I'm way confused on meals on the Princess cruisetour pre-cruise. Can I get details from someone who has done this? Are meals included or an option. Are there choices? Different locations? I have heard "expensive", but don't understand how it works. Thanks!
It has been a while since I looked into this but my recollection is you can buy tours with ot without meals, escorts etc. It is a rather comlicated bunch of stuff best navigated with the help of having a brochure and a competent TA.
We just booked a Princess Cruisetour for August 2006 and were told that all meals on land are at your own expense. There is one "escorted" tour that includes meals, but it costs quite a bit more. AAA's Alaska tour book lists quite a few restaruants and approximate prices. You can also send for books from the Chamber of Commerce from the various cities that should have restaurants listed.
I didn't take Princess but took HAL,,,but if you are interested......
I traveled with the same 40 people for 10 days so you get to know them pretty well. Out of our group everyone that took the mealplan was dissapointed. the main reason is these meals are offered to you when you are somewhere that there are many local restaurants to eat at, but you are told where you have to have your meals. Mostly this was breakfast and dinners when staying at hotels,,,not when on the road to obscure places like Eagle, Alaska. So when the mealplan people did the math, they figured they did not save any money and one lady remarked that because she just had a sweetroll for breakfast one morning, she had just had a 25 dollar roll. We spent 2 days in Dawson and when a group of us would try a different place for lunch/dinner,,our mealplan friends were stuck at the hotel and felt they had to eat there,,it was already paid for.
I wanted to get the mealplan,,our TA talked us out of it saying if you paid attention when you ate,,you would save no money doing this.
I sailed with Hal and wish I had gotten the mealplan. It may be expensive at the time you book your cruise but let me tell you. I was so shocked at the prices of the food in Denali... and none of the choices were to our liking. I am glad I wasn't into buying alot of souveniers because alot of our trip budget ended up going to extravagant money for meals. I paid two dollars for one piece of cold toast on the McKinnley exploror... Yikes! at least it could have been hot... lol...
We returned a month ago from a Princess Alaska cruise-tour. The land portion of our tour included one night in Anchorage, train to Denali, two nights in Denali, tundra wilderness tour, bus to Copper River, two nights in Copper River, then to the Coral Princess for a southbound cruise.
Meals are NOT included unless the tour specifically includes it. There were drinks and dining area on the train available for purchase of beverages and meals. There were a couple of restaurants at the Princess Denali lodge. The main restaurant was very good, but prices were a little high. I believe they also had a pizza place at the lodge as well. There are a few other restaurants and "fast food" within walking distance of the lodge.
Copper River Princess lodge also had a nice restaurant, again a little on the high side, but not outrageous.
The only meal that was included was a "box lunch" in Denali on the tundra wilderness tour.