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moneeman

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  1. We were in a Sky Suite with a smaller balcony and LOVED it! The location near mid-ship was wonderful. Close to everything. The room was a good size, not cramped at all, and the balcony was big enough for a love seat and table. We initially booked a Concierge room 9 months out, and were able to upgrade to the Sky Suite for the same price after final payment date due to the price drop. Luminae was fantastic! Enjoy.
  2. Sunday, July 28 – Juneau Mary was truly excited about this day’s adventure. When we went to Alaska in 2002, we went dogsledding on a glacier. I don’t know if it was the picture-perfect day, the excitement of our at-the-time-12-year-old, the fact that the glacier was ours alone that day, or perhaps the perfectly playful puppies, but our memories of that excursion are peaceful perfection. So we probably set ourselves up for disappointment by dogsledding again. This time we decided to book the extended dogsled tour where they take you on a 5-mile sled run. Well, the forecast was not good, but the predicted rain held off, and our excursion was a go. We were scheduled for a 10:00 departure, and walked off the ship about 20 minutes early to make sure we found our way. That wasn’t a problem, as a couple of young ladies were holding a sign with our tour and told us to stick around for a few minutes. When time came, we were directed to a nearby van for the trip to the helicopter pad. After a quick trip, we were dropped at their office where we sat through a short briefing, then were divided into groups based on weight to balance out the helicopters. We were disappointed that Greg and Tammy were directed to a different helicopter, but not a big deal. The weather continued to hold, though it looked as though it could start raining at any minute. Nevertheless, the helicopter ride was great, and the views were gorgeous. We flew over the Juneau Ice Fields for about 15 minutes before landing at the dog camp. It was here that they told us bad weather was on the way, and our extended tour was being cut down to a regular tour. Very disappointing, but we were still happy to be on the glacier rather than have a full cancellation. They had the 5 of us who were in the helicopter together in a little hut trying to figure out who would sled with whom when Greg and Tammy suddenly appeared and said “they told us to come over here”! So we were thrilled to be able to share the adventure with our friends. We were matched up with a professional sledder, who was in her second or third year. The dogs were already hooked up, so it didn’t take long to find our positions and get started. Two sleds were hooked to the dogs. The front sled had two seats, one behind the other, as well as a place to stand in back. The guide took the standing position on the front sled in order to lead the dogs (no complaints there!). The second sled had one seat and one standing position in back. The person standing in the very back had to help with the foot brake. The dogs were great, and the sledding was a lot of fun. Though we had fun, when comparing to the idyllic tour in 2002, this one fell short for several reasons. First, when we were on the glacier, there were at least 4 other sleds in our vicinity. The guide stops the dogs every few minutes for pictures (I guess) and to give the dogs a break (though these are supposedly Iditorad dogs). Anyway, whenever they stop, they bark. So the glacier seemed to be full of barking dogs. Our memory from years ago was have the glacier mostly to ourselves. We distinctly remember stopping only once, and having the feeling of perfect serenity. I think the warmer than usual summer has also taken its toll on the glacier, and the snow was well-trampled where we were sledding. Finally, as we rounded the last bend of our trip we started getting pelted by sleet. The last five minutes coming back were spent with our heads tucked. Now that’s no fault of the tour company, and I don’t hold it against them at all. It just put a damper on the experience. We DID still have a good time, and I WOULD still recommend dogsledding. The forces of nature were simply not helpful this time around. At the end of the tour, they brought out a couple of one-week-old puppies for us to cuddle. Earlier they said the dogs were quarantined due to their age, but I think they felt sorry for us and brought them out to make up for the less-than-desirable weather. While the tour disappointed us in several ways, we didn’t let it get in the way of enjoying the tour. We asked the van driver to drop us off in downtown