50 Whittier to Alaska Princess Star Princess Cruise Reviews

The dates and itinerary of this cruise fit our needs well. Prior to embarking on the seven-night cruise, our package included a full day in Fairbanks and a day in Denali National Park. We enjoyed the land-portion of the trip but those two ... Read More
The dates and itinerary of this cruise fit our needs well. Prior to embarking on the seven-night cruise, our package included a full day in Fairbanks and a day in Denali National Park. We enjoyed the land-portion of the trip but those two days went blindingly fast. Fairbanks is a slow-paced little town. Our museum at the University of Alaska was very informative and well worth the visit. We traveled to Denali by train which was scenic and enjoyable. Denali was beautiful. We boarded the ship in Whittier, which is just outside of Anchorage. The weather, from Anchorage to Vancouver, our debarking port, was unseasonably sunny and clear. There was even one night where passengers that happened to be on the top decks after midnight saw the northern lights. Our cruise took us along beautiful coastlines backed by high, snow-covered mountains. This cruise offered the most beautiful scenery of any trip we've taken. The scenery in Alaska is just magnificent! We cruised up to the face of Hubbard Glacier and visited Glacier Bay. Our ports of call included Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. I'd particularly recommend taking a tour of the Alaska Brewery. The tour can be purchased in town for $25 and includes transportation to the brewery, tastings, and a very informative talk about how the company was founded. We saw streams full of spawning Pink and Coho salmon in Ketchikan. We passed breaching whales, particularly on the stretch of ocean south of Ketchikan. Our experiences on the Star Princess were very good overall. The ship carried about 2,600 passengers so, while large, the ship didn't feel like a floating city. This cruise was after most schools were in session and I counted about a dozen children on the entire boat. The boarding process went smoothly and quickly. The interior cabin room we were assigned was of average cruise ship size. The bed was quite comfortable and we slept well every night. Having a small refrigerator in the room was a plus. Restrooms on the ship were kept very clean. There were stations at the entrance to the buffet to wash one's hands before and after meals. There are a number of swimming pools and hot tubs on the Star Princess. Those were never crowded. The entertainment and onboard lectures offered on this cruise were exceptional. The boat had a very knowledgeable onboard botanist that gave lectures on the geology, flora, and fauna. There was also an onboard author that had lived and traveled in Alaska for decades and who gave several talks. There were several other entertainers that live in Alaska or Canada that were well-known, established entertainers or storytellers. The headliner shows on the Princess Star were outstanding - easily as good as one might find in Las Vegas. The shows put on by the Star Princess singing and dancing troup were also at a professional level - these guys and gals can really sing and dance - far better than the well-meaning but amateur productions that we've seen on some other cruise lines. The ship also offered all kinds of the typical sales events with clothing, jewelry, paintings, etc. There is an onboard casino. And there are karaoke contests, talent shows, games and game shows which we opted not to attend. The quality of the food was above average. We have, so far, cruised on Viking, Princess, Holland, Royal Carribean and Celebrity lines. We'd rate the food in that order. My biggest food-related gripe was that the coffee included with the cruise is powdered instant Nescafe. To get a real, brewed cup of coffee costs about $2.80 per cup. There were a lot of local food included in the menu choices. I enjoyed fresh grilled or smoked salmon every day I was on the boat. We ate a dinner and a lunch in the Capri dining room, where we were assigned. The service there was REALLY slow. Each time, we sat for 45 minutes before our first course arrived and, overall, both meals took about 90 minutes. After those experiences, we ate at Horizon Court buffet. The Horizon Court was very well managed and offered excellent food. There were lots of choices, the dishes were well prepared, hot food was always hot, and every meal there were about a dozen tempting dessert choices. We also had some snacks and desserts at the International Cafe - really good! Tip: When you get desperate for real coffee or an espresso drink, those are available at the International Cafe. Generally, the crew and staff were cordial and helpful. Our room steward was engaging, thorough, and anxious to please. One problem that occurred was that to use the onboard laundries, one needed to purchase tokens from a dispenser. Going to several of the laundries, none of the coin dispensers worked - no out of order signs. After running all over the ship visiting the various laundry rooms trying to find tokens we found that the only way to use the laundries was to stand in line at the Purser's desk and purchase them there. My wife and I greatly enjoyed this experience. We hope to take other Princess Cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Alaska had always been on our list, and felt this was the best way to see it. The lodges were mediocre, understaffed, and running out of provisions because of "end of season". The ship was average, service was good IF you ... Read More
Alaska had always been on our list, and felt this was the best way to see it. The lodges were mediocre, understaffed, and running out of provisions because of "end of season". The ship was average, service was good IF you didn't ask for anything specific, if you did, it took a long time. Bar/Lounge service was the worst. Food was plentiful, as usual, but not anything special. Could never get a really hot meal at the dinning room. There was only one truly good Entertainer a piano player which also had a comedy routine , the others were so so. One comedian was truly inappropriate for the type of audience. The ports were very interesting, and made you wish you had more time to explore. Most of the shore excursions were very good and good value. Overal we had a great time, and were able to overlook some of the issues. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Land and cruise option was the way we wanted to go on our second trip to Alaska. Our loved all the evening shows in the Princess Theatre. There were two entertainers that we especially enjoyed - John Bressler and Steve White. Glad we ... Read More
