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Copper River Princess Lodge


Sea Hag
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This was just posted on Facebook by a TA. I would be so unhappy if I'd booked a cruisetour going to Copper River and got Anchorage palmed off on me instead. Nothing against Anchorage, but it's just nothing like Copper River.

 

IMPORTANT NOTICES
Thank you for your attention to this notification.
Due to staffing challenges affecting the hospitality industry, we have made the difficult decision to close the Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge for the remainder of the 2022 Alaska season. As a result, the land portion of your clients' cruisetour itinerary will be modified and their nights at the Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge will be replaced with nights in Anchorage. As a gesture of goodwill, each guest will receive an onboard credit of $100 per person on the cruise portion of their cruisetour.
Any land excursions booked for Copper River will be refunded to the original form of payment. Land excursions for the updated itinerary will be available to book online within the next two weeks, or in Anchorage.
Please note the itinerary displayed below may not yet reflect these changes. We are working to update itineraries and you will receive updated booking confirmations and itinerary by Friday, June 10, 2022.
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Having visited Copper River Lodge in the past it is the least visited of the Princess Lodge's.  It is somewhat isolated.  While there are some interesting excursions from there.  There is really no other option in that area if the lodge cannot be effectively staffed.  Considering that Princess is canceling tours due to staffing issues its not like they can replace it with another location.  

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34 minutes ago, ldtr said:

Having visited Copper River Lodge in the past it is the least visited of the Princess Lodge's.  It is somewhat isolated.  While there are some interesting excursions from there.  There is really no other option in that area if the lodge cannot be effectively staffed.  Considering that Princess is canceling tours due to staffing issues its not like they can replace it with another location.  

That's all undoubtedly true, but having visited both Copper River and Anchorage, there's no way I'd be happy with Anchorage as a substitute.

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I have been on hold with the 3rd varied Princess office for more than an hour. Our travel agent is not in today.  Our ship is to leave on 6/18. Then land of Copper, Kenai, Denali, McKinley, Fairbanks.  They cancelled ALL of our land.  No rerouting to Anchorage or anywhere.

And to make matters more complicated, we have a southbound that starts in Fairbanks, then Denali, Anchorage and the ship.  

Really ticked off at Princess.  They earlier cancelled our Hawaii cruise for this summer and the California / Mexico coastal cruise.

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28 minutes ago, bermudafan8 said:

I have been on hold with the 3rd varied Princess office for more than an hour. Our travel agent is not in today.  Our ship is to leave on 6/18. Then land of Copper, Kenai, Denali, McKinley, Fairbanks.  They cancelled ALL of our land.  No rerouting to Anchorage or anywhere.

And to make matters more complicated, we have a southbound that starts in Fairbanks, then Denali, Anchorage and the ship.  

Really ticked off at Princess.  They earlier cancelled our Hawaii cruise for this summer and the California / Mexico coastal cruise.

Wow! They canceled ALL of your land tour! Sorry to hear that. I'm sure you must be really disappointed. 

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39 minutes ago, bermudafan8 said:

I have been on hold with the 3rd varied Princess office for more than an hour. Our travel agent is not in today.  Our ship is to leave on 6/18. Then land of Copper, Kenai, Denali, McKinley, Fairbanks.  They cancelled ALL of our land.  No rerouting to Anchorage or anywhere.

And to make matters more complicated, we have a southbound that starts in Fairbanks, then Denali, Anchorage and the ship.  

Really ticked off at Princess.  They earlier cancelled our Hawaii cruise for this summer and the California / Mexico coastal cruise.

Very disappointing for you. 
We visited all those places independently.  It is easy with a rental car.  Just have to book accommodation.  Less than half the cost of Princess’ as well.  

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The only one of these places we haven't been to previously is Kenai.  I don't understand why they cancelled it all.  Still on hold - 2 hours.  Very short notice to plan it all independently.

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10 minutes ago, bermudafan8 said:

and now they just disconnected me after 2 HOURS on hold.

Copper River was my last lodge before heading to the Royal via Prince Edward Sound. I know I could find an excursion out of Seward that is similar but Princess closed the excursion booking prior to the cancellation. This has been the booking from Hell over two years in the making.

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1 hour ago, bermudafan8 said:

I have been on hold with the 3rd varied Princess office for more than an hour. Our travel agent is not in today.  Our ship is to leave on 6/18. Then land of Copper, Kenai, Denali, McKinley, Fairbanks.  They cancelled ALL of our land.  No rerouting to Anchorage or anywhere.

And to make matters more complicated, we have a southbound that starts in Fairbanks, then Denali, Anchorage and the ship.  

Really ticked off at Princess.  They earlier cancelled our Hawaii cruise for this summer and the California / Mexico coastal cruise.

