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caribill

Details of the tour part of a Princess Alaska cruisetour

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Thank you! I'm going to call Princess today and see about getting the Connoisseur Cruisetour with the cabin I already have. Thanks again for a great review and your input.

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Well I did call Princess and change it to the Connoisseur Cruisetour. Got my same room, requested no upgrade, and was able to get a credit for the Denali dinner theater since I wasn't going to use it. I'll find someplace to have dinner that night, as it's hubby's birthday.

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The 10GB monthly bandwidth limit on my account was reached. It should reset on August 14 or 15th and then the pictures will be visible again. Please check again then.

 

 

Pictures are available again.

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So glad I got a chance to see the photos before we leave on Monday for our cruise. You did a fantastic job of documenting the land tour!

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So glad I got a chance to see the photos before we leave on Monday for our cruise. You did a fantastic job of documenting the land tour!

 

 

Have a great trip!

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Thank you for this marvellous review. We have booked to do the Off The Beaten Path CruiseTour in July 2014 and very much appreciate reading this review. We are having our first princess cruise in November this year out of Sydney and look forward to trying Princess.

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On our cruise-tour in May-June of this year (2013) our luggage was on the motor coach except for the transfer from McKinley Lodge to Whitter.

 

_______________________________

Previous Cruises

Alaska 2008 – Island Princess

Alaska 2009 – Island Princess

Alaska 2010 – Royal Princess

Alaska 2011 – Golden Princess

Alaska 2012 – Star Princess

Panama Canal 2012 – Coral Princess

Western Caribbean – Crown Princess

Alaska 2013 – Island Princess

 

Future Cruises

Western Caribbean 2013 – Caribbean Princess

Southern Caribbean 2014 – Royal Princess

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Thanks for sharing such a wonderful, detailed report of your land tour. Your photos were impressive! It is helpful to be able to visualize what can be expected on the land tour. I can't wait to check out the pictures on Shutterfly!

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Hi Caribill, thanks for the in depth review of the connoisseur Alaska land cruise it was most helpful! I was wondering are there opportunities to purchase bottles of wines and spirits at some of the towns along the way? I have heard that Princess allows one bottle of wine per person to be brought on board but other that carrying it your suitcase are there places before you get on the ship to buy it? Thanks, Pam

Edited by pameshalaska

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Hi Caribill, thanks for the in depth review of the connoisseur Alaska land cruise it was most helpful! I was wondering are there opportunities to purchase bottles of wines and spirits at some of the towns along the way? I have heard that Princess allows one bottle of wine per person to be brought on board but other that carrying it your suitcase are there places before you get on the ship to buy it? Thanks, Pam

 

I do not know your land itinerary but you can purchase wine in Talkeetna at the general store.

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Again- not knowing your route- but I was pleasantly surprised to find a gas station, across from the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, that had an okay selection of wines. There was also a liquor store across the street and up the hill but they had better liquor than wine.

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We have been to Alaska on two Princess cruises. Once with the land tour. We are planning on returning in 2015 and thought of doing this trip you just did. We have always gone In late May. How was your weather in August?

 

Some of your pictures are almost identical to ours and brought lots of smiles to our faces!

 

Thanks for the review.

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Thank you so much. The details you provided, especially prices for the meals, will help us decide the best way for us to see Alaska.

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Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

 

Just wondering - during the cruise did you book your land excursions with Princess? I'm wondering if there are local companies that to a pick up/drop off at the ports.

 

Also, my choice is to go in July or August but I have heard that June is a good time to observe whales with their newborns. Any comments about when is the best time to see newborn whales?

 

Lastly, can I ask where you found the discounted price was it on a last minute website?

 

Thanks again for your time and input.

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We have been to Alaska on two Princess cruises. Once with the land tour. We are planning on returning in 2015 and thought of doing this trip you just did. We have always gone In late May. How was your weather in August?

 

 

We had great weather everywhere on the tour part. On the cruise it rained most of the day in Ketchikan and was good elsewhere.

