We are going on the Sun 7/27 for our first cruise. I booked two excurisions with NCL, one myself, and one stop we are setting out on our own. I'll let you know how it all works out when we get back.
Just in case you are wondering- I booked the "White Pass Railway & Laughton Glacier Wilderness Hike" in Skagway and the "Craigdarroch Castle & Victorian Highlights" in Victoria through NCL. In Ketchican, I booked a half day kayaking trip with Southeast Sea Kayaks (kayakketchican.com) based on a recommendation from someone on another message board before I recieved my travel papers from NCL. NCL seems to have the same basic trip in the excursion booklet at a slightly cheaper price. I would change it to NCL's but there's a $25 cancelation fee with Southeast. In Juneau, we are striking out on our own. We are planning on getting a local shuttle or cab to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor's Center and heading out on one of the trails to see how close we can get. I printed a copy of the basic trail maps from the Visitor Center's website. (http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass/dis...nhall/map.html
or type "mendenhall glacier " into your search engine.)
I'd like to do one of the helicopter excursions but won't for two reasons: 1) too expensive. I keep thinking of all the drinks, gambling, spa services, and etc I could get with the money I'll save by hiking up to the glacier myself. And 2) I get motion sick watching TV and cruising is pushing it for me, I'm afraid.
I have hung my head over many small boat railings or amusement park rides, and I don't think hanging my head out of the helicopter is an experience I want to have. ( I will be prepared for this cruise, though, with every sea sickness remedy and prevention made!)
I know you said you weren't well enough to to some of the excursions offered. We are in the opposite boat, so to speak. We are active and in our mid-30's. We are turned off by excursions that might trap us in a long boring bus ride listing to a guide make bad jokes or give a monotone speech about the local lore. I guess that's why they offer so many choices both on and off the ship!
But I'll be interested to hear about other people's experiences with the excursions! And I will share mine with you before you head out.
E ya- Ann