We selected a cruisetour for our Alaskan cruise. This was our 2nd Alaskan cruise on Princess and our 1st one was 5 years ago. We selected the Coral Princess as we had head many positive things about the ship. The cruisetour was wonderful - we did a 4 night land package which was 1 night in Anchorage, 1 night at Mt. McKinley and 2 nights in Denali. We enjoyed ourselves and had some wonderful excursions. Princess as always was right up there with their service and being sure our needs were met.
Our 1st night was spent at the Captain Cook hotel in Anchorage. Good location. Had dinner at Seafort’s Salon & Grill which is approximately 1 block from the hotel. Excellent dinner. The next day we transferred by train to our next destination of Mt. McKinley. We arranged for the Byers Lake Nature Walk. Our guide was Freddy. There were 9 of us on the tour and it was very informative. Our guide introduced us to wild berries and we were all able to sample. I just loved the wild blueberries. We booked directly with the tour company and not thru Princess – same tour as we had Princess passengers with us but we paid $5.00 per person less! The Mt. McKinley Lodge is very nice but be aware there are not elevators so if stairs are an issue be sure your room is on the 1st floor.
In Denali we did the Homestead Husky Tour and the Tundra Tour. The Husky tour we booked directly and once again it is the same tour that Princess offers – but it was $5.00 per person less and the tour was more than I could imagine. The dogs, the puppies, seeing how they train the dogs, did I mention the dogs??? It really does give you some insight into what goes into training for this – not just the dogs, but the individual themselves. Now on the Tundra tour – we saw 8 bears, 1 wolf, 2 foxes, 1 bald eagle, 1 golden eagle, lots of Dall sheep, many different types of birds. It was wonderful, got very tired as it made for a long day but it was so worth it. 5 years ago we did the history tour and the amount of wildlife we saw on the Tundra tour was so much more than the History tour. Forget the history tour and go for the Tundra. It is what Alaska is all about. The natural beauty of it all.
The train from Denali to the ship was a very long day but it was enjoyable. Last time we did the coach and this was so much better. The food on the train is adequate. We did see Mt. McKinley from the train and it was beautiful! Before arriving at Whittier, a Princess rep boarded the train and processed our paperwork and checked us in for the ship. So, once we arrived in Whittier, we got off the train and walked right on the ship. No waiting in lines to board the ship – it was wonderful!
We booked a mini suite and had D724. There were 3 of us to the cabin. It was somewhat crowed with the 3 of us, but we got a routine worked out with 3 females. Our cabin steward "Jeffrey" was wonderful and never had the need to ask for anything, as it was there before the asking. We were welcomed to our room with a glass of champagne which was a nice touch. The sofa bed for the 3rd person was horrible and she ended up keeping it as a sofa to sleep on as it was more comfortable that way. Our twin beds - I slept so that is good............when the beds were made up you could see the lumps in the matresses. It is time for new ones. It was quiet at our end of the ship but did seem to be somewhat of a walk at times to and from the elevator but I did enjoy our location. The mini suite was smaller than other ones we have had in the past but did have ample storage and closet space. Overall on the ship you could tell areas in where the carpet was worn and areas need to be updated. The casino is small and selection is limited. The shows by Princess "dancers" left much to be desired. We ended up not going to many shows or leaving during the show.
We did have dinner one night in their speciality restaurant "Sabitini's" It was excellent and you receive more than enough food.