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mapleleaves

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About mapleleaves

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About Me

  • Location
    Redmond WA
  • Interests
    DIY land travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    RCI
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    W Med

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  1. You didn't provide any information about your interests, priorities, budget, or physical ability, so it's kinda hard to provide suggestions on what to do in each port. Plus you didn't indicate which ports you're visiting ! If you want feedback on the itineraries you'll need to post a link to them so we can see the ports and the port times. In the meantime I highly recommend that read thru the many trip reports posted near the top of the page. Many are detailed photo journals with information on sights, activities, excursions, DIY options, etc. There are reports for cruise only, or cruisetours, or cruise with DIY land. They will be a great resource for you.
  2. The primary activity in Whittier is a Prince William Sound cruise to get a closer view of glaciers and sealife. https://www.whittieralaskachamber.org/ But if you want to visit Anchorage as a day trip, a rental car from AVIS is your only option (other than an expensive taxi or car service). The timing of the Alaska Railroad, Park Connection Bus, and cruise transfers doesn't work for day trips to Anchorage. There is a car service listed in the Chamber web site; perhaps you could find others on your Roll Call who are doing B2B, and that would make the price more economical. If you drive, keep in mind that you must go thru the Anton Anderson Tunnel. It is only open ONCE AN HOUR in each direction. From Whittier on the hour, to Whittier on the half hour.
  3. you might get more responses if you post on the Alaska forum of tripadvisor. Perhaps one of the local residents can offer some information. There aren't a lot of suggested stopping points listed in the Bells Alaska or The Milepost guides, however the drive itself is labelled as "National Scenic Byway " , so maybe the entire drive is one big stopping point ! https://www.themilepost.com/highways/haines-highway/ https://www.bellsalaska.com/road logs/Haines-highway-log.pdf
  4. Depends on what kind of activity you're looking for. Lots of info in the town web sites: https://visitsitka.org/ The port is Icy Strait but the town is Hoonah. https://icystraitpoint.com/ http://visithoonah.com/ There are a few hundred trip reports posted near the top of the forum. Read thru the reports that included these ports. You'll get an idea of what people did, and the vendors they used, to see if they match your interests.
  5. Toursaver has a web site, you can see which coupons are available and rules that a vendor may apply: https://www.toursaver.com/deal/dealview/action/list/
  6. here's another video. Notice that the frosting is heavy enough that when he closes the bathroom door, you don't see the faucets, or the shower head, or the lotion dispensers.
  7. The toilet and shower are separate ' rooms', on either side of the cabin's entry door. Each room is surrounded by frosted glass , not a wall. You can see the outline of someone who is in one of those rooms, but you don't see the 'details'. It's kind of like seeing a shadow. If you are bothered by the notion that someone can see you, all you have to do is pull the large curtain that covers both rooms. I travelled with my cousin and we actually liked the set up. Having 3 separate areas, made it very convenient to get ready in the mornings. One of us could dress in the room, while the other dressed behind the curtain. A common complaint is that someone could enter the room while you're in the shower. While that person could see that someone is in the shower they couldn't see anything. But geez, there are locks on doors, plus a Do Not Disturb button so that shouldn't be a problem. I don't understand why people don't like the layout. I mean what do they do in there that a hollow core door will save them from ? There's an image of the Inside Room on the NCL web site: https://www.ncl.com/cruise-ship/epic/staterooms/inside Or search for youtube video .....' ncl epic bathroom" or ' ncl epic inside room' , such as this one:
  8. mapleleaves

