Best Anniversary EVER

Island Princess Cruise Review to Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

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

Overall rating:

4.2 out of 5
Island Princess

7 Night Voyage Of The Glaciers Northbound (Vancouver To Anchorage)

Sail date: July 31, 2019

Ship: Island Princess

Cabin type: Balcony

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

Loved this trip. Nothing is ever perfect, but I would sail Princess and this ship again. However, I’d also consider choosing a value-priced cruise, in order to return sooner to Alaska!

Embarkation

5 out of 5
I had hurt my leg en route to Vancouver, and the staff immediately saw my need and got me a wheelchair. Everything was expedited. Best part? Our room was available as soon as we boarded, about 11:00!

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
The 5 stars represent food quality and service in Provence, our main dining room (early seating). The buffet could not have been more different. The food was dreadful, except desserts. We did not choose specialty dining.

Horizon Court

1 out of 5

Crowded room, stressful noise levels, weird food = bad idea. They also seemed to have too many staff (indicated by loitering, or clusters of deep conversation), who were always in the way. Usually only half of the buffet tables were being used, which I get, but they were all on one side of the room, instead of spread out - made crowding worse. Stick to the MDRs!!!

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
I was mobility-impaired, but my husband did the High Seas Heist, which he really enjoyed (a voyage-long mystery). There were great naturalist talks, crafts, trivia games, game “shows,” etc. As this was an Alaska trip, not much swimming!

Photo Gallery

5 out of 5

Much more nicely done than on other ships. Plenty of space to bypass it, or to take a nice, leisurely look. Kudos.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
While we did not attend any of the productions, we liked the ambience around the atrium very much - lovely sitting nooks with views, always good music. The ship had an abundance of these pleasant spots.

Grand Atrium

5 out of 5

Full of delightful, comfy nooks to chat or read, with drinks service if you want it. I don’t usually enjoy this place on a ship, but thought this was well done.

The Library

5 out of 5

First ship I’ve ever been on that had a library. Oh sure, they all CLAIMED to have a library, but no one who likes books was on those committees. THIS library had lots of cozy chairs (each with its own lamp), many with views, and a reasonable selection of books. There were different sections where people could play games or cards or do puzzles, all of which were tucked away in cabinets.

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
MDR waiters were as good as the food. Our steward was, in a word, disappointing. Other encounters with staff and crew were very satisfying.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
-Lovely ship, not crowded as previous other reviewers had said. -Strong emphasis on cleanliness. -I might’ve tried not to bury the laundromats all at far aft, but it’s a quibble.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
E207: “Partially obstructed view” means that about a third or half of the rectangle of the view is replaced by the curve of the bulkhead. If you look at a picture of the ship you can see it. It’s the first forward balcony on the 8th deck(which has the longest bow). That’s not great, but it was fine, in practice. We had plenty of room to share the views. The room was fine: ample closet space, shelves, comfy bed, nice sink, but tiny, TINY shower!! And that 2017 refit did not include handheld shower heads, which would have mitigated the TININESS of the thing.

Ship tip

Afternoon tea! They have it every day, and you just need this. And it’s absolutely included in your fare, so why not?

Ports of call

Vancouver (Canada Place), British Columbia

3 out of 5
Do not stay at the Patricia Budget Inn. Its proximity to Canada Place is nice, but especially for young families, just NO.

Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Alaska

2 out of 5
We had a non-Princess whale watch that made my husband repeatedly ill, although he took meds before the trip, because the captain had to go so far(in choppy seas) to find any whales. We live in New England; worst whale watch ever. And zero orcas :-(

Juneau, Alaska

5 out of 5
We chose more sedate activities here. A Princess tour that went to a salmon hatchery, Mendenhall glacier, and the “mandatory”-but-delicious Gold Creek salmon bake. All aspects of this tour were most satisfying. Tip: You can watch salmon doing unscripted spawning in the creek. We loved it.

Skagway, Alaska

5 out of 5
We took the ferry to Haines, to do a Princess excursion on the Chilkat River for wildlife viewing. No bears obliged, but our hosts were fantastic and the views were heavenly.

Cruise Glacier Bay

5 out of 5
Every day of this cruise just kept getting more visually stunning...

Cruise College Fjord, Alaska

5 out of 5
...and this day was unspeakably beautiful. I had been bummed about seeing neither orca nor bear, but THIS day was the one when my heart knew I will go back to Alaska.

Whittier (Anchorage), Alaska

1 out of 5
Unfortunately did not have the funds left to do anything here before heading to Anchorage and home.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
They had us wait in the MDR to be called, but didn’t want to give us any water. Seemed odd.

Traveler Photos

Leaving Anchorage Sunset from our balcony Margerie Glacier On Chilkat River, Haines Bald Eagle on Chilkat River
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