I went on the Dawn Princess June 8th to June 15th. I had a great time. You can never have a bad time in Alaska. The Dawn is very clean for being a few years old. The ship is the perfect size not to big not to small. The Star Princess was with us at one port and the entire deck was filled with people. Its just so much more crowded than the Dawn Princess. The Dawn Princes has more deck space compared to the Star. That's very important if your up in Alaska. My cabin was B216 an inside cabin on deck 10. That is near the front. I got a cheaper price because of the inside, but what's cool on the Dawn is that on deck 9,10,11 you can go out on a small deck in the front. Where my cabin was located I was just 3 cabins from it so it seemed that I was not in the inside cabin. Not to many people know about this so it wont be to crowded if your near a glacier. Also, it has some covering if its raining. I would stand out here before I went to bed. There are so many spots to look out on the Dawn princess. This ship is perfect for Alaska.
The food was just ok this time. Breakfast in the Lido deck (Horizon Court) was great. They always had different items to choose from unlike other cruise lines. Lunch in the Horizon Court was just ok. It has been better before. This is my 4th cruise with Princess and it just seems like they have down graded their food a tad. It could be just the cook or the ship? I did go down to the dining room for lunch once and its was pretty good. I love pasta and that's why I like Princess so much. For some reason they had more of the red source that was a little spicy for me and also, they would have deer and rabbit in the pasta. (Don't like) They also have hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken hamburgers that are very tasty located outside of Horizon Court. Dinner was good. It's very comparable to Royal Caribbean. Just want to mention something. During dinner at the Horizon Court on one side they have a dinner buffet which I always went to after my dinning room dinner. It stays open to 10:30 PM. That is nice because on Royal Caribbean it only stayed open to 8:30 PM. Not only is there a dinner buffet, but beside the buffet is a sit down where you pay $8 for a big steak dinner that comes with salad, appetizer and desert. The steak was so awesome. Its like the ones you get in a nice restaurant such as the Claim Jumper restaurant. The portion is huge unlike what you get at the dining room. Its not crowded at all and is more peaceful and enjoyable. Its totally worth the price at least for one or two nights.
The entertainment is ok. Royal Caribbean is so much better. But if your in Alaska your entertainment is outside. (The beauty of Alaska) Princess is not known for good entertainment. Out of my four cruise with Princes only one cruise had great entertainment.
It seems that the average age is around 30 and above. You always do have an older crowd in Alaska no matter what cruise line you go on which I like anyways. Its a good verity of ages. The only bad thing about this cruise was Princess was pushing the drinks on everyone. Usually Princess dose not pressure you in buying drinks, but this cruise they were. Maybe they want more money since 9-11? (So that sucked) I felt like I was on carnival again.
You will have fun on this ship. Alaska is just an incredible place. This is my 5th time to Alaska and I never get tired of it. So much to see and do. I have always gone in June and the weather has always been nice. I only had 4 days out of 35 days on five cruises that it rained. Maybe I have been very lucky. One thing you need to know about Alaska. It may be nice one minute and within 20 minutes it could be terrible. It is very unpredictable predict. So bring everything from winter, rain gear and shorts.
The complaint that I had was we only stayed in Sitka for 5 hrs and there is so much to do there.
One more thing, If you want to see wild life, then you need to spend time outside. Sit on a deck chair on life boat deck and you will see a whale. If not, then look to your right and there you go. (Kidding) One more thing. At the glacier go to the front of the ship for a few minutes to see the whole view, but then go to the life boat deck and most likely you will be by your self. Everyone is on the top front decks, but the better view is on life boat deck. Your closer to the water where you can see and hear ice hitting the ship and making popping sounds. You will see the glacier on both sides because the captain turns the ship in a circle. Its just so crowded up on front and is not enjoyable. Also, on life boat deck you could just sit in a nice chair and have lunch.