Princess Cruises

Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:04 PM
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Princess Cruises

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
ketchikan
juneau
skagway
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?

Thanks
Melissa
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Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:11 PM
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Melissa - Did you also post your message on the cruise forum here? You should get a few more responses there.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:53 PM
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You might try posting your cruise inquiry on www.cruisecitic.com - it's extremely informative with many many posts on everything related to cruising and the various cruise lines.

We have cruised Princess in the Caribbean and thought it was very nice. Can't answer about kids because we try and schedule vacations when we know people with kids are less apt to be vacationing. All cruise lines have programs for kids tho.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 01:57 PM
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Our experience is from about 10 yrs. ago and there were practically NO kids on the cruise. As a mattter of fact we felt like we were the younger generation and we were in our 40's at the time. I think it had to do with the expense. Perhaps now there are more families who can afford the Princess cruise with the land tour.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2006, 12:48 AM
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We did the Princess Alaska cruise from Seattle round trip last June on the Sapphire. My husband, 11 yr old son, and my parents. We all had a great time. There were people of all ages and lots of children. The boat was huge with lots of choices for everyone, if your kids are little they have three different age rooms, with varying activities for the kids. Morning, afternoon, and evening sessions, gives you some time to do things like wine tastings, art auctions(great prices to, can't beat them on land}. They also have separate teen activities with there on evening hang out spot. The food was just ok, but haven't found one I really liked the food yet, and too cheap for a Crystal cruise. We did not do the cruise tour and so wish we would have, because stopping at the touristy ports of Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, could have been anywhere USA, with all the souvenirs shoppes. I would have loved to went to Denali.
We did an excursion at every port and I think it is a must, unless you want to browse at Alaska souvenirs while docked. The kids will have a great time, definitely book a balcony room. So you can sit out and enjoy the scenery, I thought Hawaii had a lot of waterfalls and maybe they have more, but it was beautiful and there were tons. Hope this helps a little.

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Old Apr 23rd, 2006, 06:50 PM
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We did this cruise two years ago, but from north to south, taking the land tour first. This is what most people recommend and it was great for us. The luxury of the cruise was a nice end to the trip, but it's not the end of the world to do it in reverse.

Princess does good quality cruises and we were extremely satisfied with the day activities we chose. DH went salmon fishing in Talkeetna and river rafting at Denali; I went to a sled dog kennel and on a riverboat cruise. In Skagway we took the bus trip into the Yukon. At Juneau we went whale watching with Captain Larry (NOT a Princess choice but you can find his website--your kids would love it). In Ketchikan we took the flightseeing trip over the NP and landed on the river, taking a boat back (bear cubs were walking along the bank).

It all depends on how old your kids are, but I think there's probably very little you could do that would bore them. Just make sure you spend the money each day to do something fun--you'll probably never be back so this isn't the time to skimp and wander around souvenir shops all day, as the above poster noted.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2006, 07:31 PM
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While some will differ, my wife and I have cruised Holland-America four times and Princess three times and DEFINITELY prefer HAL. It is just more classy and their land portion in Alaska is fantastic. One major disadvantage of Princess is that they use Whittier as their northern port rather than Seward. There is nothing to do in Whittier and sometimes you have to wait quite a while for the Princess train to take you to Anchorage.
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 06:58 AM
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It is a big mistake to go with a cruisetour for the land portion with a family. Just significantly more costly and being on a fixed schedule is a big negative, probably the only kids too.

I prefer southbound, but not because it is more "relazing". But instead due to daylight sailing Inside Vancouver Island. Key is to never have your trip needing that "relazing". Planning is the key and allowing enough time. Way too many people don't allow the time and purchase poorly planned cruisetours or make their own plans in error. Distances are vast, allow for it and don't have all your time in transit.

I do not know if the poster IS listing the above as independent?? If so, Mt. McKinley- is not a destination, if interested in getting to it via flights, those are best out of Talkeetna. They also do not include a must do in my opinion- Seward. Would be my preference over Fairbanks, if time doesn't allow both.

So definately do your homework and rethink this if a cruisetour.
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