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A GOLDEN review of the Inside Passage w/ GBay, including Pictures and Patters
This was my fourth cruise, with the family, third time on Princess, my mom and my first time to Alaska; and overall it was a prefect cruise. At the end of the cruise, my mom also became Platinum.
We flew in a day before hand, on Delta Airlines, which was an excellent flight; we stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites, which again was excellent, we toured the Space Needle, and the Pike Market Place. *Note* If you plan on seeing the needle, plan well as the line can be long, it moves quick, but the wait can take up to an hour. We didn't spend too much time at the market, but they sell some great food in some of the stores. We had an inside cabin, so I won't be touching on that.
We got to the pier at 12:00-12:30ish, and we onboard, very quick; no waiting. After boarding we headed for some lunch at the Trident Grill; and after we were able to get to our stateroom, with our luggage their. By 3:30ish, it was time for muster, which was very organized; they scan everyone, including the crew's keycards to make sure you attend. (Whether or not they come find you, is a mystery). By 4:00pm, we were sailing away, Westerdam and Norwegian Jewel departed followed by us, with the apartment ship, The World coming in.
DAY AT SEA:
There was minimal rough water; weather was cloudy and cool.
Food was also good here, only once in a while was it hard to find a table, but other than that; service/food was good.
Always loved the food here; always excellent, nothing negative to say at all.
Donatello Dining Room:
First night, was a bit chaotic..but it’s the first night so can’t complain; by the third night, service was spot on. We had anytime dinning; a first for us, but after the first night, things were excellent. Also by the third night, after speaking to the waiter, we were able to keep our same table; because our “team” worked great together, Gerald & Diego.
As for the food side; always always, amazing. Everything from spring rolls, to those tasty beef filet medallions, were always good(Something I recommended) I hardly had dessert, since I can not eat dairy or I was full, but my mom and aunt, who I traveled with, always enjoyed theirs.
First, we walked around town, doing a little shopping, very nice town and its really small, to be their Capital! Lol. This port was probably the worst when it came to weather, it rained/poured the whole day, but we didn’t complain.
After, we had a tour booked, which was the helicopter tour that lands on the glacier. Words do not describe how things went. Free shuttle was provided to the airport and once their; the staff helped people fitting with gear; preping you for the helicopter, etc; all great. The helicopter part was only 20 mins at that, which was a nice time, we didn’t feel scared at all; the pilots were perfect, talking to you, cracking jokes, made you feel happy. Once you land, you meet up with the other helicopters (there were 6) and the staff there take you around the glacier, telling you interesting facts. They even let you taste the water, as well as even keep rocks; its so amazing there, you forget that your wet and cold. This is something, if you can do it, then by all means DO IT! It was something of a lifetime, something you would never forget what so ever.
Very nice little town; the way they kept it, with the older 1800’s feel was very nice. We were one of three other ships in port and still you did not feel crowded. For the most part, we again looked around, took pictures, shopped this and that, till our tour. The weather was better, cloudy bit of rain, but not pouring like Juneau.
We booked the White Pass Tour; this is another tour, that is a must, the scenery is beautiful, we were able to see everything from the windows, even outside, on the platform of the coach, it was just wonderful. Because we were the first train; in that time block? We were able to go all the way around the White Pass, and not just stopping at the summit and turning back around. The guides gave very good information; we all loved it.
Glacier Bay National Park (Scenic cruising):
We had the best weather this day, sunny and no rain; the rangers talked all throughout the day and gave great stories, facts about each glacier, and just the scenery in general. We were the first ship to get to the Grand Pacific & Margerie Glacier, for about an hour, the ship sits their and slowly turns in a circle, just watching the glacier, to see when it will calve, and making a noise called White Thunder; which a sound like no other. After that, the Zuiderdam was approaching, so we left for Lamplugh Glacier, which also was just amazing. After that, we sailed for Ketchikan.
This ties as my favorite port, along with Victoria, from 6:00am-1:00pm is just not enough time to get to explore and enjoy the town. We had no tours planned, due to little time; we were off the ship by 9:00am-ish and mainly just shopped, till we had to board. The naturalist(I’ll make a note about him down below) said, we had the best weather in Ketchikan, warm and sunny, with not a single cloud in the sky.
This was my mom’s close and mine, favorite port; like I said for Ketchikan, you need a lot more time, to be able to enjoy this town. We almost did a tour, of touring the city, but we decided to just take a shuttle and adventure ourselves. It rained and thundered, but we didn’t let that stop us, after an hour or so, it stopped raining but continued to have lightening, which people seemed to enjoy since they filmed it! We stayed in town, till the buildings were lit, then we went back to the ship. Between, the brick roads, the flowers and lights, this was one amazing city, really wish we could have more time here.
The Golden Princess:
We probably had the best, service out of all three of my, and my mom’s 5 cruises with them(aunt has been on 30). Way better than on the Caribbean Princess, that extra deck of passengers, must make a difference, since we had no complaints at all. She was in tip top, fantastic shape, for a ship that’s 11 years old.
On a side note, to up coming passengers, there was a severe medical emergency, that occurred at the Neptune‘s Reef & Pool; (won’t share details as they are graphic) but if you are wondering; that is why the pool is closed. Prayers go out, to that passenger, that they have a quick recovery.
Cruise Director ~ Our was Sammi Coneen-Baker; she was an excellent cruise director, was bubbly and over all perfect. On fortunately, she will be leaving and is being moved to another ship, not sure when that takes place.
Naturalist ~ His name is Michael, and he also did an excellent job, being able to spot the wild life, share facts about the towns.