You might just do the land portion on your own.  Spend a day and check out getting a rental car in Anchorage with a return in Fairbank and then see about hotels for a do it yourself schedule.  Suggest going to Homer down on the Kenai along with Seward (exit Glacier)before going back to Anchorage and then doing the route north.  You should be able to find hotels.  It would be more flexible and you could probably save money.

 

Or return car in Anchorage and take train to Fairbanks from Anchorage.

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26 minutes ago, ldtr said:

You might just do the land portion on your own.  Spend a day and check out getting a rental car in Anchorage with a return in Fairbank and then see about hotels for a do it yourself schedule.  Suggest going to Homer down on the Kenai along with Seward (exit Glacier)before going back to Anchorage and then doing the route north.  You should be able to find hotels.  It would be more flexible and you could probably save money.

 

Or return car in Anchorage and take train to Fairbanks from Anchorage.

Good luck getting a rental car with this short notice. The only avail ones I can find are $250/day 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, wblotner66 said:

Good luck getting a rental car with this short notice. The only avail ones I can find are $250/day 

Considering that they are boarding ship on June 16 that means that they would arrive in Anchorage on June 23.  Just found one for a week rental with budget for $114 per day.  

 

One can either find a way to make it happen or throw in the towel and stay home.

 

I did a do it your self trip in Alaska last year when rental cars were even tighter than this year.

 

Even without a rental car you can get to Seward on the Kenai by train,  You can get to Homer and other places by shuttle.  You can to Talkeetna, Denali and Fairbanks from Anchorage by train.  Plenty of tours available from the towns you can easily get to.  

Edited by ldtr
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That wasn’t the entire notice as there are free cruises being offered under certain circumstances. I would take that and contact a company like Pursuit or go to the Princess Lodges website to see if I could cobble together a land tour plus transportation. We did the former a couple of years ago when we used part of a move over offer for an Alaska cruise. 
 

Here is the entire notice that a TA posted to FB:

 

"As we all know, the hospitality industry has been hit hard with the lowest number of applicants in the history of the industry and with its remoteness, Alaska employment numbers have been hit extremely hard. This challenge is why we have made the difficult decision to close the Copper River Wilderness Lodge for the remainder of the 2022 Alaska season.  This will result in cancellation of some tours that go to Copper River, but we were able to reduce some of the cancellations by changing the itineraries.  For some departures, Copper River nights will be replaced by nights in Kenai, McKinley or Anchorage depending on the tour.  Guests can rebook to other open tours for 2022 or 2023, but 2022 options may be limited.

There are three different scenarios –details below:

1.  Copper River Lodge will be closed, so your tour is being cancelled – through June departures.

Guests will have two options below which must be decided by June 20, 2022 after which they will receive option 2:

·  Option 1:  Receive 100% Refund and still keep your cruise for FREE (but they pay TF&PE, Air, Crew Appreciation, Princess Plus)

·  Option 2:  Receive 100% Refund and 25% Future Cruise Credit based on $ paid

2.  Copper River Lodge will be closed, so your tour is being cancelled – July and later

Guests will have two options below which must be decided by June 20, 2022 after which they will receive option 2:

·  Option 1:  Sail on the cruise portion of your booking at the best available cruise-only rate and receive $300/per person OBC

·  Option 2:  100% Refund and Offer $300/per person OBC via FCC good on any available 2022 Alaska voyage or alternate cruisetour – rebook yourself

3.  Copper River Lodge will be closed, but your tour has been modified– entire season

·  Your Copper nights are being replaced by Kenai nights (Tours MA6, MB6, RA6, RB6)

·  Your Copper nights are being replaced by McKinley Princess nights (Tours PA8, PB8)

·  Your Copper nights are being replaced by Anchorage nights (Tours UA1, UB1)

·  Note:  Some departures of these tours are also being cancelled as part of scenarios 1 and 2 above

·  Offer:  $100 OBC/per person will be added to bookings via a promo code

·  New bookings confirmations will be created to reflect the itinerary changes.

For all scenarios:

Princess will cover standard air change fees."

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My nieces were interested in cruise ship jobs working at such lodges before Covid, but not now, with so many job opportunities everywhere and without the covid risks of living in communal housing all summer. Inflation also hits Alaska badly, since everything has to be shipped in, and there's not much to do for the young people who staff the lodges and other land travel parts. I think it will be more of the norm in the coming decades, as the US and rest of the world grows older and has more demand for travel, health care, and service jobs, but there are fewer and fewer young people around to take the jobs, not to mention those who don't want to work any more, like addicts and those who want to spend their lives playing X-box in their indulgent parents basement until they're 40.  You see that in ship staffing issues now, where workers might decide it's better to work in a Filipino call center than work constantly in an N95 mask on a cruise ship, far from home, and even those who want to work on ships have to deal with the nightmare of getting a simple work visa (simple tourist visas to visit the US can take years now in several countries). 

