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Sail Date: July 2019
We were on the Island Princess for one week Alaskan cruise Northbound (July 31, 2019 to Aug, 7, 2019) traveling from Vancouver to Whittier. We really enjoyed this itinerary, Voyage of the Glaciers, and the ship! With approximately 2200 ... Read More
We were on the Island Princess for one week Alaskan cruise Northbound (July 31, 2019 to Aug, 7, 2019) traveling from Vancouver to Whittier. We really enjoyed this itinerary, Voyage of the Glaciers, and the ship! With approximately 2200 passengers, we never felt crowded or lost. We particularly enjoyed having a room toward the front of the ship as the Horizon buffet was also at the front, and it had an excellent view with so many windows facing the front. Our balcony room was on the Dolphin (9th) deck. Our balcony view was magnificent, particularly because the weather cooperated so well. Sunny skies, around 70 degrees each day, and not one drop of rain throughout our cruise. Our room was kept super clean by Jovey, our room steward. Clean is a biggie with us, and we especially enjoyed a carefully cleaned bathroom with towels replaced throughout the day by our room steward. We learned the layout of the ship on our first day of cruising. The atrium covers three floors and is lovely with the glass elevators for an added touch. We enjoyed the theater productions, especially the dancers, singers, and male comedian (Delena). Anytime dining was wonderful too; we enjoyed ordering from a menu and the staff was extremely helpful. We are an active, retired couple. This was our fourth cruise to Alaska in six years, so we have a frame of reference concerning Alaskan cruises. On the previous three Alaska cruises, my husband and I traveled alone as a couple, but this time we asked my husband's sister and her husband to join us. It was fun watching them see Alaska for the very first time. And, the Island Princess certainly made our cruise very memorable, from the food to the staff. Everything went well on this trip, and we highly recommend the Island Princess for a relaxed, memorable, and enjoyable journey to Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We wanted to see he coast of Alaska and had cruised with Princess before. They offered a package that included airfare, transportation and the cruise. We enjoyed everything. My husband uses a motorized scooter on the ship. All the ... Read More
We wanted to see he coast of Alaska and had cruised with Princess before. They offered a package that included airfare, transportation and the cruise. We enjoyed everything. My husband uses a motorized scooter on the ship. All the ports and lots of the excursions could accommodate the scooter. Touring the Glaciers was incredible! Especially College fjord. Having a Naturalist as per of the crew was wonderful. His commentary as we cruised through the Glaciers was perfect and we enjoyed his seminars. This ship is smaller than the last few ones we've been on, so there weren't as many shops and the casino was small. The food in all the restaurants and the buffet was good and there was a nice variety. All the crew were very pleasant and helpful. The ship is easy to get around - my husband uses a motorized scooter on board so that is an important factor for us. Also, on this cruise, all the Ports and quite a few of the excursions could accommodate the scooter. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I had done the land/sea cruise with Princess in 2004. I was very disappointed in the dated decor and condition of the Island Princess. Tiki huts and fern decor was not fitting for Alaska! The carpeting in the Lido Cafe was dirty and worn. ... Read More
I had done the land/sea cruise with Princess in 2004. I was very disappointed in the dated decor and condition of the Island Princess. Tiki huts and fern decor was not fitting for Alaska! The carpeting in the Lido Cafe was dirty and worn. The bathroom was very small and Water came sloshing up in our shower basin and left dirt flecks behind. Embarkation was NOT well done. The agent that gave us our cabin key did not explain the deck # system so it took us 45 minutes to find our cabin. There were not enough crew members available to direct guests as they arrived on board. Also, there were not enough waiters available in the buffet dining area so we wound up getting our own drinks. There was a definite lack of communication about meeting up with excursions both from the lodges and at the ports. I'm not at all sure that I would sail with Princess again unless it was a newer ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Overall we enjoyed the cruise. Some solid entertainment, however timing was off based on your dinner seating. The food bland and unexciting. The lounge, bar and restaurant staff could not produce drinks that were not on the menu; and ... Read More
Overall we enjoyed the cruise. Some solid entertainment, however timing was off based on your dinner seating. The food bland and unexciting. The lounge, bar and restaurant staff could not produce drinks that were not on the menu; and the drinks were also not good. All fruity with no punch. The staff (wait, buffet, bar) seemed unpersonable and disinterested. Our room (mini-suite) was a good size and so was the bathroom and clothing storage. Our room steward was the only truly personable staff on the ship. Getting on/off easy. Tours coordination was ok for the most part. Alaska is a seasonal worker paradise, but it seems the land workers are also overworked. The ship is older, even though it went through a major renovation in 2017. The cruise director, though the right personality--upbeat and helpful seemed like a winded up doll, saying the same questions and speech along with and "my name is Natalie" was overkill. Kristoff, cruise director staff was pretenious and rude at times. Other cruise lines offer a better overall experience. Many guests were repeat passengers, however I would not choose again. Alaska though was great! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Wow. Horrible. Bad food, bad service as a simple summary. Lots of whales sighted though (both at sea and at the buffet). Comically bad waiters sticking our menus into our food. Several meals in the dining room were not really edible ... Read More
