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Old June 1st, 2015, 08:14 PM
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Default Question but please no criticism

My family is taking an Alaskan cruise in a couple of weeks on the Westerdam. We are unable to take any excursions because of the cost per person, will there be enough free things to do with 3 adults and 3 teenagers?
Any suggestions for interesting things to do?

Thanks for any suggestions and please no lectures on being cheap. We aren't cheap, just can't afford the extras of this particular cruise.
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Old June 1st, 2015, 09:47 PM
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Each port has a decent shopping area. In Ketchikan you can walk down to the old town area and probably watch the salmon run. Skagway has a small gold rush museum run by the NPS that I believe is free. Also after the early rush you might be able to get a bargain on an excursion in port, certainly for much less than you would pay the ship.
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Old June 1st, 2015, 09:53 PM
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You very likely can do a walking tour of every port you are in .

My wife and I once did a land tour of the US from NYC to Los Angeles stopping in 43 cities .We found something to see in every city at no additional cost.
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Old June 1st, 2015, 10:25 PM
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I'm sure that you can enjoy your cruise without doing any tours. Ask people on the ship such as waiters, bartenders or those in the shops. Very often they have valuable information.

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Old June 2nd, 2015, 01:54 AM
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One of the best things to do in Ak is free...hiking. It can be done in every port but I would suggest you do a bit of research on where to go, which trails are the right length/difficulty for the group. Skagway is the easiest; the trail head is about 500ft from the dock on the way to town.

Pack some sandwiches that you made at breakfast and you don't even have to pay for lunch off the ship

Try googling the ports you are visiting along with free things to do. Most ports have a small free museum or they might charge $2pp.

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Old June 2nd, 2015, 09:45 AM
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I think going off the beaten path,you may find hidden jewels, that can make your day. I agree with asking the crew, a great source for cost saving options. With a little bit of research from home as well, I bet your family will absolutely have fun,
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 11:30 AM
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our last Alaska cruise we didn't do any shore excursions and enjoyed it just fine. Mendenhall Glacier is pretty cheap to do yourself though if you don't just want to walk around.
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Old July 6th, 2015, 03:50 AM
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We are back from our cruise to Alaska but unfortunately we were the cruise that lost 8 of our fellow passengers and the pilot on the seaplane crash in Ketchikan. So very sad that day when the Captain announced why we were delayed leaving the port but I must say HAL went above and beyond to comfort us all. The Captain opened all phone and internet lines that night so we could call our families back home to let them know we were alright, in fact, he encouraged us on the PA to do so. It was also formal night and he announced that we "could all wear whatever we preferred due to the circumstances". I skipped dinner that night and just sat in a chair on the top deck.

The next morning we had a beautiful Memorial Service in the Vista lounge and it was standing room only, upstairs and downstairs. They had a Chaplain onboard who said that HAL was the only cruise line who assigned a Chaplain to travel on every one of their ships in the entire fleet for the duration of their cruises. Glad he was there to offer his comforting words. One of the cast singers sang "How Great Thou Art" and "Amazing Grace". Many wept.

We ended up skipping the port call at Victoria, Canada and only stopped for a service call but no one seemed to care. I think those of us who weren't already traveling with family were anxious to just get home again and see everyone.

Thanks to all for their suggestions on what to see. We did take a tour to the Mendenhall Glacier but just walked around to see the sights at the other ports and had a wonderful time with each other. Alaska is so beautiful and it is truly what they say, "The Last of the Frontier". I could live there for the rest of my days.
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Old July 7th, 2015, 08:36 AM
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Pathfinder,

Like my mama said, being cheap is not a crime, is a good habit. I am going to Alaska 10 days (3 days land tour plus 7days cruise with Princess) in two weeks with my daughter and I have the same concern. I am a single mom and I have spent a fortune on the tour and airfare. But my friend said that I have to do excursion in each port, because there is too many places to see.The excursion are so expensive and it will really break my bank. what is your suggestion. BTW, sorry to hear the tragic accident.
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Old July 7th, 2015, 04:38 PM
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It is true, the Alaska excursions are pricey, so the best bet is to pick and choose wisely...Just pick one or two that you really want to do....I would suggest whale watching in Juneau, you can book that privately with Capt. Larry and save some bucks there, plus it is a much smaller boat and more informative, I've done that one twice...


The White Pass train ride is also worth doing as well...
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