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About stacyh270

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  1. Over the last few weeks, DH and I have been considering skipping the Fairbanks area and instead driving the Denali Hwy to Paxson then south on the Richardson Hwy in order to have a little more time to explore the Kenai Peninsula area. Our proposed NEW itinerary would be something like below but DH and I want to make sure we aren't missing anything spectacular by not going to Fairbanks. Would love add'l input on that change. Right now, I have our itinerary as this: Day 0: Fly into ANC; pick up RV; grocery run; drive to a spot past Wasilla to boondock for the night Day 1: Drive to Talkeetna; Explore Talkeetna for the day; drive toward Denali that night (either boondock or stay at Riley Creek for the night) Day 2: Visit Denali visitor center, ranger program, dog sled kennels, short hikes, relax Day 3: Take bus shuttle into Denali (longest one) Day 4: Drive into Healy for mass; travel Denali Hwy towards Paxson; boondock overnight Day 5: Denali Hwy to Paxson (Richardson Hwy) then south along the Richardson Hwy towards Glennallen; night in Glennallen Day 6: Explore Glennallen area then on to Mantanuska Glacier; camp near Palmer for evening (or push hard towards Kenai since Day 7 is 4th of July?) Day 7: Palmer to Kenai Peninsula (Russian River area) Day 8: Kenai area Day 9: Kenai towards Anchorage Day 10: Returns RV by 12:00; transport to Homewood Suites where rest of family is staying; shuttle to ship Day 11-12: Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay Day 13: Skagway - rent cars and drive to Emerald Lake Day 14: Juneau - Mendenhall Glacier and whale watching Day 15: Ketchikan - explore town and catch lumberjack show Day 17: Cruising Day 18: Arrive in Vancouver, rent car, Walmart stop, drive to Valemount (no rooms in Jasper this night) Day 19: Drive to Jasper for Mass; Explore Jasper area; night in Jasper Day 20: Jasper to Banff down Parkway Day 21: Explore Banff area; drive to Calgary that night Day 22: Fly home from Calgary
  2. Very true, indeed! This is definitely a once in a lifetime for us with our kids so we're taking 21 days total to see Alaska and the Canadian Rockies (10 days Alaska by RV, 7 days Alaska by boat, and 4 days driving from Vancouver to Calgary via Jasper and Banff). Lots of butt in the seat time but we're praying it's the trip the kids remember when they are grown and gone 🙂
  3. Thanks, everyone! I think we will just plan on taking the shuttle from Anchorage with DH and the rest of our family so as to not be so stressed that morning. I was just trying to shave off a few hundred bucks off a trip that is already costing us one year of college tuition....lol.
  4. This plan would be ideal; however, I've yet to see if there is actually somewhere the kids and I can sit and hang out for 4+ hours and I'm not sure how early we can actually enter the port. It seems like a lot of unknowns, especially if weather is rainy. If someone could tell me definitely that we wouldn't be sitting somewhere in the rain, I might be more game to do the original plan (which really seemed like a good idea until I found out more about Whittier...lol). If DH take the RV back by 11, he'd have to catch the train somehow to get back to us on the earlier side or he'd have to take the bus with the others and get back to the ship around 4ish.
  5. The more we think about it, the more we want to be flexible and not rigid so you're advice is sound. We may consider Valdez depending on how much time we have left at the end of our trip.
  6. We didn't do Denali on our first Alaskan cruise (just DH and me) because we knew we didn't have enough time to do it justice and that we wanted to bring the kids to Alaska one day, which has come 4 years later. I think we're going to just plan on spending our 10 days north of Anchorage and be able to be flexible.
  7. I need to check into the Princess shuttle if they start running at 12 p.m. That would get us there earlier than the other companies I've checked into who do a tour on the way. We just want a direct transfer and to get there asap. I did look into a private transfer. It was more than we really want to spend. My family is a group of 6 but once other family members arrive, it's a party of 11. They aren't as concerned about getting there early like we are so they really don't want to pay more than what the Princess (or other company) shuttle would be.
  8. We have been to Seward before on our last cruise, so it's not a priority for us. I'd rather have time somewhere else. We are flying into Anchorage. The itinerary you mention is basically what we plan to do. At first, I wasn't even going to venture to the Kenai peninsula area but then thought that since this may be our last trip to Alaska with kids, it might be worth spending a day or so there. I don't want to shortchange the rest of the itinerary by adding it, though.
  9. We are spending 10 days RV'ing in Alaska before our 7 day southbound cruise. Denali/Fairbanks/Richardson Hwy are a must see but I'm trying to decide if a visit to Homer/Kenai Peninsula is truly necessary. If so, we'd likely do that on the front end of our trip. I only have possibly a couple of days that I could spare for Kenai Peninsula area. We'd like to see the Russian River and salmon run but not sure if making the trek all the way to Homer will yield any experience that we can have in Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. Glacier cruises aren't really a priority since this is our second Alaskan cruise and since we have one day at Hubbard Glacier and one day in Glacier Bay on our cruise. We are more interested in wildlife (eg, bears, etc.) viewing. Right now, I'm considering only going as far as Kenai before heading north to Denali. Will going that far get us a Kenai Peninsula experience to remember or will it be waste of time?
  10. Thanks everyone! After discussing with DH some more and the uncertainty of if there's anywhere the kids and I can wait from 8:00 am-noon, we may just go back to Anchorage with him and take a shuttle. However, the bad thing with that is that the shuttles don't seem to run until late afternoon getting us there around 4-4:30 and we'd have to kill a lot of time in Anchorage. We'd prefer to board the ship as early as possible in order to do laundry onboard and relax. The train would be too costly at $89pp unless the kids and I stay in Whittier and he takes the train. I may start another thread about transportation options.
  11. When I looked for a church on masstimes.org, I knew we wanted to go farther than Kamloops and Valemount was the next town with a Catholic Church. It showed an 8:30 a.m. Mass which apparently isn't correct. Jasper has an 8:30 Mass so even if we stay in Valemount, we can drive to Jasper in the morning for Mass. Every room was already sold out that I could find on Orbitz or Expedia already for that date (Saturday night) so Valemount seemed the logical place to stop within close proximity to Jasper. Yes, lots of bums in the seat time. We are using these couple of days in the Canadian Rockies as a "dabble." IF we love the area, we may come back in a few years when we do a Glacier Nat'l Park (Montana) trip. This just lets us know if and how much time we'd want to allocate to it on a later trip.
  12. DH and I rented a car in Skagway and drove up to Emerald Lake and we plan to do that again this summer with our 4 kiddos. In Ketchikan, we went on a fishing charter but that's a little more $$$ than we want to spend per person so we will just do the lumberjack show and browse the town. In Juneau, DH and I did the Mendenhall Glacier and whale watching tour and LOVED it!! Can't wait to do that with the kids this time 🙂
  13. No, we are renting from Alaska Motor Home, Inc. I'll check on Williwaw but there are boondocking spots in Whittier. I might feel more comfortable if we were able to get through the tunnel into Whittier the night before at least and not have to worry about the tunnel schedule twice in one morning, kwim?
  14. Avis is sold out that day in Whittier. I'm sure it's because of the ship coming in that day. It's probably more expensive than we'd like to spend given that a day in Skagway is about $200. I don't mind hanging around somewhere and just chilling but I'm not sure there's anywhere to even do that....lol. I was hoping there would be restaurant somewhere we could grab a table at and kill several hours letting the kids use their electronics and reading 😉
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