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Old 04-22-2014, 01:35 PM   #16
NancyIL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSox68 View Post
I agree 110% with this! We did the combination cruise/land tour with HAL and the land portion was incredible beyond words. We went all the way to the Yukon, over the Top of the World Highway, saw Denali, Fairbanks, Anchorage, Tok, Dawson city and Whitehorse. The things we saw and did you could not do on your own with much expense and lots of driving I would do it again in a heartbeat. The train experience alone with the dome cars and the meals onboard were just awesome. And they take care of everything on land -- transportation, luggage transport, and even some excursions and meals are included.
That HAL cruise tour itinerary is the only one I would book with a cruise line - due to the distances involved. For the basic Anchorage to Denali trip - it's pretty easy to do it yourself with a rental car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckelly14 View Post
One of the reasons we picked this one-way itinerary is to do a land tour on our own. We are renting a car to see Denali and then taking the train to Seward for a tour. That's the general plan, no specifics yet...
Great plan, and the posters on the Alaska board at Cruise Critic will be very helpful if you have questions. We did independent land trips after two northbound cruises in 2007 and 2008. The next time I go to Alaska, I hope to do another independent land trip before a southbound cruise.

By the way - I also love RCIs Radiance-class ships.
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Old 05-05-2014, 05:21 PM   #17
PA Disneymania
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My family is doing the SB Radiance from Seward on June 6 of this year. I was able to get commitments from the adult kids in January of 2014 and booked then. I got the last balcony cabin for DH and myself, but the kids are in interior cabins. (At least it will be dark for them to sleep.) I would not give up my balcony. I started booking shore excursions in March.
Here is our itinerary: Arrive day before in Anchorage, Day of cruise Dome car train to Seward. DH and I will do some sightseeing and may do the Sea Life Center - not sure if the others will want to go or enjoy the ship. In Juneau DH and I are doing the Taku Lodge float plane. This is the only excursion booked through RCL. I have heard that this sells out, but we booked it in late March with no problem. Some of our group will do zip lining and have not yet booked that. In Skagway we booked the sled dog tour with Alaska adventures - much cheaper than RCL because there is a child price which RCL did not offer. In Icy Strait we booked a whale watch with Hoonah Travel Adventures (needed a bigger boat than 6 passengers) but didn't want the BIG boats RCL will have. We don't have anything booked for Ketchikan; I think we will wait until we are there to decide what the group wants to do. I will be happy walking around taking pictures.
Point is you don't need to book excursions now - wait and do some investigating. Check out Cruise Critic and websites for the ports. There are lots of things to do that the cruise line doesn't offer.
I would have loved to do a DIY land tour for a few days before and after, but DH does not want to miss work that long.
I plan to do a detailed trip report after our trip - pay it forward and back to those whose reports I happily read.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:52 AM   #18
Donut23
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Originally Posted by ckelly14 View Post
I'm glad you made it through- hope you are feeling up for all those excursions. Are you doing 7 days B2B or a land tour? Any excursions you feel are must do's? We will have my wife and I, 2 kids (8,9) and my parents (75,70) so I need ideas that will keep everyone entertained...


So sorry. I was not ignoring you. Just returned home. Jim's Dad died suddenly.

Since I have "the floor" I'm going to briefly change the subject to Travel Insurance.

Please everyone take a moment to think about your situation. Alaska is far away and expensive if you have a problem.

We have a gold-standard policy which covers pre-exhisting conditions. We started doing this when my Mom was I'll.....obviously my challenges war rent it now.

Jim's Mom is not well. If we have to return mid-trip, we are covered. Hopefully it will just be another trip where it goes unused.




We are a late-50's couple so I'm not sure I have my finger on the pulse of children's activities. But here are things we enjoy.....

Whale watching and wildlife touring. Perhaps too slow paced for children...thrilling for us. Consider good binoculars for at least each adult. If you are watching a raft of Sea Otters frolicking in the water, you may not feel inclined to share.

Spend some time with the children before you leave learning about Alaska. National Parks, Denali, all good. Don't forget fun stuff like the gold rush of the 1890's and the crazy tales of life in pretty Skagway. When they arrive, they will be ready to see it all. The rock cliff next to the cruise pier is covered with paintings the crew makes the first time a ship calls on Skagway. Do a Where's Waldo and find YOUR ship on the wall!

Ketchikan-----tell them about Totems and the importance to the culture in Ketchikan----than checkout the Totem Village. Lumberjack Show is lots of fun!!

YouTube is your friend. Get the children involved. There are videos of the ship, shore excursions, the rail cars. You can really ramp up every bodies excitement this way!

Alaska is a place for everyone. Stuck in a scooter like I am now (accident in 2004----walker needed onshore) I slow down but it doesn't stop me to nature adventure seeker. It's all there for you.

Check out cruise critic.

They have an Alaska section which is very thorough. Next checkout Royal's message board. They are always talking about the ships and destinations. Finally, once booked, go to Roll Call and join a message board for your actual cruise. I'm heading out for my 6th trip to Alaska and I got a great Skagway excursion tip from a fellow passenger.


PA Disneymania-----SMALL WORLD! We will be on the June 6 th Radiance sailing too! I will (sadly) be using a scooter. Lemons to Lemonaid... My scooter will have a preciously adorable bell and fashionable teeny lights on the basket. Please come over and say hello if you see me!

Our countdown began at 450+ days. I cannot believe we finally leave in less than a month!

Alaska will change you forever. From her grand mountain ranges to magnificant sea vistas, friendly people, beauty you cannot imagine. Wonderful wildlife from gentle humpback whales to killer orka whales, happy rafts of Sea Otters to zany puffins.

Alaska will grab a corner of your heart and never let go.

Have fun everybody!



Ps.....can you believe I left anything out!

We will be on land for a week. We put together ourselves. Then off to the ship for the second week!

Last edited by Donut23; 05-07-2014 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:02 PM   #19
ckelly14
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So sorry. I was not ignoring you.
Absolutely no problem! Sorry about Jim's dad.

We are all over Nat Geo Wild with anything with Alaska.

Thanks for the tips!
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Old 05-12-2014, 03:10 PM   #20
disneybride96
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Originally Posted by ckelly14 View Post
picked Radiance southbound June 18, 2015.
Is that really June 19th, 2015? I think we are on the same cruise. We are booked on that cruise with my family. We have a two bedroom suite and next door balcony. Looked at the JS, but grandma wanted everyone together. Will have the 3 nephews with us...13-13&10.

My husband and I are planning on renting a RV for the week before the cruise and go up to Fairbanks where he was stationed in the Air Force. Then meeting the rest of the family for the cruise.

Make sure to get the MilePost travel guide to plan your land trip. We just got ours and it is amazing. So much detail.
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