Land and cruise option was the way we wanted to go on our second trip to Alaska. Our loved all the evening shows in the Princess Theatre. There were two entertainers that we especially enjoyed - John Bressler and Steve White. Glad we decided to take this cruise with our Senior Center so that we could experience all the land portion has to offer since our first trip to Alaska was only a cruise. Great dining service at a scheduled time each evening. Our Cabin Steward was Maria for cabin B641 and she was helpful and always said hello to us when we saw her in the hallway. The ship looked like the carpeting had been replaced recently which I like...don't care for worn out carpeted areas. I enjoy BINGO and the caller, nicknamed Baby Face Bingo, was funny and made bingo a lot of fun. Marcus, the Cruise Director, is also great at his job informing us of all activities as well as bring humor into all his chats. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Husband grew up in Fairbanks and we've traveled many places in Alaska, but never to the Southeast area, which is best done from a ship. We booked this trip as a "last minute" vacation less than a month and a half before ... Read More
Husband grew up in Fairbanks and we've traveled many places in Alaska, but never to the Southeast area, which is best done from a ship. We booked this trip as a "last minute" vacation less than a month and a half before sailing and got an excellent price from Vacations to Go. Flew into Anchorage a day early and stayed at a hotel in the mid-town area. There are many hotels in that area and they are the type that provide free shuttle service from the airport and have free breakfast. The shuttle served three hotels and would also go to Walmart and to downtown Anchorage (visitors center). Check out the Market in downtown Anchorage on Saturday morning. Local artisans, along with produce and entertainment and food trucks. We bought authentic souvenirs and met the people who made them. Bought sea salt made in Homer, gold nugget jewelry (mined near Fairbanks), children's book signed by author, etched baleen from Native artist, locally made soap and more. Did not want to go back to the airport and ride a large coach bus to Whittier, so we booked a shuttle from Anchorage Tours and Transfers. It was less expensive. They came to our hotel at 2:30 to pick us up and then other hotels. The mini bus holds 24 and they have a trailer in back for the luggage. We didn't need a "tour", but our bus driver provided lots of information and we had time for a stop at a viewpoint before getting to the tunnel for Whittier. Star Princess was a nice size (one stats description says 2600 passengers). We were on the very large Carnival Vista last year. Cabin size is smaller than Carnival (which we were aware of). Our discounted cabin was a fully obstructed view (seemed like almost the entire 8th deck was obstructed views because all the life boats were hanging in front of windows -- who designed that?!) I thought I wouldn't mind (good price last minute, too cold for a balcony, just this time), but I didn't like it. Even if I didn't have a view, I needed the daylight. Although I read that the ship was refurbished last year, that must have been the public areas. Our room looked tired and needed an overhaul; the drawers didn't work and the furniture style definitely wasn't up to date. Bed was fine. Very large TV. Our room only had one chair, at the desk. But there were two of us and you can only sit on the bed for so long. Our room steward got us another desk chair for the week. Eighth floor was a good location. We could easily walk down one flight to the Promenade deck which became our "balcony." traditional walk around the ship deck with comfortable deck chairs. Seventh floor also had theatre and shops. Also didn't need the elevator to walk down two decks to the 6th for the dining rooms. All three dining rooms looked alike, and really weren't very fancy. Dining room meals were fine, but the quality could have been just a little bit better. I was surprised and pleased with the buffet. Large Carnival ship buffets are spread out too far and serve such large quantities that food is never hot (or warm) and there was no quality at all. On Star Princess the buffet area is compact so you don't have to go far to get your food, and smaller quantities are set out at a time so you have a better chance of the food being hot when you get to your table. I also thought the quality of the food at the buffet was very good and there was a good variety. Servers bring beverages to you and clear dishes promptly. There are many, many excursions (and they are expensive), but there is so much you can do on your own. Long day in Skagway means you can do a few things. We did take a Klondike bus excursion that we could have easily passed on. Skagway is about the gold rush and we wanted to see some of the trail. Our mini bus drove up the road. There really wasn't anything to see. Stopped at the Welcome to Alaska sign and a waterfall coming down the side of the road. The bus driver was good, telling lots of stories and history. But $39.95 per person was way to much for the experience (1 1/2 hours). DO check out the National Park Service in town. They have an information center with films. They also have other buildings in town that you can walk in to or get a free tour. NPS is always excellent. We had a great lunch at the local Sweet Tooth Cafe. And the best part of our day was a trip to Jewell Garden and glassblowing. We arranged this directly with Jewell Garden (later saw there was an excursion at almost twice the price). We took the local SMART bus ($5 all day). Husband was surprised that he had so much fun making a glass orb (it was shipped home). You choose the colors, style, design and they walk you through every step. In Juneau we took the Mt. Roberts tram. Cost is the same from ship or directly and you can walk there from ship. We then took an Uber to the Alaska State Museum (walkable for some, maybe a mile). Museum was excellent. Cost $12. Items from the different Native groups, history about Russians, US purchase, gold rush, WWII, statehood and art. Take about an hour. In Ketchikan we wanted to see the totem poles at the Bight Totem State Park. Park admission is $5. Taxi cost $35 one way and excursion also was expensive. But the city bus is only $2. The bus was crowded and it takes more than a half hour to get there. Spent an hour there and caught the bus back to town. Walked around town. Ate at Alaska Fish House (3 piece sampler fish fry was terrific). Walked around Creek Street area. Found similar souvenirs that were priced higher than in Skagway and Anchorage. Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay were wonderful. Bring layers of warm clothes, and gloves. On Glacier Bay day, ship did not schedule any activities, so everyone was engaged in the glaciers. At Hubbard Glacier, people went to the shopping talk and went to enter raffles, etc. Enjoyed talk by Libby Riddles, first woman to win the Iditarod. I'd do this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
