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lindafromns

Get port side balcony cabin heading south from Alaska!

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My husband and I are relatively new cruisers. We are currently on the Royal Princess on a southbound sailing from Whittier to Vancouver. I just wanted to say that having a balcony on the port side is AMAZING!!  From our room we can see all the gorgeous scenery all day long (not that we’re in the cabin all day)!  

Yesterday we traveled through a bay to see Hubbard’s Glacier. It was really cool to see all the other people out on their balconies admiring the view and taking pictures!

These pictures are all taken from our balcony. 

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Hi. Im so excited.  Great pics. We are doing the southbound June 29. I have some questions if you dont mind answering whenever you have free time.

 

1) any problems with the size of the ship and getting around the inside passage? 

2) did they take the advertised route or have to make changes?

3) what are the best viewing areas besides your cabin?

4) which specialty restaurant do u recommend?

5) hows the Internet speed? 

6) any particular excursions u recommend? 

 

Please free to add any other tips or advice. 

 

Thanks,

Jose

Edited by josemembreno

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9 hours ago, josemembreno said:

Hi. Im so excited.  Great pics. We are doing the southbound June 29. I have some questions if you dont mind answering whenever you have free time.

 

1) any problems with the size of the ship and getting around the inside passage? 

2) did they take the advertised route or have to make changes?

3) what are the best viewing areas besides your cabin?

4) which specialty restaurant do u recommend?

5) hows the Internet speed? 

6) any particular excursions u recommend? 

 

Please free to add any other tips or advice. 

 

Thanks,

Jose

 

Great questions jose and I hope the OP returns and answers them. We are on the Royal Southbound on 10 August. We have been on the Royal before and in our opinion the best specialty restaurant is Crown Grill.  

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On 5/20/2019 at 7:09 PM, josemembreno said:

Hi. Im so excited.  Great pics. We are doing the southbound June 29. I have some questions if you dont mind answering whenever you have free time.

 

1) any problems with the size of the ship and getting around the inside passage? 

2) did they take the advertised route or have to make changes?

3) what are the best viewing areas besides your cabin?

4) which specialty restaurant do u recommend?

5) hows the Internet speed? 

6) any particular excursions u recommend? 

 

Please free to add any other tips or advice. 

 

Thanks,

Jose

I just did the Northbound last week on the Royal and am doing the Southbound this week. I've been blogging live both cruises so I'll take a shot at answering some of your questions. Per CC rules I can't post my blog link so I hope it's ok I've just copied and pasted some of my posts to answer the questions. I hope it makes sense as the responses are from different days. Everything in blue comes from a straight copy and paste from the blog.

 

1) any problems with the size of the ship and getting around the inside passage? 

2) did they take the advertised route or have to make changes?

The ship changed course from what we typically would expect on an Alaskan cruise from Vancouver. Taking the green route out of Vancouver instead of the typical "red" route was probably the most disappointing. Coming in from the north in Ketchikan (the brown route instead of the red route) was a bit surprising, but not unexpected based on the marine pilot concerns.
IMG_07842.png
The Royal's Vancouver departure route is in green.
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The Royal's Ketchikan approach is in brown.

 

3) what are the best viewing areas besides your cabin?

Most of the time you could find us in the Horizon Terrace. That's the area all the way back of the buffet. We never had a problem finding a place to sit. In fact, many times it was empty.
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We enjoyed many meals there and also spent time just watching the world go by.
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We also took advantage of what could almost be considered a secret deck. There are doors outside Crooners and the Effy store leading to a seldom used deck with chairs.
secret%2Bdoors.png
Lots of space available on the rail on Glacier Bay Day. See?
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Even when the ship was stopped at Margerie Glacier I had no problem finding a spot at the rail. You can also access an additional portion of the deck through doors just in front of the Vista Lounge. You'll find chairs there, too.
deck.jpg
 
 
Just in the nick of time I made it outside to capture the glacier. Our go-to spot is the Horizon Terrace at the back of Horizon Court. Who wouldn't want to sit in these empty, comfy seats on the Horizon Terrace?
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4) which specialty restaurant do u recommend?

We went to Sabatini's the other night for dinner for the first time. Since I don't like Italian food we've always skipped the place. As I found out, it's not all pasta. 
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A couple weeks back on the Ruby we tried Share for the first time and said it was going to replace our Crown Grill visits. Now we're in a quandary. We might want Sabatini's to be the Crown Grill replacement. It was really, really good. After so many mediocre visits to Crown Grill on so many ships across the fleet, eating at Sabatini's and Share have been like a breath of fresh air. I'll do a write-up on Sabatini's at a later date so keep an eye out for it. In the meantime, if you get a chance to try Sabatini's on the Royal Princess, do it.
 

