Lots of fun. Great crew. Amazing view of islands. Glacier is beautiful.

Grand Princess Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 13

Overall rating:

4.9 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: Oceanview

Cabin number: E503

Traveled as: Family (young children)

Reviewed: 11 months ago

Review summary

I would recommend this Alaskan cruise for everyone. When you think Alaska, you think COLD, but we went on the first cruise of the season (mid-May), and it was not cold. The coldest weather we experienced was in SAN FRANCISCO. So, if you can handle SF weather, you can handle Alaska.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Pretty fast.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
This was our first cruise ever, so we were pretty impressed. The selection at the buffet was over the top. The specialty restaurants were well worth the price. The desserts were incredibly beautiful; they were tiny, so it was okay to grab a selection of desserts. Coffee was not amazing; it was more like gas station coffee, but considering that everything else on the ship was so thoughtful, I'll take the not-so-great-coffee. The specialty coffees also were not great. But, if you're not a coffee person, you probably wouldn't notice. Pizza, hotdogs, and hamburgers were available all day and night at the pool. Perfect for picky kids!

International Cafe

5 out of 5

Open 24 hours a day. Cake. Coffee. Bagels. Super fancy desserts. Right next to the live musicians. Sit down for a midnight snack, and hear some beautiful violin music.

Sundaes Ice Cream Bar

5 out of 5

My kids loved the all-you-can-eat ice cream bar. Served all day with a smile, too.

Horizon Court

5 out of 5

Loved Horizon Court.

Da Vinci (Main Dining Room)

5 out of 5

Loved the buffet dining. It was hard to get a table next to the window, but that's okay. The kids usually liked sitting out by the pool.

Crown Grill

5 out of 5

Worth the money!

Calypso Cove

5 out of 5

The gift shop is not as high priced as you'd expect. They had everything that you'd need if you forgot to pack something.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
The spa was very special. Staff was friendly and thoughtful. I had a massage, and it was very peaceful, and I could see the glacier out the window! It was well worth the money to have some time away from the kids.

Shuffle Board

5 out of 5

What a surprise to find shuffle board. We had fun.

Neptune's Reef and Pool

5 out of 5

Awesome architecture. Pool. Two hot tubs. Happy kids. A few feet from the ice cream bar. A fun place.

Lotus Spa

5 out of 5

The staff was very nice and professional. Hot tea. Hot stone massage.

Fine Arts Gallery

5 out of 5

I went to art school, so I'm normally not impressed with "street art" for sale, such as what you'd find at outdoor farmer's markets. That's what I was expecting. I was very surprised to see that the art work was very good. I was wishing that I had it in my budget to buy something. I was impressed.

Calypso Reef And Pool

5 out of 5

Kids should be with an adult because there is no life guard. The pool water splashes out of the pool, and the outer pool wall blocks it, and it splashes back in. You definitely want to be right next to your kids while at the pool.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
Tess Juliana , the onboard naturalist is a must. The music trivia at the bar was fun.

Princess Theater

5 out of 5

Very nice theater. So many great shows going on in there, including musicals. All shows are included in the price.

Movies Under The Stars

5 out of 5

OMG. This is the WHY of why you book a cruise with your family. Do not miss this. Wear your wool socks. Hot blankets are available for free. Hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza just a few feet away.

Children's Programs

5 out of 5
Children's club was great. I like that they do not let your kids leave until you arrive to pick them up, so it was comforting knowing that they were safe. They had special activities arranged for the kids, so by the end of the week, my son was making friends there.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
OMG. Staff was 10 stars. They genuinely want you to be happy. Every staff member is so considerate. No question was too dumb for them. So helpful !! By the end of the cruise, you know most of them by name, and most remember your name, too.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Staff kept everything in tip top shape.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
We had "obstructed view", so saved some money there. But... it turns out that our "obstructed view" was just barely blocked by a lifeboat. We had a great view of the islands from our room.

Ship tip

The pictures showed giant chess pieces, and miniature golfing, but we did not find either of these.

Ports of call

San Francisco, California

5 out of 5
Close to home. The Airporter bus service brought us right to the front door of the ship.

Juneau, Alaska

4 out of 5
A bit touristy. But, we saw a few bald eagles through the binoculars.

Cruise Hubbard Glacier

5 out of 5
Before we went on the cruise, I had little interest in the glacier. I thought that we'd just have fun on the cruise ship. But, after seeing the glacier, my first glacier, OMG, it was mesmerizing. I couldn't stop looking at it. We went in mid-May, and at the glacier was the only part of the trip where we actually needed a jacket. So, it was fun, getting the full effect, being cold, and staring at a glacier.

Haines, Alaska

5 out of 5
It was HOT in Haines. We were wearing tank tops. Mid-May. There was a cute town, which involved a nice short walk from the cruise ship. There was a sandy beach which the kids loved.

Ketchikan, Alaska

5 out of 5
We loved Ketchikan. There's a nice library there, and a history museum that is free for kids. We saw some cool totem poles. There was a great local brewery there, too. We saw a few more bald eagles on departing Ketchikan.

Victoria, British Columbia

4 out of 5
We woke up late, and did not get off the boat. A bit of research showed that the drive all the way across town would take too long, and it would be expensive getting to the fun part of town. The cruise ship docks in an area that is not next to anything of interest. So, wake up early if you want to see Victoria.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Fast.
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