Majestic Princess was originally built for the Chinese cruise market and because of that, the cruise ship has some unique locations that are not found on the vessel’s three sister ships.
I recently had the opportunity to take a seven night cruise to Alaska on Majestic Princess out of Seattle as a guest of the cruise line. It gave me a close look at the health protocols that Princess has implemented as well as experience one of Princess Cruises’ itineraries to Alaska. Princess Cruises and sister cruise line Holland America Line sail more cruise ships to Alaska than any other cruise line.
This was my first full Alaska sailing, I had only done a partial Alaskan cruise back in 2015 on Ruby Princess. Here is my review of the cruise on Majestic Princess and everything that I loved about it. You can read my first impressions of the cruise thatI wrote while on board here.
Embarkation– I went from curb to ship in under 30 minutes since I already had my OceanMedallion. Although we were not tested for COVID-19 before boarding the ship, everyone had to show a negative results from a test that was taken within the past three days. Of out the five cruises I’ve been on this summer, this was the easiest and quickest embarkation.
Cruise Ship– Majestic Princess is the ultimate Princess ship to take an Alaskan cruise. Since the ship was built for the Chinese market, there are more enclosed spaces than the other Royal class ships. With the weather in Alaska often cool and rainy, more indoor spaces make it easier to enjoy the views while not standing out in the elements.
The outdoor Retreat Pool and Sanctuary have been replaced with an indoor pool and observation lounge, both with floor to ceiling windows. The Hollywood Pool acts as a solarium and the Hollywood Conservatory offers 270 degree views at the front of the ship. I saw many whales, dolphins, sea lions, sea otters, and other wildlife from the windows of the Hollywood Conservatory on this cruise.
It’s rained pretty much every single day of our cruise (it is Alaska after all) so having these extra indoor spots is really nice.
Cabin A426 Mini-Suite– I stayed in cabin A426, a mini-suite on deck 12. The cabin has a full couch, a decent size balcony, and a full bathroom. By full bathroom, I mean it has a shower, tub, and sink. It was so nice being able to take a shower with extra elbow room.
After staying in many small cruise ship cabins in my life, it was really nice to have extra space that the mini-suite offers.
OceanMedallion– Princess Cruises’ OceanMedallion is one of the best, if not the best new feature to be added recently to the cruise industry. You receive your OceanMedallion before your cruise and it makes check-in a breeze since you already have your “cruise card”.
I love how the door to your cabin automatically unlocks when you get within 10 feet of your stateroom. You can also use it to track the members of your traveling party or any friends you are traveling with and see exactly where they are on the ship. By default, no one outside of your cabin can see where you are unless you approve of each person. For those under the age of 18, parents will always be able to see where their kids are all at times.
The OceanMedallion replaces your keycard and greatly enhances the cruise experience. You can carry it with you in different ways. You can wear like a watch, on a landyard, part of a necklace, or as a clip. Or, you can just carry it in your pocket, it’s all up you.
Animal Planet Recommended Excursions– Princess Cruises has a partnership with Animal Planet and I took two of their recommended shore excursions on the cruise. Alaska is the prefect cruise destination to view wildlife and I was able to view whales, bald eagles, and black bears up close in the wild.
The first excursion I took was in Juneau on one of Princess Cruises’ “Local Connections”, designed to connect you with locals in Alaska. It was “Whale Watching & Mendenhall Glacier Photo Safari Designed by Alaskan Photographer”. It was also one of the Animal Planet excursions and it did not disappoint.
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Our small tour group of 14 took a short bus ride where we boarded a small boat to see whales. I’ve been on whale watching tours before and sometimes it can be a challenge to find the whales at first. Not on this trip! We went out and instantly saw whales. After about 10 minutes of seeing whales, we were treated to a double breach when two whales simultaneously leaped out of the water just a few yards away from our boat.
