I believe we will be cruising in late May. I can still change the date. I am wondering if I should change to mid or late June?
-My big question is on age and physical ability.-
We are in our mid sixties. After a bad fall last year, I am not as steady on my feet as I would like to be. I have to hold my husbands arm most times when we are walking. I want to take part in all excursions and possibly the land tour if I am able to. I don't know if a person mid sixties with some walking problems at times can physically take part . If anyone would be so kind to let me know their experiences on these trips I would be so grateful. Thank you. I would appreciate all answers.
Plenty for you to experience, the key is in planning and being realistic. Should have no problem with an excellent and full experience trip. If doing a land tour- these take care of everything, BUT be very certain and informed on what you are purchasing. I just returned and couldn't believe the amount of people who had no clue what they had purchased.
We were on an inside passage cruise a couple of years ago. We're in our 50s, and I don't get around as well as I used to. We had a great time, took wildlife watching tours, bus tours, the train in Skagway, and just roamed around the towns. We did not do anything very athletic, because I was unable to, but I don't see why you couldn't have a wonderful time, doing whatever you know you are capable of. Alaska is beautiful, and shouldn't be missed........ Also, have you considered renting or bringing an electric scooter, or, what I had at the time, a collapsible wheelchair? That worked great, as long as husband could push. If he couldn't have, I would have rented a scooter or an electric wheelchair to get around on. If you rent, they deliver them right to your cabin, and pick them up there, too.
I think you should definitely go for it. As far as timing, I would probably try to move a little further into the high season, but your rates will probably be higher, and the weather is always a crap shoot anywhere you go. My Mother is in her early 60's and has problems with one of her knees, so she's not very mobile, and I was making mental notes when my husband and I went because she plans to visit Alaska with her sisters next year. I think the cruise and post-cruise tour would be ideal for you. I'm encouraging my relatives that are your age to book a northbound or southbound itinerary (Seward to Vancouver or Vancouver to Seward) as opposed to the round-trip Vancouver itineraries; so that they can see as much as possible in the event that they are unable to return at a later date. My opinion is that Alaska has a lot to offer people of all ages and physical fitness levels. You will enjoy the train rides and scenic cruising a lot and, as previously noted by the other users, there are many bus tours, etc. for your ports. In fact, I don't think I've seen such a wide variety of options offered anywhere else in the world than you'll find in Alaska, so I hope you have a great time.
Thank you for your suggestions and encouragement. I found them very helpful.
I have been studying the excursions and have eliminated any where I would have to hike , paddle or outrun a bear. That last will be sorely missed as I like and are fascinated by bears. If you think of any particular excursions , please write again. What a great site this is. We can ask questions and have them answered by terrific people like you. Thanks again, OOOO
I also have some stability and endurance problems. In Alaska there is so much to see without your having to do anything but sit back and look. There is wonderful scenery to be seen from the ship practically the whole cruise. The helicopter ride requires you to climb in and out, but the walking on the glacier is easy. They give you special boot to put on over your shoes and you don't go far from the helicopter. The White Pass Railway in Skagway is really easy. You get on the train right at the dock and basically sit back and enjoy. It is really beautiful. (Try for the left side going up. Most of the best scenery will be on that side. You change seats with the people across the aisle going back down, but there is not as much narration, so you might miss some of the special sights.) In Ketchikan there are horse and carriage tours and the duck tours (The duck drives on land and floats on the water.) You can do all this with hardly any exertion on your part. Getting to the dining room on ship would give you a better work out. We were limiting ourselves to the excursions that wouldn't be beyond me, but we had a great time! In fact, we plan to go back in 2 years with our daughter and son-in-law.
Thanks for your valuable input and the specific excursions. Did you take the land tour and or excursions? I am beginning to consider adding the land tour but I am not sure about it yet. Thanks again, Pat
Be sure to plan a helicopter landing. It is the absolute best. It doesn't require any physical ability to walk around on the glacier. The only problem would be stepping up to sqeeze into the helicopter. If you can do that, then it would definitely be on your "must do" list. The White Pass Railroad is another good choice. Also, if you end up or start out in Seward, take the train to / from Anchorage. There is beautiful scenery, and we saw more wildlife up close from that train ride than anywhere else the whole cruise. There is so much beautiful scenery to be seen from the deck of the ship that you could enjoy the trip without going on land at all. But there are enough excursions that you will be able to do to make it a fantastic cruise.
Thank you for those added suggestions. I am disapointed that the Infinity will not be going to Skagway next year. I was looking forward to the train ride. They are going to Sitka now . I will have to find some info on that port now.
I just saw your second question. We didn't do the land part because we were afraid it would be too tiring for me to keep going all day without a chance to lie down for a little rest. Every one says that they wouldn't do a one way cruise without adding the land part, and I wanted to go to Denali, but we figured that getting to see Alaska some was better than not seeing it at all. One TA I talked to said that I shouldn't be too disappointed about that. Her mother had gone the previous summer and said that the scenery really wasn't all that different from you saw on the cruise itself. I would really like to do the cruise again one day and add the land part if possible.
Are you definitely going on the Infinity? Most of the cruise lines do go to Skagway. It was one of our favorite stops. We were on Princess and loved it. But Princess won't be ending up at Seward anymore, so you would miss half the great scenery between Seward and Anchorage. Princess cruises do get to go into Glacier Bay. The last 2 days are spent cruising Glacier Bay and College Fjiord. I think most HAL cruise do that too. Those 2 days gave me a good chance to rest from the port days without feeling like I was missing anything. (You do need a balcony in Alaska to get the most out of the cruise.)
I know you will love Alaska and have a great cruise.
