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Old 07-06-2011, 06:58 PM   #331
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Will you consider non-Disney?

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Originally Posted by dkmjgal View Post
We are booked for the White Pass Railway tour with the Trail Camp but I'm not convinced I want to do it yet. DH really thinks we should do the train...DS(12) wants to pan for gold but I think he'll be disappointed-DD (15) will probably listen to her iPod the whole time anyway. Should I maybe look to just do the Railway and not worry so much about the Trail Camp? Or is it worth it to have the whole experience - Train -Trail Camp - Bus? Thanks!
We are doing WPR through Chilkoot Charters. Others have posted good reviews on this. They have two options. The first tour departs at 7:30 am, you take the train out, and then take a bus to some scenic stops, and do get to see dog-sled puppies (and an optional dog-cart ride if you wish) before returning to port. The reverse tour departs at 8:30, which is the reason we chose that one. (Though some say that the train is better on the way out than the way back.)

My DH was convinced that the panning for gold would be far more tacky than he could stand. If your kids were younger, I think that it would be more worthwhile; however, Everything I've heard and read is that WPR itself is not to be missed.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:17 PM   #332
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Thanks Joy! I will look into this.

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Old 07-06-2011, 09:30 PM   #333
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We are booked for the White Pass Railway tour with the Trail Camp but I'm not convinced I want to do it yet. DH really thinks we should do the train...DS(12) wants to pan for gold but I think he'll be disappointed-DD (15) will probably listen to her iPod the whole time anyway. Should I maybe look to just do the Railway and not worry so much about the Trail Camp? Or is it worth it to have the whole experience - Train -Trail Camp - Bus? Thanks!
Train is full of amazing views! We sat in the last car and pretty much stood out the back of the car the whole way up. I would definately reccomend it. Friends we cruised with just did the train up and back and they said they liked it but I felt like we had it better since we could get out of bus twice and take some great pix on the way back. Liarsville IMHO was not really worth it, but my kids seemed to like it ok. Get someone to help you with the gold. We never really found anything and couldn't get it in the little baggies they gave us. (my daughter just put some tiny rocks in hers ) I think there is another excursion that I heard you pan for gold. Maybe in Juneau? People seemed to like that. Up to you. I did see some older kids there.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:40 PM   #334
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While everyone was in Skagway, were there private excursion booths at the port? Were any of them for ziplineing? Is it possible for my husband and I to go on a ziplining tour with our kids and have them zipline and us just watch? They are 17 and 13.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:53 PM   #335
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Skagway
Eagle Preserve Wildlife River Adventure, nice boat ride to Haines then bus ride to river camp. open boat ride up river looking for wildlife. We saw plenty of eagles and a duck or two but all the other wildlife was not to be seen. You can't count on seeing moose or bears but you should see eagles. Back at camp you get to cook your own hotdog over the fire and had some awsome homemade veggy chili and cookies. The guides had some spotting scopes setup and we got to see some mountain goats up on the mountain. For those who are not real adventureous I highly recommend this one.

Our son did a zip line adventure and loved it.

Juneau
Did the Mendenhal visitor center and Roberts tramway. Bus to visitor center and plenty of time to explore. Bus back to town and tram up mountain to visitor center and a wine tasting. This was Ok but not a must do.


Ketchican
Did the eagles,totems,and lighthouse tour. Again a great time for the less adventurous. basicly a bus ride to a marina and a nice boat ride to see eagles and the sights. We enjoyed this but we did hit some rough weather.

Son did another zip line/repelling trip. He said the first one in Skagway was much better.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:59 PM   #336
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While everyone was in Skagway, were there private excursion booths at the port? Were any of them for ziplineing? Is it possible for my husband and I to go on a ziplining tour with our kids and have them zipline and us just watch? They are 17 and 13.
My son said that would not be possible to just watch. They take you up in a truck and you have to zipline back to base camp( He is 18 and loved it). We bought the excursion thru Disney.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:03 AM   #337
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Originally Posted by parrothead365 View Post
My son said that would not be possible to just watch. They take you up in a truck and you have to zipline back to base camp( He is 18 and loved it). We bought the excursion thru Disney.
Thanks!
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:15 AM   #338
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Quick review from June 28-July 5th

Tracy Arm: It can be quite cold Decks 9-10.. even with blankets. We had a misty day/drizzled for a little while.. If I had known better I would not have been up on deck between 1p-3p and been "cold and rained on" and just watched from our Verandah.. more worth it to be on deck after 3p.. Was very pretty though..

