate twice in the Bordeau Room. The rest of the time in the buffet. The Bordeau Room offered miniscule portions but of course you could always order more. The Horizon Buffet on a top deck at the bow offered great views and ok food. I realize Princess caters to an international clientele and the offering reflected that. But after a week, I was so looking forward to some recognizable comfort food. They had meatloaf that looked nothing like any meatloaf I had ever seen. I didn't try it. One night was BBQ night and everything looked good. We're from Kansas City, the home of great BBQ, and these ribs were disappointing, mostly globs of fat. Way too many dessert choices. Too tempting. The breakfast buffet was terrific. We did watch two performances at the Princess Theater. One a comic and the other doing Whitney Houston songs. Both were well done. We ignored the art auctions and the casino. Neither our thing. A surprise were the performances in the Atrium by a talented String Quartet. I enjoyed all of them. Despite having two thousand passengers on board, we never felt crowded. There were no long lines no matter where we went on the ship. I am not a violent man but I fantasized about tossing the ship photographer overboard. If we want our pictures taken we will find you. I realize this is a profit center for Princess, but............. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
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 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
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
Sail Date September 2017
I love Princess cruising and have gone on several in the Caribbean, but this was my first to Alaska. We first did 4 days land at the Princess McKinley and Denali lodges, then boarded the train to Whittier, Alaska to board the ship. ... Read More
I love Princess cruising and have gone on several in the Caribbean, but this was my first to Alaska. We first did 4 days land at the Princess McKinley and Denali lodges, then boarded the train to Whittier, Alaska to board the ship. Princess has this so organized. About a half mile from each lodge a representative gets on your bus and gives everyone their room key so when you arrive you are able to go directly to your room where your luggage will be waiting or arrive soon. This was also done on the train, which allowed us to get off, get on the ship and go directly to our cabin. This was so efficient, thank you Princess! We loved our cabin, it was very clean and spacious with a large balcony. Our room steward, Ben did and excellent job making sure we had everything we needed. The weather was rainy and cold the first couple of days so most everyone was indoors, yet it was never overly crowded. The newly remodeled Horizon cost was great. Lots of space to get around and not wait in long lines. The food was very good and we only had about a 10 minute wait for a table one night in the formal dining rooms. Every other night we were seated immediately and we had 8 people with anytime dining. We did whale watching, 4X4 adventure and white water rafting excursions and loved all of them. Whale watching was my favorite and we did see lots of whales along with and island loaded with sea lions. If you are planning any cruise, I highly recommend Princess. I have 2 more booked already but they will be in a warmer climate. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Chose Princess for price and based on its reviews. Did the land package before the cruise, 1 night McKinley Lodge, lodge ok, bit older and rustic, great views of Denali Mountain. if it's out! Took bus ride down to town of Talkeetna ... Read More
Chose Princess for price and based on its reviews. Did the land package before the cruise, 1 night McKinley Lodge, lodge ok, bit older and rustic, great views of Denali Mountain. if it's out! Took bus ride down to town of Talkeetna for breakfast, cute town, great place to view mountain is it's out. Food at the lodge was okay. Excursion was UTV - great experience. 2 nights at Denali Lodge, a bit older and rustic. Denali is a commercial area. Took the 4 hour bus tour of Denali Park, was worth it, didn't see a lot of animals, only a few. Sled dog demonstration inside park, a must see! Only ate pizza at this location. Excursion was Covered Wagon Dinner, was okay, a tourist thing to do. Ship on older side, some renovations, but still feels old. Staff was great. Upgraded to suite with perks that were worth it. Laundry service every day, no waiting in line at anytime dinner. Nightly manager's reception with snacks. Embarkation disappointing, embark into a long narrow hallway, was uninviting. Entertainment staff was wonderful. Facial in spa disappointing, not worth cost, massage was good. Excursions on cruise: Skagway - White Pass train ride -beautiful scenery - don't every get off the train. Juneau - Mendenhall glacier by helicopter - excellent; Sled dog camp - fantastic. Ketchikan - salmon fishing - fun and worth it; Wilderness Cruise in the Mystic Fjords - very long (4 hours) beautiful scenery, some wildlife. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
What a fantastic bucket list trip. Started in Fairbanks and a day alone going up the Dalton Highway following The Alaskan pipeline north. Flew back from Cold-foot. Fairbanks was great....riverboat cruise and gold mining (better if 1 hour ... Read More
What a fantastic bucket list trip. Started in Fairbanks and a day alone going up the Dalton Highway following The Alaskan pipeline north. Flew back from Cold-foot. Fairbanks was great....riverboat cruise and gold mining (better if 1 hour shorter). Next day Denali. Skies turned blue for two days. Fantastic. Took Denali jeep private trip. Great experience. Then to Mt Mckinkey Lodge. Very nice. Highlight of trip next day. K2 airline otter plane ride around Denali, glaciers, valleys and mountains. Breath taking. Highly recommend K2. Next to captain cook hotel in Anchorage. Very nice hotel. Met new friends and went to 49th state brewery. Cool place. Got on ship in Whittier. Very smooth transition. Hubbard glacier then glacier national park. Life changing views and Experience. In Skagway, we did a raft trip to see eagles. Really cool. In Juneau we did a whale trip and glacier trip. In ketchican we did a float plane flight and boat trip through the fjord. Our excursions, both private and with princess will never be forgotten because of all we experineced The ship was good. Aging but nice. Food ok, we have had better. Dancing great if you like that. Specialty restaurants were excellent. Now on to bad,horrible. I got horribly sick on the last night. Lost all my contents, if you know what I mean. Temp 100.5. Flu they said on day of disembackment. I was quarantined. Warning to all. Wash your hands, I certainly did. And if you cough or sneeze, please cover you mouth with your sleeve. Please. Not a good way to end 15 wonderful days. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We took the Island Princess as part of an Alaska Cruise Tour. The inland portion of the tour was excellent. This was primarily due to selecting the connisseur tour. While more expensive it probably proved cheaper in the long run. Our ... Read More