Wow. Horrible. Bad food, bad service as a simple summary. Lots of whales sighted though (both at sea and at the buffet). Comically bad waiters sticking our menus into our food. Several meals in the dining room were not really edible so had to chase that meal with a visit to the buffet in the hopes of something better than “hot dog pineapple salad”. (No, I didn’t make that up). The on-board naturalist also stated (amongst many other oddities) that Canada doesn’t have any glaciers. That was said while we were actually looking at a glacier in Canada. The beds were very saggy due to the many “girthy” guests that preceded us. The mini putt and kids’ centres were closed each of the 5+ times we tried to go into them. The list goes on but I’m out of room. Scenery was great but with 5 cruise ships in port simultaneously the small towns were overrun and it was horrible on shore. Won’t be back. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I added this trip on to an inland photography workshop we attended up north (Lake Clarke Park). We hadn't seen the inland passage and wanted to enjoy a bit of luxury on the way home vs simply jumping on an airplane in ... Read More
My wife and I added this trip on to an inland photography workshop we attended up north (Lake Clarke Park). We hadn't seen the inland passage and wanted to enjoy a bit of luxury on the way home vs simply jumping on an airplane in Anchorage and fly back to Phoenix. The Island Princess is smaller than some of the larger ships and included views of Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier, where other ships didn't go into these areas. So the timing and itinerary worked for us. The embarkation was painless even having to take a coach from Anchorage to Whittier. Interesting driver/guide made the ride worthwhile. Very easy and quick to get into the room. For perspective (and fairness) this was our 7th cruise but the first on a Princess ship. Our daughter worked on Celebrity for several years so we obviously chose her cruises. We have no other Princess ships with which to compare the Island. But compared to the other ships we've spent time on, the Island was older and it showed. There was no issue with it's cleanliness however. Older fixtures outside were painted over and our outside balcony light was hanging from a broken bracket. Also, on the third day, the device which ensured our cabin door shut fell off and was never fixed. The humidity on this trip was difficult to keep up with and there were blowers going in the passage ways constantly. There also was slight musky smell-probably due to the humidity. The floor of the cabin had raised areas which compressed when you walked on them. Sounds worse than it was. Just old but clean. The service in the dining area was not close to what we were used to in terms of warm welcomes and friendly attitudes. Two servers were great (exceptional) but the others and the managers were dour. Just seemed unhappy being there. Bar servers were very good. The food was what we expected and the buffet area servers were much more accommodating than their dining room counterparts. The one experience we had with the Princess tour support people was not good at all. We had signed up for a train ride in Skagway (turned out to be outstanding) and the 2 hour kayaking which went with it. There was rain and strong winds projected and we wanted to know if there were options if we felt it would be either unsafe or miserable to kayak. We were not asking to cancel or any concession. The individual either didn't speak English well or wasn't interested in getting involved in the complexity we were bringing to the table, because he merely repeated "must go rain or shine". We tried a couple of different ways to ask the question of what if we decide to forgo the kayak-can we just stay on the small bus or in a shelter or on the train. "must go rain or shine". Not an ambassador I would want representing my company. The production entertainment was disappointing (but remember our daughter-she was a dancer and aerialist on Celebrity-so we are very likely biased). The talent was very good but the productions varied from mediocre to poor. Now the good parts-the ports (and scenic cruising). Just outstanding! We loved the naturalist and guests who gave inland passage related information and stories. Saw whales, otters, seals, dolphins, puffins, etc. The ports were quaint and interesting. The history of Skagway is fascinating, Juneau, the only landlocked and foreign boardering Capital in the United States, has an incredible glacier view minutes from town, and thought Ketchikan was exactly what it should be-quaint and historic. Even the goofy lumberjack show was fun and memorable. As mentioned the excursion was exceptional (yup some rain and wind but not dangerous) so we paddled like crazy-great guides. We would definitely recommend the inside passage cruise but are hesitant to recommend the Island Princess for the reasons above. Just average. If it's your only choice then you would likely find the ship would be ok. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
The next cruise is already being looked into because we had such a great time. The entertainment was very professional and had plenty of variety. The Dining and food selection had many options to fit even the most picky eater. ... Read More
The next cruise is already being looked into because we had such a great time. The entertainment was very professional and had plenty of variety. The Dining and food selection had many options to fit even the most picky eater. Service is second to none! The views of the Glaciers and ocean creatures were fantastic. We traveled with 18 people from many ages categories. everyone had several things they enjoyed and will remember about their special family vacation. The excursion were fun, timed perfectly, educational, exciting, entertaining and very enjoyable. The activities on the ship were fun and varied. Game shows, mysteries, dancing, games, animal watching, crafting, wine tasting, auction, swimming, just to name s few. The teenagers enjoyed meeting other teens in the youth club. The 18-20 struggled with meeting people their own age and had limited access to appropriate activities for them on the ship. The land portion had wonder coach drivers who enjoyed sharing interesting information about the areas we rode through. One thing that we wished to have done before the cruise started was to explore Vancouver, Canada. The land portion was breathtaking but felt very rushed. I might switch to having the land potion of the trip fist and the cruise second. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We are elite cruisers with Princess (have sailed on many ships) and booked two 7 day Alaska cruises from July 3 - July 17, 2019 on the Island Princess. This ship is sadly lacking in public amenities and the cabin was so small you ... Read More
