Grand Princess Cruise Review to Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

Contributor Level: Purser

2-3 cruises


Helpful Vote

4 out of 5

Crusing with family

Sail Date: June 20, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Large Group

Room Type: Oceanview

See below. Room was small but adequate for us. We traveled with my parents and brother's family (total of 9; 6 adults, 1 teenager, 2 kids). Horizon Court (buffet) breakfast was good; lunch and dinner was adequate (repurposed food); salty. Getting pizza, hotdog, etc from the grill during lunch was easy. Formal dinner took 2.5 hours - much too long! Service was slow though attentive when they were present. Alberto's Pizza was good, as well as the sandwiches in the lounge. After all the excursions and better understanding the city, it was not worth booking the expensive city tours when you can walk it yourself. The lumberjack show, dog sledding (summer camp), and White Rail & Yukon Pass train ride were all great and fun for the kids.

Food and Dining
Food overly salty; during formal night, it took 2.5 hours to get through dinner (service took too long). Horizon Court breakfast was good; lunch and dinner was adequate (saw lots of the same food repurposed); lines were long and only one side was open at a time, with so many passengers, they should open both sides of the food court in parallel.
Service and Staff
Arnel Fernandez was our Stateroom Steward. Always greeted us with a smile, provided what was requested, efficient turndown service.
Not all the venue shows were good.
Onboard Activities
Destinations and Excursions
Some of the city's were so small that we could have just walked around instead of booking an expensive excursion for a walk around a small city (e.g. 9 block city).
Ship Quality
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Disembarkation was needlessly annoying. During registration we have provided all of our flight information. Given this, we are assigned to a group which leaves well after (8:30 AM) our transportation arrives (6:15 AM). Tried to fix this with passenger / customer service and we are still put into a later group. Finally the next morning, we called for the gangway # and just went directly to that floor to disembark at 6 AM. I understand you have to wait for Port Authority to clear you, but the ship anchored at Whittier at 12 AM midnight, which should give adequate time to let passengers with private transportation disembark at the required time to make their appointment and subsequent flight. Also there must be other ports that Princess can stop at. Whittier is so small that there are limited options and it seems that you are forced to use Princess transportation.
Cabin / Stateroom
Small, but made it work with two adults and one child. Stateroom Steward turned down the room at night and in the morning.
Ketchikan, Alaska
Small city; lumberjack show was fun for kids. Didn't need to book an expensive city excursion since it was so small.
Juneau, Alaska
Again, small city; walk it yourself instead of the expensive excursion. The summer camp dog sled was fun. Took the tram up to the summit for great views.
Skagway, Alaska
Road the White Rail & Yukon Pass train up to Fraser, attended the gold panning (long intro), and walked the city ourselves. Expensive excursion, can walk the city yourself. The rail trip was worth it.
Cruise Glacier Bay
Weather was cloudy and wasn't able to see as much as we had hoped.
Cruise College Fjord, Alaska
Great views.
Whittier (Anchorage), Alaska
Only there for disembarkation. See notes there as getting off the ship was frustrating for those with private transportation.

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