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Old 06-18-2014, 08:47 PM   #1321
Made Up Name
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Our excursions on the June 9, 2014 cruise:
Skagway: In Skagway, we booked a private trip with Howard Mallory who takes you on a drive on the Klondike Highway up to Carcross, YT and Emerald Lake. You also make several other stops along the way and have plenty of time to take pictures. Howard has lived in Skagway for a long time and his daughter also runs a b&b in town. He was a great guide and was a wealth of information. The scenery was fantastic and we even saw a moose with 2 calves near a lake. http://www.alcanexcursions.com/.

Juneau: We rode the Mount Roberts tramway and hiked along a trail near the top. Our kids like the free wifi at the Mount Roberts visitor center. After that we rode a "Glacier Express" bus to Mendenhall Glacier. The glacier is beautiful and we made the hike to the waterfall, hoping to not encounter bears or wolverines along the way! However, we did see a momma bear and 3 cubs near the visitor center.

Ketchikan: We booked a floatplane trip with Sea Wind Aviation. We loved it. I read that many of the floatplane trips were cancelled the week before because of rain. We had a few sprinkles, but nothing of any significance. I had never been on a small plane before, but the flight was smooth and our pilot was great. I think Ketchikan has several good floatplane operators.
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:23 AM   #1322
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Originally Posted by twindaddy View Post
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!



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.
Yep, didn't like that about Harv and Marv. I have had very good communication with both Capt. Alan and Jack, and am really looking forward to meeting them. They both seem very nice and are really helpful. I can't wait to read your report. Have a great time. I still have two months to go for my cruise.
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:00 AM   #1323
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pequele View Post
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!


Thank you sooooo much!! Most of your reviews are what we're doing so it was great to read them!!!
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Old 06-19-2014, 04:03 PM   #1324
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Has anyone booked with Ketchikan Helicopter before? If so, was this a good excursion?
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:00 PM   #1325
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We were on the 9 night Wonder Alaska 5/24 - 6/2. We were a party of 4 adults - DH, myself (20wks pregnant) & my parents. Here's what we did (all booked independently):

Skagway - we rented a car from Avis and drove the South Klondike Highway. I downloaded "Murray's Guide to the South Klondike Highway" on our iPad & brought it along (worth the $5!). Our plan was to drive up with limited stops to beat the traffic and that worked well. Crossing the border was no problem, maybe waited 5 minutes. We stopped at Carcross for a potty break, got coffee & stamped our passports at the General Store. We continued on to the Carcross desert & Emerald Lake. If you have time (20mins up/10 down) & able bodied, definitely hike up the dunes at the desert - gorgeous views! There's also a steep little rock path across the street at the Emerald Lake parking that's worth the climb too! We stopped back in Carcross and ate at the Sourdough Bakery -yum!! Then we headed back south. They are doing road construction so that was a 10-15min delay each way, depending how you hit it. Of course we stopped at the Yukon sign & Alaska signs. We made some other beautiful scenery stops too. No wait at the US border. Before returning to town, we took Dyea Rd up to the scenic view of town. Back in town we topped off the tank and returned the car. We walked around the shops and had a delicious cupcake at Sugar Mamas (pink building on 5th Ave).

Juneau - I booked a 7:20am whale watching trip with Harv & Marv after a friend's recommendation. We had Captain Steve and loved the whole trip! We saw tons of humpbacks, Dall's porpoises, harbor seals and eagles. Tide was low so Steve asked if we wanted to go north to see the endangered Stellar sea lions. We agreed and glad we did, they were pretty cool - huge loud males just stacked on a beach. Then on our way back, we got the call - Orcas in the channel! We rushed back and had the sight of a lifetime! Great pod of orcas, big and small. Some of the calves were playing & breached a couple times. Big male was in charge of the pod and came very close to our little boat. It was simply amazing!! After our tour, the shuttle bus made a 15 min stop at the Mendenhall Glacier visitors center. We wanted to stay longer & just told the driver. We walked around and then took the trail down to the falls. When we were finished, we waited for the blue shuttle back to town. It picks up right at the parking lot & is $10pp. We got off at the first stop, right at the Visitors booth across from the saloon. We ate at Tracy's king crab shack which was very yummy! Hubby and I shared the crab roll & some crab cakes. It wasn't too busy & we found seats no problem. It had started to drizzle so it was a little chilly. We walked some shops and headed back to ship.