5) hows the Internet speed? 

I was planning on doing a trip wrap-up from last week, but just realized we'll be losing our internet today. That's one thing I've forgotten to mention about Glacier Bay. In my experience, the internet will be out for the day.

 

I'll post new Medallion videos once I get home. The MedallionNet here is better than the Ruby but worse than the Caribbean Princess. It's not fast enough to watch any videos, let alone upload them.

 

Want to know the pricing for the Internet? Right here:

IMG_4599.JPG
 

6) any particular excursions u recommend? 

Please free to add any other tips or advice. 

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Thanks Idaho, very helpful. It's a shame you mentioned those secret open decks near Crooners - we found them last time and they were deserted. It's also good to know that you found the open viewing areas not crowded as that was a concern from others. We have a balcony but would prefer to move around. Do you know if your sailing is sold out?

Finally, pardon my ignorance but how can I find your blog - I know you are not permitted to link it but is there anyway I can find it. Perhaps an email to leck57at Hotmail dot com might be the way. I don't want to get you or me in strife with the mods.

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Glad to hear you're enjoying the port side balcony.  We are booked in a port side balcony on the Royal for a Southbound in June 2020.  This will be our first Princess cruise and fifth cruise in total.  Interested in hearing your experiences on this ship and cruise.

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I have been on both sides several times and don't find one superior.

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8 hours ago, leck57 said:

Thanks Idaho, very helpful. It's a shame you mentioned those secret open decks near Crooners - we found them last time and they were deserted. It's also good to know that you found the open viewing areas not crowded as that was a concern from others. We have a balcony but would prefer to move around. Do you know if your sailing is sold out?

Finally, pardon my ignorance but how can I find your blog - I know you are not permitted to link it but is there anyway I can find it. Perhaps an email to leck57at Hotmail dot com might be the way. 

Look for debs days on the internet.

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On 5/20/2019 at 5:09 PM, josemembreno said:

Hi. Im so excited.  Great pics. We are doing the southbound June 29. I have some questions if you dont mind answering whenever you have free time.

 

1) any problems with the size of the ship and getting around the inside passage? 

We like the bigger ships and so far we’ve had no problems going the advertised route. It’s been beautiful!  We’ve been through the glacier bays, to Skagway, and today we’re in Juneau. 

On 5/20/2019 at 5:09 PM, josemembreno said:

2) did they take the advertised route or have to make changes?

 

see above 

 

3) what are the best viewing areas besides your cabin?

Really anywhere outside on the higher decks is great. Also up there there is narration along the scenic parts. 

 

On 5/20/2019 at 5:09 PM, josemembreno said:

4) which specialty restaurant do u recommend?

We haven’t been to any yet. 

 

On 5/20/2019 at 5:09 PM, josemembreno said:

5) hows the Internet speed? 

The internet has been good for me but some of my family members have had problems. Usually it’s okay if you’re not trying to stream anything. 

 

On 5/20/2019 at 5:09 PM, josemembreno said:

6) any particular excursions u recommend? 

We went up to the Yukon through the White Pass Summit and back by train. It was a very long but beautifully scenic day. If you don’t need to see the Yukon on your bucket list, I’d say go anywhere from Skagway that goes as far as BC. That’s where the beautiful scenery really begins!

We’re only in our second port now. 

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21 hours ago, lindafromns said:

We like the bigger ships and so far we’ve had no problems going the advertised route. It’s been beautiful!  We’ve been through the glacier bays, to Skagway, and today we’re in Juneau. 

Really anywhere outside on the higher decks is great. Also up there there is narration along the scenic parts. 

 

We haven’t been to any yet. 

 

The internet has been good for me but some of my family members have had problems. Usually it’s okay if you’re not trying to stream anything. 

 

We went up to the Yukon through the White Pass Summit and back by train. It was a very long but beautifully scenic day. If you don’t need to see the Yukon on your bucket list, I’d say go anywhere from Skagway that goes as far as BC. That’s where the beautiful scenery really begins!

We’re only in our second port now. 

 

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Which excursion did you take in skagway?  Was it through princess?  We are currently booked on the white rail pass but it seems you see alot more if you go 1 way by bus and the other by train

 

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In Skagway we took tour SGY220 - Bennet Lake and Yukon Adventure. It included both highway and rail, fully narrated. It took the full day so we didn’t get to see much of Skagway but the scenery was breathtaking. If you take this tour, bring snacks!!  You get a fairly late lunch and we were all quite peckish!!

if you want only half a day with 80% of the scenery, I’d recommend SGY225 White Pass Rail and Klondike Highway. That will give you gorgeous scenery and time in Skagway. 

 

 

 

 

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