Review of our Alaska Adventure

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#61
Tennessee
729 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Silvertrees, thank you for your review. I got alot of good information for my Alaskan adventure next June/July 2013.
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#62
106,338 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Silvertrees

Somehow I missed the last posts.

So glad you came back and finished your review.

I really enjoyed it and your lovely pictures.

Thank you.
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Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
#63
NJ Love it
1,094 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Awsome
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#64
Singapore
230 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
First time to Alaska will always remain in the memories of one in the years to come... We are still missing our Alaska cruise trip and have been trying to write them in posts in our blog so that first time visitors can use the info as well as providing ourselves with memories next time!
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Our Travel Blog - Discover . Book . Travel
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.com
Our Full Alaska Cruise Story
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.c...ry-so-far.html
Pre and Post Alaska Cruise Tour
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.c...ka-cruise.html
#65
Victoria, Australia
54 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Thankyou to all those that commented on my review. I really enjoyed the process of typing it up. It gave us an opportunity to go back and enjoy our time in Alaska all over again.

While I sit in Australia with the temperature pushing 40 degrees Celsius (100+ Fahrenheit) I am a world away from our Alaskan Cruise. We have been fighting fires where I live and floods in other parts of the country over recent weeks . After a hard day at work looking back at the pictures and memories of our Adventure is a great privilege.

I wish we were returning in a few months but unfortunately that is not possible. We will return one day but until then I will continue to look at the pictures we have, reflex on the memories and remember the experiences and amazing people we met.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg KG Road Fire_4.jpg (15.6 KB, 38 views)
#66
Singapore
230 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Hi silvertrees,

We dream of returning to Alaska again too...

Thanks for sharing your story!
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Our Travel Blog - Discover . Book . Travel
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.com
Our Full Alaska Cruise Story
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.c...ry-so-far.html
Pre and Post Alaska Cruise Tour
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.c...ka-cruise.html
#67
Louisville, Kentucky
407 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
What a great review! This is the same cruise we are taking in August of this year. I have a few questions...

1. You mention a tour saver coupon book. Where did you get that?

2. The combo of the Harv and Marv tour with the ERA helicopter tour makes for a pricey day but your pics were so great. I am pretty much sold on Harv and Marv's but not sure about the helicopter tour. Do you think it was worth the $290 per person price for a 2 hour tour?

Thanks!
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#68
Louisville, Kentucky
407 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by Kycruisefan
What a great review! This is the same cruise we are taking in August of this year. I have a few questions...

1. You mention a tour saver coupon book. Where did you get that?

Thanks!
Never mind. I found the website for this tour book.
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#69
Michigan's Beautiful UP
518 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Originally posted by Silvertrees
Thankyou to all those that commented on my review. I really enjoyed the process of typing it up. It gave us an opportunity to go back and enjoy our time in Alaska all over again.

While I sit in Australia with the temperature pushing 40 degrees Celsius (100+ Fahrenheit) I am a world away from our Alaskan Cruise. We have been fighting fires where I live and floods in other parts of the country over recent weeks . After a hard day at work looking back at the pictures and memories of our Adventure is a great privilege.

I wish we were returning in a few months but unfortunately that is not possible. We will return one day but until then I will continue to look at the pictures we have, reflex on the memories and remember the experiences and amazing people we met.
Wonderful post, Thank you. You are right, the pictures do not do Denali or the glaciers, but they are wonderful memories all the same..... thanks for sharing with everyone. We visited Australia for 10 days in 2003 and found the pictures did not always do justice to what we saw. when we heard about all the fires.
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May 2010 - Carnival Freedom - loved our 1st cruise
July 2013 - Norwegian - Hawaii w/ many rainbows :-)
Aug 2014 - Island Princess - Alaska - goats, bears, Eagles and sea otters
April 2015 - Royal Princess - Southern Caribbean
#70
Victoria, Australia
54 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Hi Kycruisefan,

Sorry for the delay in my response, but glad to see you foound the cruise tour discount book. We found this very good and used it throughout our trip. A number of the companies even allowed us to us the vouchers after they had expired. I just asked when making initial enquiry regarding my date of booking and the fact that I had the book which in some cases expired a couple of weeks before we were there.

In relation to Juneau, Harv & Marv were fantastic from first contact right through to after our trip. Callie was more than helpful when we were booking and the crew on the day were amazing. We used the voucher for the Helicopter tour and thought that it was a great day. While it was quiet $$$$ we thought that it was good value and an excellent experience. We would do it again next time we visit I am currently putting together a Coffee Table Book (photo book) of our trip and looking back at the pictures from this day has been a real joy.

