overall a good experience. Very friendly and experienced staff. Was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food and entertainment
Enjoyed the pre-cruise tour, some of the ports we visited were nice, the entertainment on the ship was excellent, and the train ride from McKinley to Anchorage was fun....Loved all the windows and enjoyed the dining on the train. Enjoyed Denali and McKinley Lodge; however, Copper River Lodge too secluded and menu too limited and pricey.
We took he southbound (Anchorage-Whittier to Vancouver) Glacier bay cruise on the Star Princess in June 2017. The ship was good, mid-size, not crowded at all, the food in the buffet and restaurants was very good, lobster night is still on (not like other cruise lines). Crew was very helpful, all the time looking for ways to help you have an amazing time onboard. Views from the ship were excellent, I heard that this is one of only two Princess ships that have a viewing area on the front of the ships, which makes the viewing of the glaciers an amazing experience. TIP: If you are taking the Alaska cruise: BRING BINOCULARS!
The ship looks brand new and very clean . Entertainment was excellent and the crew was friendly and helpful.
The only downfall was the food in the buffet and Capri ding room. There was plenty of food but not good. Someone said that was because we took the cruise north to south where Alaska has to import mostly frozen.
The 2 speciality restaurants were good.
Overall, we had a great time.
Ship layout was great! Most everything is on deck 7 except the buffet which is 14. Staff is wonderful. My only detraction of a star was because the food was mediocre. My Husband had the pork and lamb on two different nights and both were a little tough. Probably wouldn't have noticed, but we've been on several cruises so could compare. Cabins were spacious for a cruise room. We were at the very back of the boat and was a bumpy ride from Ketchikan to VC. The extra pay restraurants, weren't worth the extra $$. except the steakhouse, which was fabulous.
Our first cruise experience was a disappointment. The Star Princess folks spent more time nickle-and-diming their guests than attending to their needs. The buffet, available throughout the day, was mediocre, the anytime "elegant" dining served up tiny portions. The Princess website identified great hamburger, pizza and ice cream shops, they turned out to be outside counters and not indoor locations. Traveling in Alaska is not the ideal time to stand at an outdoor counter waiting for a hamburger, that when provided, is already cold. The entertainment was not first-rate, it was ok if you had never seen a Broadway show or other more professional entertainment. Other than the Steward for our deck section, the staff was, at best, indifferent to the guests. During the upper deck mid ship departure celebration from Vancouver, with large crowds participating, I tripped over a lounge chair that was sitting in the middle of a crowd of celebrants (should have been secured before the celebration began). Bruised and bleeding, I went back to our stateroom where our Steward provided plastic bags containing ice to help with the wound. We went to the Medical Center and found it closed with a sign clearly stating that they would only deal with "medical emergencies" after hours. Not sure what to do, I called the Service Desk, explained that I was injured and asked for some direction as to what to do, the young lady at the Service Desk said that the Medical Center would reopen on Sunday at noon. She did not inquire as to the nature of my injury nor offer any other assistance. This was, for the most part, the type of "customer service" provided to guests throughout the cruise. Once on land at the Danali Resort and in the Westmark in Fairbanks, we had an opportunity to speak with other travelers who were on our cruise, they too felt that the Star Princess could have done a better job. Those who had taken other cruises said that we should not judge all cruises by the Star Princess experience. If you are thinking about a cruise, avoid the Princess and parent line Holland America.
- Irish Bacon and United were absolutely great in setting up this cruise for us.
- As a first time cruiser traveling with a second time cruiser, this cruise was simply spectacular; Glacier Bay and the John Hopkins glacier, on a clear, blue sky day have to rival the best views on the planet; if you want to see glaciers, this is the cruise to take; the art auctions and art staff were fantastic; the room, steward, dining, and dining staffs were 5+ star.
- Princess threw a twist into the mix by moving us from the Capt Cook for no reason to the Sheraton. The Sheraton is a well used hotel that is well removed from any activities.
