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Sail Date: August 2019
Ok so my grandparents took me on this cruise ship and I wasn’t so sure if it would be a good experience. Legitimately right as we stepped foot on the ship we were greeted by so many polite staff members. This one man, John who was the ... Read More
Ok so my grandparents took me on this cruise ship and I wasn’t so sure if it would be a good experience. Legitimately right as we stepped foot on the ship we were greeted by so many polite staff members. This one man, John who was the person that cleaned our room, did a phenomenal job at socializing with me, answering questions I had about his experience and the awesome things that I would do, and also making the cabin super clean and cozy. He really made me feel at home and it really shows how awesome the staff are on this ship. That’s just one crew member out of a thousand. A fantastic part of the cruise in my opinion as a teenager was the all you can eat ice cream that was worked by very kind and patient women who by the end of the trip knew my order when they saw me walking up to them. Continuing the food topic, the buffet serves breakfast which was filled with a huge variety of delicious foods like Belgian waffles, pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, cereal, and lots of fancy stuff that I don’t remember the names of. Then when it was time for lunch the buffet would always surprise us with different things every single day. Now I know what your thinking, maybe all you can eat food that you can have any time you want, might not be your favorite, which is why I’d like to inform you that they had a pizza place where they hand made pizza of your choice and an area where you can order a burger with some fries. Moving to dinner, there was several places we could go to eat that all had amazing food and awesome waiters and waitress. I can’t remember his name, but this one waiter did magic tricks which entertained my family as we ate delicious food. I’m going to save the dessert for you to explore for yourself, but all I want to say Is that you should order the chocolate journey dessert because it tasted better than my words could describe it. Aside from eating tons of food, I would go to one of the pools. To be honest, I’m not sure how many there were, but it felt like a lot. I’d also go to the teen room which was an area I could socialize with other teens which helped me to have a gooOoOoooOD Time! I’d also go to the magic acts, and the comedian shows which were both totally awesome. There was also a “The Voice” competition that was held where people would sing and try to win the grand prize, which was fantastic to say the least. My dad actually made it into the finals and sang “The Summer of 69” by Bryan Adams which had the crowd cheering which was kind of weird to be experiencing as his son. There was also a game called The High Seas Heist which was basically a huge game of clue that you really needed to use brain power to figure it out. We also made 3 stops and a tour on the boat where we watched parts of glaciers fall off and make huge splashed which amazed everyone. We also did whale watching which required lots of patience, but ended up being so beautiful to see. One minor detail that I realized would be the maps that were placed around everywhere which helped me a lot when trying to find my way around. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I walked into the cruise ship expecting nothing to be fun for me, but walked out literally hugging and high-fiving the crew because of how much enjoyment they gave me. This ship has made me into a new person and I can’t wait to go back for another cruise very soon! Thanks for reading this through, make sure to have a Goooood Time! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Alaska was beautiful and I highly recommend going there. However, I do not recommend the Gold Princess boat. We have previously cruised with Carnival before and had a much better experience than we did with Princess. All of the issues were ... Read More
Alaska was beautiful and I highly recommend going there. However, I do not recommend the Gold Princess boat. We have previously cruised with Carnival before and had a much better experience than we did with Princess. All of the issues were minor but collectively did not leave a great impression of princess. Here are some issues: -wanted to change our dinner seats so we would be with the people we traveled with. Staff informed us this should be very easy since their table was not full. The line to see the Maitre'D was not long but moved incredible slow and the Maitre'D was not very friendly. It seemed like we were inconveniencing him with a simple request. -Buffet required you to wash your hands before hand, which is very good, but they only had two sink at each entrance so during busy meal times there was always a line to get into the buffet -Spa service was poor. I tried to book a pedicure with the person I was travelling with and we were told it was full so the other lady opted for a manicure. Once there the second pedicure chair was empty the whole time. I found my lady was judgmental and the polish was wrecked the next day, thankfully they did fix this with no issue. -On board entertainment was bad and not many options available. -We were told one of the days would be "scenic cruising" to the College Fjord but we weren't scheduled to get there until the evening so it was really more of a a sea day. We didn't actually end up getting to the College Fjord due to weather. I understand the boat cannot control this but no other on board activities were provided to fill the time. -Room staff were friendly but they missed taking out some used dishes on a few occasions. On a positive, food was delicious, room/bed were very nice, excursions were great and it was a great trip as Alaska was wonderful to see. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
To celebrate our 50th anniversary. Recommend by our travel agent. I had heard that Princess was a great cruise. The entertainment was awesome. The quality of entertainment was very surprising. Great crew and staff. We liked the voice of ... Read More
To celebrate our 50th anniversary. Recommend by our travel agent. I had heard that Princess was a great cruise. The entertainment was awesome. The quality of entertainment was very surprising. Great crew and staff. We liked the voice of the ocean and the games played in the lounges. The cuisine was out of this world. I tried so many new and different foods. The staff was so polite and accommodating. Our stateroom was always clean and well cared for. The bartenders were very friendly and knew how to make anything. Our vow renewal of 50 years was the highlight of our trip. The special discounts and gifts we received for our anniversary were very nice and in expected. What an awesome way to celebrate 50 years of marriage. Thanks Princess for all the wonderful memories of our first cruise. You and your staff know how to treat people and create memories Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This cruise afforded us the opportunity to see the wonders of nature in a relaxing and fun filled way. The service was great. The food was good and the portions were perfect size so that you were able to have all three courses and not ... Read More
This cruise afforded us the opportunity to see the wonders of nature in a relaxing and fun filled way. The service was great. The food was good and the portions were perfect size so that you were able to have all three courses and not feel overly stuffed. Entertainment was funny and had good variety. Drinks were well made. Gym and spa were good. Steakhouse Crown Grill was fabulous. The naturalists on board were very informative about the glaciers and sightings wild life . The ship just hung out and circled about while by the glaciers so that you could see the calving from either side of the ship. Awesome and beautiful. The entire inside passage was extremely calm sailing so that you didn’t even feel like you were on a boat . You could see whales and sea otters from the deck at various times . Very casual in clothing dress on ship and land!! Excellent especially for a first cruise. All of the Princess excursions were excellent . The entire Princess operation is well organized and executed without a hitch in transportation , luggage etc. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
I chose Princess Cruises based on the strength of the cruiseline's reputation and the many glowing recommendations of my travel agent and friends. I was incredibly disappointed in the land portion (7 days) of our Cruisetour that ... Read More
