We decided to do the land tour first and then sail south down the inside passage to Vancouver. We correctly thought we would be tired after the land tour and ready to relax on the Coral Princess for the next 7 days. We left July 4th and returned home July 17th, 2013.
We packed rain jackets and layered our clothing. Most of the land tour was in the 55-60 range, overcast and drizzled often. We wore all the layers we brought including our rain jackets.
We started in Anchorage and stayed at the Captain Cook, a great hotel and perfect location in downtown Anchorage. We left by motorcoach to Princess McKinley lodge and were there 2 nights. The room was nice, weather was chilly and rainey and the mosquitoes BIG. The lodge was nice and had a great view of McKinley, if the clouds lifted. We were VERY lucky on the 2nd day after we returned from our excersion and the clouds had lifted and we were able to see McKinley. We took the Devil's Canyon Adventure Tour and it was EXCELLENT, very exciting and we got a lot of great photos. I highly recommend this excersion.
We then went by motorcoach to Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. The room was fine and the lodge was nice. We tood the Tundra Wilderness Tour, it was EXCELLENT and I highly recommend this excersion. We saw moose, bears, caribou and Dall Sheep with spectacular scenery. Lucky for us the rain stopped right after we started the tour and stayed away all day! After the tour we saw the Denali Dog Sled Show (free) and it was great.
We then road the Princess Dome Railcar for 8.5 hours to Whittier. The lower level of the dome railcar had an elegant dinning room. The entire experience was EXCELLENT. You should definitely enjoy this experience while in Alaska.
We boarded the Coral Princess at Whittier. Boarding was well organized, in fact we were very impressed with how well organized ever aspect of our tour had been. Our bags always arrived at the next destination and moving all the people from place to place went very smoothly.
The Coral Princess was exceptional. Staff was always friendly and asking if there was anything they could do. Our room steward was wonderful. The ship was beautiful, everything sparkling like new and nothing out of place. We had a great time on the ship.
In Skagway we rode the White Pass Scenic Railway, a MUST DO! In Juneau we did the Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier Photo Safari, another MUST DO! In Ketchikan we went to the Totem Bight State Park and the Lumberjack Show. We enjoyed both activities.
At Vancouver we purchased the Princess transfer and it was flawless. It was well worth the cost which I think is probably about the same cost as taking a taxi from the port to the airport. Highly recommend you use the Princess transfer services.
Overall we give the Princess Crusietour the top rating and when we cruise again it will be with Princess! Be sure and read the other reviews that give suggestions on what to pack, I was glad I did! Some of the things we used every day, rain coat, hat, gloves, extension cords and warm socks. I ended up buying some long socks because my little short socks didn't do it for me.
I hope you take the time to read the reviews because they will give you great insight into what to expect, how to pack and help you decide which cruise line will be best for you.