We are elite cruisers with Princess (have sailed on many ships) and booked two 7 day Alaska cruises from July 3 - July 17, 2019 on the Island Princess. This ship is sadly lacking in public amenities and the cabin was so small you couldn't escape to it either. There is no International Cafe, which on other Princess ships serves a menu of very fresh food for 24 hours a day. After 11 pm the only snack available is from Room Service with a limited menu of food which you have to eat in bed as the stateroom has no chairs to relax in. There is no Skywalkers Lounge for a panoramic view of the scenery. There is no Vista Lounge as Princess took lovely lounge space and converted it to revenue producing cabins. There is no Adagio Lounge for relaxing. All that is left is the Wheelhouse and Explorers which are just bars meant to sell liquor and are not convivial day venues. The atrium has no appeal since it is constantly noisy with martini shaking and various music programs and no International Cafe to give you a nice cup of tea and a sandwich. The fitness room and gym are stuck inside with no windows to enjoy the view. The fitness room is so small you cannot stretch because of the number of people on the floor. Stretch classes have been cut from 30 minutes to 20 minutes and 10 minutes of that is taking foot impressions to sell orthotics. You cannot walk all the way around the Promenade Deck as it is always blocked off. There is no jogging track. There is extremely limited deck space since the Horizon Court is at the bow of the ship and most ships have it aft with nice outside tables to enjoy the view out the rear of the ship. There is no aft pool which also affords a view on most ships. The Sanctuary is aft instead of amidship which cuts off the last opportunity to access the rear of the ship. We felt like prisoners on this ship, Stuck in limited public lounges with the Alaskan views only slightly visible through exceedingly dirty windows in the Horizon Court, the dining rooms and whatever few public areas remain. A fleet wide Princess problem is the lack of fresh food on their ships. Frozen fish is unacceptable on an expensive holiday with easy access to port reprovisioning. The only saving graces on this cruise were the entertainment and the staff. The entertainers were very good and on the second cruise we had 3 excellent production shows. The staff (other than Customer Service) were excellent. They are the biggest strength of Princess. Although we often cruise 2 or 3 times a year we are not in a hurry to book another cruise with Princess and will probably give Celebrity or RCCL another try. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We have sailed with Carnival and Royal Caribbean previously. I was led to believe that Princess was a step up, so to speak, in quality. I was disappointed. First off, why Vancouver? The embarking experience was a waste of time. ... Read More
We have sailed with Carnival and Royal Caribbean previously. I was led to believe that Princess was a step up, so to speak, in quality. I was disappointed. First off, why Vancouver? The embarking experience was a waste of time. Vancouver looks to be a beautiful city, one that I wouldn't mind going back to. But for someone traveling in to embark on a cruise, the amount of time it took to go through Canadian customs and immigration for the sole purpose of getting on the ship was a joke. First you exit the plane and go through this maze of a line just to get downstairs, then another maze to do the biometric screening. Then, after taking a 45 minute bus ride you get to the pier, where you go through another maze, go upstairs, check-in, then immediately go downstairs to go through US customs this time, then get on the ship. Why not just cruise from Seattle? So the good - the staff service was excellent, specifically, our waiters in the main dining room, Joepep and Rhyan. Our cabin steward, Dennis, was also very responsive. The scenery at Glacier Bay and the College Fjords was stunning. The food was average, nothing special. The "Crab Shack", now one of the "premier up-charge specialty" restaurants, is nothing more than a cordoned-off area on the Harbor View buffet deck. We were really disappointed there. The "not-so-good" - our balcony cabin was tiny in comparison to what we had with Carnival before - the only place to sit down inside the cabin was on a chair or on the bed - grant it, we were either on the balcony or somewhere else on the ship, but Carnival at least gives you a couch to sit on as well. The shower was claustrophobic. So net/net, in my opinion, if you're looking for a cruise that has a specific itinerary/destinations, or one that has minimal kids running around, Princess will provide that for you. Expected better. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I wanted to see what is becoming the last frontier in the most comprehensive way. Alaska is so huge that a cruise seemed the most efficient and relaxing way to go about it. Arriving just in time for the summer solstice festival in ... Read More
I wanted to see what is becoming the last frontier in the most comprehensive way. Alaska is so huge that a cruise seemed the most efficient and relaxing way to go about it. Arriving just in time for the summer solstice festival in Anchorage got the trip to a great start. Mingling with the natives and having my first taste of reindeer sausage got me in the mood for our Alaskan adventure. My husband along with another couple (close friends) took in the Alaskan midnight sun and hiked the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail topped with a birthday dinner at the Glacier Brewhouse with a waitress with just the right amount of sassiness! What a first day! And because of Princess organization, it just got easier from there. Just a little pre-planning of what we needed to have on our person, and our luggage showed up at the next stop without us having to lug it. No need to check-in - keys pre-delivered to us! Land highlights included a side-trip stop in Talkeetna - good beer, good shopping, and good meeting the legendary mayor - a cat! Loved the treehouse at Princess Mt. McKinley Lodge where other guests loaned us their binoculars to get a glimpse of that elusive summit of Denali. But nothing could beat the all-day Kantishna Denali Park tour - where a mama bear and two cubs literally sauntered along the side of our bus. Caribou, moose, fox - all made an appearance for us! Felt quite lucky as I know that this is not Disneyland and animals cannot be made to appear. