This is a review of the Princess CruiseTour we took May 31
â€“ June 14, 2014. The selected tour was a 7-day
â€œOff The Beaten Pathâ€ land tour
followed by a southbound â€œVoyage of the
Glaciersâ€ on Coral Princess. The selected tour punched
our three buttons; Denali National Park, Alaska Railroad and Kenai
Peninsula. A similar tour was offered as a Connoisseur tour. We
decided the amenities offered were not worth the additional
The travelers were my wife and I (mid 50s) and two friends (mid
60s.) This would our first CruiseTour experience. My wife and I
were embarking on our fourth Princess cruise, eleventh overall. Our
friends were experiencing their first cruise.
Overall impressions: Four thumbs up. I am so glad we went to
Alaska and spent the time we did on land. Of the land based lodges
our favorite was Keani. The best overall experience was at Denali
lodge and then the train trip between Denali and Talkeetna. Wish we
had given ourselves a little more time to go into Fairbanks. Seemed
like there was much to see there and we were too tired to take
advantage of it. They told
us there were such things as
â€œsunriseâ€ which may be true but it
never really got dark, even when overcast, while with we in the
Alaskan mainland. We did see dark again while cruising the inside
A word about logistics: We arrived at Fairbanks airport,
collected our luggage (at least most of it) and reported to the
Princess table next to the baggage claim. We were given an envelope
with our room key, luggage tags, and information regarding our stay
in Fairbanks. The information sheet had our room number,
information about the lodge â€“ map and restaurant
hours â€“ and information regarding booked tours,
as well as meeting information for our next destination. While the
key looks generic it is specific to each lodge, so leave them
The luggage tags included a â€œmeet me on
boardâ€ tag for a suitcase that would be transported
directly to the ship, and a â€œtravel with
meâ€ tag for a large bag that would be moved from
location to location. There was also a separate tag indicating our
next location. As we arrived at each lodge we were met by a
Princess employee with similar envelopes containing lodge
information and luggage tags for the next destination. (I assume
for post-cruse tours you receive your info for your first stop
either at embarkation or arrival at the lodge.)
I think this is going to be wordy. I have divided the review
into four sections; Lodges, Land Activities, Coral Princes, and
Bays and Ports. Feel free to skip past sections that are not of
interest to you.
Each lodge had at least a coffee bar of some sort, a casual-ish
Our first cruise (my husbands retirement present) we were so
excited. When we first arrived everything was just great after all
Holland America belongs to one of the largest if not THE largest
cruise lines in the world Carnival Cruise Line.
It didn't take long for the shine to wear off our cruise, the
stench coming from the toilet was unbearable, each time the toilet
was flushed the odor filled the bathroom area.
A lady who was in the cabin a few doors down from us was so
angry about something, I'm not sure what it was, blew a tantrum and
changed rooms from the 6th. floor to another floor, oh yes we paid
for and were in the upper veranda ss rooms.
And then it happened, we had to step on and kill a COCKROACH yes
a COCKROACH and believe me it was a big one. How would you feel if
you opened your upper veranda ss suite room door and were
confronted by a cockroach. After killing it we took a picture of it
and brought the photo to the front desk. She actually came up to
floor, confirmed it was a cockroach and picked it up and took it
away, she said she would have our room scanned and cleaned for any
other roachs that may be lurking in the dark.
Then the nightmare began, the front desk manager a young lady by
the name of Nancy just about came out and said we had brought the
COCHROACH aboard the ship. She did everything in her power to pooh
pooh the incident away.
Then she said she wasn't going to offer us anything for our
troubles because she didn't want to insult us, and if we wanted to
take this incident any further we should talk to their head office,
and that is that.
That was our first cruise experience, we won't be taking our
chances with any of the Carnival Cruise Line companies again.
My wife and I spent our honeymoon on the Elation during a 5 day
cruise to Cozumel and Progresso Mexico. Since then we have taken
that exact cruise again and have booked a third trip this year for
our 2 year anniversary. I can honestly say that for the money you
cannot find a more enjoyable and relaxing vacation.
The Elation is one of the older ships out of the Carnival fleet,
but I must say that it very well maintained. State rooms are
cleaned twice a day and public area are cleaned all throughout the
The lido deck can get rather congested at times especially on
the day at sea. Although I can't compare it to any other ships
being that I have not been on any other cruise. Despite how popular
that area can be at times I do feel that there is adequate room for
those who wish to spend their time there.
The serenity deck is one of my favorite areas of the ship. It's
for adults only and being positioned at the rear of the ship guest
have a beautiful view of the Gulf
of Mexico. My only complaint about the serenity deck is it
undersized and guests traveling in large groups have a tendency of
claiming the hot tubs as their own for long periods of times.
Smaller groups of guests, couples and singles can find it difficult
it not completely impossible to enjoy these areas during prime
The Elation has a variety of different bars and night club like
venues for adults to enjoy after hours entertainment. Everything
from live band Karaoke to DJ's playing dance music. Of course there
is also the on-board shows, stand up comedy, and other activities.
Personally we usually enjoy doing our own thing but we do enjoy
many of the on board activities.
The food on the ship is plentiful however if I'm being honest it
not what I consider high quality. That being said there is nothing
wrong with the food, the food safety standards high and I would
argue that the meet or exceed the industry standards.Some meal
offerings are better than others, but I can guarantee you that you
will not go hungry on this ship.
The room service offerings are great and the fact that there is
no additional cost for them make them spectacular.
The service that Carnival provides their guest is top notch. I
can say that they are friendly and very accommodating.