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Old 06-07-2014, 02:29 PM   #1306
bradbamford
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Originally Posted by OttawaMumTo2 View Post
I realize this isn't about Alaska, but it is related to the Alaska cruise - Has anyone done the Flyover Canada attraction at Canada Place, in Vancouver? I am thinking of buying tickets, but want feedback first if possible. I also don't know if it makes a difference, but I am Canadian. Thank you!
It was good. The flyover part seem to last longer than Soarin in Disneyland and WDW. In total it's 30mins, but most of that is a lame video you watch while standing in a holding room. The flyover ride is about 8mins long. I thought it was better than Soarin over California, but that could be just because it was longer and different. I wouldn't pay for it again, but I wouldn't pass is it up if you're only in Vancouver once.
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:49 PM   #1307
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We really liked flying over canada though it is overpriced. The movements are a little more extreme which is nice (nothing scary just more lifelike!) you also get sprayed with mist a couple times which we liked. The scenes felt like a bit of a rip off of soaring to me and the movie is silly/ doesn't add much. It's called uplift. For a mere $10 you can go through again the same day... Lol we did not.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:37 AM   #1308
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Thank you for the Flyover information. I think I will bite the bullet and try it out - sounds like fun! We are going to go there the morning of embarkation.
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Old 06-08-2014, 04:20 PM   #1309
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We did book the latest one with the same hopes as you. We had heard the morning excursions were all canceled as well. We did not get any notice. We showed up in the Wavebands lounge at 12:10 for our 12:15 assigned time. When DH went to sign in they asked him to sit down and someone would be over to talk to him. That is when they came over and told us. They said they wait until the last possible minute to cancel because conditions can change. Another family we met on the cruise had the same experience with an earlier scheduled heli/dog sled excursion.

The CM then gave us the booklet and showed us the 3 excursions that still had openings, Salmon Bake, Dog Camp Carting, and a Floatplane 5-Glacier. We took the last 5 openings of the floatplane excursion. It was okay, but overpriced for what you got.

After reading this I am kicking myself because I had debated back and forth with booking on my own with ERA or going through DCL and figured DCL would be safer only to find out the ERA people went up.

Thanks for the follow up. We're just going to roll the dice and still stick with the Disney excursion. It will be a bummer if it's cancelled but I know that weather is unpredictable.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:27 PM   #1310
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Any new excursion reviews from the new Alaska groups yet?
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:55 PM   #1311
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Thanks for the follow up. We're just going to roll the dice and still stick with the Disney excursion. It will be a bummer if it's cancelled but I know that weather is unpredictable.
This happened to a friend of mine- they were booked throughDisney in the morning and it was cancelled- they got off the ship and asked one of the vendors about it there and they sold them the tour for the afternoon (for less)- so in the end they did get to go after all. Something to keep in mind if a morning one gets cancelled.
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:25 PM   #1312
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Skagway: White Pass Railway -
We booked this through Disney - in retrospect I wish we hadn't. I had heard reports that they provide water and a guide as well as board you in a different space but in reality once we were off the ship we were told to just hop on one of the back three cars where some people were already loaded and we did not go to the station for anyone else. We had the same piped in voice and they also had access to the water so I am not sure what the point of the Disney excursion is. We chose the back so we could go out and take pictures but the platform was crowded the entire time making it difficult (everyone had the same idea). You can't cross cars so if your platforms are full they are full. You also can't hear the narration from outside, though it is very little narration anyway. They also provide a map that shows where points of interest are along the way so you know if something is coming up. Once you reach the top everyone is told to stay in their seats while they move the engine from the front to the back, and then you move your backrest from one side to the other so everyone can stay on their bench on the way back down too. That way you see one side on the way up and the other on the way down. Since we had been in the back we were now in the very front car and there were quite a few fumes from the engine on the way down. The scenery was, of course, breathtaking. We did not see any wildlife at all, even goats (I had my binoculars out the whole time).