I chose Princess Cruises based on the strength of the cruiseline's reputation and the many glowing recommendations of my travel agent and friends. I was incredibly disappointed in the land portion (7 days) of our Cruisetour that preceded the actual cruise which probably set us up for a disappointing experience on the ship. Princess has been doing this a long time and this shows in the seamless embarkation, disembarkation, and handling of our luggage. These things went extremely well. However, so many other things that COULD have gone well didn't... and I attribute this to the volume of business Princess handles. The excursions staff are poorly trained and so when things don't go as planned, no one knows how to handle the situation. Missing buses, mis-handled excursions, and incorrect billing are all things that happen... but they also need to be remedied and not addressed with a shoulder shrug. Amenities should also be as advertised. The "Fun Zone" was closed on the ship, the video arcade removed, and the space where Princess Links was supposed to be located was nothing more than some old astro turf with a few cup holes. Kid-friendly really means "kid-tolerant" as there was nothing for my young boys to actually do that was age appropriate aside from parking them at the Kids Club. (Needless to say, they aren't anxious to cruise with Princess again although we might be able to get them on a Disney ship.) NOTE: I spent a lot of time walking around the ship to entertain my boys and our favorite game became spot the broken stuff. The busted and missing railings count was up to 7 when I disembarked. As for the food. I don't understand why so many people rave about it. The Horizon buffet is mediocre and there is so much sodium in the food, it make me feel sick. We had dinner at the Crown Grill which was delicious (which should be with the extra charge!), but our celebratory Wedding Dinner at Sabatini's could have been bested by The Olive Garden. Our main courses were simply inedible, overcooked to the point where we couldn't even cut the shrimp. The special Crab Shack night was fun, but definitely not worth the $29 cover charge per person. Fortunately we tried Donatello's and it proved to be the best choice; so we dined well here for the remainder of the week. What did got well was the attentive service by staff in the bars and restaurants. These members of the staff work incredibly long hours and they make an effort to ensure the passengers are having a good experience. The same can be said for the Steward who cared for our suite. There were plenty of entertainment choices for the varied tastes of my family members (Bingo and the game show style events were our favorites), but the Lotus Spa (which I really looked forward to) was a bit of a disappointment. Services were of average quality (mani/pedi, massages, facial, blow out, and a shave were all had by my family) for premium prices which was expected, but the hard sell of products by the staff was extremely distasteful. The adjoining Fitness Center was also a bit of disappointment as hygiene wasn't a concern. I showed up for the yoga class which was held in the same area as spin class... and the instructor didn't even pretend to clean the gross floor before rolling out a bunch of dirty mats for the passengers. I have never felt so ripped off for the $17 I spent for the class. If you have read my review and gotten to this point, I do want to say that a lot of people around us LOVED the cruise. I can see how a lot of people wouldn't have cared about any of the things I mentioned. If you don't have young children, have low expectations for the quality of your meals, and just want to be on a floating hotel where you can drink, be entertained, and see some sights in Alaska, then a Princess cruise IS for you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Our first time on Princess in 24 cruises. Quite pleased with the condition of this older ship. Well maintained, though the decor is a little dated. 2400 passengers is just about the perfect size. We never found it to be crowded anywhere ... Read More
Our first time on Princess in 24 cruises. Quite pleased with the condition of this older ship. Well maintained, though the decor is a little dated. 2400 passengers is just about the perfect size. We never found it to be crowded anywhere and there was seldom any lines to wait in. The crew were very polite and appeared to be having an enjoyable time with the passengers and with one another. I would prefer self-serve ice cream and more free drink options at breakfast and dinner. The food quality and taste were good, but not over the top. Service was awesome! The cruise director is Awesome! It's the perfect ship for glacier viewing, and that is why we chose it in the first place. Lots of "railing space". Not a lot of activities if you bring along the teenagers (ie. there are no slides, mini-golf, etc.) We will definetly cruise with Princess in the future! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Our first 'real' cruise. Took Carnival 'booze cruise' to Ensenada years ago (hated it) and swore off cruises forever...until some friends talked us into joining the on this Princess cruise to Alaska. SO GLAD WE DID! ... Read More
Our first 'real' cruise. Took Carnival 'booze cruise' to Ensenada years ago (hated it) and swore off cruises forever...until some friends talked us into joining the on this Princess cruise to Alaska. SO GLAD WE DID! Our mini-suite was comfortable and clean. Loved the balcony, especially when we were viewing the glaciers and fjords during the inside passage. Naturalist narration from the bridge was a highlight for sure. Ship itself is a little dated but well maintained. Food was okay. Do pay upcharge and go to Sabatini's - the best meal on board. Excursion out of Skagway - Heli-Hike-Rail Adventure was pricey and worth every cent. Fitness Center was okay. Some equipment was not functioning but most was. They allow kids in the gym, but WHY? Please, people, children Do NOT belong in the fitness center. Also, they give 'seminars' in the gym and the presenters remarks are BLASTING LOUD. Otherwise, ship is well-run and staff, for the most part, very accommodating and friendly. But Alaska is the star of the show. We now understand why people return and hope we will, too. Embarking/Disembarking very smooth. You will love this cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise was definitely a step up...in food, in service, and in our destinations. We LOVED going to Hubbard Glacier AND Glacier Bay. We were thrilled as we saw whales galore on our Whale Watching tour, and we loved the train at Skagway. ... Read More
This cruise was definitely a step up...in food, in service, and in our destinations. We LOVED going to Hubbard Glacier AND Glacier Bay. We were thrilled as we saw whales galore on our Whale Watching tour, and we loved the train at Skagway. Our outside cabin was arranged differently, and better we felt, than any other cabin we have been in. This is our 4th cruise, and we definitely felt more pampered on this cruise, and that the staff was super happy to be doing their jobs. Ok, specifically, the food now, and the service that went with it. So our first experience eating was at the buffet, and it was wonderful because everyone needed to wash their hands before going to the buffet...great move! Then the waiter's even took our drink orders and put our napkins on our laps if you wanted them to, at the buffet! So you can imagine how awesome the dinners were...the service was 1st rate. And the food was seriously as good as it possibly could get! Great variety each night, and the way the food was presented, and tasted, we could have been at any of the best restaurants in the world. Loved, loved, loved this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Had done it before and was told Princess was the best for Alaska Enjoy the food in the main dining room Loved hearing the speaker who told us what to see Comfortable room balcony allowed us to se sights, had tv on for sound ... Read More
Had done it before and was told Princess was the best for Alaska Enjoy the food in the main dining room Loved hearing the speaker who told us what to see Comfortable room balcony allowed us to se sights, had tv on for sound Food was much better in dining room than buffet The arrangements by Princess for the trip and to danelli was excellent No problems luggage always arrived ! Alaska is a beautiful country and a must see Did not like that Princess was always selling Also raising the gratitudes after zi had paid in full I felt was a poor business decision and left a bad feeling as to how u operate Also always talking about r review I think I said enough and am running out of words to fill this Sail away and to think that aladkahas 4 months of tourists decencing upon it Loved hearing how people lived there Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My husband chose this trip to Alaska as a birthday surprise for me. Since, I have always wanted to visit Alaska and my favorite way to travel is via cruise, this created a trip of a lifetime. What an AMAZING surprise!!! The Golden ... Read More
