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Old 01-13-2013, 07:52 PM   #1
jaysteb
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Alaskan Cruise

Anyone ever taken an Alaskan Cruise before? Do you have any recommendations for excursions. I will be traveling with two 5 year olds.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:10 PM   #2
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There are several Alaskan tips threads--one of which is all about excursions. Do a board search and just type in "Alaska cruise" and most will pop. Alaskan excursions have a number of factors and it'll be easier for you to narrow down what your priorities are: glaciers, animals, physical activity, etc.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:19 PM   #3
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Thank You...I have a field day trying to understand the DIS I joined a while ago but have up because I can't seem to find what I'm looking for :-). I need DIS101
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:26 PM   #4
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Whale watching and the Duck Boat tours are always good for kids.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:34 PM   #5
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That sounds like a definite!!! Thank You!
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:49 PM   #6
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I went on the Alaska cruise with my 5 year old daughter. We had a great time. Below are some of my thoughts.

*Bring some cooler clothes, like sandels, short sleeve for the boat. It gets warm at times on the ship.
* Be ready to use the pool the first two days out and the last day back in. Wonderful time. And the scenery is just beautiful.
* I booked all my tours on my own.
Skagway: Dog Musher camp!! Through Alaska Excursions. Cost $120 adult and $89 child. This was so fun. They pick you up at the port. A short tour through the town and then you make 2 stops on the way to get out and see the sights. Its like a 30 minute drive. We saw Eagles and Salmon. The you go on a ride with the dogs through a dirt trail. Its fast!! and you see how they train them and play with the puppies and have hot cocoa. And they will drop you off at the port or in town. We went to the town.
JUneau: Whale watching is a must. So amazing!! So fun. I recommend Captain Marv.
Ketchican: We did a float plane ( because we had more in our group) this is very costly. Would not do with just the three of you. It was great and I enjoyed the landing at a private Place to expore with our guide. We ate berry, learned many things and saw 4 black bears. But so so much $$

Hope you enjoy!!
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:02 PM   #7
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Awesome!!! I cannot wait!!!
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:27 PM   #8
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We are taking a trip this summer It'll be just me and DH (no kids to speak of yet), but hopefully I can still offer some suggestions based on what we have set so far.

In Skagway, we will be riding on the White Pass railway, which should be a relaxing excursion that all ages can enjoy. We will likely be booking an extended trip on our own through Chilkoot Charters (just Google the name for details on the various White Pass-type trips they offer) that will take most of the day and let us sightsee by both rail and bus, with lots of stops for sightseeing and wildlife watching. The White Pass has been repeatedly communicated to me as "THE must-do" in Skagway.

We will also be doing a floatplane to Misty Fjord - expensive, but supposedly worth every penny. We saved a good bit by also booking this on our own with the company Island Wings. Again, the scenery should be breathtaking.

We are a bit undecided on Juneau. I think we will be trying to offset the floatplane a bit by getting to Mendenhall Glacier on our own, exploring for a while, taking a ride on the tramway, and maybe (adult-only venture alert!) heading to the Alaskan Brewing Company for a tour and tasting (we are admitted beer nerds!). I would love to do whale-watching with Harv and Marv, but DH is less than enthused (boo!).

I will say that I was very hesitant at first, but upon contacting specific companies and doing research here on the boards I will also concur that you should *not* be afraid of booking excursions in Alaska on your own. The tourism industry completely supports most of the lovely little towns that you will visit, and the businesses there wouldn't survive if they didn't deliver on their promises to show you a good time and safely see you back to the boat. In particular, Island Wings brags that they have not had to pay for a single customer to meet their ship at the next port in 25 years of business. So...do you homework, because it should be well worth the effort.

Also - when are you sailing? Take a look here on the DIS, because inevitably there will be a thread begun as a meetup for your sailing. Talk to others that will be cruising with you, as they will both have good advice and will be organizing some fun activities on board.

Happy sailing! This is going to be a terrific trip for us both!
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:32 PM   #9
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We've done Alaska twice (full disclosure, HAL both times), just standing on the deck during the day is breath taking.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:33 PM   #10
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I typically get better results with google searches that point me to the dis than with the dis search function.

Alaska was GREAT.

One hint--Skagway has a Wal-mart with a free shuttle to/from near the port. You can also take the city bus for $1 each way. This is great when your family forgets some of what they decide are necessities of life.

We did Totem Bite state park (free admission, free self guided tours, free guided tours sometimes). Take the blue city bus from the stop the visitor center will direct you to...$1 each way. We paid $2 per person for this excursion while the cruise line was marketing it for $69. On the way home, we hopped off the bus at the Wal-mart, did our shopping, and took the shuttle the rest of the way back. We then walked around town.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:23 PM   #11
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We loved Alaska!

We did the White Pass Railway with a stop in Liarsville to pan for gold. If you do just the train ride, it's 3 hrs non stop with no getting off at all. I thought it would be nice to mix it up a little.
After that dh took our boys for the Grizzly Falls Zipline tour, also booked through DCL.

For Ketchikan we did a float plane over Misty Fjords which was beautiful and then the Lumberjack show. Kind of lame but maybe 5 yr olds would enjoy it more.

For Juneau we did a helicopter trek onto Mendenhall Glacier. The was for sure the highlight of our cruise. It was kind of expensive so we chose the shortest trek which was 20 mins on the glacier. In retrospect I would have spent more to stay longer.

We booked the helicopter through Temsco (found on a photo in DCL's excursion webpage.) Their prices were a huge savings over booking through DCL.
We booked the float plane with Misty Fjords Air.
They both offered a 20% discount if we paid in full by the end of Feb or March. We could cancel for full refund up to approx 1 week prior and would also get a refund if our ship couldn't dock.

I'm not sure if I'd do all that with a 5 yr old of course but the train & float plane would be easy enough. I think whale watching would probably be better for Juneau.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvguy View Post
We've done Alaska twice (full disclosure, HAL both times), just standing on the deck during the day is breath taking.
So true!!
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:07 AM   #13
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We did Alaska last September with our 5 year old son. The excursions we did were:

Yukon Rail and Dog Camp with Chilkoot Charters in Skagway. This was an AWESOME excursion. The train was amazing - the scenery was breathtaking. We had a nice lunch in Carcross and the dog cart ride was so fun! Our son loved every minute of it. They then dropped us in Skagway and we had time to explore the town before going back to the ship.

Best of Juneau in Juneau (booked through Disney). This was also amazing! We saw so many whales! Then the lunch at Orcas Lodge was great too. And then we went to Mendenhall Glacier. Our son had a blast! The tour dropped us in downtown Juneau so we could wander some. Our son was a little bored wandering through the shops, but the excursion was great!

Bear Country and Wilderness something (I can never remember the name of this excursion) in Ketchikan. We went to the Alaskan Rainforest Sanctuary and saw a ton of bears. Our son loved it! After watching the bear for a while, we got to feed reindeer. That was great too.

Our son had the best time on this cruise. There was very little whining and he is smiling in every picture! When picking excursions, we looked at the cost and what we thought we would get out of it. We elected to not do any floatplane excursions because we figured our son was too young to appreciate that type of thing (they were ~$500 a person!). We figured if we go back in a couple of years, we could do it then. Just our thinking.

Best of luck - you'll love it!
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:16 AM   #14
jaysteb
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LOVE all the feed back!!!!! Y'all are getting me so excited!!!!!
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:09 AM   #15
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Any reviews of Harv and marv? Their customer service seems awesome. Dud anyone do sled dog glacier-heli ride in Skagway? Trying to determine pros and cons of doing it there or juneau
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