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Northern Aurora

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Everything posted by Northern Aurora

  1. We live in Fairbanks, not Anchorage, but have used taxis through the years in Anchorage on NUMEROUS times. My husband and I have spent many nights/days in Anchorage through the years as we both had to fly down on business. We have never found the taxi service in Anchorage to be unreliable. Our prior wage and hour laws did not allow either Uber or Lyft to operate in Alaska. But our state legislature modified those laws in 2017, and so now we have both Uber and Lyft operating here. If you don't like the time of the train schedule I would also consider one of the motor coach transfers to Seward. Just be aware that while opinions about scenery can be very subjective, most folks find the scenery on the train route more spectacular than that along the road. If you decide to take the train, with luggage you most likely would want to take a quick taxi ride from the Alaska Railroad terminal to the Seward cruise terminal, but they are located in very close proximity.
  2. If you can find a detailed map of Alaska you will find that the drive out of Skagway is the Klondike Hwy which connects Skagway to the Al-Can near Whitehorse, Yukon Territory (in Canada). Given your port time trying to drive to Haines is simply out of the realm of possibility. The drive from Skagway to Emerald Lake is scenic with an interesting variety of terrain. There is a very short side road from Skagway to the old ghost town of Dyea. The National Park Service has located and marked some of the old building remnants of Dyea. Dyea was the point where the Klondike gold rush stampeders started the hike on the Chilkoot Trail. It is a scenic drive on a nice day.
  3. Northern Aurora


