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  1. I emailed the dietary department about my celiac disease/dietary restrictions for our October 31 cruise. Received an email from the department that they no longer handled it but to make a note in the Medallion app. I put in my need for gluten free diet in the app. I noticed that a gluten free allergy is now listed on my travel summary.
  2. We like to rent a car in Juneau and DIY our visit. It costs about $100-120 to rent for the day. It’s nice to be able to beat the cruise ship crowds at Mendenhall (go there first!) and go where we want to go. Love to get out of town and have a picnic at Eagle State Park (think that’s the name?). We use Juneau Car Rental. They use older cars but we’ve never had a problem or an issue with them. Great customer service.
  3. I have done kayaking in both places as well. I always try to kayak at Ketchikan— water is usually pretty calm and the excursion is short enough to be able to visit other places in Ketchikan. Haven’t seen much wildlife in Ketchikan—birds, starfish, sea urchins. But it is beautiful. Have used a couple of companies and all have been great. I usually see lots of wildlife on a kayak tour in Resurrection Bay—whales, otters, harbor seals, puffins, starfish. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but the water has always been calm there as well. I highly recommend Sunny Cove Kayaking. If making a choice between the two, I would pick Seward because of the opportunity to see more wildlife.
  4. Oh, I also want to add a manager had to manually give us some of promotions. On the cruise personalizer it doesn’t say, for example, “Specialty Dining.” Instead it shows a $58 dining credit as a gift from Princess ( and it’s only listed in my name, not hubby).
  5. Not sure what Princess will do with an extra day. We went from a 14 day 2022 Panama Canal to a 14 day 2023 Panama Canal. My advice—have all of your booking documents and receipts handy when speaking to Princess. It took a while (put on hold numerous times) but we eventually got everything we had on the canceled cruise. OBC, free upgrade, specialty dining promo, casino cash and price protection.
  6. Always! And, it’s not being greedy—it’s putting more money in the cruise budget which just means more cruises!
  7. I also purchased this kits for our Oct 31 and Nov 22 cruises. I’ve submitted my receipt to Kaiser for reimbursement. The process takes about 90 days to get refunded but I’m assured by my doctor that I will be. I’ve viewed some of the YouTube videos out there on taking the test. I’m comfortable with doing this rather than stressing about an in person appointment.
  8. We’ve done it a few times. We like to take the Coast Starlight up from California. The train arrives in Seattle around 8 pm and then you are transferred to a Thruway bus for the trip to Vancouver arriving in the wee hours! Once was enough! Now we get off in Seattle, spend the night and then head north the next day. The train arrives in Vancouver around 11am which is much better! It is a beautiful trip. Try to sit on the left side of the train for the ocean view. Business class is available on the train—costs a bit more but you do get priority boarding, bigger/wider seats (more legroom for my 6’5” hubby!) and coupons for drinks/snack bar. Border crossing pretty quick as well. I know people who have taken the morning train the day of a cruise—I’m not that brave! We stay one night in Vancouver.
  9. Everyone has different budget priorities. When budgeting for a cruise, I always include transportation/transfer/lodging/gratuities to see the true cost of a cruise. And, if I’m going to a port that I’m not familiar with, I tend to err on the side of caution and opt for a safe and clean hotel. For my October 2022 Canada/New England cruise, I have budgeted $600 for transfers and one night lodging A bit more than I like to pay, but it is part of the cost of cruising to stay at a better hotel. I don’t want to seem “preachy” but I have cruised/visited that area enough to know that you get what you pay for. You might want to make a “pay later, no deposit” reservation now for a hotel that is closer to the port and then watch the prices. Some of those hotels provide a free shuttle service to the port as well as a breakfast. Although I’m not familiar with the Rodeway Inn, I do know enough about the area that I would not stay there. I would make adjustments in my budget to stay closer to the port.