My husband chose this trip to Alaska as a birthday surprise for me. Since, I have always wanted to visit Alaska and my favorite way to travel is via cruise, this created a trip of a lifetime. What an AMAZING surprise!!! The Golden princess provided a home away from home with elegant to causal dining with meals made for royalty and decadent desserts. They even put into consideration my allergies to shellfish and gluten. For folks doing Keto, they even have decadent sugar-free desserts. Everyone working on the ship treats you like royalty too. They truly know just how to make you feel special. The bed we both agree was heavenly. The only thing that we would've done differently was to book a room with a balcony. If we had had a room with a balcony then it would have made viewing the glaciers more pleasant, from the room instead of on the cold outer decks. Once again, the staff took care of us with warm blankets to get wrapped up in and hot specialty drinks. Every night after dinner there was a show, either musical or a comedian. To make a long story short, our stay aboard the Golden Princess made for a tearful goodbye on disembarking. Thanks Princess for making our journey to Alaska a memorable time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our very first Princess cruise So I will begin with a positive: -Embarkation and Disembarkation was so organized it was joke compared to carnival. -The views were amazing, breath taking and worth every moment you spend ... Read More
This was our very first Princess cruise So I will begin with a positive: -Embarkation and Disembarkation was so organized it was joke compared to carnival. -The views were amazing, breath taking and worth every moment you spend with the ones you love. Truly a dream vacation come true. -The mini-suites are roomy and the beds are so comfortable (soft). If you like firm your in trouble. -Entertainment was a hit or miss, one comedian was ok and our second one was awful. June our Steward was so nice and sweet. -Hazel Alfonso which works at the bar (Promenade Lounge & Bar) is by far the most amazing person. She is by far the best bar tender I have every had and she is the only reason I would go on another cruise with Princess again if I had to. -Crown Steak house was well worth the price which was really not much, my steak was perfectly cooked and the staff was excellent So the Negatives: -On the Dolphin deck around room 400 to 500 there is a horrible smell of mold. -The Dining room food for the most part was freaking horrible, we had one good night out of 7. The breakfast was so bad I had the eggs benedict and the sauce was lumpy and tasted bad/old. The breakfast in the dining room made toilet sick so I only went that one time. _The Buffet was the worst food I have ever had on a cruise ship. -We never got to do any activities like pool, ping-pong, shuffle board, you would think on a ship this big they would have more than one shuffle board game. My wife got sick on Tuesday, head/sinus infection and is now walking phenomena. On the 6th day of the trip the crow grill opened for lunch for free and I heard they had the best burgers so I waited in line alone, when I got to the hostess, I ask for a couple burgers to go so I could bring one to my sick wife. I was rudely told no, that was not going to happen. I explained that my wife was sick and I asked if they would like me to get her out of bed so she could get everyone on the ship sick. He said we will not give you a burger to go and I needed to go to the buffet. There were several people in line that told him, we don't want to get sick just give her a burger on a plate man. He still refused and then became very rude. These people on this ship are not accommodating in any way shape or form. I will never go on another Princess cruise even if it is free. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This is a review of the cruise portion of my Tauck Grand Alaska Journey. The tour was 7 days on land, and 7-days on sea aboard the Golden Princess. This is different than my typical cruise review, because my experience was unique to being ... Read More
This is a review of the cruise portion of my Tauck Grand Alaska Journey. The tour was 7 days on land, and 7-days on sea aboard the Golden Princess. This is different than my typical cruise review, because my experience was unique to being on a Tauck tour, even on the ship. We had pre-reserved cabins. We did our own shore excursions as a group. We had private receptions on the ship. We had 2 pre-arranged dinners as a group at the Specialty Restaurants (Crown Grill, Sabatini’s Trattoria). We sat as a group at 2 of the Anytime Dining restaurants. We were free to eat where we wanted at any time. We got the beverage package. Because of illness I caught on the bus portion of my tour, I did not spend as much time enjoying all the shipboard amenities as I usually do. I did attend 2 of the Production Shows in the Princess Theatre. The singing and dancing were very good. I enjoyed the comedian Ken Boyd in the Vista Lounge. I liked the Bohemia Duo, especially when they played classical and contemporary melodies in the Piazza. I thought the selection of Movies Under the Stars on the big screen on the Lido deck was too limited. On a previous Princess cruise (on a larger ship), there was a dedicated movie channel on the TV in the cabin, and you could select the movie to watch. On this ship, pre-selected movies were shown. It was not possible to get a schedule of movies throughout the day. This is likely just another example of old technology on this older Princess ship. On my previous cruise, I learned about the Princess@Sea communications on the ship, which I came to appreciate. You turned on Wi-Fi on your phone or other device (and turned it to airplane mode, so there would be no cellular roaming charges), connected to the Golden Princess network, entered the web address “golden.princess.com”, created an account, and you were in. You can view the daily itinerary (instead of carrying the Princess Patter around with you) and locate where on the ship each activity is taking place at. You can get information on shore excursions. You can send a text message to another passenger who has set up an account. The service is free, because you only need to use free, local Wi-Fi on the ship. There are no cellular charges. You can also use the app to view Onboard Deals, Future Cruise Deposits, General Information, and Locations, Hours & More (for lounges, restaurants, etc.) However, implementation of Princess@Sea on the Golden Princess was disappointing. I suspect the technology was a challenge on an older ship like the Golden Princess. Many times, the ship Wi-Fi would be down, and you could not access the daily itinerary. To text another guest on the ship, you needed their Customer ID. Unlike on my previous Royal Princess cruise, you could not search by first or last name. You’d have to go to the person and ask him/her for their Customer ID which was generated when an account was created, which you could enter in your contacts, so you could find their name to text to. This was a nuisance and probably resulted in much less use of the app. Also, unlike on my previous Princess cruise, you could not view your stateroom charges. You had to visit the Guest Services desk in person. I was very disappointed in the app. My wife and I had a mini-suite on Dolphin deck (Deck 9, Cabin D608). There was storage space scattered throughout the cabin, including 2 drawers in the nightstand on each side of the bed. The room had a spacious sitting area with a sofa and second TV. There was an in-room refrigerator and safe. However, the layout of the rest of the room was cramped. One person could easily slide a suitcase under the bed. The other person had to repeatedly maneuver the suitcase in a 2-foot area between the bed and the cabin wall to get the suitcase out. The spacious closet was by a large set of storage shelves and the bathroom. It was a cramped space. You could not access the shelves (and safe) or the closet, while someone was trying to get in and out of the bathroom. This is just poor design, and may have been considered acceptable when the Golden Princess was first cruising. Other more modern ships do not have this configuration issue. The queen bed was comfortable, but had a very thick comforter. If you didn’t turn down the temperature in the room at night to at least “cold”—both thermostats—then you would get too hot under the comforter. The bathroom was spacious. There were pump