Ketchikan - booked the Misty Fjords Seaplane trip with Island Wings. This was the highlight of our entire trip!! We are a "flight" family so it's right up our alley. We had the first tour time (11:50-12ish) so we found Shona in the visitors center and she directed us to the van. Short drive to the dock and we watched them ready the plane. Michelle, the founder/owner, was the pilot. We were blessed with beautiful weather! We were able to go up one way, make our lake stop (amazing!) and come back a different way. The whole trip was spectacular! After our trip, we ate at Annabelle's which was pretty good. We then took the walking tour around the city which was good exercise but not that exciting. It would be better if the salmon were running. We shopped and got back on the ship.

Sitka - we walked to the Totem National Park (took a free guided tour by Ranger John & watched the film inside), Raptor Center (worth the walk), then back to town to Castle Hill and the Main Street. We ate at Subway, just like any other subway just more expensive.

Seattle - we flew in/out of SeaTac and rented a car. We went to the Museum of Flight (great place!), Pike Place Market, Future of Flight & Boeing Tour in Everett (pretty cool to see) and a local park in Renton.
We used the Quick Shuttle from SeaTac to Vancouver. After bad customer service on the phone when we booked (which made us nervous because it's non-refundable), the shuttle was as advertised and a pleasant ride.

Have fun in Alaska! We had an amazing trip and would absolutely use both Island Wings and Harv & Marv in a heart beat again!
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Old 06-21-2014, 02:55 PM   #1326
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Looking to book a whale watch in Juneau. I have been on trip advisor and did a search on this thread. I think I would prefer a medium sized boat. I don't want the small excursion like H&M, but I don't want a boat with 100 people either. So many choices, I see some help.

Has anyone done the DCL Mendenhall Glacier and Whale Quest recently? Who is the tour operator and how big is the boat? How many people were on your tour? How much time at the glacier, was it long enough to hike out to the glacier?

Any recommendations are appreciated, we will book privately or with Disney, it doesn't mattter.

Thank you.
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Old 06-21-2014, 03:05 PM   #1327
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We did the DCL Mendenhall Glacier and Whale Quest last week. Can't remember the name of the operator however it was very well done. Even though there was several people on the boat it did not seem crowded. There are two indoor levels, and outdoor level on deck 2, and an outdoor on deck 3. They also provide binoculars. Very clean, great service, and snack bar with free hot chocolate and salmon crackers. Saw lots of wild life.

I was disappointed in the Glacier tour as it was too short. We had what seemed less than a hour there. After taking a few pictures, watching the movie, and looking around the museum it was time to go. We never got to walk some of the trails and get closer to the waterfall or glacier. Definitely needed more time.
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:24 AM   #1328
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dclwonderprincess View Post
Has anyone booked with Ketchikan Helicopter before? If so, was this a good excursion?
The sea planes are better for the take off and landing on the water that's fun, and there all central.
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Old 06-22-2014, 05:18 AM   #1329
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imedley200 View Post
We were on the 9 night Wonder Alaska 5/24 - 6/2. We were a party of 4 adults - DH, myself (20wks pregnant) & my parents. Here's what we did (all booked independently):

Skagway - we rented a car from Avis and drove the South Klondike Highway. I downloaded "Murray's Guide to the South Klondike Highway" on our iPad & brought it along (worth the $5!). Our plan was to drive up with limited stops to beat the traffic and that worked well. Crossing the border was no problem, maybe waited 5 minutes. We stopped at Carcross for a potty break, got coffee & stamped our passports at the General Store. We continued on to the Carcross desert & Emerald Lake. If you have time (20mins up/10 down) & able bodied, definitely hike up the dunes at the desert - gorgeous views! There's also a steep little rock path across the street at the Emerald Lake parking that's worth the climb too! We stopped back in Carcross and ate at the Sourdough Bakery -yum!! Then we headed back south. They are doing road construction so that was a 10-15min delay each way, depending how you hit it. Of course we stopped at the Yukon sign & Alaska signs. We made some other beautiful scenery stops too. No wait at the US border. Before returning to town, we took Dyea Rd up to the scenic view of town. Back in town we topped off the tank and returned the car. We walked around the shops and had a delicious cupcake at Sugar Mamas (pink building on 5th Ave).

