We are going to Alaska (First Alaska Trip) July 13 on the Veendam. Any suggestions for excursions. I have heard some say to do the Ships excursions and others to wait until you dock and do the excusions off ship. Any suggesions?
Both are possible and good. Most of the excursions are very similar. The ship is a bit more expensive due to crew expenses and profit marjin. The major plus of a ship's excursion is that if you return late and its a ship's excursion, they will wait for you before they sail on. In Alaska thats not a huge problem, but in some foreign ports private vendors could have mechanical problems and might return you to the dock a little late. It's the chance you take.
You need to look over a shore excursion list and narrow down your interests, there are a lot of choices. Myself I never book ship excursions, but I also would never consider just getting off the ship then deciding what to do. I highly recommend always having plans and reservations in advance. Very very easy to go independent in Alaska. If you miss the ship it will be your fault. Plan your tours for early in your port day. Take the recommendations of the tour operators. Don't skimp on tours, they are the highlight of traveling Alaska.