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Kitty Ellas Mom

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Everything posted by Kitty Ellas Mom

  1. I also had a tour with them booked for June. I cancelled more than a month ago and paid the 5% fee. If I were you I'd wait for them to cancel since it's a known that they will. At the time I cancelled it was unknown.
  2. What particular shore excursions are you interested in? In my experience of planning my Alaska cruise (which I haven't been on yet, just FYI) it seems like there are lots of things to do that don't have any sort of requirements like that. Like the train in Skagway. For example, I was worried that I wouldn't find things for myself to do b/c I'm not that physically fit but there were many options in each port. I agree with whomever suggested calling Royal Caribbean, even if you find some info online, b/c they might have ideas you haven't thought of. Also suggest looking at Royal Caribbean boards on this site.
  3. kruzyns4me, you're not imagining things: I still see this same map when I look at my reservation, which is a different sailing date than yours. I just checked and the same map you're showing is also on my reservation under "itinerary." You see the alternate Royal route map on other parts of the Princess website. I dislike that but at least am grateful for somewhat of a heads up. I learned about it from a Facebook group about the cruise I'm on. Someone noticed that if you look up the cruise as if you weren't booked on it you'd see this new map, with the dotted line that says "Royal Princess route," going on the other side of Vancouver Island. https://www.princess.com/cruise-search/details?voyageCode=A019
  4. I used Tripadvisor, as I've used for most of my land vacations. Then I went to the websites of the companies I was interested in. It became obvious very quickly that there are several tours offered independently that are exactly or almost exactly the same as the ones offered by the cruise line b/c they are the contracted company offering the tour (in my case this is Princess). Oh and I should say that my first step was to look at the offerings by Princess for each of those ports. I also got a lot of my ideas from this forum. A lot of people post here asking things like "what are the must do excursions" and then get a lot of responses that it's about what you want to do. I agree: I'm not into things like hiking or kayaking so I stayed away from that and still found more than enough options. I think involving your kids is great! Just be sure that you look over things first and get a budget in mind. Many of the Alaskan excursions are shockingly expensive, especially ones that involve helicopters or float planes. But you can often find a non air version of a similar thing if you want at a much lower cost. I did that by choosing to do a sled dog excursion on land instead of flying to a glacier. It's a $450 per person difference.
  5. I'm on a Royal Princess northbound in June 2020. I don't know how to link another thread here, but if you see my recent thread Royal Princess in Alaska: What to Expect, it will give you some more insight about that option.
  6. I haven't been on my cruise yet, so I don't have advice about specifics, but I have traveled with a 2 yr old (actually 3 of them at different times.....). I think the most important thing would be to have the option of babysitting. Since the 2 yr old is so young they might like that part of the cruise a lot if it involved playing with new toys etc. So, look into the kids clubs and their age restrictions etc, which it looks like you are already doing. If it were me I'd just call Princess and ask. You might get recommendations or one ship versus another etc.
  7. MartinCath, thank you again so much for your good advice! I am tending to think I'll want to board ASAP and would do the show up early option, but I will keep late departure in mind in case I come up with so many things to do in Vancouver that I want the extra time. I will wait and decide after I book flights, which I won't do for awhile. Since I've never been on a cruise ship before I like the idea of maximizing my time there.
  8. Related question: I'm assuming that when people say "take a small ship to Alaska" they mean a much smaller ship than the Royal? What is the definition of a large or small ship for Alaska?
  9. Has anyone done Chilkoot Charters and missed Emerald Lake? I'm just asking b/c I remember reading somewhere (on this forum, somewhere) that someone was upset their tour missed EL. But I don't know what tour she was on.
  10. I haven't gone on a cruise yet, but my Alaskan cruise for June will visit all of your ports except for Victoria. It looks to me like in all 3 ports there is plenty to do within walking distance of the ports. In Juneau the tram (Mount Roberts Tramway) is right there. A lot of the Ketchican attractions, such as Creek Street, are close to the port (if I'm wrong please others correct me). I'm less sure of Skagway but I think the town is also close to port. That one has a really wonderful railway that goes through the mountains that's one of the main attractions; it's what I'm planning to do.
  11. Wow, thank you MartinCath! That's really useful info. My hotel (at the moment, but I'll probably keep it) is the Pan Pacific so I'll probably do the steam clock and the garden that is the closest (I think that was the Chinese one). The rose garden at Stanley Park sounds great as well. Of course, this depends on weather too, b/c if it's pouring I'd just go to the two museums you mentioned instead of choosing one. Everything sounds really fun! I've only ever been on the Pacific coast to go to LA so everything in Vancouver and Alaska will be completely new to me. I really don't know yet when I'll arrive but it could easily be around 5 pm or even later, so it might be more like a 1.2 days in Vancouver instead of 1.5. I will probably not try to do anything the morning of my cruise but it depends on how comfortable I feel about the area and the process. It's my first cruise so the embarkation process is pretty foreign to me too.
  12. If you watch you tube videos about going to Nugget Falls you can see the walk. It isn't really a "hike" per se. It looks doable by most people, just long. Of course, disclaimer again, I haven't been there yet. But I'm not that physically fit and the idea of a "hike" scares me.
