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Old 05-18-2011, 08:24 PM   #16
neoavatara
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Originally Posted by nickcapp View Post
Can you provide any details of the helicopter safety and such?

I'm a little nervouse to take the trip. We have never been in a helicopter before.

My first helicopter ride too. Took my wife and five year old...and didn't feel anything but awe the whole trip. If you are scared of heights...well, that is another story ;-)

I felt as safe as you could be in a small air vehicle. Actually, the only time I felt fear was walking on the glacier...and looking down into crevasses a few hundred feet deep!
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:43 PM   #17
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We did the Mammoth Waterfalls Zip Line tour in Skagway, and it was great (well, scary for me, great for dh, dd15 and dd11!) I can't say enough nice things about the guides there. I did 5 out of the 11 lines, and then the belayed me to the ground. The boys did them all, and had a great time! 5 out of 5 stars for this one.

OH - thank you for posting!!! We booked this one and I was worried since it is a new facility!!!
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:44 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by lenzs4 View Post
We did the Mammoth Waterfalls Zip Line tour in Skagway, and it was great (well, scary for me, great for dh, dd15 and dd11!) I can't say enough nice things about the guides there. I did 5 out of the 11 lines, and then the belayed me to the ground. The boys did them all, and had a great time! 5 out of 5 stars for this one.

OH - thank you for posting!!! We booked this one and I was worried since it is a new facility!!!
It's just gorgeous, and seemed very safe (although I can't really judge that). The guides are new, but I think they've spent hundreds of hours playing (ahem, testing) the lines. They were very big on safety, and did a training session. The guides were just the nicest young men I've ever met - so gentlemanly.
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:35 PM   #19
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Skagway -- we did the White Pass RR. Was a good trip. I wanted to do the trip in combination with something else -- Liarsville or dog sledding -- but couldn't get the group to agree on anything so we just did the train and really enjoyed it. Not that you need much time to wander around Skagway but we had plenty of time there and used that as our one big shopping spot.

Juneau -- we did the Best of Juneau tour. Basically it was a whale watching tour with lunch and a quick tour to Mendenhall. It was a 100+ boat so it was a little difficult when everyone ran to one side of the boat to see. Would definately opt for a smaller boat next time. Part of the problem was that the whales weren't really cooperative -- they were sticking close to the shoreline to feed so yes we saw whales but just quick peeks. Had better whale watching from the ship going into Tracy Arm.

Ketchikan -- we did the Bering Sea Crab Fishing Boat tour. This was the best excursion of the trip. They did a nice job with the tour. They have several differernt types of pots already soaking with crabs in them. They go to each pot and show you how they throw the hook, bring up the pot then they show you the crabs (and any other sea life that wanders in). You can take pictures with the crew and crabs. Then they close up the pot and drop it back in the bay. While going from spot to spot, they tell you fishing stories. Some of our party didn't want to do it because they were afraid of being seasick -- wasn't a problem you don't go too far out and are in the bay the whole time so the water is pretty smooth.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:02 AM   #20
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Skagway - Liarsville Disney Experience - 3 out of 5 stars - entertainng enough, just not...well...Disneyish.

Juneau - Whale Watching & Wildlife - 5 out of 5 stars - major luck of the draw here...our bus had 10 on it, another bus had maybe 15, we loaded the 25 people and off we went. It probably seated 150. We had whales swim up to about 50 feet from the boat at one point...even the employees ran and grabbed their cameras...many sightings...they predicted that the little ones would lose interest 1/2 way in and pulled out crafts to keep them busy while the adults continued to look outside. The employee said the trip before ours sailed full and the boat was packed, but our sailing felt like a private charter.

