We are experience cruisers(14)heading for a 10 day Alaska wilderness tour(3 day)/ 7 day cruise on the Island Princess. We have cruised Princess twice before, (Sun 3/04 and Grand 3/03), both were great. Thats the main reason we picked Princess, we are staying at Princess lodges on land. Just wondering if anyone has taken this trip and how they enjoyed it. Any tips??? 1st time to Alaska.
Princess was definitely the right cruiseline for Alaska. They have been in Alaska for 30 years, and the locals really respect the company. Be sure to tell the shop owners you are on Princess, becuase they discount for you more. We didn't do the land part. The next time we go to Alaska we will.
In Juneau, first we went up to mountain via tram just off the dock. Don't take an excursion. And if you don't have time, don't worry about missing it. We took a ship excursion that first went to the glacier park and then went whale watching. The 2-story boat was very comfortable (take a parka) and roomy, and the captain was very good at finding whales. We even experiences bubble feeding, which is really rare and amazing. There were other boats at the bubble feeding, one of which was a much smaller boat that I think people say is great (Capt Larry?) but at one time the whales went down and came up 5 minutes later only a few feet from the boat. Any closer and the boat would have gone over, it was so small (seemed to hold maybe 12-15). We were quite happy with the ship excursion, and my hubby is paranoid, so we tend to do those anyway.
In Skagway we took the ferry over to Haynes to go to the eagle sanctuary. Beautiful landscape and the food was good, but the eagles were not plentiful, esp for August. A few years ago some activists made the locals stop throwing food to the eagles, so it is truely more like birdwatching, instead of them swooping over the boat and catching tossed fish in mid-air. (Glad no one has stopped tourists from feeding the stingrays in Grand Cayman, where we are going next!)
In Ketchikan, we did the totem poles, which was interesting, but I hear from several friends that the plane over the Falls is not to be missed.
Have a great time and write reviews!
Dyxiegirl, thanks for the great info, sounds vary encouraging. Don't know if you have been to Grand Caymon before, we were there in 3/03 when we were on the Grand Princess, had a great time. Had a ball swimming with the stingrays and feeding them. The island was beautiful and the people were great. At that time the US dollar was worth less than the local dollar, first place I had ever been we lost money on the transaction. This was before the hurricane hit the island though, we would like to go back there again and see the difference. I know the turtle farm has been completely redone. Thanks again for the info and we will let you all know about our vaca.