aLaSkA ExPeRTs

May 28th, 2003, 08:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 187
aLaSkA ExPeRTs

I hope an Alaska cruise ? will be acceptable, after all last I checked Alaska was still part of the 50 and we do ask driving and flying ?'s here - besides not much traffic on the cruise board.

Shore excursions
1) Juneau - can anyone tell me anything about the whale watch boats? $, worth it, book on the cruise or in port???
2) Skagway - "...White Pass RR..."

Cruise Line
3) for those who have cruised to Alaska several times - would you prefer a nicer cruise ship with not as good an itin. or older ship with better itin.?
I'm looking at Vision of the Seas but with a Hubbard Glacier stop OR
Sun Princess with Glacier Bay stop??
Big_Daddy is offline  
May 28th, 2003, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Head over to the Alaska board at and all of your questions will be answered to the point of exhaustion.

I personally wouldn't take an Inside Passage round trip, but if that's your only choice I'd pick Princess over RCI any day - much more experience in Alaska.

In general you'll save money waiting till you get to a port to arrange excursions.
Gardyloo is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 03:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hey Big Daddy:

I just got back from the inside passage so maybe I can help. I wouldn't take a cruise, but wondered if have you considered the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry. I just took it and enjoyed it so much. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I didn't have a lot of time in Juneau, but I hear that Captain Larry's whale watching trip is the one to go on or there are 2 companies that offer trips to Tracy Arm (one is Adventure Bound). I am sorry I didn't have time to do that and hope to go up again and do that soon. There are also flightseeing trips to Glacier Bay from Juneau.

In Skagway, the WPRR trip is wonderful. I really enjoyed it. The views are beautiful and the history of the railroad is so interesting.

I would bypass Ketchikan altogether next time. I really didn't enjoy that town. Can I answwer any other questions?

In regards to booking, it all depends on when you are going. The summer months are really busy, so the excusions can fill up quickly.

Good luck.
Deborah is offline  
May 29th, 2003, 05:21 PM
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Please tell me more about your Alaska Marine Highway Experience. I am doing "cruising" with them this summer.

OaktownTraveler is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 03:48 AM
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We traveled from Bellingham to Skagway on the ferry and were very lucky to be the first northbound trip in 2001 after the Columbia was re-fitted. The cabins are very small but not bad. The bathroom was a compact unit with a roomy shower. The food is iffy. We had most of our meals in the cafeteria. The dining room just wasn't worth the additional expense. The US Forest Service person who gave about 6 short talks per day was fantastic. Most of daylight hours were spent on in the observation lounge. Friends preferred pitching a tent when they traveled on the ferry but be forewarned that sleeping on deck is very popular and deck chairs go fast. Bring binnoculars, some good books and take the opportunity to talk with other passengers. Would definitely go again.
dfrostnh is online now  
May 30th, 2003, 04:52 AM
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I have thought about AMH but will probably go with family if we do it and think they would prefer the luxury of the cruise ship.
In the future I will definetly look into the Marine H.
Thanks for the comments

Big_Daddy is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 08:34 AM
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I was on the Kennicott from Ketchikan to Juneau. I believe it's the newest boat on the ferry line. Very nice, clean with a restaurant, bar, movie theater and plenty of space for camping or sleeping on the solarium deck. Of course, I went this month (May) and it still was not as busy as it gets later in the season. I had a cabin for this portion of my trip and it was clean and the shower had a lot of power. There are public showers if you don't have full facilities. I was on the Taku for the Juneau/Skagway/Juneau additional portions of my trip. I was only a walk on since these trips only took 5-1/2 hours. This boat was not as big or nice as the Kennicott, but still was pleasant. I met tons of people and thoroughly enjoyed my experience and I would take the ferry again in a heartbeat. The only thing I didn't enjoy was when all the ships came into the ports. The little towns were overrun with thousands of people. Not my idea of being in the "wild". Enjoy.
Deborah is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 02:04 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 804

Thank you. This was very helpful. I had originally planned a luxury cruise to Alaska but got all caught up in really wanting to "see" more of Alaska and so it went.

I also could not imagine paying what cruise ships want you to pay as a single traveller.

I am doing a 30 day excursion involving The Alaska Marine Highway, The Alaska Rail and a bus here, a car there a plane here and so on so forth... and,I am quite excited!

Oaktown Traveller
OaktownTraveler is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2003, 07:38 AM
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You will love it. I like the flexibility of the ferry and I will do it again. The boats are great and the cost of food very reasonable in the restaurants. Do you know which boats you will be on? My favorite was the Kennicott, but I heard the Columbia is also very nice. There is also a "fast" ferry that starts up next year. I don't know the route(s) yet, but I am very interested to find out. You will love Alaska.
Deborah is offline  
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