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Lisa77064

Denali Express CruiseTour 11A - seeking general info

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We booked Cruisetour 11A through Royal Caribbean on the Radiance of The Seas end of June 2019.  The information we have found online is so minimal.  It consists of:  Day 8 - Seward to Anchorage to Denali; Day 9 - Denali/Talkeetna/Anchorage; Day 10 - End journey in Anchorage and fly home.  

 

Would love to hear some recent stories, advice, general information, etc. about this quicky tour.  

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33 minutes ago, Lisa77064 said:

We booked Cruisetour 11A through Royal Caribbean on the Radiance of The Seas end of June 2019.  The information we have found online is so minimal.  It consists of:  Day 8 - Seward to Anchorage to Denali; Day 9 - Denali/Talkeetna/Anchorage; Day 10 - End journey in Anchorage and fly home.  

 

Would love to hear some recent stories, advice, general information, etc. about this quicky tour.  

Might want to ask this ? with your roll call for your cruise week (or maybe you did). Good luck!

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/182-radiance-of-the-seas-roll-calls/

Or, maybe on the Alaska section:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/33-alaska/

 

Edited by SilkySal
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I haven't done this tour .... I always travel independently in Alaska but a quick google search shows that this is indeed a ' quicky tour'.  Unfortunately you will be spending most of your time in transit, with little time to enjoy any location.  This is especially true in Denali.  That's the downfall of the short cruisetours. 

 

DAY 8.    Seward to Denali is around 365 miles !  A very long day on the bus.  Looks like it is broken up by an hour or so for lunch in Anchorage.  Arrives Denali at 5pm.

 

DAY 9  you only have the morning in Denali,  so you only have enough time for the Natural History Tour which goes to Mile 30 of the Park Rd.  (The road ends around Mile 100, so you will miss the opportunity to view the wildlife and scenery at Denali. prime bear viewing starts around mile 50.  )

The train leaves Talkeetna at 5pm, so I assume your bus will leave Denali around 1pm to give you an hr to wander around Talkeetna.( it's aa 2 1/2 hr drive from Denali to Talkeetna)    Train arrives in Anchorage at 8pm.

 

http://www.royalcaribbeancruisetours.com/content/uploads/2017/12/RCCL_11A-1.pdf

 

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mapleleaves, that's all I've been able to tell so far.  Lots of travel, travel and travel some more.  I've done the long train from Seward to Anchorage before and loved the beauty.  More curious about first hand tips and info, I guess.  I have come across very few posts about this excursion/trip but most are so very old.  Like a decade ago haha.  Sister uses a walker so seeing the countryside from a hopefully comfy "cushion" is good for us.  

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Lisa77064 said:

We booked Cruisetour 11A through Royal Caribbean on the Radiance of The Seas end of June 2019.  The information we have found online is so minimal.  It consists of:  Day 8 - Seward to Anchorage to Denali; Day 9 - Denali/Talkeetna/Anchorage; Day 10 - End journey in Anchorage and fly home.  

 

Would love to hear some recent stories, advice, general information, etc. about this quicky tour.  

 

Your tour is going to be a lot of traveling in a bus looking at scenery.  Once you get to Denali, you can book an optional excursion for the night you get there as it is light out until late.  We have done both the side by side ATV and the Wilderness Float on the Nenana River.  We enjoyed both but I would pick the float again.  There is also a white water excursion too that puts in at a different spot.  We did these excursions last May and the river was running really high, so our so called "float" was on class 1 and 2 rapids and the white water rapids tour was more like class 3 and 4 rapids.  I am glad we picked the float as it was plenty for us.  You can see what is offered on this link.

 

http://www.royalcaribbeancruisetours.com/content/uploads/2016/06/17059544_AlaskaOptionalTours_Update_Doc_v2_LR.pdf

 

You won't be in Denali the next day long enough to upgrade to the Tundra Wilderness Tour, you can see that in the link.

 

We did 4B last year and were exhausted by the time we boarded the ship since you have early, long days on the cruise tour.  We had bag pull at the hotels as early as 6am some days and were finishing excursions after 10pm.

 

Edit:  You posted as I was typing, neither of those excursions will work with a walker.  🙂  Can your sister get up and down bus stairs?  You will be on and off the bus for breaks along the way.  Denali Bus tour is on a school bus with somewhat better seats but still the climb in.

Edited by reallyitsmema

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realityitsmeme, I've heard the longer pre and post tour add-ons can be exhausting.  I'm guessing since ours is so short and mostly travel, they will handle all baggage and transfers.  I read somewhere that you should pack separate bags for certain tour days.  I doubt that will apply to our short tour.   I'm resolved to sit and enjoy beauty while traveling.  Maybe we will find something tame to occupy any extra time we might have while we in town.  