bottles in the combination shower/tub—one for shower gel, and one for combined shampoo/conditioner. You might want to consider bringing your own conditioner. A bar of soap was provided in the bathroom. There were storage shelves above and below the long vanity. There was an outdoor balcony, but it was not covered. I had not thought to check that when I selected the room. I just assumed that all balconies had a ceiling so you could sit outside if it was raining, and you would have some protection from the sun. But, no. You could see cabins several decks above you, and been seen on your balcony from those cabins. The room steward Joao did an excellent job keeping the room clean. He even brought ice daily for the ice bucket. I found the breakfast area on the Lido deck, Horizon Court, to be on the small side (compared to other ships I’ve been on). There was often a line to get eggs, French Toast, bacon, sausage, etc. in the morning. I never ate at one of the dining rooms for breakfast. The food, even in the specialty restaurants, was OK, not great. Some entrees I found to be very salty. There were adequate selections on the dinner menus. Some of the desserts, including the Baked Alaska, were very tasty. The best margarita on the ship was the “24K Margarita” at the Wheelhouse Bar. Instead of salt, you could get sugar on the rim. One advantage of the ship was its somewhat smaller size compared to other cruise ships. It was small enough to get into the narrow fjords in Glacier Bay, which was a definite advantage. I enjoyed the onboard narration during scenic cruising in Glacier Bay National Park and the Inside Passage. You could turn on the TV in your cabin (to either channel 36 or 37) and hear the narration. If you didn’t have a good view from the balcony of your cabin, you could go forward on Deck 7 (Promenade) and then climb up a couple of flights to go to the bow of the ship for an unobstructed view and to listen to the narration. I enjoyed the presentations by the naturalists about the sights, flora, and fauna. Be aware that on this 7-day cruise, there are two formal nights. Most did not wear tuxedos or formal gowns. There were guys wearing a dress shirt and slacks. A few wore a sports coat. Many women wore cocktail-like dresses. One of my observations on cruises is that ships never provide enough hooks in the cabins to hang stuff on. There were none in the cabin. I would have brought several strong, magnetic hooks (e.g., from Home Depot), but I was weight limited for my tour (which was an error in the Tauck documentation). Compared to other ocean cruises I have been on, one amenity was missing. There were no daily newspapers/bulletins. You could find out news by tuning into BBC, MSNBC, or Fox News on the TV in the cabin. Here are some tips for getting extra shipboard credit. Before the cruise, you can provide evidence to Princess Cruises that you are an honorably discharged member of the military (submit a copy of your DD214). You can also purchase and provide proof of ownership of 100 shares of Carnival (CCL) stock. You can also purchase a future cruise voucher that entitles you to shipboard credit on a future cruise (voucher cost on this ship was $100 per person, good for 2 years, fully refundable); the amount of credit depends on the length of the cruise and the category of cabin you book. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Alaska cruise was a bucket list item for me! Alaska itself met all of my expectations and more! Truly a majestic land. The cruise portion, including food quality, variety, temperature of food, etc. was extremely underwhelming at best! ... Read More
Alaska cruise was a bucket list item for me! Alaska itself met all of my expectations and more! Truly a majestic land. The cruise portion, including food quality, variety, temperature of food, etc. was extremely underwhelming at best! I had a security issue with my room that I reported and the security officer seemed uninterested in my situation? He promised to investigate and get back to me in 24 hrs but I heard nothing for days until I followed up! The entertainment portion was disappointing since the same comedian and singer were only options for entire cruise. I had expectations of delicious food served at proper temperatures with the variety I had been told by frequent cruisers but that was not the case. I had to return food due to inadequate temperature on a daily if not more frequent basis. A few times they waiter seemed upset with me for asking for the meal to be hot. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Went a day early and toured Vancouver. Very pretty city. Having never cruised before, embarkation was a bit of a process. But went smoothly. Our cabin was not ready yet, so we were told to go to buffet for lunch. Buffet was not what I ... Read More
Went a day early and toured Vancouver. Very pretty city. Having never cruised before, embarkation was a bit of a process. But went smoothly. Our cabin was not ready yet, so we were told to go to buffet for lunch. Buffet was not what I expected! The choices were a plenty, but everything either looked watery or dried out! (The food never got any better, except the French toast was really good) After that we went to our cabin. It was clean, but very out dated. The couch was shabby and in great disrepair(didn’t use it, so never complained). The bathroom was a good size but very outdated. The tub faucet was a bit of a challenge to regulate! After a few days the hallway smelled like mildew(in spots, never in our cabin) Fans were blowing all the time to dry out carpet. Never got a reasonable answer for why the carpet was wet in places. The crew was very nice. Lots of activities for all ages. The best entertainment on board was at the piano bar. Dinners were ok and specialty dining was ok. We only ate in the Italian one. The ports of call were very good. The excursions we took were run very well. If I ever cruise again will do better research about the age of the ship. But Alaska is beautiful!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
First I want to say as usual the staff working these ships are top notch and have no complaints. Now let’s talks about Princess Cruises. Very old poorly maintained ship. Definitely needs an update....or heck how about a little paint and ... Read More
First I want to say as usual the staff working these ships are top notch and have no complaints. Now let’s talks about Princess Cruises. Very old poorly maintained ship. Definitely needs an update....or heck how about a little paint and some new carpet. Geez. For height of summer cruising you would expect better or at least we thought from Princess. Run down equipment. Lack of supplies or activities for the amount of people. Food was average at best. If you have children under 16 better bring something for them to do. Most activities weather for kids or adults had more adults participating and made all lines excessively long. And how much space really needs to be devoted to art sales when the art has nothing to do with the ports of call. If you are going to constantly hawk art why don’t you at least have local artist from the ports of call be on sale vs some random Thomas Kinkade or Peter Max crap. had higher hopes for Princess. I would look elsewhere for sure before booking with Princess. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Expect a boat that is not only old but is in disrepair. There were multiple railings missing with straps as replacements. Inside our cabin a drawer and ceiling light was broken. Later in the cruise our door lock broke and needed to be ... Read More
Expect a boat that is not only old but is in disrepair. There were multiple railings missing with straps as replacements. Inside our cabin a drawer and ceiling light was broken. Later in the cruise our door lock broke and needed to be replaced. We even had trouble with the toilet flushing. It wasn’t stopped up, by the way. It just wouldn’t flush. All of this could have been overlooked if the staff throughout didn’t make you feel like intruders instead of a welcomed guest. We saw our cabin steward on the first day and never saw him again. Towels were left unchanged, dirty glassware was left in cabin. From the dinning room to the computer room staff hardly said hello let alone provide a service. We actually walked out of dinning when ignored for 20 minutes. Alaska, on their other hand is a must see! It was absolutely stunning. We loved Hubbard Glacier and took the shore excursion for a closer look. The day spent in Glacier bay was also breathtaking. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
What stood out for me on this cruise was the quality of the staff. Everyone we encountered on this ship was happy and helpful. From the room steward to the wait staff, all were smiling and seemed happy to be there. Everyone seemed to enjoy ... Read More