Ketchikan - Lumberjack Show Disney Experience - 4 out of 5. Sit on the side closest to the door...the sun in early May reflected off the roof and right into the eyes of the far seats. We were warmer for sure, but the glare was annoying.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:29 AM   #21
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Skagway - We did the White Pass Railroad and Liarsville show. The train trip was magnificent - our kids (6 and 8) absolutely loved it. Narration occurred at various points on the trip (it was not constant) and added immensely to the experience. We were able to go outside the cars (on the platforms that connected the cars), which was both refreshing and exhilarating. We were outside when going through one of the tunnels, which delighted the kids. Although I'm not one for buying souvenirs, I bought the DVD/baseball cap package for $20. The train stopped in Fraser, B.C., where a Canadian customs agent did a very cursory check of our passports. We got on a tour bus, and travelled to Liarsville (our bus driver's name was Davey--he was the best, and made the bus ride a ton of fun!). One word of warning: if you have to go to the washroom, do it on the train or on the bus - facilities are limited in Liarsville, and we missed the first part of the show due to bathroom breaks. The Liarsville show was good... some singing, then a Robert Service poetry reading that was truly amazing (and this is from someone who doesn't like poetry). After that we panned for gold, which thrilled the kids (although you only get 3-4 flakes!)

Juneau - Didn't do any of the Disney excursions, but went up the Mt. Roberts Tramway on our own. Truly magnificent views.

Ketchican - Didn't do any excursions, but "toured" the gift shops. If you're looking for Alaskan souvenirs, I'd say Ketchican probably had the best selection (although there were a lot that were "made in China").
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:20 AM   #22
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Skagway - We did the adventure park zip line excursion. We enjoyed it a lot. Fewer lines (and less expensive for it) than the Mammoth zip line, but still a great experience.

Juneau - we took the bus from the boat over to town and then took a public shuttle bus from there to the Mendenhall glacier. It was so beautiful. A great place to explore. This was one of the highlights for me personally out of all my port experiences.

Ketchikan - we walked to Starbucks in the Safeway so that I could add to my collection of Starbucks mugs and get the Alaskan one. It was the only Starbucks on the trip that I could access easily from port. I didn't get a good impression of the city compared to the other ports we visited. It seemed like the air was more polluted and the buildings hadn't been very well taken care of. We were glad for the sun though.
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:39 AM   #23
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Ketchikan -- we did the Bering Sea Crab Fishing Boat tour. This was the best excursion of the trip. They did a nice job with the tour. They have several differernt types of pots already soaking with crabs in them. They go to each pot and show you how they throw the hook, bring up the pot then they show you the crabs (and any other sea life that wanders in). You can take pictures with the crew and crabs. Then they close up the pot and drop it back in the bay. While going from spot to spot, they tell you fishing stories. Some of our party didn't want to do it because they were afraid of being seasick -- wasn't a problem you don't go too far out and are in the bay the whole time so the water is pretty smooth.
Did they have any crab for you to eat?
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:22 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Cerberus9 View Post
Skagway - We did the White Pass Railroad and Liarsville show. The train trip was magnificent - our kids (6 and 8) absolutely loved it. Narration occurred at various points on the trip (it was not constant) and added immensely to the experience. We were able to go outside the cars (on the platforms that connected the cars), which was both refreshing and exhilarating. We were outside when going through one of the tunnels, which delighted the kids. Although I'm not one for buying souvenirs, I bought the DVD/baseball cap package for $20. The train stopped in Fraser, B.C., where a Canadian customs agent did a very cursory check of our passports. We got on a tour bus, and travelled to Liarsville (our bus driver's name was Davey--he was the best, and made the bus ride a ton of fun!). One word of warning: if you have to go to the washroom, do it on the train or on the bus - facilities are limited in Liarsville, and we missed the first part of the show due to bathroom breaks. The Liarsville show was good... some singing, then a Robert Service poetry reading that was truly amazing (and this is from someone who doesn't like poetry). After that we panned for gold, which thrilled the kids (although you only get 3-4 flakes!)

Juneau - Didn't do any of the Disney excursions, but went up the Mt. Roberts Tramway on our own. Truly magnificent views.