Juneau - Extended Helicopter Trek
We REALLY lucked out with the weather in Juneau on this trip - wonderful visibility and very warm. Disney used North Star Trekking for this one and they did a wonderful job. We were led to their van to the airport where they passed out appropriate clothes for the venture. They also gave us a fanny pack with a bottle of water and granola bar with a pack of tissues. We had three guides to nine people in our group - since we were the first group of the day the guides went up with us - we filled every seat in two helicopters. After brief sightseeing (we could look down on the dog camps and saw them mushing away on this day) we touched down on the glacier and they put on our crampons and passed out axes. Much of the time was spent showing us how to move around with the crampons then we just romped around through the ice with the guides choosing our way and making sure no one got stuck. We stopped a few times to listen to them speak about the glacier and to dump our bottled water in favor of glacier water. At one point they took pics for anyone who wanted by a waterfall. This was really fun and in our opinion worth the cost.

Ketchikan - Misty Fjords booked through Island Wings
Our main disappointment of the trip was that our good luck flipped and it started pouring before we docked. We met the van just before noon as we were told but alas, it had been cancelled. They gave us a brochure and a DVD of what we MIGHT have seen (I haven't watched it yet) and said they had already refunded our money. Since we paid with a check we still haven't gotten our refund in the mail even though that was 10 days ago... still waiting on that. She offered to book us on the Bering Crab Tour since her husband works on it, but we declined and went into the visitors center to figure out what we wanted to do. There were a lot of people clamoring for business and a few other outfits told me they could get us out which is the hard part and then it would be fine, but we decided there must be a reason Island Wings cancelled and to just give up on it. Other people said their later flights were also cancelled so I am not sure if we would have been able to get up after all. We went with a van tour of the city that was very disappointing.... the guide did not take us everywhere they were supposed to because our van mates wanted to watch bald eagles instead. We ended up rather disappointed and a bit drenched. In the future I would try to get on a larger bus that wasn't tied to the whims of individuals and could stay on schedule.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:08 PM   #1313
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Taku Lodge/ Float Plane over Taku Glacier

Taku Lodge/ Float Plane out of Juneau was a lot of fun! You get a narrated view of the City, hear about its history and then see the Glacier itself. At the lodge you get a great view of the only advancing glacier in the Juneau area. There's enough time to go on both the 20 minute walks, as well as visit the gift shop (though it's not that spectacular) and they feed you a nice Salmon Bake (or chicken alternative) meal. The history of the place is quite nice, and even though it was not salmon spawning season when we went (June 14), another group from The Wonder saw bears on that day. We saw evidence of bears, but unfortunately didn't see them in person.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:16 PM   #1314
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Skagway

We heard from many of our fellow sailing mates after Skagway, and most were disappointed. The Liarsville Excursion was a complete disappointment to anyone over the age of 10 (and they liked it because of the character experience, but there is plenty of opportunities to see them onboard). Most people found the Disney Port adventures here to be underwhelming. The only positive ones we heard of were some of the dog sledding excursions.

Personally, we bought/downloaded to an iPad the Murray's driving tour from Skagway to Emerald Lake (in the Yukon territory). We rented a car from the local AVIS, and took this self guided tour through the Klondike Highway. We saw a lot of wonderful sites, learned some of the history, drank from some natural spring falls... all in all a really nice time. Long, but nice. If you don't mind a long drive through the area, consider this option.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:22 PM   #1315
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We heard from many of our fellow sailing mates after Skagway, and most were disappointed. The Liarsville Excursion was a complete disappointment to anyone over the age of 10 (and they liked it because of the character experience, but there is plenty of opportunities to see them onboard). Most people found the Disney Port adventures here to be underwhelming. The only positive ones we heard of were some of the dog sledding excursions.

Personally, we bought/downloaded to an iPad the Murray's driving tour from Skagway to Emerald Lake (in the Yukon territory). We rented a car from the local AVIS, and took this self guided tour through the Klondike Highway. We saw a lot of wonderful sites, learned some of the history, drank from some natural spring falls... all in all a really nice time. Long, but nice. If you don't mind a long drive through the area, consider this option.
Thank you for recommending this. We have a car reserved in Skagway and plan to follow the Murray guide. Glad to hear a positive review of that.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:20 PM   #1316
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We were on the 9 nighter so I will skip Sitka. It was myself and my 5 yo DS.

Vancouver: We did Flyover Canada as we stayed at the Pan Pacific both before and after. I enjoyed it, but it is an overpriced Soarin'. Still we didn't do much that day anyways so the total cost for the day wasn't bad overall.