    Advice Needed

    <<< (Any my husband and I did not want to do all the same ports we have done previously). >>> <<< (but they could go back and still have new ports to visit some day?) >>> Sorry if this sounds mean, but your reasoning sounds quite selfish. YOU'VE seen the usual ports already so it's ok to short-change your friends since they can go back some other time?? Perhaps this is why you're second guessing your choice.
  9. The EVC shuttle is usually an 8hr RT, including the lunch break. It can run longer if there are lots of wildlife sightings, or wildlife activity to watch. ie board the bus at 8:am, arrive EVC at noon, 30-40 minute break, then a little over 3 hrs for the return trip. The return trip is quicker because most people sleep all the way back. Since passengers are the 'wildlife spotters' , and they're asleep, there are fewer stops. https://www.reservedenali.com/tours-transits/transits/eielson-visitor-center/ According to the Reservation site, the WL shuttle is 11hrs. I've booked the WL shuttle a couple of times in hopes that it's a clear day , but I've always had rain so I get off at EVC. Since it's just me and maybe a companion, I've never had a problem keeping my seat.
  10. Best meaning .... quickest, cheapest, most convenient, easiest? Cheapest, if you can you easily manage your luggage for several blocks and over a large bridge. If so, walk to the People Mover entrance and ride it to Piazzale Roma (3 minutes, 1.5 E ), then walk to the Grand Canal, cross the bridge and walk a block to the train station. Easiest ... take a cab to the Mestre station instead. Mestre is the last stop before trains cross the causeway over to Venice. You'll probably have more options for getting to Milan from Mestre since more trains stop in Mestre than at S Lucia.
  11. Alaska is very easy to do DIY. A rental car is ideal because it gives you control over your schedule plus you can stop for wildlife sightings, scenic views and other points of interest. But you can still go DIY, by booking the train and or bus yourself, as well as the lodging. The Alaska Railroad is very easy to do since there's only 1 departure a day. Maybe take the train one way and the bus the other. The Park Connection Bus has 2 departures a day so it offers a little more flexibility, and only $100 each way instead of $175. The only catch with train/ bus at Denali is that you need to choose lodging that provides lodging to/from the depot and to the Park entrance. The big cruisetour hotels do so, like Princess Lodge. But there are others ... you just need to do a little research. As for your specific train questions, contact the Alaska Railroad directly: https://www.alaskarailroad.com/ Also, the Alaska Railroad offers pkg tours of varying lengths and flexibility. https://www.alaskarailroad.com/travel-planning/packages/summer-packages And the bus company has a tour division, offering pkgs by bus or train or a combo: https://www.alaskacoach.com/about/alaska-tour-travel.html I also suggest you visit the Alaska forum of cruisecritic. At the top of the page you'll find links to past trip reports for the past few yrs. Reports on cruises, cruisetours, and cruise with DIY land. Lots of helpful info in those reports. Other cruiselines visit Glacier Bay so don't limit yourself to NCL. But look closely at the itineraries, especially port times. Make sure you're in port long enough and at the right time of day for any planned activities. Have fun with your research and planning !
  12. To correct a few errors in the above post: - you CAN reserve the buses, both tour and transit. As a matter of fact, it's highly recommended. ( on my first trip I didn't have reservations for the bus OR campground and had to wait 2 days for a seat and camp site! ) - the bus drivers are not rangers. The drivers are employees of Doyon/aramark, which is the concessionaire for the buses and campgrounds. - you can only continue to Wonder Lake from Eielson Visitor Center if you have a ticket for WL. If you buy a ticket to EVC the driver has his/her break there; it's usually 30-45 minutes depending on how long the driver spent on wildlife sightings. Then most people hop back on the same bus to return to the entrance . On a clear day, some people will want to continue on to WL. There is a bus dispatcher at EVC who can arrange that. Obviously seating is limited so you may or may not be able to buy a seat. The best solution is to buy a ticket to WL and if the weather is lousy, you can either hang out at EVC until your WL bus returns, OR, ask the dispatcher to find you an earlier bus with availability. Likewise, if you choose to spend more time at EVC ( to hike, do the noon walk with the rangers, view exhibits, etc) the dispatcher will assist with a later bus back to the entrance.
  13. yeah, I wonder the same thing. I haven't seen a huge weather change within the same day, but definitely yes from one day to the next ! One yr, in late August we experienced rain at the start of our trip, which turned to snow flurries just beyond Polychrome Pass. The next day was sunny and warm and we were wearing shorts by the time we left the campground at noon.
  14. This is probably the air: https://www.katair.com/excursions/denali-park-day-excursions/ The shuttle AND transit buses both go to Kantishna. When the schedules come out you can see which one works best with the air schedule. I guess it depends on your level of interest, but I sure don't see this as "saving 6 hrs on the bus". I see it as 6 hrs of missed scenery and wildlife. I happily spend 2 days in a row on bus rides in Denali ! and next summer I will have a full week of daily rides.
  15. The list of coupon savings is on their web site. I don't see Alyeska but there are other coupons that may interest you. https://www.toursaver.com/deal/dealview/action/list/
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