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the wildlife and the history of the park, and I am now a Fannie Quigley fan! What better way to conclude the land portion with a glass car train-ride back south to Whittier where we saw the best view of Denali, rivers, and forests with amazing service and narration. Just like the rest of the trip, the transition to ship was seamless. I am not sure how they get 600+ people off the train and onto the ship without long lines and waiting. We were in our stateroom in minutes. This was my first cruise and although the stateroom was compact, the furniture/cabinets were well-designed with plenty of room for all our luggage. Having a balcony was key for me as I loved sitting in a private space with my husband to watch the water, glaciers, and islands. The good was good in the buffet, and our service at the Provence dining room was exceptional. I liked the sinks to wash hands right by the buffet - I felt everything was done to keep the ship germ-free. We loved playing games/cards in the library, and listening to the singers who encouraged taking requests and sing-alongs. I definitely recommend having excursions booked at each port as the actual towns are touristy stocked mainly with souvenir shops. The land tour and excursions were the excitement portion of the trip. The cruise with all the fine service and entertainment was the relaxation portion of the trip. In tandem, this was a perfect mix of adventure, education, and rest! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to take our family on an Alaskan cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. My wife and I had taken this exact same itinerary 10 years ago and we knew from experience our family would enjoy it. Eleven of us did the land ... Read More
We wanted to take our family on an Alaskan cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. My wife and I had taken this exact same itinerary 10 years ago and we knew from experience our family would enjoy it. Eleven of us did the land tour from Anchorage to Denali before the cruise, and then we were joined by 5 more at the ship for the cruise. We had a total of 16, 8 adults and 8 children. The land portion went great, Princess really handles the land portion well and we all enjoyed the McKinley and Denali lodges. Our rooms at both locations were very nice. We stayed in the newer A/B lodge at the top of the hill and our rooms were very modern and spacious. The train ride from Denali to Whittier was a highlight of the trip, especially since we got to see Denali mountain several times along the route. Lunch in the dining car was very good. They came around to see who wanted lunch and then came and got us as our time approached. Food was also very good--highly recommend the reindeer chili. Embarkation at the ship was handled well. Princess reps boarded out train at Wasilla and we completed the embarkation process prior to arriving at Whittier. Even so, by the time we got off the train and into the terminal the lines were long going through security and that took awhile to get onboard. We had set dining at 7:30 pm with two tables to accommodate our family. Although we wanted earlier dining, this worked better for us as we were getting back from excursions late on several days. Dining seemed to take longer than usual so we started ordering our desserts when we received our entrees to ensure we made the 9:30 entertainment in the Princess Theater. We took multiple excursions and everyone enjoyed them. My favorite was the Denali flight and glacier landing from Talkeetna. Hint, if the pilot starts talking about the right seat being open during his preflight spiel, quickly raise your hand for that co-pilot seat. I did and I had fantastic views of the mountain and scenery from the front of the airplane. Puppies came onboard at Skagway and the lines were very long but they moved well. It took about 30 minutes for us to get our turn and then our pup slept the entire time. Glacier viewing was superb on the south bound trip. Onboard naturalists and part rangers gave informative and interesting talks about flora, fauna, and natural sights. Angelito, our cabin attendant, was the best ever. He went beyond what is normal to ensure our cruise was the most enjoyable one we've had. Disembarkation went very smoothly and there were lots of taxis available to take us to our hotel. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Price at booking was inflated, service was lackluster and the cruise facilities were average but a bit dated. Every little thing was an additional fee. Steak at dinner? $30 extra. Fitness classes? $12-$20 extra. Internet? $60 extra per ... Read More
Price at booking was inflated, service was lackluster and the cruise facilities were average but a bit dated. Every little thing was an additional fee. Steak at dinner? $30 extra. Fitness classes? $12-$20 extra. Internet? $60 extra per person. A nicer glass of wine, even though we already had the all-inclusive drink package? Extra! We gladly paid more for the items that were worth it to us, but the over monetization of absolutely everything, was so off-putting that we will likely never cruise with Princess again. Of the entertainment options that were included, the staff did an incredible job. The guest speakers were great, magician was fantastic. Comedian was okay. You will incur a $14.50 expense every day for the auto gratuity that they supposedly give to the staff. This auto gratuity actually decreases the incentive for the staff to be engaging or to provide excellent service since it is already billed to each guest daily. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
An Alaskan cruise was definitely a "bucket list" item for us. We had heard Princess was the best line for Alaska. Our experience on the ship, however, was mixed. Of course the scenery and ports did not disappoint (although towns ... Read More
