We are taking a family vacation in July 2005.Ten adults. On Celebrity " Infinity" Ship.
Going to Alaska, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka. Debating between: "4 glacier adventure via helicoptor" or "heliptor glacier walkabout". We are booking thru ship .
One adult somewhat handicapped/ difficulty walking- has cane. Any one have any experience with a handi cap person and getting around the ports of call?
Has any one been on the Mendenhall Glacier Float Trip? Any scoops on Goldcreek Salmon bake or Panning for Gold Excursions?
Any suggestions/opinions? Any out of the way places to eat lunch or must sees?
Anxiously awaiting any feedback. Thank you
There is no advantage to ship glacier helicopter landings and perhaps a disadvantage if you can not book this ahead online? Very short supply. A key in your description is - does the "4 glacier"- double land?? This would be the only reason to pay the increased cost in my opinion. As for a glacier trek- superior is independent Northstar Trekking- long standing superb company out of Juneau. BUT a "walkabout" can also be a regular landing- again look at the description- do you use crampons??? length of time of "walk"?? Is your mobility impaired person taking tours?? With Celebrity- you are very unlikely to get priority docking, and there can be significant walks involved to city centers. Some ports have shuttles but you need to determine if you want to go ti where they shuttle to? I would have specific plans made and then factor out the transportation necessary. Of the 100+ Alaska tours I have taken - I do not recommend the Mendenhall River float trip- only a brief distant view of the glacier, rest of trip is trees and backyards. Money is far better spent elsewhere in my opinion. Gold Creek salmon bake is very good. But I would wait and see what the weather is like and then just take their loop bus when you get there. Gold panning is totally fake with seeded gold flakes- usually enjoyable. There are more then enough must dos for 10 trips. Make a list and narrow down your interests. My advice- split up and doen't even consider tours as a group. The more you know the better your choices will be for you.
Karen thanks for responding...I do have a few more questions and it sounds like you are very well versed in alaska .would you mind me calling you or you calling me collect? I will be at my office sat 9.30am to 4pm.
Hating to argue with karen, but the gold panning is not seeded. There is still enough gold in the crek that you will get color. You aren't going to make back the cost of your tour. But it is naturally occuring gold.
I know that there is a general thought going around that a glacier, is a glacier is a glacier, However this is not true. You might consult ERA helicopters webpage to learn a little more about this trip
On my 2nd trip in '03, my mother had just started using a walker-actually we took the walker because we thought she'd need it on the ship & we were right.
We usuually used the wheelchair (from the ship at no charge) for the ports when we went into town - much easier & safer than the walker &/or cane. But, one time I refused to help her down the steep stairs & she agreed to let them take her down the stairs in the wheel chair -EEK. They tipped that wheelchair back so far it was frightening -more to me & my dad I think. She walked back up when we got back to the ship that night.
So she used the cane on the ship, took the walker on the tours & used the wheelchair in the ports when no tour.
Gold Creek Salmon Bake - YES! Best salmon I had all week, & believe me I ate a lot of salmon that week. Don't forget to take a hike back into the woods. Some of my favorite pictures from the trip were taken by the waterfall there. And we actually saw salmon fighting each other on their way upstream to spawn.
This will be our 4the Celebrity cruise, but our first cruise to Alaska so I have no advice for you regarding the excursions. We sailed two years ago on the Millennium which is the sister of the Infinity & absolutely loved that ship. While the Millennium class ships are the largest in the Celebrity fleet, they are small in comparison to some of the huge floating cities out there. You will never feel crowded & can always find a quiet place to relax. Do not miss the specialty restaurant, it's a very nice experience. Post a review when you return so we will know what to expect one week later when we go.