Here are two photos that I captured with my phone:
— Cruise Fever (@CruiseFever)August 24, 2021
After viewing whales for a bit, we cruised around a small island that was covered with sea lions and even a few Bald Eagles. The second half of the excursion had us hiking through the Alaskan woods until we came upon Mendenhall Glacier. It was one of the most enjoyable excursions that I’ve taken on a cruise.
In Skagway, I took the White Pass Scenic Rail, a fun train ride up the mountain as you travel on the tracks built during the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush.
In Ketchikan I took a second Animal Planet exclusive excursion, a Black Bear, Wildlife and Nature Walk. We were able to see several bears in the wild as well as watching them catch and eat salmon. What a great experience!
We went on a hike to see black bears, an@AnimalPlanetexclusive tour with@PrincessCruises. We watched bears catch and eat salmon, saw 7 bears total including 5 cubs.#Sponsored #Alaska pic.twitter.com/ZFoXh6PkVz
— Cruise Fever (@CruiseFever)August 27, 2021
The highlight of the trip was our day in Glacier Bay. Glacier Bay needs to be on everyone’s must see list. Combine it with the Ultimate Balcony Breakfast and it’s pretty much the perfect morning on a cruise ship. It just doesn’t get any better than this.
— Cruise Fever (@CruiseFever)August 26, 2021
We spent several hours visiting and passing different glaciers in Glacier Bay. It was just stunning and the most scenic “sea day” I’ve ever had.
If you have not been to Alaska on a cruise, you really should plan one in 2022 or 2023. You won’t regret it.
Doors to the Casino– This is a change on cruise ships that we are seeing more and more. The casino now has glass doors on both ends that help keep the smoke from pouring into other parts of the ship. Thank you Princess!
Alfredo's– Alfredo’s is an Italian restaurant located in the ship’s Piazza and is complimentary. One of the crew members told me that it was the most popular place to eat on board and I believe it. I think I ate there four times during the cruise and I just love their pizza, it’s so good. They also have appetizers, calzones, desserts etc.
Crown Grill– Crown Grill is my favorite steakhouse at sea and comes with a $29 surcharge per person. I ate there on the second to last night of the cruise and the filet mignon was as fabulous as ever.
There are two other specialty restaurants on Majestic Princess, Harmony, an Asian restaurant, and Bistro Su La Mer serving up French cuisine. I dined at each one during the cruise and both were just delicious.
Buffet– While I only ate at the World Fresh Marketplace (buffet) a few times, I love how quickly they come by to offer you something to drink right after you sit down. Sometimes I had barely sat down and they were asking what I wanted to drink, they were really on top of it.
Disembarkation– Since I had an 11:00am flight out of Seattle, I chose self-disembark to make sure I had plenty of time to catch my flight. I went from inside my cabin on the ship to through security at the airport in one hour and 15 minutes. I do have CLEAR so I can cut to the front of the security line at airports that have it.
If you want to take a Lyft or Uber from Pier 91 in Seattle, you have to take a short shuttle bus ride to the rideshare parking lot.
Random Thoughts on the Cruise
The crew was as amazing as they have been on my previous five Princess Cruises. My room steward Adrian did a fantastic job and everywhere I went on the ship I was always greeted with a smile and a friendly hello.
I thought there was a good mix of entertainment in the main theater. There was everything from comedy to production shows to magicians to a soprano singer. There really was a little something for everyone.
Princess still offered Movies by the Stars up on the pool deck with their giant TV screen. Unfortunately, the weather in Alaska wasn’t that great to sit outside to watch a movie at night.
There seemed to be more shops on Majestic Princess than on other three ships of the same class.
The Swirls Ice Cream Bar was open each day of the cruise on the pool deck. And since we were in Alaska, there was hardly any line.
Majestic Princess will spend at least the next two summers sailing to Alaska and it’s a great option if you’re looking to take a cruise to the 49th State.