An Alaskan cruise was definitely a "bucket list" item for us. We had heard Princess was the best line for Alaska. Our experience on the ship, however, was mixed. Of course the scenery and ports did not disappoint (although towns were definitely geared to tourists). However, the customer service, food and activities on the ship were a mixed bag. My sense was about 40-50% of the staff were polite, professional and accommodating. Unfortunately, there were those who made us feel like we were inconveniencing them by asking questions or for directions to restaurants, etc. on the ship. Quality of the food was also mixed. My suggestion is to stay away from the Horizon buffet and stick to the restaurants. Full disclosure - my husband liked the buffet, although he ignored his low sodium diet while dining there. I, being gluten intolerant, found very few choices that were gluten free and saw no low sodium options for my husband. And, of course, the last thing you want on vacation is to be sick. Quite honestly, in this day and age, I was surprised to see how hard it was to get healthy options. Bordeaux was very good, and the Cajun restaurant, Bayou Cafe was great! We did not go to the Provence or the Italian restaurant, Sabatini's, However, the marinara sauce at Bordeaux was probably the best we've ever had. So, if the Italian chef there was also cooking at the Sabatini's restaurant, I'm sure it was fantastic. Be very selective in choosing shore excursions. From what I heard from other passengers, you may want to look into the land/sea trips (Donali, etc.) instead of taking the shore excursions. We went on the "White Pass Scenic Railway" in Skagway, the "Whale Watching and Salmon Bake" in Juneau and the "Lighthouse, Totem and Eagles" in Ketchikan. While they were all good in their own way, some things to be aware of: On the Scenic Railway it was difficult to get unobstructed photos as there were only a few spots where you could stand on the train to get a good view. Also, our guide was new and neglected to point out other scenic photo ops like waterfalls, etc. Hopefully, you will get a more experienced guide. Don't expect to see any wildlife on this ride. The whale watch was great for us because a pod of orcas surrounded our boat and our guide was wonderful! Not sure this (orcas) happens consistently, but, given our experience, we have no regrets scheduling this excursion. Salmon bake was great! The "Lighthouse. Totems and Eagles" excursion was very enjoyable due to the incredible hospitality of the guides. They served snacks and the best hot chocolate ever. However, for views of wild life you will need binoculars. We did see bald eagles and harbor seals. To me, it was worth it to meet the wonderful guides and just enjoy the ride. We did an extra day in Vancouver. If you're into wildlife, you may want to take in the Grouse Mountain Park. We saw grizzlies there. Alaska is a once in a lifetime experience! Enjoy! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise as it fitted in with the dates for the last week of our 9 week North America visit. Princes tried to 'upgrade' us to a room behind a bulkhead on a lower deck. Lesson, do not tick the upgrade box when you ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it fitted in with the dates for the last week of our 9 week North America visit. Princes tried to 'upgrade' us to a room behind a bulkhead on a lower deck. Lesson, do not tick the upgrade box when you book if you want a particular part of the ship. Apart from the stateroom, our steward (Simon) and the scenery, it was mostly disappointing. The entertainment was not to our taste, bingo was a joke, the promotions were relentless, classical pianists and string duo, art shows and auctions are not our idea of pleasant interlude. Service in the anytime dining was so slow that we missed other activities (we opted for buffet after 2 days to avoid it). Food in buffet was good apart from one luncheon that was rubbish. Theme nights (Mexican/Italian) were in general a failure. Shore excursions organised by Princess were very good and mostly value for money. Formal nights on the ship are a joke, we are on holidays not going to a funeral. Gratuities are charged whether you get service or not. On 3 occasions I paid 18% for the privilege of buying my own drinks at the bar as no wait staff were present. Why do you pay a percentage when whether you spend $20 or $2000 you are getting the same service so why pay more if you spend more. It is an antiquated and shameless tradition from a by-gone era that organisations are grasping to retain as a means of milking more from the punter. Promotions by retailers on-board were relentless and flowed to their shore based retail partners who behaved like pimps outside their premises. The ship is obviously focused for the North American market but as an Australian I felt way out of place. I would not cruise with Princess in this part of the world again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I was given this cruise as a gift, so I didn't choose it. We have a avoided cruises in favour of single venue trips. We are young, fit seniors. This was my wife & I's 1st cruise so I can't fairly compare it to other ... Read More
I was given this cruise as a gift, so I didn't choose it. We have a avoided cruises in favour of single venue trips. We are young, fit seniors. This was my wife & I's 1st cruise so I can't fairly compare it to other cruises but our "1st cruise" thoughts may be useful to others. We went with another couple. We took advantage of the opportunity to fly into Vancouver 2 days before the cruise so we would have 1 full day to explore as well as arrival & departure partial days. We took a full day tour of Vancouver and we're glad we did. Vancouver is worth exploring. Embarkation was a breeze. Our hotel was just a block from the cruise terminal so we transferred our own luggage on foot. The cabin and balcony were roomier than I thought it would they would be although the shower was smaller than I thought possible. I'm sure many of the guests on the ship would not fit in the shower at all. The cabin was well appointed and equipped, the bed comfortable and the closet generous. The cabin steward service was exceptional - I don't recall ever returning to the cabin without it having been serviced. We attended the shows almost every night and they were very enjoyable - very worthwhile, especially in that we're used to all-inclusive resort shows that are very amateur. We signed up for the 'anytime dining'. We split our meals between the dining room and the buffet. breakfast split between the 2, lunch in the buffet and dinner in the dining room. The service in both was very good. The food in both was disappointing more often than not - given that the food is often what frequent cruisers rave about. For example I had an 'extra cost' steak in the dining room that was tough, under-cooked and under-rested. I think the best individual items I had were in the buffet: a beef medallion and a turkey roll. There was also a 'burger grill' by the pool that I tried once - only once because the line-up was usually longer than a burger was worth. The highlights of the cruise were the scenery from the ship, the ports of call & the land portion to Denali. How else can you stand at the base of a glacier in a light jacket on your balcony with a drink in hand. I can't say I'd do this cruise again only because there are so many other things to do. I would neither recommend nor warn-off about this cruise as I'd defer to more experienced cruisers. Having said that, I don't regret going. I do wonder if other ships offer better, more reliable food. