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We had a wonderful time doing the August 2, 2014 Coral Princess Cruise, taking the southbound Inside Passage from Wittier AK to Vancouver BC. We preceded this voyage with a four day Princess land tour going up to both McKinley and Denali Lodges, returning to Wittier via the Princess glass dome train. This was our seventeenth cruise with five of those being on Princess. Overall a very good experience on this Princess Cruise. The Coral Princess we found to be in very good condition throughout and a pleasure to be on. The cruise staff was very courteous and professional in caring for their passengers. This time of year it is cool and it does rain a lot, so be sure and bring some wet weather jackets, pants, umbrella, and dress in layers as it is very cool of a morning and warmer in the afternoon. We flew into Anchorage a day early so we could have some time to explore on our own the city. Stayed at the Comfort Inn Suites Airport, five minutes away from the airport. It was $195 including breakfast and free shuttle and internet. This was a very nice facility and over a $100 less than the Captain Cook Hotel Princess uses downtown Anchorage. There is a free Princess shuttle from the airport to the Captain Cook Hotel to check in. The Captain Cook Hotel looked like a five star hotel, really wow. But at $295 a night it should be. Rooms were super with a separate sitting suite from bedroom, with frig and microwave. The restaurant on the top floor offered a very nice view of Anchorage and surrounding area. Upon checking in at the lobby Princess Desk, you are given your room keys and information regarding the bus departure the next day to McKinley Lodge. Princess does a nice job with moving your luggage for you. For example, you are given baggage tags for “going with you” to the Princess Lodges on the land tours and a “separate “go to Ship” luggage tags for bags you will not need for the land tour portion of your trip, they go directly to wait for you in your cabin when you board the ship. The downtown was an easy walk as the Captain Cook is centrally located. The Visitor Center was an easy two block short walk to plan our day exploring Anchorage. There is a salmon ladder we viewed near the train depot, the salmon were plentiful and easy to see trying to swim upstream here. Lots of eating options in downtown Anchorage including in the Captain Cook Hotel. If you don’t mind getting out of the hotel, you can save a lot. For breakfast, just one short block west toward the bay was the Snow City Café serving a good breakfast and lunch for half of hotel prices. In the downtown mall was a big food court, serving a nice variety of breakfast ,lunch and dinner choices. On the sidewalk are street vendors selling Reindeer sausage sandwiches. We made a reservation with Gray Line Tours located in the Westmark Hotel downtown Anchorage, for a 1:00 PM bus/boat tour to the Portage Glazier for $69 PP. This was a most enjoyable four hour bus ride south of Anchorage with the driver providing a lot of helpful information on the dozens of glaciers we passed on the way down the coastline. After about 45 minutes we arrived at the excursion boat to take us across Portage Lake to the glacier, a short 15 minute smooth boat ride. You can choose to ride inside and stay below and watch through the windows or go up on the top dck for better viewing. We stayed at the glacier for at least 30 minutes with the captain going back and forth a couple of times giving us great photo opportunities. The boat can get within 50 feet of the glacier so it was an up-close view, a lot closer than the Coral Princess could get later in the trip. There were two separate calving of ice falling into the water from the glacier. On the return trip, we had a half hour stop at the Alaska Wildlife Refuge Center where native Alaskan wildlife can be seen roaming free in separate fenced in areas. We were able to see several reindeer, caribou, moose, black bears, and eagles. On the second day, our bus picked us up at our assigned time for the ride to McKinley Princess Lodge where we arrived around one in the afternoon. Upon getting off the bus, we were given our room keys and went to our assigned cabin and found our luggage already in the waiting in the room. The rooms are very nice size and appointed with good furnishings. The cabins are all located within a short walk of the main lodge. A nice eating option is located near the lodge. The McKinley Princess Lodge is located in a pretty remote area so taking the princess shuttle ($10 Roundtrip) into Talkeetna is highly recommended. It is a short 45 mile bus ride. Talkeetna is a must see, lots of good restaurants and shops. The Lodge has free computer and internet access for guests. We booked a great flight seeing with a glacier landing with Talkeenta Air Taxi for $269/PP. The give a 10% discount for AAA and if you already have your National Park Pass that can save you $10/PP. This air Taxi service picked us up at the Princess Shuttle stop and took us to their office at Airport for the flight that lasted two hours with one half hour of this on Ruth Glazier. For me, this was the highlight of our Alaska vacation. The view is spectacular and great for photos. A nice six passenger plane with headsets provides so you can hear the pilots narration of what we were seeing. A must see. A little expensive but worth the extra money. Princess Motor coach took us the next day to Denali Princess Lodge where again our room keys were given to us as we departed the bus and luggage awaiting in the room. Pretty smooth. Lots of restaurant and shopping options both on site and across the street. The great big fresh baked cinnamon rolls across the street was worth going over to get. There also is a Subway to get a lunch for going into Denali National