Apr 23rd, 2006, 04:45 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
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we, a family of four, 2 adults 2 kids, want to go to Alaska.
we are considering a cruise/land tour
we are interested in a princess cruise.
it leaves vancouver and makes the following stops
glacier bay
college fjord
then the land part is whittier,anchorage,fairbanks,denali,talkeetna,Mt McKinley

Is there any difference going north or south with the cruise?

Is this a good cruise line for kids?


MelissaBeckoff is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 06:34 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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In general cruisers to Alaska are older I think though I agree with the comment about HAL in this regard.
jacketwatch is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 07:10 AM
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I have done that itinerary (with out the land) and it is great. I have been extremely pleased with Princess in Alaska. I haven't done the land part but I would encourage you to bring some games or an ipod for the kids to play with - there are some long rides involved.

As long as you go in June-August, there will be kids on the ship. Not as many as in the Caribbean but there will be kids. Princess does a great job with kids.

Most people who do the land part, prefer to do the land first because it can be very crazy and then relax on the ship coming back. It is truly a preference and not a big deal either way.

Your family will love Alaska!
Theresa is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2006, 07:51 AM
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The cruise hits all the highlights. But overall, HAL does an excellent job cruising Alaska too, with a great kids program. Overall expect older passengers on both lines. HAL has the bonus of Seward, which in my opinion is a must do if you are "doing time" in interior Alaska.

As for a cruisetour via the cruise lines. I find this a very poor option for families. Expect no other kids on your tour. The lack of freedom and fixed schedules are the biggest negative along with the paying significantly more x 4 going this way.

Way superior, in my opinion, is to do your homework and plan your own interior trip. Very very simple to do. A RV is just a great way to go with kids, plenty of space, ready bathrooms and fridge. You don't mention ages, but I completely agree, take twice the amount of games, DVD players and batteries that you think you'll need. Distances are vast and kids rarely are interested for long in scenery.

So as a suggestion, I recommend, at least an overnight in Seward- can do a one way car rental from Whittier going northbound. Kenai Fjords boat tour- top recommendation. A day or 2 in Anchorage, overnight in Talkeetna- flightseeing. 2 nights in Denali Park with the SHUTTLE to Fish Creek (this is a BIG problem with Princess since most of their cruisetours include the Natural History tour- a complete waste of time), Fairbanks also is best with 2 nights. Usually it is best cost wise to just return to Anchorage for rental car/RV returns. A great money saver is

If you continue to go the cruisetour route- be certain to go for as long as you can afford- ideally 7 day tours, otherwise the shorter you go, the more time in transit compared to at destinations.

I like southbound sailings, due to daylight cruising of inside Vancouver Island. Either direction offers a great cruise. I've done both directions several times. Go with what fits your time best. Your air will be a "multi city" option, not 2 one ways.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Apr 24th, 2006, 08:19 AM
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why is theNatural History tour- a complete waste of time?

MelissaBeckoff is offline  
Apr 24th, 2006, 10:02 AM
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The Park Road into Denali park is 90 miles. Most is always better here, meaning scenery and wildlife. If that doesn't matter- don't go to Alaska, in my opinion. So- the Natural History tour only goes to mile 16, this is the public road. Tundra Wilderness tour goes to Mile 53, my min. recommendation is the SHUTTLE bus to Fish Creek, mile 63. Be aware the tour buses are triple the cost of the shuttles, but you do need to bring in all your own food and drink.

All are the same- heavy duty suspension school bus type buses, just different colors. As you have demostrated, plenty of Alaska visitors just aren't aware of the significant difference in Denali Park options. It's a big shame for people to go with big expectations of the brochures only to never get into the park and scratching their heads about what all the hoopla is about. They missed out completely. So I continue to recommend, do your homework and educate yourself on the various travel options available and make the choices based on your priorities.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Apr 24th, 2006, 03:55 PM
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thanks for the information

MelissaBeckoff is offline  

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