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Posted (edited)

WOW...this is not the summer to visit Alaska.  I thought last summer was bad.  I feel for all of you who have planned so far in advance for a cruise to Alaska.  The disappointments are mounting.  

 

This has been a lesson in flexibility, endurance, and patience.  I know the seasoned travelers don't care much except to be on a ship cruising.  But for many, it was a well planned family reunion.  

 

I am glad I cruised when I did.  Early on, with many fewer passengers, I was glad to be on the test run itineraries.

 

Good Luck all.  At least some of you have had remarkable weather.  Beautiful photos are being shared.  Thank you.

Edited by cr8tiv1
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, cr8tiv1 said:

 

This has been a lesson in flexibility, endurance, and patience.  I know the seasoned travelers don't care much except to be on a ship cruising.  But for many, it was a well planned family reunion.  

 

Some seasoned travelers care a lot about the ports. The ship is just the transport from one port to another. I personally could care less about the ship experience and almost always cruise for the ports. December was the exception for me. I needed a break from COVID issues.

 

Though I do feel sorry for those who have never been to Alaska and this will be their one and only trip.

Edited by Coral
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15 hours ago, bermudafan8 said:

The only one of these places we haven't been to previously is Kenai.  I don't understand why they cancelled it all.  Still on hold - 2 hours.  Very short notice to plan it all independently.

Sorry to hear this.  Hopefully things work out for you.   I recommend looking at hotels, cabins, and B&Bs if you decide to book your own land tour.  We will be up there the last week of June and first 10 days of July.  We booked rooms in Kenai, Seward, Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Fairbanks 8 months ago and they already had limited availability, but we have a group of 6.  May be easier finding something for 2 (if it's 2 of you).  Best of luck!!

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13 hours ago, azbirdmom said:

That wasn’t the entire notice as there are free cruises being offered under certain circumstances. I would take that and contact a company like Pursuit or go to the Princess Lodges website to see if I could cobble together a land tour plus transportation. We did the former a couple of years ago when we used part of a move over offer for an Alaska cruise. 
 

Here is the entire notice that a TA posted to FB:

 

"As we all know, the hospitality industry has been hit hard with the lowest number of applicants in the history of the industry and with its remoteness, Alaska employment numbers have been hit extremely hard. This challenge is why we have made the difficult decision to close the Copper River Wilderness Lodge for the remainder of the 2022 Alaska season.  This will result in cancellation of some tours that go to Copper River, but we were able to reduce some of the cancellations by changing the itineraries.  For some departures, Copper River nights will be replaced by nights in Kenai, McKinley or Anchorage depending on the tour.  Guests can rebook to other open tours for 2022 or 2023, but 2022 options may be limited.

There are three different scenarios –details below:

1.  Copper River Lodge will be closed, so your tour is being cancelled – through June departures.

Guests will have two options below which must be decided by June 20, 2022 after which they will receive option 2:

·  Option 1:  Receive 100% Refund and still keep your cruise for FREE (but they pay TF&PE, Air, Crew Appreciation, Princess Plus)

·  Option 2:  Receive 100% Refund and 25% Future Cruise Credit based on $ paid

2.  Copper River Lodge will be closed, so your tour is being cancelled – July and later

Guests will have two options below which must be decided by June 20, 2022 after which they will receive option 2:

·  Option 1:  Sail on the cruise portion of your booking at the best available cruise-only rate and receive $300/per person OBC

·  Option 2:  100% Refund and Offer $300/per person OBC via FCC good on any available 2022 Alaska voyage or alternate cruisetour – rebook yourself

3.  Copper River Lodge will be closed, but your tour has been modified– entire season

·  Your Copper nights are being replaced by Kenai nights (Tours MA6, MB6, RA6, RB6)

·  Your Copper nights are being replaced by McKinley Princess nights (Tours PA8, PB8)

·  Your Copper nights are being replaced by Anchorage nights (Tours UA1, UB1)

·  Note:  Some departures of these tours are also being cancelled as part of scenarios 1 and 2 above

·  Offer:  $100 OBC/per person will be added to bookings via a promo code

·  New bookings confirmations will be created to reflect the itinerary changes.

For all scenarios:

Princess will cover standard air change fees."

This is a much more detailed post than the one I saw. It's good that they're giving people options.

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We just finished the10-day land tour and are currently on the Royal Princess' southbound journey.

