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Old 02-25-2006, 05:56 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
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I am trying again - must have done something wrong or posed a very boring question;got "0" responses.

Looking for advice on shore excursions - my wife and I (mid 40's)will be doing a northbound Princess cruise from Vancouver this July - 20th wedding anniversary. We are very active and are looking for advice/suggestions from experienced cruisers on the best way to book excursions - online through cruise line, online independently, or wait until ship docks. Also, has anyone done the "zip-line" canopy thing in Skagway? Thanks!
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Old 02-25-2006, 08:23 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Illinois
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Congrats on your 20th! Great milestone!
That's a pretty broad question. Whether you prebook your excursions or wait until you get there will depend on what you want to do. If you are interested in things that have limited space and/or tend to be popular, by all means prebook them. In Alaska, you can sometimes book them with third-party companies, rather than with the cruise line, for less $, but if you have a short time in port (1/2 day, for example) or are planning to be a ways from town - for example, going out whale-watching or on a fishing excursion - I'd recommend doing it through the cruise line; if you get back late, and are booked through the cruise line's excursion desk, they will wait for you, but if you don't, they won't, and you'll have to fly to the next port at your own expense. (Can't rent a car and drive - Inside Passage towns aren't connected by roads, for the most part.)

Once onboard, if you find, after prebooking an excursion with the cruise line, that it's not quite what you want, you can cancel it (usually up to 24 hours ahead of time). You won't get a cash refund, but they will usually offer you credit toward a replacement shore excursion.

Check with your TA or with the cruise line if you have specific questions about the excursions or about booking procedures. Have a great cruise!!
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Old 02-27-2006, 09:07 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
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This will be our first cruise to Alaska this May. Since I have a great interest in wildlife, I have started booking excursions with independents to get the more focused tours I want. For example, in Juneau we are set to fly in to Pack Creek (on Admiralty island) to see bears (the tour will also fly over the Mendenhall glacier - total time 3-4 hours). I've gotten a great deal of information from the Frommer guidebooks - the one on Alaska had a lot more info on alternative tours than the Alaska cruises one. Also searches on the internet (Googling) by port will get lots of hits of independent web sites. Since you are so active, I really recommend checking out independent tours - a lot of the ship ones seem quite tame.
 
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