It was a bucket list item - cruise/tour Alaska. Flew into Fairbanks at 2 am. Land toured down to Whittier. Then cruised from there to Vancouver. Princess took care of us from beginning to end, even got us from and to airports and ... Read More
It was a bucket list item - cruise/tour Alaska. Flew into Fairbanks at 2 am. Land toured down to Whittier. Then cruised from there to Vancouver. Princess took care of us from beginning to end, even got us from and to airports and excursions. My wife and I really enjoyed the experience and left thinking we will do Princess again. We were in cabin D115 and it was a nice view, steady ride. The dining was great, except for the much hyped Crown Grill, where the service was very slow. Save your money and stick to traditional dining - excellent! The entertainment on the ship was great, the comic on board stood out. We went to 2 of his shows! The enrichment activities were just a little boring but still worth it. The best excursion we did by far was ziplining in Talkeetna - highly recommend! We are already thinking of our next cruisetour. Maybe British Isles/Ireland/Iceland? Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Princess is a great ship, friendly staff, Clean and Balcony view was amazing. Dining had excellent food and the Wait staff made you feel like you were family. Entertainment was great- Music and shows were top notch! Everyone we ... Read More
Princess is a great ship, friendly staff, Clean and Balcony view was amazing. Dining had excellent food and the Wait staff made you feel like you were family. Entertainment was great- Music and shows were top notch! Everyone we traveled with LOVED the entertainment. Princess is seamless with ports, shore excursions and travel. This was a long awaited trip and was worth it! We saw so much wild life I could not believe it! From our balcony we saw Killer Whales, Sea lions, Glaciers, School of Dolphins and on shore we saw Fox, Hares, tons of Moose their babies, Prairie Dog aka Breakfast Burrito, Bald Eagles... even a Porcupine! I could keep going on and on... Exceptional trip. The Princess Star even had a kids discovery center on board, I didn't travel with kids but they sure looked like they were having a great time. The only thing negative I would say is that when you would go to the seminars or book massage or other services they would try to sell/push you products... 1st time was fine but after the it got to be annoying but I assume this happens on all cruise ships. I would still give them 5 stars and do it all over again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Did land tour 3 days prior to the ship. Land tour was very busy the big event..Denali could not be seen, but a lot of other animals were seen and the scenery is breathtaking. Ship is older but everything worked fine the food was very ... Read More
Did land tour 3 days prior to the ship. Land tour was very busy the big event..Denali could not be seen, but a lot of other animals were seen and the scenery is breathtaking. Ship is older but everything worked fine the food was very good, as we all expected. The entertaiment in the theater was the singers and dancers and one man singer so nothing much but the entertainment around the ship was good, it just seemed that the entertaiment stopped too early. Casino was good to me, but the casino was pretty empty all the time, the bar at the casino had no TV, so no sports at the casino maybe this was the problem. The majority of the guests are over 55.. Room was fine and again - no towel animals, I keep expecting them, but to no avail..they are discontinued. The ports were great, July 4th in Juneau the parade was fun and entertaining. On the days at sea gong through the glacier the naturalist needed to be on the PA, heard some but not all. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Arrived in Anchorage the day before the cruise and stayed at the Voyager Inn. Went to Simon and Seafort’s restaurant for lunch. Had the ½ crab sandwich and soup which was excellent. Walked into town and decided to take the Trolley ... Read More
Arrived in Anchorage the day before the cruise and stayed at the Voyager Inn. Went to Simon and Seafort’s restaurant for lunch. Had the ½ crab sandwich and soup which was excellent. Walked into town and decided to take the Trolley City tour which was ok. Had dinner at Fletcher’s restaurant in the Captain Cook hotel located across the street from the Voyager Inn. Took the Alaska Train the next morning from Anchorage to Whittier. Very nice train ride and very scenic. Recommend train over a bus ride. A moose got on the track and the train slowed down until he cleared. Train took us right next to the Star Princess The train also took our luggage from the train to the ship. Embarkation was smooth and fast. Had lunch in the buffet which was not crowded as it seemed that the train had some of the first passengers to board. We had early dining and the meals in the main dining room were quite good. We also had one specialty meal in the steakhouse which was also good. The nightly entertainment was excellent though I was surprised they did not have a comedian for any of the shows. We got good comfortable weather in Anchorage and through out the cruise. Hubbard Glacier and Glacier National Park views were excellent. Since we had cruise credit from Princess and our travel agent, we booked all our tours thru Princess. Enjoyed all of them. In Skagway, we did the Gold Panning, 40 degree below zero and Dog Sled demo tour. It was fun and we got to hold puppies and pet the sled dogs. In Juneau, we did Glacier Gardens, Macaulay Salmon Hatchery and Mendenhall Glacier tour. Highlight was when we were at the Hatchery a Bald Eagle flew right by us. In Ketchikan, we did the George Inlet Lodge crab pot tour and crab feast. The boat stopped offshore to view an eagle nest. The boat tour operator threw some herring into the water which got the eagles to come out, cruise over the boat and pick up the fish from the water. She also later pulled up a crab pot for a demo. Lastly, we had the absolute best all you can eat dungeness crab feast. Highly recommend. The Captain when addressing the passengers was entertaining and enthusiastic. The crew throughout the ship were friendly. Only negative was that the pizzeria and ice creamery closed at 10 pm. Debarkation in Vancouver wasn’t too bad. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
