My wife and I were on the Referenced sailing from Anchorage to Vancouver. While the amenities and service were ok, the itinerary compared to the marketing materials were very deceiving. We were looking forward to our first cruise vacation but came away very disappointed. Princess hasn't had the courtesy to respond to this issue I presented to them in writing (Princess if you are out there...this is Ref File 147). Bottom line is that this ship is TOO BIG to sail this passage as shown in the itinerary. Chose another ship or better yet, another cruise line.
The Princess book '2019 Princess Cruises Alaska' map on page 18 clearly shows the route being the Inside Passage. Page 19 Southbound shows "Cruising the Inside Passage" on Day 7. If there was no intent for the Royal Princess to do that route, it should have it's own map and itinerary. I specifically chose this route because it was to sail the inside passage. Wow, what a disappointment. This was my day to sit on the balcony and see & follow the route of the inside passage on my map. Not to be on the open ocean.
We had to leave Ketchikan hours early. The Captain said they were 'notified' by Vancouver that the ship was too tall to get under the bridge at the given tide. As tightly run as the ship is, the tide tables/height of the bridge in Vancouver MUST have been known months/years in advance causing us to leave Ketchikan early. So publish this when the cruise is booked so we can chose the appropriate excursions, change ships, etc. We had zero time to see Ketchikan after the Misty Fjords tour. Disappointment #2.
We got to see Hubbard Glacier on day 2 FROM 7 MILES AWAY. It was barely visible even with binoculars. Google 'Island Princess Cruise Ship at Hubbard Glacier' (a smaller ship) to view the ship in the Ice field and awesome views that are shown. Disappointment #3.
All the above is very deceptive marketing and failure to deliver. How can I ever trust another Princess publication or the Princess Company again? Look for another Cruise line.
Here's the rest of the cruise information:
Ship: Very elegant, but TOO BIG for this route.
Dining: The food was generally good and the wait staff was very cordial. The restaurants were generally good, depending on the meal ordered. The Italian specialty restaurant was very good but the 5 course food quantities were over the top. We had favorites in the buffet. The fruit was excellent.
Activities: We observed but didn't participate in activities such as dancing, gambling, art, etc. Perhaps next time.
Service: All in all it was excellent. The cabin was always clean. We didn't actually interact with the cabin attendant much. Food wait staff was excellent throughout. The tip for Princess: More signs and clarity are in order for folks to know how to leave the ship at port. No one was around to help or answer questions.
Entertainment: We really enjoyed the Comedian and the Magician and went to all their shows. The singers were pretty old school in their music selection. It seems something my mother would have enjoyed 40 years ago listening to Lawrence Welk vs what would be good now. Even a 70's tribute band would have been more appealing.
Staff: Most everyone was fine, with the exception of the security staff and those putting on the evacuation drill talk who were very humorless. My biggest complaint on Princess staff: I HAVE DOCUMENTED THE 3 ISSUES ABOVE and Princess hasn't had the courtesy to respond to this issue I presented to them in writing (Princess if you are out there...this is Ref File 147).
We saw very few children on this cruise. Outside of swimming, there wasn't much for them to do.
It's unfortunate that the issues with the trip has had a significant damper on the overall experience for us. I had to rate 'Value for the money' as low because many of the reasons for picking this cruise were not fulfilled. My only recourse is to warn future travelers to not take this ship to Alaska and to carefully check all the fine print that Princess seems to use to skirt around the basic facts.
Clean but small. Beds are very comfortable. I paid for a balcony, but due to the route changes I didn't get much use of it. I would have liked to use the balcony more on the last day coming into Vancouver.
Skagway was an interesting town and the excursion was good. We hiked the trail and rafted down. We had enough time to do both as the ship didn't leave till 8:00pm.View All 35 River Rafting/Eagle Preserve Reviews
We got to see Hubbard Glacier on day 2 FROM 7 MILES AWAY. It was barely visible even with binoculars. We were mostly waiting for the $300+ excursion to come back. Very Disappointing.
Smokey when we were there so didn't get to see the surrounding mountains.
Pretty, but we were bussed in so didn't see much.
We rented a car so had a lot of freedom. Time was still tight as the ship left at 4pm. We would have liked to have more time in Juneau. Going to the Glacier was the best part.
Getting to Misty Fjords was a LONG trip on a fast boat. Very nice at the end, but too much riding to get there.
We had to leave Ketchikan hours early. The Captain said they were 'notified' by Vancouver that the ship was too tall to get under the bridge at the given tide. As tightly run as the ship is, the tide tables/height of the bridge in Vancouver MUST have been known months/years in advance causing us to leave Ketchikan early. So publish this when the cruise is booked so we can chose the appropriate excursions, change ships, etc. We had zero time to see Ketchikan after the Misty Fjords tour. Disappointing.View All 113 Misty Fjords Wilderness Cruise Reviews