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Cheryl H

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About Cheryl H

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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    Plainfield, Indiana, USA

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  1. We are booked with him for September. I too saw all the great reviews for him online. Looking forward to it.
  2. We did the first week of September last time and we did not take a winter coat. The coolest day was our day on our balcony going up the Tracy Arm Fjord....I had a t-shirt, fleece vest, thin raincoat, and a scarf around my neck. I did bring a rain hat to keep the drizzle out of my face. I don't like my glasses getting wet.
  3. I take my waterproof Merrill sneakers. We experienced a drizzly day also so not really a downpour. For dinner on the ship, first trip I took some dressy sandals, but I felt like there weren't many sandals in the main dining room. Second trip, I just wore my black flat Clarks to the dining room each night. Socks and shoes felt better to me than the sandals for this particular trip. Still needed my flip flops to get to the hot tub though. Have fun on your trip!
  4. We've eaten at the Twisted Fish for both our trips. Great halibut fish and curly fries....and their cheesy garlic bread was good too. It's in the building that says Taku. Or at least that's what it said when we were there.
  5. We booked this. I'm interested in responses also. We actually picked the first timeslot of the day. I was thinking it would leave us with more time to explore more of Skagway. Plus it may mean a dry floatation suit. I have no idea how wet they really get. Afterwards, we are planning to get lunch and then go walk the trail to the Lower Reid Falls.
  6. Cheryl H

