Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Ports of Call > Alaska
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

View Poll Results: What do you think about the new rules for Sitka tour vendors?
It's about time -- I love Alaska, but pushy sellers ruin the visit! 31 27.68%
They're a good idea, but there are places where the hard-sell is worse (like Jamaica). 39 34.82%
I think this is unnecessary. A firm "no thanks" on my part does the trick. 35 31.25%
This isn't harsh enough. Annoying vendors should be eliminated altogether. 9 8.04%
Who cares? 8 7.14%
Something else (which I'll post) 1 0.89%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 112. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old August 7th, 2009, 01:27 PM
Dan Askin Dan Askin is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,075
Default Thoughts on New "Hassle-Free" Rules for Sitka Vendors? Vote!

The Associated Press is reporting that Sitka officials are cracking down on hard-selling tour vendors who accost visiting cruisers. The sellers are being restricted to assigned spots -- painted squares, less than five feet wide -- located in designated "staging areas" where cruisers debark. The new ordinance was said to be introduced to keep hawkers from obstructing foot traffic.

We'd like to know: What do you think about the new rules?
__________________
Dan Askin
Senior Editor

Click to Play!






Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #2  
Old August 7th, 2009, 02:10 PM
Yukon Yukon is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,375
Default

Skagway did this several year ago, and it definitely has improved the character of the main streets.
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old August 7th, 2009, 02:45 PM
CruisinCrow's Avatar
CruisinCrow CruisinCrow is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,247
Default vendors

I haven't been to Alaska yet - looking forward to our first visit next year - so I don't know what the vendors are like there. But I think these kinds of regulations are good for the vendors, not just the cruise passengers. It puts all the vendors on the same playing field so the aggressive ones don't have the advantage.

I have been to the Caribbean and Mexico many times so I know what aggressive vendors are like there. I've always just ignored them and they don't bother me. But many people are so upset by them that they won't even go to certain ports (like Jamaica).
__________________
Past Cruises: RC Majesty of the Seas 2014 Review * Carnival Victory 2014 Review * RC Enchantment of the Seas 2013 Review * Carnival Paradise 2013 Review * Celebrity Constellation 2013 * RC Jewel of the Seas 2012 Review * RC Monarch of the Seas 2012 Review, 2011, 2010 * NCL Sky 2011, 2010 * Celebrity Century 2010, 2003 * Carnival Inspiration 2009, 2006 * Carnival Splendor 2008 * NCL Jewel 2007 * Costa Mediterranea 2006 * Carnival Sensation 2000 * Holland America Veendam 1998 * Carnival Celebration 1997 * RC Sovereign of the Seas 1996 * Carnival Tropicale 1995 * Celebrity Zenith 1994 * NCL Seaward 1993 * RC Nordic Empress 1992 * Carnival Fantasy 1991

My Travel Blog: Sweet Escapes
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old August 7th, 2009, 10:19 PM
SoFetch's Avatar
SoFetch SoFetch is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Jersey
Posts: 164
Default

I've always ignored them in places like Jamaica and the Bahamas...and I do the same if I'm in NYC or even when confronted with those nail lotion kiosk people at the local mall...just keep walking, don't make eye contact, and a simple "No Thank You."

Anyway, we just returned from a cruise that stopped in Sitka and we really didn't experience this at all. When we got off of the tender, there were a few representatives from different companies selling tours....we talked to a few and picked one. We really didn't see any vendors other than these during our time there.
__________________
1999 Carnival Ecstasy 3 day Bahamas
2008 RCCL Majesty of the Seas 4 day Bahamas
2009 Carnival Spirit 7 day Alaska(Our honeymoon)

2010 - Trying to convince DH to take another cruise. Bermuda maybe?
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old August 8th, 2009, 09:16 AM
PennyAgain PennyAgain is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: more or less in TX
Posts: 10,381
Default

All this is is another money grab by the cruise companies. Greed! Bleeding Alaska for all they can get. Sitka is NOT a private island owned by the cruise companies.
Reply With Quote

  #6  
Old August 8th, 2009, 11:00 AM
m steve m steve is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 7,011
Default not just tour operators

We went to Alaska several years ago and have no desire to go back. The ports were all tacky and the shops had so much junk in them. We nicknamed it THE CHOCHKA TRAIL after one tour. I'd rather stay in Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver.

