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Old June 1st, 2004, 06:25 PM
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Default Independent or RCCL shore excursions?

This is my second cruise; first to Alaska and I need some advice. Our family is not big on cruises–while we appreciate that these "floating hotels" provide a source of income to the various ports of call, we have also seen how they can negatively impact a destination. That being said, this Alaska cruise is a big family reunion situation so we are cruising with 9 other family members. Our experience with cruise line shore excursions is that they are, in a word, "hokey." In other words, "overcrowded," "like herding cattle," and "superficial." We're considering arranging our own shore excursions, but have only seen what is offered by Alaska Unusual–amazing, but pricey. Does anyone have any other suggestions or experience with which shore excursions are better planned independently (perhaps semi-private) and which are okay booking through Royal Caribbean? We're taking a 6/27/04 cruise from Vancouver-Vancouver with ports of call in Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. Thanks!
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Old June 1st, 2004, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Independent or RCCL shore excursions?

You may want to consider booking independently with Capt. Larry in Juneau for whale watching.. We went with him and enjoyed it, you can e-mail me and I'll send you his web site..I think you are noticing that all the Alaska excursions are pricey, but the only way to really see parts of the country...


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Old June 2nd, 2004, 10:09 AM
judith paterson
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Default Re: Re: Independent or RCCL shore excursions?

We will be in Alaska first week in August. Cold you e-mail me with details of Capt. Larry
and what he offers please. We will have our 13 year old daughter with us and, as we are travelling all the way from Scotland do not want to make a mistake on trips.
Would like to gold pan, dog sled etc. any advice? Much appreciated
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Old June 2nd, 2004, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: Independent or RCCL shore excursions?

I never book ship tours and always go independent. My experience is they offer much more in the way of personal tours and smaller groups, sometimes cheaper. You need to use your shore excursion list as a guide and narrow down your interests. Budget FULLY- you get only half a trip without them. Skimp elsewhere in favor of tours- they are Alaska. As for gold panning- all fake with seeded gold. There are several tours available if still interested. If interested more in the history- consider the Last Chance Mine in Juneau or the excellent Juneau Douglas City museum. Glacier dog sledding??? It is the most canceled of all Alaska excursions out of Juneau, Skagway less so. Consider www.temscoair.com

For more information on independent tours- repost- I have been on- well, a boatload.

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Old June 5th, 2004, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: Independent or RCCL shore excursions?

I can recommend the horseback riding through Southeast Tours. They take you into the Yukon in their van. The horseback ride is excellent you see the best view of Emerald Lake. As well, the diverse scenery of barren mountainous terrain, coastal vegetation, pristine lakes and wilderness cannot be beat. The Yukon Horseback Riding Adventures also has a website http://www.yukonhorses.com Hope I did it right! It is an excellent website with plenty of information and you can reach them directly through e-mail. From what I remember of our ride with them - friendly staff and excellent service. The owner is knowledgeable and experienced and personable. Hope that will help you some.
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