Northbound Alaska cruises sail up the coastline through the Inside Passage and along Hubbard Glacier, so your best view of Alaska's scenic landmasses are likely on the starboard side of the ship. Southbound Alaska cruises are the opposite.What side of ship is best for Alaska cruise? ›
Northbound Alaska cruises sail up the coastline through the Inside Passage and along Hubbard Glacier, so your best view of Alaska's scenic landmasses are likely on the starboard side of the ship. Southbound Alaska cruises are the opposite.What is the average age for Princess Alaska cruise? ›
Princess Cruise Lines passengers tend to fall between the ages of 35 to 65 and sometimes older. Princess passengers have usually sailed multiple times, so it has a more elegant and upscale feeling to the ship, which is reflected in a more adult-oriented atmosphere.What is Princess Cruises known for? ›
One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises first set sail in 1965 with a single ship cruising to Mexico. Today, the line has grown to become the third largest cruise line in the world, renowned for innovative ships, an array of onboard options, and an environment of exceptional customer service.What's the best thing about an Alaskan cruise? ›
One of the key reasons to cruise Alaska versus taking a land tour is to visit destinations along the Inside Passage that you cannot reach by road. Plus, many of the state's famous glaciers are best viewed from the sea.Is it worth having a balcony on an Alaskan cruise? ›
Having a balcony cabin allows you to take in the passing mountains, glaciers, picturesque towns, wildlife, and so much more right from the comfort of your room. A balcony also makes for the ultimate space to get those once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities.Is it better to get a balcony on an Alaskan cruise? ›
“If ever there was a cruise itinerary built for a balcony, it's an Alaskan cruise. The landscapes are incredible and there's a high probability you'll see whales. We recommend you find a room with a balcony and avoid the inside staterooms.Is Princess Cruise Line good for seniors? ›
Princess Cruises, considered by many to be one of the best cruise lines for seniors, offers many options: Various departure cities (including Florida for any local retirees), one-way or round-trip cruises, and Cruisetours that include extended land excursions.Do you need a passport for an Alaskan cruise princess? ›
If you are a U.S. Citizen and your Alaska cruise begins and ends in the same US port (Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles) you are not currently required to travel with a passport to Alaska. All cruise lines and WMPH Vacations highly recommend you carry a valid passport. U.S.How many passengers does Princess Alaska cruise have? ›
The 143,700-ton, 3,660-passenger Discovery Princess, marks her inaugural season as the youngest ship in Alaska departing from Seattle on the popular seven-day Inside Passage itinerary, alongside Crown Princess.
With innovative technology, upscale interiors and friendly service with smiles for days, you can explore the world in the lap of luxury. Princess Cruises crew take pride in creating your dream holiday. Each and every one of their vessels are custom-built to navigate the waters of the around the world destinations.Can you wear jeans on Princess Cruises? ›
Princess Cruise Line
Smart casual options include casual dresses and skirts, or pants and a nice top. Nice jeans (clean and not torn) are permitted in Princess' main dining room and specialty restaurants on smart casual evenings.
Princess Cruise Line has formal and smart-casual nights. The dress code for formal nights on a Princess Cruise is tuxedos, dinner jackets or dark suits for men and evening gowns, cocktail dresses or elegant pantsuits for women.What is the best month to take an Alaskan cruise? ›
Traditionally, July and August have been considered the best time to cruise to Alaska, as these months offer warm sun, long days, and abundant wildlife.Are the waters rough on an Alaskan cruise? ›
Alaska Cruises Can Be Bumpy in the Gulf of Alaska
Rough Waters: The majority of sailing on an Alaska cruise is done in the protected waters of the Inside Passage, but ships sailing to Seward, Whittier or Anchorage must cross the Gulf of Alaska, which is much rougher.
