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Old August 25th, 2005, 08:29 PM
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Default Luggage and Meal Questions on pre-cruise land tour

We're planning our first trip to Alaska in 2006, with a 3 or 4 night land tour prior to the cruise, on Princess. How is all of your luggage managed during the land tour? And are the meals included in the land tour? If not, how do the meals work and how much? Sorry for the basic beginner questions!
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Old August 26th, 2005, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: Luggage and Meal Questions on pre-cruise land tour

I was on HAL for a 10 day land portion (I think you need more then 4 nights,,thats why we went with HAL, Princess was the one I had thought about when going to the travel agent but HAL went to the spots we wanted to see). Food was mostly not included except in places where they had no choice but to feed us,,like in Eagle or on a boat cruising down the Yukon River. There was a meal plan available to be used in places where food had to be purchased, but most that payed for the meal plan were dissapointed because there was no flexibility, they had to eat where they were told to eat. Since all the hotels we stayed at were owned by HAL, that is where they had to eat.

Your luggage is hauled around for you but if you are moving from a hotel to another hotel,,they will give you a "bags out" time in which you must place your luggage outside the room so some poor soul has to haul to the bus or train or whatever for you. When you arrive, eventually your bags will show up at your room. The only exception for us was when we went to Denali. we traveled from Anchorge to Denali then to Fairbanks. Our luggage went from Anchorage to Fairbanks and in Denali all we had was an overnight bag we carried with us from Anchorage. Like the type of bag that fits in an overhead bin on an airplane.
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Old August 27th, 2005, 04:41 AM
Join Date: May 2005
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Default Re: Luggage and Meal Questions on pre-cruise land tour

If you go to Denali make sure you get the meals included. I just got back from the double Denali and the cost of eating there will blow your mind. I say rent a car and forget the the tour... its all a way of bilking the tourists and you dont get to see the real

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Old August 30th, 2005, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: Re: Luggage and Meal Questions on pre-cruise land tour

We took a 5night land/7night cruise on the Coral Princess at the end of July this year. The land portion included 1 night Anchorage, 2 nights Denali, and 2 nights Copper River. All of your luggage will arrive at your first destination hotel. When you receive your luggage tags from Princess you will be supplied with two types of tags for your luggage. One type is for "join me on the ship" the other is "travel with me." Princess allows one "checked" bag per person for the land portion of your tour. You will check one bag per person as "travel with me". All other luggage, you will tag "join me on the ship." Your "join me on the ship" bags will go directly to the port where they will wait for you and will automatically be loaded onto the ship and delivered to your room on the ship.

The bag that travels with you, will have to be placed outside your door, the night before your departure to your next destination. Usually you have to have the bag outside the door by 8 or 9 pm. So that means you will need to keep out whatever clothes, toiletries, medicine, etc. that you will need that night or the following morning before your departure. (Kind of a pain.) Your bag will be picked up and loaded onto the bus/train/boat and will delivered to your room when you arrive at your destination. You are allowed a carry on bag to take with you as well on the train/bus (whatever).

Princess seemed to have the luggage handling down to a pretty good science. They never misplaced any of our bags, and they always arrived in our rooms promptly. Other than the inconvenience of having to pack the night before, it wasn't too bad.

Unless Princess states in the tour itinerary that a meal is included, they are NOT included in the land portion of their tours. The only meal included in our tour was a "box lunch" on the Denali tundra wilderness tour. If you will be taking a train to any of your destinations, the Princess train cars do have a dining area for meals (at your expense), but the food was good. All of the hotels we stayed at had at least one restaurant. They are a little pricy, but probably not any worse than any other vacation resort area. Just plan for it. You are on you own for meals.

We had a great time on both the land tour and the cruise. We thought the Princess personnel were friendly and did a great job both on land and sea. Have a wonderful time!
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Old September 5th, 2005, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Luggage and Meal Questions on pre-cruise land tour

Meals are not included on cruisetours land portion unless specifically mentioned. Budget 50% more than you would at home.

Also strongly consider another option- a 3-4 night add on is not enough time with most of that time in transit. A poor option in my opinion. Especially look at the Denali Park tour- if the Natural History tour is included- which most of Princess cruisetours are now- it is worthless, like going to Disney and staying in the parking lot.

Denali requries the distance in, the Natural History tour only goes in to the pubilc road 15 miles. I do this drive - on my down time at the park. Bottom line you need to consider at least the Tundra Wilderness tour- mile 53 but my min. distance in is Fish Creek mile 63 via the shuttle, never any less.

I just returned and confirmed my thoughts that plenty of cruise tour people do not know what they are purchasing. Of all the people I talked to on my northbound cruise, none had any idea what Denali Park tour they were on, and there were a lot of only 3-4 day add ons that I know only include the Natural History tour and have endless hours on buses.
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