Jean solven | May 17, 2019 | Princess Cruises | Grand Princess
Cruised from San Francisco to Alaska with Princess cruises. We have only cruised with P and O in the past but this was at least as good and at times better. We had a three day stay in San Francisco at the Mark Hopkins hotel which was very good. Stress free boarding the ship and then 2days at sea, at times quite choppy. The Grand Princess is showing signs of age but is still a lovely ship and all staff were excellent. Food was varied and always high quality especially in the restaurants. Even in the buffet there was rarely any waiting to be served. The only slight criticism was no tea making facilities in the stateroom, their answer being there was 24hour cabin service.
Ketchikan was interesting to walk round, Creek St, totem museum and salmon run all worth a visit. Loads of excellent value winter jackets in Tongas Trading Co-leave plenty of room in suitcase!
Booked a whale watching trip in Juneau on line with Viatours. Brilliant. Were in a smaller boat than Princess tour so saw whales close up, one even swam under the boat before surfacing and spouting water. Not only have we seen whales we have smelt them! On the same trip we then visited Mendenhall Glacier. Again a good visit but more time could be spent here as there is lots to do. Some of our group saw a mother bear and cub at the creek but this was closed when we were there. Back in Juneau we went to Tracey’s Shack. A must if you like crab -the king crab was out of this world.
Unfortunately the ship could not moor at Skagway as the strong winds made it dangerous. This was our biggest disappointment as our planned train to White Pass was cancelled and 3000passengers spent the day in tiny Haines. The main attraction the Hammer Museum!
We then cruised Tracy Arm which is beautiful – get up early as you enter the fjord about 5.30 am.sailed right up to the Sawyer Glacier where the ship turned round in Its own length. You could hear the glacier creaking and groaning. Really awe inspiring but quite misty so not always the best view of the fantastic scenery.
Our last port was Victoria. Lovely clean city, easy to walk around and quite British. Most of our American passengers went to have tea in various hotels!
Disembarking was extremely well organised. We left our cases in the terminal and had the morning in San Francisco before returning to be picked up and taken to the airport.
All in all an excellent trip with a couple of disappointments caused by poor weather and poor sea conditions. Next time we would probably do the 7day cruise from Vancouver or Seattle and hope to get to Skagway.
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