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Old 06-16-2011, 05:00 PM   #256
LisaG520
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Any feedback on " The Best of Juneau" and "the Best of Skagway" tours?

Anything on the Misty Fiords and floatplane tour?

Thanks
We did the Best of Skagway on the May 3rd cruise. We loved it!

We took a bus up into BC then took the train back down. My DH spent most of the train ride out on the platform ( a little too high for me at times!).

Once we were back down in Skagway we re-boarded the buses and went to Liarsville for lunch. After lunch we saw a "poetry reading" (very funny), panned for gold and wandered around the town.

We were a little ahead of schedule so we stopped at a scenic overview with an awesome view of Skagway and the Wonder before heading for the last stop on the tour - Red Onion Saloon.

We had time after the tour to do a little shopping in Skagway - found an awesome quilt shp there and bougth a lot of fabric!
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Old 06-16-2011, 05:05 PM   #257
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Coastal Helicopter, Juneau

Did anybody do the dog sledding tour with Coastal helicopters in Juneau? How was the tour?
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:00 PM   #258
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Skagway: Best of Skagway
This was the most disappointing of the tours to me. Online, it says you will take the train up the mountain then take the bus down and stop for lunch. Instead, they take you up on the bus, then immediately get on the train back down - a lot of bumping with no breaks. Also, you see the best scenery first, instead of building up, and don't follow in the footsteps of the miners. In the end, the train is still AMAZING, and the scenery is truly incredible, but definitely not what we were expecting. The lunch and trail camp at Liarsville was really fun, and they really know their stuff and are more than happy to share more about the history if you take the time to look at the historical things and ask intelligent questions. The Red Onion Saloon and brothel museum was the highlight - you got a free glass of beer/wine/rootbeer, then got a 15 min guided tour. They had a lot of artifacts! Overall, a fun tour, but personally I don't think it was the worth the money and would have been much improved if the train was before the bus.

Juneau: Mt. Roberts Tramway - At Leisure
Basically, this means you buy your ticket for the tram ahead of time and do it whenever you want. This was really fun - it's the most vertical tram in North America, and they have great, easy hikes up at the top. Great views of Juneau and the canal in, you can see a bald eagle, Lady Baltimore, up close, and it's a great taste of the mountains right in town. They also have a great gift shop for all you shoppers out there. *We also just explored the town on our own, and had a blast! You can go inside and wander the State Capitol, and we also found a great local hike, The Flume Walk. You can ask for a map at the visitors center. You walk to the top of the hill at the end of downtown, then walk along a mountain road for about 5 minutes before getting to the trailhead. It follows the flume and creek used at the old gold mines for about 1.5 miles, then deposits you in a residential neighborhood. You eventually pass the governor's mansion, and then end up right back by the capitol building. Took us about an hour total, a very local walk, and a great antidote to cruise crowd overload.

Ketchikan: Disney Exclusive Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show
This was by far our favorite excursion!! They have some of the best timber sport athletes in the world, and they compete in the craziest events you've ever heard of. Log rolling, pole climbing, extreme chainsawing, etc. For Disney, they added interactive bits for the kids, which was really fun. It was a hoot! Not all that authentic, but SO much fun! It also leaves you time to explore Ketchikan on your own. *We got a historic walking tour map and wandered for a couple of hours. It's really fun - make sure not to miss Creek Street, the old red light district. Great fun!

Also, just one fact we learned by talking to the locals - when going shopping in the ports, make sure to check for "Owned by Alaskans" or "Alaskan Family" signs in the window. These stores' sales go back into the local economy. A lot of the stores right by the terminal are owned by various cruise lines, and hence the cruise companies get kick-backs and commissions.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:15 PM   #259
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Skagway - Dog Sledding summer camp. My family loved this excursion! Our bus driver Jeff was great and informative. Our sled driver was fun and the dogs were awesome. We went around the course four times and then got off to meet the dogs. Then we went back to the base camp for an informative talk on the history of dog mushing. The best part for the kids was holding two week old puppies. They were so cute. The base camp was very well maintained with indoor restrooms and a small gift shop.

