ALASKA. ..l loved it!!! OH MY GOODNESS…after my trip to ALASKA I am convinced that you have to experience it at least once in your lifetime. I had seen pictures and videos…that doesn’t compare to what it is in real life. Beautiful beyond words. It was warm in the 60’s and sunny everyday I was there, which I hear we are lucky because 1) it was rainy the week before and 2) unseasonably warm summer.
I sailed in the DIAMOND PRINCESS from Seattle to Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm, Ketchikan and Victoria. Great way to see some of Alaska on a 7 day cruise. The ship and service was of coarse Princess standard. I was in an obstructed ocean view room, which wasn’t bad at all, (other then the fact that I would tell everyone to always sail with a balcony!) keep in mind the life boats hang below the window so that you can still see out of the whole window. You can’t go to ALASKA in an inside room, it is just wrong. You can’t enjoy any kind of a view (which you see all the time) or wild life.
Juneau – I choose to take the Whale Watching and Wild Life Quest. It was a 4-hour tour and well worth it. I was told from Susan Sucharski (one of our Alaska Specialists) not to take the excursion that did Mendenhall Glacier with the Whale Watching Tour. I saw a better view of the glacier than my room mate who took the other tour. That tour doesn’t let you walk on it, just to “see” it. My Whale Watching Trip was an awesome, whale all over, porpoises, bald eagles and seals.
Skagway - I loved this cute little town, just nestled in between the mountains. Long walk from ship, but taxi’s and bike taxi’s are available just off the ship if you don’t want to walk. I did a 5 mile hike and raft float. WONDERFUL excursion, but it is a hard work out, up rough terrain, keep that in mind. I enjoyed it, they took us about 10 miles out of town and we had great views. The raft trip isn’t anything rough; it is just a slow float down the river, very enjoyable. I was sad to leave this quaint town.
Tracy Arm – I could just sit and enjoy the view there for ever. It was the best part of my trip. It is amazing that a ship (just one at a time) can fit through there. I am sure it gets better when it is cold, but I still enjoyed it. It was 57 and sunny, again I was lucky.
Ketchikan – It would have been nice to be in this port a little longer. We were only there from 7am until 12noon. I choose to do something a little different in this port….SNORKELING. Yep just like in the Caribbean, well a little more gear of coarse. We got a wet suit, booties, and gloves to use so that we would stay toasty warm. Amazing I did stay warm, your body heats up the water that comes in and if you move around enough you are fine. J I really had fun, how many people can say they snorkeling in Alaska? I DID!!! We saw tons of fish, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, star fish, star fish. Some people had seen Salmon but I didn’t see any. It was very worth the time, it is a total of 3 hours with just 1 in the water. With time for a quick buzz through town for some shopping. FYI – Mountain Point Snorkeling Adventure was first exclusive to Princess last year, they won an award from Princess for the top excursion in Ketchikan for 2003, This year we have RCC and CEL using it. Through the grape fine I heard that NCL is wanting to use them, but the snorkeling has become so popular the owners (small little company) can’t keep up. J They do a great job at making sure you do feel comfortable and they show you a lot you wouldn’t see on your own.
Victoria, BC – I didn’t do an excursion in this city, only there from 7:00pm until midnight. I would love to go back and spend a weekend there, it was a very small but active city right on the water. A lot going on, but I was there on a Friday. I just shopped a little and walked around. Please note, that PCL told us we could walk from the ship to downtown. NO WAY, I am glad we didn’t take that advice. We took a $5.00 roundtrip bus shuttle which was way worth it. It would have been a long walk otherwise. I can now say I have been to Canada. J
My trip was great and I can’t wait to go back. We had 8:30 dining and I didn’t like it at all, I would highly recommend personal choice dining. Eat when and where you want. That way you can go and fun after dinner without it being 10:30 at night. Lots to take part in after you sail from port at night.
Packing was the worst part, I looked at the weather everyday online and it was no where close to what it said. Be prepared for everything. Take all varieties with you. You can wear things again and hey…laundry machines are available for $1.00 for washer and dryer. Not bad hey?
YOU HAVE TO HAVE A GOOD ($$$) PAIR OF BINOCULARS, I am so glad I took Steve’s expensive ones instead of buying a cheap pair. So many people in our group didn’t get any for the trip and they were sorry. I was able to see a lot with them. Waterfalls, Glaciers, Seals, Cruise West, (way in the distance) whales, eagles etc.
Let me know if you have any questions. J Hope this helps you decide what to do when you GO TO ALASKA!
I loved it!
First Choice Travel and Cruise
These comments came straight from Tana Kubricky's lips her first day back to work after her cruise to ALASKA. She is one of First Choice Travel and Cruise's last travel agents to finally visit ALASKA! Her enthusiasm here for Alaska is certainly contagious!
Tana's opinions on certain tours and ports of call may differ from some of our other ALASKA Specialists. That is okay, we all like different things. We know our clients are not all alike either and we remember that when we help them plan THIER VACATIONS! We have all actually been there and have a lot of ideas and suggestions for you. This is what I love and makes our agents different.
Gayle Zielke, MCC
First Choice Travel and Cruise