First and last cruise. Casino was awful and they have not credited me for slot winnings. Casino was usually closed or very few passengers. Once, the crap table was only open on one end due to lack of dealers and players. Restrooms ... Read More
First and last cruise. Casino was awful and they have not credited me for slot winnings. Casino was usually closed or very few passengers. Once, the crap table was only open on one end due to lack of dealers and players. Restrooms were very hard to find and had a bad odor. The food was average at best. Small portions and very poorly presented. They nickel and dimes you on everything. Charged you for coffee and soft drinks. do not select Princess Cruises, very poor return for your money. Shore excursions were very expensive and short. Time in ports was very limited, usually 5 hours or so. Disembarkation in Vancouver was a zoo, with people running in every direction. The land portion was much better. Nicer rooms, better food and lots more time to see local attractions. Most of the cruise was offshore and nothing but open water to see. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was my 3rd cruise to Alsaka, amnd the second one for our friends. We had a great time, the Star Princess is a lovely ship full of great staff and top notch service. For a late September cruise we had terific weather, only one day that ... Read More
This was my 3rd cruise to Alsaka, amnd the second one for our friends. We had a great time, the Star Princess is a lovely ship full of great staff and top notch service. For a late September cruise we had terific weather, only one day that had a little of rain in the morning but cleared up by noon. It was mostly sunny and temps in the mid 60's, we couldn't have asked for better weather. I think the highlight of the cruise was the sunny day in Glaicer Bay. We flew into Anchorage 3 days before the cruise, we did a day trip of the area and visited the Anchorage museum. We booked tickets on the Alaskan Railroad from Anchorage to Whitter where we boarded the ship. Embarktion went very smooth, but it seems to rain everytime we are in Whitter so it was a mad dash from the train to the terminal. In Skagway, we took the tour to the Klondike summit. Doug was a great tour guide and a wonderful story teller. Had some fog in the morning but it gave the drive a mystical feel. In Juneau, we booked the Mt Roberts tramway but didn't use it so it was refunded, we just ran out of time. We did go to the Salmon bake with our friends, what the description doesn't really tell you is that the area is beautiful, with a waterfall and a nice little hiking trail. The food was good and the entertainment was very enjoyable. just a fun afternoon. later we explored the town for a little while, unfourtunatly we had an early departure in Juneau all aboard at 330pm. We wished we could have had a few more hours there. In Ketchikan, we got off the ship and explored town in the morning, in the afternoon we took a walking tour to creek street, Joe Williams was a wonderfull Tlingit guide. We really enjoyed this tour. Disembarkation in Vancouver was a mess, 3 ships came in to Canada place that morning it was mass chaos in the terminal. Overall a wonder vacation, with good friends. saw lots of wild life, and will do this cruise agian in a few years. With Princes of course. Dinning was very good. We tried the Crown Grille for first time. It was very good but too much to eat, we had no room to try dessert. Otherwise food on Princess is always good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We were a group of 5, 2 of which had never cruised before. Thought the ship was very nice, comfortable, no complaints. Service was all very good (from embarkation, dining, housekeeping, shore excursions, bars, shopping etc). Embarkation ... Read More
We were a group of 5, 2 of which had never cruised before. Thought the ship was very nice, comfortable, no complaints. Service was all very good (from embarkation, dining, housekeeping, shore excursions, bars, shopping etc). Embarkation was quick and our staterooms were ready by 1pm, luggage arrived a couple hours later. Disembarkation was fine, except the port of Vancouver is a chaotic nightmare unless you have a transfer pre arranged. If you are not off the ship first thing and plan independent transfers, prepare to wait up to 3 hours for a taxi. This is a fault of the port and city of Vancouver (really strange taxi laws and no Uber), not the cruise line. We didn't take in much of the entertainment (shows, comedian), but spent a few evenings in the bars listening to bands, recorded music and participating in trivia. We had anytime dining and never waited for a table and we usually dined between 6 and 7. Dining room service was very good. We were disappointed in the buffet, much of the time the food was cold and not particularly tasty. Sabitinis was amazing and well worth the additional charge. The light fare at the International Cafe is also quite good. Milkshakes by the pool were excellent. Pizza ws Ok, as well as the snack bar by the pool. Movies under the Stars was great, all curled up in blankets. Casino was fun, but I do wish it was not smoking all the time. We attended a couple of the port talks which were informative. Our excursions booked with Princess were good, albeit a little pricey. The Salmon Bake in Juneau is excellent as well as the White Pass Train ride. I would skip Jewel Garden in Skagway next time. The lunch served was terrible and really there is not much to see. Overall service on the ship was very good. There were no issues with cleanliness, our cabin was comfortable. Did not experience any plumbing issues and public washrooms were also very clean and seemed to always be in working order. We spent time (independently) pre cruise in Anchorage and Denali. Not much to do in Anchorage, but Denali was beautiful. We stayed at the