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Worldtraveler 4727

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Everything posted by Worldtraveler 4727

  1. We did not "choose to walk by" anything. I've stated before--as have many others--last June we arrived at 9am and there was no where to pay for parking, nor to walk in the the glacier/falls, nor for the Visitor's Center. We had our National Park passes in hand and did not use them/show them to anyone. There was no one taking money or checking for passes, nor charging for parking. I had read before we went that there was a $5 charge for parking and that we needed our park passes. It was unclear WHERE we would need to show them and to whom. Someone said you must pay or show your pass to get into the Visitor's Center. Again, there was no where to do that. **Someone who is planning on visiting Mendenhall this spring/summer, please take photos and post them for us all if you see the areas where there are charges for parking, visiting the glacier, or entrance into the Visitor's Center. Thank you.
  2. I agree, the food in the theater--compared to the lodges--was not the best. I would have much rather have had dinner in the dining room. The kids in the show worked hard serving, then dancing and singing, but I could have done without the dinner/show as well.
  3. This would be the perfect way to celebrate your 50th anniversary! I would recommend spending as much time in Alaska as your budget will allow. It's a long way to go, so make the most of it. Wishing you a memorable anniversary and Alaskan adventure!
  4. Ours was the 15 day Connoisseur Tour (the longest and most expensive) last June 2018. Transfer from ship to airport was NOT included, which is why we disembarked ourselves and took a taxi.
  5. We were on the most expensive of the Princess land/sea tours and transfers were NOT included; HOWEVER, when we flew into Fairbanks, Princess reps and buses were waiting there to take us to the hotel. This was not made clear at all in any paperwork, and my TA never got a straight answer from Princess either.
  6. I wrote a pretty comprehensive trip review of the Princess Connoisseur Tour my DH and I took this past summer. It might help answer some questions you have. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2653193&highlight=connoisseur
  7. AND when you consider the White or Blue Bus (also called the Shuttle) is now up to $45 per person, and you ONLY go to the glacier and back, renting a car is much more cost effective and efficient than that. You can park downtown at the library for free and walk around town, and you can enjoy any or all of the multiple hikes and places (and great lunch!) mentioned in my review.
  8. I would like to suggest the 4 of you rent a car in Juneau. My husband and I did last summer, and it was great! We did what we wanted and on our own time schedule. Here is a link to my CC report on our day in Juneau https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2653193&highlight=connoisseur&page=7 HOWEVER, as I noted in my report DO NOT rent a car from Juneau Car Rental! We had a bad experience. (Detailed in my report) I wish I had known about this company: https://www.toursinalaska.com/juneau/juneau-self-drive/ They say they will bring the car to you at the cruise ship and also pick it up. I would give them a try. My trip report (page 7) also tells about a WONDERFUL place we found for a lunch! Driving in Juneau is super easy. There is basically one road. ;)
  9. Thanks for reading! Yes, Michael is the best. Wish everyone could have him as a guide.
  10. Pat, I'm so glad my review was able to help you make this important decision. I'm sure you and your sister won't be disappointed. The food in the lodges is phenomenal; the sights on land and at sea are unparalleled. Wishing you wonderful weather and the making of many new friends!
  11. A little about us--DH and I have traveled quite extensive throughout the US and Europe, but only began cruising about 7 years ago. Since then we have taken several cruises with Princess and with Regent cruise lines. I am a highly organized trip planner who mostly plans private excursions in small groups. My intention with the review is to pay back CC members whose reviews and comments have been invaluable to planning our trips. One in particular from caribill on this site is a few years old, but much of that info is still current. I hope to bring everyone up to date a bit and will happily answer any questions I can. We are mostly DIY-ers. However, this tour came recommended to us by friends, and in reading about it, we were sold. We chose the longest (most expensive as well) land and sea tour Princess offered. We chose Princess because we wanted to experience their lodges and because Princess has been doing this in Alaska for a long time. This was a 15 day trip: 8 days on land and 7 days at sea. Day #1: Fairbanks June 19, 2018 We used Princess EZ Air (and carefully watched the flights DAILY as they changed times over the course of several months, and that had to be taken care of with calls to Princess and Delta.) We arrived at the Fairbanks airport and were met by Princess reps. This was one of the unanswered questions I still had not been able to find an answer for before we left. Out tour package clearly stated and in capital letters TRANSPORT to hotel from airport. Yet our invoice from our TA indicated a charge for transfers. Two calls to Princess by her and one by me resulted in being told there were no transfers included. Then why does the itinerary clearly state this? No answer for that one. I had the TA remove the charges. Plan A was we'd be met by Princess reps and be taken by coach to the hotel. Plan B was that the Fairbanks hotel has a shuttle (as noted on their website) Plan C was to simply take a taxi the 1.5 miles to the hotel. Plan A worked out. The reps gave us a packet with everything we needed to know for that night and the next day. We were already checked into the hotel. Room keys were in the packet. Info in the packet further explained we would be meeting the next morning for breakfast and that we had this first evening free to wander the property on the Chena River. We had a comfortable room facing the river, and since it was June 19, there was nearly constant daylight. The drapes in the room do the best they can to keep out the light, but there is still an element of light always in the room. Couple that with jet lag and excitement for the trip, and it was near impossible to sleep. We found that on the Connoisseur Tour we were allotted the premium rooms with the best views. A nice perk.
  12. For a 15 day land/sea cruise in Alaska this coming June, I booked EZ Air flights last fall, monitored them daily, re-booked twice for lower fares, then continued to watch the flights checking on them daily for further reductions. No further reductions showed up, and nothing changed on the flight portion of my personalizer on Princess—all flights remained the same. However, “something” made me plug my locator number into the DELTA website, and that’s when everything blew up. The flight to Alaska was now an hour earlier with a longer layover, but the worst part was that our return flights were no longer in synch. The flights all over lapped and did not line up at all. There were red exclamation marks all over the page and notices to contact Delta immediately. I did that, but was told since the flights were not yet ticketed, I needed to contact Princess/EZ Air. It took well over an hour on the phone with Princess and resulted in very satisfactory flights. However…. Two items of note here: #1 I’m not sure what would have happened if I had not had the “feeling” to plug my reservation into the Delta website. The problem likely would have come to light at final payment, and then I’m sure it would have been much more difficult to find flights similar to the ones I had booked last fall #2 When I asked what I could/should do to avoid something like this happening again, she said it seemed to her to be quite a fluke, but to be certain of your flights —since the airlines can and do change/cancel flights all the time—occasionally checking your reservation on the airlines’ website is good advice. Finally, If Princess is indeed reading these boards—kudos to Ophelia, the Princess rep who worked so very hard for me to resolve this issue. Thank you Princess and Ophelia!
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