I am just back from our trip to Alaska. This was my first Princess cruisetour and will definitely not be the last one. We could not have asked for a better cruise experience. From the moment we arrived in Fairbanks, to the very end, at the airport, the Princess staff were prompt, professional, and helpful. The Diamond Princess is a terrific ship. We thoroughly enjoyed it. The food was good always, and in some instances, great.
There were three of us and we had a suite with a large balcony which I also recommend. The balcony was quite large, and the room very spacious with tons of storage, and a full bath. Even the sofa bed was comfortable.
Our weather was excellent - rain only on one day, in Glacier Bay, which is actually good for getting a more intense blue in the glaciers. Other days were either sunny sunny, or overcast but no rain.
The help we got here preparing was immeasurable, and I thank all of you for your guidance. If any of you have questions about an Alaska trip, please feel free to ask me.
One final plug - In Juneau, we chartered a small boat for a wildlife/whale watching expedition. We arranged it through an outfit called Harv and Marv's Alaska Outback. If you have a chance to go with these people, grab that chance. They are outstanding and the tour was the highlight of our trip. We saw so much more than those people on larger group excursions. They don't go through Princess because Princess charges 40% commission on any booking so it is all word of mouth, but they are FANTASTIC, and can custom design an itinerary for you as well.
Welcome back waterart, it sounds like you had a wonderful experience. I hope you got to see some whales, they are amazing creatures. The best way to combat the disembarkation blues is to book another one. Hope to see you on the high seas soon!
Thanks for the info. We are looking into doing an Alaskan cruisetour, and Princess is one that we are looking at. How many land days did you do? From your post, I presume you started in Fairbanks and sailed from Anchorage (or wherever the port is)? How were the Princess lodges? Any more information you would like to share on the land portion will be greatly appreciated. Did you debark in Victoria or Seattle?
We flew together to Fairbanks. Did overnight in Fairbanks. Next morning did 1/2 day riverboat tour (very nice) and then onto bus to Denali. We were in Denali that night, then all the next day when we took the longer Tundra Wilderness Tour, which I recommend. we had late afternoon evening free, then next morning got on train to go to Whittier, where the ship left. Train actually lets you off essentially across the street from the docking terminal.
We liked the land portion but it is a lot of moving around, and early rising hours. We enjoyed the land tour but we loved the cruise the best.
The Princess Lodges were very nice. We stayed in Princess Fairbanks Riverside Lodge (which not everyone stays in with Princess there), and the Denali Lodge, which i believe everyone stays at. The lodges were very nice, extremely clean and well kept. Good food. extremely helpful staff
We took the cruise from Whittier and disembarked in Vancouver. the trip to airport was uneventful and I recommend purchasing the Princess transfers. If you have any other questions, let me know.