Flight: Newark NJ to St. Paul Minneapolis to Fairbanks AK was 8 1/2 hours. Fairbanks airport was small, easy. Went to baggage area, met rep, tagged luggage, boarded bus off to hotel. Sophie Station, Beautiful huge suite, clean, full bathroom amenities, ironing board, hairdryer. Fast food in walking distance, great restaurant, Zacks with large portions. Received luggage, tagged what was to be stored and what we wanted to keep.
Fairbanks,Riverboat Discovery: Great cruise, views, informative and fun. El Dorado God Mine: Huge gift shop, fun and delicious free cookies. Pump House restaurant was $13.00 each way by taxi, food was delicious and atmosphere was worth it. Denali: Wilderness Express Train, beautiful views, comfortable, good breakfast, $9.00 ea. Denali Wilderness Bus tour: Old school bus, rough ride but worth it for the scenery. Give you a snack box. Stop for bathroom every 90 minutes. Bring binoculars, good zoom on camera. Highlight of trip to Alaska, "A must Do". McKinley Village Lodge in Denali, log cabin like units, clean, comfortable, good food. Beer battered Halibut was the best ever eaten. Denali: Husky Homestead Tour: Jeff King's Iditarod Dog Sled Camp, informative, fun, good value for the money, held a 9 day old puppy. Talkeetna, small lovely town with great little stores, best pizza at Mountain High Pizza owned and operated by a guy from Pittsburgh Pa. Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge is beautiful. Breathtaking views from rear of Mt. McKinley. Could stayed there forever. Saw McKinley best at 7am with no clouds at all. Mahay's Jet Boat: informative, great views,saw eagles and beaver activity, nice nature walk. Anchorage: Stopped 2 hours here for lunch. Ate at the food court in the mall. Great stores for authentic Alaskan handmade purchases. Bought a beautiful doll and had it shipped home from store. Seward was just a port only town, so we boarded the ship directly.
People ask if CC class is worth the extra money and upon boarding it was worth every cent as there were hundreds in line and because we had CC class we were directed into a CC line and we were number 3 in line to check in. It was great. CC Cabin 6143 was great. It was a little bigger then the other CC cabins especially the balcony area. Champagne and fresh flowers and fruit were waiting for us. Cabin was clean, had hair dryer and all bathroom amenities including sewing kit, shampoo, lotion, soap and hair cap. Snacks each day at 4 were nice. With CC class you also get priority tendering. You are directed to Michaels Club where you are served coffee, tea and pastries until your tender is ready. Then you are directed to the tender and board with no waiting in any lines. Same method is used at disembarking of the ship. So CC class is really worth the value for the stress free lines. Ship was beautiful, easy to find everything, fast elevators. I saw no wear problems, performance was perfect, no delays on any arrivals and no missed ports. Service was perfect in all areas, all service areas were ready to help with anything you needed. They were pleasant and always ready to assist you.