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Kitty Ellas Mom

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  1. I am taking a Princess cruise that ends in Whittier and I am probably going to use Salmonberry Tours to get to Anchorage; they also have the reverse trip. I know I am not allowed to recommend a tour I haven't been on, but if you look at my thread on this Alaska forum, from Oct 12, called "Things to do in Anchorage with 1.5 - 2 days" p. 2 you'll see many people recommending them for this.
  2. If anyone read my previous thread about Anchorage hotels, they saw me thinking about the Captain Cook vs. Alyeska Resort for a day and a half (or more like 2 full days, depending on my eventual flights). I'm booked at CC but still thinking about Alyeska; this is for mid June 2022. Is it worth it to go there in the summer, without the skiing? I would have about 2 days. I looked at it as the more relaxing of the 2 options b/c I'd probably just hang out in the resort and grounds, vs doing more active touring if I stay in Anchorage at the CC. I am worried, based on reviews from last summer, about lack of food too, although I am expecting that next summer they probably won't have the extreme staff shortage of summer 2021. I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to restaurants with take out or eating inside, but I do like to get into a restaurant quickly, and it sounds like that was impossible last summer in Girdwood.
  3. I was just wondering if I should book a (easily cancellable) Seattle hotel for my pre embarkation dates, when right now it's still Vancouver, but based on what everyone said in this thread I tend to think that would be silly. But, how hard is it to get a good hotel in Seattle in early June?
  4. Hi, this is embarrassing to ask, but I've read hundreds of CC reviews over the past few years as I prepare for my first cruise, a Princess to Alaska. I've seen many reviews that say that the cruise cabin toilet had a urine smell, and that no matter what the staff did the smell remained for the entire cruise. These were from reviews from a variety of cruise lines. Is this a problem that is so prevalent that I should expect it, or is this rare? I know that cruise ship toilets aren't like regular toilets on land but I don't know a lot about them. I've wondered if there are certain placements of cabins that I should avoid to avoid this problem, but I don't know if that would have anything to do with it.
  5. I'm very interested in seeing totems in Ketchican and see that I have a choice of Saxman or Totem Bight. Which one do you recommend? Could I do them both? We have all day but I also want to see Dolly's, eat at Red Dog Saloon, and shop on Creek St. I'm considering the Lumberjack Show but not sure if I want to take the time, although it seems like a nice chance to sit down and relax after a lot of walking. I don't want to overdo it b/c our days in Ketchican, Juneau and Skagway are 3 days in a row. I also might not get out there super early b/c I'm not a morning person, although with jet lag who knows. This is also my first ever cruise port so I don't really know the drill. It would be early June 2022.
  6. Someone I know just expressed an interest in doing a cruise down the Hudson River someday, to see the fancy houses etc. He wants to see the locations of the Hudson River School paintings. Can anyone give me any info about these types of cruises? In my quick searches I found a company doing day cruises and one company doing week long cruises that sound like what he intended, called American Cruise Lines. He's not intending to do this right away, just "someday," so there is time to research. I know a lot about ocean cruises and very little about river cruises. Thank you.
  7. I see that Salmon Berry Tours has a transfer from Whittier to Anchorage with some great activities, including the tram at Alyeska. That is very interesting to me, although I see that it is very early in the AM, I think 8:30. Would the Princess ship let me off that early? It looks like it pulls into port around 12:30 in the morning. Is there a good chance I wouldn't get off early enough to make the tour? This is my first cruise so I don't know how these things work. I am also considering the Princess version of the same thing, which would take me to the hotel (if I keep with Captain Cook). I think that one is to see a lot of glaciers before going to Anchorage. I remember when I had the cruise booked in 2020 and people were truly booking early as though they would go that type of excursion sold out pretty early.