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise as I thought Princess was a reputable cruise line and which offered a fabulous Itinerary for Alaska. How wrong I was - the food was practically inedible and the shop felt very crowded with queues everywhere. There was a ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I thought Princess was a reputable cruise line and which offered a fabulous Itinerary for Alaska. How wrong I was - the food was practically inedible and the shop felt very crowded with queues everywhere. There was a distinct smell of sewage on the top deck and generally the ship was unclean. I was convinced that I was going to have food poisoning so I ate very little. Anything I did eat in the Horizon buffet was very bland and luke warm and the Dining Room was not much better. The Dining Room had very limited choices and inserted another menu which you had to pay extra dollars for. When you go on a cruise you expect to be able to eat from the main menu and not be forced to spend extra to get what you want. I had to eventually give up on the Dining Room and was forced to eat Pizzas and Burgers on the top deck which was not ideal as they were not that great either. The room service was quite good as I ordered breakfast in my room to avoid the Horizon restaurant in the morning, Cabin steward ok but not wonderful. Did not go to entertainment so can’t comment on that but I was very disappointed about the activities on offer. They were very limited and Princess seemed to be more interested in getting as much money out of you as possible. I don’t know when I was so glad to get off a ship. Please be warned and AVOID Princess at all costs. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This was a bucketlist cruise for our family aged 83-17. We all really enjoyed it. The onboard activities kept everyone busy. The ship is older, but nicely maintained. We enjoyed the whale watching in Icy Strait, my son loved the ... Read More
This was a bucketlist cruise for our family aged 83-17. We all really enjoyed it. The onboard activities kept everyone busy. The ship is older, but nicely maintained. We enjoyed the whale watching in Icy Strait, my son loved the zip line. We enjoyed the summer dog camp and the fishing in Juneau. The ship chef prepared our dinner the next night with our fish. That was delicious! We enjoyed the Skagway train ride. We did the bus up and the train back with Liarville. The food was very good. The portage glacier transfer was spectacular. The nightly entertainment was fun and we all enjoyed the comedian and magic shows. We rarely had to wait for dinner and we were a party of six. The specialty dining was the only disappointing dinner - good food, just not worth the money. I had a massage and updo at the salon. I’d highly recommend them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
My husband and I are Latinx, in our 30s and decided to do the cruise for our honeymoon. We began in Whittier and ended in Vancouver. The good: - Cruise was small compared to others which makes it more intimate - Food was really ... Read More
My husband and I are Latinx, in our 30s and decided to do the cruise for our honeymoon. We began in Whittier and ended in Vancouver. The good: - Cruise was small compared to others which makes it more intimate - Food was really good, specially in the buffet - Staff was super friendly and helpful - Our cabin was cleaned on a regular basis - Plenty of entertainment option (some a little corny); The musicals were my favorite. - The gym was pretty well-equipped. The not so good: - Cruisers were not diverse in age and/or race (so if you are in your 30s an/or people of color like we are, just be prepare for that). - The ships decor looks like we were in 1980. The carpets are really outdated. - The chairs in our balcony were not so comfy - The tours sold by the cruise were super overpriced. We did the whale watching tour in Juneau which costs $160/pp and did not even include lunch (they gave us one cracker with a piece of salmon on top-ONE) plus we did not get a close view of the whales. - With the exception of Skagway, where we spent almost a whole day, we did not get enough time to explore the other towns and wished the ship would have left at 8pm instead of 4-6pm. - The used two twin beds together to make a Queen bed. We kept sliding between beds. - Too many photographers trying to take pictures of you. It is 2019, we all have phone cameras, we really don't need a professionally picture every time we go somewhere. Final Verdict: Visiting Alaska via cruise is the best way to visit, but I would not recommend Princess and I would urge people to look for something more modern. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Wanted to cruise Glacier Bay so I chose this ship because it is one of the smaller ships. Having cruised numerous times with other vendors this was my first cruise with the Princess line. The quality of the food was sub-par in all the ... Read More
Wanted to cruise Glacier Bay so I chose this ship because it is one of the smaller ships. Having cruised numerous times with other vendors this was my first cruise with the Princess line. The quality of the food was sub-par in all the food venues. The best food was the pizza and it was nothing to rave about. Service was good except for the room stewards who were not the friendliest and seemed to disappear when you needed them. The laundromat token machine never worked the entire 7 days after numerous complaints it was obvious that was not a priority. Go to guest services and get your tokens ahead of time. One traveler had to have her room steward banned from her room because he would repeatly put wet towels on top of her clothes and then deny it. The entertainment was also sub-par compared to my previous cruise experiences. I hope my experience was just tied to this ship and not the entire Princess Line of ships. It appears Princess has the market on the Alaska scene since most hotels, gift shops, resorts plus Holland, Carnival are all owned by Princess now Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This is our second trip to Alaska. This time we did the Connoiseur (?) land & sea. We liked the ship overall, but did find the shower very small, which sounds like a common issue for this ship. But it was manageable. We had an ... Read More
