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About mapleleaves

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About Me

  • Location
    Redmond WA
  • Interests
    DIY land travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    W Med

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  1. Sounds reasonable to me. We use budget airlines frequently to fly within Europe without issue. My only caution is to be mindful of the extra charges. The base fare looks low at $75, but sometimes the charge for a suitcase is $75.
  2. if you know which activities you want in each port, you can ask here for recommended vendors. ie if you need a whale watching vendor in Juneau. Just keep in mind that people want/need different things from a vendor. Some people are prone to seasickness so they want a larger boat; other folks want a small boat so they don't have to fight for space at the rail. I prefer using the trip reports as a resource .... there are a few hundred of those and some are quite detailed, whereas if you ask for recommendations you might only get 6 or 7 responses. If you're not sure which activities to choose, the trip reports are helpful there as well. Or look at the town web site and download their Visitor Guide. The Helpful Resource thread has a listing of web sites.
  3. Shorefox is a middleman. Most of us prefer to book directly with a tried and true vendor. ( Any reputable vendor will get you back to the ship on time, otherwise they won't stay in business.) Read thru the trip reports at the top of this page to see which vendors are most used in each port.
  4. Talkeetna is one of those places that you either like or you don't. Some people think it's cute and artsy, others think it's overly commercialized. It's a very small village. You'll have to weigh it against your other options. I mean I sure wouldnt give up a day trip to Matanuska Glacier and Independence Mine in order to see Talkeetna, but it depends on your interests. Another place of interest if you drive the GLenn Hwy to Matanuska is to stop in Palmer . The town has a garden patch with ginormous cabbages, squash and flowers. Incredible to see. Next to the museum. Also, just north of Anchorage is the Eklutna Spirit Houses and Orthodox Church. http://www.eklutnahistoricalpark.org/
  5. There's also this shuttle company out of Anchorage, but you would obviously need to get yourself from the ship to Anchorage. https://www.alaskashuttle.com/parks.htm
  6. Is a rental car not an option ? It would give you more flexibility plus the ability to stop for other sights and wildlife along the way. It's an easy drive .... a 2 lane hwy for most of the trip so impossible to get lost. Otherwise the Park Connection Bus has 2 runs per day out of Anchorage : 6:30am - 12:30pm 3pm - 8:30pm https://www.alaskacoach.com/schedule/ If you're disembarking in Whittier you could take the Park Connection Bus from Whittier to Anc, then on to Denali, but it would make for a long day (11hrs) almost . Best to stay over a night in Anchorage.
  7. on embarkation day you need to board 2 hrs prior before the departure time, but during the cruise when you're visiting ports, you board 1/2 hr prior.
  8. Look at these SCENIC DRIVES in alaska.org . (they include suggested stopping points for views or activities). https://www.alaska.org/things-to-do/scenic-drives Matanuska Glacier Turnagain Arm Portage Valley and Whittier Tunnel Where does your ship depart from? If it's Seward, consider taking the train a day prior , overnight, and do a Kenai cruise, or, take the train to Whittier, overnight and do a Prince William Sound cruise.
  9. what time is your flight home? There are a couple of ways to do this. And you don't necessarily have to overnight in Whittier. The PWS tours generally leave noon-ish so you could overnight in Anchorage and take the train, bus or transfer to Whittier. 1. rent a car from HERTZ. The one-way rate is usually pretty high. However it compare to the other options. With a car you can overnight in Whittier, Summit Lake, Girdwood, Anchorage, etc plus make a few other interesting stops. 2. overnight in Seward, then take the Seward Buslines to Whittier the following morning. Then take the train 3. take the 6pm train Seward - Anc. Overnight near the Anc depot and catch the train to Whittier the next morning, or perhaps alaskacruisetransfer.com 4. PJs taxi in seward regularly takes people to Anchorage. Ask what they would charge to Whitter. You really need to look at the timing of the travel options, and the price. USually a car is the best option as it gives you more flexibility.
  10. Download the visitor guide and look to pg 43 under Flightseeing for a list of vendors you can check with: https://www.visit-ketchikan.com/About-Ketchikan/Free-Guide As well as this list: https://www.visit-ketchikan.com/Things-To-Do/Tours-Sightseeing/Misty-Fjords
  11. Look in the attached thread, under General Cruise Info for the CLA Alaska web site. This has berth info.
  12. if you look on the next page theres a lengthy thread about hotel suggestions for Barcelona. Most people suggest staying within a few blocks of Placa Catalunya. We're staying at the Hotel Lleo; it's 2 blocks off Las Ramblas and 2 blocks from Placa Catalunya, so we have easy access to Metro, the Market, and the Gothic District, and the Aerobus from the airport. Booked it a yr ago so it was very economical.
  13. Their web site indicates 2 hrs for each route : https://barcelona.city-tour.com/en/tourist-bus-routes-barcelona
  14. We're on the Epic in mid Sept. I bought Rick Steves book " Mediterranean Cruise Ports". Tons of great info, esp DIY suggestions. Get a copy .... read it on the flight, take with you on the cruise. In Barcelona we're doing a free walking tour of the Gotic area with Runner Bean, a visit to the Market, walking Las Ramblas down to the Columbus monument where we'll go to the top for the view. Naples - I hired a private driver with Aldo Limos to explore the Amalfi Coast. $400 Livorno - train to Florence Civi -- train to Rome Palma - walk around town Cannes -- train to Nice and Monte Carlo Not into shopping or souveniers. As for food, Rick has lots of recommendations .... we'll just have to see which is closest when it's time to eat. Not a priority. BTW, the Market in Barcelona isn't open on Sundays.
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