alaska cruise excursions

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Jun 1st, 2004, 05:22 PM
  #1
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alaska cruise excursions

me and my wife are taking alaska cruise.we are in early 50's.we enjoy scenic nature trips.is cruise ship ecursions or private arrangements better.we are going on diamond princess on july 11th.ports include Ketchikan,juneu,skagway,victoria.would appreciate any help.....thanks
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Jun 1st, 2004, 07:22 PM
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Did this cruise a few weeks ago. Did the whale watching (juneau) and wildlife excursions in each alaskan city. It was just wonderful. Saw bears, bald eagles, harbor seals, humpbacks, and schooners (birds that look like puffins). One of my favorite vacations ever. Have a great trip.
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Jun 1st, 2004, 08:03 PM
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thanks for info.did you go with princess tours or independent agents?is there any advantage?.
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Jun 2nd, 2004, 12:22 AM
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I booked direct with Princess. Only to ensure that if we were late the ship would still wait for us. Also be advised that sometimes it did take a bit of wait time to get off the ship. Some tours ran late but on our cruise we left at the extact sail times(except Victoria where we did not stop), the gangway closes 30 mins prior to departure.
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Jun 2nd, 2004, 06:21 AM
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thanks much.i will remember departure time if i book independently.
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Jun 3rd, 2004, 02:43 PM
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Going in July will have less wildlife opportunities for land animals, they are at peak in May. But whale watching is superb out of Juneau. Myself- I never book ship tours- poor planing is usually the fault of the cruiser for missing the ship. I always book my tours for early in the port day. Alaska venders are also VERY GOOD at scheduling tours based on your ship arrival/departure. Independents are the way to go for me- superior tours, smaller groups, sometimes savings. I have gone on perhaps 100 independent tours in Alaska- never missed the ship.
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Jun 5th, 2004, 07:03 AM
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thanks budgetqueen.i learned a lot from your other posts as well.i will try independent tours.if for any reason the ship ia late in arrival would they accomidate?.anybody has any experience?.
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Jun 6th, 2004, 12:46 AM
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You mean if the ship arrives late in port?? The independents in Alaska would refund if they can not reschedule. Understand some tours- especially flights, won't have space likely. Cancelations happen unfortunately. But ships generally arrive on time- very rare they do not.
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Jun 6th, 2004, 09:03 PM
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We booked independently. The only time we were disappointed was when we went to the Saxman Native Village in Ketchikan. Our independent tour guide was really good, but the cruise lines had the place under its thumb. Only the people on the cruise tours were allowed in to hear the artist who was carving the totem pole speak and to see the native dancing. So, watch out for that sort of thing as you are booking.
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