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RonDon
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Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 2262
Loc: Rhode Island
Alaska Cruise and land trip
      #1614529 - 11/12/14 09:57 AM (72.87.65.87)

Sorry to get back so late to those of you that helped. Your advice helped us have a great trip!

Took Princess cruise to inside passage 1st week. I am not a cruise person but this was the best. Had a balcony, sipped hot drink while watching glaciers pass by. Ship made stops in Ketchican, Skagway, Juneau, College Glaciers, Glacier Bay. Took advice given here and took local bus to Mendenhall Glacier; hired a local Inuit for tour of Ketichikan. He covered all 37 square miles of the area and included a stop for tea & cake at his grandmother's house---all for $20. So we tipped him another $20.

The only tour offered by cruise line that we took was to Klondike out of Skagway. We used cruise because it was an 8 hr tour and we thought if anything went wrong the ship had to wait for us. That was the best! Train ride into the goldrush region, tour of Indian Town, and bus ride back via Chillicok trail.

In Juneau we booked a whale watch on a small boat that seated 10 people. 2:30 to 5:30. Tour was kind enough to pick us up at Mendenhall so we didn't have to go all the way back to ship to meet them. Saw the cruise ship tour boat near us---very crowded--and lots of whales. Then the Captain got a call on CB and asked if we'd seen enough because he wanted to take us to see something even the locals rarely see. After a fast ride far away from all the boats watching whales we arrived to see about 20 killer whales: Orca. When we returned to ship, compared stories, found we had gotten a lot more for less money.

After the cruise we took a train ( thanks to the poster that gave us "heads-up" that food was not included) . We stopped in Talkeetna, took a flight over Mt McKinley which was never seen. But we did see Denali from the air, glaciers etc. well worth it! In Talkeetna we stopped at Mile High Pizza and found that the owner was from our state, RI---no wonder we loved the pizza!

We stayed at the Princess Lodge in Talkeetna area ---great room, beautiful setting, serene. Hiked some trails, saw bear. Stayed at the Lodge at Denali. It didnt compare with the other Lodge. It was very run down. Curtains didn't quite cover the windows so I had to buy eye blinders to keep out the light in order to sleep. Surprised at the length of daylight. Took a standard tour of Denali then returned another time to see a dog sled demo in the park. While beautiful, the park didn't impress as did Glacier in Montana, but still beautiful in its own way.

Bussed thu more of Alaska on to Fairbanks where we overnighted before flying back to Seattle for another overnight before Jet Blue took us back to Boston,

Now I'm at the drawing board to plan Hawaii. Our goal is to see all 50 states. Still have the tornado belt to cover: Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa. as well as Hawaii.

2015 we will NOT go to St Maarteen (usually go every year) and already I'm sad!

Again Thanks for the info.
Rosemary

Edited by Carol_Hill (11/12/14 11:59 AM)


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tmsxmsails
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Joined: 12/07/13
Posts: 221
Loc: Massachusetts USA
Re: Alaska Cruise and land trip [Re: RonDon]
      #1614714 - 11/13/14 04:16 PM (71.10.242.21)

Thanks for the report. I've told myself I wasn't going to take any more cruises but this one has me intrigued. How was the ship? How many people on board? What was the duration?

Thanks,

Tom


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Eric_HillAdministrator
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Joined: 08/01/00
Posts: 11167
Re: Alaska Cruise and land trip [Re: tmsxmsails]
      #1614817 - 11/14/14 07:59 AM (173.114.132.1)

A cruise for Alaska is great and if you can add a land portion then it is even better. There are quite a few options available, but they are not the same. As a result be sure to do your research.

--------------------
Eric Hill
TTOL Shop


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swg
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Joined: 10/20/03
Posts: 327
Re: Alaska Cruise and land trip [Re: RonDon]
      #1614914 - 11/14/14 04:55 PM (24.152.255.246)

We've often thought of doing an Alaska Cruise. It sounds like you had a great trip. Sue

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