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2 minutes ago, Lisa77064 said:

realityitsmeme, I've heard the longer pre and post tour add-ons can be exhausting.  I'm guessing since ours is so short and mostly travel, they will handle all baggage and transfers.  I read somewhere that you should pack separate bags for certain tour days.  I doubt that will apply to our short tour.   I'm resolved to sit and enjoy beauty while traveling.  Maybe we will find something tame to occupy any extra time we might have while we in town.  

 

Yes, they handle the luggage but you have to put it outside you hotel room door at a certain time, which was 6am on some days.  Our tour was before the cruise so we did pack one large bag for the cruise and one for the cruise tour.  We also had 2 21" roll aboards that we had stuff we used each day.  All in, we were gone 15 days, so we had a lot.  We also had a backpack that we would carry on the buses with us with snacks, water, cameras, umbrella, rain coats, kindles and anything else we might need during the day.  When you take the train, your luggage stays on the motorcoach and meets you at the other end, so make sure your daypack has meds or anything you might want.

 

The views were gorgeous on both the train ride and all our bus tours.  We would definitely do a DIY tour to Denali again in the future.  We did come in two days early into Anchorage and had toured that area on our own before flying to Fairbanks for our cruise tour.  We met some wonderful people on our tour but it was the same ones that were late back to the bus at each stop that just put a damper on things, especially when they were an hour late once and we were just leaving them behind as they appeared.  We have never been ones to love a bus tour but had decided to do it since we had never visited Alaska in the past.  This has given us a taste for what we will do on our own when we go back in 2021.

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Will you be spending the night in Denali?

 

You said you will be sailing on the Radiance?  We sailed her in Alaska last May.  She was once a fine ship, but is in dire need of a rehab, which is scheduled for sometime in 2020 

 

This was the trip of our life....so far!  Plan on a return cruise to the beautiful state of Alaska. 

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43 minutes ago, Greyt1 said:

This was the trip of our life....so far!  Plan on a return cruise to the beautiful state of Alaska. 

 

We were on Radiance last June and that's exactly how I describe the trip.  However, our 10 days spent inland on a DIY trip from Fairbanks down to Seward before the cruise was the better of two amazing portions.

 

We originally booked a pre-tour through RC but cancelled it when my wife realized there was way too much she wanted to see and do inland.  Fortunately she found a company that basically planned our entire trip for us (after numerous phone calls, e-mails, and 50+ revisions to our itinerary).

 

Can't wait to return!

 

P.S.  I definitely endorse the above recommendation of a DIY to Denali.

Edited by OCSC Mike

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Thanks all.  We've cruised on Radiance to Alaska before but we were total Alaska  newbies.  I get it is an older ship but I love all ships.  We scored an Aft Junior Suite for this cruise - super excited.  We booked some nice excursions this go-around - air, land and sea.  We'll be landing on a glacier, driving a Hummer to Emerald Lake, etc, another boat/city tour, and the newish Glacier Discovery Boat tour at Hubbard.  We are spending a couple of precruise days in Vancouver.  I'm beginning to think our 2 day Denali cruise tour will be plenty for us as we are senior citizen sisters with one walker.  Looks like we just need to sit back, bring our personal items in a separate bag, and enjoy the ride.  Can't wait!

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Sounds great, Lisa!  We had an aft JS too, 1100 to be exact.  Great balcony for viewing Hubbard Glacier.  We spent a couple days in Vancouver too, love that city.  We are impatiently waiting for the 2021 itineraries to be released so we can book again.  Royal Caribbean has permits for Glacier Bay starting in 2021, so it will be interesting to see which ship or ships go there.  If we end up on Radiance again, that is fine, though I would prefer Ovation doing Radiance's routes which won't happen.

 

I hope you and your sister have a wonderful cruise!  Come back and tell us how the cruise tour went. 🙂 

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1 hour ago, OCSC Mike said:

 

We were on Radiance last June and that's exactly how I describe the trip.  However, our 10 days spent inland on a DIY trip from Fairbanks down to Seward before the cruise was the better of two amazing portions.

 

We originally booked a pre-tour through RC but cancelled it when my wife realized there was way too much she wanted to see and do inland.  Fortunately she found a company that basically planned our entire trip for us (after numerous phone calls, e-mails, and 50+ revisions to our itinerary).

 

Can't wait to return!

 

P.S.  I definitely endorse the above recommendation of a DIY to Denali.

