My husband and I did the Alaskan cruise followed by a land tour with stays at the Princess Denali Lodge and Fairbanks Lodge. We wanted to see the glaciers, but also see the northern lights and visit the arctic circle. We had hoped to learn more about the Alaskan people and those that “live off the grid” as well as learn more about Alaska’s history. Our suite was beautiful and spacious and was best part of the cruise. The enrichment presentations were basic and repetitive. The talks were about mammals and sea life. Unfortunately, the lectures never focused on Alaska’s history, Aurora Borealis, or the glaciers and how global warming is causing most of the glaciers to recede. It was not until there was a surprise Northern Lights show during the early am hours through the College Fjord glaciers, that the Princess Cruise videographer spoke for a few minutes before a mammal talk, that there will be a dvd for sale with the nights light show along with pre-recorded Aurora Borealis events. We missed the Northern Lights that night as we were asleep. The Deadliest Catch excursion was great and I was pleasantly surprised. The Best of Juneau excursion was long and it was surprisingly warm. The glacier was sadly disappearing. The Yukon tour which included an extension bridge was also very long in duration. Again very warm which, of course, had nothing to do with Princess Cruises, but global warming. I forgot to add that the glacier viewing from the cruise ship was beautiful, but not as dramatic as one would think by viewing brochures. The Marjorie glacier I gather was grand at one time, but now it was just stagnant. I understand that it is one of the glaciers that is not receding. The College Fjord was far more spectacular with larger pieces of icebergs floating along side the ship. The land tour was very good. Weather remained quite warm, but overcast in the evening which prevented the Aurora Borealis from being viewed fully. We were only able to see a portion of Denali, but quite impressive. The highlight was the plane ride from Fairbanks into the Arctic Circle. Learned a lot about “living off the grid” and sustainable living in Alaska. I would of loved to have learned about the lifestyle of First Nation, Alaskans, and Indian tribes on the cruise before the land tour.
Lastly, there are many fires that are still occurring in Alaska, so smoke may be present. In fact, we could smell the smoke in the plane on our flight to the Arctic Circle. We also could see the Rampart fire from the plane.
Suite exceeded our expectations. More spacious than expected and balcony was fantastic. We really did not utilize most of the amenities that were included. Enjoyed the fresh fruit. Hard liquor cordials were complementary and I only drank one on ice. I had the best sleep after the drink. Having the curtain to section off the bedroom from the living room is a nice touch. I enjoyed watching the Love Boat at night and the movies while my husband slept.