Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by Budget Queen: Wonderful Alaska!
Overall Member Rating
This was an additional week, cheap add on, due to big, later booking discounts with Princess. My orginal plans were for 4 weeks in Alaska, so this made it 5. This was trip 31 for me, to Alaska. Cruise 76. Princess does a fantastic job with Alaska cruises, and have superb itineraries with great port times and two glacier sailing days. I find it "interesting" people's reports that one direction/timeframe etc. is "better" than others when they have done one trip. Bottom line- Alaska isn't a one time trip. :) There is so much to see and do, it never gets old for me. Each direction offers an excellent adventure!!!! I went on this trip with my husband and two nephews. We stayed in Seattle for a few days prior, took Amtrak, day of embarkment to Vancouver.
We had anytime dining but ate in the dining room only twice, food is a low priority for me on Alaska cruises, same with entertainment- I attend nothing on the ship. Alaska is my "entertainment". :) I greatly enjoy my More time out on deck and spending full days in port.
Service was excellent with the ship staff always helpful and friendly.
Ketchikan was the first port, earlier on the sea day, I had excellent sightings of humpbacks and scenic sailing. In Ketchikan, my usual vender, Southeast Aviation, attempted a Misty Fiords flight, but had to turn back due to no visability. Salmon was not running, so I took my nephews on a walking tour.
Juneau was sunny and warm, I had booked my nephews with ERA for a helicoptor flight, which they fully enjoyed. I drove to the Salmon Hatchery with a peak salmon run, my nephews enjoyed this very much. I then continued on to Mendenhall Glacier and we walked the Nugget Falls trail and saw bears under the creek walkway next to the parking lot. Spent a couple hours here. Final activity was a spectacular whale watch with my long time vendor- Orca Enterprises. Bubble net feeding, and excellent orca sightings.
Skagway. I rented a car with Avis and drove to Whitehorse, as always, an excellent scenic adventure, with many stops along the way. Murray's Guide- a MUST. :)
Glacier Bay, another sunny day, with excellent wildlife sightings, as I am always up real early, 4:30am. I want to get as much Icy Strait sailing time as possible. Excellent humpback and sea otter viewings. Glaciers were spectacular- per usual.
On the way out, I saw orcas, which the onboard naturalist, initially missed. This was still in glacier bay, so sea lions were all hauled out, with great sighings, loads of sea otters, and humpbacks, as well as a brown bear sighting. Plenty to see for hours, with me staying out until almost dusk.
College Fjords was another sunny scenic day.
In Whittier, we were the last group off the ship. Enjoyed a Blackstone Glacier boat tour with Major Marine and then a PJ's taxi pick up for a transfer to Seward. Less
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