Weather typically ranges from the 30s to a high of around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. May itineraries invite guests to pack sweaters and jackets for easy layering.Do you dress up for dinner on an Alaskan cruise? ›
During dinner in the ship's main restaurant, cruisers will dress according to Celebrity Cruises' dress code. Women can wear a smart dress, skirt, pants, or jeans with a casual top, and men can dress in pants or jeans with a short-sleeve sport shirt.What deck level is best on a cruise ship? ›
Midship staterooms on the lowest passenger deck are the most excellent spot to be on a cruise ship in this instance because you don't feel the vessel sway as much. The front and back of the ship are a no-no.How much money should I take on an Alaskan cruise? ›
A typical Alaska Cruise can cost between $600 and $5,000 per person, depending on the length of your cruise, the type of cruise you choose, and your room choice. We recommend budgeting an additional $1,000 to $1,500 per person for shore excursions to get the most out of your Alaskan cruise.What is the difference between a balcony and a deluxe balcony on Princess Cruises? ›
Larger than our Standard Balcony staterooms, Premium Deluxe Balcony cabins provide approximately 233 square feet of comfort, and an approximately 41 square foot balcony and includes all the same features of the Balcony stateroom, plus an additional sofa bed for lounging or sleeping a third passenger.
Five days is a nice length of time to spend in Alaska, also called The Last Frontier – it's enough to see some of the top cities and attractions in Southcentral and Interior Alaska. Spending 5 days in Alaska is also a perfect add-on to your Alaska cruise.Where is the best position to stay on a cruise ship? ›
You want to be as close to the pivot point as possible to feel the least movement. Avoid cabins near the front (bow) or back (stern) and on decks higher than the middle deck of the ship. So, on a ship with fourteen passenger decks, your best options are below deck seven.Which is the highest rated cruise line? ›
- Carnival - Best for Budget Cruises.
- Disney - Best for Customer Satisfaction.
- MSC - Best Luxury Experience for a Mainstream Brand.
- Norwegian - Best for Solo Travelers.
- Royal Caribbean - Best for Families.
Princess Cruises is an American cruise line owned by Carnival Corporation & plc. The company is incorporated in Bermuda and its headquarters are in Santa Clarita, California. As of 2021, it is the second largest cruise line by net revenue.What age group goes on cruises the most? ›
The average cruise passenger is 47 years old. Caribbean cruises carry the youngest passengers with an average age of 43 years old. The oldest passengers can be found on world cruise ships, with an average age of 62 years old. 50% of cruise passengers are from North America.What are the COVID requirements for Alaskan cruise? ›
Most cruise lines are requiring that passengers receive their final COVID-19 vaccination at least 14 days prior to cruise departure and require pre-travel COVID-19 testing.What do I need to see on an Alaskan cruise? ›
- 01 of 10. See Whales. ...
- 02 of 10. Ride the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway. ...
- 03 of 10. Visit Glacier Bay National Park. ...
- 04 of 10. See Bald Eagles on the Chilkat River. ...
- 05 of 10. Ride in a Helicopter. ...
- 06 of 10. Go Dog Sledding. ...
- 07 of 10. Ride the Alaska Grandview Train. ...
- 08 of 10.
Cruises of 15 nights or less:
Although vaccines are not required, we encourage all guests 5 years of age and older to be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, when eligible, and carry proof of vaccination.
The cost of the laundry detergent was $1.50. So the total cost to do one load of laundry on a Princess cruise ship is $7.50. The iron is free. This is how much is cost me on the Diamond Princess in March 2023!How many formal nights on a 15 day Princess Cruise? ›
Number of Formal Nights: Four- to six-night cruises have one formal evening; seven- to 13-night cruises have two; 14- to 20-night cruises have three; 21- to 28-night cruises have four; cruises of 29 nights or more have a minimum of five.
