We’ve always wanted to go through the inside passage, so that overcame our reservations about cruise ships - and we’re so glad we went. The whole experience surpassed our expectations. We booked all our shore excursions through Princess and they were all excellent, with the trip on the Whitepass & Yukon Railway being the highlight.
While it took us awhile to find our way around the ship, and we wished it weren’t quite so crowded in places, we learned to find out how to make it work for us. Many of the available activities weren’t to our taste, but we really appreciated the excellent talks by the Naturalist, by the Park Ranger who came onboard in Glacier Bay, and by the first woman who won the Iditarod. Much to our surprise, we even enjoyed the karaoke, because most of the participants were excellent, and any performer we saw was very good.
The food was very plentiful and enjoyable, though it was a little bit of a mob scene at the breakfast buffet. The served dinners were wonderful, with lots of menu choices, and friendly, professional wait staff. We experienced nothing but good service from them, from our cabin steward and from every other staff member we encountered. Overall it felt like excellent value for money, and took us to places we’d never have seen otherwise.
Small but thoughtfully designed. The twin beds were extremely comfortable. We appreciated that there were sufficient hangers and shelves for all our clothes, with space to store our suitcases. The bathroom was quite adequate. Loved having the beds made and the cabin tidied everyday, and the chocolates on our pillows at night!
This was a last minute addition to the shore excursion offerings. It was billed as a Waterfront and Wildlife tour, and it lived up to its billing. There were only 15 of us on a boat that would have accommodated 100, and binoculars were provided for all of us. We were easily able to move around both decks of the boat, and we saw lots of eagles, harbour seals and a whale. I loved the fact that both the boat captain and the naturalist who provided commentary were young women, both very good at their jobs. I hope Princess continues to offer this excursion.View All 25 Wildlife Cruise Reviews
Our four-hour tour combined a salmon hatchery, Mendenhall Glacier and Glacier Gardens. The bus driver/guide was excellent, and everything was worth seeing. The surprising highlight however was Glacier Gardens, where we were put onto golf-cart like vehicles holding about 12 people, and drove up-and-up a winding narrow road to a wonderful view from the top. The view along was worth the ride, but it was also amazing viewing all the flowers planted on the roots of the upside-down trees. Very hard to describe - you have to see it for yourself.View All 69 Gardens/Hatchery Reviews
Glad we saw the glacier now, since I'm guessing it will have receded so much in a few years that it won't even exist.View All 971 Mendenhall Glacier Reviews
If I could give this more than five stars I would! We had a perfect day for taking the Whitepass railway as far as Carcross in the Yukon, and then returning by bus. The scenery was absolutely spectacular throughout the train trip, and the onboard guide was very informative about the fascinating history of the gold rush and the building of the railway. We appreciated that they made an effort to minimize the use of plastic and waste with the good lunch they served us. The time at Bennett was a nice break from sitting on the train (although I hardly sat, since I was constantly leaping up to take photos from the platform) and gave us an opportunity for a short hike. Carcross is a very cute little town, with buildings designed with native motifs. AND in a gift shop there we got the first and only good wifi on the trip! The bus trip back was less scenic by comparison, but still lovely, and with another great driver/guide.View All 41 White Pass Bennett Lake Adventure Reviews
The Glaciers are spectacular and interesting, but not quite up there with the shore excursions in my mind.