Skagway: We did the Liarsville excursion with Disney in the am. I booked privately with Chilkoot Charters in the afternoon to take the bus ride up and train ride down. My son enjoyed "getting gold" and seeing the characters. If we were all adult, would we have chosen this excursion, no. But with my 5 yo I was able to enjoy our time there because he enjoyed his time there. The Chilkoot trip was AMAZING! They picked my son and I up at the end of the Disney ramp from the ship and drove us over to some of the other ships (we were the only ones from Disney on the trip). There was maybe 10 people on the excursion, not crowded at all. Our guide was great, his name is escaping me at the moment. Taking the bus up gave us time to get off in places and take pics which I very much enjoyed. My son passed out on the train ride down, missed the bear right by the track, too! I stood out on the platform the entire ride taking pics, AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING views! Our train car was our group and another small Chilkoot group. We were on the 2nd car, the 3rd car was PACKED! Not sure if it was a ship group or not but I loved the uncrowded sight seeing especially with the 5 yo because he was (when awake!) able to see things with ease.

Juneau: Whales and Glaciers Photo Safari. Wow Wow Wow!!! We had a group of us from Disney, only about 7 people I think it was. Our guide was a photographer and he explained some settings on the cameras. We also got a CD about some tips etc. I think it said kids would get a free disposable camera on the trip, we did not but my son has a Canon camera that is pretty intricate and he does very well with it. First we went out on a boat that was what I would call a fishing boat, we sat inside the cabin until we would cut the engines and "watch". On this trip we saw, otters, seals, eagles, humpback, orca (did I mention ORCA!), I know I am missing something! Oh bears! Yeh, pretty much EVERYTHING! We got exceptionally lucky and actually spent a lot more time on the water than we were supposed to which made the glacier portion a little more rushed but I was perfectly ok with that haha. My son LOVED this trip! Upon returning from this excursion we went up Mt Roberts Tramway to venture up there on our own. GREAT views.

Ketchikan: Here we did the Fish Camp and Wilderness Dinner. My son (who does not eat fish) was so excited to go fishing! We got suited up in fishing gear after meeting our captain. We were on a boat with another mother and daughter (I think she was about 10?). The parties are very small which was awesome. I caught the first "fish". Ok it was a star fish, but hey, fish! Got thrown back. My son then caught one as well a little later. Not long after that he got a bite and pulled up (he will tell you "I did it all on my own") with the help of the captain a HUGE halibut that was as long as his armpit is high (and my son is a tall 5 yo at 51 inches tall). It was ugly but quite impressive. After fishing we all headed to the camp (there are several boats with small parties that all meet up with their catches) and there they prepare your fish and a meal with the fish you caught. It was delicious, my son of course didn't eat it! It was a full on meal, the excursion is long and we had early dinner. We got done about 45 minutes/1 hr prior to needing to be back on board for dinner. Just enough time to run (fast) around the pier shops to shop and take pics. We got on the ship and went right to dinner a few minutes late. I was full but still managed to eat something as it was taste of Alaska night (though I was NOT impressed, I thought the lunch buffet the next day actually had more options with it!). My son really loved this excursion as well!

For us, we enjoyed what we did. I myself am just excited to be in Alaska (or wherever I would go) and just want to see something even if it is hoakey. You are in port for just HOURS, you will NOT get a chance to see/do everything possible. We don't have high expectations for doing these things, we KNOW they are designed to move people (sometimes large groups especially if done through Disney) through fast. Was everything perfect, no not at all, but we enjoyed it all and have no complaints with what we chose. If you want 5 star elegance, take a Viking cruise. If you want to have an experience, go with an open mind and just enjoy yourselves!
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:16 PM   #1317
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Hi. My DH, DD (8 yrs) and I are on the Jun 30 sailing. Only 11more days and we will be boarding the Wonder to head north to Alaska. We have the following excursions planned:

Skagway - renting a car and heading towards Emerald Lake. Planning on stopping in Caribou Crossing to see the sled dogs and maybe do a dog cart ride and pan for gold. Figure we should have plenty of time when we get back to Skagway to wander the town.

Juneau - whale watching booked with Adventures in Alaska. I picked this company because of their rave reviews on TripAdvisor and the cost. Plus they have a 100% money back guarantee if you don't see any whales or if you get seasick. They are picking us up from the ship at 0800, 30 minute shuttle to their boat and then a 3 and a half hour tour. They are dropping us off at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Centre. Figure we will wander there for a bit before heading back to the ship.