Juneau (or at least in the tourist area) so we could get some lunch. Having done some research, we looked at what was nearby and found the highly rated Twisted Fish Company. We were a on the tail end of lunch hour, and were able to get a table right away (though the room was still packed). Twisted Fish had a great menu with a wide variety. A couple of us got fish & chips, one got the fried halibut sandwich, and Mary (who can’t eat fried food) had the halibut platter. Every one of us were thrilled with our food. Since our ship docked at the most remote pier, we waited for the free shuttle and were subsequently treated to a singing bus driver. How fun! I want to pause and recognize some of the hardest working people on the ship – the staff at Café al Baccio! First, the baristas can barista all over Starbucks. They have it down to a science. The Café is always busy, but the line is never too long. They make espresso drinks, serve soft drinks, and distribute pastries continually from morning to night. The coffee drinks were excellent. I thought the pastries were hit or miss, but others would probably love them all. The lemon and chocolate tarts were consistently good, and I liked the croissants as well. The cookies were usually too crispy for my taste, and a lot of their cakes had a gel-type layer on top that wasn’t my favorite (but wasn’t bad). No telling how much weight I put on just from the Café! The Monday night show was the first production show by the ship’s production group. It covered favorite music of the 60’s and 70’s. We thought it was entertaining, and having grown up in the 70’s, the music was very familiar. The entertainers were very talented.
  3. Saturday, July 27 – Hubbard Glacier I must say I was really impressed with the new mattresses put in as part of the recent renovation. They are very comfy, and the amount of covers was just right. So many hotels put on thick, hot comforters, but won’t let the A/C go below 70 degrees (in real temp, not what the thermostat says), but I digress. I got my first of many mochas (and a pastry) while Mary showered and dressed, then we headed back to Luminae. I learned later in the cruise how to hold back on breakfast, but that first morning I ate a yogurt parfait, fruit, bacon and eggs and another pastry (this one REALLY big) from the irresistible pastry tray. The breakfast choices seemed almost endless. Today was Hubbard Glacier, so the morning was a sea day. Mary had a spa appointment, so I got caught up on work email (yeah, I know, but I had to handle the big stuff). She came back a couple of hours later a VERY happy lady, saying it was the best hot stone massage she ever had. Greg and I opted the night before to reserve two spots at the special king crab lunch, held in one of specialty restaurants. The ship’s price was $45, which is less than on-shore restaurants, but we had obviously already paid for lunch in the price of the cruise. The crab was very good, which was the main point of the meal, though the rest of the food was average. Mary and Tammy went to the spa café, but didn’t see much they wanted and ended up at the buffet (meh). Shortly after lunch we started seeing Hubbard Glacier in the distance, and over the next hour we pulled up, according to the announcer, to the closest of the season and the closest allowed by law. Hubbard is massive, and it was not hard to see the calving. We hung out at the glacier for perhaps an hour with the captain doing the customary circle for all points before heading back out towards the ocean. The glacier is amazing, and we were thrilled to see it, though I don’t know how to write much about it. Given how close the big ship got, I sort of felt sorry for the large group that paid $249 to board a smaller ship that couldn’t get any closer than we did. I failed to write down what we ate each night, and at this point weeks later I couldn’t begin to tell you what was on the menu. However, I can tell you that in a rather diverse group of eaters none of the four of us ever had trouble finding something we liked on the menu. Overall we thought the food was very good, along the lines of what we get when we go to a restaurant with $20 - $30 entrees. It is NOT a $50 - $100 per meal restaurant in food quality, but I would match their service against ANYONE. This evening’s show was a singing group called Horizon, and they sang old Motown tunes. The music was very good, though the group tried way…tooo….hard… to be funny. I didn’t mind the humor attempts, as I love comedy in general, but their timing was a bit off, and it was overdone. The show was still enjoyable, and I recommend it if they are playing on your cruise.
