Good first cruise-- we went to Prince Rupert instead of Juneau

Island Princess Cruise Review to U.S. - Pacific, Northwest

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 34

Overall rating:

3.9 out of 5
Island Princess

5 Night Alaska Sampler (Vancouver Roundtrip)

Sail date: September 11, 2019

Ship: Island Princess

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: A405

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

I had a good first cruise experience. I found it comfortable, as I was traveling by myself. I booked the cruise for the wildlife viewing and First Nations art and was not disappointed. The ship could not make it to Juneau because of propulsion issues and substituted in Prince Rupert in northern British Columbia. Internet worked well enough to stream Youtube. Specialty coffees were good. Chocolates at bedtime were a nice touch.

Embarkation

3 out of 5
Main pain point was waiting around until the expected check-in time because Canada Place has no indoor chairs. Outdoor chairs were ok, if you don't mind getting a little cold.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
I had Anytime Dining and used it twice. Lunch was ok, the conversation companions were better. Formal dinner was excellent, and so were the conversation companions. The buffet was really good; I found selections I liked each time and did not feel like I had to resort to burgers and ice cream. Highlights: flourless chocolate cake, veal, breakfast smoothies, and breakfast bacon.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
This was a good cruise for whale watchers. We passed through Johnstone Strait both ways, where whales were visible. So, instead of playing bingo, I watched for wildlife every time the on-board naturalist pointed out something over the PA system. The naturalist gave good lectures, too.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
The nighttime production shows were excellent- you do have to arrive early for a seat as you would for a play or opera. The atrium string/piano players chose sleepy selections. I would like to have the energy shown in the production shows extend to these atrium performances.

Children's Programs

No minors with me.

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
Service was good. The staff was very friendly.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Generally fine. I liked the design. Top surfaces and mirrors were clean. The cabin bathroom had a persistent mildew odor and there were some permanent (wouldn't come off with solvent) stains on the walls. Some drawers had cosmetic residue stuck on the interior. No real deal breakers because the bed was very comfortable.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Location had good proximity to buffet. Any Lido deck noise didn't bother me, probably because my cabin was located directly under, and not to the side of, the pool. (Or, I normally live in noisy quarters on land.) The size was all right. I don't know how more than one person can live in here without fighting over space.

Ship tip

It's chill, especially during the daytime. If you want to party, you can do that late night with the cruise director et al. If you want to relax, do that.

Ports of call

Vancouver (Canada Place), British Columbia

5 out of 5
No excursion, but Vancouver is a great place to visit!

Juneau, Alaska Did not visit port

We went to Prince Rupert instead because of ship propulsion issues, and that involved a very excellent whale-watching excursion on a partly cloudy day.

Ketchikan, Alaska

4 out of 5
Very rainy, an authentic Alaskan experience. Visited Totem Bight, which still was worth it in the rain.

Disembarkation

3 out of 5
We had to vacate cabins by 8am, and some of us were disembarking after 9am. If you're staying in the city for the day, there aren't that many businesses open at 8am. I actually waited in the "posh" group disembarkation area before going down to my assigned area, where passengers waited out the door.
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