I don't know where I got this from but I have always assumed that Princess Cruises were the best at this joint event. Maybe someone will say something to the contrary if it isn't so or they know from past experience. .... Neil.
We have just been to Alaska on The Serenade Of The Seas with Royal Caribbean and had a fabulous time. The ship was great and the scenery was second to none. I have never been on Princess so I couldn't compare, but we have always had terrific cruises with R.C.I. |I would certainly think twice
about going from Vancouver again as going through American Immigration to get on the ship is a bit of a nightmare. It took us more than 2 hours and some people had to wait considerably longer!
We did an alaska cruise with Princess 5 years ago, which was great. If you are thinking of a rockies pre cruise tour I would recommend the dear one, as they include breakfast and dinner each day, we even had a couple of lunches included. A bit dearer but better than hunting for somewhere to eat, or being trapped into paying price at hotel when there are no alternatives. People dont always realise most hotel stays are room only. We went end of May and only time people were not wearing shorts was on the #Athabasca glacier. It was the best tour ever. Have heard train gets boreing after a while,.
Very easy to DIY in each port as they are so small - Try google and 'cruise ports call boards' - the first result will give you all the info under the Alaska section. Celebrity are meant to be best as they have the first 2 train carriages on the RM so youget to see the animals first before they run away!
We went some years ago with Holland American (very informal) and really enjoyed it. You spend more time at sea than Mediterranean Cruises because of the greater distance between towns. We enjoyed the train journey and waiting for a piece to fall off the glacier in Glacier Bay (it never did). The only thing we missed out on was the helicopter ride over the glaciers. The ones who did go came very close to bears who were in the area and got great pics. Definately take warm clothing for periods off the ship or outside on deck. We did the Rockies Coach Tour before the cruise and really enjoyed it. An excellent combination.
Go to Alaska with Princess they have the best land tours and their lodges in Alaska are modern and in superb locations. If you can afford the cost the Rocky Mountaineer, Gold leaf is a must either from Banff to Vancouver or Jasper. The scenery is amazing and we have never ever experienced this level of service. The coaches for the transfers actually stop beside your exit/entrance to the train. I recommend Gold Leaf as so much freight is carried across Canada by rail and the trains are very long and two containers high. Freight has priority on the track and in Gold leaf you can see over the top of the freight trains. Go for it!!
If you want a close view of Alaska, try looking at the Cruise West web site - small ship cruising is the only way to see the Inside Passage or Prince William Sound. They also do land trips, using the Princess lodges in Denali which are great.
The Rocky Mountaineer is an absolute must. The service, seats, hotel and views were excellent. [and we only went red leaf. We finished in Banff for 3 nights and flew back home directly from Calgory with Canadian Affair. Many people had to return to Vancouver which is NOT necessary as the agents tried to tell us.
We went with NCL but they were not as good as Celebrity or Princess. The helicopter flight over 4 glaciers and then dog sledging on one glacier is another must. It's expensive but it was one of the best days of our lives. We went from Juneau on that trip so please look out for it.
Warm anaracks were cheap to buy in Alaska so don't worry about carrying them. Take gloves and sunglasses as the glaciers are so bright from the helicopters. enjoy.
Janet Emmett Cheshire.
I strongly advise against the tour operators deals as you do not necessarily know the cabin number and this is quite important for Alaska. Suggest Celebrity and try for the cabins at the FRONT of the ship facing forward. Any good travel agent will be able to mix and match the Canadian part. I agree the Rocky mountaineer is great but am not sure about the Gold Leaf supplement.
We went over the Rockies and cruised to Alaska in June this year with Princess. The coach took us from Calgary to Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper where we boarded the Rocky Mountineer train for the 2 day trip to Vancouver. The first day on the train is a little boreing travelling through a lot of trees but the 2nd day certainly makes up for it as you travel past places no other transport can reach. The cruise to Whittier was breathtaking, go for a balcony cabin if possible as the scenery is endless and you won't miss much as you can still see it as you change for dinner. We were on the Diamond Princess and you could not fault any part of our trip.