I first visited AK after my family moved here from New Jersey. I was planning on spending the whole summer in Alaska, so my mom suggested that I get a job while I was here. She was working on board the Midnight Sun Express, Princess’ luxury rail cars and suggested that I apply there as well. I did, and within a week I was training as the on board tour sales representative. I was selling the optional tours that are offered at Princess’ Wilderness Lodges. It was great. Not only was I working on a train, but I was lucky enough to be able to enjoy the amazing tours that I was selling to our guests while they were visiting Alaska. I was landing on glaciers, flying around Mt. McKinley, rafting, learning about dog sledding and so much more! I couldn’t believe that this was my job.
Well, the season ended and I went back home. I knew it wasn’t going to be for long, though. I soon packed up and moved back to Alaska…in the middle of winter. I enrolled at the local university and knew I was here to stay. The next summer, 1999, I again worked on board the Midnight Sun Express as a tour sales representative. Then, in 2000, I returned as the On Board Manager. Each summer was better than the last. I went hiking, fishing, berry picking and met so many great people. The three seasons working on board the train were awesome. I learned so much, experienced more than I would have ever imagined, and saw more of Alaska than most people dream. I knew I wanted to make my career with Princess, and I soon had the opportunity.
In 2001, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to join the Rail Division in a year-round management role. I enjoyed two great years here before I transferred to the Anchorage Division where I worked closely with the cruise ships and logistics of Alaska, moving people and luggage throughout the state. After another two years in Anchorage, I had the opportunity to experience a part of Alaska that I had not yet visited. I joined the team at the Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge. The newest and smallest of Princess’ lodges is located about 3.5 hours northeast of Anchorage. I am now the Rooms Division Manager, overseeing the front desk, tour desk, bellstaff and housekeeping departments of the Lodge’s operations. Each summer is better than the last. I am lucky to enjoy amazing opportunities every day. I’ve caught numerous red salmon, silver salmon and huge king salmon. I’ve visited the old copper mine of Kennicott, situated in Wrangell St.-Elias National Park, the largest national park in the US. I’ve been 4-wheeling next to the Alaska Pipeline and seen the northern lights, all in one summer.
I have been extremely fortunate to live and work in Alaska, and Princess has afforded me to do so. This is the dream vacation for so many, but I am lucky enough to experience it every day all year long.
THE ALASKA EXPERIENCE: