Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Destinations > Alaska
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 7th, 2007, 03:06 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Posts: 30
Send a message via AIM to gspin2k1
Default Shore Excursions..better to book directly through vendors?

Hi,
So as I'm prepping the shore excursions for my family's alaska cruise the end of July going into August. I'm curious about a few things:

1) Is it better (regards to value/price) to book shore excursions with the actual vendors of the shore excursions themselves (i.e. helicopter tours, dog mushers, whale watching tours) than through the Cruise Line itself?

2) how early in advance should I book shore excursions and/or Spa reservations. I'm planning to get this all sorted out this weekend or next weekend (so almost two months in advance)..or should I get on this like ASAP (like tonight and tomrorow night?).


Thanks a bunch,

~Gavin
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old June 7th, 2007, 03:47 PM
Yukon's Avatar
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
Posts: 210
Send a message via MSN to Yukon Send a message via Yahoo to Yukon
Default

While most folks who are new to cruising seem to choose the ship excursions for the percevied safety of them, most experenced cruisers know that independent is better for smaller size groups, more personal service and often lower prices./ Some excursions, however, can only be done through the ship.

With the majority of tours you're fine booking a few weeks out - spa treatments and such can be last-minute-before boarding decisions.

Murray
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old June 7th, 2007, 11:32 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default

I am also one, who definately advocates going direct to the operators. There are some superb tours to choose from in Alaska.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old June 9th, 2007, 02:12 AM
CanCanCase's Avatar
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 174
Default

I'll second...err...third the idea to book directly. There are a few tours best booked via the cruise lines, but be sure you know who the vendor is since we all tend to name our tours in a similar fashion.

Some people advocate booking direct with the vendor because their tour of choice is ONLY available independantly. Others advocate booking via the cruise line for the "perceived" safety. I'd say I advocate booking the specific tour that's best for you, regardless of the vendor.For example: If you "need" an Allen Marine Whale Watching tour on a larger boat, book via the cruise line. If you need an Orca Enterprises tour, book it directly, and if you need an Alaskan Marine Adventures tour, book it any way you're comfortable.

Smaller capacity tours are already booked full now. If there's something specific you want, it's worth a call to check availability ASAP, and go with the vendors' recommendations regarding booking now or in a week or two.

-Case
__________________
The only way to keep everyone happy is to delete my signature completely.
If anyone wants advice from a life-long Alaskan resident, please don't hesitate to ask.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old June 14th, 2007, 04:44 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Posts: 30
Send a message via AIM to gspin2k1
Default

Thanks for everyone's responses. Yeah some tours Im not sure where to book directly. But I already booked our group's helicopter tour directly with Temsco...I'm surprised just how much cheaper it is to book directly. (i.e. $360 total for the helicopter tour, 6 people at $60 less per person). Anyone know where I can find the direct vendors for Best of Skagway, Jeep & Canoe Safari in Ketchikan, and City Lights, Wine & Chocolate in Victoria...actually anyone been on those last three?
~G
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old June 24th, 2007, 08:04 PM
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 14
Default

OK folks. I could use a little help as I dig through all of the Alaska threads on CM and CC.

I just booked (yesterday) a Northern passage on the Coral Princess departing in 3 weeks, so needless to say I'm skampering for excursions. If you have the name and number or web site for an independent for KETCHIKAN, JUNEAU or SKAGWAY you really like, if you could let me know, I would greatly appreciate it.

FYI - my SO and I are in our early 40's & very active, but the 'boss' wants to see as much nature and as many whales as she can!

Thanks in advance.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old June 25th, 2007, 02:12 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default

www.traveljuneau.com www.skagway.com www.visit-ketchikan.com

If whales are a priority, then book a whale watch out of Juneau. I am a long time customer of Orca Enterprises, and highly recommend them.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old August 21st, 2007, 01:00 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Posts: 30
Send a message via AIM to gspin2k1
Default

So I just came back, and saw a reply below. Anyway from my experience now..it was definitely nice and easy to book through the cruise itself for the shore excursions..they just made everything real easy from pick up to drop off...AS for booking directly...I did the helicopter tour that way. We had to walk maybe an extra block or two for that pick up, but they were very professional, and we saved a good $50 per person...which meant $300 as a group...can't complain there either.
~G
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old August 21st, 2007, 01:02 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Posts: 30
Send a message via AIM to gspin2k1
Default

P.S. The City Lights & Chocolate Tour in Victoria, is a little misleading, and sadly was a major bore...the only excursion I wish I could take back..just a word to the wise
~G
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
advance, alaska, alaskan, book, caribbean, cruise, direct, excursion, excursions, land, line, own, royal, ship, shore

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How soon do you book your shore excursions? 71Corvette Royal Caribbean International 8 November 13th, 2007 04:08 PM
Cant book shore excursions B&T Downunder Carnival Cruise Lines 4 July 19th, 2006 06:28 AM
Didn't book shore excursions ladolcevita Holland America 6 May 1st, 2006 10:44 PM
When Book Shore Excursions? disneymomtwo Shore Excursions 7 April 6th, 2006 02:42 PM
How do I book shore excursions on my own? lilblessings5 Shore Excursions 3 March 12th, 2005 12:25 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:14 AM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1