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  #1  
Old April 27th, 2012, 02:39 PM
blonde375 blonde375 is offline
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Default OVERwhelmed in Juneau!

Hi there!

Just booked 8/31/2012 Northbound cruise on Radiance of the Seas.

Oh my gosh, there is a lot to look at and plan!!

Looking for help on what to do in which ports to make the most of the itinerary. We are 2 couples (mid-forties).

Posting this once for each port in hopes of hearing from you AK cruise veterans!!

SO.....what's a must-see/do in Juneau?
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2009: Navigator of the Seas
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  #2  
Old April 27th, 2012, 02:43 PM
gdisney gdisney is offline
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When you get off the ship, it's a short walk to where they have the tramway (up Mt. Roberts) and the buses that go to Mendenhall. There's several different bus companies, each with their own little shack. It's about $16 roundtrip to Mendenhall. There's a visitor center which charges I think $3, but you can just walk around, try the trails, and get all sorts of amazing vantage points of the glacier (as well as a waterfall near the glacier. Here'a a pic, and this from kinda far away. You can hike much closer...
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File Type: jpg mendenhall.jpg (18.4 KB, 274 views)
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  #3  
Old April 27th, 2012, 02:49 PM
blonde375 blonde375 is offline
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WOW, that's beautiful!

I was surprised at how expensive the shore excursions are compared to the prices that we are used to on the Caribbean cruises.

I'm guessing that it is much cheaper to do the sightseeing on our own, but worried about making a bad choice.
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2013: Grandeur of the Seas
2012: Radiance of the Seas
2010: Serenade of the Seas
2009: Navigator of the Seas
2006: Enchantment of the Seas
2005: Sovereign of the Seas
2000: Monarch of the Seas
1999: Rhapsody of the Seas
1998: Majesty of the Seas
1997: Empress of the Seas
1996: Sovereign of the Seas
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  #4  
Old April 27th, 2012, 02:56 PM
gdisney gdisney is offline
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Here's another shot of Mendenhall from the trail that goes to the waterfall, which you can't see but it's to the right of the glacier. You can get down to the waters edge and touch smaller pieces of ice that have drifted in to shore.

And yes, excursions can be VERY pricey. We've found that pretty much every town has a lot to offer simply by getting out and walking around. At $16 roundtrip, the mendenhall bus is one of the cheapest and nicest simple excursions, imo.
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Mariner of the Seas - Mexican Riviera - 6.27.10 Review
Carnival Paradise - Baja California - 2.21.11 Photos
Sea Princess - Alaska - 7.19.11 Photos
Star Princess - Alaska - 6.3.12 Review | Photos
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  #5  
Old April 27th, 2012, 03:36 PM
Assateague Island Princes Assateague Island Princes is offline
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Juneau's a great port for whale watching. We've gone w/Harv and Marv (www.harvandmarvs.com) twice and were very pleased with them. Small, 6 passenger boats, very comfortable seating, excellent binoculars for your use, and personalized service. They'll drop you off at Mendenhall Glacier after your tour, and you can then catch the blue bus back to town ($8pp one way, I believe), or wait for them to come back w/other passengers for your ride back to town.

Last year we went on a self-guided kayak excursion on Mendenhall Lake thru Above and Beyond Alaska. Really a great time paddling right up to the face of the glacier and in amongst those massive iceburgs. Afterwards, we rented a car, stopping at the fish hatchery, the brewery (but it was just closing), the glacier (for another perspective on dry land), then "out the road" to the shrine, and to Eagle Beach. It was a great day in Juneau!
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Old April 27th, 2012, 05:26 PM
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sharecruises sharecruises is offline
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I have a whale watch booked with Captain Cory of Stories and Legends

I hear people rave about Tracy's Crab Shack in Juneau ..I plan a visit before I reboard my ship
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  #7  
Old April 27th, 2012, 05:52 PM
DragonOfTheSeas DragonOfTheSeas is offline
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Blonde375--I am on the 8/31 cruise, too. Come on over to the Roll Call for our cruise. And sign up for the Meet and Mingle. I must admit I usually just read the CC boards to get information. However, last month I sailed on the Enchantment of the Seas out of Baltimore after participating in the Roll Call and M & M. It really enhanced the cruise experience.
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  #8  
Old April 27th, 2012, 09:24 PM
bookmama22 bookmama22 is offline
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we've finally booked our cruise, Diamond Princess at the end of June. Is there enough time to do the Mt Roberts Tramway and the Mendenhall Glacier? I know that there are lots of people getting off the ship but it seems to me there would be enough time to do both... any experienced travelers out there with suggestions?
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  #9  
Old April 27th, 2012, 11:45 PM
Budget Queen Budget Queen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blonde375 View Post
WOW, that's beautiful!