Juneau - Exclusive whale watching and Mendelhall Glacier 10ish departure. The whale watching was fun and we saw humpbacks and orcas. There were 36 people on board. I did pack ahead and brought snacks from the ship for the kids but it wasn't enough. Right after the whale watching we were taken to a bus and dropped at the Glacier for approximately an hour and a half. My kids were starving and there was no food to be found anywhere. The nature center was cool and the trails looked like fun but my kids just wanted to leave and eat. Had we had lunch in between or if we had taken an earlier excursion they would have really enjoyed the glacier. As it was, we just wanted to leave and find something to eat in town.

Ketchikan - Wilderness Exploration and crab feast. Another great excursion. There were about 55 people on this one and we took a bus to the George Inlet Lodge where we boarded a boat. We saw eagles, eagle nests, a waterfall, an old cannery, and some sea lions or seals. My kids helped pull up a crab trap and learned a little about crabs. They even held the crabs with some assistance from the crew member. Then we went back to the lodge and had a delicious feast of all you can eat crab legs. My kids left with a new favorite food - crab!
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:36 PM   #260
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Juneau - Exclusive whale watching and Mendelhall Glacier 10ish departure. The whale watching was fun and we saw humpbacks and orcas. There were 36 people on board. I did pack ahead and brought snacks from the ship for the kids but it wasn't enough. Right after the whale watching we were taken to a bus and dropped at the Glacier for approximately an hour and a half. My kids were starving and there was no food to be found anywhere. The nature center was cool and the trails looked like fun but my kids just wanted to leave and eat. Had we had lunch in between or if we had taken an earlier excursion they would have really enjoyed the glacier. As it was, we just wanted to leave and find something to eat in town.
Hmmm. We are doing basically the same times for this and I've been concerned about our 9 yearold and lunch. Heck I'm worried about all of us. Not sure we can pack enough food to keep everyone happy from 10-4.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:27 PM   #261
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Hmmm. We are doing basically the same times for this and I've been concerned about our 9 yearold and lunch. Heck I'm worried about all of us. Not sure we can pack enough food to keep everyone happy from 10-4.
Honestly, I spent the entire time at the Glacier wishing that I had just booked the whale watching and skipped the glacier and spent the time exploring the town of Juneau. I didn't feel like we had enough time before the excursion to walk around town and we had very little time after the Glacier.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:29 PM   #262
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Juneau - Exclusive whale watching and Mendelhall Glacier 10ish departure. The whale watching was fun and we saw humpbacks and orcas. There were 36 people on board. I did pack ahead and brought snacks from the ship for the kids but it wasn't enough. Right after the whale watching we were taken to a bus and dropped at the Glacier for approximately an hour and a half. My kids were starving and there was no food to be found anywhere. The nature center was cool and the trails looked like fun but my kids just wanted to leave and eat. Had we had lunch in between or if we had taken an earlier excursion they would have really enjoyed the glacier. As it was, we just wanted to leave and find something to eat in town.

Ketchikan - Wilderness Exploration and crab feast. Another great excursion. There were about 55 people on this one and we took a bus to the George Inlet Lodge where we boarded a boat. We saw eagles, eagle nests, a waterfall, an old cannery, and some sea lions or seals. My kids helped pull up a crab trap and learned a little about crabs. They even held the crabs with some assistance from the crew member. Then we went back to the lodge and had a delicious feast of all you can eat crab legs. My kids left with a new favorite food - crab!
Thanks for this info. We are doing both these tours on the June 28 cruise.
Question on the Juneau tour? Was there food for purchase on the boat? Or was it a smaller boat? We are doing the 8:45-2:45 one
On the Ketchikan one...was it a bigger boat? Were all 55 on the same boat?

thanks :-)
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:01 PM   #263
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Thanks for this info. We are doing both these tours on the June 28 cruise.
Question on the Juneau tour? Was there food for purchase on the boat? Or was it a smaller boat? We are doing the 8:45-2:45 one
On the Ketchikan one...was it a bigger boat? Were all 55 on the same boat?

thanks :-)
There was complimentary crackers, smoked salmon, sodas and bottles of water on the boat. There was also a restroom. I thought it was a fairly small boat as it only held 36 passengers.