Skagway (did 2)- we had perfect weather, no rain.. sunniest day so far according to guides
WPRR + Trail camp in early am (7:30) - did this early because adults wanted to see RR and kids wanted to go gold panning.. WPRR is very scenic and fun, even kids enjoyed it.. I personally did not enjoy Liarsville and/or gold panning and did not think it was worth the time.. (from a duration time actually spent doing it, and a "yield" and a kids didn't seem to actually have fun trying to pick out little specks, perspective)

Afternoon did Helicopter->Glacier. This, was amazing.. to actually be walking around on a glacier and seeing all of the things on it. One warning: If anyone has sensitive ears/sinuses, etc - especially kids - tell pilot.. my youngest did not tolerate the initial changes in altitude (sea level to 3k feet) on the helicopter well, but did fine with the slow descent

Juneau (also did 2) - we had great weather also
Tour of Juneau + Mendenhall Glacier: Did this to spend > 1 hr at MG compared to other tours (had done Deluxe Juneau but changed because didn't think the lunch was anything and wanted smaller whale cruise also).. If I had known, I would have skipped the Salmon Hatchery now - not much to see at all while we were there, but MG was nice

Afternoon: Exclusive Whale Encounter: On smaller boat (I counted 25 ppl).. We were on "The Big Blue", in the afternoon. We saw two pods of orcas ? and one humpback.. got lots of great pictures.. I do not think the bigger boat would have been a good choice as they often tried to follow us, but it didn't seem like they could have manuevered closer to the whales as fast as we could... so not sure if they saw a lot but i don't know..

Ketchikan: worst weather day, in my mind because of moderate rain, but was told it actually was a great day since it rains there a lot anyways
Did Exclusive Totems/Potlach/Lumberjack
Was interesting overall.. I think kids had lots of fun making the disney exclusive totems.. lumberjack show was great.. i think the kids liked it the most

Other thoughts:
Everyone was late formal night - due to excursions running long.. Im not sure disney has things timed well yet for this.. we also actually left port late (?? waiting on late excursions - we left 630p i think)

Very disappointed in disney merchandise on board for alaska.. other than a few clothing, picture things, trinkets, pins, etc.. I think they missed out on a lot of opportunity here

Inside passage was very smooth.. only twice do I remember any real "rocking" (day #2 sea day going up past vancouver island and day #7 back down for a few hours each).. otherwise totally calm (i.e. <3 ft wave)

This was our 5th Disney cruise.. but I think the best as far as excursions.. maybe it's just a factor of where it was, but Disney did do good with what they partnered with/offered.. I do think they have lots of work still to do from other perspectives (food, merchandise, timing)
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:37 AM   #339
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booger73 View Post
Quick review from June 28-July 5th

Tracy Arm: It can be quite cold Decks 9-10.. even with blankets. We had a misty day/drizzled for a little while.. If I had known better I would not have been up on deck between 1p-3p and been "cold and rained on" and just watched from our Verandah.. more worth it to be on deck after 3p.. Was very pretty though..

Skagway (did 2)- we had perfect weather, no rain.. sunniest day so far according to guides
WPRR + Trail camp in early am (7:30) - did this early because adults wanted to see RR and kids wanted to go gold panning.. WPRR is very scenic and fun, even kids enjoyed it.. I personally did not enjoy Liarsville and/or gold panning and did not think it was worth the time.. (from a duration time actually spent doing it, and a "yield" and a kids didn't seem to actually have fun trying to pick out little specks, perspective)

Afternoon did Helicopter->Glacier. This, was amazing.. to actually be walking around on a glacier and seeing all of the things on it. One warning: If anyone has sensitive ears/sinuses, etc - especially kids - tell pilot.. my youngest did not tolerate the initial changes in altitude (sea level to 3k feet) on the helicopter well, but did fine with the slow descent

Juneau (also did 2) - we had great weather also
Tour of Juneau + Mendenhall Glacier: Did this to spend > 1 hr at MG compared to other tours (had done Deluxe Juneau but changed because didn't think the lunch was anything and wanted smaller whale cruise also).. If I had known, I would have skipped the Salmon Hatchery now - not much to see at all while we were there, but MG was nice

Afternoon: Exclusive Whale Encounter: On smaller boat (I counted 25 ppl).. We were on "The Big Blue", in the afternoon. We saw two pods of orcas ? and one humpback.. got lots of great pictures.. I do not think the bigger boat would have been a good choice as they often tried to follow us, but it didn't seem like they could have manuevered closer to the whales as fast as we could... so not sure if they saw a lot but i don't know..