 

Visited all five lodges and staffing problems were evident at every one, mostly at the restaurants. We were at Copper the day the staff was told about the closing. Surprisingly the staff wasn't disappointed as they are all being transferred to the other lodges, predominantly Denali. At Copper they didn't have much to do on their days off either. Denali IMHO was most in need of extra staff so it seems to me a good decision as the customer experience was definitely off in the F&B area at all the lodges.

 

As an aside, Kenai was by far the nicest lodge. DW and I commented we could simply have stayed a week there before joining they Royal!

 

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17 hours ago, azbirdmom said:

That wasn’t the entire notice as there are free cruises being offered under certain circumstances. I would take that and contact a company like Pursuit or go to the Princess Lodges website to see if I could cobble together a land tour plus transportation. We did the former a couple of years ago when we used part of a move over offer for an Alaska cruise. 
 

Here is the entire notice that a TA posted to FB:

 

"As we all know, the hospitality industry has been hit hard with the lowest number of applicants in the history of the industry and with its remoteness, Alaska employment numbers have been hit extremely hard. This challenge is why we have made the difficult decision to close the Copper River Wilderness Lodge for the remainder of the 2022 Alaska season.  This will result in cancellation of some tours that go to Copper River, but we were able to reduce some of the cancellations by changing the itineraries.  For some departures, Copper River nights will be replaced by nights in Kenai, McKinley or Anchorage depending on the tour.  Guests can rebook to other open tours for 2022 or 2023, but 2022 options may be limited.

There are three different scenarios –details below:

1.  Copper River Lodge will be closed, so your tour is being cancelled – through June departures.

Guests will have two options below which must be decided by June 20, 2022 after which they will receive option 2:

·  Option 1:  Receive 100% Refund and still keep your cruise for FREE (but they pay TF&PE, Air, Crew Appreciation, Princess Plus)

·  Option 2:  Receive 100% Refund and 25% Future Cruise Credit based on $ paid

2.  Copper River Lodge will be closed, so your tour is being cancelled – July and later

Guests will have two options below which must be decided by June 20, 2022 after which they will receive option 2:

·  Option 1:  Sail on the cruise portion of your booking at the best available cruise-only rate and receive $300/per person OBC

·  Option 2:  100% Refund and Offer $300/per person OBC via FCC good on any available 2022 Alaska voyage or alternate cruisetour – rebook yourself

3.  Copper River Lodge will be closed, but your tour has been modified– entire season

·  Your Copper nights are being replaced by Kenai nights (Tours MA6, MB6, RA6, RB6)

·  Your Copper nights are being replaced by McKinley Princess nights (Tours PA8, PB8)

·  Your Copper nights are being replaced by Anchorage nights (Tours UA1, UB1)

·  Note:  Some departures of these tours are also being cancelled as part of scenarios 1 and 2 above

·  Offer:  $100 OBC/per person will be added to bookings via a promo code

·  New bookings confirmations will be created to reflect the itinerary changes.

For all scenarios:

Princess will cover standard air change fees."

Thanks for posting this. Can you tell me the name of the Facebook page you took this from? Thanks 

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15 minutes ago, BabsinTX said:

I just read today that Alaska is at a all-time low unemployment rate of 4.9%.  That might explain the closure.

Almost all staff we encountered were out-of-state (and country) seasonal workers.

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6 minutes ago, beg3yrs said:

Almost all staff we encountered were out-of-state (and country) seasonal workers.

Yes, but if they found jobs at home they aren't traveling to Alaska.

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14 hours ago, rj59 said:

My nieces were interested in cruise ship jobs working at such lodges before Covid, but not now, with so many job opportunities everywhere and without the covid risks of living in communal housing all summer. Inflation also hits Alaska badly, since everything has to be shipped in, and there's not much to do for the young people who staff the lodges and other land travel parts. I think it will be more of the norm in the coming decades, as the US and rest of the world grows older and has more demand for travel, health care, and service jobs, but there are fewer and fewer young people around to take the jobs, not to mention those who don't want to work any more, like addicts and those who want to spend their lives playing X-box in their indulgent parents basement until they're 40.  You see that in ship staffing issues now, where workers might decide it's better to work in a Filipino call center than work constantly in an N95 mask on a cruise ship, far from home, and even those who want to work on ships have to deal with the nightmare of getting a simple work visa (simple tourist visas to visit the US can take years now in several countries). 

There is also the factor that in the US college and high school students used to have part time jobs, and worked during the summer months.  Now not so much.  High school students to busy doing other things, including the activities that colleges seem to want this days.  As far as college students, for many why work, when loans are so freely available.  When they do work many do not want to put in the type of work that the lodges require.   The companies that run the lodges and concessions in the national parks are experiencing the same issues.

 

When a local fast food establishment is paying $20 per hour, no need to go off and work at a cruise line lodge.

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