    Alaska with Kids

    We've taken our son on quite a few RCCL's cruises....two of them were on the RCCL Radiance to Alaska. He was 6 and then again when he was 10. He loved the Adventure Ocean on the Radiance of the Seas. They had family time in the solarium pool I think two times per day. Those times were listed in the Cruise Compass. Also the Radiance offered Adventure Dining every night except the first night. He wanted to do those every single night. If you aren't familiar with Adventure Dining, you sign them up for it during the day and then there's a drop off time like around 5:00 pm I think. You pre-select what their entree will be. For the Radiance, the staff took the kids to a private room off the Windjammer buffet. They had dinner with them and then took them back for the evening activities at Adventure Ocean. Our son loved it. He did not want us picking him up early. So each night I think he was there until 10:00 pm. As far as Alaska, we selected tours that were 3 hours or less. We let him bring his DS game and headphones in case he got bored. We tried to select a variety of tours. One whale watch, one float plane, one gold mine tour, etc. He had a great time and so did we. The only time he did not like Adventure Ocean was once on the Jewel of the Seas (Canada New England cruise). And that was probably a staff member issue. There was one child who misbehaved and all the kids were denied their ice cream dessert at dinner time. Surely they have remedied their behavior policy by now. I have never heard of them withholding dessert from everyone except that one particular cruise. I might add, I am not sure if they still offer Adventure Dining or not. I hope so. Our kiddo loved it. Have fun on your trip! We are getting ready for our 3rd trip up there. This time our son will be 14 so we have a teenager along.
  7. What a wonderful birthday present. I cannot speak to smaller lines and ships.....but we did our first Alaska cruise as a northbound out of Vancouver. It seems to me the flight times offered home from Anchorage were all redeyes. Flying home after an exhausting week, on a very late flight was hard on me and I was just 46 at the time. That's the one thing that I would have done differently....taking the long flight to Anchorage first and then cruising southbound. Once you decide on a cruise line, you might call their special needs number about whether wheelchairs are available or not. We were with a friend in a wheelchair on a cruise once, but she brought her own. Happy Birthday to your mother.
  8. I might add.....our first trip, my husband and I packed too many pairs of jeans.....our luggage was heavy. The second time, we wore one pair and packed 2 pairs each. Then we sent jeans to the ship laundry. A day or so later, we found them hanging all clean and pressed in our closet.
  9. We've been twice with our son, when he was 6 and again when he was 10. He loved it both times. He did have a passport. Our first trip I brought along a back pack for me....but it was too cumbersome and I felt like a pack mule. The second trip was much better. Each of us had a cinch bag that we could put a snack and roll up our jacket and put in there. Our son brought his DS game to play when he got bored. I picked tours that were all 3 hours or less. We had a good quality waterproof jacket for him and either a fleece vest or a fleece jacket to put on underneath. Then just jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers. He had some slacks and shirts to wear to dinner, but once he found out about Adventure Dining on the Radiance, he wanted to sign up for that every night! That was fine by us. Also the Radiance had family swim time twice a day where you can bring your kiddos to the solarium pool which is usually adults only. If they forget to post it in the Cruise Compass, ask up in Adventure Ocean. We did that and we noticed that the next day they started printing the family time in the daily compass. Our first Alaska trip was also northbound. When we got off the ship in Seward we had Salmonberry Tours pick us up. We did an all day tour with them that ended at the airport. They took us to the Alaska Wildlife Center in Girdwood. Also for a tram ride up Alyeska Ski Resort. The tour included lunch at a sandwich shop. We actually had them drop us at Wild Berry Products in Anchorage and then we called a cab to go to the airport a bit later. One way we saved room in our suitcases was for my husband and I to leave our fleece jackets at home. (we did take our waterproof raincoats though). Then we purchased our fleece jackets on the ship. But there were loads of fleece jackets in port too. But we brought our son's jacket along because we weren't sure how plentiful kids fleece coats would be in the shops. One fun thing that we did that didn't cost much was in Ketchikan. After our floatplane ride, we found the funicular and rode it up for a nominal fee. Had lunch at the Cape Fox Lodge and then walked the married man trail down which is a series of stairs that our son enjoyed coming down. Our second trip to Ketchikan, we did the Crab Boat Tour. They demonstrated the different styles of fishing and we could each hold a crab if we wanted. Our son enjoyed that tour also. Are you going to Icy Strait too? There's a beach trail, and a nature walk through the woods there that was fun. We stood back behind the Landing Zone Restaurant to watch the zipliners come down. We had some great halibut at The Cook House. We took a whale watch in Icy Strait both times. In Juneau, we did the goldmine tour and also Mendenhall Glacier. The 1 mile walk back to Nugget Falls was a hit. We took a shuttle out there and back. We had a great lunch at the Twisted Fish in the Taku building back at the pier. The only thing that was not good on our trip was the redeye flight from Anchorage back to Indianapolis. We are not good sleepers on airplanes. For our overnight stay in Vancouver, we stayed at the Pan Pacific which is the cruise terminal (Canada Place). We arrived a day early and stored our luggage at the Pan Pacific. Next door the hotel is one of the Olympic Torches so we walked over to see that. Just outside the hotel is a free shuttle to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Our son loved that. We arrived and had some great cheeseburgers and went across the bridge and enjoyed the treetop adventure and the cliff walk, and shopped in the gift shop before riding the shuttle back. The shuttle picks up right in front of the Pan Pacific. I think we purchased our Capilano tickets online before we left home. Then the next morning, we had a nice buffet breakfast at the hotel. I think they offered a breakfast package that we booked. We did not book their cruise package, but our bellman still took our bags to the ship for us. Then we were pointed in the direction of where to check in to the ship. Have fun on your trip! Make lots of memories and enjoy the beautiful scenery. We are booked for a third Alaska cruise with our son who will now be 14 when we go. Our first cruise with a teenager.
  10. We've taken our son twice before and already booked for our third trip. Here's some things he has enjoyed: For Skagway, we did the short train/bus combo with Chilkoot Tours the first trip. Regarding the train, he wasn't too wowed by the scenery, but even I got tired after about a half hour. This time, we are booked for the adventure boat with Ocean Raft Alaska. It's supposed to do some donuts in the water, and sight seeing. We haven't done that tour yet so I can't say for sure how it will be, but it sure looks exciting. Also we are going to buy the Smart bus shuttle passes and ride up as close as we can to the gold rush cemetery and take the trail to Lower Reid Falls. For Ketchikan, we did a float plane to Misty Fjord that included a stop for some photos. Again, it was scenery, but I don't think he was too impressed. (Disclaimer, all our tours are not catered to him...we sign up for a variety of things). We loved the floatplane tour. We took the funicular up and had lunch at the Cape Fox Lodge, and walked the Married Man trail down. He enjoyed that. Then second trip, we did the Crab boat tour (Aleution Ballard). Seeing the different types of fishing was interesting. Next trip, we are booked on Ketchikan Helicopters. For Juneau, first trip we did a goldmine tour (booked thru the cruise line). We got to go in the mine and they demonstrating a 100 year old drill, and a rock thrower. We had to wear hearing and head protection but it was provided. Then we panned for gold. We also took a shuttle to Mendenhall and did the trail to Nugget Falls. The second trip, we just did Mendenhall again. Next trip we are booked on a whale watch for Juneau. And we always eat at Twisted Fish there in Jueanu. Have fun planning your trip!
  11. When you say Zodiac boats.....do you mean those speed boats? We signed up for one in Skagway. We are 53...I'm hoping for more pretty scenery than acrobatics. I guess I don't mind a donut or two.....as long as we don't get drowned. From what I understand we have to wear flotation suits.
  12. Our first trip to Alaska, we had a northbound cruise out of Vancouver, but we flew to Seattle first and took the Clipper ferry to Victoria (because Southwest to Seattle was less costly for us). We spent a couple nights at the Magnolia in Victoria and loved our visit. Then we flew Harbour Air from Victoria to Vancouver. We paid for an extra seat since we were over the luggage limit. However, they were kind enough to refund the extra seat and send our suitcases on earlier flights that morning. The luggage was waiting for us when we arrived. Harbour Air transferred us to the ship with their free shuttle. However, if I had it all to do over again, I'm not sure I'd do the ferry. It was very choppy and a few were sick on the ride. We are planning our third trip. We stayed at the Pan Pacific in Vancouver our last trip and are planning to stay there again. You could do a day trip to Victoria, or take the free shuttle to Capilano Suspension Bridge, take the horse drawn trolley through Stanley Park, etc. There's so much to do in Vancouver.
  13. We used Salmonberry Tours. At the time, I think the lady's name we worked with was Candy. She customized a transfer for us. We were picked up at the ship in Seward, just the three of us and our luggage. We combined two tours and it ended up to be 6 or 8 hours of touring. We had stops at Alyeska and rode the tram up and walked around. Also stopped and saw all the animals at the Wildlife Conservation Center. Lunch was included at a little cafe that had soups and sandwiches. Then we tacked on their Anchorage city tour and it had stops at Hood Lake, Modern Chocolate Dwellers Lounge, Earthquake Park, and we had her drop us off at Wild Berry's in Anchorage. There was a candy store and gift shop there, and we ate at Sour Dough Mining Company across the street. Wild Berry's stored our luggage while we shopped and had supper. Then they called a cab for us to go to the Airport. I will say we were exhausted, but we saw so much. We took this particular tour in 2011. You might contact Salmonberry Tours and see if they would have anything they can customize for you. I'm fairly certain they still offer the transfer tours between Seward and Anchorage. They also offer transfers from Whittier.
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