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Old January 27th, 2006, 09:38 PM
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Default Shore Excursons in Alaska

We are sailing Sept. 2, 2006 on Summit From Fairbanks to Vancouver.In reading an article from a cruise critic he said he used his buy one get one free coupon for his shore excursion. Where do you get these coupons? Also I have found cheaper shore excursions on the internet (not affilated with the cruise line) and wonder if it is worth the risk of not getting into port on time or getting back on time.
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Old January 28th, 2006, 05:22 PM
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I assume you mean you are sailing from Seward, or another actual port on the ocean, to Vancouver. Fairbanks, hundreds of miles north, is not a port. You will probably fly down to Anchorage and take a motorcoach to Seward and then board the ship or start your land tour in Fairbanks and work your way down to Anchorage and Seward via train or motorcoach.
Sorry, don't know anything about excursion coupons

1/12/02 Explorer E. Carib.
1/18/03 Explorer W. Carib.
8/3/03 Summit Alaska cruise/tour
2/8/04 Adventure S. Carib.
2/3/05 Galaxy Panama Canal
6/19/06 Jewel Brit. Isles/Nor. Fjords
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Old January 28th, 2006, 06:13 PM
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Yes, sorry, I do mean that we are leaving from Seward, we are taking a tour first that begins in Fairbanks! Later last night I thought about how I had worded that. Thanks for straightening me out! Do you know anything about booking shore excursions anywhere other than through the cruise line. We are new to cruising and I see there are a few companies on the internet that you can book excursions with that are less expensive. Thanks so much in advance for any help!
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Old January 28th, 2006, 07:43 PM
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Patricia, go to Destinations at the top of this page, then to Alaska and start reading. There is a TON of information! We are going to Alaska in Aug and have booked all of our excursions independently. Don't let the cruise ship scare you into independents not getting you back in time! One of my excursion guides told me he would pay for me to catch up with my ship if we missed because of him! He hasn't had a passenger late in the 25 years he's been doing this. Of course if you decide to sit in a bar and miss your ship, that's your own fault !
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Old January 28th, 2006, 09:41 PM
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Thank you so much, that was very helpful info. I will check it out!
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Old January 28th, 2006, 09:56 PM
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BTW-Patricia, I love your name. it is the same (first and last) as one of my favorite aunts.
We sailed Summit from Seward to Vancouver after a land tour that started in Anchorage and ended in Fairbanks in Aug. '03. It was a wonderful trip. We are not comfortable going off on our own, except walking tours near the pier. So we booked a combo tour in Juneau which included a trip to the Mendenhall glacier and also a wildlife quest (whale watch). In Skagway we went on the White Pass Railway up the mountain. It was great, but not for anyone afraid of heights. Both the excursions were wonderful. In Sitka and Ketchikan we just did our own walking tours in the towns. Don't miss Creek Street in Ketchikan, "Where men and fish come to spawn". That is on the welcome sign and refers to the salmon runs and the famous brothel on the boardwalk--well the whole "street" is a boardwalk. We got good deals on T-shirts, too.
Also keep an eye out for picture albums in different sizes that have a textured map of Alaska of the front. I have three--one that holds 4x6 pics, one that has 8x10 pages with plastic covers and a panoramic size. All three are totally full. I had to get extra pages for the larger one after I got home.
You will love the Summit and really the whole trip. Wait till you see how much glass there is on the glass-domed train--huge windows and most of the ceiling. Good food, too.
The Celebrity line does a wonderful job in all aspects of the cruise/tour. We even had our SeaPasses issued to us before we got off the bus in Seward, so all we had to do was step up and put them in the machine. No standing in line, no hassle at all.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 03:39 PM
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Thank you so much for all the info I am really looking forward to our trip. Glad to hear how you loved the Summit, decided on this ship because of itenerary, I hope it is as wonderful as the critics say!
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Old January 29th, 2006, 11:12 PM
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Patricia,

You might save a couple dollars by booking a tour directly with the operator rather than booking through the cruise line, but there are a few factors to consider before doing so.

