I must start off by saying the best thing of all was the weather!!!!! We went on this same cruise in 2003 and enjoyed it enough to go back and hope for better weather. Most days in our 2003 trip were cloudy and rainy. Never saw Mt. Denali and very little wildlife. They say only 25 to 30 percent of travelers get to view Mt. Denali. Wonder what the odds are for having 10 straight days of sunshine this time of year? That's what we had and a wonderful view of the mountain.
Princess was "over the top" on handling all aspects of our 4 day land tour. All arrangements, especially transfers, were done extremely efficiently from the time we got off our plane in Fairbanks to the time we stepped into our ship's cabin in Whittier.
If you are planning a trip that includes transportation between Denali Lodge and McKinley Lodge, we highly suggest you spend the few extra dollars and travel by rail. We would have gladly paid twice the cost. It was a highlight of the trip!
The excursions were terrific and that is coming from a couple who have been disappointed in several that we took over the last several years. The guides were knowledgeable and fun. Wildlife sightingsC616 were abundant and my wife fulfilled a desire to see grizzly bears fishing for salmon. Would you believe within 25 feet!! Our guild said that was the closest she has ever been to a grizzly. She (the bear) was only interested in the salmon.
If you are interested in photography, consider the Denali Photo Workshop excursion that Princess offers. It is limited to only 4 adults and is a great opportunity to take great pictures and learn some very helpful tips and tricks. Other excursions we enjoyed and would recommend are: In Skagway the "Evening Wildlife Tour in Haine"s, in Juneau the "Mendenhall Glacier and Whale Quest" in Ketchikan the "Rainforest Walk and Crab Fest" (the Dungeness Crabs, fresh caught and fresh served - they were wonderful!). There is a lot to see in Vancouver if you have time or several days - Victoria Island, Butchart Gardens, Stanley Park, Granville Island, Chinatown, etc.
The Coral Princess was very nice. Well maintained and well staffed. Everything was quite acceptable. If you are getting the feeling that it wasn't super great, We must say that in the last ten years of cruising the food and entertainment on every cruise line we have been on has deteriorated. Not that it isn't still good, it just isn't great.
An Alaskan cruise is the one you want to upgrade to a balcony cabin. Port side if your cruising north to south and starboard if going south to north.
Another outstanding excursion. Very experienced photographer/guide. Many outstanding bear sightings resulting in more great photo ops!View All 51 Photo Safari Reviews
Best Dinginess crabs I ever had!View All 129 Wilderness Tour & Crab Feast Reviews
Top Shelf - fantastic encounters with grizzlies and a very good guide. Unbelievable photo ops!View All 31 Wildlife Tour Reviews