Teen Center (Remix) (13-17) ~
I am a teen(17), so I was here when I could be, and while I thought it was smaller than that on the CB, the Youth Staff were spectacular. They always asked any of the teens (which there were about 75 that signed up, of the 180 something teens on the ship) if you wanted to play a game, or just wanted to talk. The staff included, Alaina(She leaves after this week), Gavin, Leandra, Connor as the DJ, Monica as the head(she left the ships Saturday). As well as Youth Security, Leanne & Alex, all did an amazing job, if you have a teen with you, I highly suggest they sign up, aside from the staff, you meet some great people.
This was much more organized than on the Caribbean Princess, once we were out of the rooms, we had breakfast, sat there for a while, then headed to the Vista Lounge or Princess Theater (Can’t quite remember), and we were called within 30 mins to about 45 mins. It was a breeze, we had our luggage quick, and had our shuttle take us to the airport, were we were for quite sometime, our flight was at 2:35pm, with Delta, and that too went great.
*One quick one is bring binoculars, they will help you see the scenery of Alaska, a whole lot better, we forgot ours, we were still able to live without them, but they would make it better to spot wildlife.
Any questions, please feel free to ask, and I will try to answer them!
Carnival Triumph - August 29, 2009 - Canada/New England
Caribbean Princess - August 28, 2010 - Canada/New England ~ Hurricane Earl cancels Halifax
Caribbean Princess - May 1, 2011 - Caribbean Reposition to New York
Golden Princess - July 7, 2012 - Inside Passage w/Glacier Bay - Review
Regal Princess - March 15, 2015 - Eastern Caribbean ~ Maiden Caribbean Season
Possible Booking Soon:
Carnival Sunshine - October 1, 2016 - Bermuda
Last edited by CruiseAdict218; July 15th, 2012 at 11:41 PM.
Great review! Glad you had a good cruise! Thanks for taking the time to write your review and share your experiences with us!
1/8/15 Eurodam (Smooth Jazz Cruise)
11/8/14 Breeze (Feelin' the Breeze Part 2)
1/12/14 Eurodam (Smooth Jazz Cruise)
10/10/13 Victory B2B (Victory is Mine)
1/13/13 Westerdam (Smooth Jazz Cruise)
11/24/12 Breeze (Feelin' the Breeze)
1/15/12 Westerdam (Smooth Jazz Cruise)
12/4/11 Miracle (x-mas on the beach)
1/16/11 Noordam (Smooth Jazz Cruise)
11/08 Westerdam (Dave Koz & Friends)
2008 Caribbean Princess
2002 Costa Cruise Line
. . .
On a quick note, I'm going to put a lot of photos into a youtube video tomorrow, I'll post it here when completed.
Great review. Thanks for posting the patters. I will be on the July 21 sailing. I look forward to viewing the photos.
Spokane, WA, USA
Azamara Journey 11 Night Eastern Med, Aug 29, 2016
Celebrity Millennium 7 Night Alaska, June 19, 2015
Celebrity Solstice 12 Night New Zealand, Nov 16, 2013 Golden Princess 7 Night Inside Passage, July 21, 2012 Celebrity Millennium 15 Night WB Panama Canal, April 18, 2011
Sapphire Princess 7 Night Mexican Riviera, March 28, 2009
Celebrity Mercury 3 Night Pacific Northwest,September 15, 2006
Celebrity Mercury 11 Night Mexican Riviera, March 27, 2006
Celebrity Mercury 7 Night Alaska NB, June 22, 2001
Thank you for your review, I enjoyed reading it. My family and I are on the September 15th sailing. I'm going to send them the link to this page so they can see the patters.
I look forward to seeing your pictures.
Thank you so much for the review! I am going on the Golden Aug 4th with my parents. It will be my first cruise ever!
Future: Emerald Princess - March 1, 2015 - 7 nt. Western Caribbean;
Sailed: Golden Princess - August 4, 2012 - 7 nt Alaska w/ Glacier Bay; Disney Magic - January 18, 2013 - 8 nt. Bahamas; Royal Princess - October 29, 2013 - 5 nt. Maiden Caribbean Voyage; Ruby Princess - April 12, 2014 - 5 nt. Western Caribbean; Disney Fantasy - November 29, 2014 - 7 nt. Eastern Caribbean;
Hi, we were just on the same cruise with you and wondered why the Neptune Pool was closed (on the only sunny day). Can you please tell me what happened to that passenger? We were wondering! And no one would tell us.
You can edit any graphic stuff but we really wanted to know...
We are sailing on the Diamond Princess July 28, our itinerary is a bit different, but the information you shared is very helpful. Thank you so much for posting it and I look forward to viewing your photos.
Serenade of the Seas 10/19/15 Quebec to FtL
Viking Buri 8/09/15 Southern France/ Rhone
Ruby Princess 10/12/2014 New York to Quebec
Viking Legend 09/7/14 Danube Waltz
Oasis of the Seas 11/16/13 Eastern Caribbean
Disney Dream 10/31/13 Bahamas
Disney Dream 2/28/13 Bahamas
Diamond Princess 7/28/12 Alaska
Disney Dream 2/2/12 Bahamas
Disney Dream 10/20/11 Bahamas
Queen Victoria 9/20/11 Eastern Mediterranean
Carnival Dream 3/6/2010 Western Caribbean
Disney Wonder 11/2009 Bahamas
Carnival Splendor 8/2008 Northern Europe-Baltics
Carnival Sensation 2/2008 Bahamas
Carnival Freedom 4/2007 Western Mediterranean
Disney Wonder 1/2005 Bahamas
Disney Magic 1/2000 Bahamas
Crown Princess 6/1998 Alaska