Park. The Lodge also offers free computer and internet access to guests. We booked thru Princess the Husky Homestead tour to see how the dogs are trained. We both really enjoyed this and would recommend this presentation from Jeff King, former Ididoron Champion. For the visit inside of Denali National Park, we passed on the Princess provided Historic Tour and reserved through the National Park service their 8 hour shuttle trip to the Eikison Visitor Center, 67 miles into the park. You will see much more of the wildlife and scenery on this tour which the driver narrates. For $39/PP we got to see grizzly bears, caribou, moose, sheep, glaciers, and great photo opportunities. The bus driver always stopped the bus at any animal sightings for photos. Princess provides a free shuttle every half hour over to the National Park visitor and transportation center. There is no place to purchase food or drinks on this tour so be sure and bring your own. After two nights in Denali Princess Lodge, our bus met us for a short 10 minute ride to the Princess Domed Railroad tour to Wittier. You are assigned to a certain passenger car and table. The downstairs dining car was also available. Upon arrival in Wittier to board the Coral Princess, you are given your cabin keys inside the terminal. We stopped at the grocery store on the pier to get some wine and soft drinks before boarding. The stop at Hubbard Glacier was a none event, as fog made it very difficult to see anything. The next day stop at Glacier Bay was much better weather and great for seeing several of the glaciers we passed by. Great photos to be taken hear. Seeing the many glaciers was worth it. First cruise port was Skagway. Lots of good shopping and restaurants in easy walk of the ship. We booked thru Princess the White Pass Scenic Railway and had a great time on this 3 hour train ride up and back down the mountain. The train comes right to the dock so getting on/off was no problem. Computer and internet found in downtown for $5 for 1 hour. Next cruise port was Juneau. At the pier, you can take for $20/PP roundtrip a white or blue shuttle bus that will take you to Mendenhall Glacier and Visitor Center. Bus leaves every half hour. This was very worth doing. Near the shuttle drop off is a viewing area for salmon and bears. We got to see both. A mother bear and her cub were fishing in the stream for salmon. What a great sight. Going into the Red Dogs Saloon is recommended in Juneau. Last cruise port was Ketchikan. Nice downtown area right at ships pier to walk around. One must see, was walking down Creek Street a restored gold rush era district. We took the city bus for $2/PP roundtrip out to Bright State Park to see the many totem poles. Caught bus at the downtown city museum and runs hourly. This is a worth while trip to not only see the totem poles but more of the area. Overall a very good Alaska vacation thanks to Princess and her fine crew.  

Alaska on Coral Princess Land and Sea

Coral Princess Cruise Review by cruisor2011

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2014
  • Destination: Alaska
We had a wonderful time doing the August 2, 2014 Coral Princess Cruise, taking the southbound Inside Passage from Wittier AK to Vancouver BC. We preceded this voyage with a four day Princess land tour going up to both McKinley and Denali Lodges, returning to Wittier via the Princess glass dome train.
This was our seventeenth cruise with five of those being on Princess. Overall a very good experience on this Princess Cruise. The Coral Princess we found to be in very good condition throughout and a pleasure to be on. The cruise staff was very courteous and professional in caring for their passengers.
This time of year it is cool and it does rain a lot, so be sure and bring some wet weather jackets, pants, umbrella, and dress in layers as it is very cool of a morning and warmer in the afternoon.
We flew into Anchorage a day early so we could have some time to explore on our own the city. Stayed at the Comfort Inn Suites Airport, five minutes away from the airport. It was $195 including breakfast and free shuttle and internet. This was a very nice facility and over a $100 less than the Captain Cook Hotel Princess uses downtown Anchorage. There is a free Princess shuttle from the airport to the Captain Cook Hotel to check in.
The Captain Cook Hotel looked like a five star hotel, really wow. But at $295 a night it should be. Rooms were super with a separate sitting suite from bedroom, with frig and microwave. The restaurant on the top floor offered a very nice view of Anchorage and surrounding area. Upon checking in at the lobby Princess Desk, you are given your room keys and information regarding the bus departure the next day to McKinley Lodge.
Princess does a nice job with moving your luggage for you. For example, you are given baggage tags for “going with you” to the Princess Lodges on the land tours and a “separate “go to Ship” luggage tags for bags you will not need for the land tour portion of your trip, they go directly to wait for you in your cabin when you board the ship.
The downtown was an easy walk as the Captain Cook is centrally located. The Visitor Center was an easy two block short walk to plan our day exploring Anchorage. There is a salmon ladder we viewed near the train depot, the salmon were plentiful and easy to see trying to swim upstream here. Lots of eating options in downtown Anchorage including in the Captain Cook Hotel. If you don’t mind getting out of the hotel, you can save a lot. For breakfast, just one short block west toward the bay was the Snow City Café serving a good breakfast and lunch for half of hotel prices. In the downtown mall was a big food court, serving a nice variety of breakfast ,lunch and dinner choices. On the sidewalk are street vendors selling Reindeer sausage sandwiches.
