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Suresh Raj

Age: 37

Occupation:Self Occupied

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Diamond Princess

Sailing Date: 2009-08-29

Itinerary: Vancouver to Whittier Inside Passage

We had an amazing cruise! This being our first cruise. It was a great experience. The ship was amazing. It was huge, clean and well maintained. We had a room pretty much in the center of the ship and except for a slight jerk, did not feel anything. All the public palces were very well maintained, nicely furnished etc. On the first day they try to sell you the soda stuff like crazy! I understood that it was the normal process though and they were gone by the morning of the second day.

We had amazing weather (thank god). There was absolutely no rain; it was clear and sunny. We saw all the glaciers. The captain was great in giving updates and the park rangers who got onboard were very good.

The food was very, very good. We got special order Indian food on dinner for all days. We probably could have done that for lunch also, but because of the uncertain nature of our sleep times and other activities, we did not. We had lunch generally at the Lido deck on the horizon court. The food was always available and the presentation was awesome. They were refilling constantly and accommodated all our requests. We requested hot milk for our son three times a day and it was available in minutes. The service people were very friendly and helpful.

For breakfast I went to the Trident grill for special omlets and fresh waffles and it was just awesome (wish we had that kind of service at home every day).

Food is always available in one place or the other. I took the coffee card and it was okay, everything cappucino, latte, mocha etc tasted the same. I would avoid that on the next trip. We do not drink soda or alcohol...so we cannot comment on that. We had a few virgin drinks and they were very good. My son had pizza a few times and it was very very tasty. Same with the french fries that I packed for snaks in the afternoon. They provided free cone icecreams (vanilla and chocolte) and that was a pleasant surprise. The coffeee, iced tea, lemonade etc all were of good quality.

A note for vegetarians, particularly Indians: if you want Indian food, make sure you register and put your request once you enter the ship. It does not matter what you do before you get on to the ship. What you do on the ship is what is taken care of. Once you tell them about your vegetarian needs, everything is taken care of. They provide so much food for two people! Sometime we felt bad we are wasting so much.

We had a Balcony stateroom on the Baja deck. Our room attendant was Orlando. He was very very friendly and a really nice guy. Was very playful and friendly with our son. He took care of the rooms like they were his own and was always smiling. The balcony was very very nice and useful. We paid twice the amount for our room, compared to a inside stateroom. I felt that since being our first cruise and also having a 4 year old, we should not feel claustrophobic. I feel that the first impression is always the best impression. It was worth the money. Most of the glaciers were on our side (port side) and we had tremendous views of sunset.

There were plenty of onboard activities but we did not take part in any due to lack of time. The daycare (Fun Zone) for kids was just awesome. Misty and gang there at funzone were great and took care of the kids very very well.

Cannot comment on excursions since we did everything on our own.

Everything was great about the trip! Our flights from Baltimore to Vancouver and return from Anchorage were all on time. The cruise was on time. It was a great feeling once we hit the port at Vancouver. We drop our suitcases to the cruise guys and that's it....immigration and customs was a breeze...there are so many people to help you. Once that was over, you get to the Princess counter and everything is ready for you. They give you the information cards, your onboard cards...it was great. Also the way they provide information every night on next day's activities was great and useful (too much literature at sometimes). Lot of paper could be saved.

We got into the ship by noon on saturday. We were able to get a good lunch, look around the ship and take a nap, before it left port around 4.40p.m. One of our bags did not arrive till about 4p.m and I was worried...but turned out it was delivered to our adjacent room by mistake.

The 7 days went by really fast! We saw 10-15 whales on Sunday on our way to Ketchikan. All the three stopovers: Ketchikan, Skagway and Juneau were good. We did some shopping, the usual t-shirts, magnets etc. The best part of the trip was the glaciers. Mendanhall was a disappointment though.

Margerie glacier in Glacier bay and the Harvard Glacier in Prince William sound were unbelievable. There are no words to describe.

Piece of advice: if you are looking for cruise for first time, don't think twice. Book a inside stateroom as they are cheap. They're $500 per person for seven days. They are 3 star accomodations and 4 star food. What more do you want? Additionally you do not have to drive. It is definitely worth it.

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