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Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

 

Just wondering - during the cruise did you book your land excursions with Princess? I'm wondering if there are local companies that to a pick up/drop off at the ports.

 

This was our second time in Alaska, so for the most part we did not do the "must do" things for a first timer on an Alaskan cruise.

Skagway:

Historic District Walking Tours

1 hour Ranger-led walking tours of the Skagway Historic District

WHEN: Early May - Late September

TIMES: Daily 9 AM, 10 AM, 11 AM, 2 PM and 3 PM

WHERE: Free tickets available at the Visitor Center (housed in the historic 1901 White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad Depot), 2nd Avenue and Broadway. Walks are limited to 30 participants. Tours are given on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Princess tour in Skagway:

 

Evening Wildlife Expedition Approx. 6.25 hours

The journey begins with a 45 minute scenic cruise aboard a high-speed catamaran along North America's longest and deepest fjord to Haines. Enjoy spectacular views of waterfalls and ice-sculpted peaks as your guide provides informative commentary and points out marine wildlife.

Then, you board your motorcoach for a 2 hour scenic, narrated drive along the fertile Chilkoot Valley. Be sure to bring your camera. Nestled between rugged glaciers and snowcapped mountains, the valley is home to an abundance of wildlife. Here, you'll find generations of brown bears, bald eagles, mountain goats, river otters and, of course, salmon, not to mention the abundance of migratory and resident birds. Traveling around sunset lets you take advantage of the long Alaska twilight and the best opportunity to see nature's wonder, and the food chain, in action. Includes 45 minute nature walk near Chilkoot lake.

Naturalists will take you to the sheltered valley of the Chilkoot River. As the sun slowly sets, bears descend on the river, leaving the cover of the forest to forage along the grassy banks. You'll be able to witness thousands of salmon as they make their journey back to the waters of their birth past hungry bruins. From the protection of your bus (55 minute ride), you'll thrill to see nature's best salmon fisherman wade into the river for their evening meal.

Your tour concludes with a 10 minute narrated drive through historic Fort Seward and downtown Haines, where you'll enjoy a picnic-style meal while returning to Skagway via ferry (45 minutes).

Juneau:

Whale Watching Tour:

Enjoy the difference of a personalized tour!

Join local Captains Harv, Marv, Steve, Shawn, Jayleen, or Liz for a personalized Alaskan whale watching tour. With 6 or less passengers on board, you will experience a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere.

Tour duration: about 4 hrs

This 4 hour tour includes approximately 1 hour of round trip transfer time, 3 hours of whale watching/sightseeing cruise, walking on the dock to the boat, and bathroom breaks. Expect to be back to town approximately 1 hour after getting off the water from your whale watch, we do not want to rush and we want to make sure you get the full 15 minutes at Mendenhall Glacier.

(We highly recommend Harv&Marv. Having only six passengers on the boat means everyone sees everything. It costs about the same as the Princess excursion, but the Princess excursion will have many more people on the boat. Reserve in advance early. They have several boats and go out multiple times a day, but the available slots can fill up well in advance of your cruise. Your ship will not be the only one in town.)

Princess tour in Ketchikan:

Lighthouse, Totems & Eagles Excursion Approx. 2.5 hours

Your excursion begins as you board your motorcoach for a scenic, 30-minute narrated drive through Ketchikan to a private dock, where you'll meet your captain and Alaskan crew and board your vessel.

Two hour cruise: You're free to relax in the heated main cabin or enjoy the open-air observation deck, as you witness an abundance of eagles with binoculars provided to you. You will see ten eagles nests and baby eagles in season. Harbor seals, pigeon guillemots and moon jellyfish are commonly spotted daily. Whales, deer, blue heron and a variety of sea birds are seen throughout the entire season. Along the way, you'll hear of the area's maritime history, the rich Tlingit culture, the timber and fishing industries and local lifestyles.

