One of the most memorable trips of my life was seeing Denali National Park years ago when I edited the Alaska section for Travel Weekly.
But for Charles and Cindy LeCroy, it was a different kind of memorable. Their Denali tour was part of a Princess Alaska cruise, and in retrospect, they should have probably stayed on the ship.
Everything that could go wrong went wrong, from power outages to missed connections. Worse, their cruise line offered a $100 voucher for the trouble, which means they’ll have to take another Princess cruise to benefit from it. They think the company can do better.
Let’s hit the highlights. Their Denali disaster started two weeks before their cruise, when Princess said it had overbooked their train from Whittier to Denali, and asking them to take a bus for part of their journey.
Here’s what happened when they arrived at Mt. McKinley. Take it away, Cindy:
It was a long bus ride so my husband and I decided to rest up a bit and make reservations for dinner.
I picked up the phone and it was dead. We then walked all the way to the front desk and reported it.
We ended up reporting it three times and the girl at the front desk finally said, “We’re well aware of it.” The phones were only out in the unit we were staying in.
We walked to the restaurant to make dinner reservations at that point. Later that night we tried to set the alarm clock to NO avail! It didn’t work. Luckily we both woke up in time to leave for our next destination.
When they arrived at the Denali Lodge and checked in, they found two people cleaning their room. So they decided to visit the gift shop. That’s when the power went out in the entire hotel.
We went back to our room and noticed several people trying to unlock their room doors with their cards, to no avail. My husband just pushed our door open because they didn’t shut it all the way.
No lights OR water! We couldn’t even use the toilet!
The electricity was out for an hour.
We then went to check out the restaurants at the lodge and they weren’t letting anybody inside. After the electricity came back on we went to a restaurant and everybody had to wait another 45 minutes for the restaurant to heat the ovens.
My husband and I had to brush our teeth, wash our face and my husband had to shave in the bathtub because the lever on the sink was broken off and the stopper was completely down and wouldn’t come up! Such a mess!
The final insult came when they showed up for the train to begin their journey home. That’s when they discovered they didn’t have seats because Princess had overbooked that leg of the train trip, too. They didn’t have seats.
We ended up sitting in the lounge area in two swivels chairs for five hours. We then ordered a cold sandwich from the little bar and the lady said they ran out of sandwiches.