Island Princess Cruise Review to U.S. - Pacific, Northwest
5 Night Alaska Sampler (Vancouver Roundtrip)
Sail date: September 11, 2019
Ship: Island Princess
Traveled as: Couple
Reviewed: 2 years ago
Review summaryWorse vacation experience ever! We will never cruise again after the nightmare 5 day trip to Alaska on the Island Princess we just returned from. Our 5 day cruise was suppose to include two stops; Juneau and Ketchikan. We sailed on a broken ship, the stop in Juneau was cancelled, the staff was rude and surly, the food was inedible, the gym was abysmal, and the “activities” on board were sales pitches to spend more money; the experience was miserable. The Broken Ship and Cancelled Juneau stop: We received a message from our travel agent the day before the ship was to set sail informing us Princess had just issued mandatory preassigned times they were requiring passengers to board the ship the next day. Our assigned time was several hours sooner than we had planned as we had plans to sight see in Vancouver that morning. So, we hustled down to the ship for our assigned boarding time. When it was finally time to leave port several hours later the captain announces that some propeller was broken and they were fixing it and we would leave late. (So, it is beyond me what the hurry to rush everyone onto the boat was for!) Through out the evening we continued to just sit there not moving while the captain would come on the load speaker and promise we would be leaving “soon.” At 2:00 the next day we finally left. At this point we have been held captive on essentially a floating hotel for over 12 hours! The following day, after we were already moving, the captain announces the boat was not fixed and they will not be sailing into Juneau. Instead they will “try” to find an alternative port. Great, we are not going to Juneau, the capital of Alaska, I won’t be hiking any glaciers (there are not any trips to see glaciers in the other port) and my husband will not be going on the Alaskan salmon fishing trip he had booked (there was no such salmon fishing trip in the other port). Glaciers and fishing for salmon in the capital of Alaska are the reasons we took this trip, now none of it was going to happen and we would be stuck on this broken-down ship for the next 5 days. If they would have told us this when we were still in Vancouver, we could have gotten off the boat and made our own arrangements to fly to Juneau! Oh, they did go to an alternative port to replace Juneau: Prince Rupert, Canada. Canada, not Alaska. In addition, Prince Rupert had nothing there, and was not equipped to have a boat full of 2000 people dropped off on it unexpectedly. I asked at the visitor center if they even get cruise ships that make stops in their little island and was told they do not. When we finally did make it to our stop in Ketchikan, we were not allowed off until the afternoon. So, we only got to spend half the day there. The Staff and Food: Staff all over the ship looked miserable and if you smiled at them, they just stared blankly back at you. The dining room staff was slow and disorganized. The first night we ate there my husband and I could not even eat the food they served it was so bland. It also had been sitting waiting to be served so long, gravy had formed a disgusting skin on top of it. Another time we went in and only ordered dessert and hot tea. We sat there for 30 minutes without any hot tea. We gave up and left without it. How hard is it to hand someone hot water? We tried the buffet hoping it would be better. The food was poorly labeled for allergies and vegetarian choices were lacking, none existent, or only consisted of raw veggies and wilted rotting lettuce. After the rotten lettuce experience, I went into the dining room to eat a salad and then asked if I could have an extra salad to take back to my room and put in my fridge and was told “no.” Why not?? I can bring the rotted lettuce from the buffet back to my room, what is so hard or egregious to you that I take a salad from the dining room back??? Another time I ordered a pizza and it was handed to me whole and uncut. I asked if they would please cut it into slices for me and was told, “There is a fork and knife behind you.” The guy was literally standing in front of 3 pizza cutters, but would not slice the pizza he just handed me. The Gym and Activities: I hope you don’t like to run or walk in fresh air while on this ship because a walking/running track does not exist, they don’t have one. Instead they have a small, stuffy, windowless room, in the bottom of the boat with a few treadmills facing the wall, really. We had seen photos of treadmills facing out to the ocean in the Oasis spa online, when I asked about those treadmills, I was told they moved them all down to the windowless room. Wonderful, who doesn’t love to run on a treadmill with their face 3 feet away from a blank wall. Don’t like the sound of the walking/running situation on the treadmills, well then try spinning. They offered spinning classes; only 3 times and for a fee. The rest of the time the spinning bikes were chained together and stored in an aerobics room they used for other “pay to play” classes or used for sales pitches disguised as “events.” (“Learn how to have better posture” for example, is really a pitch to buy orthotics). So, unless you care to pay for a class and go during one of the only three, 45 minutes they held a spinning class, you are not allowed to use the spinning bikes. Once you finished exercising in their stagnant dungeon there was really nothing else to keep you busy. Other “activities” throughout the ship were set up similarly; you had to pay a fee to participate or the “learning” and “event” experience was just a sales pitch. On our Island Princess cruise to Alaska missed half of the ports it should have sailed to, the ship was broken, the food was bad, the staff was rude, and the onboard activities were really just sales pitches. To make matters worse, Princess gave each person a $100 ship credit and 15% off a future cruise for compensation. Are you kidding me?! First of all, $100 won’t even cover the gratuity they add automatically to your bill at the end of the cruise and we just missed half the ports this cruise should have gone to! Second, if they think I would ever voluntarily sign up to pay even one dollar for another 5 days of hell trapped on one of their boats they are insane!
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Avoid going on a cruise if you really want to see a specific port!