Number of Cruises: two
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Dawn Princess
Sailing Date: n/a
The cruise check-in prior to boarding went very smooth and quick in Seward. Princess does a great job at streamlining this process.
We checked into our balcony cabin around 7PM for a 10PM sailing. Having only previously been in an inside cabin I guess I expected the balcony to be appreciably larger, not the case. The bathroom size was shockingly small but functional. Sure hope the newly built ships have improved in this area (probably wishful thinking).
The ship was easy to get around in after a couple of days. A tip here would be to do your homework as to the ships layout before you get on board (break it down to fore, mid and aft locations on the popular decks). Using the stairs helped as the elevators were slow.
We went on several shore tours while in port. All the tours were excellent but our favorite was the 2 hour helicopter trip to two different glaciers. Be sure to take your camcorder and keep it on most of the time as it will be memorable. All the tours were well organized and on time.
The food and wait staff were excellent and not disappointed at any time.
Our cabin attendant was also excellent with no complaints.
We would have preferred to have this cruise one or two weeks later (first two weeks in July) for warmer weather but as it turned out it was near ideal (low 50's at night and mid-60's daytime).
The scenery and vistas are beyond words and I am ready to go back again.
Prior to the cruise we took a three day side trip to Denali National Park (8 hour train ride northeast from Anchorage). This is well worth the extra time and money and be sure to take the 8 hour wilderness tundra bus tour. On a good weather day Mt. McKinley is visible.
In Denali we stayed at the Grande Denali Lodge which is situated high up the side of a mountain and has great views.
If you fly in thru Anchorage take the train south to Seward to meet the boat. The train ride is well worth the time and the sights were some of the best.
Start your planning at least 6-8 months in advance and it's advisable to use an agent that has previously booked Alaska cruises and/or land trips.
Bring good walking shoes, binoculars, wind-breaker jacket and small cameras or camcorders. We lucked out but do bring rain gear to stay dry.
We thoroughly enjoyed our Alaskan adventure and wouldn't hesitate doing it again.