I was surprised at how expensive the shore excursions are compared to the prices that we are used to on the Caribbean cruises.

I'm guessing that it is much cheaper to do the sightseeing on our own, but worried about making a bad choice.
No, you are not likely to see big savings with booking independent.

I suggest you narrow down your interests and determine your budget. Looking over your shore excursion list offers excellent details. You can then look into independent once you make some selections.
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  #10  
Old April 28th, 2012, 01:04 AM
akfishergirl akfishergirl is offline
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for a hundred bucks rent a car for the day... arm yourself with a map(go to the Juneau Visitors Center website) and you can see it all plus the out of the way places... it is pretty difficult to get lost in Juneau... As Long as you can Find Egan Drive or Glacier Hiway you are good to go!! I reserved my car today for Juneau and we are excited for a busy day!!!
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  #11  
Old April 28th, 2012, 05:40 AM
poolwife poolwife is offline
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In August, 2009 we cruised northbound on the Radiance of the Seas and really enjoyed it. We got off the ship in Juneau and took one of the buses to Mendenhall glacier and looked around the visitor center. Wished we would have taken the trail to the waterfall though. After that we went back to town going to the library to check our e-mail, had a great lunch at a place called Flightdeck and then still had plenty of time to go up the Mt. Roberts Tramway. We had a very clear day so the view from the top was spectacular. I don't recommend buying tickets ahead of time. Buy them when you get there so you can see what the weather is that day. Wouldn't be too nice if it was foggy and overcast.

You will have a great trip.
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  #12  
Old April 28th, 2012, 10:46 AM
bbwex bbwex is offline
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Default Not saving a lot

Well, if you book privately, you won't save a bundle, but you will save a little. We also carefully selected which operator we used in each port, based on extensive reading of these boards.

We used Harv and Marv for a whale watch, and they were excellent. Their small boats allow a lot of interaction with the guide, and you will learn tons. You will see bald eagles and other wildlife on the trip as well as whales.

We also got another advantage of booking privately. We were able to do both a whale watch and a glacier trek in the same day. Both operators knew we were doing both and worked with us to get everything in. (We used Northstar Trekking for the glacier trek.) That was admittedly an expensive day or tours -- the helo ride and glacier trek aren't cheap -- but it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You can, as has been posted, just go and hike on Mendenhall a bit by yourself if you want to do that, or just stop at the visitors' center (which Harv and Marv did for a few minutes on the way back to town).
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  #13  
Old April 28th, 2012, 02:08 PM
tonyt tonyt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookmama22 View Post
we've finally booked our cruise, Diamond Princess at the end of June. Is there enough time to do the Mt Roberts Tramway and the Mendenhall Glacier? I know that there are lots of people getting off the ship but it seems to me there would be enough time to do both... any experienced travelers out there with suggestions?
If you are on the June 30 sailing, come on over to the Roll Call Board and join us.
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  #14  
Old April 28th, 2012, 02:58 PM
KAYEF KAYEF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blonde375 View Post
Hi there!


Looking for help on what to do in which ports to make the most of the itinerary. We are 2 couples (mid-forties).

Posting this once for each port in hopes of hearing from you AK cruise veterans!!

SO.....what's a must-see/do in Juneau?
Rent a car............much cheaper when you have four people. ALWAYS rent from Rent-a-Wreck. The others are all the way out at the airport and you have to pay a cab to return to the ship. The cars are NOT "wrecks"......
You can drive everywhere and not get lost..........we've been told there are only 28 miles of hwy. and if you look at a map, that looks correct.
I rent each year when up in AK cuz I always want to go to the glacier and the Chapel on the Lake.
The last few times I've been in Juneau it was overcast, so I didn't spend the $ to go up the tram. Don't book ahead just in case.....
ENJOY!
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  #15  
Old April 28th, 2012, 08:16 PM
hmwende hmwende is offline
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Default Did Northstar Trekking allow you to book independently?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbwex View Post
Well, if you book privately, you won't save a bundle, but you will save a little. We also carefully selected which operator we used in each port, based on extensive reading of these boards.

We used Harv and Marv for a whale watch, and they were excellent. Their small boats allow a lot of interaction with the guide, and you will learn tons. You will see bald eagles and other wildlife on the trip as well as whales.

