Alaska with poor mobility

Old Feb 2nd, 2022, 09:48 PM
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Alaska with poor mobility

Would a cruise to Alaska still be worthwhile or enjoyable for someone who could not participate in excursions that required any walking or stamina? Thanks.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2022, 04:59 AM
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I think so. We sailed the Majestic Princess to AK last year and I kept thinking that my disabled mother could probably do this. None of our ports used tenders but do ask about that. Our ports were Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. In Juneau and Ketchikan there were a lot of stores very close to the dock. In Skagway it was a short walk to town but a taxi would be very inexpensive. The best day of all was the scenic cruising where you see glaciers and you will not get off the ship. Throughout the trip we saw whales and eagles from the ship. Bring binoculars for a better view of the eagles.

I think this is an excellent idea.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2022, 05:21 AM
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How did you like the Majestic?
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Old Feb 3rd, 2022, 05:22 AM
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There are several excursions that don't require a lot of walking. We took some by small boats, small planes, and the White Pass railway is an easy one.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2022, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by schmerl View Post
There are several excursions that don't require a lot of walking. We took some by small boats, small planes, and the White Pass railway is an easy one.
Did they feel safe to you? I have always wanted to go on a sea plane. Did they have those?
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Old Feb 3rd, 2022, 08:54 AM
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I loved the Majestic Princess. The White Pass train was fun too.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2022, 10:55 AM
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Absolutely worthwhile. Lots of passengers have mobility problems and there are excursions in every port that would be fine.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2022, 02:25 PM
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If you chose a cruise with Glacier Bay, you can watch from your balcony. The Captain swivels the ship from side to side. Majestic has a reputation for shallow balconies.

Princess and Holland America have the best access to Glacier Bay.

Do you need assistance getting on and off the ship?

If you just mean you won't be hiking, you can do shore excursions fine.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2022, 03:28 PM
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"required any walking or stamina" means what exactly?
If you mean minimal walking then yes its def worthwhile. You can find activities that are easy to do, even say a bus tour to view scenery.

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Old Feb 3rd, 2022, 03:42 PM
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It is actually more of a stamina issue than mobility. I am OK as long as it is a slow, more of a meandering pace, for short, easy distances on even, flat surfaces, and where I can stop if need be every couple of blocks. I can get up and down one flight of steps as long as no one is in a rush, so on and off the ship. So many excursions seem to require hiking to a bus or train, or boat etc. on uneven ground, and I can’t keep up with most people even walking.

DH thinks a Summer cruise to Alaska might replace a Spring cruise to the Caribbean. Just starting to plan and get ideas.
If any of you have taken teens, did they enjoy it? We will have to consider our GD (will be 13 then) when picking a ship, but she and her Mom could do more strenuous excursions if they choose. They are both warm weather, beach people, but like being outdoors and camping too, so think they would like the wildlife. We all hate being cold.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2022, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Sassafrass View Post
It is actually more of a stamina issue than mobility. I am OK as long as it is a slow, more of a meandering pace, for short, easy distances on even, flat surfaces, and where I can stop if need be every couple of blocks. I can get up and down one flight of steps as long as no one is in a rush, so on and off the ship. So many excursions seem to require hiking to a bus or train, or boat etc. on uneven ground, and I can’t keep up with most people even walking.

DH thinks a Summer cruise to Alaska might replace a Spring cruise to the Caribbean. Just starting to plan and get ideas.
If any of you have taken teens, did they enjoy it? We will have to consider our GD (will be 13 then) when picking a ship, but she and her Mom could do more strenuous excursions if they choose. They are both warm weather, beach people, but like being outdoors and camping too, so think they would like the wildlife. We all hate being cold.
Getting tired of the cold, gloom and snow too!
Getting back to the point yes there should be plenty to do that require little effort.
The White Pass RR required for us an easy walk to the train for example and the views are spectacular.
I do recall some bus tours as well so should be tolerable excursions in every port.
Alaska is so beautiful that I think a teen would be fine with it especially if they can make friends on the ship and if it’s a newer ship with all the bells and whistles so much the better.
All the best!
Larry

Last edited by jacketwatch; Feb 3rd, 2022 at 04:45 PM.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2022, 05:37 PM
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Larry, Thanks,
I realize I said any walking, and that was a silly mistake in my choice of words. I can walk, but asthma and other health issues greatly limit how fast, how far and the surfaces I can navigate. I have been on excursions and tours that would be exhausting or impossible now. Ten or 15 minutes on a flat surface, slow walking, and I need to sit and rest. My concern is how worthwhile it would be to go to Alaska with those limitations.
It seems doable, from all of your comments.