In 2022, Discovery Princess,SM the newest ship sailing in Alaska, joins sister ship Majestic Princess® in sailing to the Great Land. Discovery PrincessSM debuts out of Seattle on our popular 7-day Inside Passage itinerary, along with Emerald Princess.What is a premium balcony on Princess Cruises? ›
The spacious 240 to 298-square-foot Premium Balcony stateroom is appointed with the same amenities as our Balcony stateroom but also features a large balcony of 54 to 109 square feet. Select Premium Balcony staterooms have a rear-facing balcony from which to enjoy dramatic wake views.How does Princess Cruise Line rank? ›
In fact, US News ranked it the No. 4 cruise line in America in terms of value for the money you pay. And, while Carnival cruise lines are fun for families, Princess cruise ships are best for adult travellers, especially on longer-haul trips to more exotic destinations.What is the highest class in Princess Cruise? ›
Princess' Grand class is the line's largest ship class with nine vessels, divided among the main Grand classification and three subclasses, with slightly evolved designs (and some with an extra deck).What not to pack for a Princess Cruise? ›
Hookah and Water Hookah Pipes, candles and incense, strike-anywhere matches, clothing irons, heating pads, hot plates, kettles, coffee makers, toasters and other electronic cooking appliances. Alcohol in violation of the company alcohol policy. All illegal drugs, including medications without proper prescriptions.Can you walk barefoot on a cruise ship? ›
Generally, it's best not to go barefoot outside your cabin unless you're on the lido deck. There are too many floor hazards that you can avoid by just wearing sandals or flip-flops. The public restrooms are no different.Do you have to dress nice for dinner on a cruise? ›
At night for dinner guests can go for casual or smart casual clothes at most of the restaurants. Although for specialty restaurants in cruise ships a formal dress code is suggested. The cruise line does not have any kind of formal nights but 'Norwegian's night out' can be considered as the formal night.What to wear on formal night on Princess Cruise in Alaska? ›
Formal dinner nights call for cocktail dresses or gowns for women and tuxedos or suits for men. The number of formal evenings will depend on the length of your cruise. To help determine what to pack for dinner wear, visit our FAQ packing page. All Princess cruises come equipped with 24-hour medical service.Do you get robes on Princess Cruises? ›
Ask for Bathrobes
Everyone sailing onboard a Princess cruise ship can ask for a bathrobe in their stateroom. Once you've boarded your ship and met your stateroom attendant, ask politely to have a bathrobe delivered.
Not permitted in the dining room during the Cruise Casual dinner for ladies and gentlemen: shorts, gym shorts, basketball shorts, beach flip-flops, bathing suit attire, cut-off jeans, sleeveless shirts for men and baseball hats. Cruise Elegant Dining Dress Code: Gentlemen - dress trousers, dress shirts.
Northbound Alaska cruises sail up the coastline through the Inside Passage and along Hubbard Glacier, so your best view of Alaska's scenic landmasses are likely on the starboard side of the ship. Southbound Alaska cruises are the opposite.What months can you see the northern lights on an Alaskan cruise? ›
This makes April through September the best time to cruise to Alaska to see the northern lights, especially near the autumnal and vernal equinoxes, when activity peaks. Now that you know when and where to go to see the northern lights, you can start preparing to enjoy the incredible experience.Can you see the northern lights while on an Alaskan cruise? ›
Cruise lines operating in Alaska, such as Holland America, Princess Cruises and UnCruise Adventures, have northern lights sign-up sheets so you don't have to stay up all night, every night, hoping to see the phenomenon.Is it worth getting a balcony on an Alaskan cruise? ›
On an Alaska cruise, a balcony cabin provides your own private viewing space to take in spectacular scenery, glaciers, wildlife, and more. While this category of staterooms comes with a higher price tag, the benefits offered on an Alaska cruise will make a huge difference and is well worth the investment.Will my cell phone work in Alaska? ›
Alaskan cruises stop in ports like Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway. Since these are U.S. ports, your cell phone will work just as it would anywhere else in the United States — and have the same charges for data, texts, and calls. Where you might run into an issue is with coverage.Are pools heated on Alaska cruises? ›