Juneau - I booked a 7:20am whale watching trip with Harv & Marv after a friend's recommendation. We had Captain Steve and loved the whole trip! We saw tons of humpbacks, Dall's porpoises, harbor seals and eagles. Tide was low so Steve asked if we wanted to go north to see the endangered Stellar sea lions. We agreed and glad we did, they were pretty cool - huge loud males just stacked on a beach. Then on our way back, we got the call - Orcas in the channel! We rushed back and had the sight of a lifetime! Great pod of orcas, big and small. Some of the calves were playing & breached a couple times. Big male was in charge of the pod and came very close to our little boat. It was simply amazing!! After our tour, the shuttle bus made a 15 min stop at the Mendenhall Glacier visitors center. We wanted to stay longer & just told the driver. We walked around and then took the trail down to the falls. When we were finished, we waited for the blue shuttle back to town. It picks up right at the parking lot & is $10pp. We got off at the first stop, right at the Visitors booth across from the saloon. We ate at Tracy's king crab shack which was very yummy! Hubby and I shared the crab roll & some crab cakes. It wasn't too busy & we found seats no problem. It had started to drizzle so it was a little chilly. We walked some shops and headed back to ship.

Ketchikan - booked the Misty Fjords Seaplane trip with Island Wings. This was the highlight of our entire trip!! We are a "flight" family so it's right up our alley. We had the first tour time (11:50-12ish) so we found Shona in the visitors center and she directed us to the van. Short drive to the dock and we watched them ready the plane. Michelle, the founder/owner, was the pilot. We were blessed with beautiful weather! We were able to go up one way, make our lake stop (amazing!) and come back a different way. The whole trip was spectacular! After our trip, we ate at Annabelle's which was pretty good. We then took the walking tour around the city which was good exercise but not that exciting. It would be better if the salmon were running. We shopped and got back on the ship.

Sitka - we walked to the Totem National Park (took a free guided tour by Ranger John & watched the film inside), Raptor Center (worth the walk), then back to town to Castle Hill and the Main Street. We ate at Subway, just like any other subway just more expensive.

Seattle - we flew in/out of SeaTac and rented a car. We went to the Museum of Flight (great place!), Pike Place Market, Future of Flight & Boeing Tour in Everett (pretty cool to see) and a local park in Renton.
We used the Quick Shuttle from SeaTac to Vancouver. After bad customer service on the phone when we booked (which made us nervous because it's non-refundable), the shuttle was as advertised and a pleasant ride.

Have fun in Alaska! We had an amazing trip and would absolutely use both Island Wings and Harv & Marv in a heart beat again!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Made Up Name View Post
Our excursions on the June 9, 2014 cruise:
Skagway: In Skagway, we booked a private trip with Howard Mallory who takes you on a drive on the Klondike Highway up to Carcross, YT and Emerald Lake. You also make several other stops along the way and have plenty of time to take pictures. Howard has lived in Skagway for a long time and his daughter also runs a b&b in town. He was a great guide and was a wealth of information. The scenery was fantastic and we even saw a moose with 2 calves near a lake. http://www.alcanexcursions.com/.

Juneau: We rode the Mount Roberts tramway and hiked along a trail near the top. Our kids like the free wifi at the Mount Roberts visitor center. After that we rode a "Glacier Express" bus to Mendenhall Glacier. The glacier is beautiful and we made the hike to the waterfall, hoping to not encounter bears or wolverines along the way! However, we did see a momma bear and 3 cubs near the visitor center.

