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Old July 2nd, 2007, 01:25 PM
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we just got back from our 7 day cruise and 5 day land tour to Alaska, and I must say it was amazing!!! I will try to make this short as I can. We had wonderful weather, in Ketchikan it rained but just a slight mist. We did Island Wings tour there and it was just great! Michelle did such a good job. Besides that we walked around town and did some shopping.

In Juneau the weather was great. Around 50-60. We did a whale watching tour that day with Harv and Marvs and it was wonderful. We saw quite a few whales, along with sea lions, and eagles. The scenery from where he took us was just breathtaking. In the afternoon we did a glacier trekking. We did the 2 hour one. For me, the first hour was a bit scary, but after you learn how to walk up and down the glaciers it becomes easier. Being out on the glacier is amazing to see how large it actually is.

In Skagway, once again we had beautiful weather. We did some shopping in the morning and then we did the White Pass Railroad. It was very scenic and relaxing.

As far as our cruise boat itself, it was one of our better cruises. The food, entertainment, and service was outstanding. This was our 13th cruise, and we have always been very pleased with Princess and this time was no exception. We had an inside room towards the end of the ship on the Aloha Deck. We felt we were in a perfect place because we could get to the 24 hour buffet just right up the stairs, or we could sit out on the back end of the ship and see the scenery. Plus at night our room was dark to sleep.

Our land tour consisted of us staying one night at Mt. Mckinley Lodge, 2 nights in Denali, and 2 nights at Fairbanks. We were suppose to do a Mt. Mckinley Summit tour at Mckinley, but because of the weather up on the mountain it was closed. We were not able to see Mckinley from our lodge.

In Denali, we took the Tundra Wilderness Tour. We upgraded to this tour since we have read things about the other tour not being all that great. We were totally thrilled with our tour and we saw so much wildlife! Bears, wolves, eagles, dall sheep, moose, caribou, etc. The weather once again was good too. We did the Denali Dinner Show at the lodge also which was very good.

In Fairbanks, we did the Discovery Boat tour, and the Gold Mine tour. These two tours were included in our package. The Discovery Boat tour was very good.

It is not cheap to eat at these lodges but we knew that ahead of time. So plan accordingly. On the ship we had alot of seafood and could have shrimp everyday. On our previous cruises we had alot of photographers taking pictures but on this cruise it wasn't that way at all.

So...this sums up our trip. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask. For me who really just likes the caribbean or a beach, this cruise was a real pleasant surprise and I would reccommend it to anyone!!
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 01:45 PM
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forgot to mention that we did get to a Mt. Mckinley summit fly over in Denali and it was great!!
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 05:25 PM
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Thanks so much for your review. I was looking at Princess for an Alaska cruise next summer.

What were the ports and did you leave out of Vancouver?

Thanks, just trying to narrow it down to a few ships.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 10:30 PM
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We did leave out of Vancouver. We went to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay and College Fjords. We then went onto a 5 day land tour. There was not much to do in Fairbanks. We did 2 tours, and that was about it. It was still nice there since the lodge sits right on the river.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 10:07 PM
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What was your opinion of the gold mine tour in Fairbanks?
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Old July 4th, 2007, 02:22 PM
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Personally...I thought it was a tourist trap. They did go through on how they used to mine the gold. So that was interesting. But when they were outside and showed how to pan for gold, the older lady who owns the place and some of the workers were showing how to pan for the gold and she happened to find a big nugget in hers. We thought she dropped it in there. But maybe she didn't but that was our feeling on it. After that they take you inside and give you a bag of dirt to pan for your own gold. You end up with chips. Then they have a bunch of workers waiting to weigh it for you and you have the choice of making earrings, or a necklace out of it. Not for free of course. They had homemade cookies for everyone inside too. There isn't much to do in Fairbanks...so if you want to do something and don't mind the touristy part of it then go for it. This tour was part of our land package. The discovery boat tour was really good. Hope that helps.
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 10:44 AM
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thank you for all the information. where you happy with cruise/tour or would you have done the reverse. ta's are trying to sell us tour/cruise but we end up flying to fairbanks from the midwest---which seems to be a pain. noticed you did 5 days land---to much or not enough.

bye from the midwest
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 05:21 PM
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how much did you spend on food on the land portion since it is not included in the trip? Are there any cheaper places to eat or is it all just expensive restaurants?
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Old August 5th, 2007, 03:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midwest
thank you for all the information. where you happy with cruise/tour or would you have done the reverse. ta's are trying to sell us tour/cruise but we end up flying to fairbanks from the midwest---which seems to be a pain. noticed you did 5 days land---to much or not enough.

bye from the midwest
Only my opinion, but do your homework on cruisetours. The more you know, the better your choice will be for you. I hate to say it, but most people really do not know what they have purchased, some not until it is too late.

Descriptions are vague and you may have ideas about the trip that are totally false.

So consider- times in transit- a big factor, Alaska is vast. What looks like a day of touring may have 10 hours in transit. Add waiting/loading time, you may not have much left at all.

Denali Park is usually the highlight of cruisetours- NEVER consider the Natural History tour- just a compete waste of time, compared to what you COULD be getting. Why go all that way and not get the most out of a crusietour- the Tundra Wilderness tour is my only recommendation. However, I would not consider this ever for myself either. My min. distance in is Fish Creek via the shuttle buses. 10 miles further and a loaded bear habitat.

Fairbanks- DOES have loads to do, just not with a cruisetour and without your own transportation. Again- figure out if you are going to be happy, missing a lot of potential sightseeing.

Budget 50% more for meals than you would at home. Again without your own transportation, figure on paying more.
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