Princess Cruises is arguably one of the best cruise lines to do Alaska with for a number of reasons. Top-rated self-contained lodges, amazing shore excursions and cruise tours by land, air and sea and destination immersion that gets travelers up close and personal with all Alaska has to offer are some of those reasons why Princess Cruises continues to dominate the market. Here is another one.
Each year about this time, just after the end of he Alaska cruise season, Princess Cruises celebrates the year’s favorite local tour operators with special shipboard ceremonies during announcing their annual C.R.U.I.S.E. service awards. Honoring the best shore excursion experiences and guides in each port on Alaska itineraries, the awards are based largely on passenger feedback throughout the season.
“Shore excursions, especially in such an exciting destination as Alaska, are so important in providing passengers with the unforgettable moments that highlight an Alaska vacation,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “We’re proud to have such a long-running program in place to recognize the contribution these local tour operators make to providing our passengers with the best shore experience possible.”
The awards recognize the most popular tours from Ketchikan to Seward, individual guides and tours and dock representatives in the communities where Princess ships call. Chosen from the extensive line-up of Alaska shore excursions offered to Princess passengers, the awards highlight the important role local tour operators play in each community as part of a passenger’s overall cruise experience. Winners are determined largely by tour scores and comments made on passenger surveys.
The Alaska awards began in 2000 and cap off a season-long effort to recognize the role that Alaskan-owned tour partners play in passengers’ cruise experiences. Tour Guide of the Season and Dock Representative of the Season award winners receive $100, a letter of commendation, a plaque, a ship tour and lunch onboard with their family. Operators of the Shore Excursion of the Season receive a plaque and a letter of commendation, a tour of the ship, and lunch onboard for company officials.
The 2012 tour, tours and operator winners are:
Co-Shore Excursion of the Season
Glacier Discovery by Helicopter, TEMSCO Helicopters
Golden Glassblowing Experience at Jewell Gardens, Jewell Gardens
Heli-Hike & Rail Adventure, Packer Expeditions
Sealife Discovery & Crab Extravaganza, Seaquest Explorations
Co-Tour Guide of the Season
Shaynee Seipke, Gold Rush Tours / TEMSCO Helicopters
Adriane Honerbrink, Gastineau Guiding Company
Don Andrews, Alaska Amphibious Tours
Rob Holston, Lighthouse Excursions
Aaron Schmidt, Jewell Gardens
Matt Hayashida, Gold Rush Sled Dogs / Klondike Gold Fields
Dock Representative of the Season
Jackie Schulz, juneau jeep adventures
Jill Gates, The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show
Karin Lombard, Klondike Gold Fields
The C.R.U.I.S.E. (Courtesy, Respect, Unfailing in Service Excellence) program is the longest running customer service program in the cruise industry and Princess employees work it every day. It’s the heartfelt greeting you receive from the Captain, the smiling face of your stateroom steward, or the waiter who knows you prefer a decaf espresso. And it’s how they have treated their most guests for more than 40 years running.
Flickr photo by blmiers2
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