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Princess Sun Princess ReviewAlaskaQuentin L.

Age: 33

Occupation:Engineer

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Sun Princess

Sailing Date: May 21st, 2006

Itinerary: NOT FOUND

Princess Cruises
Sun Princess Cruise Review
Alaska

Quentin L.

This was the first cruise that my wife and I have been on. We had high expectations and were looking forward to this trip.

Since the cruise was a round trip from Seattle, we flew in a day earlier to check out the city. We booked a one night at the B&B Pensione Nichols. I definitely recommend this place for those that are budget conscious and want to do more than go look at a Space Needle (What's that??). It's in the middle of everything including the Space Needle, Pike's Market, the Historic Pioneer Square, International District as well as the Football and Baseball Stadium. Things to do in Seattle are:
-visit Doc Maynard's Public House and take the underground tour
-browse Elliot Bay Book Company. If only all book companies can be like this
-visit Pike's Market
-walk Pioneer Square and browse all sorts of stores
-eat Dim Sum in the International District
-eat the best sushi at Shiro's Sushi Restaurant on 2nd Ave.

The next day it was a short ride to the Cruise Terminal where we boarded and quickly to a tour of the ship. We had an inside cabin and liked it a lot. Okay...so let's start with the disappointments of the ship:
-the library was a place of old and dusty books fit for moths. It was more a small reading room than it was a library. Don't believe for a minute what the online site tells you about their extensive collection of books. Not true. I was expecting to spend a lot of my time reading and was disappointed not to find anything up to date or interesting there. Bring your own books and magazines.
-I was disappointed to fine that the there was no movies-on-demand in the rooms. After all, all the modern motels and hotels have these. There were good movies playing but who can organize their schedule around these times? Okay...so you'll say who goes on a cruise to watch movies but I say why not? It's not like there's a lot to do for people my age when you're on a boat.
-Smoking in the casino. Have a designated area for smoking that's enclosed. The casino in this ship is open to the lower level, so every time you walk by to go to the theater you walk through a cloud of smoke.
-Pet peeves. If the paintings that get auctioned off are really that expensive, why do they let the helpers treat them like flea market items. Watch them carefully when you're aboard and you'll see what I mean.
-Pet peeves. You have to pay for pop. They make you pay for ice cream as well. For all you pay these items should be free. (Tips!!! Get all the free ice cream you want at lunch and dinner in the traditional dining.)
Things I liked:
-Food, food, food. We always had the traditional dining. When you pay this much for your cruise why do buffet. We ordered 3 shrimp cocktails every night, soup, salad, 2 entrees, and 2 desserts. Except for Alaskan Crab night and Lobster night (I ate 8 tails!!!). So the food was not gourmet but it was above average and I enjoyed it. And since there was no limit to what I can eat, if I didn't like it I simply had it taken away and ordered another one. Pure decadence I admit, but I've only done it this once in my life, I swear. (Tip!!! The ship automatically charges you tips on your credit card but you have the option of taking that out and paying cash. I did this and got better service but giving my steward and waiter a portion of the tips the 1st day and rest the final day. By the way, the ship only pays the $50 per month and they make their living off the tips.
-Pizzeria was good.
-Bratwurst were the best. Avoid hot dogs and something-else-worst at all cost.
-Schedule your dinner for 8:00PM instead of early dining so that you have the option of staying late in ports and coming back to dine. We always dined on the boat. Why pay extra in town for expensive food when it's free on the ship.
-Okay...enough about the food already!!!
-We caught one show with a comedian. I cried like a girl 'cause it was so funny. That's all the shows I caught except for talent night on the last night. I slept like a baby then 'cause it was so boring. Sorry. I didn't catch anything else because I was too sleepy after dinner and we usually had a full day at the ports.
 

Ports:
Ketchikan- I recommend the Zip line & Canopy tour. It was so fun and unique that I would do it again. A woman was with us that cried a lot and hugged the tree because she was afraid of heights. She made it through the whole way and I was impressed. The people that took us were professional and fun. After we walked the town touring the stores. Avoid all jewelry stores up front. They're imposters!!! I say that because they're not even locals and most pack up and leave town when the cruise lines finish their season. Go to the back the give your wealth to the locals that actually stay there year round. Go see the fish hatchery if you have the chance.
 

Juneau-Went on a Whale watching tour. We avoided the cruise line associated catamarans (too many people) and opted for an independent smaller and more intimate tour like Orca Enterprises. Lower your expectations because you won't see anything like the National Geographic. Expect to see only backs, fins and tails for humpbacks. We saw some playful sea lions, bald eagles, and other tourists. It was still fun.
 

Skagway-Ran out of money. Had to get a 2nd mortgage to pay for the rest of the trip. Just kidding but those excursions are darn expensive. We opted to do a 3 hr round trip hike through the wilderness to Icy Lake. If you're a backpacker like me and enjoy the wilderness, I recommend this one. It was fantastic views. Go to the local tourism office for a map and info.
 

Vancouver- Yawn. Don't get me wrong. It's a beautiful town but a tourist trap. I'm Canadian so I can say this. It's enjoyable and we went for a walk around but there wasn't enough time to do anything meaningful. Give me the Canadian Wilderness anytime minus the tourist stores that has everything marked down or on sale.
 

Verdict: I enjoyed the cruise, ate all the food I wanted (gained only 2 pounds), slept, read, did nothing, met some cool people. But I enjoyed the ports more. Will go to Alaska again but not on a cruise. This is only because I'm a young pup and bouncing up and down in a tuna can. We will return on another cruise when we're in our late fifties (Nothing against the old folks!!!).
 

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