What stood out for me on this cruise was the quality of the staff. Everyone we encountered on this ship was happy and helpful. From the room steward to the wait staff, all were smiling and seemed happy to be there. Everyone seemed to enjoy working together. This great attitude made it a pleasure to be around them and the trip so much more enjoyable. The food on the ship was excellent. We were in the Club Class dining and there was a large variety on the menu along with many of the old Princess favorites. We enjoyed the seafood. The quality of the beef was exceptional. Desserts were outstanding. The quality of the food was a great improvement over the last Princess Cruise we were on. We took our service dog on the cruise and Princess made this easy. The inside relief area was on the floor below our cabin. It was a 4 x 4 box filled with mulch. It was better than we expected and cleaning supplies were provided. The staff was very accommodating and friendly toward the dog. Everyone seemed to enjoy having her on board. We did two excursions through Princess: whale watching in Juneau and the train in Skagway. Both were wheelchair accessible and service dog friendly. Talks while cruising the glaciers were done by the National Park Service. They were excellent and very interesting. The weak portion of the cruise was in the nightly entertainment. The Production show was fine but we have seen better individual entertainers on Princess cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Our first cruise and we surely picked the right one! It was literally all smooth sailing, from embarkation, to disembarkation, and everything in between! The ship was just the right size so we were not overwhelmed. The staff were always ... Read More
Our first cruise and we surely picked the right one! It was literally all smooth sailing, from embarkation, to disembarkation, and everything in between! The ship was just the right size so we were not overwhelmed. The staff were always friendly and helpful and our cabin steward was wonderful. We had an inside cabin for 3 adults but we never felt cramped as we were hardly ever in it except to sleep. The beds were extremely comfortable too! We had breakfast at the buffet and dinners at any of their fine restaurants. Food was excellent and delicious, service on point! The desserts were irresistible, with every bite better than the last! We all thoroughly enjoyed the comedian and the ventriloquist! They were so incredibly funny! The entertainment was very good with many numbers and costume changes. Glacier Bay and College Fjord were, by far, our favorite stops! Absolutely awesome! The ports of Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, were all lovely. As for the shore excursions, we were very disappointed with the short time allotted for visiting Mendenhall Glacier, and recommend skipping the salmon bake and eat dinner on the ship in Juneau. Also, Tracy’s Crab shack is a ‘Must do’ while in Juneau. Of note, we didn’t use Princess for our shore excursions. We’d love to return to Alaska in the future and will definitely do it on Princess again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Seems like every exposure to crew staff included someone trying to up sell you . Be it waiters pushing bottled water and drinks , photographers constantly grabbing you for photos to spa staff pressuring you to sign up for classes or ... Read More
Seems like every exposure to crew staff included someone trying to up sell you . Be it waiters pushing bottled water and drinks , photographers constantly grabbing you for photos to spa staff pressuring you to sign up for classes or massages. Felt like a time share pressure. This was no way to spend a relaxing vacation- if I want something I will seek it out. In fairness the Cabin Steward, Laurence ,was excellent. The ship was dated, bathroom often smelled like urine and toilet had difficulty flushing properly . Veranda Cabin A321. One night upon returning to the cabin we flipped on the light and found a roach crawling on our bed! Ports of call were good, and the narrative given by the rangers was interesting and informative. Food was average and portions were small. One night we went to a specialty restaurant , the Crown Grill, I ordered a scallop appetizer, I received 4 minuscule scallops the size of the tip of my pinky! WE booked a land package and in contrast everything in the land package was exceptional, including all the Princess lodges. The group leaders, Randi and Rob were the best , they handled everything professionally and were super pleasant. Needless to say we will never book on Princess again. In the past we have cruised on MSC, Holland American, Royal Caribbean and Crown Dynasty and never had the disappointing experience that Princess provided. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We are a couple in our 60’s who decided to try our first cruisetour because we found a good deal. It was Princess’ “On Your Own CBX Tour” southbound (Fairbanks 2 nights and Denali 1 night). After our land tour, the tour group ... Read More
We are a couple in our 60’s who decided to try our first cruisetour because we found a good deal. It was Princess’ “On Your Own CBX Tour” southbound (Fairbanks 2 nights and Denali 1 night). After our land tour, the tour group boarded the Golden Princess for a Whittier to Vancouver cruise. We’ve been on Alaska cruises before, so we decided not to sign up for shore excursions for this cruise. We arrived in Fairbanks two days before the June 5th Princess cruisetour to relax and explore the town independently using a rental car. My dear Capt. Casual booked us at the Best Western Plus Pioneer Park Inn, a good choice for its quiet location and the typical Best Western breakfast buffet that’s included in the room rate. This hotel’s check-in time is 3:00pm, which is an hour earlier than some other hotels. Ice Museum in downtown Fairbanks: This starts at the top of the hour - we watched a film, then donned warm jackets that were provided and went into the ice sculpture area and looked around and took selfies (you get 20 minutes in this area). The man (Andy) took some photos for us, too. There is even a sculpted ice slide you can ride. Afterwards, Andy did an ice sculpting demonstration. University of Alaska’s Museum of the North: This was OK. Since we arrived late in the afternoon, we missed the films; but at least parking was free by that time. We drove out to see the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline. There is a viewpoint not too far from Fairbanks. Afterwards we drove to the town of North Pole (about 13 miles from Fairbanks). Cards and letters mailed from there get the famous “North Pole” postmark. While we were in North Pole, we found the Antler Academy of Flying & Reindeer Games. We learned about the reindeer and fed them — they’re not shy about coming up to you when you have food! Riverboat Discovery sternwheeler: Their brochure says “Voted the Best Boat Tour in North America.” I was skeptical at first, but now they can count on my vote, too. This is an interesting, informative and professionally run excursion. Capt. Casual would want me to also mention the free coffee and donuts aboard the boat, and later, salmon spread on crackers. Tip: try to sit on the left side of the boat. Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center: It’s well set up, and is supposed to be your first stop in Fairbanks - exhibits, lots of tourist information, gift shop, cultural gift shop featuring handmade items, cultural show, etc. We attended the Cultural Connections Show ($10) featuring Native teens who perform cultural dances they’ve learned from their elders, and who talk about their traditional foods and culture. The young people do a Q&A session at the end of the show. It was nice to see/hear how much of their culture the elders are imparting to the next generation. On the day our Princess arrangements were to begin, we returned the rental car to the airport and headed to baggage claim to find the Princess representative. Their airport shuttle toted us and our luggage to our assigned hotel, Bear Lodge. FYI, the hotel was not assigned until about a month before the trip. Our room was not ready yet (it was only 1:45pm and check-in time is not until 4:00pm), so we waited in the lobby. Some others were able to get their rooms earlier. It would’ve been useful to receive Bear Lodge’s information about the shuttle, property and map during check-in, or even better, during the hours we were waiting for a room. It was hard to appreciate finding it slipped under our door later that evening! By then, it was pouring rain.... Sunrise/sunset/weather: In early June, sunset in Fairbanks isn’t until after midnight. Sunrise was at about 3:30am. Thank goodness for good blackout curtains! Fairbanks temperatures went up to about 76F. Air conditioning at Bear Lodge was rather noisy. Best to pack for dressing in layers. Luggage handling: I have to commend Princess on their luggage handling. They seem to have it down to a science. We were given bright green “join me tonight” tags for bags to be sent ahead to our hotel in Denali, and bright pink “join me onboard” tags for luggage we could send ahead to join us on the ship. Onward to Denali: A shuttle bus took us to the station for our train trip to Denali National Park. We boarded a dome-windowed train car. It was GoldStar Service class, which included lunch. Nice scenery along the way. Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge: Shortly before we exited the highway to go to the hotel, there was a moose in the lake. You might want to keep an eye out for this lake on the left side, in case he hangs out there often. Tundra Wilderness Tour: Tip - Do what you can to avoid the infamous fold-your-legs-into-your-lap wheelwell seats! Not sure what happened, but even though I knew to avoid that row.... oh, nevermind, let’s not talk about it..... The bus does not have a restroom, so they take rest breaks about every 90 minutes. We saw caribou, a grizzly sow and its cub. Our driver Bruce pointed out a moose in the distance. It was hard for me to tell, though— but Bruce looked pretty honest, so I took his word for it. He also said it was rare for Denali that we saw a jaeger bird. Unfortunately, Mt. McKinley was hidden. The tour lasted from 2:00 to about 9:00pm. Saturday, June 8 - motorcoach drive to Whittier: We saw some wildlife (even a recognizable moose!) along the way. The itinerary had stated the lunch stop would be in Anchorage, but our bus and several others stopped in the little town of Talkeetna. We opted for a quick cheeseburger from Shirley’s Burger Barn, then a little shopping. Note: a shop two doors down from the Princess office had a sign in the window advertising a clean restroom. They do take optional donations towards maintaining restroom supplies. It’s worth it. Capt. Casual did not recommend the restroom on our bus. There is a narrow tunnel through the mountain on the road leading to the Whittier pier. They alternate letting traffic through the tunnel in one direction, and then the other. At about 6:00pm, we arrived at the ship. Embarkation: Check-in was the fastest and smoothest ever! I think we had a short line because we’d come from the landtour bus. They scanned our passports and handed us our keycards. The security line was long, but painless. Our ID photos were taken by the security officer who scanned our keycards as we boarded. Cabin location: We’d somewhat reluctantly booked a Balcony cabin next to the Aft elevators. (Remember, we got a good price.) We were pleasantly surprised and relieved that we did not have noise problems due to the elevators. We would consider booking this type of location again. I knew ahead of time from CruiseCritic that our balcony on Dolphin deck 9 was not covered. It is visible to balconies above. Horizon Court (buffet) seating tip: Sometimes food service is only open on one side of the ship. If you’re having trouble finding a table, you can still sit on the opposite (closed) side. The waiters were very helpful. Pizza: Yummy! International Court - open 24/7: Simple (free) food like sandwiches, pastries, desserts. I enjoyed the BBQ sandwich - they will warm it in a press, if you’d like. There is a charge for coffee drinks at Int’l Cafe. Gold Latitudes meeting: No refreshments, but the ship’s singers performed a couple of songs, sounded great. At the end of the program, we were given a voucher for a complimentary beverage (up to $12 USD). Maintenance: Much attention was given to explaining the toilet system and how your toilet affects a WHOLE ZONE. “Only paper, poop, and pee.” Thankfully, we didn’t see the water leakage problems noted in reviews earlier this year - except a fan in the hallway where we embarked. Comedian Carl Banks had everyone laughing all throughout his show. Ventriloquist Dan Horn was entertaining. Movies on TV: I wish they would show a few additional movies, not just repeating the same ones. Disembarkation: We used the ship’s Direct-to-Bus transfer to Vancouver airport. It was our first time using this service. It worked out well, and our luggage was waiting for us at the airport, to be checked in. I would consider using this disembarkation again. IMHO, it’s better to do the land tour BEFORE the cruise rather than afterwards. I’m so glad we did, as I got sick at the end of the cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
First time to Alaska and this was the way to do it. With the combination of sea and land we were able to maximize our trip of a life time. A MUST is a balcony cabin as you can see whales and the glaciers, you do not have to run to a side ... Read More
First time to Alaska and this was the way to do it. With the combination of sea and land we were able to maximize our trip of a life time. A MUST is a balcony cabin as you can see whales and the glaciers, you do not have to run to a side on deck the ship rotates so you have a direct view of the glacier. Balcony has two (2) chairs and a table. We used the Princess planner for our excursions and air reservations. This is a good practice to protect you if your ship may leave and going through Princess it puts the responsibility on Princess to get you to the ship. We had a handicap cabin with a rented scooter (Scootaround) and had plenty of room to move round and enjoy ourself. TV had morning show that looped so you could see the activities on the ship and showed the excursions in port. Also, in the evening they read a bedtime story with the ships mascot Captain Stanley. Was even good for the big kids in us. Found that the excursion pre cruise were the best price. The land side was the glass domed passenger car and the 9:5 hour train ride to Denali. On our way the we saw 9 moose and 2 bears. The views were breath taking and your pictures will not do it justice. Yes, we will go again it is a must!!, Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
After three years of battling brain cancer, my mom and I took this cruise as a celebration. Cruises are an excellent way for me to travel because I am able to easily rest when my energy gets low. This was my first time to cruise the ... Read More
After three years of battling brain cancer, my mom and I took this cruise as a celebration. Cruises are an excellent way for me to travel because I am able to easily rest when my energy gets low. This was my first time to cruise the Princess line and I was incredibly pleased. In the past, I have cruised mostly Norwegian, with a few Royal Caribbean cruises sprinkled in. EMBARKATION AND DISEMBARKATION- 5 stars Both embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and efficient. My mom and I traveled with several bags (Total of four large bags, and two smaller carry-ons and two “under the seat” carry-ons.” Two of my bags were necessary because they carried medical equipment. One of the carry-ons was solely for souvenirs (we purchased this one onboard, an expandable duffle, for around $35USD). For embarkation from Vancouver, we took a taxi from our hotel to the port terminal around 10:30am, our taxi was directed and pulled up right to the porters for the Golden Princess, where our bags were dropped. A short walk from there took us to the cruise check in, which involved only a short wait. After that we went through customs quickly. Passengers were then lead to a waiting area until the ship was ready for boarding. My mom and I waited only about 5-10 minutes before we were allowed to board. Once onboard, we found our cabin was already prepared and accessible. This has not been my experience with other lines. Also, our bags were delivered to our room more quickly than typical on other lines I have cruised. Disembarkation from Whittier was also smooth and efficient. Princess divided the passengers into over a dozen groups assigned locations in which to wait. This was nice, because we were able to wait while sitting and exit quickly rather than standing in long lines. Bags were collected between 7pm and 10pm the evening before and were easy to locate once off the ship. It was then a very short walk to buses, vans, etc. Also, carts were available to assist with moving luggage. We used the Anchorage Cruise Transfer (ACT) Buses and found them to be very helpful. The bus driver also pointed out sites and provided information during the drive, which made it feel more like a tour than a transfer. SHIP- 5 stars The ship is in good condition and is of reasonable size. No areas were filled to capacity with two