Cruise Holidays - Attheta Travel

I am proud to be certified by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as an Elite Cruise Counselor. The Cruise Counselor Certification Program is CLIA's most comprehensive training which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences, and conduct ship inspections. Anita Thompson, Attheta Travel

Monday, August 31, 2009

Princess Escorted 10-day Alaska Land & Cruise Tour

Upon our arrival into the Anchorage airport, we were promptly met by a Princess Cruises representative and transferred to the Captain Cook hotel. We met our Princess escort and received our itinerary for the next 3 days.

On day 2, transferring to our next hotel, the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge (for perfect viewing of Mt. McKinley), was via the Princess Direct to Denali railcar toTalkeetna where we had lunch, and had time for shopping. From Talkeetna, we had the option to take a motor coach to the Lodge or to take the Three Rivers Tour that ended at the Lodge. We chose the Three Rivers Tour, a relaxing 3 hour trip giving us another chance to see wildlife.

On Day 3, we boarded a motor coach for our trip to the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. After lunch, we spent the afternoon seeing the sights and looking for wildlife on the Natural History Tour. This 5 hour tour took us only a few miles into the park. To venture further requires 8 hours and you will be exposed to more of the park and wildlife sightings.

Our stay at each hotel was too brief to really enjoy the amenities the hotels had to offer. I would recommend at least 2 nights in one or both of the hotels.

We departed the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge for the rail depot. We arrived in Whittier 9 hours. Prior to our arrival, a Princess representative visited with each passenger and processed their documents for boarding. Upon arrival at the pier in Whittier, all that was required to board was to pass through security and we were on our way to our cabin onboard the Coral Princess.

The next 7 days were spent exploring College Fiord, Glacier Bay, Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. The weather was clear and dry most days, making for some spectacular glacier viewing. The southbound sailing afforded us the opportunity to visit areas not seen on round-trip Seattle departures.

Although Seattle departures are more convenient, I recommend considering either the southbound sailing, from Whittier to Vancouver, BC, as we did, or a northbound sailing – beginning in Vancouver, BC and ending in Whittier. Land excursions can be added either before or after the one-way sailings. Adding a few more days to really see Alaska will enhance your experience. To do less is missing out on a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The tour we took included the Princess escort, baggage handling, ground transportation and transfers, and breakfast and dinner each day for the land portion. Onboard the Coral Princess, all meals and entertainment are included.

Why I Love cruising

I am a client advocate and I love cruising. I have the experience and the knowledge necessary to find the best cruise for my clients. I will listen to your interests and find the cruise that matches your budget, your calendar, and your dreams.

I am proud to be certified by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as an Elite Cruise Counselor. The Cruise Counselor Certification Program is CLIA's most comprehensive training which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences and conduct ship inspections, among other things.

A cruise decision is not a simple choice. Not all cruise lines are created equal. Ships, just like hotels, are not the same. It's not only the cost to consider, but the onboard service and amenities. It's the entire experience. It may be to celebrate a family reunion, a wedding, an anniversary or just to get away. Whatever the reason, I want your cruise to be memorable.

How many cruises have I taken? 30+ and still counting........

Why do I like cruising? I have always loved to travel to exotic destinations. My husband's work takes him to Asia, Europe, and South America and I have been fortunate to be able to accompany him on many of his business trips. I decided in 1994 that I wanted to become involved in the travel industry. I had taken a few cruises and found it to be my preferred way to see new places. Since the ship is my hotel, I don't have the hassle of packing and unpacking, nor do I have to fight the long lines to clear Security at unfamiliar airports.

What are my favorite cruise lines? Regent Seven Seas, Azamara, Celebrity and Princess.

Favorite ship: Seven Seas Voyager -- The ship is intimate (700 passengers) and not crowded. The crew is outstanding. You never want for anything on this "all-inclusive" experience.

What is my best cruise? 10 days experience on the Celebrity Expedition sailing the Galapagos Islands.

What is a recent cruise experience? 2008 - Our cruise to the Holy Land on the Azamara Journey. We visited St. Peter's Baslica in Rome, Jerusalem and the Western Wall, and walked the Via Dolorosa. Cairo with the Pyramids of Giza and the Greek Islands were also included in this cruise of a lifetime.

What do I do during days at sea? I enjoy having the time to read a good book or to play scrabble with my husband on our balcony. I also enjoy dozing in the sun, watching the world go by. Can you say "R-E-L-A-X?