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richard rosenthal

Age: 65

Occupation:retired

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Island Princess

Sailing Date: 2012-08-30

Itinerary: Alaska

My wife and I just returned from a seven day cruise aboard the island Princess. Notwithstanding the efforts of a very gracious and helpful crew this will definitely be our last Princess cruise! Our biggest disappointment was the food: awful is not an exaggeration! Think hospital cuisine. On the menu everything looked great but was consistently overcooked and tasteless. If you're an obese glutton (there were plenty of those) this may be right up your alley. However, if your reasonably discriminating in your dining save yourself the disappointment!

Everything on this ship is designed to sell you something: jewelry, clothing, photographs or another cruise. This is a marketing program on the high seas. Even a cooking demonstration by the head chef followed by a tour of the kitchen morphed into a parade through a dinning room where a three hour sale of clothing was going on. From there we were ushered through a corridor where everything on the ship was laid out for sale. Alaska is wonderful, by all means go there - just not on Princess.

Awful is not too strong a word. One of our servers in the dinning room shared that she had been on the ship for over a month and found the food so bad that she lost 6lbs.

The only decent meal we experienced was in their premium restaurant Bayou, a New Orleans style steakhouse. Here the food was well seasoned and properly prepared. Of course it came with a $20.00 premium per person and an additional $5.00 for many menue items. Sabatini, the other premium restaurant was as disappointing as the general dining rooms.

we were upgraded to a suite which we found nicely appointed and spacious.

This ship apparently caters to an older, inactive crowd. To be fair there are lectures worth attending but bingo is more representative of the onboard activities.

The excursions are pretty boilerplate and readily available from the vendors direct on line or in port. I would avoid booking through Princess as their cancellation policy is inflexible and it takes forever to get a credit for a tour once canceled.

We took the southbound inside passage and loved the scenery. Alaska is beautiful: a real bucket list item. A tour trough Denali National Park provides a credible opportunity to see abundant wildlife.

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