  13. I'm similar in that I'll have about 1.5 days in Vancouver pre cruise, and it's just me. I also thought about Buchart but discarded the idea due to time. Things that I'm thinking about right how: Gastown mostly to see the clock, Granville Island, Capilano suspension bridge, art museum (b/c I'm a museum curator). I might try to find a tour that would knock out some of those without my having to get transport. Of course I know I should probably see some of Stanley Park as well. The size of that seems a bit overwhelming--I'd probably only see a small part. I might do at least one of the gardens in Vancouver but they don't wow me as much as Buchart.
  14. I've wondered exactly what you said: should I bother seeing Mendenhall? But, to me, the Nugget Falls is the main attraction there. I think I'd enjoy standing next to the waterfall with Mendenhall in the background. My cruise is also doing Glacier Bay. My plan for Juneau is to take it easy b/c it's my middle day of 3 ports in a row. I booked a sled dog (on land) excursion around 1 pm. I might do Mendenhall before or after that on my own. It seems relatively simple to get transport from the port to Mendenhall visitor center. If I feel like doing a lot of stuff I'll also do the tram, also on my own, since it's right next to the port. Juneau seems to me like a place where you can do a lot on your own easily (although my disclaimer is that this is my first cruise).
  15. Not a dumb question. Exactly what this forum is for.
  16. I've read some trip reports on this forum of people who traveled with similar aged kids. They spent a lot of time in the kids clubs. I will link one if I can find it.
  17. I know there's a lot of talk about what to do in Anchorage but I am wondering what you would do if you had only a half day. My cruise disembarks in Whittier and then I have to have the transfer to Anchorage. I haven't booked flights yet but was eyeing one that leaves at 6 am the next morning (I have a long ways to go to get back to the east coast). I've made a tentative reservation at the Hotel Captain Cook but would be open to changing to a different hotel. I am unsure if I want to do a simple transfer that gets me to Anchorage or if I want to do one of the tours, but I'm leaning towards just getting there ASAP so I can wander around as I want. I chose the Captain Cook b/c I wanted a big hotel with lots of dining options around it but also something I can't get back where I live. I lean towards museums and historic houses etc. but am open to any suggestions. I've thought about the tour (trolley? I think) that goes through earthquake park. I like to stay up late but as I'll probably have to get up really early this might not be a good idea. I know it will be light out very late then, as the solstice celebration is that next day when I will be flying. Renting a car or going very far from the hotel isn't in the cards. I will probably do a museum or two but please let me know if there's anything that is a "do not miss" in that short length of time. Thank you!
  18. I was unable to find the trip report that talked of this but it was definitely in the 2018 or 19 group.
  19. I was just reading a trip report where someone talked about this at length. I'll try to find it and link it. Her advice was to get the stamp as soon as you see them b/c the rangers closed up shop early that day due to weather and she almost didn't get it.
  20. RE: less time in Ketchican, we're supposed to be there on our first port day from 6:30 am to 3 pm. I have booked a ship's shore excursion to Totem Bight plus the Lumberjack show that goes from 7 am to noon. I definitely want time to just walk around by myself however. What happens if we have less time there? Do the excursions get cancelled? It's my 1st cruise so I don't know how these things go. I would rather cancel the tours and just walk around if time were less.
  21. Someone pointed out to me that they did change the map of the cruise recently. See how it says "Royal Princess route" and shows it going a different direction at first? I think that means it's not going into the Inside Passage but I'm not 100% sure of what I'm seeing: https://www.princess.com/cruise-search/details?voyageCode=A017
  22. Sorry I see I was unclear: we start in Vancouver and end in Anchorage (Whittier).
  23. Do all ships have restrictions on wind speed and direction or just this one?
  24. I apologize that it seems that I posted this twice and I can't figure out how to delete the duplicate, which is this one.
  25. I'm booked on the Royal from Vancouver to Whittier in June 2020. I did this b/c I wanted to be part of a group that is going then so the ship and itinerary were not my choice if I wanted to go with the group. My question is this: I've read a lot about how the Royal is too big to dock at Juneau sometimes b/c of winds, when smaller ships are able to dock. Also, this was an Inside Passage cruise when I booked it but now it seems the Royal is not going to do that because of size? I read a comment on here somewhere about how they were barred from doing the Passage but I couldn't verify that elsewhere. I see a little bit here and there about this but never an in depth discussion except for several articles that came out last spring about how pilots thought the Royal might not be a good fit for Alaska. I would appreciate anyone's thoughts about this. I read several trip reports from people who were unhappy that the Royal missed Juneau but I couldn't tell if that was a chronic problem or just one sailing. I will not be changing to a different ship but I want to have a clear idea of what to expect. I've planned my excursions so that I have some redundancy in what I'm going to do in Juneau---e.g. dog sledding (on land) in Juneau but also a tour in Skagway that includes the dog sled place in case I miss it in Juneau. This will be my first cruise so I don't think I'll know what I'm missing re: the Inside Passage. I'm also a little worried about getting seasick when the ship departs Vancouver and goes around the island out to sea instead of inside. Thank you for any advice.
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