In Ketchikan, there were two boats. I thought we got lucky as we were on the smaller boat. I think it only held about 20 people and I think my kids got more time pulling in the crab traps and holding the crabs than they would have in the other boat. We were fairly lucky being the first ones out of the Disney Theater, the first ones on the bus, and the first family down the stairs and onto the smaller boat.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:13 PM   #264
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There was complimentary crackers, smoked salmon, sodas and bottles of water on the boat. There was also a restroom. I thought it was a fairly small boat as it only held 36 passengers.

In Ketchikan, there were two boats. I thought we got lucky as we were on the smaller boat. I think it only held about 20 people and I think my kids got more time pulling in the crab traps and holding the crabs than they would have in the other boat. We were fairly lucky being the first ones out of the Disney Theater, the first ones on the bus, and the first family down the stairs and onto the smaller boat.
Good to know We'll try and be first out
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:50 PM   #265
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Has anyone done the zipline in Ketchikan. We have the Bear Creek booked and interested and how people have liked it.

Chuck
We were on the May 31st sailing and did the Bear Creek Zipline in Ketchikan. It was our first time ziplining, so we have nothing to compare it with, but DD and I had a blast! I think there were a total of 6 ziplines each progressively longer, 1 suspension bridge, 1 rappel down from a platform, and 1 awesome long slide! It was all great fun and probably the highlight of our cruise! Our two guides were great, and very thorough...I have a thing with heights, but never felt unsafe at any point on the course. I would highly recommend this excursion.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:55 PM   #266
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Hmmm. We are doing basically the same times for this and I've been concerned about our 9 yearold and lunch. Heck I'm worried about all of us. Not sure we can pack enough food to keep everyone happy from 10-4.
We are doing this same excursion. I had planned on ordering some Uncrustables the night before so that we could take them for snacks. I will have to be sure to order extra. My children love salmon and crackers so I may have to supplement on the boat (sneak some crackers into our stash). Perhaps packing a soft sided lunch box would help. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:47 AM   #267
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We are doing this same excursion. I had planned on ordering some Uncrustables the night before so that we could take them for snacks. I will have to be sure to order extra. My children love salmon and crackers so I may have to supplement on the boat (sneak some crackers into our stash). Perhaps packing a soft sided lunch box would help. Thanks for the heads up.
Great ideas! We are also doing this excursion on the July 12th cruise. I also booked the Mt Roberts Tramway. For those that you have gone already, will we have enough time to the Exclusive Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier (9:50 - 2:20), then do the tramway when we get back?
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:04 AM   #268
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Great ideas! We are also doing this excursion on the July 12th cruise. I also booked the Mt Roberts Tramway. For those that you have gone already, will we have enough time to the Exclusive Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier (9:50 - 2:20), then do the tramway when we get back?
Our driver did not pick us up until 2:25 and of course there was a family that was late so I don't think we left until 2:30 or 2:35 and it is about 15 minutes back into town. All aboard was 4:30 and we had to catch a shuttle back to the ship. I don't know how long it takes to do the tramway but I'd say at worst, you'll only have a little more than an hour for the tramway or to see the town.
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:12 AM   #269
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Great ideas! We are also doing this excursion on the July 12th cruise. I also booked the Mt Roberts Tramway. For those that you have gone already, will we have enough time to the Exclusive Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier (9:50 - 2:20), then do the tramway when we get back?
I'd say cancel the tramway thru Disney. You can get tickets right at the tram if you end up having time. That way you wont be out money if you can't use them!!!! Plus I've heard if it's overcast, you wont see as much up there so it's best to wait and see how the day fares
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:45 AM   #270
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We just got back late Tuesday night, and I thought I should share what we did since this thread helped me out so much before we left for our cruise.

