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Old 02-21-2013, 04:47 PM   #16
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We did Alaska on RCCL. We did one official excursion, to Jewell Gardens for tea in Skagway. (perfect and beautiful)

We wandered Juneau, getting on the blue bus for the glacier, went to a bookstore, bought a souvenir at the tavern, found a great Mexican restaurant in some "back" streets.

Got off the ship in Ketchikan and within the hour were back on board.

I can think of nothing we would change in the future.

To not get off the ship in Vancouver, though, hurts my heart and brain. Vancouver is an incredible, wonderful, gorgeous city and deserves to be seen and walked in. If only for a crepe from Cafe Crepe or an interesting hot dog (or veggie dog!) from JapaDog. You have to walk a little bit for those (though there are locations for both in many places) so it kills two birds with one stone. (poor birds!)

We just did the Bahamas 3night cruise, and if we went to Nassau again we would do an excursion. We TRIED to do the walking tour to the Staircase, etc, but the streets, lack of sidewalks, cars nearly on the road, lack of streetsigns, etc, made us too nervous. It was just the 3 of us. My cousins' friends did the 4 day the following week and had a GREAT time doing that walk. In a group of 20. Makes a difference, and I think that some people had been on the walk before.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:51 PM   #17
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On both DCL cruises we have taken, we have stayed on ship and enjoyed the low crowds and all the great Disney amenities. It was a great time for us and DS loved having the pool (mostly) to himself. Whatever you decide you will have a blast!
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:55 PM   #18
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Four cruises and only one excursion (so DD could swim with dolphins). We love being on the ship on port days.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:58 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by kelleigh1 View Post
We're booked for Alaska 2014. This will be our first cruise ever and at the moment, we're not sure what our budget would be, so I was just curious if it's possible to just not do any excursions and still have a fantastic cruise.
We are making our third trip to Nassau on the Dream in May and plan on just staying on the ship. Just not enough left in Nassau that we want to see. You can have a wonderful time on the ship but if we were going to Alaska I think I would have to try a few excursions. Never been there before.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:01 PM   #20
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We never booked anything for our past dream cruise won't be for our upcoming cruise either. We paid the money to be on the ship, only get off at castaway cay. The ship is virtually empty when docked its very nice
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:08 PM   #21
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You can spend as little or as much as you want on excursions in Alaska. Some of them are $500-$700 per person. Dog sledding, helicopter to a glacier, etc. Last time we were there we did Juneau on our own, took the bus to Mendenhall Glacier and hiked and enjoyed our day. We did an inexpensive small bus tour to the Yukon in Skagway and a float plane in Ketchikan. It was about middle of the road cost wise. If you visit cruise critic you can find tons of DIY things for Alaska.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:18 PM   #22
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If you don't want to do an excursion don't. Alaskan ports are easily done on your own. That said, do some homework so you know what's available and can plan what your family likes. Alaska was a once in a lifetime trip for us so although we didn't do any excursions through the cruise line we saw plenty of the sights and had a great time. Homework is always key for me.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:52 PM   #23
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Absolutely! We did an Alaskan cruise last year and did no excursions. There is lots to see and do right at the port or slightly outside of it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:02 PM   #24
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17 cruises and have probably done 5 total ship-based excursions. Doesn't mean we don't get off the boat. Doesn't mean we don't do some exploring. Doesn't mean we don't shop or go to a beach, we just don't pay money to do something fancy. Here's what I recall doing:

St. Thomas, did the St. John Eco Hike for about $60/per person on first ever cruise. Loads of fun. Went back to St. Thomas several trips later and re-created this for about $15 per person using a Taxi and the Red Hook Ferry.

Rented bikes on Castaway Cay later in the first-ever cruise.

Belize, did Mayan Ruins via the ship because I wanted to make sure we did it. Second time, we did it as a non-ship excursion.

Grand Cayman bus tour. Cost, about $25 per person. Got us off the ship on one of the first tenders, definitely earlier than open tendering.

Cabo San Lucas boat harbor tour. Same reason as the Cayman excursion. Cheapest one and first one off the ship.

That's it. No other shore excursions. Now a couple of times we have done some once we hit land. My in-laws are famous for renting a taxi and taking an island tour. We did go zip lining in Roatan in an off-ship excursion, but we rarely do those too. Prefer just to explore and people watch.

We are also the people that tried to walk from Phillipsburg to Marigot and almost made it were it not for a blasted wrong turn.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:51 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by kelleigh1 View Post
We're booked for Alaska 2014. This will be our first cruise ever and at the moment, we're not sure what our budget would be, so I was just curious if it's possible to just not do any excursions and still have a fantastic cruise.
Absolutely! We didn't book any excursions on our Alaska cruise and had a fantastic time. We explored on our own in the ports. We did things at our own pace and saw what we wanted to see and do. We didn't miss doing excursions at all.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:57 PM   #26
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We don't and never felt were missing anything. if I want to go-go-go, I'll save that for the parks.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:05 PM   #27
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We didn't do any official excursions for Alaska. For us, it wasn't worth the cost. Also our DS has special needs, and we don't know until its happening, how he will react to some things.

Each port day, we got up leisurely, went to breakfast later than others (ordered room service fruit and pastries to hold us over while getting ready) then got off the ship. We just walked the town, and if something looked interesting, we did it. In Skagway we went to a playground, and DH did some geocaching, and we went in some shops. In Juneau we walked the strip, and took the mt Roberts tram to the top and looked around (just bought tickets at the bottom and got on). In Ketchikan, we walked around, then found a free shuttle bus, and randomly rode it to a park district. We went to this beautiful park with a creek with jumping salmon, and watched them. We were almost alone there!

Each day we did this, then got back on the ship at lunch time eat our paid-for-lunch, let DS nap, and hang out on the ship the rest of the afternoon.

We loved it! We didn't spend a pile of money, we saw sights, and we relaxed!

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Old 02-21-2013, 07:05 PM   #28
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For us it depends on the port. We love some of the beaches in St. Maarten and St. Thomas, so usually we just take a taxi there. I usually just want to veg, and we have a 5 yo daughter so the beaches are a hit.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:13 PM   #29
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Alaska is beautiful. And the list of excursions there seem endless... and the costs can really add up.

My DM has a hard time walking and has cruised AK 3 times without doing any excursions. It's a beautiful cruise (even the days at sea) and she doesn't feel she is missing anything.

On our DCL AK cruise, I did one excursion (Juneau glacier visit) with my DH and DD, but in Skagway and Ketchikan we walked the towns in the morning then DH and DD did excursions and I went back to the ship and kept my DM company. I don't feel like I missed all that much.

None of us wanted to be running around all day. We looked at the ABD add-on for our cruise and it was commando-touring. Not what we wanted from our Alaska experience.

So you can take it easy and still have a great time!

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Old 02-21-2013, 07:24 PM   #30
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We only did ONE on ours and it was a hike and a float. The others we just winged it and had a blast. We went to Mendenhall on our own and saw bear fishing for salmon We took a cheap little city tour and our driver took us straight to bears. The place we took one excursion, we had the guide drop us at the edge of town and we walked to the Gold Rush Graveyard and then we walked to a little water fall behind it. We walked back to town. We had a good time and would recommend just going it in your own.
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