Next day found us and the continuing rain in Skagway, Alaska. Our Princess Tours excursion was not scheduled until after lunch so a short morning walk into town was in order. Skagway, along with the other tourist ports, maintains an old frontier flavor. A walk through the town doesn't take long but buildings either on the main street or just off the main street appear as they must have a long time ago. Local tours include rides on vintage buses and taxis making for lots of fun as the drivers were also in period costumes. Skagway offers a lot to do even though its diminutive size doesn't make it seem like there would be much there. Several popular train rides depart this area traveling into Canada, White Horse Pass is a must see for the first time visitors. Our scheduled tour began after lunch with bus driver, Sourdough Sam, detailing points of interest during the trip to pick up our 4 wheel drive Jeeps. Little did I know this was the tour highlight! The logo emblazoned on the vehicle doors said "Back Country Jeep Safari." We were assigned four to a Jeep with the driving chores to be divided amongst the occupants, the shared driving experience didn't happen. The tour descriptions and vehicle signage suggested an afternoon 4 wheel-drive which was only partially accurate. The advertising brochure said a guide would describe the tour route as it unfolded. However, it failed to note his talk would be via a CB Radio that may or may not have functioned properly when the vehicles were stretched out thus hindering reception of the guide's monologue. Added to that annoyance was the vehicle occupant who enjoyed reminiscing which almost always was in louder voice than the CB speaker volume. Some waterfalls and or canyons may have been missed as a result of the weak radio signal, talking passengers and fogged out windows. Obviously the excursion company can't be responsible for the discourteous passenger, can they? Nonetheless, that portion of the trip defined as off-road driving primarily consisted of a rock-strewn, rough road, some five or six miles to an abandoned Gold Mine site cleared of trees and embellished with a mild, figure-8, 4-wheel drive trail. At best, this adventure appeared to be tailored for the layperson. About the only wildlife encountered on this trip was a starving ground squirrel. I will say the snacks taken before leaving the "jeep trail" were tasty though lacking in quantity. Detracting further from this adventure is the fact that a later check with Skagway vehicle rental agencies reflects that the same jeep with a GPS rents for about half of what was paid for this tour. To say I was disappointed would be a strong understatement! Princess was apprised of this calamity and did reimburse a portion of the excursion costs. Remember, cruising is an adventure!
Read Maxroadster's full Golden Princess cruise review