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Old July 26th, 2002, 07:08 PM
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Default Tours availability at pier

How crucial is it that I plan my time in each port of call by booking ahead of time? Are there tours available at each port of call if I want to decide last minute and do they offer substantial savings? And are these tours repeats of what's offered through the cruise line?
Which ports have tenders?
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Old July 26th, 2002, 11:22 PM
DeniseToAlaska
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Default Re: Tours availability at pier

On Carnival, we didn't tender at all. I did see one ship, the Seaborn Spirit, parked ouside and tendering. Strange, since it's a very expensive ship.

From what little I know, I'd stick to the ship tours or walking around. Why? Well, first of all, if you return late, the ship doesn't wait. It's your responsibility to find your way the the next port. Second, all of the tours I was on said that cruise ships have priority over non-cruise-ship booking. Meaning, if you want to do something neat, it might be all sold out.

There are some things you just don't want to miss. The shore excursions were the highlight of the trip in Alaska. Cruise ships have to stay, by law, a certain distance from glaciers and whales. Canoeing right up to the Mendenhall Glacier had us wow'ing for days. Heck, I'm still wow'ing a month later.

Seeing orcas doing their mating dance and humpbacks doing bubble feeding was spectacular. More wow'ing for weeks.

If you absolutely cannot afford the excursions, you may be able to pick up some bus tours or walking tours. The Ketchikan walking tour looked nice, and we could have just walked with them if we weren't shopping heavily.

It was the experience of a lifetime, though, there's just nothing like it. So explore it as much as you can afford. It's no time to be cheap. It's worth it.

Denise
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Old July 30th, 2002, 07:29 AM
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Default Tours

How crucial is it that I plan my time in each port of call by booking ahead of time? Are there tours available at each port of call if I want to decide last minute and do they offer substantial savings? And are these tours repeats of what's offered through the cruise line?

Which ports have tenders?

I just booked the helicopter rides for our two boys--we leave on Aug. 9th on Legend of the Seas.

Of the five times that the tour is schedules--two were already sold out!

From what I have heard, it depends on what tour you want.

Good Luck!

Bill
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Old July 31st, 2002, 07:36 AM
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Default Re: Tours

We are also going on Legend of the Seas , Aug 30th. I hope you have a great trip! Would love to hear from you when you return. This is my parents first cruise and they are wanting to do halibut fishing in Sitka and Juneau. Would love some info on this or anything else. Have fun!
BFox
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Old August 7th, 2002, 08:07 AM
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Default tours

How crucial is it that I plan my time in each port of call by booking ahead of time? Are there tours available at each port of call if I want to decide last minute and do they offer substantial savings? And are these tours repeats of what's offered through the cruise line?

Which ports have tenders?

I am a many time Alaska visitor. I do not recommend just getting off your ship then deciding what to do- time is way too short. However there is plenty to do independently but have reservations and plans made in advance. Most of your walk off availablity will be "city type touring" little if any availablity for any flights. Research and choose carefully there are plenty of options. Look over your shore excursion list and narrow down your interests. Expect to pay about 40-50 % less for these type of tours vs the ship tours (bus tours). I never take any ship tours and have traveled extensively independently.
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Old August 7th, 2002, 08:13 AM
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Default tours

From what little I know, I'd stick to the ship tours or walking around. Why? Well, first of all, if you return late, the ship doesn't wait. It's your responsibility to find your way the the next port. Second, all of the tours I was on said that cruise ships have priority over non-cruise-ship booking. Meaning, if you want to do something neat, it might be all sold out.



There are some things you just don't want to miss. The shore excursions were the highlight of the trip in Alaska. Cruise ships have to stay, by law, a certain distance from glaciers and whales. Canoeing right up to the Mendenhall Glacier had us wow'ing for days. Heck, I'm still wow'ing a month later.



Seeing orcas doing their mating dance and humpbacks doing bubble feeding was spectacular. More wow'ing for weeks.



If you absolutely cannot afford the excursions, you may be able to pick up some bus tours or walking tours. The Ketchikan walking tour looked nice, and we could have just walked with them if we weren't shopping heavily.





I have to respectfully disagree. Cruise ships do not have priority except with the companies they use. In addition there are many excellent independents that give a superior tour to the ship excursions. As for missing your ship- with careful planning- I always book my tours for shortly after arrival, that way I have a large block of time available for other touring. You actually can have a significant savings booking independently and if your ship does not have advanced reservations booking independently with reservations is a great advantage. You are still in the US, with high business standards. All towns are walkable from the ship and offer walking tour maps. Very easy to tour on your own.
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Old August 18th, 2002, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: tours

How do I find these independent tour operators from home? I am leaving in 3 days and have it wait too long but would much rather do it on my own. Thanking you in advance.
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Old August 22nd, 2002, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: Re: tours

Even though Lois has left, for others- it is necessary to request each city's visitor guide- all the listings there, next best is a look at their web sites.
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