Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Diamond Princess
Sailing Date: July 8th, 2006
My husband and I just returned from our first Princess and first Alaska cruise. This was our third cruise and by far the best for scenery and food. We had read some reviews before we went and was wondering if we would be disappointed but we were not and I feel more people complain then people sending in compliments.
We flew into Seattle and hooked up with our Princess transfer to Vancouver. Princess had us on the bus in minutes and we were on our way. It was a nice scenic ride.
Checking into the ship was fast and efficient. We were on in about 20 minutes. Our cabin was an outside cabin with obstructed view. There was a lifeboat outside our window, which was level with the bottom of the window, so we had plenty of room to see the beautiful views.
We had wanted early dining, but were on a waitlist and given “anytime dining:” so we had made dinner reservations for the first two nights immediately. We then talked to a maitre de who called us the next day to say we had the first dinner seating which we did on the nights when we were in port late. So if you’re on “anytime dining” don’t worry. The seafood at the regular dining rooms was fantastic and the buffet food was better than any buffet food I’ve had on any cruise or all inclusive resort.
We saw two performers, a singer and a ventriloquist that were not that good, but the singers and dancers were good and the various comedians were excellent.
In Ketchikan, my girlfriend and I went snorkeling, while our husbands went sports fishing. The snorkeling was phenomenal. We never expected to see the colors and sea creatures that we saw. They put you in a full wetsuit so temperature's not a factor. The guys loved the fishing.
In Juneau, we took the whale watch and the Mendenhall Glacier trip. It was awesome! We had watched four killer whales in their dinner ceremony, saw plenty of seals and even a humpback whale. We were up close for the viewing while the boat followed them around all together for more than an hour. We heard from the people that took the same trip that afternoon, that they did not see anything at all. So we really lucked out in the morning. The guide even said what we saw that morning was very rare. With the small boat we were able to get very close to the glaciers. Back on land we took a little bus trip to the Mendenhall Glacier and the info center. The viewing of that was great!
In Skagway we took the White Pass rail trip, very scenic but not too exciting.
We loved the days at the glaciers and the glaciers were actively calving. Spent hours out on deck with binoculars and the camera. Loved sitting in the hot tubs on deck 16 watching the sunset at 11pm.
We disembarked at our leisure and getting off at 9:00 was fast and easy. We rented a car and drove to Anchorage, it was a very scenic drive. We made plenty of stops on the way, which was very interesting and took a small hiking trail to another glacier. Stopped at the animal conservatory to see grizzlies, moose, etc. It was a great week and a lifetime of memories.