Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Sun Princess
Sailing Date: August 5th, 2002
Itinerary: Alaska 12 days land and sea
Our family took the 12 day Alaska Wilderness/Copper River tour in August 2002. I would like to share our comments for other people to help them book the appropriate tour.
The Sun Princess overall was beautiful and we were traveling with two 14 year old teenagers! The transfer from Vancouver Airport to the Pier was very smooth and without problems. The embarkation onto the Sun Princess was just great. We didn't have to wait at all and we felt very comfortable and the people seemed very organized! The girls loved the boat. There was a teen room but they much preferred to go off on their own and swim or do girls stuff. There was plenty to do. We had two outside cabins with balconies which were great! The rooms were adequate and the balconies were so nice. Our other cruise we did not have a balcony!
The food was just OK! In comparison with the other line, we were disappointed with the Sun Princess. We did like the crab dinner and we missed the lobster dinner, as we were both sea sick that night!!!
We enjoyed Ketchikan. Don't do the tours, but walk the town. We were able to experience the town and everything is in walking distance. We went to the Fish Hatchery there which was interesting.
In Juneau we took the Mendenall Glacier Float trip! It was raining most of the day and we all went anyway! It was so fun and they do give you rain gear! Worth the trip. There isn't a lot of rapids but that was fine for us. The scenery was beautiful!
In Skagway we took the 4 hour train ride which was nice, but they don't let you get off. You just go up the Yukon Pass and back. I think next time we would take a bus which would let us out to stop and take pictures.
Glacier Bay was gorgeous and so beautiful. Make sure you do not use your digital cameras but use the old fashioned kind. Those pictures seemed to turn out the best.
We did get the personal dining but I think if we were going to do it again, we would just take the first seating. We usually ate early anyway to hit both shows. The $10.00 per person per day was not worth it for personal choice dining!
Now the land portion! We would not suggest you do that part! It was too long and too much riding on public transportation! Most of our days were spent riding in buses, trains or trains rather than being able to relax and enjoy each town! The ride from Copper River to Denali was absolutely the worst ride! It was 10 1/2 hours on a bus on an unpaved bumpy rode. The bus drivers were great but it wore us all out!!! The Princess Lodges were not that great either. We enjoyed Copper River Wilderness Lodge but Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge was noisy and up-kept. In Fairbanks at the Princess Fairbanks Riverside Lodge we barely saw...the train delivered us to our room at 8:30pm at night and we had to fly home the next day at 5:00am!!!
All in all, the Sun Princess was nice but do not do the land portion with it. It is not relaxing with the land portion!