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dd57

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  1. This was our third cruise to Alaska (2nd trip to the interior), so we had already done many of the "must do" excursions and did not do a lot of optional excursions. More of a kick-back vacation with some new to us ports added. But I really enjoyed the Whale Watching & Mendenhall Glacier Photo Safari excursion in Juneau. This was done by Gastineau Guiding in their small vessels built for photography with large windows that open. You can check it out on their website https://www.stepintoalaska.com/excursions/whale-watching-mendenhall-glacier-photo-safari/ We also did Spasski River Valley Wildlife & Bear Search in Icy Strait Point. Although we did not see any bears, the bus behind us did. The countryside was interesting, as was the guide's description of growing up in a small native community. Our last optional excursion was Cruise the Misty Fjords from Ketchikan. We had never been to Misty Fjords and were not interested in flight seeing as we had done some on a previous trip out of Soldatna. This excursion was the perfect trip at the end of a busy cruise: laid back, comfortable, with gorgeous scenery. The one excursion I would strongly recommend that we have done in the past is Kenai Fjords National Park by Boat. The scenery and wildlife that you see is amazing.
  2. We did an Alaskan extension this July, but I'm not sure if it is the same one as yours; there are several. Our excursion spent two nights in Fairbanks before taking the train in the morning, arriving at Denali in time for lunch. The lunch included a talk by about Predator vs Prey, which was a lead into the next day's excursion into the park. The entire excursion was very well done, including some very interesting discussions by experts. This was our first Viking Ocean cruise and our second time to the interior of Alaska. We were very impressed.
  3. Alaska southbound.
  4. We are recently off the Orion and we had Lobster Thermidor instead of whole lobster.
  5. We did the 6 day version before our cruise, and the land tour was incredible for the included experiences. In Talkeetna we met with a bush pilot and someone who had climbed Denali. In Denali we had a lecture from a professor who discussed the interdependence of flora, prey, and predators, followed by a bus trip and nature walk into Denali. We also met with a man who won the Iditarod 4 times who discussed that experience as well as the specialized dogs used for races. In Fairbanks we attended a presentation by native American young adults who sang, danced, and talked about their culture. There were additional experiences as described online, but these impressed us the most. And the bus driver and tour director were interesting, kept everything moving smoothly, and greatly added to the experience. We have been to Talkeetna and Denali on our own on a previous trip and still greatly enjoyed this excursion.
  6. Just off the Orion; glasses were upright but the mats were just being brushed off.
  7. Here's the announcement from the National Park Service on which cruise lines will be allowed into Glacier Bay for the next decade. there are some other cruise lines listed beyond the ones above. https://www.ktoo.org/2019/03/25/national-park-service-announces-glacier-bay-cruise-plan/
  8. I will be on a Viking Alaska cruise in a few weeks. I can't answer your specific question about float plane and crab feast because I didn't sign up for it and it is sold out so I can't see the price. But when I was planning which excursions to take, I looked up the prices directly with the vendors (you can figure them out because the Viking descriptions and titles are almost exactly the same), and the Viking prices were within $10 of the direct prices, except for one. That one it turns out was not a standard excursion but a special one they negotiated to match the times in port. One of the excursions I checked involved a float plane, and Viking's cost was close in price to directly with the vendor. I don't know if this is true for all of the excursions, or if I just happened to pick the "right" ones.
  9. You do want to eat some breakfast; some slow release carbs like toast, cereal or oatmeal. I learned the hard way to avoid coffee, greasy food, and very sugary items.
  10. Viking does have cruise tours, but they call them pre or post cruise extensions. We are going on one this summer that starts in Fairbanks.
  11. Nope. Just significant initials and significant year.
  12. I can't answer directly, but last year in Europe and the UK we used Verizon's TravelPass instead. The $10/24 hour period only starts once you receive or start a call or text. You can leave your phone on to receive calls. If you are only expecting a few calls (on different days), this can be a lot cheaper. Once the 24 hour period starts, you can make and receive as many calls as you like during that 24 hours without additional charge. You would want to turn off data so that your phone's apps don't access the internet in the background (like checking email or updates) which would start another $10/24 hour period. Save those actions for the free wifi onboard. The calls, text, and data under the travel pass count against your monthly limit, but there is no per call/text/MB charge in addition to the $10. Needless to say, you only want to do this (or the monthly plan you ask about) while ashore as phone calls while onboard are quite expensive per minute no matter what plan you have.
  13. I went from a Galaxy S5 to a Pixel 2 and I don't ever want to go back. It is so nice to not have all the bloatware that the carriers add on. The charge lasts a long time, the camera is awesome, and Google Android updates for security and new features come several more times a year than they did before since it doesn't have to go through the carrier's update first.
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