Alaska Cruise Royal Caribbean

Old Feb 4th, 2006, 06:40 PM
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Alaska Cruise Royal Caribbean

We are going on a southbound Alaska cruise on the Radiance of the Seas. Our ports of call are Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Skagway and Juneau. Please advise if there are any must-do activities, or any must-sees for a couple in their late 20's who enjoy sightseeing, nature and adventure. Any pointers are appreciated. Thanks!
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Old Feb 4th, 2006, 07:16 PM
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We sailed the Radiance 2 years ago. She is a gorgeous ship. You might get better replies if you post this under "Cruises." I have never been to Alaska. Sorry on the ship, Radiance.
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Old Feb 5th, 2006, 06:48 AM
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Take a look at a shore excursion list and narrow down your interests. There are WAY too many excellent tours to recommend. List your top 5 then you can get some specific information. There are many "must sees" that's way you have so many repeat visitors and Alaska isn't a one time trip.

List at least your budget, type of tours, flights, culture, hikes, wildlife etc.
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Old Feb 7th, 2006, 09:48 AM
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Okay, here's more pointed information. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Skagway: Sawtooth Mountain Nature Hike: this includes a 20 minute ride on the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway to the point where you hike. There is also a trip back to town on the train. My question for this excursion is: "Do you think that this is enough time on the train to get a feel for the true wonder and overall experience of the route?"

Also, we would like to do dogsledding, but it is very pricey due to the time of year we are traveling, and the need for a helicopter ride to the glacier because our trip is in June. Is the cheaper version of dogsledding on a sled with wheels a good experience, or just not worth it?

I have not found a large range of things that interest us in Icy Strait Point. Does anyone have any suggestions for this port of call?

We also are going to do the lumberjack show, although I am not sure right now which port that is in. Do you recommend the lumberjack show or not?

We would like to go to the brewery. Is that worth the time?

Also, will we be able to see whales while cruising, or do we need to take an excursion in order to whale-watch?

Finally, gold-panning, interesting and fun or a tourist trap?

I have sooo many questions. Any help is appreciated!
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Old Feb 7th, 2006, 10:59 PM
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20 min. on the White Pass RR is not really worth it in my opinion, since going over the "White Pass" much farther up is the forte of this trip. As only a suggestion, A great hike you can do on your own for free is the Dewey Lakes, Upper and Lower, depending on your time and energy. Trailhead is between 3-4th across the tracks, then uphill.

If you go on the above free hike, it would free up funds for the top tour, glacier dog sledding. There is no comparism to a cart ride and at $100, I thought it only OK when it was $30. Do you have time in interior Alaska- strongly recommended!!! If so, you have the option for glacier trekking, not dog sledding but a great tour for about $75 since no flying. 2 hours from Anchorage www.micaguides.com

Hoonah is excellent for humpbacks and if going in August brown bears.

The Lumberjack show is in Ketchikan. It's OK if of interest?? Brewery is in Juneau, can get there via city bus and walking, but TIME is necessary. Otherwise take a cab.

You need a whale watch, unless you are going to be happy with 1 min. distant views. Very very few people are willing to invest the considerable amount of time necessary for whale watching from a cruise ship. I always do and usually less than 5 other people out. You also need to know the areas, be at the front of the ship, dress appropriately, have a good pair of wide angle binoculars, with 10x50's my top choice. Humpbacks are the most common sighting.

As for gold panning, mostly fake, but fun.
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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 09:29 AM
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Budget Queen, Thank you for your wealth of information! This trip was a surprise from my husband for our 1 year anniversary. So, unfortunately, we will not have time for the interior. I cannot complain, however, since it was a wonderful surprise! Maybe we will save the funds for the dogsledding and do a longer train ride based on your input. Thanks again for taking the time to provide me with all of the advice!
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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 10:57 AM
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Our family took a wonderful cruise on a different Royal Carribean ship several summers ago and we really enjoyed the whale watching cruise we took out of Juneau. My family took the Skagway train (I was in the sickbay) which they enjoyed but not as much as the whale watching trip.

FYI: the excursions that required helicopters as part of their trip were all cancelled due to poor weather. I was glad we had not opted for one of those as we would have been left scrambling to figure out what else we could do with short notice. I don't know how often weather problems ground the helicopters, but it might be worth trying to research if you decide on one of those types of trips.

Have a great time!
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