This is our second trip to Alaska. This time we did the Connoiseur (?) land & sea. We liked the ship overall, but did find the shower very small, which sounds like a common issue for this ship. But it was manageable. We had an inside cabin with a window, and it was big enough for the time spent in it. The bed was very comfy, and our steward was friendly and very efficient. We ate mainly in the main dining room. The food was very good, and the portions allowed for all the courses - room for appetizer, entree, and of course dessert! I had halibut one night and it was the best fish I've ever tasted. One night I ordered lobster off the Bayou Cafe menu and I thought it was dry and tough, although my friends had no complaints about theirs. The entertainment was good, but nothing exceptional. We were more entertained by just sitting on deck watching the world go by, although we did enjoy the comedian/magician, and the show we saw by the company was very good. We also enjoyed the naturalist, Mark. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Cabin steward and service throughout ship was good. Cabin well above 70 degrees throughout even though thermostat set on cold. Glad balcony had a door which opened. Food was disappointing- buffet breakfast was a zoo fighting aggressive ... Read More
Cabin steward and service throughout ship was good. Cabin well above 70 degrees throughout even though thermostat set on cold. Glad balcony had a door which opened. Food was disappointing- buffet breakfast was a zoo fighting aggressive people for a table. Lunch and dinner selections big on sushi, Indian....stuff I don't eat. Main dining room more civilized. Food selections inconsistent -ribs tough, muffaletta little meat on a bun. Mixed grill good. Scallops and shrimp 3 miniscule scallops with 3 very small shrimp and a dollop of mashed potatoes. Outbreak of flu then upper respiratory illness. Theatre New Orleans themed show good. Other entertainment primarily trivia, bingo,karaoke, talent show, food demo, selling jewelry. National Park Service presentation good. Glacier Bay was highlight. Booked tour before cruise. Regimented and rushed. It was a way to cover much ground in little time. Logistics of luggage very smooth- was positively amazed. This was a once in a lifetime bucket list trip. It was a father&son adventure. However, convinced me to not take a prepackaged tour or cruise again. At premium prices. Value for price poor. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I am glad we were booked on a small ship and were able to cruise Glacier Bay, but we will never cruise with Princess again. The ship is in desperate need of a complete overhaul. Everything was old and outdated. Princess also needs to ... Read More
I am glad we were booked on a small ship and were able to cruise Glacier Bay, but we will never cruise with Princess again. The ship is in desperate need of a complete overhaul. Everything was old and outdated. Princess also needs to overhaul the food and entertainment onboard. I have never had such bad food on a cruise ship. Not only was the quality and execution bad, the portions were very small. The only decent meals we had were at the Crab Pot and Bayou. While all of the servers/employees did an adequate job, none of them excelled. Actually, our room steward was a little lacking. I had to call to get a breakfast room service card each day and he kept trying to turn down our bed at 5:00 while we were in the room. We really enjoyed the excursions, but they are run by outside companies, so I cannot give the credit to Princess. We also enjoyed all of our time on the land portion of our tour. The only complaint I have is that at each and every location, there were no temperature controls for the room. We had to sleep with the windows open in order to have a little comfort. In the future, we will stick with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I picked this cruise because of the scenic cruising of Glacier Bay and Prince William Sound. Glacier Bay and College Fjord were fantastic. Great views from Aloha 727 suite with wrap around balcony. Cabin is spacious, wonderful bath. Bed ... Read More
I picked this cruise because of the scenic cruising of Glacier Bay and Prince William Sound. Glacier Bay and College Fjord were fantastic. Great views from Aloha 727 suite with wrap around balcony. Cabin is spacious, wonderful bath. Bed was very comfortable. Pillows were too soft. We didn't explore departure city of Vancouver since we just arrived the evening before. Might have been nice to arrive a day sooner & do the hop on hop off bus. We stayed at a hotel within a 10 minute cab to cruise terminal. Nice city, easy walk to dining. We ate at the Italian Tomato which was wonderful. Embarkation and disembarkation very smooth. Able to go right to our suite. Did take awhile to get our lugguge. Suspect very smooth for non-suite passengers also; they seem very organized. Service on ship was fantastic by everyone. These people work very hard and are so professional. I think they work a lot of hours and they will not complain when you mention it (notice same person working late at night is working again in the morning). Suite & ship in general in very good condition. Dining was excellent. Accommodated special dietary request of gluten free. Shows were very good. Icy Straight point: Enjoyed whale watching excursion and saw mama & baby humpback. Also enjoyed the small nature trail and museum. Juneau: arranged for independent excursion to Tracey Arm Fjord which was great. For the amount of time left in port after that, only walked around a little; didn't want to spend money to do the gondola since didn't have time spend on top of the mountain. If hadn't done Tracey Arm, would have done gondola & Mendenhall glacier. Skagway: walked around town, really liked seeing it & then did the shorter train trip which was good. Did a non-Princess land tour from Whittier to Denali.The weather on this trip was amazing. Was lounging at the swimming pool in Vancouver on the ship & swam. It was a mistake not to pack a pair of shorts & only 1 bathing suit. Each stop had sunny warm weather. I detest the cold. I was only cold on this trip when I went outside without my heavier coat for a little bit on the later part of this cruise. Did not travel with children. Feel like internet should have been free for the amount of money we spent. Also had to ignore a lot of flyers/promotions for jewelry, etc, but no big deal. Took advantage of suite benefit of free laundry service which was cool. One interesting issue we did have was that you are not allowed to take food off the ship, at least not officially. The all day independent excursion could not accommodate GF lunch. Didn't know ahead of time that I would not be able to get a to go GF lunch to take off the ship. In addition to fantastic service from Princess, service on all excursions during & after this trip in Alaska was fantastic. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Alaska is a beautiful place and our cruise on the Island Princess was great! Cruising Glacier Bay and was the highlight--be sure to spend time with the park rangers. The park rangers give a presentation and were also on the upper deck ... Read More
