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Old May 4th, 2009, 07:10 PM
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Default New Dude Needs Help

New to the forum from North Carolina. Maybe someone can help me, my wife and I are thinking about a possible Alaskan cruise tour next (2010) year. Want to see the interior and looking for some suggestions. Have been reading up on options from Princess, Holland, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. Not limiting it to these if there are other options. We have been with Princess on the Inside Passage cruise in 2003 and loved it.
Thank you in advance for any information. If you would prefer, you may also email me at nctraveler54@gmail.com

Don
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Old May 5th, 2009, 03:02 PM
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With a cruisetour, you need to Do your homework. There is SO much that is not understood with plenty of people making the wrong decisions.

This is in reference to the Interior Alaska portion. Go for as long as you can afford, the shorter cruisetours are all in transit, no time at destinations. NEVER consider any Natural History tour, always have the Tundra Wilderness tour included AND two nights at Denali Park. If including Fairbanks, ADD at least another full day, you see very little of this city on cruisetours. Best is to rent a car and get out on your own.

Seward is a gem. MOST cruisetours completely miss it. And some that "seem" to include it, the timeframe is way short of what you need. Again, do your homework and find out WHAT you wish to experience, see and do. THEN match it up with the right cruisetour. IT won't be easy.

Factor in ALL your transit times. Princess totes- their direct to Denali tour- but it is 10 hours on the train, with the best scenery for 2 hours Anchorage/Whittier. Rest can be so so, unless McKinley is viewable- rare.

Princess trains also are table seating, assigned seats, 2 riding backward the entire trip. The McKinley Lodge is NOT accessable to the National park, and requires a 2 hour round trip to the nearest town and rail station, Talkeetna. Plan your time wisely.

Budget 50% more for meals than you do at home.

Be aware, that independent touring options can offer you significantly more, if of interest. Can definately see twice as much for less cost. Very very simple to arrange in Alaska.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 04:47 PM
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Thank you for your post. Nothing is easy and being it is my first time, makes it harder. We did the Inside Passage in 2003 but really want to see Denali, Fairbanks, Dawson Creek, etc. I have spent some time in Alberta, BC, NWT and Newfoundland but have only been on the cruise thing to Alaska. Still have a little talking to do with the wife to pull this off. She loved it and has talked about an RV trip as an option. Not sure what, if any, meals are included with the tour cruise(s). Please pass along any information.

Don
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Old May 6th, 2009, 03:46 AM
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No meals are included on the land portion of cruisetours, Unless specifically mentioned.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 07:56 AM
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The trip that has my interest up the most is the Holland 12-13 day cruisetours. Four day cruise with 8 or 9 days across Alaska, BC and the Yukon. I did call and found out they offer a meal package with the land tour or you could dine on your on. Is there a web site with the independent touring options? We booked shore excursions on our first trip through the cruiseline (helicopter in Juneau and bus/train tour in Skagway) but rented a float plane in Ketchikan on our own and it turned out to be the best one. Being from the east coast, we figured we may not get to go back to Alaska again and did all the things we really wanted to. It was great! Thank you for taking the time to help a rookie out.

Don
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Old May 6th, 2009, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen16
With a cruisetour, you need to Do your homework. There is SO much that is not understood with plenty of people making the wrong decisions.

This is in reference to the Interior Alaska portion. Go for as long as you can afford, the shorter cruisetours are all in transit, no time at destinations. NEVER consider any Natural History tour, always have the Tundra Wilderness tour included AND two nights at Denali Park. If including Fairbanks, ADD at least another full day, you see very little of this city on cruisetours. Best is to rent a car and get out on your own.

Seward is a gem. MOST cruisetours completely miss it. And some that "seem" to include it, the timeframe is way short of what you need. Again, do your homework and find out WHAT you wish to experience, see and do. THEN match it up with the right cruisetour. IT won't be easy.

Factor in ALL your transit times. Princess totes- their direct to Denali tour- but it is 10 hours on the train, with the best scenery for 2 hours Anchorage/Whittier. Rest can be so so, unless McKinley is viewable- rare.

Princess trains also are table seating, assigned seats, 2 riding backward the entire trip. The McKinley Lodge is NOT accessable to the National park, and requires a 2 hour round trip to the nearest town and rail station, Talkeetna. Plan your time wisely.

Budget 50% more for meals than you do at home.

Be aware, that independent touring options can offer you significantly more, if of interest. Can definately see twice as much for less cost. Very very simple to arrange in Alaska.


This is exactly what I have read. Including the comment about independent tours.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 01:54 PM
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I will have to look around on the internet for local tours also.

Don
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