Princess Wilderness Lodge. Accommodations were very comfortable. We did the 4 hour tour in Denali and I would recommend the 12 hour tour instead if you have the time. You see so much more. Also did rafting with the Denali River Rafters which was a blast. The guys are great. Drove to Talkeetna and walked around there for a bit. Also drove to Seward and Girdwood (just outside Anchorage). The tram ride at Alyeska Ski Resort is well worth it. Glacier Bay and Hubbards glacier scenic cruising was beautiful. We didn't see much of Whittier as it was very heavy rain. Skagway is really neat town, as well as Juneau. Ketchikan is also very nice. We enjoyed all the ports. Vancouver we did independently. I would love to do this trip again. The scenic cruising was amazing as were the ports. Overall a successful cruise for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My wife took four years to talk me into this cruise as we holiday in July, August which is the middle of the New Zealand winter when Auckland is a sea of mud. I like to go somewhere warm like Hawaii or Vancouver. As it turned out Alaska ... Read More
My wife took four years to talk me into this cruise as we holiday in July, August which is the middle of the New Zealand winter when Auckland is a sea of mud. I like to go somewhere warm like Hawaii or Vancouver. As it turned out Alaska was beautiful. We had perfect weather the whole trip. As far as the Star Princess was concerned I have to take my hat off to the Yanks as the organisation was first class. Every effort was made to make the holiday as enjoyable as possible. The ship was spotless and well fitted out.The crew went out of their way to be friendly and helpful. The food was incredible, even Barramundi (an Australian fresh water fish) and orange roughy (New Zealand deep water fish) on the menu. We could even get meat pies onboard. The stage shows were world class. Two or three a night or we could go to a bar and listen to a pianist singing Neil Diamond. Free pizza and ice cream each day and a selection of pastry you could put on half a kilo just looking at. The only niggle was on the two formal nights not every one made the effort to dress up. Most did but some let the side down. They should have been handed a tie to get the message across. The ship hove too for several hours so we could watch a glacier calving. The crew used a jet boat to bring a large block of ice onboard and were handing out chunks of ice to the American passengers to take home as a souvenir. I think some tried too. Overall was very impressed with the Princess line and am planning a cruise from New York to Quebec next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This is second Princess cruise to Alaska. 5 total princess plus 3 others. First cruise tour. Loved land portion. Princess lodge rooms not up to normal Princess standard. Lodges themselves are great. McKinley lodge very isolated. ... Read More
This is second Princess cruise to Alaska. 5 total princess plus 3 others. First cruise tour. Loved land portion. Princess lodge rooms not up to normal Princess standard. Lodges themselves are great. McKinley lodge very isolated. Cruise itself was let down from last Princess cruise to Med in 2012. Caribe deck cabin with large balcony is best option for balcony cabins. Room was clean, steward very attentive, on downside on other lines you get a couch without going to mini suite. Quality of food was very good. Crown Grill was as outstanding as we remembered. On the downside. Fewer choices in main dinning room than in the past. It just seems there was less there to choose from than last time. Buffet was good, but as it was cold in Alaska outdoor spaces were not good choice to sit, inside tables hard to come by at times. Hot tubs are about 98 to 100 degrees. Need to be 102 plus for Alaska. Casino had no holdem tournament which is my only casino pleasure. All in all good cruise ( never had bad cruise). Have pre booked another Princess cruise but may investigate Celebity next time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Working in the service industry I expect much in the way of customer service and i simply wanted to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to Princess Cruises Star Princess. It was very apparent that the team on this ship work ... Read More
Working in the service industry I expect much in the way of customer service and i simply wanted to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to Princess Cruises Star Princess. It was very apparent that the team on this ship work tirelessly to ensure the very best customer experience is had by all. The Captain was amazing and everyone really enjoyed his great sense of humour. Captain Michael always made a point of coming and speaking to his guests and always finished his messages off with a "bye bye" that was mimicked by guests and staff alike. You could tell how well regarded he was by his team and of course us as his guests on his ship. Our wait staff, our steward in fact every person we had the pleasure of being in contact with were simply delightful and very passionate about what the do. Princess Cruises, you are a shining example to the service industry and a huge congratulations on a job well done. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We had been planning for this cruise for over a year as part of our 40th anniversary celebration. This was our 3rd cruise and overall the experience, both on the land and sea portions, were generally positive. The wait staff on the ship ... Read More
We had been planning for this cruise for over a year as part of our 40th anniversary celebration. This was our 3rd cruise and overall the experience, both on the land and sea portions, were generally positive. The wait staff on the ship was exceptional. They couldn't do enough for you. The captain was very engaging and funny and made an extrordinary effort to steer the ship close to the glaciers, which were spectacular. He also made sure that both the port and starboard sides of the ship had a chance to see these magnificent jewels of nature. Our stateroom, a balcony, was comfortable, with plenty of room for our clothes and other items. The entertainment on the ship was good, if not spectacular. Especially enjoyed Steve, the comedian, who really engaged the audience and had everyone howling with laughter. It was nice to see a comedian who didn't have to use crude or off colored jokes to make us laugh. Also a shout out for all of the national park staff who came aboard the ship and