  10. Just reiterating the advice to stick to the recommended areas/hotel. Have a friend who wanted to go cheap on a hotel and ended up in a very seedy part of town! It’s an expensive port to sail from but be safe. (I have stayed at the Westin, Hyatt Regency and the Hilton—all good places to stay)
  11. We did a 3-week DIY tour this summer in Alaska after our Princess land/sea cruise was cancelled two years running. My first comment to you is what are your interests/priorities in visiting Alaska? Wildlife? Hiking? Glaciers? It is very easy to tailor a tour that fits your interests. For example, hubby is a huge train buff. One of our priorities was to maximize train travel—which you can see many folks say how boring/long/torturous the trips are. The train ride from Anchorage to Denali fulfilled his childhood dream—others on these boards tell you not to do this ride. If you do want to experience the rail, I would suggest the Glacier Discovey train or the Coastal Classic (Anchorage to Seward). Both are very scenic! Alaska is big but very easy to navigate. Just keep in mind travel distances. We enjoyed staying at least two nights at a place rather than constantly packing and unpacking (that’s not our preferred method of travel). On our three week trip, we were able to visit a number of places— (Denali, Girdwood, Seward, Homer, Talkeetna) and saw wildlife (cruises, hikes, kayak, canoe), trekked on a glacier, flight seeing, sled dogs, the Great One in all of her glory—but did not have time to see it all! Next summer, we, like you, have FCC that we need to use. We’re taking a northbound Princess cruise, have 12 days to DIY and then cruise back to Vancouver on NCL. Next summer we are visiting Denali, Wrangell St Elias NP, Fairbanks and Seward. I started planning using the Princess tour as a starting point and, after using the Trip Advisor Alaska Forum, the Mile Post and the Lonely Planet Guidebook, developed an itinerary that met our needs and interests. Have fun planning!
  12. One of my favorite excursions in Juneau is the Canoe & Glacier Trek with Beyond and Above Alaska. Gets you out and about and you get to walk on a glacier! I’m not sure how the whale watching is right now in Alaska (never been in September) but Juneau is generally your best bet to see whales though I’ve been on a wonderful excursion in Icy Strait Point. My recommendations to first timers to get a taste of Alaska on a cruise: Ketchikan —totems, kayak, Misty Fjords Juneau—glacier trek, whales Skagway—train, Yukon, Gold Rush history ISP—zip line (very fun but over quickly!), kayaking Enjoy your cruise!
  13. I think post #12 means Skagway instead of Sitka? Most inside passage cruises do not go to Sitka. We really like visiting Sitka. Have cruised to Alaska on Disney, NCL and Princess. Princess does Alaska well! As previous noted, it’s the ports that make an Alaskan cruise! We tend not to be so concerned about the bells and whistles on board because our focus while in Alaska is Alaska! Princess has a nice enrichment program —ax throwing, lumberjacks, nature talks, music, puppies on board, totem craving, regional dishes and drinks. Compare ports and the time spent in each port. Glacier Bay is a plus on any itinerary! Keep in mind that the days are long in Alaska so even if you arrive late, you should be able to do fun stuff. It’s been my experience that the local tours adjust their schedules to coordinate with the ship’s arrival. We really enjoy cruising with Princess. It fits out cruising style! We’re fairly active mid to late 50 year olds who enjoy good music and wine. We don’t find the atmosphere “stuffy.”
  14. Not sure. Our Panama Canal Cruise was a segment in the 2022 World Cruise on the Island Princess. So when it was cancelled, so was our segment.
  15. We had our 14 day Panama Canal Cruise cancelled (1/5/22) on the Island Princess—again!! Had it booked originally for January 2021. We got so much FCC on cruises that we had booked a mini suite. Had OBC, specialty dining, casino credit and Princess Plus. Rebooked one of the replacement cruise—January 5, 2023. Was able to get the same room category but inventory was very limited! Our PVP said she only had 10 cabins to choose from……unless, of course, we wanted to pay for an upgrade! She tried to get me to book a cabin on the Dolphin deck, but because I follow these boards, I said no thanks! It was one of those mini suites that weren’t covered and didn’t have much privacy on the balcony (D312). Was able to keep all of our perks (after gently reminding her of them!). Cost of the cruise is now $2500/pp more than what we paid so am very happy about the price protection!
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