Yesterday, I embarked on a seven night cruise to Alaska out of Seattle on Majestic Princess. This cruise is special for me as it is my 50th cruise and my first full sailing to Alaska. What is it like to cruise on Princess Cruises right now?
This is my fifth cruise this summer since cruises reopened to Americans. Princess Cruises is the fourth cruise line I’ve cruised on over the past two months and I’m on board Majestic Princess with a group of media experiencing what it’s like to cruise on Princess at this time. Here are my first impressions of the cruise.
Embarkation – It took around 30 minutes by the time we entered the cruise terminal to stepping on board the ship. Out of the five cruises I’ve been on this summer, this was by far the quickest. A big part of that is because we didn’t have to get tested before boarding the ship like other cruise lines have required. We did have to show a negative COVID-19 test result that was taken in the past three days.
Muster Drill – Princess Cruises, like other cruise lines, has radically changed the muster drill and made it as painless as possible. You watch a safety video on the TV in your stateroom and then make your way to your muster station on your own time. You check in at your muster station, they give you a very short briefing, and that’s it. It’s so awesome and a 1,000 times better than it used to be.
Ship – The Royal class ships from Princess Cruises have always been one of my favorite class of cruise ships. The ship is currently sailing at around 60% capacity with around 2,100 passengers on board.
— Cruise Fever (@CruiseFever) August 22, 2021
Since this ship was originally built for China, there are a couple unique changes from the other Royal class ships. The biggest is the Hollywood Pool Club and Hollywood Conservatory. This has instantly become my favorite part of the ship.
This area replaces the Retreat Pool and Sanctuary found on the other three Royal class ships. The Hollywood Pool Club is an enclosed area with a pool, loungers, and cabanas overlooking the water.
The Hollywood Conservatory is also enclosed and acts as an observatory lounge with some great seating options. It’s where I’m currently writing this article at. I will likely spend a good portion of my cruise here as it also offers the best view on ship overlooking the bow.
The Hollywood Conseratory instantly became one of our favorite spots on the ship. It replaces the Sanctuary on other Princess ships and acts as an indoor observatory lounge with great seating. #Sponsored #PrincessCruises pic.twitter.com/oFvBbVPj4v
— Cruise Fever (@CruiseFever) August 23, 2021
If you’re on board and see a guy working on a laptop here, come over and say hello. I would love to hear your thoughts on the cruise so far.
Crew – The crew on Majestic Princess are as awesome as always. Everywhere we go we are met with a friendly smile and hello and service has been great so far.
Cabin – I am in a mini-suite on Deck 12 and absolutely loving it so far. This is my first time in a mini-suite on Princess and I’m really enjoying it. Besides have a larger room and balcony, having a larger shower with full size tub is so much better than the standard balconies.
Masks – Like most cruise lines now, we are required to wear masks when inside the ship with an exception for when we are in our cabin, and actively eating and drinking. We do not have to wear them on outside decks.
WiFi – Princess Cruises advertises their MedallionNet as the “Best WiFi at Sea”. However, the internet speed has been anything but that. I did a speed test yesterday while we were still in port and got a download speed of 0.59 Mbps and upload of 1.10 Mbps. I did another test early this morning and the speeds slightly improved to 2.76 Mbps download.
One thing I’ve noticed on the other cruise lines that I have cruised on this summer that also advertise their “land like” WiFi speed is that it has been terrible on pretty much all of them. I don’t know if cruise lines have cut bandwidth to save money right now but speeds are so much slower than they were before the shutdown. I talked to one of my colleagues this morning and he noticed the same thing.
While the internet speed is fine for basic things on your phone, it just isn’t anywhere close to speeds you get on land like they all now advertise.
OceanMedallion – On the bright side, Princess Cruises’ groundbreaking OceanMedallion has worked flawlessly so far for me. It’s so nice not having to carry a room key with you and your stateroom door automatically unlocking when you walk up to it. Also, when you order a drink, you don’t have to scan anything. They automatically detect your OceanMedallion and know it’s you.
One cool feature that I want to try out is that you can order a drink anywhere on the ship and they will find you through your medallion. I was even told that you can go explore the ship and a staff members with your drink will find you so you don’t have to wait around. How cool is that?
I’ve been onboard the ship for roughly 24 hours now and we are enjoying our first sea day. We will visit four ports on the cruise including a day of sightseeing at Glacier Bay. I will have more on this cruise as the week goes on. You can follow along on Cruise Fever’s social media channels on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and on Facebook.
Note: I am a guest of Princess Cruises but opinions and thoughts in this article are 100% my own.