We got to spend a day in Vancouver before we got on the Wonder, so I'm including what we did there as well.

Vancouver: We found a stretch limo driver that was FABULOUS! He charged us $75 per hour, and we could use his service for as many hours as we wanted. We decided to limit our tour to two hours, and we were so happy we did this! For $150, we got to customize what we wanted to do, and our limo driver was a native to Vancouver and provided us with so much information on the city. We chose to have him take us to Grouse Mountain so we could do the tram ride to the top. We then went to the fish hatchery and got to view some salmon jumping upstream. This was cool and probably not something I would have chosen if our limo driver hadn't suggested it to us. He drove us thru Stanley Park, to a beautiful place called Prospect Point, to the famous Steam Clock downtown, and then just took us around the city showing us beautiful homes (and they are GORGEOUS) and telling us the history of Vancouver. I cannot say enough good things about Vancouver. I'd definitely vacation there again, and I highly recommend the limo driver we had. I have his info if anyone is interested.

Skagway: We did the White Pass Railway, City, and Yukon Suspension Bridge tour. This was also a great excursion! We took the train to Fraser, British Columbia, and the sites along the way were beyond beautiful! It was about a 90 minute to two hour ride on the train, and then we boarded a bus that took us to the suspension bridge and then drove us back to Skagway. It was neat to take the bus back because it all looked different from the point of view you get on the bus compared to the views from the train. Plus, our driver was wonderful and provided lots of information as we drove back. I'd also recommend this tour.

Juneau: We did the Alpine Zipline and Glacier tour. This tour was amazing! We had ziplined in Hawaii on a previous trip, and the ziplining in Alaska was WAY better than what we did in Hawaii. Our ziplining guides were wonderful, and it included 7 ziplines and a suspension bridge. When we got back to the lodge, they had blueberry tea for us, and we could make s'mores over a fire if we wanted to. Very cool excursion and one we would highly recommend. The glacier was cool too! We thought it was better than Tracy Arm because we could actually get quite close to the glacier here. It's quite a hike to make it close to the glacier and to the huge waterfall that is near the glacier, but it's worth it! We only had a limited amount of time at Mendenhall Glacier, but we were able to make the trek up to the glacier and waterfall with time to spare when we got back to meet the bus.

Ketchikan: This is by far the highlight excursion of our trip. My kids are already begging us to let them do this again some day! At the last minute (and thanks to a fellow DISer on this thread), we booked a float plane adventure to Misty Fjords thru a place called Island Views. Michelle is the pilot, and I cannot say enough good things about this excursion! Michelle is very knowledgeable and has been flying for many, many years. The sites are breathtaking! We got to land on a lake in the fjords and walk around on the side of one of the mountains. I cannot wait to get our pictures back from this one! We even saw a mini avalanche while we were there (but nothing to worry about). Island Views is a small company that goes above and beyond to make sure you have the experience of a lifetime. The ship was scheduled to leave port at 8:00 that night, and we didn't have our excursion with Island Views until 5:00. We booked the two hour tour so we could have some time on the mountain when we landed at the lake. The price was far more affordable than booking something similar thru Disney, and we will definitely book thru this company again if we ever go back. SUPER GREAT EXCURSION!

Hope this helps someone out there! Let me know if you have any questions or want the contact info for the limo driver we had. I told him I'd be recommended him on the DIS!

Susan
Definitely interested in the contact infor on the limo driver! We'll be in Vancouver from August 20-23rd, before getting on the ship. Thanks!
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