You'll observe harvested and old growth areas of the Tongass National Forest, and travel past historic Ward Cove Cannery. You'll continue to Loggerville, the "Floating Ghost Town of Alaska", and circumnavigate the Guard Island Lighthouse established in 1901. No other excursion offers this itinerary or a view of Totem Bight State Park from the water. You'll view totem poles including Ketchikan's tallest, the clan house as you travel past the park, and see colorful cabins, mansions of the local rich and famous and unique homes, many built on their own islands. Your captain will unravel historic mysteries of Alaska's most dangerous island, Danger Island, and you will circumnavigate or have clear viewing of twelve islands on your tour route. Many of these islands are inhabited only by Alaska's wildlife.

Enjoy Alaska's most scrumptious "Hot Chocolate Supreme", coffee, tea, water or your favorite soft drinks along with salmon spread, crackers, cheese, fresh fruit, cookies & mints: all complimentary and they make for a delightful treat as you take in the breathtaking seascape and professional narration. Our salmon spread recipe will be provided to you to take home. Eagle photo portraits, prints, Guard Island Heritage memberships, lighthouse souvenirs, post cards, pens, magnets, plush animals and other items are available from the onboard gift shop. Tour ends with a walk back to your motorcoach and a relaxing 30-minute drive back to the pier.

(The rain meant this was not the greatest of excursions, but we did enjoy it. If we are there again, we will probably take a public bus to Totem Bight State Park and see the totem poles close up.)

Also, my choice is to go in July or August but I have heard that June is a good time to observe whales with their newborns. Any comments about when is the best time to see newborn whales? I do not know the answer to that question.

 

Lastly, can I ask where you found the discounted price was it on a last minute website? It was on the Princess website about 3.5 months before we went. There was a choice of dates and ships.

 

Thanks again for your time and input.

 

See above in red.

Edited by caribill

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not sure how to subscribe to this thread so posting this so I can come back and finish reading. lots of good tips here. thanks!!

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That was wonderful. Seeing everything in photos is great.

I would love to do this cruisetour.

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As indicated in post #1, our cost difference was $835/person over the cruise alone and we felt it was worth it.

 

Is your $800/person the difference between the cruise and the Connoisseur tour or the difference between the regular tour and the Connoisseur tour?

 

An important part of the Connoisseur tour is that almost every meal is included in the cost. In my posts I have given some meal pricing along the way. For example, at one of the lodges the dinner menu included:

Appetizer: Sweet Soy Ginger Beef Skewers - $16

Appetizer: Reindeer stuffed mushrooms - $9

Soup: Smoked Wild Alaskan Salmon Chowder – Cup $5, Bowl $6

Entrée: 8 ounce Grilled Cattleman’s Angus Top Sirloin - $27

Entrée: Simply Grilled Alaskan Salmon - $26

Entrée: Bering Sea Crab Legs - $49

Dessert: Mama’s Old Fashion Carrot Cake - $8

Dessert: Alaskan-made Vanilla or Blueberry Ice Cream - $4

 

(For one dinner we had, the items added up to $62.50 not including tip ((which is included on the Connoisseur tour)). For two people including tip, this would be almost $144.)

 

If you were paying directly for each meal, the costs would add up pretty quickly.

DW and I did this cruisetour in 2008. We spent $100/day on food.

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Caribill,

 

Can you possibly give more info on how you found this great rate? Travel agent? Checking yourself? Website? If needed, my e mail addy is tjcletzgo at hotmail dot com.

 

This looks like a great vacay and I'd love to learn more:D

 

Thank you,

 

Janie

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Caribill,

 

Can you possibly give more info on how you found this great rate? Travel agent? Checking yourself? Website? If needed, my e mail addy is tjcletzgo at hotmail dot com.

 

This looks like a great vacay and I'd love to learn more:D

 

Thank you,

 

Janie

 

Just looked at the Princess web site in mid-April and there it was. Great offer for this on several dates for that summer on various ships.

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