My family of 8 is going on an Alaskan Princess cruise sailing July 5. We booked the post cruise land tour for 3 days. I cannot believe I didn't research Denali more prior to my booking, or I would have booked a longer tour ensuring us 2 nights in Denali so we'd have one full day there to do a longer bus tour into the park.
This is a once in a lifetime trip for my parents. They *really* want to see the wildlife and I just feel like travel to Princess lodge Saturday, then to McKinley Sunday, then to Anchorage Monday...that we are going to miss out.
I am strongly considering ditching the transportation, and the night at McKinley.
My thoughts were:
Rent a 10 passenger van and we would drive at leisure to Denali.
Saturday night as planned at Princess Denali Lodge.
Sunday we take a park tour and then stay at Grande Denali Lodge that night (ONLY place that has any availability)
Monday we drive ourselves to Anchorage.
I know it will cost more money. That is not my concern.
Has anyone ever ditched the Princess land tour though? I wonder if we'd lose our Monday night reservation at Captain Cook. Wouldn't break my heart as I've stayed there in the past and wasn't overly impressed.
When I called Princess yesterday to try to get the longer land tour, they said it would cost us $12,000 in penalties...which is completely ridiculous since we were looking to spend MORE money with them.
I'm not looking for a refund from them. We would simply not go to McKinley with them and do our own thing in denali.
Thoughts?? Ever hear of this before?