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Old 01-10-2007, 08:20 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Brampton, Ontario
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Hello everyone, HAPPY NEW YEAR. My wife and I are booked on the Diomand Pricess cruise leaving Vancouver June 9th. We live in Toronto and have never been on a cruise. We have booked the cruise and land package deal here we end up in Fairbanks.
Is anyone else book on this cruise and also any suggestion on port trips???
Thanks.
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:10 PM
PEB PEB is offline
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Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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Enjoy your cruise of Alaska with Princess. I have cruised there on Princess many times. Suggesting what to do is hard because I don't know you but I will let you know of some of the things available in your ports.

Ketchikan will be your first stop. Here the totem parks are very interesting. You can also snorkel and dive here if you wish. Kayaking is real good here. Fishing is one of the biggest things to do. The lumberjack show near the ships is fun to spend an hour or so of time. Flight tours are in all the ports and can be great. Ketchikan is a huge rain forest so do not be surprised if it is raining.

Juneau. Some of the best flight tours are out of here. A helicopter flight landing on a glacier is expensive but well worth the trip. This is one of the best spots for whale watching. I personally prefer to go with Captain Larry and Orca Enterprise over going on the ship whale watches. River rafting can be done here as well as a trip to Mendenhall Glacier. You can reach the Glacier cheaply by taking the local bus if you wish. Tours of Gold mine areas can be done here with some panning for gold if you wish.

Skagway is most known for its White Pass Railway trip, which has unbelievable views. Flight tours again a big deal here as well as fishing trips. Tours into the Yukon can be interesting. You can take tours of Haines from here also it is a short boat ride. The town itself is small and you can see it all by taking an easy walk.

I hope this information helps you out some.
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Old 01-11-2007, 07:05 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Brampton, Ontario
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Thanks for your input. There are so many side trips, it's hard to decide.
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Old 02-06-2007, 04:44 PM
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This is great advice. I am in the beginning stages of planning a cruise for myself and a handful or friends next year, and I'm going to try to convince them to do an Alaskan cruise, as opposed to a tropical one of some sort. This should help in the "convincing."

Thanks!
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Old 02-07-2007, 03:32 PM
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My favorite excursion on an Alaskan cruise is the helicopter ride. We took it and landed on the top of a glacier. It's an experience that you'd never forget. We did it a few years ago and went back recently - the prices rasied A LOT...but it's definitely stil worth it!
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Old 02-08-2007, 01:30 AM
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Hello,

This is a minority report regarding shore excursions in Alaska. I am pleased to hear that many respondents can afford very expensive shore excursions such as helicopter rides. While I can afford shore excursions I hope that participants who look at this board for ideas do not get the idea that the only way to see Alaska is to purchase expensive shore trips.

You can have a great time in Alaskan ports and spend relatively little money. For example there is public transportation to the Mendenhall glacier in Juneau, and a hike up the East Loop Trail is free (or at least it was free a number of years ago). The Alaska State museum in Juneau is an excellent museum and this is relatively inexpensive. You can walk around Juneau and see the governor's mansion and a beer at the Red Dog Saloon.

You can rent cars in Juneau and Skagway for much less than a shore excursion. You can take the rental car up into the Canadian Yukon from Skagway for much less than the train (I agree that the train is a great experience but you get a wonderful experience driving a truly great highway from Skagway to Carincross in Canada.

Ketchikan and Sitka are nice cities to see on foot.

If you want to spend lots of money that is your right and nobody else's business. But it is not true that you have to spend big time to have a great time in Alaska.

Hope that this helps.

Fred
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Old 02-08-2007, 07:01 AM
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Location: Illinois
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Fred makes a good point. We also enjoyed just walking around some of the various ports in Alaska. It's America, after all, so accents, money and other things are familiar, even if the scenery & wildlife isn't.

Just my two cents here: if you do plan to take an excursion or rent a car from Skagway to drive into Canada, make sure you have your passport or birth certificate with you! Border agents going back into the U.S. may be fairly strict requiring the proper I.D. And do make sure to take some sort of wildlife excursion if you are cruising on the big ships, as it's a lot more satisfying to see them up close than through your binoc's from a distance way up on those tall decks.
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Old 02-08-2007, 07:52 AM
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The biggest thing to remember, if you are out on your own and not a paid excursion, you could left behind by the ship and then have to find the way to your next port on your own, which could mean purchasing airline tickets. In that case, to me the excursions are cheaper. We dont take expensive ones, we did whale watching with Mendenhal Glacier which was the most expensive at a little over $100 per person. The rest were under that. There are inexpensive trips as well. My suggestion for Ketchikan though is to take the walking tour on your own. You can pick up a guide at the visitors bureau right there by your ship.
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Old 02-08-2007, 01:30 PM
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One thing we enjoyed and that i remember the most was a visit to the famous "RED DOG SALOON" in Juneau. Very entertaining and good beer.
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Old 02-08-2007, 02:00 PM
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Funny, I never seem to remember much of my visits to the Red Dog.
 
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