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RachelNYC

Pacific Princess questions - is it old and tired?

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I'm considering a July 2020 Alaska cruise and land vacation for my family (husband and I are 41 and kids ages 8 & 10) and considering the Pacific Princess.

 

I love the idea that she's a smaller ship - but I'm nervous b/c of her age.  We've been on a bunch of mega ships (RCCL Anthem and Harmony) and certainly don't want that experience for Alaska.   Can anyone shed light on the upkeep of the Pacific Princess?  Does the interior look old and tired?  How about the cabins?  I see that the ship had a refurbishment in 2019.  How extensive was this refresh?

 

Any info is appreciated!!!

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The Pacific Princess is our favorite ship - you'll probably get this response from others. We were onboard in July and had no issues with her condition. One thing you need to be aware of, traveling with two kids, is that there is no kids club on the Pacific Princess.

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1 minute ago, shellbeachjim said:

The Pacific Princess is our favorite ship - you'll probably get this response from others. We were onboard in July and had no issues with her condition. One thing you need to be aware of, traveling with two kids, is that there is no kids club on the Pacific Princess.


 

Thx so much for your reply!  We don’t need a kids club.  Our kids never enjoyed kids clubs in the past on RCCL, so we stopped trying.  (They found the clubs to be too loud /crazy and they would rather just hang with us.)


What is it that you particularly love about the Pacific Princess?

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We love the smaller size of the ship. It's much easier to get around. With a maximum of 674 passengers, you'll actually see the same passengers multiple times on the ship. This may be a good or bad thing, I guess, but we've found this to be a good thing as we like talking to our fellow passengers. Also, you'll interact with the crew more on the ship as well as the entertainers (who also act as cruise staff).

 

The ship doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the newer, larger ships, but that doesn't bother us in the slightest. There's only 1 dining room, with Club Class as a designated section of the dining room. There are 2 specialty restaurants and they're open on alternate nights. There is also the Horizon Court for the buffet. It's also used for "bistro" dining in the evenings.

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Odd, I posted a link to a review by US News & World Reports this afternoon, yet it has disappeared. Are such things not allowed anymore?

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7 hours ago, RachelNYC said:

I'm considering a July 2020 Alaska cruise and land vacation for my family (husband and I are 41 and kids ages 8 & 10) and considering the Pacific Princess.

 

I love the idea that she's a smaller ship - but I'm nervous b/c of her age.  We've been on a bunch of mega ships (RCCL Anthem and Harmony) and certainly don't want that experience for Alaska.   Can anyone shed light on the upkeep of the Pacific Princess?  Does the interior look old and tired?  How about the cabins?  I see that the ship had a refurbishment in 2019.  How extensive was this refresh?

 

Any info is appreciated!!!

There are some comments from people when they return that have never sailed a small ship like this.

They were not ready for that small ship experience. It is a big change. Be sure you are ready!

Too small for me. 

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According to the US News & Wold Reports review I read, that I don't dare link here since my last post was deleted... She was refurbed in June 2019, and, as a result is 

Overview

 

The 670-passenger Pacific Princess, recently refurbished in June 2019, is the smallest ship in the Princess fleet. It caters to travelers looking for quieter, more personalized onboard experiences than those offered on megaships. Past cruisers described the 375-person staff as warm and gracious."

and

"Pacific Princess ranks #1 out of 18 Princess Cruises Cruise Ships based on an analysis of expert and user ratings, as well as health ratings."

So, if you can handle a small ship experience, she will probably be fine, if not, then stay away. We're on her in May for a short cruise up the West coast, and, maybe again next fall for a Med Cruise (depending on how we like the small ship experience).

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A bit small for our taste ;but ,we can see others liking the small ship experience  .Probably a good ship for Alaska  .We  will be doing our 6th Alaska adventure on Sun Princess which is 77000 tons August 2021 .this is a 14 day round trip San Pedro Ca to & back from Alaska 

 

 If the Pacific Princess has a wrap around the ship  promenade it is even better for the passenger in Alaska

Edited by mcrcruiser

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If you want to view all the decks then google  : cruise ship deck plans  ,look for Princess & then the Pacific Princess   The ship has nice features  ;however ,no full wrap around promenade . That is not necessarily  a deal killer ;but ,for Alaska it be better if she did have a full wrap around promenade imo 

 

 The Sun Princess has a complete wrap around promenade on deck 7 .Albeit a  much larger ship 

Edited by mcrcruiser

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The promenade on deck 5 doesn’t wraparound the ship, but there are a couple of alternatives on deck 10. First is the area outside the library where there is the jogging track. It’s easy to go from side to side up here - just be careful not to impede the walkers and joggers on the track. By the way the track is 13 laps to the mile. I prefer it over the gym,  but I’m  a walker and I would rather get my exercise outdoors in the fresh air. 😀
 

The other spot is forward on deck 10 in the Pacific Lounge. There are great views up here, and it may be more comfortable if the weather is chilly outside. 

