We were 6 email gal pals who met in Seattle to do the first sailing of the Star Princess to Alaska for this year. This was my first cruise on a big new ship. The others in my group are experienced cruisers. We really lucked out with the weather--it was sunny and in the 50s & 60s during most of the trip. Cruising thru Tracy Arm was spectacular--a great morning to spend enjoying the open decks or hanging out on ones balcony.
My roommate and I had an inside cabin. I like being up and out early on the open decks so this worked out fine for me. The cabin was comfortable and our steward was excellent. The rest of the gang in our group had balcony type cabins--the weather on our trip was spectacular and they really seemed to enjoy them.
I was surprised how crowded the inside areas of this ship got on sea days. The Horizon Court (buffet food area) had small signs on the tables asking us cruisers to eat up and move along. The lovely solarium seemed more like a gym workout area than a quiet meditative place to hang out--maybe because it is located right next to the Horizon Court. For those of us who love being outside on the open decks there was plenty of room.
Our group of 6 did PC dining most nights. I thought that most of my meals were pretty good and all the deserts I had were very good. All meat was cooked to order and the pasta dishes were very good. I just had one bad meal--some overcooked salmon on the last night. I really enjoyed the always available cheesecake--glad I discovered it on my last night. I enjoyed eating at the Horizon Court most mornings--lots of choices and lots of fresh fruit. My favorite place to hang out with a cup of coffee was the outside Aft section of this area.
I'd give high marks to the entertainment on this ship. I saw both dance shows, two of the comedians (one good and one not-so-good), and spent time listening to Bert in the Piano bar/lounge-he was fantastic and really got the crowd going. The 'drinks of the day' were offered in the lounges in the evening so I enjoyed a specialty coffee drink each evening while watching the show. I also caught a movie in the Princess Theater--during the movie I forgot I was on a cruise ship. I also hit an afternoon tea one day and caught most of the lectures/presentations by Michael the naturalist--he was wonderful.
The casino on this ship was pretty dead except when I was looking to play the $3 backjack table. I took the backjack lesson and would have liked to take the craps lesson but they were both offered just once at the same time. I also entered the blackjack tournament for the first time--I lost but it was very intense and a lot of fun.
This was my second cruise to Alaska--my first cruise was on a 50 year old ship and this cruise was on a 1 year old ship. I really enjoyed both cruises because, since the ships were so different, the cruises were very different. Loved the time I spent in the ports--in Juneau and Skagway I took the boat trips cause I like to be on the smaller boats checking out the wildlife.