Last edited by m steve; August 8th, 2009 at 11:01 AM.
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old August 8th, 2009, 10:43 PM
Chat Noir's Avatar
Chat Noir Chat Noir is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Southern Plains
Posts: 2,080
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by m steve View Post
We went to Alaska several years ago and have no desire to go back. The ports were all tacky and the shops had so much junk in them. We nicknamed it THE CHOCHKA TRAIL after one tour. I'd rather stay in Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver.
Ports were tacky? Wow, the ports are just the 'jumping off' place, my opinion. Did you consider a flight over Misty Fjords... or even a Misty Fjords boat tour while in Ketchikan?
How about a trip to Tracy Arm and the Sawyer glaciers while in Juneau... or whale watching or a short bus ride to Mendenhall Glacier where trails are numerous and the scenery is breathtaking?
Or a car-rental in Skagway, heading out of town and into miles and miles of pristine wilderness on the Klondike Highway, from Alaska, through a bit of BC, and into the Yukon Territory? Did you miss the brief though excellent walking tour of Skagway given by the Klondike National Park Service rangers? How about a short trip to the ghost town of Dyea, Skagway's 'competition' during the gold rush days. Or the fast-ferry to the little town of Haines, tucked into one of the most beautiful areas on earth?
Seriously, Alaska is what you make of it. If you don't get out of the ports you don't really 'see' Alaska... only the tourist trap shops with the tacky trinkets. I'll take your word that Alaska has them, but somehow we missed seeing 'em.
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old August 9th, 2009, 07:00 AM
Texas Tillie Texas Tillie is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,842
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chat Noir View Post
Ports were tacky? Wow, the ports are just the 'jumping off' place, my opinion. Did you consider a flight over Misty Fjords... or even a Misty Fjords boat tour while in Ketchikan?
How about a trip to Tracy Arm and the Sawyer glaciers while in Juneau... or whale watching or a short bus ride to Mendenhall Glacier where trails are numerous and the scenery is breathtaking?
Or a car-rental in Skagway, heading out of town and into miles and miles of pristine wilderness on the Klondike Highway, from Alaska, through a bit of BC, and into the Yukon Territory? Did you miss the brief though excellent walking tour of Skagway given by the Klondike National Park Service rangers? How about a short trip to the ghost town of Dyea, Skagway's 'competition' during the gold rush days. Or the fast-ferry to the little town of Haines, tucked into one of the most beautiful areas on earth?
Seriously, Alaska is what you make of it. If you don't get out of the ports you don't really 'see' Alaska... only the tourist trap shops with the tacky trinkets. I'll take your word that Alaska has them, but somehow we missed seeing 'em.
Well said, Chat Noir!!
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old August 9th, 2009, 10:18 AM
CalGal254's Avatar
CalGal254 CalGal254 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Beautiful Ventura, California
Posts: 82
Default What Vendors?

The last time we were in Sitka was 5 years ago, and whatever vendors were there then left no memorable impression at all, so they must not have been too overwhelming. Can't wait to go again next month. I'll be looking for said vendors.

Chat Noir, I agree with Texas Tillie. Well said.

Alaska's beauty is incomparable, and I loved all the port cities, especially Sitka. I even enjoyed shopping for souvenirs for the folks back home in some of the stores obviously intended for tourists. I'll gladly endure a little "tacky" for a good bargain. I haven't cruised extensively, but it's been my experience that just about every port at which cruise ships dock has its share of "tourist trap" type shops, and I'd rather have Alaska as the backdrop than lots of other places to which ships travel.