Alaska is a beautiful place and our cruise on the Island Princess was great! Cruising Glacier Bay and was the highlight--be sure to spend time with the park rangers. The park rangers give a presentation and were also on the upper deck for many hours with the passengers. We saw both Margerie and Lamplugh Glaciers. The staff in the MDR and our cabin steward were awesome. My only complaint would be the specialty dining at Bayou Cafe--worst meal of our entire cruise--food was poor quality and the service even worst--wish we had skipped the Bayou and gone to the MDR instead. We were really happy with the food in the MDR doing anytime dining--never had to wait too long for a table. The food at the buffet was great for breakfast and lunch. Also the Grill had crab cakes from Tracy's King Crab Shack the day we were in Juneau. The show Encore was the best show of the cruise. Also be sure to catch Funch, the piano man entertainer. He puts on a show one night in the theater, but you can also listen to him every night in Crooners Bar. Stay away from the jewelry store--Effy--they are extremely pushy. The ladies crafts were nice. Made a nice "Alaska" bracelet and luggage tag. Enjoyed the trivia, the art auction and the Voice of the Ocean. The cruise director was great--always around day and night. Cruising College Fjord was beautiful. We did the Princess Transfer for Disembarkation and highly recommend it. After the cruise we spent a week touring Alaska on our own in a rental car--a little bit of work to arrange it all on our own, but it was nice to be on our own schedule and more affordable than booking the land portion as a Princess Cruisetours. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Island Princess was a nice ship. Smaller and less spacious than the previous Royal Princess that we have been on. But we knew this when booking. Shower in cabin is EXTREMELY small. We are small to average size people and found this ... Read More
Island Princess was a nice ship. Smaller and less spacious than the previous Royal Princess that we have been on. But we knew this when booking. Shower in cabin is EXTREMELY small. We are small to average size people and found this shower to be very tight. Paid ahead of time for the full photo package however sometimes the photographers left early and set up late so we missed them sometimes. If you want your photo with the champagne tower on the first formal night and it starts at 7pm, don't wait like us to avoid the line. We went at 750pm and they were already in the middle of taking it down. Super disappointing. The photographers often had us pose in rather unflattering or odd looking positions. My husband was frequently told to lift his chin up which made for really abnormal looking photos. I was frequently asked to keep my fingers together when my hand was on my hip. Looks very strange in the photos. These are just examples. Typically I would say the full photo package is more than worth the price if you value photographic memories however, on this specific cruise experience I would be less likely to agree. Cabin Steward Ephraim was amazing. Super attentive and very on the ball. We did not find any of the wait staff outstanding which we have in the past. Food in the main dining rooms was awesome. Usually not a long wait to be seated. Sabatini's not worth the money as lobster was over cooked. Lido buffet was good. Food was average but variety was spectacular. One can't say they didn't have a ton of options. Ports and excursions were awesome. We chose this cruise based purely on going to Hoonah or Icy Straight Point for the Ziprider. Ziprider - awesome, if you are a thrill seeker this is probably up your alley Jeep tour - not a great value in our opinion. We didnt really get to go off roading which is what we had envisioned based on the description We didn't do any whale watching specific tours but many people who went on them in Icy Straight came back saying that many whales put on quite a show. Juneau - Helicopter to Mendenhall Glacier and salmon bake Amazing awesome experience. Loved all of it. Stunning scenery. Breath taking views. Mouth watering salmon bake. Skagway - lake Bennett and Carcross train tour Most beautiful part of the trip. Largely untouched beauty. Train itself is super cool as the train cars are original (updated) Glacier bay cruising was mesmerizing and the rangers were awesome. Handy little tip, book your seat in the Sanctuary for the day and have open photo opportunities. You don't have to fight other people to take great photos in an unobstructed area. Although we did have a clear day so for us it was well worth it. I should note we had near perfect weather for this cruise which made everything so much more awesome. We actually came back with sunburns. However, that is not the norm, most people experience a lot of rain or overcast days. We did not have time to see any shows but heard they were good. We did not use the fitness facilities, as again, we were too busy doing other things. Ultimate ship tour is awesome if you want to see how some things work behind closed doors on the ship. We got to visit the bridge, multiple galleys, some food storage, printer room, photo lab, engine control room, anchor area and a few others. A few perks also included as part of the ship tour fee were brand new bathrobes to take home, princess aprons, named stationary pad, a few photos as a group in different areas of the ship, champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries and a few other awesome goodies. We highly recommend it if it sounds like something you might be interested in. Read Less
Island Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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