exceptions. First, I observed that the Princess Theater was only filled to capacity twice during the cruise. The first time was during a presentation of the onboard "naturalist," Sandy Schempp, on Alaskan wildlife. The second was for the first showing (8:00pm) of the production show "Born to Dance." Ample space was available for all other shows, including the juggler/comedian on Embarkation Day, the "British Invasion" production show, and the "Voice of the Ocean" show. Second, the beautiful Piazza was extremely crowded during certain Alaska enrichment events, primarily "Puppies in the Piazza," where puppies were brought on board to interact with passengers--a clear hit with families with children. The ship is clean with laundry facilities on several deck (these can get crowded as well). Decks were adequately supplied with lounge chairs--I never had a issue securing a chair, and offered wonderful views of Alaska scenery. Dining areas were less crowded than typical on a cruise ship. The buffet, Horizon Court, is located on both the Port and Starboard sides of the ship, with indoor and covered outdoor seating. I never had trouble finding a table with a window view. Likewise, I found that I was always able to get a window view when eating in the Bernini Restaurant. My mom and I booked “anytime” dining, which allowed us to eat in Bernini between 5:00pm and 9:00pm, or Donatello for breakfast, lunch, or dinner between 7:15 and 9:30pm. We found Donatello to be more crowded, but only ate there for breakfast and lunch. There are several bars to suit every personality. Mom and I enjoyed either Piña Coladas or cappuccino in the Promenade Lounge and Bar almost every day. This lounge overlooked the Piazza and often you could hear live music within the lounge from coming from the Piazza. Lounge chairs & couches in all the common areas were comfortable. Once concern is that the Internet on Princess was incredibly slow. Princess even recognizes this. I believe it ran slower than other cruise lines I’ve experienced, but it is hard to say. I was not pleased with the internet desk. I had pre-purchased an internet package, and they were unhelpful in explaining how to access it. I eventually figured it out myself. CABIN- 5 Stars I was very pleased with our Cabin. I booked an Obstructed View to save money, but was pleasantly surprised to discover that our cabin, E517, was only partially obstructed, in between two life boats, leaving a decent, but not full, view of the incredible Alaskan coastline. The cabin was also on the Starboard (right) side of the ship. I found this side to have the more beautiful view. If your cruise views College Fjord, all but one glacier is best viewed from the Port (left) side. However, there are plenty of spaces on the ship to view the coastline if you have an obstructed view or an interior cabin. As for cabin size, it was set up very spaciously. My mom and I never felt crowded. We had a two twin bed set-up. With ample space between beds, and between the desk and left bed. A desk is located to the left of the beds, near the window. Two chairs are provided, one for the desk and a one for the window. Both were comfortable. The cabin is also equipped with a small refrigerator! The television was also sizable. The closet was surprisingly spacious with plenty of hangers and a cabinet with drawers and a safe. Plenty of other drawers are located near bedsides, and the desk. My mom and I each had onboard outfits, two formal night outfits, and clothing for shore excursions, including coats & jackets, and standard clothing (pajamas, hats, shoes etc.), as well as toiletries and hair products. We didn’t even have to use all of the cabinet space. The closet was also large enough to hold all of our suitcases so that we did not have to use space under our beds, which would have been large enough for suitcases should we have needed to use them. The bathroom was clean and spacious for a cruise cabin bathroom. Our cabin was kept clean. Mom and I found that our cabin was routinely cleaned with towels replaced. Because I nap everyday and have to take medicine at certain times, we returned to the cabin often. We always found the beds made up, towels refreshed, and trash emptied—an impressive task for our cabin steward. DINING- 5 stars Dining on the Golden Princess was the best I have had in my cruising experiences. Particularly dinners in the restaurants were phenomenal. We opted to forgo specialty dinning because dining in the main restaurants was so good. Particularly remarkable were the Cod (on the first evening) and the Beef Wellington (on the final formal night). Desserts were exceptional, particularly chocolate desserts, which Princess specializes in. Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets in the Horizon lounge did not disappoint. Breakfast includes a selection of breads, eggs, cereals and fruits. Although not widely advertised, they provide made-to-order omelets. If you have difficulty finding how to place a order, ask many of the servers stationed in your buffet area. Servers bring coffee, juices and tea so that you do not have to wait in line for beverages. For lunch and dinner, the selection was wide and delicious. There is a special area displaying desserts. We had afternoon tea in the Horizon court one day, which included sandwiches and pastries. The International Court on deck 6 provides both sweet and savory snacks at no cost. I sampled shrimp and a sugar-free pastry which were very good. Due to my restricted diet we did not try the ice cream parlor, the pizza, or the grill (hotdogs, hamburgers, etc), but they all smelled very good and passengers seemed pleased. Room service was also fast and tasty. ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES- 5 Stars We found the entertainment and activities to be exceptional. Particularly unique to other lines, Princess offers an enrichment series, called North to Alaska. This series had multiple lectures by an on board naturalist. Lectures included talks on Alaskan wildlife, vegetation, and marine life. The naturalist also was available to point out marine life and wildlife visible from the ship, and glaciers in College Fjord. We saw whale, sea otters, bald eagles, puffin, and various birds. During the cruise throughout Glacier Bay National Park, three park rangers boarded the cruise to provide information through the PA system on the glaciers. They also set up a “Ranger’s station” onboard the ship, which included information on glacier bay, including guides, photo books, and gifts for sale. The enrichment series also included presentations by lumberjacks and Iditarod winners, and a folk harmonica group to name a few. We did not make used of any of the many pools or hot tubs, which include both indoor and outdoor, as well as kids and adult-only pools. We did observe many people enjoying the pool facilities. We toured the Spa and it appeared standard for cruise lines, but we did not purchase any services. We loved the games, including trivia and other games. They were always entertaining and a great way to meet other passengers. We played BINGO once, and it was standard for what is to be expected on a cruise ship. I came out even in the Casino, which was small and did not have a wide selection of slot machines. SERVICE- 4 Stars Service overall was adequate and exceptional for our room steward and the Mater D at Bernini, Greg. I would say that for all over areas service was average for what would be expected for a cruise. I found in other cruises, I got to know staff better than on this particular cruise. Nonetheless, I have no specific service complaints. PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS-5 Stars Of course, in Alaska, the best can be seen from the ship itself. Snowcapped mountains arising from the sea, glaciers and wildlife seen from your window constitute breathtaking experiences that are unparalleled anywhere else on the globe. This cannot be understated. Our itinerary stopped in Ketchikan, where we attended a Lumberjack show and Totem Bight Park; Juneau, where we took an independent pedi-cab tour, a whale watching tour and Mendenhall Glacier; and Skagway, where we took the White Pass Train tour. All ports allowed ample time for shopping and stores were easy to find and within walking distance. Our various tours were all excellent and unique enough to give us a full Alaskan experience. Our tours, except for the independent pedi-cab tour in Juneau, were pre-booked online through the Princess website. Princess offered a talk early on in the cruise about ports, which provided helpful information and confirmed that we had made good choices for our excursions. TIPS 1. Bring a power strip. There are limited outlets in the cabin. I required two plugs just for medical equipment, and my mom and I also needed to charge our phones. Princess allows power strips to be brought onboard. We found one power strip satisfied our outlet needs. 