But be forewarned: that water will not be heated. I've found that kids don't seem to mind the chilly water quite as much as us grown-ups. They will stay in even when their lips are turning blue! Just keep swimming back to planDisney if you have other questions about Alaska or Disney cruising.Why are there no Alaskan cruises in December? ›
Alaska is a cruise destination with a limited season. Cruise ships arrive in Southeast Alaska in spring, stay the summer and linger only into the early fall. The 49th state's snowy, cold and dark winters are not conducive to cruising.Do I need a passport for an Alaskan cruise? ›
Do you need a passport to go on a cruise to Alaska? Even though Alaska is part of the United States, most cruise itineraries will require you to travel with a U.S. passport. If you're on a cruise to Alaska that begins or ends in Canada, you are required to carry a passport book or passport card.Is it better to go north or south on Alaska cruise? ›
There's no difference in northbound and southbound itineraries. The stops along the way are the same no matter which you choose, so it's really about personal preference, and which lines up best with your travel plans.Is left or right side of cruise ship better? ›
The truth, though, is this: There's no “better” side of the ship. It doesn't matter where you're going, or what river you're sailing on, or even what ship you're sailing aboard. Both sides of the ship are created equal.
The higher the deck, the better and, often, more panoramic the view. Cabins on top decks aren't always the best on the ship, but many suites and specialty cabin categories are typically located on upper decks.Which is better aft or forward on a cruise ship? ›
The forward is subject to the most movement out of anywhere on a ship. And the higher the deck, the more pronounced that rolling and swaying motion tends to feel. Movement at the aft is a bit less drastic than the forward, but still isn't the most stable place for those who are prone to seasickness.What is the best cabin location for an Alaska cruise? ›
If you are cruising north, it's best to select a starboard (or right side) stateroom since the land is on that side. When sailing south from Alaska to Vancouver or Seattle, choose a port (left side) stateroom. Of course, this only counts for staterooms with windows or balconies.What is the best room position on a cruise ship? ›
You want to be as close to the pivot point as possible to feel the least movement. Avoid cabins near the front (bow) or back (stern) and on decks higher than the middle deck of the ship. So, on a ship with fourteen passenger decks, your best options are below deck seven.Which part of the cruise ship is most comfortable? ›
The lower and more central you are in a ship, the less roll and sway you will feel. Even if you choose a balcony room, choose a low level and a room closest to the ship's centre. The higher decks and cabins at the front (forward) or back (aft) of the ship will rock and roll the most.Is it better to be in the back middle or front of a cruise ship? ›
Generally, mid-ship is most favorable on lower decks, especially if you are prone to motion sickness. There is more noticeable movement in the more forward areas of the vessel, or on higher decks.Do people win big on cruise ship casinos? ›
This gives an expected payout of 99.5% if proper strategy is used over the long term. On ships you will often find “6/5” machines, meaning they offer a 94.9% payback if you play long enough with perfect strategy.Is it better to be higher or lower on a cruise ship for sea sickness? ›
To reduce motion sickness, choose a stateroom in the middle of the ship on a lower deck. You will feel any sway of the ship less in this section. Although it may seem counterintuitive, if you're worried about seasickness on a cruise, book a stateroom with a window or a veranda.Why is mid ship the best? ›
These are the cabins that you should seek if you're particularly prone to seasickness. The big allure of a midship cabin is its stability. You won't feel the rocking of the sea in a midship cabin nearly as much as you will in a cabin toward the front or back of a vessel.
Cruise prices do not get cheaper closer to the sailing date in all cases. Cruise prices are usually the cheapest furthest from the sailing date when first launched or 60-90 days before the cruise sets sail. The prices of some cruises will decrease last minute but this doesn't always happen.
There are no rules that say that passengers on cruise ships can't sleep on their balconies. That said, cruise lines do generally advise against it. Despite this many people enjoy sleeping on their balconies and you won't have any problem doing so if you want to.