May 2016 - Crown Princess to Alaska - Inside Passage
Best part of the cruise was the beautiful scenery. We went from May 28-June 4, 2016, so it was pretty cold up on deck. It was mostly cold, windy, and rainy, so if you were planning on lying out on deck, it didn't really happen. We went out to the jacuzzi once on one of the two warmer/sunny days we had. But perhaps if you go in July it will be warmer. The service was pretty good and the staff pretty nice and friendly. Food was ok - not the best, but not bad either. The activities offered were fine - they had bingo, trivia games, an art auction. Of course it all depends what you're into. It was an older crowd, so everything was pretty low-key. Was calm and relaxing. There was a casino. As for shore excursions, we didn't want to pay too much, so opted for the lower priced ones like the bus tour to Klondike Summit, etc. All was pretty and easy-going. We did not do any particularly exciting or adventurous activities. So if you ask me if I would recommend this cruise, I would say that if you want to see Alaska and just experience a cruise for the first time and are more of a mellow low-key person, this is the cruise for you. This was my first cruise, and it was more of an experiment to see if I could handle the seas since I'm prone to seasickness. I did not get seasick at all, even though we had a couple of rocky nights, but all in all it was a success for me. I would consider doing another cruise, but I would go someplace warmer next time so that we can actually lay out on desk and not have to bundle up just to go outside and look out at the ocean. Oh, one final thing I'll mention is that Princess was pretty organized in how they ran things. However, there were a couple of things that happened on our cruise that I feel could possibly have been handled better. First, the entire ship had to wait to disembark in Canada because they needed to track down a family who apparently did not complete the customs forms properly. Our shore excursion to Butchart Gardens in Victoria was delayed an hour or so because of this, so that was time lost. Not sure how this process works, but I'm wondering if Princess could have somehow caught this error prior to the ship arriving in Canada so that the delay could be avoided. The second thing was when I opted to have "E-Z onboard check-in" from the ship to my flight. Princess offers this service where they will check in for you, print your boarding pass, and send your bags directly to the airport for you so that you are free to do what you want when you get off the ship and not have to worry about your luggage. They charge $20 per bag, which was fine, but they insisted that I provide them with a printout of my flight itinerary which I did not have. Had they told me that I needed to provide a printout, I would surely have brought it with me, but I didn't. I had to wait to get onshore and forward the email I received from Delta to one of the Princess passenger services people so that they could print it out for me and attach it to my request form. This ended up turning out alright, but it was a bit aggravating and stressful to have to worry about. Other than that, Princess provided pretty good service and our cabin steward was particularly good.