    Another major draw in Skagway for history buffs is the historic White Pass and Yukon Railroad.
  4. Just have to ask the question -- with a port call from 7 AM to 5 PM are you asking if you can actually drive from Skagway to Haines with that time limitations? What road do you plan to take?
  5. When you state that your check in is 12:30 do you mean check in for the cruise? And since you are arriving by train at 11 I am assuming you are on the "regular" Alaska Railroad run and not on a cruise contracted special train. If you look at Google Earth you will see that the Alaska Railroad Seward terminal is on the north side of Seward. The cruise terminal is toward the east. Seward itself is somewhat rectangular in shape. I would take a quick taxi ride to the cruise terminal and drop your luggage with the baggage folks. In the past Seward has had shuttle bus running which picks up folks at the entrance to the cruise terminal and then does a loop through Seward with several stops. I have no idea what cruise line you are using, but most require check in 90 minutes to two hours before sailing. Check your documents to find out the latest boarding time for your particular line.
  6. Well -- I have to correct my own post (above). Other Alaskans would know which newspaper I was referencing, but the correct name is the Anchorage Daily News (www.adn.com). The original newspaper name was the Anchorage Daily News, then for several years it was the Alaska Dispatch, and now the name has returned to the original.
  7. The Alaska Daily News website is now reporting that Taquan has suspended all operations. It was previously reported that they were suspending cruise contracted flights, but were continuing their non-cruise operations.
  8. We have been to Bar Harbor several times. We have used Olli's Trolley for a tour of Acadia National Park and thought they were very good. Bar Harbor has a "museum on the street" walking tour; while the buildings are private property there is informational signage on the street about the historical significance. And we have had lunch twice at 59 Cottage (their name is also their location); excellent food both times. They are about half a block off of the main tourist "drag" and both times we think we were the only locals there. We have also been to St. John several times. The reversing falls are interesting if they are actually reversing, but if they aren't then it is somewhat of a yawn. The New Brunswick Museum is within easy walking distance of the cruise ship terminal, and there are also a number of interesting restaurants within easy walking distance too. Also, in 2018 we walked on to a nice 90 minute trolley tour of the area. In Halifax the Maritime Museum is excellent. And the fort mentioned in the above post is the historic Citadel, which is well worth visiting; it is a national historic site. Three times we have had the most wonderful lobster rolls in Halifax -- it is a little "lobster shack" type of place located in Goodwater Seafoods, which is in the public market.
  9. Uber and Lyft were illegal until about two years ago. Our state legislature had to modify wage and hour laws, so they are now operating in the state. But neither company has much of a presence as of yet. There are ALWAYS taxis meeting the planes at the Fairbanks Airport -- no matter what time you arrive (ie: 1:30 AM). After you leave the baggage claim carousels, walk out of the closest exit and look to your left. Taxis, from all companies, will be lined up.
  10. AKStafford has provided the website for our Visitor and Convention Bureau. Our local newspaper, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, also has a visitor's guide they publish on their website (www.newsminer.com). I don't know what our OP means by "most tourist tours" but I suspect they are referring to the Riverboat Discovery and Gold Dredge No. 8. Both attractions are owned by the same family and so a number of the cruise tours do both as they can be timed for an easy pairing. But I would suggest the Museum of the North and also the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum. Friends of Creamer's Field does guided walks at Creamer's Field daily. And if the cruise tour doesn't include a photo stop at the Alaska pipeline viewing station north of Fairbanks consider a quick drive out to Fox. Depending on the day of the week I would also suggest visiting the Tanana Valley Farmer's Market; the market isn't open daily. The OP needs to check visitor guides for local festivals/events. If they are in Fairbanks around the summer solstice there are a number of solstice celebration activities.
  11. We have disembarked in Seward several times, and I doubt you will have any problems catching that 8 AM bus. I haven't recently checked the Seward cruise ship schedule, but in the past Seward hasn't had more than one ship docked at a time. The Radiance will most likely be the only ship docked. And a great number of passengers will be taking the cruise contracted train into Anchorage so will be off the ship very early.
  12. I've seen the inside of one of the Sophie Station rooms as friends stayed there several years ago. The rooms are similar to those in Embassy Suites. As I remember the bedroom is private and the "kitchen" more of a "kitchenette" style. But just check their website for their amenities. Also, the Sophie Station is located within easy walking distance to both a Safeway and a Fred Meyer.
  13. If you use the search function you will find the names of companies who offer private motor coach transfers. The Alaska Railroad is another option, as is renting a car. Hertz is the only national car company with a presence in Seward, so be prepared for a hefty one way rental fee.
  14. We did a Vancouver to Yokohama itinerary followed by a cruise around Japan in the fall of 2018 for a nice B2B pairing. We are scheduled for a cruise around Japan followed by the TP crossing to Vancouver in the spring of 2021. We spent some time in Tokyo in 2018 after we left the ship, and will spend time in Japan in 2021 before we board for the B2B. Hope you enjoy Seward. We drive down from Fairbanks almost every summer.
  15. Have you looked at a Yokohama to Vancouver itineraries? I know that Celebrity does them, but also suspect that other lines do as well.
  16. We actually received a printed account statement on our Pacific Coastal cruise which ended April 17th. That was the last leg of a B2B2B, and was the only leg in which a printed statement was delivered to our cabin. We assume that we most likely will not receive a printed statement and take a photo of our account on the last evening. And we have been on many more than 25 X cruises. Only once did we think we had an error -- for less than $2.00.
  17. The Bear Lodge is the newer part of the Wedgewood Resort. It is a Fountainhead property. The Wedgewood complex has one and two bedroom apartments which can either be leased long term or leased short term (ie by the month or week). Another Fountainhead property, the Sophie Station Hotel, has rooms similar in design to an Embassy Suite property. Since the Bear Lodge seemed to have been built as a more traditional hotel property, I have always wondered if it is similar in design to the Sophie Station property. But in any event, the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum is also on the Wedgewood-Bear Lodge property. In the past they have a offered a reduced admission to those staying in a Fountainhead hotel. Also, the Creamer's Field Migratory Wildlife Refuge is contiguous, and Friends of Creamer's Field offers daily guided walked during the summer. And, finally, Fountainhead also operates a trolley type bus which has a circuit through town. I saw the bus for the first time this summer on Thursday, so they are clearing operating again this year.
  18. The Cookhouse has excellent fish and chips. We have eaten there several times.
  19. We were on B2B cruises on Celebrity. The first leg ended in Yokohama, as did the second leg. On what was our turnaround day we left the ship about 9 AM to spend the day. A great number of the disembarking passengers were already off. The second leg we had a private car transfer pick us up at 9:30 AM. Again, a number of the passengers had already disembarked.
  20. Northern Aurora


    peggy: There has been discussion on the new deck 10 Aqua staterooms on the Celebrity Cruise Critic forum.
  21. While it isn't what I would call a seafood restaurant, the Bayview Pub in Sitka often has locally caught fish on the menu. We had a great lunch there last September -- our last meal in North America as the ship headed to Japan. Sitka is a lovely community, with nice options within walking distance of their "downtown."
  22. I also suspect you will be at the Fairbanks Princess, but they (at least in the past) have also used the Westmark on occasion.
  23. Northern Aurora


    I would also not assume that the same ship docks at the same berth every visit. We were B2B on the Millennium in 2017. Seward to Vancouver followed by a return to Seward. Different berths in Juneau on each leg.
  24. As soon as I read that your father is a history buff I immediately thought of Independence Mine State Historical Park. Very nice visitor's center and nice trails around the mine. And you could have a meal at the quirky Hatcher Pass Lodge.
  25. We also have done Le Petit Chef, and for us it was a "once and done" type of experience.
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