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Sandi Scheffer

Age: 50


Number of Cruises: 5

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Sapphire Princess

Sailing Date: September 11th, 2005

Itinerary: Alaska

First, we left out of Seattle. We all had the same fast check-in service that took well over 2 hours. So much for fast check-in. Our room was the first room on the port side with a window. The room was very nice and the bed was very comfortable. The room as arranged very strange because you could not see the TV if you were lying on your pillow. But we didnt go on a cruise to watch TV, although, we enjoyed keeping track of where we were going.
We received our luggage within an hour on leaving port, which was very nice.

We were very surprised at the age of the people on the cruise. We are 50, so we are not young, but we felt like teenagers compared to the other people on the ship.

The ship was gorgeous, but that is about all I can say good about the ship. The food was the worst we had ever had on a cruise. On Monday night, which was formal night, I ordered a steak for dinner. I ordered it medium well. Well, I received it and it was petrified. And the worst part was my waitress never asked me about the food, she was too busy driving a 7 year old boy around the dining room on a scooter!!!! She didn't act like it was a big deal and after she finished the ride, she came by & picked up our plates and just acted like she had been waiting on us all the time. The idea of anytime dining is a joke. We pretty much ate whenever we wanted to, but the service was non existent. We went to 3 different dining rooms, and it was the same in every one. Also, they make this big deal of having 4 different dining rooms. The only problem is they all served the same meal. We have been on 5 cruises before, so we are familiar with cruise food. The buffets are just buffets, but you can expect a really nice dinner in the dining rooms. This never happened on this cruise. One night I ordered fish and ate a couple of bites and got 3 fish bones in one bite. The fish was delicious, so I thought I will just be careful. The next bite, three more fish bones. I am sorry I am not dying just because it tastes good. My waitress came by and asked if I didn't like the fish. I told her it was good, but it had bones in it. She did not offer to bring me anything else. She just said "OH". My husband & I ordered iced tea every night at dinner. Not one night did we get by without asking for refills. One night my husband asked for more tea and the waitress brought him more, but didn't offer to bring me any, even though my glass was empty. The other cruises we have gone on, the first night, the waiter asks what you want to drink, and then the rest of the week it is there as soon as you sit down. The only thing that the staff was interested in bringing was something that you were paying extra for. The guy sitting next to us, and very close, {not more than 12 inches away} had ordered a beer and every 5 minutes they were coming by to see if he needed more to drink.

Also, the idea that you are billed for $10.00 a day is a real joke. It does not motivate the waiters or waitresses to do anything, but deliver your meals and the disappear somewhere until time to remove your plate and bring you a menu for dessert. The service was lousy in the dining room. We ate there all but one nite. We kept thinking it would get better, but the food was as bad as the service. We will stick with Royal Caribbean for the good food.

Be warned, the first day at sea was really rough. I have not had motion sickness in years, since I started using sea bands, but I was really sick all day Monday. My husband has never been sea sick in his whole life, he felt horrible all day. Be sure to pack the Dramamine, because that first day is rough.

We visited Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria. Ketchikan was nice. We did not do any shore excursions there because they were so expensive and we just walked around the city. We loved walking the back streets and checking out all the gift shops.

In Juneau, we took the Mendenhall & Whale Watching Tour. It was awesome. The young adults on the boat were really informed and you could tell they loved their job. When we spotted whales, they were as excited as we were. The excursion cost us $130.00 a piece, which was very expensive, but we got to see whales and a bear with its 2 baby cubs, so we figured it was worth it.

In Skagway, we took the Liarsville and Summit trip. What a tourist trap!!! We only took it because we wanted to pan for gold. Well, we take this bus ride early in the morning and it is probably 45 -50 and damp. We get to this supposedly town to pan gold. Well, it is these kids, and I mean teens, maybe early 20's, who are trying to tell us how things were during the gold rush. Then they sing some songs & recite a poem. That was a treat! Then we got to pan for gold. The joke was there is no gold in Skagway, the supposedly gold we panned for came from Canada. The panning for gold consisted of them giving us a pan that already had gold in it and then telling us to swirl it around in ice cold water until we say these little gold specks. That was our panning for gold!!!!!!!!!I was so disgusted I just went back to the bus and waited for the ride home. I guess the Liarsville should have been a dead give away.

Friday was a day at sea. We was never so bored. Unless you like to play bingo, or go to an art auction, there was nothing to do. The bars were only opened at night, and don't get me wrong, I don't drink, but it's fun to dance and watch people dance, but we could have watched people play bingo. I don't think so. No one was ever in the pools, because it was so cold. One pool was on the inside, but the rest were open.

Another real annoyance, when we were to leave the ship at the ports, there was never anything that told us what floor to get off on. Every day people were just wandering around trying to find the right floor. Normally on a cruise, you are given a little newspaper with all the happening for the next day. This is delivered to your room every nite. The only problem was, there was nothing in them. Almost every afternoon, there was some kind of snack, one day a Chocolate buffet, another day a seafood buffet, another day ice cream, but unless you just happened to be outside the buffet, you didn't know anything about them. There was no announcement or nothing in the paper to tell you about them. It seemed like nothing was organized. No one really knew what they were doing.

That was another thing, every cruise we have been on ice cream was free and the had machines you could help yourself any time of the day. Not on Princess, the ice cream cost you $2.50 a cone. Then the day in Tracey Arm, when the temperature was freezing, they were selling hot chocolate. What an insult. I have never paid for hot chocolate on a cruise before. That was the big thing also, about this cruise, someone was hounding you non stop all day long trying to sell you something. I thought I was in Mexico. How many times to I have to tell you, I do not drink & if I want something to drink I will go to the bar & get it. The one bright spot on our cruise was our room steward. She was an angel. We only had one small problem, Friday night I took a shower, but when I stepped out of the shower, my whole bathroom floor was full of water. The drain had stopped up and I didn't realize it. I told Lydia and she kept calling, but it took until late Saturday night before the drain was fixed.

Our trip to Alaska was wonderful, it was just our transportation that was horrible. To sum it all up, on our shuttle back to the airport on Sunday morning, our driver asked if everyone had a good cruise and it was an overwhelming "NOOOOOO!" She said "Well, I guess its too early in the morning to ask that question". That was kind of the attitude of the whole ship. If we ignore it, its not our problem. We did go to the front desk and tell them we wanted our tips taken off the bill and they did not ask why, just say okay. All in all, Alaska was the most wonderful trip we have ever taken, but the next cruise we take will not be on Princess or any of the other Carnival Cruise Lines.

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