I sailed on the Coral Princess on May 28, 2005 from Vancouver to Whittier, Alaska. We arrived at Canada Place around 10:30am and the baggage handlers immediately took our luggage which went immediately through an x-ray machine. We exchanged canadian currency into US dollars and then stood in line for 5-10 minutes to go through security ourselves, just like at an airport, then to a customs desk (there was no line at all), then walked down a hallway to a big waiting room to get on the ship. Immediately went to the check in at the Princess desk where we received our room card and they took our credit card number (no wait here either). We then had about an hour wait until we could board. They would not let us on until noon which was the embarkation time. There was a bit of a wait in the line to actually board because we didn't jump up and get in line quickly.
The Room: One of our suitcases was at the room when we got there and the other was delivered a bit later. We had a balcony cabin on the starboard side and it was a typical cruise cabin. There was plenty of space to hang clothes, a nice closet with shelves and a safe to put your things, tv, refrigerator, small desk and chair (the desk held the phone and the blow dryer and it contained a few drawers), bathroom was small but functional. Had plenty of shelves to put our things. I will say that the shower was very tiny. The bathroom had shampoo, conditioner and lotion from the spa. The balcony was a bit small but was ok for our needs and contained two white plastic chairs and a small white plastic table.
Service: Our room steward was good and attentive to our needs and we did tip him extra at the end. The service in the dining room (we had personal choice dining) was pretty good also. I did have trouble getting my ice tea filled up on a few occasions but other than that it was good and in some cases very good. Service at the bars was just like you get at home....nothing spectacular or over friendly.
Entertainment staff: These people were great. Friendly, nice, talked to you, very fun to watch and interact with. Leslie, Laura, Peter, John, and Phil were especiallly great.
The Food: The food was good. I did not lose any weight on this cruise...lol. Some nights I liked things better than other nights but I think it was good to very good. The lobster and king crab were great and I had seconds. There were a lot of chilled soups so I didn't have any soup at all. Not too many salads either because I wanted appetizers, main course and dessert. Desserts were very good. The avocado boat w/seafood appetizer was especially good. I ate in the Horizon Court for breakfast and there was alot to eat. Bread, eggs, omelets, pancakes, french toast, fruit, smoked salmon (yummy, had it every day),sausage, bacon, etc, etc. etc. Lunches for me included pizza (yes it was good), hot dog (they also had hamburgers), Horizon Court food which consisted of too many things to name here. We did eat at the Bayou Cafe for lunch on Sunday and it was EXCELLENT. The jambalaya was soooo good, as was the filet. THE COFFEE: It was not as bad as I expected. It did tase like it was made from syrup and hot water (except in the Bayou Cafe where you knew it was different) but it was very drinkable and better than I drink at work. I had no problem with that at all despite what others say. Drinks of the Day were good but not much alcohol in them.
Entertainment: They had 3 very good production shows and the talent was excellent. Broadway type shows. There was a Princess Idol competition where they had some great singers. The lounges and bars all had singers/musicians but I didn't really go there so I can't comment. There was a magician/comedian named Jeff Peterson and he was pretty good.
Things to do: They had photo classes, pottery, trivia quizzes, ice carving, culinary demonstrations, park ranger talks, naturalist talks, art auctions, movies, bingo, shuffleboard, miniature golf, virtual golf, spa, etc. Lots to do and not enough time to do it all.
The passengers were 90% older folks...I would say 60 and above and from all over the world. The scenery was spectacular...the glaciers were just great and all the ports were fun. Only negatives were that the wood on the balcony was very worn out (weird since the ship is only 3 years old) and that the white dividers separating the balconies were worn and needed painting.
We definitely had a great time and would sail with Princess again and can't wait to go back to Alaska.