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Rachel - maybe if you tell us what your kids like to do on the ship, people can respond if they think your kids would be pleased with the ship. The Pacific Princess is definitely a favorite amongst some but I know others who would be bored to death on it.

 

Honestly - if your kids would like looking at scenery, spending time watching for wildlife, enjoy glaciers, etc.. this maybe the perfect ship for them. With 2 glacier days (if they would like that), there isn't that much ship time otherwise. Alaska is all about port times and seeing Alaska and the itinerary is perfect for that.

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1 hour ago, Coral said:

Rachel - maybe if you tell us what your kids like to do on the ship, people can respond if they think your kids would be pleased with the ship. The Pacific Princess is definitely a favorite amongst some but I know others who would be bored to death on it.

 

Honestly - if your kids would like looking at scenery, spending time watching for wildlife, enjoy glaciers, etc.. this maybe the perfect ship for them. With 2 glacier days (if they would like that), there isn't that much ship time otherwise. Alaska is all about port times and seeing Alaska and the itinerary is perfect for that.


This is all so helpful!

 

My kids (ages 8 & 10) enjoy things like  family name that tune, trivia, kareoke, magicians/comedians, and pool.  (Is there a solarium pool they could access if the PP?) 

 

Don’t get me wrong- they also love the mega-ship stuff like water slides , rock walls, and ice rinks - but for Alaska I really don’t want them distracted with that stuff. The purpose of the Alaska trip is to be in - and appreciate- Alaska.  Not to spend our time with the bells and whistles of a mega ship 🙂


Does the Pacific Princess have any organized family activities like trivia or name that tune? Or bc it’s so small they don’t do those things?

 

Any info is appreciated.  

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Not sure that this ship would be great for kids, but we’ve sailed the small ships twice (once in Mediterranean and another voyage from French Polynesia to Hawaii) and LOVED the experience. You actually get to know crew and fellow passengers.  The ship has more of a boutique hotel feeling rather than a sprawling resort hotel.  We’re sailing her again in September from Vancouver to Hawaii. 

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2 minutes ago, BigGuy25 said:

Not sure that this ship would be great for kids, but we’ve sailed the small ships twice (once in Mediterranean and another voyage from French Polynesia to Hawaii) and LOVED the experience. You actually get to know crew and fellow passengers.  The ship has more of a boutique hotel feeling rather than a sprawling resort hotel.  We’re sailing her again in September from Vancouver to Hawaii. 

 

In what way is the ship not "good for kids"? Are they frowned upon on a small ship?

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3 minutes ago, RachelNYC said:

 

In what way is the ship not "good for kids"? Are they frowned upon on a small ship?

No, not “frowned upon” at all.  Simply, there aren’t as many activities available as there are on the larger ships.  They may love it!  If you think they’d be happy in a small hotel rather than the large resort, I say “book it!!” 

Edited by BigGuy25

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3 minutes ago, BigGuy25 said:

No, not “frowned upon” at all.  Simply, there aren’t as many activities available as there are on the larger ships.  They may love it!  If you think they’d be happy in a small hotel rather than the large resort, I say “book it!!” 

 

Ahh - ok.  Got it 🙂

 

I really don't want a "kid ship" for Alaska.  My kids will be in 3rd and 5th grade and I really want them to appreciate and learn about Alaska.  I don't particularly want them to be distracted by flying on a trapeze or bumper cars!

 

Do you think there are ANY family activities on PP?  Name That Tune? Kareoke? Family Friendly Trivia?

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20 minutes ago, RachelNYC said:

 

Do you think there are ANY family activities on PP?  Name That Tune? Kareoke? Family Friendly Trivia?

We haven’t sailed the small ship for several years, so I’m not positive. But, these are kind of staples on cruises, so I would expect you’d find these types of activities. Hopefully, those who have sailed on the Pacific Princess more recently can confirm.

Edited by BigGuy25

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1 hour ago, RachelNYC said:


This is all so helpful!