Happy sails to you!
Irene
__________________
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock.


HAL Oosterdam 9/13
HAL Ryndam 9/09 ~
Golden Princess 5/08
~ HAL Volendam 5/07
RCI Monarch of the Seas 1/07
~ HAL Volendam 8/06
~ RCI Monarch of the Seas 2/05
HAL Veendam 7/04
~ Epirotiki Jupiter 8/71

Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old August 9th, 2009, 10:47 AM
Lois R's Avatar
Lois R Lois R is offline
Charter Member - 5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL USA
Posts: 41,436
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by m steve View Post
We went to Alaska several years ago and have no desire to go back. The ports were all tacky and the shops had so much junk in them. We nicknamed it THE CHOCHKA TRAIL after one tour. I'd rather stay in Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver.
You must have visited a different Alaska than the rest of us
Did you go beyond the shops? Did you see the absolutely beautiful,
majestic, fantastic mountains and glaciers?
I am sailing to Alaska next month for the 3rd time....Tacky is
one word I would never associate with any of my trips there.

Sorry you had such a horrible time
__________________
Check out my Cruise Pictures:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cruiseronly/
Century 5/17/03, 1/17/04, 3/12/05, 12/20/07, 4/16/09,
5/14/11, 2/12 to 2/23~2014
Mercury 3/20/04, 5/19/06, 3/18/07,
10/12/07 & 10/15/07, 9/14/08, 9/6/09
HAL Zuiderdam 9/11/04
Constellation 12/11/04
Summit 10/10/05, 1/16/10, 5/16/10, 2/5/11,
11/10/12, 8/4/13
Zenith 2/6/06, 4/13/06
Millennium 12/17/06, 1/14/12
Galaxy 3/7/08....the BIG 50 Cruise,
1/9/09
Solstice 11/14/08..Pre-Inaugural, 9/5/10
Infinity 12/3/08
Equinox 11/19/09. 5/11/12
Eclipse 11/17/10, 11/12/11
Reflection, 3nights, 12/5/12
Silhouette, 4/7/13
Enchantment with FL Friends, 9/13
----------------------------------

Up Next, REFLECTION.....11/14

Last edited by Lois R; August 9th, 2009 at 10:48 AM.
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old August 9th, 2009, 01:46 PM
bottom-dragger's Avatar
bottom-dragger bottom-dragger is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: petersburg, alaska
Posts: 1,152
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by m steve View Post
We went to Alaska several years ago and have no desire to go back. The ports were all tacky and the shops had so much junk in them. .
from the other side, what about tacky tourists? do you really wear that in public when you're back home?
__________________
le conte glacier, the most southern saltwater glacier in north america. the constant supply of ice it provided helped create the fish packing industry in petersburg. the abundance of fish also helped.

Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old August 9th, 2009, 07:59 PM
towhee towhee is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Battle Ground, WA
Posts: 279
Default

We've cruised to Alaska numerous times and haven't had any encounters with vendors, let alone aggressive vendors. Sitka is my favorite port in SE and I'm not sure what vendors this ordinance is supposed to affect.
On the other hand there's Jamaica .....
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old August 9th, 2009, 08:05 PM
LynneL LynneL is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Long Island..a quick train ride to NYC!
Posts: 1,154
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bottom-dragger View Post
from the other side, what about tacky tourists? do you really wear that in public when you're back home?
Wow! I just keep going thru my head trying to picture what exactly could some people be wearing that you find so offensive? Maybe because every time I go into mid-town Manhattan I see "The Naked Cowboy" standing in the middle of Times Square wearing only his little Fruit of the Looms with "Naked Cowboy" painted on the butt, while he strums his guitar....more power to him....just read an article that the guy makes a fortune in tips & is extremely well read. What other people wear wouldn't make me blink an eye.

