I am taking my family wife 8 year old daughter and grandmother on the Golden Princess to Alaska in July. This is our first time cruising with Princess and any information on the cruise or Alaska would be greatly appreciated
You didn't mention what cruise line(s) you have been on before but I think you'll enjoy Princess, we did. They are very good in Alaska.
One thing I would suggest is in Skagway take the trip on the White Pass and Yukon Railroad. That is where you'll see a lot of un spoiled wilderness. One thing about that trip is that you must have a passport to go on it because it crosses in to Canada on land. The only way to cross out of the US without a passport is by ship, not by train.
Be prepared to be overwhelmed by "The Great Land". Get up early and enjoy the scenery as you sail the fjiords. By July, the melt will be in full swing and you'll have waterfalls every couple hundred feet. There's a pretty good chance you'll get wet too. The panhandle of Alaska is a rain forest. Make sure you have a good pair of binoculars handy. Get a small pair that can fit in a jacket pocket.
Take the time to read James Mitchner's "Alaska". Will give you a new perspective on the land, culture, wildlife and people ...
Golden is a Grand Class ship, plenty of room for everybody and is a nice ship, Michael has a good recommendation with the White Pass, as far as going into Canada, yes, but it doesn't go anywhere, when it gets to the top they switch the engine to the other end for the trip back down, we were not even allowed to get off the train.
In Juno, consider one of the many whale excursions, it is a hot spot for whales and in all our times doing them have never failed to see whales as well as a lot of other sea life. Mendenhall Glacier is more hype than ice but if this is going to be your only trip, why not, at least you can say you have been there. Ketchikan will have the village and or totem tours, they are kinda neat, they also have whale tours but I have always found Juno to be better. An excellent tour out of Ketchikan is Misty Fjord.
My wife and I did the 7 day inside passage on the Star Princess a few years back, super trip. Took a chopper in Juneau, the bus/train in Skagway (a must) and Island Wings floatplane in Ketchikan, We just checked out the town in Victoria, great chic town. Have a great cruise, we did!
Have a wonderful time we have done Golden Princess three x's...:clap:
if you like specialty coffee's.. consider a "coffee card".well worth the investment..
also check out the offer that is listed in the daily paper the Princess Patter..".for "undeclared sailings ghost bookings"..100.00 Per person cruise deposits.. if Princess becomes a cruise line you'd like to sail again..see the "Princess forums".. here for a full explanation..
every day between approx 3:30-4:30 in Horizon Court is FREE home-made ice cream waffles,sundaes, cookies and makings YUM..check it out...
enjoy it all...Joanne