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Old June 19th, 2007, 09:51 AM
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Default Just Returned Diamond: Vancouver to Whittier Jun 9-16, 2007

We just returned from our Alaska trip on the Diamond.
If anyone has any specific questions, please ask! I will do a detailed review in the next couple of weeks.
We are NOT cruise people (spend most of our time in the Caribbean on a beach), so this review will have a different slant to it. It was VERY GOOD!
Have a great day;
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Old June 19th, 2007, 03:52 PM
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Glad you had a great time!

We're taking the wife's father and step mother on the Diamond September 8th (southbound), maybe you can provide some insight...

The wife and I have cruised several times before, but I'm the only one who has done Alaska, and that was almost 20 years ago. Her dad and step mom has never cruised before at all. None of us has ever cruised Princess before.

All that said, the main thing we're after is for the Parents to have a good time as this is something they've always wanted to do but were never able to pull it off-- in fact, he'll be celebrating his 75th birthday on board.

So... do you think that an older person who has never cruised before will be impressed with the Diamond Princess? Is the food more comparable to Chilli's quality or to Outback quality? They're from rural Arkansas, and don't really have too much in the way of "formal wear"-- would they feel out of place wearing a dark suit for formal nights? Finally, if you took any helicopter excursions, do you feel that it was a worthwhile expense?

They're really looking forward to the trip and are very excited, and I'm sure they'll have a good time-- I'd just like to make sure they do.

Thanks, and have a great day!
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Old June 19th, 2007, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robhedin
Glad you had a great time!

We're taking the wife's father and step mother on the Diamond September 8th (southbound), maybe you can provide some insight...

The wife and I have cruised several times before, but I'm the only one who has done Alaska, and that was almost 20 years ago. Her dad and step mom has never cruised before at all. None of us has ever cruised Princess before.

All that said, the main thing we're after is for the Parents to have a good time as this is something they've always wanted to do but were never able to pull it off-- in fact, he'll be celebrating his 75th birthday on board.

So... do you think that an older person who has never cruised before will be impressed with the Diamond Princess?

The Diamond is IMPRESSIVE! Having only cruised about 12 years ago, this was like night and day compared to the previous trip on Holland America. The ship was glitter but in a subdued way.

Is the food more comparable to Chilli's quality or to Outback quality?

We are quite experienced with "fine" dinning and would consider Princess to be better than Outback and dramatically better than Chillis. Not sure how to describe, but the meals were well prepared and presented but not that over board with presentation. The food was very good, better than we expected. The waiters will bend over backwards for what you want.

they're from rural Arkansas, and don't really have too much in the way of "formal wear"-- would they feel out of place wearing a dark suit for formal nights?

I wore a dark suit on formal nights and was NOT out of place at all! It was not stuffy at all!

Finally, if you took any helicopter excursions, do you feel that it was a worthwhile expense?

No, we did not take any helicopter flights.

They're really looking forward to the trip and are very excited, and I'm sure they'll have a good time-- I'd just like to make sure they do.

Thanks, and have a great day!
I hope this helps and let me know if I can answer any other questions.
Have a great day;
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Old June 27th, 2007, 05:28 PM
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thanks for the insight! sorry it took me a bit to get back here, got called out of town on business.

looking forward to september more than ever now!

rob
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Old June 28th, 2007, 08:06 PM
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We also just returned from an 11 day land and cruise with Diamond Princess. What a dissappointment. We spent most of our time on land on a bus, or train, including a 10 1/2 hour train ride from Denali to Whittier. No wild life to speak of any where and the scenery was limited. We would never do the land again - this seemed to be the feelings of all we spoke too.
As far as the ship - the buffet was so-so to awful. Very few times did they have both buffet sides open. By Thursday we stopped going to it. Very limited on choice of food.
My husband is diabetic and not 1 sugar free dessert on the boat. A sign was posted to 'ask'. He was then given a sliced banana with strawberry cool whip on top. Very upsetting.
Ice cream was not free - like on most cruises. Evening dining was wonderful. The waitress was superb and food was better than average.
By dinner - we were hungry. You must wear a suit coat on formal night or you will be given one.
The rooms are much smaller than other ships and our TV would never turn off. On other ships we have always had a table to eat on if we did room service.
The Lumber Jack Show is very intertaining and not that expensive, worth going.
All in all - we will never do a Princess cruise again. Others have so much more to offer.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 01:27 AM
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WE COULD NOT DISAGREE MORE ON THE LAST POSTING FROM "mlichtenauer"

We did the land portion (5 nites) from Fairbanks to Whittier last July and then headed south on the Diamonds sister ship the Sapphire This past May we did a 7 day north bound on the Island. So we have had two recent experiences. Both were wonderful.

The train was great. Great viewing and saw some but not alot of wildlife.
On the ground the lodges were great and the tours were just as promised.
We did go outside of the Princess tours and took the 80 mile trip by the park service into Denail. Great trip well worth the full day. We saw soo much wildlife and the Bus was just fine. With as large as Alaska is unless you stay close to the ports your going to need transportation. Princess always did it right with the most comfortable and new equipment you could hope for.
YOU NEED TO SPEND THE TIME WHEN DOING THE LAND PORTION. So much to see and do, but don't book youself with tour after tour, relax and enjoy the view from the lodges, they are in wonderful locations.

The Buffets were always good. They have worked out the flow of people thru the lines which was a problem in earlier days. The food for dinners
was most often the same as is served in the dining rooms. Choice was generally good, with the basics and also specility items that were quite good, inspite of it being part of a buffet. At dinner they always had ice cream, and a believe they had it for luch as well. Chocolate and Vanilla
and another flavor which changed each nite. EACH TIME WE CAME TO THE BUFFET OR IN THE DINING ROOM THEY HAD SELECTIONS OF SUGAR FREE DESERTS. Now I'm not one for sugarfree but the few I tried weren't too bad.

They do have an Ice Cream stand on the pool deck between the main outside pool and the indoor pool and they do charge but the quality is
better than the free stuff you get in the soft serve machines on most cruise ships we have been on.

On formal night they never require a coat much less a tie, although most people had on suits and ties.. They were very flexible. Although I did wear a blue sport coat with Khaki's and no tie
on each of the Formal nites and had no problem. They rest of the nights Dockers and a nice shirt for the guys and pants and a nice top for the wife.

Basic rooms were the same size as other ships we've been on. If you want more room, a Minisuite is not that expensive and upgrade from the standard balcony cabin. A BALCONY IS WONDERFUL FOR THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME IF YOUR ABLE TO SPEND THE EXTRA MONIES.

Also for the extra money the helicoper trips are extraordinary and well worth the money. In Juneau we would recomend the Mendenhal helo trip in the afternoon and in the morning.the Mendenhall tour to the ranger station at the base of the Glacier. You get to see such a perspective doing both. My wife has trouble getting around. The ground crews at the airport and on the Glacier were great to her and made the extra effort
to help her in and out of the aircraft and stayed with her on the top of the Glacier.

This will be the trip of a lifetime spend an extra buck or two if you can to do those special things, you will not regret it.....
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Old June 30th, 2007, 09:50 PM
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I agree with RTLK..we did the Mexican cruise on the Diamond last Nov and service, food, stateroom, Teen center for our 15 year old son.....everything was wonderful.

Alright *maybe* the Horizon wasn't my favourite place to eat...BUT....with all the incredible anytime dining restaurants, who can blame me for not wanting to eat buffet??? That said, the horizon served THE best suckling pig for lunch on eday...OMG bliss.....I don't eat much pork but this was to die for..YUM

I saw a lot of sugarfree desserts...which I never did try....I like my sugar.
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