I would highly recommend these tours at this location. I would suggest that you advise both companies of what you are planning when booking so it all works in together. I found them both very helpful with scheduling to allow this to happen.

Enjoy the planning and your Adventure, We did
#71
Louisville, Kentucky
407 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Sorry. I have one more question. So you had a voucher for the helicopter ride? Hmmm... I was looking on the toursaver website last night and saw a coupon for Denali flight seeing you but not one out of anywhere else with ERA. Maybe the coupon book changed for 2013?
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#72
Florida
89 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Just read your entire review and wanted to say Thank You! It was a pleasure to read and also to view your photos. You did a wonderful job planning the trip. And even though your flight seeing trips were cancelled due to weather, you seemed to make the best of it.

I do have a major complaint ... I was sorry to see you did not continue your review to include your drive down the California Coast. It would have been very interesting to get your take on the experience. (Please note, I'm kidding about the complaint part - I know it's a lot of work to do reports, and you've provided such a nice amount of information to the community already. I just enjoy your reporting style )
#73
Victoria, Australia
54 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
No worries happy to answer as many questions as I can - I have to say I am in no way an expert and I can only speak from my experience.

We definately used a toursaver voucher for the Glacier landing and helicopter flight with ERA helicopters. In the 2012 book they had a number of offers and I do believe that they change them every year so unfortunately it doesn't appear to be offered this year Having said that we would have done the tour without it as we travelled such a long way so in the scheme of things the amount the excursion costs is small when looked at as a percentage of the entire Adventure. After veiwing a number of glaciers, we really enjoyed the chance to get another perspective and then land and walk on one.

Shazzah, thankyou for your kind words. I was going to continue my review but thought that I would be going against the rules of the board as we had left Alaska. If people are interested, as i get some time of the next few weeks, will add a few more posts to cover the rest of our trip. As I stated a number of times I really enjoyed writing the review It gave me a chance to reflect on our trip and enjoy it all over again and if others can benifit from our experience that is a bonus. Additionally I can show off some of my other halfs pictures
#74
Louisville, Kentucky
407 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Thanks so much for answering my last question. And thanks again for he review! It only got me more excited for our upcoming cruise!!!!! :-)
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7/22/2012 - Family Cruise - Allure of the Seas
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10/23/2008 - Getaway with Friends - Enchantment of the Seas
4/14/2008 - Pampered Chef FREE cruise - Majesty of the Seas
7/8/2006 - Family Cruise - Disney Magic
5/19/2005 - Getaway with Friends - Empress of the Seas
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#75
Victoria, Australia
54 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
I have had a request to finish off my review with the rest of our trip. So I will give a quick overview of our travels from Vancouver to Hawaii and some of the sights and adventures we had on the way. I apologise if anyone is offended as it’s not technically Alaska but I suppose it is still part of our post cruise land tour. Please let me know (politely) if this is not welcome and I can cease the review at anytime. We had not spent the time organising this chapter of our holiday as we had with Alaska instead have a relatively flexible schedule over the next few days as we head south.
#76
Victoria, Australia
54 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Its another early start to catch the train from Vancouver to Seattle. We arrive at the station via taxi and make our way through the check in process with no issues. Our bags are loaded onto the train and we are on our way back into the US. We really enjoyed our train trip and the opportunity that it gives to see the countryside as we rattle along. We arrive in Seattle, and after arranging to leave our bags at the railway station, we head off for a flying tour of the sights. We walked to the Pike Market where we wandered the stalls, watched the action at the fish shop and grabbed a coffee and a bite to eat. As we were doing this I was on the phone trying to get a hire car for the road trip. It seemed we had arrived on a busy day with the local football match and an apparent lack of hire cars. I must say that I did have a hire car booked when I left Australia but after discussions with our new found US friends on the cruise we had changed our travel plans by a day and I had cancelled my online booking (no fee). We finally secured a hire car from Hertz, at nearly double the price I had for the one I cancelled but at least we had a car, which would make the next week a bit easier.

With the Hire car now secured and a pick up time set, we started our walk around town ending up at the “Space Needle”. The wait in the line was an estimated 1.5hours and with no time to line up it was the VIP pass for us. For an additional $15 each it was straight to the front and up the top in 15 mins.

A great investment as I am not a fan of spending my holiday in a queue and the extra charge was quiet reasonable. The view from the observation area was nice but unfortunately after the views we had seen over the last few weeks we were over it after about 20mins and on our way down. We grabbed a taxi and went to pick up our hire car. The girl working at the Hertz looked after us and for our weeks hire and one way charge + insurance we ended up with a better price that we had had from our Internet booking. The car also had a Navman “always lost” which we didn’t request but ended up using a lot over the next week.

