thanks for responding to my earlier post. You mentioned that the Denali Princess lodge can get crowded for independents and better for tour groups. We may go to it on a tour through Princesslodges.com or as a land tour through Princess Cruises following the cruise.
Part of our expected enjoyment of Alaska would be to just kick back and sit w/ our friends and watch the scenery there and we love the idea of the
TIMBER architecture. Is there a better or comparable TIMBER lodge with a great view
at the national park entrance?
Does anybody else have experience with Timber lodges there?
The Denali Princess lodge is a regular motel in my opinion, located in congested "glitter gulch", so my opinion only, there are better options perhaps??? The Denali Bluffs and the Grand Denali have wonderful views, and the McKinley Village gets good reviews. I am a B&B visitor myself. Just wonderful options in Healy with my top pick Touch of Wilderness.
But if you do go the cruisetour route- BE VERY EDUCATED on what you purchase and do your homework. A great number of people don't. The big problem with the Princess cruisetours is most only include the worthless Natural History tour into Denali Park. Anything shorter than ideally 7 days is mostly all transit with very little time anywhere. They are very costly for what you get and consider budgeting 50% more than you do at home for meals to give you a cushion.
It is extremely easy to go on your own if of interest. The biggest benefit is finding some "real Alaska" and getting different experiences outside of bulk group point to point travel.