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pomelokiss 04-23-2011 03:10 PM

Princess newbie
Hi all,
I am going to book Sapphire Princess to Alaska, and this is gonna be my first time sailing。 I would love to hear from all of you who had experiences on that cruise。 Your information is highly appreciated!!! Is there anything I need to pay attention to during the booking or before boarding。Thanks。

The following is the Itinerary Details

Sun, May 22: Seattle, Washington, Usa
(Depart 4:00 PM)
Mon, May 23: At Sea
(Depart 12:00 AM)
Tue, May 24: Ketchikan, Alaska, Usa
(6:30 AM - 4:00 PM)
Wed, May 25: Tracy Arm, Alaska, Usa
(6:00 AM - 10:00 AM)
Thu, May 26: Juneau, Alaska, Usa
(2:00 PM - 10:00 PM)
Fri, May 27: Skagway, Alaska, Usa
(6:00 AM - 5:00 PM)
Sat, May 28: At Sea
(Depart 12:00 AM)
Sun, May 29: Victoria, B.C., Canada
(7:00 PM - 11:59 PM)
Mon, May 30: Seattle, Washington, Usa
(Arrive 7:00 AM)

Sandy 04-23-2011 03:56 PM

I've been to Alaska a couple of times, but not on Princess. I've sailed Princess, but not to Alaska! In any case, you're going to love cruising and love Alaska.

There are several things to know during and after the booking. As someone new to cruising, are you using a travel agent to help? You want to watch for things like which deck is best for you, the type and location of your cabin, whether you're getting the best pricing, the differences in dinner times, what and how much to pack, cancellation insurance, and several other things.

As for the pre-boarding, make sure you have a current passport, and make sure you input all your information into Princess' computer via their Cruise Personalizer at least a couple of weeks before you sail.

And of course, report back when you return and let us know how you enjoyed it!

pomelokiss 04-23-2011 04:43 PM

Hi Sandy,
First of all, thanks for your quick respond。 Actually, I had checked with one of the travel agents and found out it was extremely overpriced。 Then, I decided to book it myself online。(Coz it looks like the prices are more like it)Right now, I found out that the prices flow in a daily basis, and the choices of seating are becoming much more limited day after another。So, I have learned there is a price to pay for “think about it”:rolleyes: Because I dunno when would be best dinning option for us, I have picked open seating。 besides that, I was wondering if there was any way I could figure out some useful dinning related information ahead of time before going aboard。If you have more to share with me, it would be fabulous!Thanks anyways:)!


Nadine 04-23-2011 05:57 PM

Welcome to Cruise-Chat! We have been on two Princess cruises to Alaska. It is fantastic!

I'm not sure what kind of dining information you need, but I'll tell you what we usually do. We like to eat early, so we do the "main dining" rather than "late dining". Our friends prefer the open seating that you have chosen. It's nice to have all these choices!

We eat breakfast and lunch at the Windjammer Cafe. This gives us the opportunity to eat whenever we want. There are numerous other places around the ship where you can eat lunch, also.

If we have an early excursion scheduled, we order room service because it saves time.

I don't know where you live, but if you will be flying to Seattle, I always recommend arriving a day early and most people on this board will agree, I think. First of all, Seattle is a neat place to visit. But more importantly, it buys you time in case of flight delays, lost luggage, etc.

Have a great cruise!


penny3333 04-26-2011 08:22 AM

Hi Pomelokiss, I'm so excited for you. Princess is our favorite cruise line and I'm glad to be going in December. We used to do traditional dining, but now we do the Anytime Dining. It works much like a restaurant. If there is a wait, they will give you pagers. Then you can go and do whatever you like until your pager goes off. They will ask you if you want to share a table or not. We normally share so we can meet fellow passengers, however, you are not required to share. It is only an option. You will be served the same food as those in traditional dining.

We do eat our breakfast and lunch in the buffet since it works out better for excursions. They have one of the dining rooms open for sit down service for breakfast and lunch if you prefer. You also have the option of room service.

I totally agree with Nadine, come in a day before the cruise. It alleviates so much stress and allows time for the "just in cases". Even when we drive to our departure port, we arrive a day before sailing.

I know you will have a marvelous time. Please come back and let us know how it went!

pomelokiss 04-26-2011 12:03 PM

To Nadine n' Penny,
Thank you for your suggestions. I think I'll fly to Seattle a couple of days ahead the sailing from Chicago. Do you guys know about any definitely-cannot-miss attractions in Alaska? I am kinda having a hard time picking the right excursions and have no clue at all. If I am able to book the excursions in the ports, is it anything to be browsed around that close to the ports? Thanks!


penny3333 04-26-2011 01:18 PM

I'm sure Nadine or Sandy can help more than I, since I've not done that itinerary. I have heard great reviews on the White Pass Railroad, the Whale watching excursion, and the Glacier excursion. There is a lot to see and do in Seattle, too. Fisherman's Wharf is a must there. The Space Needle (if the weather is nice). You have to try the crab there, and there are a ton of good restaurants to try dungeness and Alaska king. Although San Francisco is known for its sourdough bread, Seattle's pretty good too.

I hope Sandy or Nadine will see your post. They've both been on your itinerary.

Nadine 04-26-2011 03:01 PM

The White Pass Railway in Skagway is a must-see. You will hear about it often after your trip and will know exactly what people are talking about.

In Juneau we took a float plane to Taku Glacier Lodge. It was pricey, but an excellent flight and meal. Our friends took a helicopter ride to a glacier where they got to walk around on the glacier. They loved it.

There is just so much to do in Alaska that you just have to pick what appeals to you and then the next time you go you can try something else! And, believe me, once you have been there you will want to go again.

This is one cruise where a balcony is a must, if it will fit in your budget. There is endless beauty and you don't want to miss it.

Have fun planning!


johnniekoda 06-07-2011 10:04 PM

This cruise was AMAZING! We went in a big family group of about 15, and everyone was happy. We all came from Minnesota, so we thought the weather was great. This is the best boat ever......
The food was probably the best part. I'm allergic to fish, and even though it was offered every night, there was always other things to get. The buffets are open until midnight. My cousins allergic to peanuts, and every night, he had great service, and never any nuts in his food. Everyone was happy with the food. :)

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