Last edited by Sassafrass; Feb 3rd, 2022 at 05:40 PM.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2022, 08:39 PM
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Lots of excursions have little to no walking. Like the already mentioned train. Or boat trips -- typically you board buses a block or less from the ship and are dropped at the pier to board the excursion boats. And some you board the bus and are taken to a site like a village or museum.

Not endorsing any particular tours/excursions but take a look at these to give you an idea . . . https://alaskashoretours.com/tour-ty...CAAEgL_4vD_BwE
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Old Feb 3rd, 2022, 09:02 PM
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We did a multi-generational cruise to Alaska with my in-laws, my husband and his siblings and spouses and the four grandchildren. We had a terrific time. My. mother-in-law used a wheelchair some of the time, even though she was still fairly mobile. With the use of the wheelchair, she was able to conserve her strength and had a great time. We were actually able to move to the head of some of the security lines (even though we didn't ask) which was an added bonus.
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Old Feb 4th, 2022, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Sassafrass View Post
Did they feel safe to you? I have always wanted to go on a sea plane. Did they have those?
Yes. On our stop in Ketchikan we took an excursion through Misty Fjords. Took a pontoon boat out and a five seater sea plane back. They had some larger sea planes as well.
The best was a flight we took through the glaciers. That was not a sea plane but was a small 12 seat plane. It was spectacular.

Last edited by schmerl; Feb 4th, 2022 at 07:04 AM.
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Old Feb 4th, 2022, 07:35 AM
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Thank you, everyone. This is sounding more and more interesting, expensive and not easy logistically for us, but exciting.
How would you compare it with other cruises and places you have traveled? I know it is all personal, but we have traveled mostly in Europe with Spring vacation cruises to the Caribbean. We loved Turkey with Ephesus and a balloon flight in Cappadocia. I hoped our next cruise would be the Baltic with St Petersburg, but the situation now seems iffy for that. Of course, it is a completely different experience. So, how does the wow factor of Alaska compare? The Baltic versus Alaska? Some of you have been to many more places and certainly many different places on cruises. I value the opinions of more experienced travelers.
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Old Feb 4th, 2022, 09:55 AM
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If you can handle a boat, the whale watching in Juneau was fantastic.
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Old Feb 4th, 2022, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Sassafrass View Post
Thank you, everyone. This is sounding more and more interesting, expensive and not easy logistically for us, but exciting.
How would you compare it with other cruises and places you have traveled? I know it is all personal, but we have traveled mostly in Europe with Spring vacation cruises to the Caribbean. We loved Turkey with Ephesus and a balloon flight in Cappadocia. I hoped our next cruise would be the Baltic with St Petersburg, but the situation now seems iffy for that. Of course, it is a completely different experience. So, how does the wow factor of Alaska compare? The Baltic versus Alaska? Some of you have been to many more places and certainly many different places on cruises. I value the opinions of more experienced travelers.
There is nothing like Alaska and we have done the Baltic and many other cruises. I suppose the closest to it would be the Norwegian fjords in terms of scenery. We are actually looking to book another Alaska cruise as we have talked about it for so long.

Do be aware that SPB is two long days for most excursions with a lot of walking to see most of the major sites unless you want to scale it back and AFAIK you need to use either a ships tour or a tour offered by a Russian tour company just to get off the ship and avoid getting a Russian visa. At least this is how it used to be.

The Baltic vs. Alaska? Night and day really. The Baltic hits major cities and is port intensive whereas Alaska is remarkable for its scenery, wildlife and natural beauty with way fewer people.



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Old Feb 4th, 2022, 10:12 AM
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My Alaska Cruise (a 7 day one from Vancouver) was one of the most 'wow' trips I've taken. And no logistical issues at all - fly in, take the cruise line coach or a taxi to the port, board, cruise, de-board - in our case it was in Seward, then cruise line coach to Anchorage and fly home.


(we didn't fly home but stayed another week in Alaska -- only a little sightseeing unfortunately because we were mainly visiting relatives in Anchorage and Wasilla. Next time I won't tell the rels I'm coming so I can explore on my own )
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Old Feb 4th, 2022, 11:50 AM
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The highlight for me both times I went was Glacier Bay, which is included in the price of the cruise.

As far as the "expensive" part, you can have a great trip without booking expensive excursions. DIY or private tours may work for larger family groups.

It may be easier to line up doing a Seattle or San Francisco round trip vs a one way from Seward or Whittier. I have heard that a record number of ships will be based in Alaska this year, and expect that it might be even more chaotic in the ports than prepandemic. Last summer there were also major labor shortages at the restaurants and hotels in Seward and Whittier since everyone who might have gone to Europe apparently decided Alaska was the place to be.

Even more reason to not do a one-way between Anchorage to Vancouver (although that would normally be my preference).

Last edited by mlgb; Feb 4th, 2022 at 11:55 AM.
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