Staying in Anchorage only for a few nights pre-cruise. How far is it to Talkeetna? Is transportation available? Hear rental cars can be difficult to get. What other short trips can you suggest from Anchorage.
You NEED a rental car if you want anything outside of Anchorage and EVEN in Anchorage it is time consuming and difficult to get around the big spead out city.
If you don't get a car you will be limited to tour options. But by far a car will give you the most for your short time. Talkeetna is 2 hours north. You could take the Alaska RR but only one train per day and will need an over night there. Do some more research and determine WHAT you want to see and do. request visitor guides www.anchorage.netwww.alaskavisit.com
Car are EASY to get out of Anchorage airport look at the majors and Alamo, Thrifty, Payless, Dollar.
We are doing the same as you and rented a car for one of the days to take the trip you want to. Most car rental places had nothing, but believe it or not if you go to the one of the airline sites, and click on the their hotel link, you may get a car. We got the best rate with Delta.com and also got our hotel in Anchorage for a lot less money at this site too. Good luck.
Talkeetna is a couple of hours drive from Anchorage; pretty good highway. Watch out for moose. Anchorage is the only large city in Alaska and there's lots to see just in the city itself. Tops on my list is the museum downtown, the Alaska Native Heritage Center just outside of town, the Alaska Native Medical Center (they have incredible exhibits of native art and also sell crats in the gift shop). You can go down to Ship Creek just below downtown and watch salmon going up the creek and sometimes see 50 pound Salmon being caught. Quite a few dog sled demos up in Talkeetna and at towns on the way.