Ketchikan: We booked a floatplane trip with Sea Wind Aviation. We loved it. I read that many of the floatplane trips were cancelled the week before because of rain. We had a few sprinkles, but nothing of any significance. I had never been on a small plane before, but the flight was smooth and our pilot was great. I think Ketchikan has several good floatplane operators.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaDame View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pequele View Post
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!
Quote:
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.
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Originally Posted by DisneyHelen View Post
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!
Thank you all for the fabulously detailed reviews! We're booking Alaska for next year.
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:20 AM   #1330
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We did the DCL Mendenhall Glacier and Whale Quest last week. Can't remember the name of the operator however it was very well done. Even though there was several people on the boat it did not seem crowded. There are two indoor levels, and outdoor level on deck 2, and an outdoor on deck 3. They also provide binoculars. Very clean, great service, and snack bar with free hot chocolate and salmon crackers. Saw lots of wild life. I was disappointed in the Glacier tour as it was too short. We had what seemed less than a hour there. After taking a few pictures, watching the movie, and looking around the museum it was time to go. We never got to walk some of the trails and get closer to the waterfall or glacier. Definitely needed more time.
Thanks for your review, you mention " several" people on the cruise.....are we talking several hundred? Sorry just trying to get a feel for the size of the boats and potential crowds. At the glacier we plan to skip the visitors center and just walk the trails. Hopefully, we will have enough time to get out to the glacier and back.
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:04 PM   #1331
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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.
We just got back. We used Adventures in Alaska and they were wonderful! we had a great time with Captain Alan. My oldest daughter is now addicted to Reindeer Sausage. Captain Alan did a great job finding whales and explaining all about their behavior. I would definitely sail on the Scania again with Adventures in Alaska.
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:22 PM   #1332
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Just back from the June 9th sailing. We had a wonderful time.

Vancouver - We did the HOHO with the Big Bus and went to the Vancouver Aquarium. I loved the Aquarium and learned a lot on the HOHO bus. I would have liked more time in Vancouver. I had a great run around Stanley Park. I wish I had more time to explore the park.

Skagway - In the morning we did the Disney White Pass Railway and Trail Camp Excursion where we took the train up, the bus down and stopped at Liarsville. It was a lot of fun. I loved the train ride. I will admit my youngest age 4 slept pretty much the entire ride. My oldest age 8 enjoyed it for the first half and then the motion of the train put her to sleep too. We had a great bus driver and learned a lot from him on the ride back down. Liarsville was Cheesy but fun. the girls had a blast and enjoyed the show.

In the afternoon we did a Hike and Float with http://skagwayfloat.com/tours/chilko...ike-and-float/
Disney does the same excursion but we booked independently since my daughter was too young via Disney. It was awesome. All 4 of us really enjoyed it. The hike was challenging at places so you need to be in good shape, but my 4 year old managed it with a little help. The girls did amazing. The float was relaxing and beautiful. We saw several Eagles along the way. I would definately book with them again if we went back to Alaska.

In Juneau we did Whale Watching with http://www.whale-watch.biz/ Adventures in Alaska on the MV Scania. Captain Alan was great and both Captain Alan and Captain Jack were a joy to work with both before the cruise and during the adventure. Captain Alan did a great job find the whales and explaining their behavior to us. We all had a great time. The girls liked looking for the Whales. After our whale excursion we were dropped off at Mendenhall Glacier. We hiked out to Nugget Falls and when we came back we were able to see a mama bear and her 2 cubs. It was a little challenging figuring out where to go to catch the shuttle back to the pier but not to difficult. I recommend Adventures in Alaska and would use them again. there were 8 of us on the boat.

In Ketchikan we went to the Lumberjack show. This was a pleasant surprise. I really wasn't expecting much but we all had so much fun and laughed so hard. The girls really got into the show. After the Lumberjack show we walked around town visiting the Southeast Discovery Museum, the Tongass Historical Museum and the Totem Heritage Center. The museums were great and inexpensive (and indoors). It rained a little in Ketchikan but never rained on us.

I want to go back to Alaska again. There is so much I would love to do and see.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:17 AM   #1333
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Anyone do any private tours in Ketickan to Potlatch park? I am very interested in going there but the only Disney tour is very pricey and I dont think my kids will like leaving us during the tour to do the totem activity. Any good tour companies that you used specifically? Thanks =)
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:21 PM   #1334
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Worst excursion EVER!!!!

In Ketchikan, we did the Annette Island cultural celebration. It is supposed to be a Disney exclusive. It was just awful. I complained to the shore excursion manager and he gave back 25% of our cost. $225 was way too much for this. Don't go!!!!