>> 1. Shore excursions that you book through the cruise line begin and end at the cruise terminal or the pier. If you book an excursion on your own, you will hae to get to and from the place where it meets -- which may be some distance from the cruise terminal or the pier -- on your own. Taxi fares may well exceed the savings.

>> 2. In tender ports, the excursions sold though the ship get priority tender service when they depart. If you book an excursion on your own, you may have to go to the designated area for tender service well in advance and wait your turn to go ashore in order to get ashore in time for your tour.

>> 3. In event of a cancelled port of call, the ship will refund the price of tours booked through the ship directly with no questions asked. If you miss a tour that you booked on your own, you may not recover, you may forfeit the entire price of the tour.

>> 4. If an excursion sold by the ship is late returning, the ship will either wait for it or make other arrangements for the passengers to teturn aboard. If you book a tour on your own and miss the ship, you are on your own -- quite literally. The cruise line's port agent will assist you with lodging and transportation to the next port of call, but such services will be at your expense.

I generally opt for the ship's excursions in a strange port, but your call.

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
Patricia,

You might save a couple dollars by booking a tour directly with the operator rather than booking through the cruise line, but there are a few factors to consider before doing so.

>> 1. Shore excursions that you book through the cruise line begin and end at the cruise terminal or the pier. If you book an excursion on your own, you will hae to get to and from the place where it meets -- which may be some distance from the cruise terminal or the pier -- on your own. Taxi fares may well exceed the savings.

>> 2. In tender ports, the excursions sold though the ship get priority tender service when they depart. If you book an excursion on your own, you may have to go to the designated area for tender service well in advance and wait your turn to go ashore in order to get ashore in time for your tour.

>> 3. In event of a cancelled port of call, the ship will refund the price of tours booked through the ship directly with no questions asked. If you miss a tour that you booked on your own, you may not recover, you may forfeit the entire price of the tour.

>> 4. If an excursion sold by the ship is late returning, the ship will either wait for it or make other arrangements for the passengers to teturn aboard. If you book a tour on your own and miss the ship, you are on your own -- quite literally. The cruise line's port agent will assist you with lodging and transportation to the next port of call, but such services will be at your expense.

I generally opt for the ship's excursions in a strange port, but your call.

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
Patricia,
Private tours that I have made required no money up front like the ship excursions do. When we missed Iceland, the tour person was just out of the business. Any other private arrangements usually can be made without any deposits. In Ketchikan I would recommend the Misty Fjords tour which is wonderful. If you make any private arrangements and they require deposits, just be sure they will refund any deposits if the ship cancels the port.
I wouldn't plan on picking up any tours when the ship docks since most of the tour companies are booked. We used the ships tours when we did Alaska. It was just less trouble and only about $30/p more than the others.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 03:25 PM
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I completely agree with scapel. The 2 tour companies I have booked with have told me if I miss the ship departing b/c they made me late, they will pay to get my whole party to the next port. Neither of them have had anyone miss their ship in 20+ years of business. That's good enough for me to save some $. Our fishing excursion through the ship is $190, through Northern Lights in Ketchikan it's $110 because there is 5 of us. That's $80 per person! Not to mention. Ken, the guy from Northern Lights, told me if he takes cruise passengers that booked through the ship he gets $87 of the $190 the ship gets. I'm all about supporting the little guy and going direct
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 04:24 PM
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Patricia,



Re: Ketchikan......Do take the Misty Fjords tour, u will not be disapointed. The scenery is incredible, as well as the wildlife. And they feed u well. Creek Street in Ketchikan is well worth visiting. Also the totem pole park is very interesting. Be sure and prepare for rain in Ketchikan.

We loved Skagway, and they have really good deals on T shirts at the Alaska T Shirt Co.
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