Ketchikan - doing the DCL Exclusive Flight Seeing and Crab Feast. Hoping we get good weather this day as this excursion is a total surprise for the DD. The last time we were in Vancouver she loved watching the floatplanes take off and land by Canada Place.

Will post reviews and hopefully pictures,if I can figure out my camera by then, when we get back.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:26 PM   #1318
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Originally Posted by She Taz View Post
Hi. My DH, DD (8 yrs) and I are on the Jun 30 sailing. Only 11more days and we will be boarding the Wonder to head north to Alaska. We have the following excursions planned:

Skagway - renting a car and heading towards Emerald Lake. Planning on stopping in Caribou Crossing to see the sled dogs and maybe do a dog cart ride and pan for gold. Figure we should have plenty of time when we get back to Skagway to wander the town.

Juneau - whale watching booked with Adventures in Alaska. I picked this company because of their rave reviews on TripAdvisor and the cost. Plus they have a 100% money back guarantee if you don't see any whales or if you get seasick. They are picking us up from the ship at 0800, 30 minute shuttle to their boat and then a 3 and a half hour tour. They are dropping us off at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Centre. Figure we will wander there for a bit before heading back to the ship.

Ketchikan - doing the DCL Exclusive Flight Seeing and Crab Feast. Hoping we get good weather this day as this excursion is a total surprise for the DD. The last time we were in Vancouver she loved watching the floatplanes take off and land by Canada Place.

Will post reviews and hopefully pictures,if I can figure out my camera by then, when we get back.
We have the same excursion booked in Juneau for our cruise in August. I heard a lot of good things about Captains Jack and Alan. Please post a report when you get back. Thanks and have a great trip.
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:42 PM   #1319
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Our excursions June 2, 2014
Skagway Streetcar and White pass railway: The streetcar ride was short but helped us see where the stores were for checking out later. Then we had a bus up to the border to board the railway. There were 13 of us in 1 car which was very roomy. We saw a black bear and it was very scenic on the way back to Skagway. I liked this tour and we were back by lunch time and went to Alaska Brewing Company for lunch, fish and chips.

Juneau Mendehall Glacier, Whalewatching and Salmon Bake: The Glacier was very scenic and we took some nice pictures. Our stop was short but long enough. The whalewatch tour was okay. We only saw 2 whales in 2 hours. There were lots of eagles. We also saw a sea lion. The salmon bake was good and we were hungry. The salmon was excellent. They told us it was sockeye. After a short visit they took you back to the ship or dropped you off in town.

Ketchikan Salmon fishing Knudson Cove: My husband loved this. We got some king salmon that were too small. We were lucky to get 1 to keep and be smoked and sent to us. We saw eagles and 1 whale. The tour left at 11:15 am and the only complaint was we were really hungry by 4:15. They need to give you a lunch! On the tour description it says they provide you with snacks, but our captain didn't offer us anything!
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:52 PM   #1320
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Originally Posted by She Taz View Post
Hi. My DH, DD (8 yrs) and I are on the Jun 30 sailing. Only 11more days and we will be boarding the Wonder to head north to Alaska. We have the following excursions planned:

Juneau - whale watching booked with Adventures in Alaska. I picked this company because of their rave reviews on TripAdvisor and the cost. Plus they have a 100% money back guarantee if you don't see any whales or if you get seasick. They are picking us up from the ship at 0800, 30 minute shuttle to their boat and then a 3 and a half hour tour. They are dropping us off at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Centre. Figure we will wander there for a bit before heading back to the ship.

Will post reviews and hopefully pictures,if I can figure out my camera by then, when we get back.
I will be on the cruise right after you, I will be the one you are grimacing at when you are getting off (atleast that is what I do)

We also booked Adventures in Alaska with Capt Alan and Jack, I love that they have a small boat, dont ban kids like Harv and Marv, and have the choice of inside, back deck, or top deck, plus people rave about them on Trip advisor. Tell them I will see them soon when you board!

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We have the same excursion booked in Juneau for our cruise in August. I heard a lot of good things about Captains Jack and Alan. Please post a report when you get back. Thanks and have a great trip.
I will post a trip report when I get back and let you know how it goes, but I have yet to see one bad review of them! They do not get the worship around here that Harv and Marv get, but they also take kids.
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