 

My kids (ages 8 & 10) enjoy things like  family name that tune, trivia, kareoke, magicians/comedians, and pool.  (Is there a solarium pool they could access if the PP?) 

 

Don’t get me wrong- they also love the mega-ship stuff like water slides , rock walls, and ice rinks - but for Alaska I really don’t want them distracted with that stuff. The purpose of the Alaska trip is to be in - and appreciate- Alaska.  Not to spend our time with the bells and whistles of a mega ship 🙂


Does the Pacific Princess have any organized family activities like trivia or name that tune? Or bc it’s so small they don’t do those things?

 

Any info is appreciated.  

My kids sailed alot starting around 8. They are 22 months apart. 

When my boys were 8 and 10 I am pretty sure I could not keep them from being "distracted" by anything.

I think a ship such as the PP would have been a big letdown for them at that time.

We have sailed her without the boys twice.

To me it is more of an adult ship.

As far as them appreciating stuff that may have been a stretch as well at that age for them.

 

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3 minutes ago, Colo Cruiser said:

My kids sailed alot starting around 8. They are 22 months apart. 

When my boys were 8 and 10 I am pretty sure I could not keep them from being "distracted" by anything.

I think a ship such as the PP would have been a big letdown for them at that time.

We have sailed her without the boys twice.

To me it is more of an adult ship.

As far as them appreciating stuff that may have been a stretch as well at that age for them.

 


I guess it’s family and kid dependent.  We recently went to Sedona and stayed at a 10 room B&B with zero amenities and my kids are calling it their favorite trip yet.  That’s the main reason I’m considering the Pacific Princess.  During our Sedona trip we toured and did exciting activities as a family but then just relaxed and played games while at our B&B.  

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Absolutely NOT!! She is not old and tired. I just disembarked from her a couple of weeks ago after a 29 day transatlantic. and found her to be her usual delightful self. In actuality, she's my favorite ship in the entire fleet, and I keep booking cruises on her because of the sort of ship she is. She's whole different sort of cruising. The atmosphere is classy and more intimate than the larger Princess ships. Not only do you get to make new cruise friends more easily because you see the same faces day after day, but you get to know the crew and staff of the ship. I've always found the Captains much more accessible, because they tend to be out and about on the ship. No long waits for elevators that are already crowded when the doors open. No long walks to get where you need to be. Getting off and on is ports doesn't usually mean standing in a long line. Tendering is easier because of the small number of passengers.

There are many other pluses to her, but too many more to list.

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10 minutes ago, flamomo said:

Absolutely NOT!! She is not old and tired. I just disembarked from her a couple of weeks ago after a 29 day transatlantic. and found her to be her usual delightful self. In actuality, she's my favorite ship in the entire fleet, and I keep booking cruises on her because of the sort of ship she is. She's whole different sort of cruising. The atmosphere is classy and more intimate than the larger Princess ships. Not only do you get to make new cruise friends more easily because you see the same faces day after day, but you get to know the crew and staff of the ship. I've always found the Captains much more accessible, because they tend to be out and about on the ship. No long waits for elevators that are already crowded when the doors open. No long walks to get where you need to be. Getting off and on is ports doesn't usually mean standing in a long line. Tendering is easier because of the small number of passengers.

There are many other pluses to her, but too many more to list.


This is so good to hear!  Do you remember if there’s any on board programming geared to all ages?

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I love the Pacific Princess and have sailed on her twice. Certainly not old and tired. Even though its a smaller ship there are lots of activities like trivia and karaoke - we had watercolour sessions x2 and  learn the mandolin to name a couple. I love the small ship experience and found it easy to make friends on board.

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Have not sailed on the Pacific Princess.  Did sail on her sister ship owned by Oceania (the Insignia).  If the Pacific Princess had the right sail date (and was closer in price to Coral Princess) I would have absolutely booked her for our Alaska trip.

 

Absolutely love that size ship, would have really liked it for an Alaskan cruise that goes to Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier (I think only the southbound cruises: Whittier to Vancouver have both).

 

On the Insignia the buffet had outdoor seating at the stern.  If the Pacific Princess has that and the weather is good it is an absolute plus in my opinion.  It will probably fill up quick.  Other people who have sailed her will be better able to respond.

 

A couple of things to think about.

 

1. Not as much to do on the ship.

2. No indoor pool, outdoor pool is small.

3. You will run into the same people many times.

4. Shows probably won't be as elaborate.

5. Probably quicker to get on and off at ports.

6. May rock more in rough seas.

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