Isn't that strange that Princess would let the Bermuda market slide? You'd think they'd put at least one ship on that itinerary. I know they don't go there, so unfortunately, we'd have to go with Carnival. They are the only ones that are putting a new ship there and I just don't think we'd like the Nordic Empress or NCL.
I'm just so undecided about next summer's cruise. We may even do a.....hang onto your seat.....a land-based vacation instead (where's that bolt of lightning? I hear thunder!) :grin
Don't know how the number of ships to Burmuda has anything to do with Princess dropping it, but when we were there about 5 years ago, there were so many ships that we had to anchor out the first night and the island (particularly the buses) were so crowded one could hardly move. Looking at Celebrity ourselves for next fall.
We had a great time in Alaska the first week of August - twice. Salmon spawning - makes for more bears & eagles looking for the pickings. We had great weather the first time and pretty good the second. There was LOTS of whale activity. Having said that, I think we'd be happy in Alaska any time, and I think the weather is unpredictable no matter when you go, but more likely to be good mid July - Mid Aug.
The Zenith is out of New York and I think the Horizon is out of Baltimore...I have been there in April, May June, July Aug, Sept and October... What does that tell you....Yup, Love Bermuda..
April and May tend to be rainy, June is nice not to hot yet. July gets hot as does August.. September and sometimes in October you can be re-routed because of Huricanes. Our favorite time to go is September (late).. Do a search using Yahoo and search for Bermuda tourist info.. They have a very informative web site.. You can also contact thier consolate in NYC which will send you a very interesting tourist package with maps, coupons schedules etc... Another reason we like September is because the children are in school leaving the beaches, busses and familiar sights empty...Zenith and Horizon are older , smaller ships but impecably kept in great shape...e-mail me for any info firstname.lastname@example.org will be more than willing to answer any questions....
Hi everyone. I worked for Princess as a seasonal employee as a tour bus driver in 1990 and 1991. I enjoyed my time there greatly and would love to go back again!
There is not a bad time to visit Alaska, in my opinion. Early in the season there may still be some snow on Mt. Healy and you may see some ice on some roads, but you have the beauty of the newborn moose, the rapid rise of greenery and wildflowers up the sides of the mountains. My first year at Princess we took a helicopter tour and saw a grizzly and her two cubs with a fresh kill. What an amazing experience. A "traffic jam" between the lodge and the train station is not uncommon due to busses stopping for photo opportunities....those being mother moose and her babies. We even saw a moose give birth on the roadside one year. If I remember correctly the birthing season only lasts 2 weeks.
Another thing that I wouldn't miss is the airboat tour back to the trappers tents. I don't remember exactly what the tour was called. But you boarded a Princess bus and took a 20 minute drive ( we never failed to see wildlife on this trip) to an airboat. That boat took you up the Nenana River to a trappers camp. You drink camp coffee, pan for gold, learn about trapping etc. Very informative and fun. A great way to experience the real Alaska.
The further into the summer you go, the less likely you are to see "the mountain". That of course being Denali, or Mt McKinley. She is a beautiful sight. Unfortunately summer months leave her mostly enshrouded in clouds. The closer to winter you are, the better your chances of seeing her.
Late summer season is a time of quick change. When we drove the busses to Anchorage at the end of the season the last year I was there, it was about 20 degrees and there was several inches of snow on the road in places! Talk about a ride! And that was in September.
Don't miss the mushing exhibition put on by the park service in Denali. It's great fun to see the dogs do there stuff! Assuming you take the train and visit the park.
All in all, Alaska is a great experience. The land tour is definately worth taking. We rode the train a few times on our off days and it was always enjoyable.
Enjoy whenever you go and watch out for the moose and the grizzlies!
Re Alaska, I haven't made it there yet, but I do live in Vancouver. I see the ships depart from my bedroom window, and often see them arrive back in port when I am driving over the Lions Gate Bridge to go to work in the morning - wonderful sight. We are at the tail end of the season now - it is dark and ships are fully lit up when they arrive back in port at this time of year.
Statistically, we have our best weather here on the west coast in August, but given that we are in a rainforest, anything can happen. We can have stunning weather or torrential rains anytime in our May-Sept cruise season. It just isn't predictable. If price is a factor (and face it, when isn't it?), best bargains seem to be really early in the season in May, or after Labour Day when kids go back to school.