helped up understand all of the beauties of Alaska. They were outstanding, and we learned quite a bit about this last frontier. The only downside of the cruise portion was the food, which we thought was about the same as the two previous cruises we had taken. We believed that Princess was a step up from Royal Caribbean and Carnival, but the food was about the same. Not bad, but not exceptional either. I think we enjoyed the land portion of the experience just as much if not more than the cruise portion. The 8 hr train ride from Denali Princess to Whittier was unbelievable. The scenery, especially the first 2 hours, was gorgeous. I would have preferred if our guide would have talked less and let us just soak in the panoramic views. We also took a plane ride over a glacier from Talkatneeta, which was a once in a lifetime experience. We also got to see close up humpback wales and bald eagles on an excursion from Ketchikan on a rubber raft to a small rain forest island park. Overall we really enjoyed ourselves, and in this 2-week adventure built a lifetime of wonderful memories. . Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I chose this cruise for the stops and the fact that it was a southbound cruise and the dates fit into my calendar. It was a great cruise. We did have a hiccup and were not able to dock in Skagway due to a rock/mud slide at the port. ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the stops and the fact that it was a southbound cruise and the dates fit into my calendar. It was a great cruise. We did have a hiccup and were not able to dock in Skagway due to a rock/mud slide at the port. Instead we docked at Haines. while disappointing, it was not the cruise company's fault. At least we got to dock and were able to take a water ferry to Skagway and complete our tour. Fortunately I had booked a private tour that was accommodating. The staff on the ship were awesome--they wait on you hand and foot and you never have to wait for anything! (except the elevators). We had a great balcony room. As others have commented, the ship does need to be refurbished in places, but overall, we were very happy with the cruise and Princess. We booked all our excursions outside of the Princess ones so can't comment on that. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I have wanted to cruise Alaska for a while and this cruise was arranged for us after a fortnight in an RV touring the Canadian Rockies. The flight from Vancouver to Anchorage, hotel and train were all arranged through Princess and went ... Read More
I have wanted to cruise Alaska for a while and this cruise was arranged for us after a fortnight in an RV touring the Canadian Rockies. The flight from Vancouver to Anchorage, hotel and train were all arranged through Princess and went smoothly. We were first to arrive at Whittier and had to wait for check-in to open so were quickly on board and luggage delivered quickly. Our first impressions of the ship were good - loved the elegant decor (not glitzy). We had an outside obstructed view but could see over the lifeboat and when we were at the glaciers we went out on deck. Found the bed to be very comfortable and although the bathroom had a few shabby areas, overall not as bad as I expected having read earlier reviews. We ate in the Portofino dining room each night and mostly the food was good. Husband had fish one night which was a little dry and a slightly chewy steak but generally it was okay (only got petit fours one night - another cutback?) Captain Micele Tuvo was great and really added to the cruise with his friendly banter and informative messages including when he woke us all at 5 am so we could see the Northern Lights. He got the ship as close as possible to the glaciers and we were the first cruise ship this year to see the John Hopkins Glacier. Our first port of call was meant to be Skagway but we woke up to find ourselves in Haines due to a landslide damaging the pier. The Shore Excursion staff had a lot of work that morning and we had to replay our day but it worked out wel for us. We had a walk around Haines which is a lovely local town (not touristy) and the local shopkeepers were pleased to see us, very friendly and welcoming. We were going to go on the White Pass Railway but ended up going to the wildlife sanctuary which was very interesting and we saw bears in the river on the way there and back (saw one catch a fish!). In Juneau we went on the helicopter trip to Mendenhall Glacier. We were lucky to be a small group of 4 and the only ones at the glacier which was great. Really go the feel of the size of the glacier actually flying over it and then walking around. This was followed by the salmon bake which was ok. Our final port of call was Ketchikan were we walked around the town, saw a lot of salmon in the spawning area and a young elk which was lurking behind some parked cars! The final day at sea was a beautiful sunny day and we spent the day out on deck whilst cruising through the Inside Passage with Captain Tuvo alerting us when whales or dolphins were around. The cruise director, J C, was one of the best we have come across. We enjoyed the shows we saw and the comedian was very funny. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We wanted to see Alaska for quite some time and booked this trip with our friends from central NY. We began the land portion of our trip about 4 days earlier than the cruise. We stayed at three different Princess Lodges, Fairbanks, ... Read More
We wanted to see Alaska for quite some time and booked this trip with our friends from central NY. We began the land portion of our trip about 4 days earlier than the cruise. We stayed at three different Princess Lodges, Fairbanks, Denali, and Mt. McKinley. The latter two were excellent, but the Fairbanks Lodge was just average. We went on a steamboat in Fairbanks...really nice, that was included. It brought us along the Chena River. Next in Denali we did a covered wagon excursion and an included Denali National Park tour. Both were nice, but the covered wagon tour was a little different than we expected. They also offered for rent 4 wheelers, which at some points were on the same path. The noise from them I am sure scared off some of the wildlife and we did not see any. As far as the Star Princess embarkation a big thumbs down from both couples! We were running late as our train arrived just 25 minutes before the scheduled departure. We are in our early to mid 60's and my wife was separated from me at the ramp. I was told