- Putting handicapped and wheel chair cruisers in front for boarding excursion boat and for disembarkation from the ship bogged down logistics significantly; boarding these folks last would have sped up both processes and caused us not to have had an excursion to Misty Fjords cut short
This Alaskan cruise was the best ever yet mainly because it cruised along the Alaskan passage instead of cruising the middle of the ocean.You can see ice covered mountains and glaciers, and sometimes, small towns on the mountain sides as you do your daily walk around the ship. You will never get bored as you look out the windows for you will always see many different glacier formations. What a way to appreciate nature!
FAVORITE PART OF THE CRUISE WAS THE SCENERY. THE STAR PRINCESS IS IN NEED OF UPDATING. THE SHIP DOESN'T HAVE A LOT OF THE FUN FACILITIES THAT A LOT OF OTHER SHIPS DO. THE STAFF IN THE RESTAURANTS ARE GREAT AS WELL AS THE ONES FOR THE CABINS.
I have only travelled Carnival in the past so I was curious to compare. This was the only weekend cruise so I loved that option. Our room Steward Gerald was amazingly attentive, personable, informative and got a hug goodbye. The repoire he made with my 75yo mom for her first cruise was amazing in such a short time of 4 nights.
the weather and Beauty once in the strait of Juan de Fuca and Canada could not have been better as we expected rain the whole time.
the Captains interaction with passengers and crew was a delight to witness throughout the cruise and the fact that he travelled with his young son was sweet.
annoyances: our room L243 was under the gym dumbbell area. We could hear the weights being dropped to the floor during early morning workout and falling off rack during a rough night at sea. When we went to investigate - not complain, and mentioned that we solved the mystery, the one female employee at the desk quickly denied that's what it could be as if she used to hearing the complaint and had a coined response. The annoyance is that she was lying and questioning our intelligence with the obvious truth. Again, I didn't go to complain so I just walked away feeling insulted. Advice- just apologize. And perhaps put up a sign explaining to weight users that there's a room below which shows your attempt to be courteous to all passengers.
we chose anytime dining which allowed us the use of Portofino and Capri dining rooms. The service in Portofino was quick, efficient to the point of rushed, I never had to refill my own wine glass they were very attentive but it truly lacked any personable relationship with the staff and left me feeling snubbed and rushed. The portions are small but adequate. Wine prices at least twice as much - $30/bottle for low end. The last night we visited Capri dining room and it was completely opposite! We even took pictures of our waitstaff. Joked with them all through dinner and felt valued as a customer. Finally what I was expecting! This service is what I've always received on Carnival for scheduled dining and we've always felt compelled to leave a extra tip for the service. My waiter said he is the "only Romanian waiter on Princess Star" so ask for him! If sections don't change, he and his helpful staff are in the middle.
The pools were closed most of the trip. The one day that we were in port at the night dinner they served very little food and it was left overs from the day BEFORE.
I have been on 5 different cruise lines and taken dozens of cruises including many Princess cruises but this was ridiculously bad. I have never rated a cruise a "1" but that was generous for this cruise.
The order from room service for food was partially complete on the time delivered, and it took an hour to arrive. It was NOT during any scheduled meal time and should have been no delays. The room instead of being clean twice daily which is normal was done once. Mini refrigerator had NO drinks. Called for the room porter twice and never received a return call or visit. Could never find him. BUT Princess still charged the complete doubled standard gratuity amount for both myself and the child traveling with me (the child gratuity was not booked to my account until the morning of the cruise ending in one lump sum or I would have complained prior to leaving. I went down to complain the morning of disembarkation but the line was too long to wait. So of course my credit card showed the doubled billed gratuity amounts.
The most positive thing from all staff and amenities offered was the Captain of the ship. He was extremely professional, pleasant and always took time to meet and speak with the passengers. Even when a normal person would have ran out of patience on some of the requests, questions, and incidents that I observed.
Unfortunately I plan on choosing a different cruise line in the future.
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