Would you mind sharing who you used for the DIY cruise tour? July will be our second trip to Alaska but first doing a 6 day post cruise tour through royal.  I know we will be back in 2021.  Know that this time we will have a feeling for what we would like to do ourselves so will not be doing a tour through royal.  Would like to do our own itineraries but would like the help of a professional.  My email is brotherspaintball at gmail dot com.  Thanks in advance

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5 minutes ago, frank808 said:

Would you mind sharing who you used for the DIY cruise tour?

 

E-mail sent.

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4 minutes ago, OCSC Mike said:

 

E-mail sent.

Thanks will be looking for it.

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2 hours ago, mac1_131 said:

Get the cruisetour brochure off RCI website it has a little more detail.

I did and I still find it very lacking.  <Laughing>, we are just going to grab a seat and ride the roads for the views.  Should be enough for us.  Thanks.

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We did the Denali tour as stated above beginning July 5th.  Our weather was HOT and clear and Denali was quite visible all the way to the top which is apparently a rarity.  The smoke from the fires wasn't bad when we were there.  I am glad we did this tour but man oh man oh man, it is a lot of traveling while sitting.  Since we weren't hikers, canoeists, etc., there wasn't much for us to do late evening (after we arrived).  The cabins were hot due to the high temps and no ac.  It did finally cool down by wake up time.  We were told you couldn't buy a fan anywhere - all sold out.  The joke in town?  "Crazy how you have to come to Alaska to get a suntan".  Haha. 

 

Time to travel again!  We finally made it to the glass domed train and it was running late. Why?  They said the tracks were sooooo hot that the train had to travel slower than normal.  Wow!  Of course, our seats were in a portion of the train that wasn't getting much air.  Hot inside!  Dinner was fabulous though.  

 

I have to say I was a bit disappointed by the train ride.  Last trip to Alaska, we took the train from Seward to Anchorage and OH MY, was it ever stunningly beautiful.  This train ride and terrain wasn't anything like that train ride.  We did see a few moose along the way.  Again, dinner was good.

 

We stayed at the Marriott Hotel in Anchorage.  It was nice.  Did a Trolley through Anchorage.  The added landscaping and flowers were unbelievable!  I have never seen anything like it.  It was attributed to the great weather and 20 hours of sun daily.  Amazing.  

 

Finally, the return flight home from Anchorage to Houston during the late night early morning hours.  Lord, I wish I could sleep on a plane 😞  

 

Was a fabulous trip all together but for us personally, I don't think I would do the Denali quick tour again.

 

We did a Duck Tour in Ketchikan (fun), Helicoptered to Mendenhall Glacier and walked around from Juneau (OMG blue blue blue!) , rented a Hummer and trekked down the Yukon Highway to Emerald Lake from Skagway (stunningly green), and did the Glacier Discovery Tour off the ship in Glacier Bay (WOWOWOW).  

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For those that have taken this cruisetour, are there opportunities to see Denali (the mountain) during the bus or train rides?

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On 1/16/2020 at 2:12 AM, harleydiver said:

For those that have taken this cruisetour, are there opportunities to see Denali (the mountain) during the bus or train rides?


The tour guides say Denali is a 30% mountain. 30% of the people see it 30% of the time. We beat the odds and saw it 3 days in a row, from numerous points of transportation.  

 

We did Tour 1B before our cruise.  These photos are from Live my CC review from 2 summers ago. 
 

5A9553FD-6A84-4BB3-9CF6-C8A1FACFB1EB.thumb.jpeg.d181a0bf2e7d1b712db285370a9c5f92.jpeg

 

 

from the train.  It stopped so we could all see it. 


A137BF11-82E1-4B88-A681-D40ED4788974.thumb.jpeg.ece1c808b02edb7ad590ac2827288b69.jpeg

 


from the bus during a stop.  In this photo it is on the far right.


6E4E4EE2-FDC9-4A0D-BADE-CAF16BB03514.thumb.jpeg.356e5b9df06f4ae49a09d5f7ea3da3c3.jpeg

 

 

now zoomed in.


DA2306AC-D147-43EB-AFED-B81EA53FD8E7.thumb.jpeg.d2ac50c8156d608f2a4e785b0ca9fa2b.jpeg

 

 

we even saw it during a chopper excursion. It’s far away, as we flew to a glacier the opposite direction. 
 

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we even saw it from our hotel restaurant window in Talkeetna. 
 

261592B2-B8B4-4E4A-98F2-5DA2CEE18F13.thumb.jpeg.2b624718786800a832445cd9033e9c57.jpeg

 

 

and not as well the next morning. 

 

9CC3152B-0155-4203-8C3C-099EDA2ABD2E.thumb.jpeg.39742f85818c0ad7d13bba76b512c6ac.jpeg

Edited by A&L_Ont

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4 hours ago, harleydiver said:

Thank you A& L_Ont!


Most welcome. If you want I can post a link to my live review. Let me know. 

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