to go to the other ramp, even though I said that is my wife. No reason offered for splitting us up. He just did it. He said to me...you go that way. He did the same thing to the other couple...our friends. Very odd to split us up and really not very nice. Complained on ship next day in comment section, and also on the post cruise survey. No response from Princess on either. No one was behind us as we got onto the ramps. All I would have wanted was some logical reason way this was done. Only bad part of the trip! As I mentioned in the title, everything else was top notch. Our room, the staff/crew on the ship, meals, and the Itinerary of our ships ports and glacier viewing were all great. Our Captain Michele Tuvo was extremely friendly and seen all around the ship, stopping by to say hello...and "Bye Bye"! (his trademark sign off for every time he ended speaking) We saw several shows, including an excellent comedian, and a show involving the staff at a food demonstration that including singing and a dance skit. All top notch and very enjoyable. The casino for the four of us was boring. The slots that they had were very limited and specific. If you like variations of Keno games (which we all do), you only find a straight keno game....no excitement! We all love casinos (Vegas, Atlantic City, Native Indian, and other cruise ships) spending many hours playing and having fun. I don't think we spent more than two hours total in this one. Really being honest about having heard a couple of times, other people saying similar things as we were riding on an elevator. We did choose an inside cabin as they were much more affordable. Honestly we did not miss having an outside view or balcony on this trip. The cost of wifi is somewhat high, but there is another option for text messaging. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I've always heard that the land tour and cruise are the best for seeing Alaska and that Princess was the first line there. So I decided to book directly through Princess and it was a cluster from day one. The booking agent was ... Read More
I've always heard that the land tour and cruise are the best for seeing Alaska and that Princess was the first line there. So I decided to book directly through Princess and it was a cluster from day one. The booking agent was incompetent. Supervisors are rude and inconsiderate. The ship is old and decrepit. But I must admit the food was above average and the entertainment was decent. Under no circumstances would I ever recommend Princess. The service on board the vessel was mediocre at best – waitstaff are rude and many of the stewards are arrogant. Trip itself was great. We sailed Princess once before and the food was below average, and the ship workers were unfriendly. We thought it was a fluke. It is a systemic problem with Princess. But for my great assistant helping to fix all the travel problems with airlines booked through Princess, we never would've made it and there were five of us traveling. I went all the way to the top of the food chain of customer service and was treated without any courtesy or respect. I am no longer an investor in this cruise line and I will only sail celebrity, Royal Caribbean, or Holland America. I will never recommend Princess to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
enjoyed talk on iditarod...enjoyed the captain's cocktail hour....enjoyed the classical music trio....our first glacier sighting was a wash due to weather...too bad we couldn't have gone closer...other glacier encounters were ... Read More
enjoyed talk on iditarod...enjoyed the captain's cocktail hour....enjoyed the classical music trio....our first glacier sighting was a wash due to weather...too bad we couldn't have gone closer...other glacier encounters were great...especially in the glacier bay national park; cruising there was great....we did a great float plane excursion in ketchikan to visit the anan wilderness area...highly recommend this tour..(not a princess tour, but rather through family air in ketchikan). we like to dance, but rock and roll night with the crew director and his staff is a complete waste...don't know why they feel compelled to do this.....completely wastes one night with the band....enjoyed happy hour in the far rear nightclub....very smooth embarkation experience, were in our room with our luggage within one half hour......disembarking was equally easy......princess isn't the best at everything but they are good value for the money..would be helpful if their shipboard wifi was better, doesn't always work great in your room Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
After looking at the various brochures and excursions, I felt confident Princess Cruises would be the best choice. The pictures showed the wildlife in Denali National Park as plentiful and when I experienced Denali National Park by Tour ... Read More
After looking at the various brochures and excursions, I felt confident Princess Cruises would be the best choice. The pictures showed the wildlife in Denali National Park as plentiful and when I experienced Denali National Park by Tour Bus, we didn't see much of anything. Very disappointed by this, the 10th day of my 11 day Alaska Package with Princess Cruises, I finally seen some of the wildlife I was looking forward to see. This was an excursion in Ketchikan, AK. The cruise's entertainment was very poor. I walked out on most shows and entertainment. I compare this with Holland American and Norwegian cruises I have taken in the past. Those shows were perfection compared to the Las Vegas type entertainment. I don't know where Princess Cruises' entertainment coordinator was when they ended up with the entertainment on this cruise. I found many times to be bored to tears whereas the other cruises kept me so busy and entertained, I didn't have time to sleep. The food, especially the buffet, were a disappointment. What happened to the midnight buffet and the ice carvings? This last cruise with Princess had one buffet open and I visited 2 days into the cruise for lunch. It was not visually appealing and appetizing. It looked like an inexpensive buffet you'd find in any city. Nothing special. The dining experience was good as long as you had assigned seating. The dining room had good quality food for the most part, but there were times I had to reject the food due to it being undercooked or bad taste. I'm not a picky eater so it must have been bad! The embarkation was poorly coordinated. Princess Cruises released me off the ship too late and missed my flight from Vancouver to Seattle and then to Phoenix. To top that off Alaska Air had a 4 hour delayed flight I was on again missing my connection and luggage. Alaska Air treated me very nice, compensated my inconvenience with a discounted ticket for future travel, and never charged me for rebooking due to Princess Cruises lack of getting me off the ship in time for my flight. Allow 4 hours at the airport when going through customs...that's what I was later told at the airport. I was told by my Trip Advisor at Princess Cruises to complain to Customer Service. I wrote them an e-mail (address provided by my Trip Advisor) 3 weeks ago and I have not heard a word back from them. They have terrible service all the way around. