Good "first time to Alaska" cruise, will leave you wanting more!

Grand Princess Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 6

Overall rating:

4.2 out of 5
Grand Princess

10 Night Alaska Inside Passage With Hubbard Glacier (San Francisco Roundtrip)

Sail date: May 16, 2019

Ship: Grand Princess

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: C714

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

This was my first time cruising to and visiting Alaska. It was truly beautiful, and I will go back again but want to see more ports/cities next time. We went in May, and we had beautiful weather (no rain at all), but discovered that it was a little early to see a lot of wildlife. They tend to come out more in late June and July per our guides. You will get more rain during that time, but you'll see more animals. There were only 30 kids under the age of 18 on our ship. I spoke with a Kids Camp employee who said it goes up in the summer, with her schedule peaking at around 350 kids on an upcoming July cruise. You'll find an older crowd going in May and September to avoid all the kidlets and the top tier pricing.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Easy embarkation as always

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
The main dining was good, the Crown Grill was excellent. The Horizon Court (buffet) is okay, but the only desserts that had any flavor in the Horizon Court were their bread puddings and fruit crumbles. The cakes and pies lack flavor.

Crown Grill

5 out of 5

The prawns app was delicious, as was the french onion soup. And my fillet minion was tender and pink in the middle and so, so flavorful.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
The Spa service was nice, I recommend the hair treatment and scalp massage... heaven. This ship is older so it doesn't offer rock climbing walls or water slides.

Entertainment

I didn't go see any live shows, not really my thing.

Movies Under The Stars

5 out of 5

Unless it's really chilly, I enjoy Movies Under the Stars. Reminds me of going to the drive-in when I was a kid, but much better seating!

Children's Programs

No kids

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The staff was very friendly and always helpful. They work their tails off and usually always had a smile, something I don't think I could pull off day in and day out.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
The ship was very clean, the only reason for the three stars is the decor needs to be updated.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
My cabin was clean and comfortable. My hair dryer didn't work, but they brought me another one so no problem. I did hear other people mention their sliding glass doors didn't lock so they opened and slammed closed all night long, and the cabin next to mine had a toilet malfunction, so my broken hair dryer was nothing compared to those problems. This was my first time being so far back on a ship. I felt everything, and won't get a Aft cabin again as it affected my motion sickness. The decor is dated but the bed is really comfortable. I'm picky about my pillow and pack it when I go on vacations, but do not need to on Princess as their pillows are very nice.

Ship tip

There aren't a lot of plugs in the cabins, and they allow non surge power strips. I brought one that has three outlets and two USB ports, worked great. The cabins tend to run dry and you wash your hands a lot. The ship gives you hand lotion in your bathroom, but if you have a personal favorite, bring some, you'll need it.

Ports of call

Juneau, Alaska

5 out of 5
Juneau was lovely, but very crowded the day we were there. There is a lot to do, I'd recommend Mendenhall Glacier just like everyone else. Salmon bake was also yummy.

Cruise Hubbard Glacier

5 out of 5
Truly amazing to see in person.

Haines, Alaska

4 out of 5
Haines is a small town that has things to do and places to shop, but it isn't touristy like the other ports we visited, and I appreciated that. We went to the American Bald Eagle Foundation and it was very interesting but overpriced when purchased through the ship. If you want to go, it's not that far of a walk from the dock, or book outside of the ship's excursion package.

Ketchikan, Alaska

5 out of 5
I fell a little bit in love with Ketchikan. It was adorable. We went to a crab feed at George Inlet Lodge that was so, so, so good. We booked it ourselves (not through the ship) and it was great. A Kids Camp employee from the ship and her husband, who is a cabin steward, were on this tour, it was their second time going. I thought it was a good sign that cruise ship workers were choosing to spend their few precious hours off going to a place they'd already been.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
They allowed you to choose the time-frame you wanted to disembark, which is nice for those who want off early and those who want to wait until the bitter end. Be careful of returning on event days in San Francisco. A taxi hailer told us the Sunday prior the Embarcadero was closed due to a citywide marathon, and thousands of people we stranded as taxis and buses couldn't get to the pier.
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