Loved the various stops along the way to explore to cities of Skagway, Ketchikan and Juneau, Alaska. Would recommend spending a few extra days in Anchorage, Alaska to go to Denali National Park. It's 5.5 hour trip each way so plan to spend a day or two there. The excursion by rail and bus to the Yukon was absolutely beautiful...just wish we had seen some wildlife such as moose, elk, bear.
We cruised on the Coral Princess from Vancouver, BC to Whittier, AK in June of 2017. My husband and I had an unobstructed view room (P542) and my folks were in one of the balcony suites (D702).
The ship was easy to navigate, and in good repair, however perhaps a little dated (brass hardware was on all the things!). The staff we interacted with was always friendly and approachable, and hard working.
Food was good, but not great. TONS of fresh fruit, vegetables, and salad... but most of the cooked dishes were overly salted. We adhere to a none-to-low sodium diet, so while it may taste fine to those with a habit of adding a dash of salt to things, to us it was overly sodium flavored. Also, ALL fish was WAY overcooked, even the lobster at the Bayou Café. Put the salmon on the grill, count to 10 and call it good. Any longer and it is rubbery.
We only booked one excursion through Princess, a zip line in Ketchikan. When you get off the boat you have to find a person with a number for the tour group you are booked with. Well, when the cruise ship does not give you that number ahead of time it becomes a bit chaotic (think unorganized carpool lane at an elementary school where the kids don't recognize their parents and vice versa). We ended up finding a little hut with the name of the zip line park and they directed us to the numbered agent with the waiver forms.
The alcohol package was not a good fit for my husband and me as a combined $104 per day was more than we would be consuming in drink-by-drink prices, but the selection was decent. They listed Alaskan IPA on the menu, but it was never in stock. Disappointing as that was the only IPA on the menu. And if you have a desire to drink something other than beer flavored water, avoid the beer buckets. Dos Equis, Heineken, Miller Lite, Coors Light and Bud Light were all that was offered at five for the price of four. Boooo. Margaritas were always on point though!
Our captain made an effort to always notify the ship when whales were spotted by us, or other ships around us, which was great. He would meander around the ship, even performing a couple magic tricks in the card room for some kids.
The scenery on this cruise is magnificent. The ship is very clean and the buffet was consistently excellent. The library and game rooms are well-stocked and pleasant to use. Our room was clean and comfortable - our steward was friendly and attentive (but no towel animals on this cruise) and tidied up the room twice per day. We liked the older, more polite guests on this cruise - it definitely wasn't a party boat, but we didn't do any late-night dancing so I can't comment on that.
There were a few less-positive things, though. The dining room service was not great because the staff seemed stressed and distracted. This happened every time we went, and we heard the same complaint from the other people who sat with us. It was no fun dining in the dining rooms, which is the opposite experience we had with other cruise lines. The food was good, but not any better than the buffet, so we quit using the dining room for dinner after the first four days, and the buffet staff was very friendly and helpful. Oh, the coffee was fantastic! We drank soooo much of it. Room service coffee in the morning was terrible, though - I have no idea why. Maybe the carafe was soapy or something.
The main singers/dancers for the productions (big shows) were just okay - my husband said it reminded him of watching Lawrence Welk (we're in our 50s so he must have seen LW when he was a kid). We loved the staff talent show at the end of the cruise, though. The live music in different areas during the cruise (string quartet, pianist, vocalists) was very nice. The magician/comedian was great. The narrow hallways where the staterooms are always had cleaning carts in them, so it was sometimes a squeeze getting by. We're both pretty trim, so I can't imagine being overweight, or having a wheelchair or walker. You have to go single-file, so it would be difficult if you need assistance. Also, unless you're small, trim and fit, you will struggle with the tiny shower in the interior stateroom. Make sure you get a larger room with a tub/shower and it might be better.
If you like to find quiet places to enjoy the scenery or read a book, you definitely can. If you like to be around people, you can find that, too.
I really enjoyed the College Glacier. It was a beautiful day to be there. The ship was there long enough to really see this amazing site.amazing and a great memory to see this.
Well...to be fair, I'm not really a "cruise person" and would prefer to visit destination not via a cruise ship. But I will say the trip was decent. For the most part, the trip delivered on making sure all of the locations were visited and the Ports of Call were explored. I really enjoyed my Port excursion trips...but will say, they are totally OVER-PRICED! As far as the boat is concerned, it was just average at best. A few items needing improvement included -
1.) Better "anytime dining" experience (stood in long lines to eat & when seated, always had to share a table with others)
2.) The other ship restaurants charge you a fee to eat, but the food was not BETTER than what you get in the regular restaurants, included in your price.
3.) Too much of "pushing sales" on the boat! Raffle this-raffle that...etc. Too gimmicky!
4.) The "days at Sea" were somewhat boring.
5.) Need MORE variety of shows at sea (i.e. Live Jazz groups, Broadway plays, etc)
6.) I understand the package DID NOT include alcohol as part of the package...but, WHY do you 'nickel and dime' passengers and make them pay for fruit juice, sodas, etc. Haven't you made plenty of money?
7.) So I got my ice-cream cone as part of my package...but was charged $2.50 for my ice-cream malt? ("nickel & diving" again)
...That is all.
We had the time of our lives. Everything worked as planned. The ship needs to have it's makeup touched up but in no way affected our cruise. The ship's crew maneuvered us around so all could get up close and as personal as we could with multiple Glaciers. The tours were smooth and enjoyable. Our room steward Jacinto Baptista) was such a great guy. My wife had special needs and he attended to this forthwith. The food was delicious and the entertainment was impeccable. The stage productions are some of the best we have seen off Broadway. All in all a splendid time indeed.
The cruise ship had a lot of chipped paint and rusted areas. Windows were impossible to see thru in the buffet and several other areas of the ship. Since this ship was headed to Alaska, I'm sure guests would like to see the view. We had no hot water in our cabin and another couple told us their heating wasn't working for 4 days. I indicated it was my mother's birthday and was told a cake would be served on our second night. No cake was ever served on any of the nights. I didn't feel that the entertainment or the cruise staff was up to par when comparing it to our experience on the Ruby Princess in Nov. 2015.
Loved the time we spent with our pastor in discussions. Staff was great. Food was very good. A lot of wonderful things in a short time. We enjoyed our dance classes.
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