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luvteaching

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About luvteaching

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Sedro-Woolley, Washington
  • Interests
    Reading, needlework
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Alaska

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  1. Thanks Copper! I was going to ask the same question for our upcoming Amsterdam on Aug. 12th and LynnObie beat me to it. This will be our third time with Captain Mercer and really enjoy sailing with him. Love following his blog for the world cruise as well. We have the Oosterdam on June 23rd so I'll ask for that one when you have time. Karen PS: Enjoying your trip as well!
  2. There are several routes for the White Pass Yukon Railroad and whether it's better than renting a car for 4 people is a preference issue. My husband really enjoys the train ride and that's the reason we do it. We've done the trip to Fraser and back where you don't get off the train through the cruise line. It's about 4 hours, you have time at the top of the pass as they switch the engine but you don't get off the train. We've taken the bus up to Emerald Lake, Caribou Crossing and then the train back to Skagway from Fraser through the cruise line. This is a longer tour and you see more from the road. Last year we did the Bennett Lake excursion with Chilkoot Tours. The time on the train was longer. It was a bit on the crowded side until Fraser and then most of the people got off and those of us going on were able to spread out and had plenty of room. We were at Bennett Lake about an hour. It was enough time to go to the top of the Chilkoot Trail, take pictures, look around the train station, etc. The box lunch served was delicious and almost too much food! When we got to Carcross our driver who picked us up at the ship was waiting for us. We had about 45 minutes to look around, get an ice cream, etc. as she got the group she brought up on the train. Then we went to Emerald Lake and back to Skagway with lots of photo ops. If bear were spotted we stopped and we had a great time. I feel it all comes down to what you want to see. Personally I'm on vacation and my car keys are in the safe. I love letting someone else do the driving! I would highly recommend Chilkoot Tours. It was wonderful to have the small group experience and they were cheaper than the cruise ship offered tour. Karen
  3. We've used Chilkoot Tours for their Bennett Lake excursion which is train and bus (small). We were very pleased with them and wouldn't hesitate to use them again. Karen
  4. Thank you Ferry_Watcher! I knew the porters can accept tips and do so as they are loading up the cart. Those people have been great. The shore staff are amazing and I so appreciate them! Karen
  5. Last summer we did the Bennett Lake excursion through Chilkoot Charters. It was the best day! The train was full until we got to Fraser but then a lot of people got off and we had plenty of room. The stop at Bennett Lake was great. The train station has some great displays. The site is a Canadian National Park and there are several old buildings and an uphill climb to the end of the Chilkoot Trail. Once back on the train we had a lovely box lunch that had more food than we could eat! We got into Carcross and were met by the same driver and small bus that took us to the train depot in Skagway. We had about an hour to wander a bit and relax then got on the bus which was about 20 passenger if that. We went to Emerald Lake for photos and then headed back to Skagway stopping at several spots when bear were spotted, stopped at some photo spots, and then offered a few stops in Skagway before we got back to our ship. It was a great day! I'd highly recommend it and we're already talking about doing it again. Karen
  6. The last time we were in July, so a bit earlier, and the first week was overcast and we needed jeans, jackets, etc. The second week it was in the high 70s and we needed no jeans or jackets. It's such a toss-up what you are going to need. In the glaciers it is colder and you may want the heavier jacket. On ship, or at least on HAL and Princess, daytime wear is casual - jeans, shirts, capris, shorts, etc. Dinner in the dining room is smart casual and gala evenings are somewhat dressier. My must haves are one heavier jacket or waterproof one, lots of layers, hiking shoes (don't bother with boots), jeans, and dressier pants and tops. Karen
  7. The bleu cheese crusted steak in the Pinnacle Grill on the lunch menu! Yum!! DH says the cold soups. Karen
  8. We enjoyed the trolley tour and did it after a morning on the train so it was a full day. The ride was better than I thought it would be. Our guide was interesting and we saw parts of Skagway that we hadn't seen before. Karen
  9. We've sailed on both Princess and HAL. I prefer HAL. We've done all Alaska cruises. There has always been quiet spots to read on the ship. There are quite a few activities offered but it's up to you what you want to do. There are shows every night as well as music in the evenings and other events. My DH prefers to hang out in the cabin in the evening other than if the group at Lincoln Center is playing and then he's right there! I prefer to go to the show and some of the evening entertainment. There's something for both of us. We like the food on HAL and the burgers and fries at the Dive-In are better than those from the Trident Grill (IMO). Karen
  10. Have you thought of renting one for the cruise portion of your trip? They can come off-ship and it saves you the hassle of taking yours with you.
  11. My DH has mobility issues and will be 79 this year. We rent a scooter for delivery to the ship and have used a walker. We travel primarily on Holland America and have done some Princess trips. All the ships we've been on are very handicapped accessible and we've had no problems at all. If you do rent scooters be sure the moms have plenty of practice using them before they board. At Seattle the handicapped accessible helpers are wonderful. We drive down and DH is in a wheelchair right from the shuttle until after check-in, then seated. Once the ship is ready for him to board he is in another wheelchair and we are taken right to the cabin where the scooter is waiting. As for your comment about scenery - no matter what ship you are on the scenery is great. Going out of Vancouver gets you the inside passage moreso than Seattle. If you really want small ships and more ports look at the 14-day on the Amsterdam this year out of Seattle and it's out of Vancouver next year. They visit some ports that don't see many cruise ships. We love that itinerary! Karen
  12. Also check out Chilkoot Tours or Dyea Dave and see if they have anything that would work. Both are good companies and have a great reputation!
  13. Another vote for HAL and I'd recommend out of Seattle. You go to Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan. Sitka is a lot less "touristy" than the other two and we love it! We've sailed on both HAL and Princess out of Seattle. The Princess ships are about 3000 passenger and the HAL ones were anywhere from 1500 - 2100. I find the ones about 1800 passenger (Westerdam, Oosterdam, etc.) to be the right fit for us. The Princess ones at 3000 are on the big size but they do go to Skagway instead of Sitka and, if you want to ride the White Pass Yukon Railroad that's the way to go.We prefer Sitka to Skagway but every few years DH hankers to ride the train so we head out on Princess. Karen
  14. luvteaching

    Alaska with Kids

    We go with Holland America most of the time. My son is grown and gone but those I've talked to about the kid's club have raved about it. I know when we are in the glaciers there is a junior ranger club with the park ranger that comes on. Karen
  15. Hi, We've seen the Archangel dancers a couple of times and it's a nice show. It is energetic and quite interesting to watch. I haven't done the Tlingit one. The Totem Park is a nice walk from the Convention Center so don't know as I'd do it as part of a tour but we've been there a number of times! Karen
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