2. Book E517 if you go with an “obstructed window.” E517 is not fully obstructed, but you can get it at an obstructed price. It offered a beautiful view of the Alaskan coastline. 3. Do not feel pressured to book a balcony. Although the balconies are nice. Alaska can get cold. Window cabins are spacious and offer wonderful views. Even for those in interior or obstructed windows, the ship offers ample deck and indoor window space to admire the beautiful views of Alaska. Certain shore excursions (e.g. whale watching, White Pass Train in Skagway) offer incredible views as well. So, you can save money and still get wonderful viewing opportunities. 4. Book the Sanctuary on Glacier Bay Day. If your itinerary includes a cruise around Glacier Bay, book a spot at the “Sanctuary,” which is an adult-only covered area which provides lounge chairs, and blankets. My mom and I did this and it was perfect. We got 360 views of Glacier Bay. The package was $60 per person, and included access to the Sanctuary (with reserved lounge chairs) from breakfast through late afternoon, which buffet breakfast including bloody Mary’s and Samosas, lunch buffet, two free ship photographer pictures with a large glacier in the background, ear warmers, and a coffee tumbler. The package would have been worth the price just for the views (especially if you do not have a window view or balcony). Be sure to book early to get the best lounge chairs. 5. Bring sunscreen and sunglasses. During our cruise we experienced both cold and warm weather. The weather varies. Even on chilly mornings, when we were on deck, I found myself slightly burned and needing sunglasses. Otherwise, be sure to dress in layers, especially when going on shore. Remember to bring a light rain jacket. 6. Pre-purchase water bottles. I purchased three packages of 12 water bottles on the Princess website before the cruise. This helped because we found ourselves feeling dehydrated on the cruise many times, whether it was the weather or our activity, we drank lots of water. It helped to have an ample supply of bottles in our room, which we kept in the refrigerator, so that we did not have to bring water down from the buffet or order from room service. We were also able to take bottles on our excursions. The order was reasonable in price. 7. Log out of Account after using Internet-If you fail to do so, you will run your package down. This happened to me. It is not enough to merely close out your window on your phone, Princess requires you to actively log off the Internet. Overall, the Cruise was as close to perfect as it could be and I would definitely do it again. I believe I will now primarily cruise on Princess. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose Princess Cruise because it has a good reputation. We would rather pay a little more and have a good experience rather than cut corners and have a bad experience. It was my first cruise and it was a blast! We took the northbound ... Read More
We chose Princess Cruise because it has a good reputation. We would rather pay a little more and have a good experience rather than cut corners and have a bad experience. It was my first cruise and it was a blast! We took the northbound 7-day Alaska cruise from Vancouver to Whittier. Our party consisted of six people mainly family and friends. Embarkation was spread over four hours so it was a smooth process. We checked our bags at the beginning and did some sightseeing in downtown Vancouver before boarding the ship. Disembarkation went very smooth and fast as well. The cabin was exactly like the photographs on the website. The steward did an exceptional job keeping the room tidy, refreshing used towels and making the beds. During the cruise there was always some activity that appealed to each person in our group. Our teenage son liked Trivia event which happened about twice a day, the older folks like the comedy shows and production shows. The girls liked the Zumba classes. The food tasted delicious, had good variety and presented beautifully. We had the experience of dining in a sit-down restaurant every meal with attentive waiters and a nice ambiance. If we were in a hurry to leave on an excursion we ate at the buffet restaurant where there was a great array of food selection. The service in all the restaurants was great. We did the Glacier view kayaking excursion in Juneau and it was adventurous and fun. The time at each port of call allowed us to experience the city and enjoy the Alaskan landscape and culture. We will definitely choose Princess for our next cruise. We can't wait for our next cruise on Princess! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Princess is celebrating 50 years of cruising Alaska. They claim to be number one in Alaska and they make a great case for it. From time to time, they will subtly slip in one bullet point on what sets them apart. All of those hints added ... Read More
Princess is celebrating 50 years of cruising Alaska. They claim to be number one in Alaska and they make a great case for it. From time to time, they will subtly slip in one bullet point on what sets them apart. All of those hints added up for me. By the end of the cruise I was convinced that they are number one. PROS - It was well worth getting a balcony and the captain gave equal time to both sides of the ship - Sabatini's was amazing!!! - A lot of fun was had in the Explorer's Lounge, before and after the production shows in the main theater - The staff was super friendly - Getting off and on the ship in port was very smooth - The International Cafe is a great place for a quick bite anytime of the day and had a great selection - The coffee at the International Cafe was what you would expect and was obviously the best coffee on the ship as you would see staff grabbing a cup - Being one of the two cruise ships allowed into Glacier Bay that day, was an honor. I actually thought Glacier Bay was better than the Inside Passage - The Pub food was good (don't miss it) CONS - The buffet seemed sub-par and we recognized too many leftovers from the dining hall - Some of the food in the dining hall was just OK, and did not have any WOW-factor - The coffee at the buffet is just OK - The coffee in the dining halls is a bit strong - The bed is super soft and at times impeded various "movement" on the bed What would I have done different? I was not on a MedallionClass cruise, but wish I could have worked that out to be on one. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We did Cruise Tour FB4, land portion first! What an incredible and seamless trip! We took Alaska Air R/T and as soon as we landed in Fairbanks we were greeted by Princess reps and boarded the bus. Our train ride from McKinley to Whittier ... Read More
We did Cruise Tour FB4, land portion first! What an incredible and seamless trip! We took Alaska Air R/T and as soon as we landed in Fairbanks we were greeted by Princess reps and boarded the bus. Our train ride from McKinley to Whittier was lengthy but we were so excited to see that we got off the train right at the cruise terminal. Our bags were at our door and our room steward Moore was there to greet us with champagne. We had a Mini Suite Dolphin Deck 228, it was spacious and clean. We did the specialty dining at the Steak House which was delicious and we ate in the main dining rooms the other nights. We only used the Buffet for breakfast and lunch. (I'm not a big buffet fan) The International café was great for a quick egg sandwich or pastry and the coffee and tea selection (for a charge) I ordered a carafe of coffee the night before and woke up to it in my room. We had great weather (75 degrees)and were able to lay out and use the pools as well as movies under the stars. We had small kids with us and weren't able to go to shows each night. They did have a great comedian and the show covers all the popular titles on Broadway then and now! I was a afraid after reading so many reviews before we boarded about the condition of the ship but only experienced a small drip in the ceiling in the casino and some rust on our balcony. The shore excursions were wonderful ( Float Plane in Juneau, White Pass in Skagway and Bering Sea Crab Tour in Ketchikan) there was enough time in between to check out the sites and eat at some great local restaurants. King Crab Legs are huge!!! We traveled in a group of 8 of us with a 2 and 4 year old. They loved all the tours we chose, all of the food and the kids club. Any questions please feel free to ask! We loved it, Alaska was our bucket list trip! Read Less
Golden Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.1

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