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I had traveled with Tauck Tours in Europe and choose their land and sea cruise to Alaska. I was nervous about the Princess Cruise, but Tauck sent me assurances Tauck guest would me "a group on its own" for the most part." ... Read More
I had traveled with Tauck Tours in Europe and choose their land and sea cruise to Alaska. I was nervous about the Princess Cruise, but Tauck sent me assurances Tauck guest would me "a group on its own" for the most part." Of our 39 guests, I imagine 70-80% came back sick with a cough and sneezes. 100% of our group of 4 came home sick. We returned to Vancouver last July 1 and I have been sick for 11 days. My husband is also sick. I never saw anyone cleaning the railing or elevators. Princess turned the "Any-Time dining room" into a Flee market - $10 Chinese made items - twice during our 3 days at sea!!! The muster drill was a joke. We had to walk down 5 flights of stair to an interior corridor. I wouldn't know how to get off the ship. After a hour of muddling around inefficiently, we were told to follow the crew if there was an emergency. If you love being sick, if you love terrible food, and you love to buy key chains and purses from China (don't worry, they also set up tables though-out the ship) and be bothered by having at least 6 pictures of each of the 2800 passengers taken, this is the cruise for you. I recommend, before you go, to schedule a doctor's appointment for a day or two after you return home. Or call the CDC. You will be sick. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our second cruise to Alaska. This time we wanted to do the land tour to Denali. We choose to again cruise with Princess. The Star Princess was wonderful and so was our land tour. Princess is very organized and all the staff ... Read More
This was our second cruise to Alaska. This time we wanted to do the land tour to Denali. We choose to again cruise with Princess. The Star Princess was wonderful and so was our land tour. Princess is very organized and all the staff very friendly and helpful. Every staff member we passed always greeted us with a smile or a "Hello, have a good day". Our balcony cabin on the Aloha Aft Deck was quiet. Our cabin was very clean as was the whole ship. Our only complaint was we noticed the carpet is showing wear in our cabin. In fact we did not hear any complaints from other guests we met. The food was very good on the Star. This was our first time doing Anytime Dining and we never had to wait to be seated at dinner. The shows were very good and the theatre was packed nightly. We had 2 shore excursions and both were small group sizes, traveling in a van. Our guides were good and provided entertaining information. They always stop or slow down when wildlife is sighted. The 4 day land tour was amazing. We had excellent service from Princess. They had plenty of staff to keep us all organized and informed on our travels between the McKinley Princess and Denali Wilderness Princess. The 9 hour train ride back to Whittier went surprisingly fast. The train was very comfortable and we enjoyed going down stairs to eat lunch in the dining car. We also took advantage of the outdoor area on the train. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was the Alaskan cruise we had been talking about taking for some time. First a 7 day cruise tour and then the cruise. Land tour was great except for too many long bus rides. Every day or every other day we were getting up very early ... Read More
This was the Alaskan cruise we had been talking about taking for some time. First a 7 day cruise tour and then the cruise. Land tour was great except for too many long bus rides. Every day or every other day we were getting up very early to put the luggage out and get on the bus. The scenery was great. Got to the ship only to be told that we couldn't fly home from Vancouver because we had passport cards and not our actual passports. Everything including air was booked through Princess. Nobody ever told us to bring passports and when booking, they asked for our passport card number. Took four days for them to finally change our departing flight to Seattle. We were told that a refund would be coming but haven't seen it yet. Star is the same ship we were on in the Mediterranean 10 years ago. Looks about the same to us. The employees were great. The food had its ups and downs. My wife believes it's due to the limited ports available for re-stocking. The shorts ribs could not be cut, most of the food was very under-seasoned, the beef wellington was pretty good, and the crab legs were good. The shrimp cocktails were similar to the smallest and cheapest shrimp you could buy in a grocery store. Desserts were all very good. Bring your own bottled water as they want $2.50 for a 16 oz bottle of water. The magician was good as was the variety dance show. The casino is tight. We didn't see hardly anyone winning. We chose anytime dinning which worked out well. After the first night with an efficient but unsociable waiter we switched dining rooms and ended up with Nicholas, who was fantastic. If you did not set up excursions with the ship you could buy them on land. Some had flexibility in their pricing. Most of the towns were tourist traps. We did not buy a meal package on the land tour and quickly discovered that almost all of the meals ended up being $30+ for two people. We ended up with a wildlife tour in Ketchikan that was not worth $65. Never tried the hamburgers but heard they were pretty good. The pizza was pretty good. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Star Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.7
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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