Island Princess Cruise Review to Alaska - Gulf of Alaska
Sail Date: August 17, 2016
Ship: Island Princess
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: D409
Traveled As: Singles/Friends
Reviewed: 11 months ago
What a wonderful cruise! We stayed in Vancouver the night before and when we woke up early and walked down by the pier at 7:30, the Island was already docked. We watched as she was being tied up and waved to the passengers on-board. We wanted to miss the long wait lines and craziness of the busy embarkation, so we opted to take a Vancouver City Tour that morning (we found it in one of the emails from CrusieOne). Boy was this a great idea! Not only did we get to see the beautiful city, we didn't have to worry about our bags. They were loaded on our tour bus from our hotel and the next time we saw them, they were in our stateroom (when we boarded). The tour brought us to the pier at around 2:15. There were NO lines at check-in. That was nice!
For sail away, we found two chairs in the front of the ship, not the middle where the party was. We didn't want to deal with all the noise and large crowds. We had the perfect view. We could still hear the party, but it wasn't crazy loud. Our first night, we just explored the ship, had dinner (the lines were long for Anytime Diners; they offered us a table in the Traditional Dining Room at 7:45). After dinner, we went back to our room, unpacked, and just relaxed.
The weather was awesome most of the cruise. It was sunny with a little bit of cloud coverage in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. The only day it REALLY rained was in College Fjord. However, the Promenade (deck 7) is covered and there are heaters occasionally; thus, it wasn't too bad. I brought my winter jacket, but I never used it (or my gloves and hat). I wore just a sweatshirt and a windbreaker on the cooler days. I did see others with winter gear on though. I am from Chicago, so I am used to cold weather. I can see that if your not used to cold weather, that it would be cold. It was probably around 50, but wet. Other than the College Fjord day, it was in the 60's and 70's. I had just a t shirt or long sleeve shirt on most days.
The food on the ship was really good. I am not a sea food fan, but there was a lot of it. My mother (who I cruised with) had sea food almost every night and she said it was delicious. The only thing they didn't have which she was hoping for was King Crab. Maybe they did in the Crab Shack? We didn't go there, so I am not sure. I had steak almost every night...and it was delicious! The food in the Horizon court was good as well. There was always something new, but they had the staples at the same time.
All of the staff we met were super friendly and helpful. We did not have a bad experience with anyone. The ship was super clean. We were told to bring Clorox wipes on board and wipe everything down before unpacking. I started to do this, but noticed that it really wasn't necessary. Surprisingly, the shower has a lot of pressure...I was worried about that. The blow dryer, on the other hand; you might want to bring your own!
For the most part, the seas were very calm and there was just a slight rocking of the ship (if any at all). Our first sea day was a little noticeable, but not bad. The College Fjord day was choppy! They put out sea sickness bags by all the elevators just in case. It was one of those days where you would be walking on an angle and occasionally bumping into the wall. It wasn't horrible by any means, but but far the worst day of the whole trip. Nobody really seemed bothered by it though.
Overall, this was a great experience and I would gladly do it again. I miss the gentle rocking of the ship every night putting me to sleep ( I slept so well on board). I'm already thinking about my next Princess Cruise (although I don't know when or where it will be).