Ketchikan: worst weather day, in my mind because of moderate rain, but was told it actually was a great day since it rains there a lot anyways
Did Exclusive Totems/Potlach/Lumberjack
Was interesting overall.. I think kids had lots of fun making the disney exclusive totems.. lumberjack show was great.. i think the kids liked it the most

Other thoughts:
Everyone was late formal night - due to excursions running long.. Im not sure disney has things timed well yet for this.. we also actually left port late (?? waiting on late excursions - we left 630p i think)

Very disappointed in disney merchandise on board for alaska.. other than a few clothing, picture things, trinkets, pins, etc.. I think they missed out on a lot of opportunity here

Inside passage was very smooth.. only twice do I remember any real "rocking" (day #2 sea day going up past vancouver island and day #7 back down for a few hours each).. otherwise totally calm (i.e. <3 ft wave)

This was our 5th Disney cruise.. but I think the best as far as excursions.. maybe it's just a factor of where it was, but Disney did do good with what they partnered with/offered.. I do think they have lots of work still to do from other perspectives (food, merchandise, timing)
I thought Formal Night was Wed, a sea day?

When was your Semi-Formal night?
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:16 AM   #340
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Formal night was the first sea day and semi-formal night was after Ketchikan. Our late seating was pushed from 8:15 to 8:30 to accommodate the late departure from port, and our servers let us know about that the night before.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:36 PM   #341
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We did liarsville in skagway...awesome salmon bake. Panning for gold was only a minor part. Should have brought the bug spray, as mosquitos were rampant (6/28-7/5 sailing). Did great alaskan lumberjack show in ketchikan and highly recommend it! Was an awesome show and one of the less pricey excursions, if that is an issue. Rained on us a bit but seats were covered, although we sat in front and got a little wet.
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:13 PM   #342
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DW and I did the White Pass and Trail Camp excursion. We were on the 6/21-6/28 cruise. The mosquitos were big and pretty bad for us too at the camp. I would also recommend this excursion. Loved the train ride. We actually purchased the video, picture book and hat combo. Haven't watched the video yet. The book is fairly small, but has some great info. I have worn the hat numerous times.
Juneau...we did the tour that takes you to Mendenhall Glacier Park, Glacier Gardens and the salmon hatchery. Glacier Gardens was amazing and beautiful.
Ketchikan...we did the tour that went to Saxman Village for the totems, then to the cannery and then on the boat that takes you back to the ship. I enjoyed the cannery the most.
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:26 PM   #343
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Quote:
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I thought Formal Night was Wed, a sea day?

When was your Semi-Formal night?
It was sea day (I was on same cruise as they were). I think they meant semi formal. We had second seating that night though and didn't see or have any problems getting ready. We didn't have desire to see the show that night though so that helped. I've seen that ventriloquist several times before and that was enough

Also wanted to add that the sun came out at least for a peek everyday except Ketchikan. If you are prepared for rain it shouldn't bother you much. Tracy arm was very enjoyable to me and even though it was spitting rain some of the time (and we were on deck 10) that is NOT what I remember about Tracy arm it was amazing!
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:18 PM   #344
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I did mean semi-formal Sorry..
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:02 AM   #345
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We are booked for the White Pass Railway tour with the Trail Camp but I'm not convinced I want to do it yet. DH really thinks we should do the train...DS(12) wants to pan for gold but I think he'll be disappointed-DD (15) will probably listen to her iPod the whole time anyway. Should I maybe look to just do the Railway and not worry so much about the Trail Camp? Or is it worth it to have the whole experience - Train -Trail Camp - Bus? Thanks!
The dog sled camp that Chilkoot Charters visits has a small gold panning area. It isn't all that impressive, but it would probably still be fun for kids...

However, I would recommend the Juneau historic gold panning excursion where you actually go to Gold Creek and pan for gold along with the locals (you'd have thought some of the people there were hired by Disney, they were such characters!). This was really fun for kids, who got to take their shoes off, sit by the creek and really pan. The first scoop that the tour operator puts in for you, ahem, WILL result in some gold flakes, which they will put into a vial for you to keep. The rest is up to you and luck. This was totally fun for my DD and we were able to do it at about 1:30 that afternoon, after our whale watching and glacier tour.
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