One TA I talked to said that I shouldn't be too disappointed about that. Her mother had gone the previous summer and said that the scenery really wasn't all that different from you saw on the cruise itself
I have to say that the above was probably stated to you in support of your plans and not based on fact. The scenery is vastly different and I'll also assume that the woman probably also went on a cruisetour??? An excellent possibility for interior sightseeing that allows plenty of "down" time is via RV. Stop when and where you wish, take a quick nap if needed, convenient bathroom, easy food etc etc. Do come visit and consider this, you won't be disappointed!!!!
My DH and I went to Alaska for our 25th 8/24-8/31/03. We took the msStatendam (HAL) . Went Seward to Vancouver. Saw College Fjord, Glacier Bay, went Whale Watching with Cap'n Larry, took a Sea Otter and Wildlike Cruise, took a helicopter to get out on a glacier, took a Duck tour of Ketchidan, did the float plane to Misty Fjords, and the Historic Sitka, Raptor Center and Russian Dancers. I cannot walk more than 200 feet without severe pain in my lower back. I did all these including getting out on the float plane's pontoon at Big Goat Lake in Misty Fjord. I rented a Pride Revo electric 3 wheel scooter and an extra large seat (so I can carry packages) regular wheel chair as the battery is somwhat exposed on the scooters and that does not work well with the liquid sunshine of Alaska. As we stayed in the United States, all tour vehicles had to be somewhat handicapped addaptive because of the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act). I rented the wheel chair and scooter from CareVacations dot com. It was in my stateroom when I boarded and I left it there when I disembarked. They deliver and pick them up for you. I would not hesitate to go to Alaska and tour. As a matter of fact we are going to go again at least twice. Once to stay over in Anchorage and take the McKinley Explorer domed train up to Denali and take the 6 hour bus trip into the wilderness. They also have a 3 hour one. And another time, we are going to take a float plane from Anchorage to Brooks Camp/Falls. Have you ever seen the pictures of the brown bears standing in the falls catching salmon in their mouths. This is where that was shot. Please , please do NOT miss Alaska!
Thank you Joyce . That was fun reading about your trip. I appreciate the info on the excursions you took knowing that you were not in tip top condition like me. I am going to look into all the trips that were mentioned by you and the other good people here.
I know I replied to your question, but it seems to have gone into never never land. We didn't go on the land part because I was afraid I would get too tired if I kept going all day without a chance to lie down for a brief rest. I was disappointed about not doing it. One TA I talked to said not to be too upset. Her mom went and said she wouldn't do it again. Most of the scenery was just more of the same as what you see during the cruise. I still would like to do the land part one day though. Every one else says it is not to be missed.
We were on Princess, and went on the Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest in Sitka.........it was the best thing we did on the whole cruise!! AND............you'll like this............we saw a couple of BEARS!! Sitka was really a neat place.
My Mom loved Ketchikan, was ready to move there........except for the stairs! (She's 87) We did the Horse Drawn Trolley sightseeing tour there.........there were three or four steps to get into the Trolley.
If you can, try to look at parts of the tours online, so you can see if the vehicle is accessible to you. When Mom and I went this year, we thought the Duck tour, in Ketchikan, sounded like a blast, but when I looked at the vehicle, I wasn't sure we could get in. Only you know what you can do, so I offer that suggestion as one that really helped us decide.
Looking forward to hearing about your cruise when you return.
I did receive your other email> I have it on my thread. Thank you . Still undecided on adding a land tour. It might be getting too late to do that now. We cruise in May.
You are right. I am thrilled that you saw 2 bears. How did that happen?
First I am hearing about horse drawn tolley. That sounds like fun too.
If you have time....What is the Duck Tour? And thanks again.
When in Sitka, we took a boat tour........something like Otter and Wildlife Tour..........we saw the bears on shore, as we rode by. This was a couple of years ago, but I see that the tour is still listed in the Princess Shore Excursion book, and on their website.
The Horse Drawn Trolley Tour was in Ketchikan, when we were there in September. It was just a ride around town, with a guide, but it was fun, and didn't last too long. The trolley was right on the dock, so we didn't have to walk far................as a matter of fact, two crewmen wheeled us to the trolley in chairs, but we walked back. There was shopping right in that area. We didn't go, because my Mom was pooped, but it wasn't very far.
Someone has sent you a link for the Ducks Tour...............sure looks like fun............haven't done that.. I would love to hear about that one.
What a great idea! Why didn't I think of that? Do you know where we can rent RV's up there? Are there good camping parks easily available? Do you have specific suggestions of what would be good to try to see? Wow! Now I know what I really really want to do for our next cruise.
I rented from Great Alaskan Holidays out of Anchorage- but plenty of rental companies. Compare all fees, some require a separate cleaning and dumping fee. Great Alaskan has Alaska State park permits that allow free stays, very nice parks but with limited services. Plenty of private parks. http://www.dnr.state.ak.us/parks/units/index.htm
As for what to see??? Denali Park a priority, and certainly all the stuff along the way.
Thanks, Karen. I'll definitely check this out. I couldn't wait to tell DH about your idea. He's always said he wouldn't like to drive a motorhome, but even he thinks this is a good idea. We might not get to do it as soon as I hoped, since he has a few more years till he can retire and take off more that a week at a time, but he has promised that we will do it. I'm going to start doing research now. Maybe that will kill the time till we can go.
My friend went last year with her sister who is diabetic,can't see well and has trouble walking.They had a fantastic time,and are planning to go back this year. Most of the tours accomadate people with disabilities.They are usually rated and tell you the difficulty of the tour. They did helicopter,that landed on glacier, and managed very well catamaran whale watching ,and many other wonderful tours. So go ahead and plan your trip.