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mildavis

1st Alaskan Cruise

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Hi everyone,

We are two families of 4 getting ready to go on Holland AMerica on the June 10 sailing from Vancouver. WE are flying into Seattle and are trying to arrange to get over to Victoria for a day before the cruise. (Haven't figured this one out yet) Any suggestions on Shore excursions for Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan? The children are ages 8, 11, 12 & 12. They are not wimps, either. Any suggestions would be great!

Mildavis, Mobile, AL

:cool:

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Hi mildavis...

Welcome to Cruise Crazies! I haven't been to Alaska, yet, but hopefully some of the other Crazies can help you. Welcome aboard!

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Welcome to CruiseCrazies, mildavis>

We cruised to Alaska last year, and it is a great experience. We went with friends, but there were no children with us. In Skagway, the White Pass & Yukon Railroad is a must-see. For much of the ride on the mountain, you are going along steep ravines and skinny bridges. It is a spectacular ride, and I think that the kidsd will enjoy it very much. There is quite a bit of history involved with the railroad and the ride is narrated.

Certainly, helicopter flights to walk on a glacier is very exciting, but is very expensive. I never met anyone who didn't love it. Also, we went on a whalewatch in Juneau which gave us unbelievable views of the humpbacks.

Have a great time up there. :grin:

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In Juneau I would suggest white water rafting down the Mendenhall Glacier. You can do this one of two ways. There is a raft with metal sides, that will give you a nice, easy, fun time rafting. Or, you can go in the regular rubber raft, no metal sides, and have the time of your life. We did it that way. They give you all the equipment, rubber thigh-high boots, vest, etc., and you have a guide on the raft, no matter which way you do it. Each raft holds about 15 people.

We also did the White Pass Railroad in Skagway, and the scenery is beautiful. Our kids were 13 and 14 when we went and they enjoyed that too.

My husband took my oldest son salmon fishing in Ketchikan...while my youngest and I went to see the totem poles. I'm not great on a small boat and would never have gone salmon fishing, but it sounded like that was the better excursion, if you can stomach it. They each caught 3 fish, the limit, and we got to have it canned and shipped home. We had salmon for a long time. The totem poles were nice to see, but not a very exciting excursion. A lot of talking, and not too interesting for the kids.

The white water rafting was the highlight of Alaska for us. We don't take any helicopter rides...anywhere. My husband is a helicopter pilot and flies every day. That's the last thing he wants to do on a vacation! LOL! And, I won't fly with anyone other than him!

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mildavis,

Hello and welcome to Cruise Crazies and I'm glad to see you posting. I'm so glad you asked the question about Alaska because I'm contemplating booking an Alaskan cruise in June.

rogue,

Was the White Pass and Yukon Railroad excursion an expensive one and how long is the ride?

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As I remember, the cost was under $100 per person for the train, but my memory isn't what it used to be. Our excursion actually was a bus tour into the Yukon, and then took the train back to Skagway. The area up there is beautiful, but does feel like a true frontier. As I remember, you could buy tickets for the train directly from the railroad, but they weren't very much cheaper.

For my wife and I, our Alaska cruise was our best yet. It is different than any of the other cruises we took. On all of our other cruises, the ship was our destination, but not on our Alaskan cruise. Alaska is definitely the destination. There is no way that you can spend any time on deck, and not find yourself lost in the scenery.

As you see, I could go on talking about Alaska for quite a while (my wife is wose than me), so I'll end now. There are lots of other Crazies that have been to Alaska, and I'm sure they agree. :grin:

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:cool: Hello: We cruised Alaska last Aug. The White Pass RR in Skagway was $100.00 per person thru Princess. However I recall it being sold in town for $50.00. Do bear in mind June will be busy so there are no guarantees of availability. As for other excursions my suggestion is to lok over the shore excursions offered by HAL and choose what suits you best. We did the helicopter tour to Mendenhall but there are many others as well that looked really good. In ketchican see the Totems. Its really nice and there is a totem to Abe Lincoln of all people and the story behind it is pretty cool. I think you all will really like this vacation. Cheers, Larry :cool:

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I agree with Howard...the Alaska cruise was the best cruise we've taken. We're going back again in August with friends and I can't wait to see it again.

Our trip on the White Pass Railroad was about 2 hours, maybe...it was a long time ago, so I don't remember either. But they go one way, then at the end of the line, they turn the seats around and go back on the same track. They talked about it all on the way going, but not on the way back. The pictures we have our spectacular, and I'm looking to take more this time.

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Well, we finally decided that (on this trip anyway) we will not go to Victoria, but we will get to Vancouver early. We are going to travel by the Amtrak Cascades from Seattle to Vancouver on the Friday before we sail. The kids are very excited, as are the children, I mean, the adults. We are still deciding on the excursions. I guess we still have plenty of time. Still keep those suggestions coming. Thanks for all the input.

Mildavis

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Vancouver is wonderful. You can walk all over the city, and the shopping is great. be sure to stop at my favorite dessert place...Death by Chocolate!

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