Here is the description and I will write in red what actually happened:

•Upon arrival at Annette Island, your Native guide will give you an intimate and rare glimpse of a working village as you discover the heritage of the Tsimshian people. It is not a "village", it is reservation land. It looks like any small town in the U.S. But, it is run down, condemned buildings, old junk cars on lawns and bars on the windows.

•Search the village with your native guide for various totem poles, standing throughout the community where they were originally raised. We drove past 2 totem poles that we could barely see out of the van window.

•One of the many ways native people teach their children about the lives and language of their ancestors is through song, dance and drums beat in loud rhythm. Learn northwest coast art and traditions, and construct your own drum. In the longhouse, the entire family is invited to dance and drum with the native dancers in the cultural traditions. The art activity took way too long and everyone was sitting around checking their cell phones. It is a basic coloring on fabric with regular Crayola markers (that bleed on fabric). Really bad.
•Ceremonial dress is worn for naming and adoption ceremonies, potlatches, totem pole raisings, memorials and other special occasions. In the longhouse, discover the significance of each clan's regalia, masks, hats and unique crests used in a potlatch (celebration) ceremony. There was not one mention of the clothes or what they represent. In fact, most of the "villagers" who were dancing wore street clothes under their costumes. Some didn't even bother putting on costumes/ceremonial dress.

•Keep the spirit of native culture alive and learn to speak Smalgyax (Sha MALL ee yah) the language of the Tsimshian people. The few words you take home from Alaska will help preserve the tradition.
•Browse the Artist's Village and visit with artisans as they create unique native crafts. They dropped us in front of the gift shop in an old warehouse and left us there for 15 minutes. No artisans to watch and the shop was filled with touristy crap.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:04 PM   #1335
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Originally Posted by peachygreen View Post
Just back from the June 9th sailing. We had a wonderful time.

Vancouver - We did the HOHO with the Big Bus and went to the Vancouver Aquarium. I loved the Aquarium and learned a lot on the HOHO bus. I would have liked more time in Vancouver. I had a great run around Stanley Park. I wish I had more time to explore the park.

Skagway - In the morning we did the Disney White Pass Railway and Trail Camp Excursion where we took the train up, the bus down and stopped at Liarsville. It was a lot of fun. I loved the train ride. I will admit my youngest age 4 slept pretty much the entire ride. My oldest age 8 enjoyed it for the first half and then the motion of the train put her to sleep too. We had a great bus driver and learned a lot from him on the ride back down. Liarsville was Cheesy but fun. the girls had a blast and enjoyed the show.

In the afternoon we did a Hike and Float with http://skagwayfloat.com/tours/chilko...ike-and-float/
Disney does the same excursion but we booked independently since my daughter was too young via Disney. It was awesome. All 4 of us really enjoyed it. The hike was challenging at places so you need to be in good shape, but my 4 year old managed it with a little help. The girls did amazing. The float was relaxing and beautiful. We saw several Eagles along the way. I would definately book with them again if we went back to Alaska.

In Juneau we did Whale Watching with http://www.whale-watch.biz/ Adventures in Alaska on the MV Scania. Captain Alan was great and both Captain Alan and Captain Jack were a joy to work with both before the cruise and during the adventure. Captain Alan did a great job find the whales and explaining their behavior to us. We all had a great time. The girls liked looking for the Whales. After our whale excursion we were dropped off at Mendenhall Glacier. We hiked out to Nugget Falls and when we came back we were able to see a mama bear and her 2 cubs. It was a little challenging figuring out where to go to catch the shuttle back to the pier but not to difficult. I recommend Adventures in Alaska and would use them again. there were 8 of us on the boat.

In Ketchikan we went to the Lumberjack show. This was a pleasant surprise. I really wasn't expecting much but we all had so much fun and laughed so hard. The girls really got into the show. After the Lumberjack show we walked around town visiting the Southeast Discovery Museum, the Tongass Historical Museum and the Totem Heritage Center. The museums were great and inexpensive (and indoors). It rained a little in Ketchikan but never rained on us.

I want to go back to Alaska again. There is so much I would love to do and see.
Thanks, I will be on the Scania one week from tomorrow!

Question, did you tip them? I am not sure the protocol. I paid a pretty penny to sail on the boat, and they obviously make a good wage unlike some of the third world areas cruise ships go...I am torn.

Thoughts?
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