We also got another advantage of booking privately. We were able to do both a whale watch and a glacier trek in the same day. Both operators knew we were doing both and worked with us to get everything in. (We used Northstar Trekking for the glacier trek.) That was admittedly an expensive day or tours -- the helo ride and glacier trek aren't cheap -- but it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You can, as has been posted, just go and hike on Mendenhall a bit by yourself if you want to do that, or just stop at the visitors' center (which Harv and Marv did for a few minutes on the way back to town).

In my research, it seems that Northstar does not allow you to book directly with them if you are on a cruise. How were you able to get both tours in on the same day? Was your Northstar trek less expensive than booking with the ship?
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  #16  
Old April 29th, 2012, 12:28 AM
Budget Queen Budget Queen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAYEF View Post
Rent a car............much cheaper when you have four people. ALWAYS rent from Rent-a-Wreck. The others are all the way out at the airport and you have to pay a cab to return to the ship. The cars are NOT "wrecks"......
You can drive everywhere and not get lost..........we've been told there are only 28 miles of hwy. and if you look at a map, that looks correct.
I rent each year when up in AK cuz I always want to go to the glacier and the Chapel on the Lake.
The last few times I've been in Juneau it was overcast, so I didn't spend the $ to go up the tram. Don't book ahead just in case.....
ENJOY!
Sorry you are wrong. National Rental Cars have an office at the AJ dock.
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  #17  
Old April 29th, 2012, 12:31 AM
Budget Queen Budget Queen is offline
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Originally Posted by hmwende View Post
In my research, it seems that Northstar does not allow you to book directly with them if you are on a cruise. How were you able to get both tours in on the same day? Was your Northstar trek less expensive than booking with the ship?
Is this from first hand iinformation and you were denied a booking?? But it sounds like you are just repeating some information?? They certainly do book direct. BUT, they are also ship contractors, which would have contracts and priority. IF you want to book them, then find out what is the case for your date, by contacting them direct.
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  #18  
Old April 29th, 2012, 04:02 AM
akfishergirl akfishergirl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Budget Queen View Post
Sorry you are wrong. National Rental Cars have an office at the AJ dock.
You are correct but they are also 50$+ more to rent for a day than rent a wreck!!! I have used Rent A Wreck many many times in Juneau and they have very nice cars... I used to rent a pick up each year when I was commercial fishing to haul gear... they had the best trucks and the BEST rates!! They are less than 2 blocks from AJ Dock....or out at the airport!By renting a car you will see far more than you ever could on a tour.....my thoery is tours for 5 would be well over 500$ for the day... I get a mini van we go all over see many many more things for 94$+ tax..... not being cheap... being practical! and we can hit my favorite Pub for the best fish and chips on earth!!!

there are 48 miles of Road in Juneau from downtown to out the road...the road ends at Echo Cove...
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Last edited by akfishergirl; April 29th, 2012 at 04:10 AM. Reason: addition to statement
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  #19  
Old April 29th, 2012, 06:12 AM
pmjnh pmjnh is offline
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I have reserved a car from National and it was $57 for a standard (Ford Fusion type). It is located at the docks. Would rent-a-wreck be cheaper than that??

Renting the car will give us the flexibility to budget our time wisely and at our own pace. We plan to go to Mendenhall Glacier, hike the West Glacier trail, then hit Eagle Beach , this looks like a nice place for a picnic. I would like to see the Shrine of Ste Theresa as well. If it is a clear day and there is time, we will use the 2-1 coupon for the Mt Roberts tram from our Northern Lights book.
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  #20  
Old April 29th, 2012, 11:24 AM
Budget Queen Budget Queen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akfishergirl View Post
You are correct but they are also 50$+ more to rent for a day than rent a wreck!!! I have used Rent A Wreck many many times in Juneau and they have very nice cars... I used to rent a pick up each year when I was commercial fishing to haul gear... they had the best trucks and the BEST rates!! They are less than 2 blocks from AJ Dock....or out at the airport!By renting a car you will see far more than you ever could on a tour.....my thoery is tours for 5 would be well over 500$ for the day... I get a mini van we go all over see many many more things for 94$+ tax..... not being cheap... being practical! and we can hit my favorite Pub for the best fish and chips on earth!!!

there are 48 miles of Road in Juneau from downtown to out the road...the road ends at Echo Cove...
Nope- I have two Juneau car rentals for less than $60+/day. they are about the same as Rent A Wreck, and they no longer have the ship shuttle buses. Walk to them is about a mile now. But, if the AJ dock is empty, same distance to walk.
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Last edited by Budget Queen; April 29th, 2012 at 11:25 AM.
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