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Old August 22nd, 2006, 11:53 PM
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Default First Alaska Cruise Advice

Going on first Alaska cruise May 2007 would appreciate any advice on hotels to stay at in Vancouver, shore excursions, shuttle services to airport, and if it is better to shuttle to seattle or Fly out of vancouver. we are leaving out of San Fransisco but the ship comes back into to Vancouver. Any information would be appreciated. hopefully I am doing this correctly since this is my first post and I am new to cruisemates.

Hubby and I have been out of Miami lots but this is first time to vancouver so every thing is all new to us.
Appreciate any and all the help we can get.

Sitka, Skagway, Juneau
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 11:23 AM
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You need to first, look over a shore excursion list and narrow down your interests. There are WAY too many tours to recommend otherwise. This isn't the place to skimp either. List your top 5 perhaps, and get specific information. Otherwise, you are going to get lists of people's favorites to go through. I've been on over 100 tour, extremely few I wouldn't repeat. So no list from me.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 12:52 PM
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thanks Karen. I have been looking over the shore excursions, the couple that are going with us will be here visiting this weekend and i will go over the list of info i have and then repost top list after that. Do you have any Hotel suggestions? From the post I have read you seem extremly helpful and knowledgable. thanks again.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 09:53 PM
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grammiedo,

Going on first Alaska cruise May 2007 would appreciate any advice on hotels to stay at in Vancouver, shore excursions, shuttle services to airport, and if it is better to shuttle to seattle or Fly out of vancouver. we are leaving out of San Fransisco but the ship comes back into to Vancouver. Any information would be appreciated. hopefully I am doing this correctly since this is my first post and I am new to cruisemates.

Let's see how many of your quesitons I can answer.

>> Hotels in Vancouver: The Crowne Plaza Georgia Hotel offers great location (about five short blocks, downhill all the way, and thus quite walkable with "roller back" luggage) from the cruise terminal at Canada Place). It's situated in an upccale district, between the Four Seasons and a Fairmont property, with convenient access to shopping (nice mall on the next block), great restuarnats, and other attractions. Crowne Plaza also has a significantly discounted "advance purchase" rate, but be aware that the "advance purchase" rate is NOT refundable.

>> Flying In: Definitely fly out of Vancouver if you can. The transfer from Vancouver to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is over four hours on a good day, and that does not count delays waiting to clear immigration and customs at the border. Flying out of Vancouver, you'll "preclear" U. S. immigration and customs before boarding your flight, so the flight will operate as a domestic flight after it enters the United States.

>> Sitka: Be sure to visit the St. Michael's Cathedral and to see the Russian folk dancers.

>> Skagway: I highly recommend a shore excursion that includes a ride on thw White Pass & Yukon Route, which is a narrow gauge railraod built to haul prospectors and their equipment into the Yukon during the Yukon gold rush. The scenery that you will see from the rail line is spectacular. There's also a play called "DAys of '98 Revue Starring Soapy Smith" at the Eagles' Hall in Skagway that's very worthwhile.

>> Juneau: There are many attractions that you can see or do on your own. The state capital offers free tours, and both St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church and the (Roman Catholic) Cathedral of Our Lady of the Nativity on the next block have very interesting artowrk. The summit of Mt. Roberts, accessible by the tram right next to the cruise ship warf, offers spectacular views on a clear day. The salmon bake and Mendenhall Glacier are also popular attractons, but require transportation so you might want to consider a tour of they are fo interest.

I should mention that Alaska's ports of call offer more shore excursions than ports of call in any other part of the world. You won't be able to do evreything that any of these ports of call have to offer. The best strategy is to do what you can do well in the time that you have, then plan another cruise in a year or two to do more.

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 10:00 PM
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thanks norm for all the info I really appreciate it.
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Old August 27th, 2006, 09:07 PM
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Default First Cruise Alaska Advice

We cruised this past May on the Princess Diamond. We cruised Vancouver to Whittier. I would do this iteniary again in a heartbeat. We booked our hotel through Priceline. For $60 we received the Westin Bayshore. This hotel was wonderful . We faced the mountains across the bay, overlooked the harbor of yachts and sailboats. We watched the Cruiseships come in and leave Canada Place. Ohio Cruisers
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Old December 15th, 2006, 08:04 PM
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Hi

I am going on the same cruise. My wife is retired from the airline so I study all this stuff for fun.

One fly out of vancouver. The time and cost to go to Seattle it is not worth it. I have done it both ways. Rental cars have a drop off charge which make to car expence. I am flying into SFO and out of Vancouver myself. Hotels are really don't know about. In Victoria I have rented a Limo and driver to see the area and the Gardens. You must see the Gardens. I found it more reasonable and earier to do it this way instead of the see tour. Comes out chreaper also you control the trip not the bus driver. If you speak to anyone else going on this cruise we could most likely get a bigger car even cheaper. That is if you want to join us on the tour. Just to let you know my wife is not going on this cruise we hsve brrn there before. So I am going with my best freind for college.

Hope this hwlps

Joel
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Old January 9th, 2007, 12:17 AM
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I agree with Rev22:17: fly out of Vancouver. Also Crowne Plaza--stayed there last year. In Vancouver we went to Granville Island market in the AM after the ship (they throw you out early) and then to Stanley Park. Took the park tour bus around the park--hop-on-hop-off.

I've gotten wonderful advice from Karen16, and I would certainly listen to her! I'm a bit old and crippled up, so none of my excursions involve a lot of physical activity, but here are my favorite tours for your stops:

Sitka: saw the town and cathedral on my own and took the city bus (about $1) RT to the raptor center and the totem park. I only had a morning, but managed (on the run) to do it all.

Skagway: for first-timers, I think the White Pass RR is a good choice. Last year we did the land dog-sled excursion and found it very interesting.

Juneau: EVERY year we do Cap'n Larry's whale watching excursion (Orca Enterprises) which we book ourselves.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 08:08 PM
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do you advise booking excursions through the cruise line or on your own?
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