Alaskan Cruise Vacation
By kto on Jul 08, 2008
Just returned June 26th from a 10 day Alaskan Cruise aboard the Dawn Princess, leaving from and returning to San Francisco.
This was my family's 3rd cruise, and our second cruise to Alaska. It's the first time we left from San Francisco, having flown to Anchorage, Alaska for the start of our previous 7 day cruise in 1999 which left us in Vancouver, and having flown to Hawaii for the cruise we had around the islands. We enjoy the Alaskan cruises, and in particular the Princess Cruise Line, but what do we know, only having cruised 3 times. During the cruise they awarded someone a free cruise for having cruised with Princess Cruise Line (just Princess mind you) 72 times (over 700 days of cruising!).
For anyone that has never been on a cruise, it's a very spoiling experience. The food is excellent (and part of the cruise price), the rooms are small (but who stays in their room other than to sleep), the shows are free (granted, they should have paid me for a couple of them), the view is to die for (assuming you like the ocean), the staff was excellent (even in the face of a few rude passengers), and the ports in Alaska are fascinating.
Why did we do a cruise? Well, our first choice was to fly to the East coast, maybe Washington D.C., or New York. But if you add up the flights, the hotels, the food, the rental car, etc. The Alaska Cruise inside stateroom was something like $1100 or $1200, per person double occupancy. It included food, no rental car needed, no hotel costs, and leaving from San Francisco meant no airplanes or airport hassles. Granted, drinks, soda, shore excursions, and misc expenses will happen on a cruise, but overall, we decided on the cruise. (I'm really beginning to hate airplanes and airports).
The Dawn Princess holds something like 1,900 passengers (plus 900 or so crew members) and is no small ship, however it is one of the smaller Princess ships (some take 3,000 passengers). Our previous Alaskan Cruise was on the Sun Princess which is a twin to the Dawn Princess, and although the ship was fine, I think I would have rather tried a different ship, just to try a different ship. :\^)
Here is the itinerary:
|1||San Francisco, California||12:00 AM||4:00 PM|
|4||Ketchikan, Alaska||7:00 AM||3:00 PM|
|5||Juneau, Alaska||8:00 AM||10:00 PM|
|6||Skagway, Alaska||7:00 AM||8:30 PM|
|7||Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska (Scenic Cruising)||5:00 AM||10:00 AM|
|9||Victoria, British Columbia||6:00 AM||2:00 PM|
|11||San Francisco, California||7:00 AM|
I'll try and add some photos when I can wrestle the camera away from my wife. :\^)
It was a great cruise, had lots of fun. Next time we will probably try to visit some new ports in Alaska.