We made a reservation with Gray Line Tours located in the Westmark Hotel downtown Anchorage, for a 1:00 PM bus/boat tour to the Portage Glazier for $69 PP. This was a most enjoyable four hour bus ride south of Anchorage with the driver providing a lot of helpful information on the dozens of glaciers we passed on the way down the coastline. After about 45 minutes we arrived at the excursion boat to take us across Portage Lake to the glacier, a short 15 minute smooth boat ride. You can choose to ride inside and stay below and watch through the windows or go up on the top dck for better viewing. We stayed at the glacier for at least 30 minutes with the captain going back and forth a couple of times giving us great photo opportunities. The boat can get within 50 feet of the glacier so it was an up-close view, a lot closer than the Coral Princess could get later in the trip. There were two separate calving of ice falling into the water from the glacier. On the return trip, we had a half hour stop at the Alaska Wildlife Refuge Center where native Alaskan wildlife can be seen roaming free in separate fenced in areas. We were able to see several reindeer, caribou, moose, black bears, and eagles.
On the second day, our bus picked us up at our assigned time for the ride to McKinley Princess Lodge where we arrived around one in the afternoon. Upon getting off the bus, we were given our room keys and went to our assigned cabin and found our luggage already in the waiting in the room. The rooms are very nice size and appointed with good furnishings. The cabins are all located within a short walk of the main lodge. A nice eating option is located near the lodge. The McKinley Princess Lodge is located in a pretty remote area so taking the princess shuttle ($10 Roundtrip) into Talkeetna is highly recommended. It is a short 45 mile bus ride. Talkeetna is a must see, lots of good restaurants and shops. The Lodge has free computer and internet access for guests.
We booked a great flight seeing with a glacier landing with Talkeenta Air Taxi for $269/PP. The give a 10% discount for AAA and if you already have your National Park Pass that can save you $10/PP. This air Taxi service picked us up at the Princess Shuttle stop and took us to their office at Airport for the flight that lasted two hours with one half hour of this on Ruth Glazier. For me, this was the highlight of our Alaska vacation. The view is spectacular and great for photos. A nice six passenger plane with headsets provides so you can hear the pilots narration of what we were seeing. A must see. A little expensive but worth the extra money.
Princess Motor coach took us the next day to Denali Princess Lodge where again our room keys were given to us as we departed the bus and luggage awaiting in the room. Pretty smooth. Lots of restaurant and shopping options both on site and across the street. The great big fresh baked cinnamon rolls across the street was worth going over to get. There also is a Subway to get a lunch for going into Denali National Park. The Lodge also offers free computer and internet access to guests.
We booked thru Princess the Husky Homestead tour to see how the dogs are trained. We both really enjoyed this and would recommend this presentation from Jeff King, former Ididoron Champion.
For the visit inside of Denali National Park, we passed on the Princess provided Historic Tour and reserved through the National Park service their 8 hour shuttle trip to the Eikison Visitor Center, 67 miles into the park. You will see much more of the wildlife and scenery on this tour which the driver narrates. For $39/PP we got to see grizzly bears, caribou, moose, sheep, glaciers, and great photo opportunities. The bus driver always stopped the bus at any animal sightings for photos. Princess provides a free shuttle every half hour over to the National Park visitor and transportation center. There is no place to purchase food or drinks on this tour so be sure and bring your own.
After two nights in Denali Princess Lodge, our bus met us for a short 10 minute ride to the Princess Domed Railroad tour to Wittier. You are assigned to a certain passenger car and table. The downstairs dining car was also available.
Upon arrival in Wittier to board the Coral Princess, you are given your cabin keys inside the terminal. We stopped at the grocery store on the pier to get some wine and soft drinks before boarding.
The stop at Hubbard Glacier was a none event, as fog made it very difficult to see anything.
The next day stop at Glacier Bay was much better weather and great for seeing several of the glaciers we passed by. Great photos to be taken hear. Seeing the many glaciers was worth it.
First cruise port was Skagway. Lots of good shopping and restaurants in easy walk of the ship. We booked thru Princess the White Pass Scenic Railway and had a great time on this 3 hour train ride up and back down the mountain. The train comes right to the dock so getting on/off was no problem. Computer and internet found in downtown for $5 for 1 hour.
Next cruise port was Juneau. At the pier, you can take for $20/PP roundtrip a white or blue shuttle bus that will take you to Mendenhall Glacier and Visitor Center. Bus leaves every half hour. This was very worth doing. Near the shuttle drop off is a viewing area for salmon and bears. We got to see both. A mother bear and her cub were fishing in the stream for salmon. What a great sight. Going into the Red Dogs Saloon is recommended in Juneau.
Last cruise port was Ketchikan. Nice downtown area right at ships pier to walk around. One must see, was walking down Creek Street a restored gold rush era district. We took the city bus for $2/PP roundtrip out to Bright State Park to see the many totem poles. Caught bus at the downtown city museum and runs hourly. This is a worth while trip to not only see the totem poles but more of the area.
Overall a very good Alaska vacation thanks to Princess and her fine crew.
 
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