We took the Island Princess as part of an Alaska Cruise Tour. The inland portion of the tour was excellent. This was primarily due to selecting the connisseur tour. While more expensive it probably proved cheaper in the long run. Our guide was excellent and informative. We got the best times for the tours and the best seats in the restaurants. Meals were included and very good. Would have cost a lot of money if we would have had to pay for them. We upgraded to a mini suite for the trip and were very satisfied with the accommadations and the steward we had. I requested a room near an elevator as I told the Princess representative I booked with I had bad ankles and leg and did not want to walk too far. This was our first cruise and we were not familiar with the ship. We got a room close to the elevator but in the rear of the ship. However, everything that you wanted to do on the ship was in the front so it involved a lot of walking. The major disappointment for the cruise was the quality of the meals (or lack thereof). We had heard many good things about the quality of the food on the ship. Breakfasts were good. Hard to screw up a buffet. We had pizza for lunch when we were on the ship and it was good. The evening meals were major disappointments. Had one good meal out of the six we had. When I ordered seafood - 3 of the nights it was overcooked and dry. One night the sea bass was do done I couldn't eat much of it. It also smelled very fishy and should not have even been served. Because of the poor quality of the seafood I even violated one of my principles - don't order steak on a ship. Although cooked correctly is usually tasteless. One night our server forgot to bring the soup I ordered. Several other couples on our inland tour had the same opinion of the food. We were also turned off by the "nickel and diming" during cruise. Every time we wanted a specitaly coffee or soda it was $4. I even had to pay for a soda when I wanted one with my dinner. At $57/day per person the unlimited drink option was a useless investment, especially when wine was only 50% off. My wife and I were also turned off by the constant bombardment of advertising for the shops on the ship. I we wanted to go shopping we would have gone to a store. I almost broke out laughing when we went to the new cruisers presentation and the Princess Representative was touting their frequent cruiser program. All smoke and mirrors as if $25/ per person off is an incentive to travel with them again. We have taken several river cruises in Europe and they are the "A" List standard for cruising. Meals are superb. Wine and beer are included with the evening meal and soda and specialty coffee are free any time. Compared to the river cruises Princess gets a C-. I was discussing my this with a concierge at our hotel on the post cruise stay and her comment was that the river cruises were a lot more expensive. My response was that they were the same price so I have the same expectations. After returning I have talked to several people who have said they have heard that Princess Cruises have declined. We will be hard pressed to consider another large ship cruise in the future. We also selected to stay in Vancouver for a 3 day post cruise stay. Princess booked us at the Fairmont Empress on Victoria Island and the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver. Both are 5 star hotels. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This is the same trip that we made last year except this time it was with a group of friends. The last time we were on the Island Princess we took the ship from Whittier, AK to Vancouver, BC, to Ft. Lauderdale, the last Alaska voyage and ... Read More
This is the same trip that we made last year except this time it was with a group of friends. The last time we were on the Island Princess we took the ship from Whittier, AK to Vancouver, BC, to Ft. Lauderdale, the last Alaska voyage and on to the first Panama Canal voyage. It felt like we had just left the ship and we were back on it. We started in Fairbanks going south to Whittier. Stopped off in Denali and would recommend the "Music of Denali" on arrival day. The Kantishna Experience was well worth the time, 13 hours on a school bus, and the expense to see wild animals as well as the wilderness. Not sure how the cruise lines chooses people to sit in the rail cars, but we had one with tables and others had airplane style seats with trays and power outlets. There were not any significant changes made to the Island and it looks like it has been under a lot of wear. We were in a mini-suite and it was very nice to have all the extra room. The Alaskan cruise made the ship feel nice and the staff was excellent. We are Platinum level so getting on in Whittier was a breeze and since we had made travel arrangements with Princess E-Z Air, travel to the Vancouver Airport had no problems. We looked forward to the English Pub during our day a sea near Vancouver which was very good. If you like fish and chip, then this is for you. Order 3 portions and split the one extra. Most of the nights we had excellent dining room service and two nights we took way to long in the dining room. One night we did not get offered coffee or tea with our dessert. Show were very good; however, there were times when the dancers looked like they had forgotten their steps. All of the singers were excellent and the one comic was not very funny. He tried to make people laugh by picking on the attendees and embarrassing them. Just not funny. All in all another excellent trip and looking forward to the next Princess cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