We were on the road and back to the train station to pick up our bags before heading out of town heading south on Interstate 5. We stayed the night at the Best Western Plus – Tocoma Dome Hotel.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1 Early Morning Train.jpg (18.0 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg 2 Board Crossing.jpg (15.1 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 3 Market.jpg (26.7 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 4 Market.jpg (25.2 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 5 Bubble gum wall.jpg (15.4 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 6 yummy.jpg (40.6 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 7 flying fish.jpg (24.8 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 8 Catching it.jpg (18.6 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 9 stalls.jpg (28.2 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 10 local produce.jpg (28.0 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 11 1st Star bucks.jpg (26.2 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 12 Space needle.jpg (20.4 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg 13 veiw from the top.jpg (20.2 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 14 local stadium.jpg (23.7 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg 15 on the road.jpg (16.4 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg 16 view from Hotel.jpg (17.9 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg 17 market entrance.jpg (25.5 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 18 flowers.jpg (28.2 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 19 pretty.jpg (14.6 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg 20 colours.jpg (15.1 KB, 9 views)
#78
Singapore
230 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Hi Silvertrees,

Look forward to more of your reviews.

We flew to Seattle from Fairbanks after our cruise and stayed a couple of days there too.

Went to Pike Place Market and the 1st Starbucks.

Was at Space Needle but didn't go up though...
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Our Travel Blog - Discover . Book . Travel
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.com
Our Full Alaska Cruise Story
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.c...ry-so-far.html
Pre and Post Alaska Cruise Tour
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.c...ka-cruise.html
#80
Canberra, Australia
2,313 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Hi Silvertrees, just starting to research for our Alaska trip in 2014. I did want to do a land tour of some description, and thought we would use a tour company. But reading your experiences it seems possible to do it by ourselves, as you did. We lived in Europe for a couple of years, so driving on the 'wrong' side of the road is not an issue. I like the thought of being able to stop and start as you please on the way and not be restricted by a tour group schedule. Thanks for taking the time to write such a good review. Yvette
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Bill and Yvette, Australia - 198 nights at sea - 83 RCI (7 cruises) & 115 X (11 cruises)
Cruises to come!
21 Dec 2017 - X Solstice New Zealand Christmas and NYE #6302 (balcony)
Past Cruises:

12 July 2017 - RCI Brilliance of the Seas 12 night Mediterranean and Venice cruise #9003
22 Dec 2016 - RCI Explorer of the Seas 12 night South Pacific and Fiji Christmas and NYE #9692
28 Dec 2015 - X Solstice 8 Night South Pacific New Year's Eve #1610 (Aqua balcony)
22 Aug 2015 - RCI Serenade of the Seas 8 night Norwegian Fjords #9240
30 August 2015 - RCI Serenade of the Seas 16 night Scandinavia & Iceland Transatlantic #9240
21 Dec 2014 - X Solstice 14 night Christmas & NYE New Zealand Cruise #6303 (balcony)
1 Aug 2014 - X Millennium 7 night Alaska Northern Glaciers #1129 (inside)
25 July 2014 - X Millennium 7 night Alaska Southern Glaciers #1129 (inside)
20 Dec 2013 - RCI Radiance of the Seas 9 night South Pacific Christmas Cruise #1104
17 Nov 2012 - X Summit 7 night Southern Caribbean - itinerary A #9038 (Aqua balcony)
10 Nov 2012 - X Summit 7 night Southern Caribbean - itinerary B #9038 (Aqua balcony)
17 Feb 2012 - X Century 18 Night Top of Australia Circumnavigation #1098 (Concierge balcony)
24 De 2011 - X Century 13 night Sydney to Auckland Christmas & NYE #8083 (inside)
4 Feb 2011 - X Xpedition 7 night Galapagos (10 night package) #306 (window)
18 December 2010 - RCI Rhapsody of the Seas 9 Night South Pacific Christmas #8063
21 Dec 2009 - RCI Rhapsody of the Seas 17 Night Australia & New Zealand Christmas and NYE #3587
3 Oct 2008 - X Infinity 16 Night Eastbound Panama Canal #8003 (window)
12 July 2007 - X Millennium Venice to Barcelona - cancelled by X 2 days before departure due to damaged propellor!
30 Oct 2006 - X Galaxy 11 night Eastern Mediterranean #5029 (inside)