  8. Unexpected update: The reason I started this thread was b/c the Captain Cook told me that they wouldn't open up bookings for next June until January, but I checked tonight and they were open! I was able to get my dates and I also booked an extra day in case I get a very late flight out, so that I will have a place to stay until departure (or in case I decide to do a 2nd Anchorage day....). I am still pondering the Alyeska Resort but am really thinking the HCC is the best option b/c I could still go to Alyeska but wouldn't be so far away from everything else in Anchorage. Plus, there are easy transfers from Princess that include an excursion. I used to think I wouldn't want to do those but the ease of it appeals to me now; some of them will take me directly to the Captain Cook at the end. I'm glad I checked tonight b/c some of the June dates were already sold out, although I know cancellations happen all the time.
  9. All of these are great ideas, thanks! I will have no car but am good with finding public transport of all types. I am not into anything physically strenuous like hiking but am ok with being outdoors awhile. I would want to save up some of my energy for the cruise (it's my first, and quite long delayed) and will be adjusting to 3 hrs of jet lag. I've done a lot of museums in a lot of places but would consider doing one if it were really unique to Vancouver.
  10. My plan, from 2 yrs ago, for how to get from Whittier to Anchorage was....drumroll please....there was some kind of shuttle available and I was going to book it at some point. I passed on booking it with Princess b/c I wanted to leave my options open, although I am now open to the idea of booking with them. But now I am uncertain if what I read about in Oct 2019 still exists. I am aware of the tunnel that you often have to wait to cross, and that that makes it a longer ride than it might have been. This is not a trip I'd want to do on my own, with a rental car. That is one of my big turn offs to going to Alyeska, that I'd probably have to do this shuttle and then some other transport from Anchorage to Alyeska. Clearly I need to do some 2021 research here and probably run this all by my travel agent. I just hate to bother him when I still don't know if I'd be actually cruising, due to covid.
  11. I was originally planning to get a hotel only for one night in Anchorage so as to not be exhausted already when boarding a red eye. The idea of adding a day just to explore the Anchorage area is new. So, yes, I do need to do more research into that. This was originally, 2 yrs ago, kind of a bare bones "try out cruising " on a strict budget of time and money kind of trip, but now it's turned into a reward for a lot of sacrifices, and I want to get more out of being in a completely new area. I'm going to look more into Whittier as well as Anchorage.
  12. I am leaning towards booking the Captain Cook and possibly visiting the Alyeska just to do the tram, depending on if I have a car or if I'm able to secure some sort of transport there. It's worrying to me a lot that Alyeska had trouble providing restaurant food to all their customers last summer. However, I want to be fair and acknowledge that last summer was a real aberration from normal. But there is also the fact that in Anchorage I have a large variety of options for transport and food whereas in Alyeska I don't. I was unaware that I might be able to ask Princess to book the Captain Cook for me, but as I've gone through a travel agent to book the cruise I'm not sure if they'd do that without me involving him. I was planning to book all the "non cruise" stuff myself. Do you think the Captain Cook would be booking out past when they are allowing the general public to book?
  13. Quack 2, there are things to do between Whittier and Anchorage? I had no idea. What kinds of things? I thought everyone just got a ride immediately from Whittier to Anchorage.
  14. Donaldsc, please tell me your suggestions. I am not 100% sure I won't get a car. Thanks!
  15. I'm looking at very long flights, for me, probably a 10+ hr day of airports with the time I want to allow between connecting flights. I haven't researched it much. I am on the east coast, probably to fly from DC or NYC area airports, not yet decided on which one. The only reason my Anchorage time became a thing is b/c I realized I could not happily disembark and then get on a red eye without some down time, even though my disembarkation is sometime around noon in Whittier. Strangely, when I first looked 2 yrs ago most Anchorage flights home left around 2 am, but now I am seeing more like between 8 to 11 pm. I'm assuming the pandemic had something to do with this but I don't really know. I would prefer to leave around 8 pm rather than 2 am. Honestly this will probably be the longest flight day of my life so far b/c I've been lucky to get nonstop flights to a lot of places I've gone, but there is no nonstop for me here.
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