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Old May 13th, 2004, 09:39 AM
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Default booking the train on the dock with vendor?

i know that you can book the white pass train in skagway on the ship and there are private tours for the train. but if you want to see what the weather is like before you spend the money for a tour can you book on the dock for the ride up the mountain. sure hope so.

thanks so much

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Old May 13th, 2004, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: booking the train on the dock with vendor?

You can certainly choose to wait until you dock if you like however, you may be disappointed as the train is one of the most popular attractions. Also, by booking through your cruise line or on board ,if for any reason the trip is cancelled, the ship will credit you back but perhaps the best reason for booking ahead is if the train is delayed returning to the dock, the ship will wait, but not if you book the trip yourself. While it is expensive ( $100 USD ) the trip is worthwhile. Try to get the 12:45pm departure as the run takes almost 4 hrs. which still gives you enough time to change for dinner. Enjoy!!
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Old May 13th, 2004, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: Re: booking the train on the dock with vendor?

thanks topcat

you just never know what the weather is going to be like, especially in may, and it would be a shame to waste the money. you are right about the train probably being full. this is one trip my friend really wants to take so it looks like a shopping trip on the carnival site or on the ship for this one. and i remember reading to set on the left side on the way up. they say that is the best way too see all the sites.

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Old May 13th, 2004, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: booking the train on the dock with vendor?

Hi Dusty, actually it does not matter which side you choose on the way up as the conductors ask everyone to switch sides in fairness to the other passengers so that you can see the best views eventually. Also you can stand outside on the train platforms for some fabulous shots. If you do go take binmoculars.Even though the train is extremely busy ,some seats are usually held back for port arrival. Check with your TA or online and remember Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away!
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Old May 13th, 2004, 12:49 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: booking the train on the dock with vendor?

thanks again topcat

that is really good to know. and booking with the ship will let us get on the train before others ( i think ). it will be a fun trip. and i am going to have my camera and binoculars. you just never know what you might see. nice talking to you. and lets hope everyone has great weather and a wonderful trip on and off the ship.

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Old May 13th, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: booking the train on the dock with vendo

Dusty, you are correct, when I spoke to the booking office for the White Pass RR they told me that cruise ships do get prority seating and the train pulls right up to the docks so you do not have to walk into the town site to board. ps, it is a long trip and there are washrooms on each car ,but the only refreshments that are available are the bottled water (n/c) that the conductors hand out so you might want to take a thermos of coffee and a snack along for the ride.They will also offer for sale a VHS/DVD momento of the journey which is well worth the price for train buffs of any age. Hope you have a wonderful trip, we certainly did!
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Old May 13th, 2004, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: booking the train on the dock with vendor?

Actually, do try to sit on the left. It's narrated the whole way up, so you'll get to look at the things the narrator is talking about. You only switch seats at the top for the ride back down to the bottom, which isn't really narrated, or wasn't when I went. The other option is the viewing platform between the cars, of course, but while it was very sunny both times I went, it was pretty chilly on the platform, as well as a little unstable, and most people want their turn outside.

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Old May 14th, 2004, 12:08 AM
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Default Re: booking the train on the dock with vendor?

For clairfication- there is MORE than one train running at a time so the cruise contracted trains are separate from some scheduled trains. The cruise contracted trains pick up at the railroad dock. A lot of people claim this is a better thing then picking up at the depot??? HOWEVER aren't you going to be going into town for a look anyway??? So it is less important than it seems. As for Dusty's question- with the Carnival- "odd" sailing day- (I have sailed Carnival 3 time to Alaska), it frequently has less ships in port compared to weekend embarkments. Another point- it is definately a BENEFIT to sit on the left from Skagway- the commentary is less on the return and most of the landmarks are pointed out on the way up. Also it is very rare to be fogged out completely on the trip- at the most you may go in and out of fog but views can be full at the summit with Skagway fogged in.
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Old May 14th, 2004, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: Re: booking the train on the dock with vendor?

karen16

wow, i did not know that there were more than one train. i need to do some more reseaching here. and it is good to know that the fog wont be there all the time. it is so helpful to get so much good info. the search for a good tour continues and i will keeping track of all the good tips here on the boards. and yes, i will be doing a shopping trip in the town. i cant not buy something from each port. and it is true i beleive that carnival is in port with less ships. that is another plus to going with carnival.

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Old May 14th, 2004, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: booking the train on the dock with vendor?

Dusty,

Here's a great site to see who's in town when. It's neat to see who you'll be docked with. I'm not sure when 2005 comes out.

http://www.alaskacruises.org/home/index.cfm
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Old May 14th, 2004, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: Re: booking the train on the dock with vendor?

thanks cruisindenice

it is fun too see who will be docked the same day as you. anything connected to the cruise is great to see.

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Old May 16th, 2004, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: booking the train on the dock with vendor?

Hey Dusty,

My hubby and I are going on the White Pass Railway & Klondike Dredge excursion out of Skagway on our trip. We booked it directly through our ship, NCL Star. As I've never been to Alaska before, I prefer to book directly through the ship so that I know there won't be any foul-ups. Cause if anything bizarre is going to happen, it'll happen to me - like the train getting stuck and delaying our return to the ship! (I think this is why my hubby nixed the helicopter excursion ... )

I'll post my review when I get back and will give some info on how it went. I took some advice from other posts I've seen where it's better to book later in the day, as opposed to early morning, where there's more chance of fog. But you just never know with Alaska, so hopefully we'll have a clear day!

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Old May 16th, 2004, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: Re: booking the train on the dock with vendor?

tbear

booking through the ship really does releive the ' dread' of missing the ship. that would be the worst that could happen. my friend and i might book with the ship for ketchikan. the saxman village tour with carnival seems to be the best for the money as far as what i can see. we have a long time to decide uuuugggghhhhhhh!!

well, at least we are under a year to go.

dont forget that the ports are very walkable and fun to wander around in. so give your self plenty of time for shopping. and wear the most comfortable shoes you have that are broken in. other wise you will be getting a foot rub on the ship for those sore feet. and beleive me '''''that is a good thing to have done''''''.

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Old May 16th, 2004, 05:48 PM
viv
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Default Re: booking the train on the dock with vendor?

Hi
you don't really have to worry about missing the ship if you take the train ride, odds are the folks on the train are all from the ship anyway. If you book yourself you save a few bucks. We went on the train in the rain, just as we got higher and higher the SUN was out and it was hot, so weather changes lots in alaska.
Take the train even its raining you will love it.
v
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