Alaska on the Oosterdam

Jun 17th, 2010, 08:58 PM
  #1  
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Alaska on the Oosterdam

We will be cruising to Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka with 2 teenagers in July. Any advice/suggestions for "must see/do" shore excursions? I would also appreciate any insider information about Oosterdam.
Kimbe is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2010, 10:57 AM
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Can't believe there has been no reply to this one ...

Juneau - lots to do. Mendenhall is a must stop.
Misty Fjord would be my choice for Ketchikan.
Been to Sitka twice. There are lots of historical stuff there as it was the capital of Alaska under Tsarist Russia.
Wildlife (especially otter and bald eagle) viewing, historic parks, Raptor center if you like those kind of stuff. St. Michael is worth a visit and Castle Hill offers great veiw and clsoe to tender pier. You don't need shore excursions for those two stops.

Have not been on Oosterdam so I can't comment.

Good luck!
Eschew is offline  
Jun 27th, 2010, 10:54 AM
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We just returned from the same 7-day cruise on the O. I arranged for two independent shore excursions (didn't go through HAL). While in Juneau, we went whale watching with Harv and Marv's--http://www.harvandmarvs.com/aboutus2.html. We had eight in our group so was able to book an exclusive family tour on the M/V Alaskan. The tour included a stop at the Mendenhall Glacier. Highly recommend Harv and Marv's--we had a wonderful time and they really know their stuff. Not only was the trip fun but extremely educational, and they provided top notch binoculars!! Their boats are also small enough that is it a much more personal experience. If you do this try to book a morning tour as I think the whales are more active then. While in Ketchikan, we booked a Misty Fjords seaplane trip through Southeast Aviation--http://www.southeastaviation.com. They even landed the seaplane on the fjord and we were able to get out onto a small granite island in the middle of the fjords. Awesome. I highly recommend Southeast Aviation as well. I saw recommendations for both companies on cruisecritic.com. Although these type excursions are not cheap, for us they were well worth the money. FYI--We were travelling with our 19-year-old twins and they thought both tours were wonderful as well.

As for the Oosterdam, we really liked the ship and the service was wonderful. Very friendly employees. After about a day, we found it very easy to find our way around. We did open seating dining but ended up finding a waiter we loved so requested his table the remainder of the cruise. While in Glacier Bay, we found the best spot for viewing was on the small deck in front of the fitness area. Very few people were there. After the ship turned around, we also had a great view from our balconies (starboard side). The ship did tend to "shut down" around 10 or 11 pm, and my twins never did find anyone to "hang out" with. Not a huge surprise for us though as the Alaskan cruise seems to attract an older crowd. Hope you have a wonderful cruise!!!
normalite is offline  
Jun 30th, 2010, 04:30 PM
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I echo Normalite's comments about Harvandmarvs. They are very reputable and very good at what they do.
Eschew is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 09:50 AM
  #5  
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Thanks to you both, Eschew and Normalite, for taking the time to respond and your valuable advice. Time to book shore excursions!
Kimbe is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 03:25 PM
  #6  
 
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Please write a trip report after you get back and tell everyone how great a time you had ....
Eschew is offline  
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