In August 2017 a family wedding in BC, Canada found us a long way from our home in the UK. As part of our itinerary we decided to take an Alaskan cruise and Island Princess fitted in with our timetable. We had never sailed with any other ... Read More
In August 2017 a family wedding in BC, Canada found us a long way from our home in the UK. As part of our itinerary we decided to take an Alaskan cruise and Island Princess fitted in with our timetable. We had never sailed with any other company but Cunard so it was with some apprehension that we headed north to Whittier via Anchorage. We made private arrangements for the journey from Anchorage to Whittier arriving at approximately 2pm. Check in was trouble free and we soon found our way to our balcony cabin on Caribe deck. We found it almost identical to previous balcony cabins on Cunard so felt quite at home! There was more hanging space for clothes than we were used to, so that was a pleasant surprise. In size, the ship felt similar to Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, although there was no ballroom - which didn't bother us because we are not dancers! There were ample bars and lounges and we never felt over crowded. We enjoyed the shows in the evening and always managed to find a seat, despite the comments we had read before our cruise. Our days were full and we didn't take part in any of the daytime activities although there were plenty on offer, so I am unable to comment on those. The self service restaurant was at the front of the ship, which meant fabulous views on three sides, and we ate there for breakfast and lunch on most days. There was always a good selection of food available and the staff were very attentive. We had requested late dining at a table for eight In the evening but found ourselves on a table for six. This was no problem and our table companions were great company. The food was of a very good standard and the staff well trained and very pleasant. We didn't try any of the speciality dining areas or any of the other food outlets, other than the ice cream bar, but there was no need to be hungry at any time! The ports of call were varied and we loved the Alaskan scenery. We enjoyed our first experience with Princess and, to prove it, we placed a Future Cruise Deposit before leaving the ship. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Island Princess. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We started our trip with a five-day land tour staying at the Princess Lodges. Alaska was beautiful. The weather for the land portion was warmer (80s) than expected and the cruise portion was cooler than expected. I wish we had packed ... Read More
We started our trip with a five-day land tour staying at the Princess Lodges. Alaska was beautiful. The weather for the land portion was warmer (80s) than expected and the cruise portion was cooler than expected. I wish we had packed warmer clothes for the cruise. We were also told that Aug is usually the rainy season for Alaska something we didn't know. It rained alot during the cruise portion but it was never a rain out so it was OK. The land portion was was busy but we should have expected that since we changed hotel almost every night. The Princess Lodges were comfortable but not particularly fancy. The Lodge at McKinley was the plainest (no hangers in the room) and we felt isolated (Telneeka was an hour away by bus). The highlights of the land portion were the Princess included Riverboat Cruise and gold panning in Fairbanks, Jeff King's optional Husky Homestead Adventure in Denali was a highlight of the trip along with the Helicopter ride in Skagway up to walk on the glaciers. The optional river float in Telneeka was fun but we really didn't see any wildlife. The most overpriced tour ($189) was the optional Mendenhall Glacier/Whale watch. The most disappointing part of the trip was the food on the cruise. We'll sailed on Princes before and this food was not up to par. The starters and appitizers was the best part of the menu but the entrees were disappointing. I didn't have a restaurant quality entree during the cruise in either the Main dining room or in Sabatini's (awful). My wife had two restaurant quality meals, one in the Main dining room and one in Sabatini's. Entertainment onboard was very good with the exception of John Bressler, the piano comic. I purchased the drink package and the mixed drinks were good but was disappointed in the wine selection. We also were disappointed that Princess charged $140 to use the steam room during the cruise when it always has been complimentary in the past. As with most cruises, the merchandising was non stop ($3 for a shot of Lemoncello at every meal). We attended the Capt.'s reception for repeat cruisers which turned out to be one free drink and a half-hour sales pitch. I would never fall for that again. Finally, our room was comfortable and well-maintained but it only had two useable outlets. I'm glad we brought portable chargers for our devises. Princess handled the land transfers, embarkation and disembarkation well. Would I recommend Princess for future Alaska Cruises, maybe, maybe not. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The Island Princess is a great ship. We have been on many newer ships and this one although not brand new does not disappoint. The food, cabins, public areas, entertainment, and itinerary to Alaska are exceptional. We had a larger than ... Read More
The Island Princess is a great ship. We have been on many newer ships and this one although not brand new does not disappoint. The food, cabins, public areas, entertainment, and itinerary to Alaska are exceptional. We had a larger than usual balcony. Also, on most Princess ships the closet area is bigger than those on other ships. The production numbers in the theater were better than the usual fare seen on cruises. The tours we took in Alaska exceeded our expectations. Another nice touch is that Princess had a naturalist on board to tell us about Alaska and the sea life that may be visible outside the ship. We had no problems with either the cruise or the before and after land tours taken through Princess. The Island Princess offers a fantastic voyage. Highly recommend the ship, Princess and the itinerary. We are booked on two more Princess cruises. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Island Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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