I do think it is a shame that the person stating the ports were "tacky" as well as the shops filled with junk didn't get away from the port area & see some of the real beauty. I found the areas we went to to be breathtaking. There is no denying though, almost all the gift shops - whether it be in NYC, the Caribbean, Alaksa that are set in an area where you get tourists all sell the same stuff. They just change the location printed on the item. Saw a shirt one time that read, "Same sh*t, different Island"...how true! Is alot of it tacky...sure is, as is some of the shops but heck, but I still love roaming thru them. I don't see the real offense in acknowledging that.
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old August 11th, 2009, 09:41 AM
m steve m steve is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 7,011
Default bottom dragger

We live in Florida where mis matched plaid, pink, lime and yellow are de rigur. We also have a whacky Rep. governor who looks like he has an egret on his head, you betcha!
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old August 11th, 2009, 12:59 PM
mtnbikechick73 mtnbikechick73 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
Posts: 84
Default

I like both Gov. Crist and former Gov. Sarah Palin, YEEHAW and YOU BETCHA, YA'LL!

Quote:
Originally Posted by m steve View Post
We live in Florida where mis matched plaid, pink, lime and yellow are de rigur. We also have a whacky Rep. governor who looks like he has an egret on his head, you betcha!
__________________
Teri
NCL Skyward 1984 (E. Caribbean)
Carnival Elation 2004 (W. Caribbean)
Holland America Zaandam 2006 (Alaska)
Carnival Conquest 2007 (W. Caribbean)
Holland America Statendam 2007 (Alaska)
Royal Caribbean Splendour of the Seas 2008 (W. Caribbean)
Carnival Ecstasy 2009 (W. Caribbean)
Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas 2009 (Alaska)
NCL Pearl May 29, 2011 (Alaska)

Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old August 11th, 2009, 01:13 PM
mtnbikechick73 mtnbikechick73 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
Posts: 84
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by m steve View Post
We went to Alaska several years ago and have no desire to go back. The ports were all tacky and the shops had so much junk in them. We nicknamed it THE CHOCHKA TRAIL after one tour. I'd rather stay in Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver.
So, M Steve, DID you actually get out of port and DO anything in Alaska? How about walking past the "tacky" shops in Ketchikan and going up into the mountains for a trip to a beautiful, peaceful mountain lake for canoeing, followed by hiking some forest trails, capped off by an exciting Jeep 4-wheeling adventure up some old mountain logging trails? What about ziplining through the tops of a rainforest in Ketchikan?

Maybe mountain biking past one of the most beautiful mountain lakes I've ever seen in Sitka, followed by hiking through an awe-inspiring rainforest back to one of the most secluded and calming ones (lakes)? Did you take an exhilirating flight over the glaciers in Juneau, a flight that makes you wonder how God could create so much abounding beauty and create you, such an infinitely smaller creature?

Did you visit Mendenhall Glacier and lose your breath a bit at it's magnificence? Did you travel through Glacier Bay National Park and whoop and holler when the Marjorie Glacier calved?

What about taking the train ride in Skagway, and not being able to figure out how all those men were able to make a railroad in those exact conditions? The mountains, the drop-offs, the sheer weather they had to endure, the working conditions...did you take this tour and ponder the endurance, strength and courage of man in Alaska?

Did you go out looking for whales, sea lions, eagles, otters, Dalls porpoise, seals, bear, moose, elk? Did you see any? Did you marvel at God's creations?

I didn't spend long right at the ports where the boats pull up, where all the tourist shops are, like they are in EVERY CRUISE PORT, M Steve. Sorry you did.
__________________
Teri
NCL Skyward 1984 (E. Caribbean)
Carnival Elation 2004 (W. Caribbean)
Holland America Zaandam 2006 (Alaska)
Carnival Conquest 2007 (W. Caribbean)
Holland America Statendam 2007 (Alaska)
Royal Caribbean Splendour of the Seas 2008 (W. Caribbean)
Carnival Ecstasy 2009 (W. Caribbean)
Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas 2009 (Alaska)
NCL Pearl May 29, 2011 (Alaska)


Last edited by mtnbikechick73; August 11th, 2009 at 01:17 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old August 12th, 2009, 09:24 AM
m steve m steve is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 7,011
Default why question my experience?