Ketchican - Didn't do any excursions, but "toured" the gift shops. If you're looking for Alaskan souvenirs, I'd say Ketchican probably had the best selection (although there were a lot that were "made in China").
What is the Mt. Roberts Tramway? How did you get there? How much does it cost? TIA!
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:15 AM   #25
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What is the Mt. Roberts Tramway? How did you get there? How much does it cost? TIA!
It's a large aerial tramway in Juneau that takes you up Mt. Roberts. It's right downtown--the shuttle bus will drop you off at the entrance. It cost $81 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids). See the following for more details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Roberts_Tramway

Here's a picture I took from the top of the tramway showing the Wonder and another cruise ship.

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Old 05-19-2011, 11:30 AM   #26
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Ketchikan - we walked to Starbucks in the Safeway so that I could add to my collection of Starbucks mugs and get the Alaskan one. It was the only Starbucks on the trip that I could access easily from port. I didn't get a good impression of the city compared to the other ports we visited. It seemed like the air was more polluted and the buildings hadn't been very well taken care of. We were glad for the sun though.
Good to know! Did they have the little espresso cups or just big mugs?
How far was the walk? DH would love to get his espresso in Alaska!
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:34 AM   #27
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Skagway - We did the adventure park zip line excursion. We enjoyed it a lot. Fewer lines (and less expensive for it) than the Mammoth zip line, but still a great experience.

Juneau - we took the bus from the boat over to town and then took a public shuttle bus from there to the Mendenhall glacier. It was so beautiful. A great place to explore. This was one of the highlights for me personally out of all my port experiences.

Ketchikan - we walked to Starbucks in the Safeway so that I could add to my collection of Starbucks mugs and get the Alaskan one. It was the only Starbucks on the trip that I could access easily from port. I didn't get a good impression of the city compared to the other ports we visited. It seemed like the air was more polluted and the buildings hadn't been very well taken care of. We were glad for the sun though.
There's also a Starbucks in Skagway within walking distance from the ship.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:56 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Cerberus9 View Post
Skagway - We did the White Pass Railroad and Liarsville show. The train trip was magnificent - our kids (6 and 8) absolutely loved it. Narration occurred at various points on the trip (it was not constant) and added immensely to the experience. We were able to go outside the cars (on the platforms that connected the cars), which was both refreshing and exhilarating. We were outside when going through one of the tunnels, which delighted the kids. Although I'm not one for buying souvenirs, I bought the DVD/baseball cap package for $20. The train stopped in Fraser, B.C., where a Canadian customs agent did a very cursory check of our passports. We got on a tour bus, and travelled to Liarsville (our bus driver's name was Davey--he was the best, and made the bus ride a ton of fun!). One word of warning: if you have to go to the washroom, do it on the train or on the bus - facilities are limited in Liarsville, and we missed the first part of the show due to bathroom breaks. The Liarsville show was good... some singing, then a Robert Service poetry reading that was truly amazing (and this is from someone who doesn't like poetry). After that we panned for gold, which thrilled the kids (although you only get 3-4 flakes!)

Juneau - Didn't do any of the Disney excursions, but went up the Mt. Roberts Tramway on our own. Truly magnificent views.

Ketchican - Didn't do any excursions, but "toured" the gift shops. If you're looking for Alaskan souvenirs, I'd say Ketchican probably had the best selection (although there were a lot that were "made in China").
I have been looking for a train/Liarsville combo. Where did you find this? HOw long was the tour? How long was the train ride? I only want to do the train ride one way. Was the drive to Liarsville long?

Thanks.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:59 PM   #29
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I want to book a helicopter glacier tour at Juneau. Any reviews on which one is best?
1. pilots choice
2. glacier adventure by helicopter
3. Mendenhall glacier by helicopter and guided walk
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:21 PM   #30
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I have been looking for a train/Liarsville combo. Where did you find this? HOw long was the tour? How long was the train ride? I only want to do the train ride one way. Was the drive to Liarsville long?

Thanks.
This was the one we did: http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/cr...nd-trail-camp/

The train only went one way, then we got on a bus; I think it took about 90 minutes for the train ride and 30 minutes for the bus (although the bus made frequent stops for picture opps); the stop in Liarsville was about an hour.
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