Crowded ports

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#1
62 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
We are going on our first Alaskan cruise in mid-September from Whittier to Vancouver. I have been perusing these wonderful cruise critic sites which provide an absolute plethora of information. Thanks to all who take the time to help others.
My question regards the state of the towns on days when several ships are docked there. How busy will these restaurants, parks, museums, etc. be? Can we expect some disappointments? Thanks for any helpful input.
#2
84,922 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
It really depends. It will be less crowded than say August but some towns can be overflowing with people.

I remember Ketchikan last August. There were lines out the door with people waiting to get into some of the Jewelry Stores and the town was packed. That was probably the worst we saw.

Bottom line it depends what time of year and how many ships are in ports.

The museums and parks are less crowded than the stores and restaurants.

Keith
#3
4,261 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by emmajo
My question regards the state of the towns on days when several ships are docked there. How busy will these restaurants, parks, museums, etc. be? Can we expect some disappointments? Thanks for any helpful input.
Actually the biggest factor with regard to how crowded each port feels is how far you venture from the ship. The closer you are to either the ship or the shops, the more crowded each port will feel. But if you can get away from the very touristy areas, you will hardly even notice that there are several ships in town.

Case in point: Skagway. Stay off Broadway. Take the train, rent a car or go hiking. You will hardly see many of the other 5,000-10,000 tourists in port that day.

Another case in point: Juneau. Except for the Mendenhall Glacier visitor center area, if you get just 3-4 blocks from the cruise ship berths you will never know there are 3-4 ships in port.
#4
2,175 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
MID SEPTEMBER?
You will be able to do your holiday shopping! Really!
You will find lots of merchandise 50% off and some up to 90% off because stores want/need to get rid of their inventory.
If you're going to Skagway you'll be able to see people lugging huge red bags from one of the first stores at the beginning of Broadway on your left .............maybe it's called Alaska Shirt Company. I really can't remember, but every time I've been there in September it's been fun just watching the people stream back with huge red plastic bags.
The ports won't be as crowded as earlier times, but they'll still be full of people.
ENJOY!!
#5
Dangling from a moose's antlers
1,729 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
In Ketchikan all you have to do is walk about 4 blocks and you'll be out of harms way. Their is sooooooooo much more to each of these port cities then the trinket shops selling plastic totem poles made in China. I still have no clue why people would spend all this money to come to the most beautiful state in the USA and then fritter their time away in gift shops. It's just in'freakin' incredible to me!!
#7
4,261 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
[quote=bearbait;34524403]In Ketchikan all you have to do is walk about 4 blocks and you'll be out of harms way. Their is sooooooooo much more to each of these port cities then the trinket shops selling plastic totem poles made in China. I still have no clue why people would spend all this money to come to the most beautiful state in the USA and then fritter their time away in gift shops. It's just in'freakin' incredible to me!!QUOTE]

I totally agree but if the OP is like the poster above yours re: shopping they won't avoid the crowds.
#8
more or less in TX
10,418 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Mid-Sept crowds are much less of an issue. Really. Many of the cruise line owned shops are already closed for the season as their merchandise and employees go to warmer climates.

Some of the tours are finished for the season but the pay off is fewer people in the heart of the cruise ports.