I did many things on the cruise and just felt the towns and shops were tacky. Yes, we saw eagles, some animals and the Mendenhall among other glaciers. We were disapponited that we saw very little wild life from the ship.
Reply With Quote

  #18  
Old August 12th, 2009, 01:34 PM
mtnbikechick73 mtnbikechick73 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
Posts: 84
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by m steve View Post
We were disapponited that we saw very little wild life from the ship.
That's interesting, because I never once expected to see wildlife from the actual cruise ship. That is a very big, very loud ship and I'm sure whales can hear it coming from a mile away and try to stay out of its way, as would other sea creatures. So I never expected to see anything from my ship. I felt that if I wanted to see Alaska's critters, I'd have to get to port and get on some excursions to go look for them.

We happened to luck into a pod of whales very, very early one morning on my first Alaskan cruise as we were sailing toward Glacier Bay National Park....they were spouting and tail-finning everywhere! But on the second cruise, I'm not sure I saw any whales from the ship at all.
__________________
Teri
NCL Skyward 1984 (E. Caribbean)
Carnival Elation 2004 (W. Caribbean)
Holland America Zaandam 2006 (Alaska)
Carnival Conquest 2007 (W. Caribbean)
Holland America Statendam 2007 (Alaska)
Royal Caribbean Splendour of the Seas 2008 (W. Caribbean)
Carnival Ecstasy 2009 (W. Caribbean)
Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas 2009 (Alaska)
NCL Pearl May 29, 2011 (Alaska)

Reply With Quote

  #19  
Old August 12th, 2009, 06:40 PM
KAYEF KAYEF is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,171
Default

Well, I'm ignoring the comment....................any trip one takes is what one makes of it. Don't go into the shops if you hate them; they are NOT Alaska.
I go most years............have never had a vendor problem, ever.
In Sitka the only people on the sidewalk this summer were a husband and wife who make the most beautiful, lovely jewelry. They just stood there and hassled NO one. Their wares were on a small table. The beautiful old Lutheran Church has free tours and this summer they were selling popcorn to help finance a new church roof. They hassled NO one, but cruisers were happy to find a reasonably priced snack, for sure!
The problem people were having was (the city? the cruise lines?)
have made it impossible to locate the Hop On / Hop Off bus that runs all over Sitka. You pay for all day and use it to go everywhere. We had read about it on here but NO one could locate it at the dock area.
It turns out that one bus (provided by natives) is given ONE area in which to park and allowed NO sign telling what it is/does.
All the other shuttles are "everywhere"...........paid by the merchants in that small mall, we were told. So, you get dropped off by the mall........duh!
Sitka has great souvenir bargains at Ben Franklin..and has great book stores. Just be careful to NOT but the fake "Russian" souvenirs made in China.
We've never had a problem with vendors there............perhaps the OP has never been to the Caribbean, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Mexico...........
Reply With Quote

  #20  
Old August 12th, 2009, 06:43 PM
KAYEF KAYEF is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,171
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnbikechick73 View Post
That's interesting, because I never once expected to see wildlife from the actual cruise ship. That is a very big, very loud ship and I'm sure whales can hear it coming from a mile away and try to stay out of its way, as would other sea creatures. So I never expected to see anything from my ship. I felt that if I wanted to see Alaska's critters, I'd have to get to port and get on some excursions to go look for them.

We happened to luck into a pod of whales very, very early one morning on my first Alaskan cruise as we were sailing toward Glacier Bay National Park....they were spouting and tail-finning everywhere! But on the second cruise, I'm not sure I saw any whales from the ship at all.
We had spectacular "whale shows" two times during dinner! We were dining very near the windows at the very rear of the ship and both shows (different days) were such perfection it sort of felt as if Disney was somewhere out there making our trip more memorable!
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:47 PM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.