  4. Friday, July 26 – Onward to Seward Having returned the rental car Thursday evening, we opted to take the train to Seward. I had read that the Gold Star service was worth the extra, so we had seats in a dome car. It was very nice, though having already seen great Alaskan vistas for a week, I’m not sure we got an extra $100 worth from it (less the cost of breakfast, which was included in the Gold Star ticket). Nonetheless, it was a very pleasant journey. Arriving in Seward, our instructions were unclear as to how to get to the cruise ship. I am generally a relentless planner, but I had failed to nail this one down. I thought there was some type of transportation provided by Celebrity, but I had no solid information. A railroad attendant on the train confirmed there would be transportation, so we figured it would be obvious when we exited. WRONG! We were in the very front car, and evidently the signage was behind us. We saw what looked like a train station ahead, so we went that way. We started asking people, but no one knew. When we finally got headed the right direction (toward the back of the train), we saw two large buses with the Celebrity logo pull away. They were a long way from where we were, and we could only watch them go. Fortunately, we only had a couple of backpacks, and the ship check-in was about a half-mile away. It was a bit cool, but otherwise not a bad walk. We just missed the ease of pleasant transportation. We knew we were paying a pretty high price when we booked our Concierge-level staterooms 9 months before the cruise, but we were particular about where we wanted to be. The higher price was worth it to have that assurance of location. We were thrilled this past May when Celebrity brought the price of their Sky Suites down to the level of what we paid for the Concierge stateroom, and with an even better location we quickly jumped on the upgrade opportunity. A Sky Suite isn’t really a “suite”, per-se, but it is a nice large stateroom with a bigger bathroom. I believe it is between 50 – 100 sq. ft. larger than most staterooms. Sizes do vary a bit, and if anything we had one of the smaller versions, but it was wonderful. There was sufficient space for a round table, perhaps 36” diameter next to the sofa on the wall with perhaps 5’ of open space between the wall and the bed. The bathroom was along the lines in size of a small guest bathroom in your home, with a short bathtub/shower combination. The shower had pump bottles of C O Bigelow shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion. I don’t know what the rest of the ship had, but I thought these products were decent quality. My favorite thing about the room was location. We were in 6117, which was only four staterooms away from the middle stairs and the main elevators. It was a very easy walk to Luminae and Café al Baccio, my two favorite locations! Truly, being in the middle of the ship means nothing is very far away. Of course, the ship itself isn’t huge, so that made it even easier to get around. We are not frequent cruisers, but we have done a couple of other cruises including one on sister ship Summit many years ago. I think the recent rehab on Millenium looks great, and we never had a problem with lines for anything. We had a butler named Ranier, who I’m sure is very good at his job, but we simply had no need for a butler. He finally gave up on us, and we didn’t even see him the last two days of the cruise. Our stateroom attendant was fantastic! He sensed when we would leave the room, and magically it was updated almost every time we left. After checking in and dumping our backpacks in the room, we immediately went to lunch in Luminae. What a beautiful dining room! Luminae does not have assigned seating, though they do try to keep you with the same primary waiter. We had Alfredo every meal, except for perhaps one or two, and he was the highlight of our trip. Alfredo had the personality where you just want to be around him, and he truly wanted to make us happy. We went off menu a few times, and he even successfully scored a couple of entrees from Blu, which is not officially available to Luminae guests. Mary and I had an outstanding dessert one day at lunch when Tammy and Greg were on an excursion, and Alfredo went to the kitchen and set aside four more so that we could all enjoy the same again at dinner. We spent a good part of our afternoon exploring the ship. It’s hard to compare to what others experienced in the MDR, but to me the Luminae experience was worth a LOT! We looked forward to each and every meal. The rest of the afternoon was spent unpacking and exploring Café al Baccio….ahem, I mean the rest of the ship. After a wonderful dinner, we had the muster drill, then sailaway, and finally a family comedian. I forget his name, but the show was really good. We had no trouble going to sleep afterwards, worn out from a long day.
  5. Thursday, July 25 We had one full day to explore the area before heading for the cruise ship, and we decided on the 26 Glacier Cruise out of Whittier. This is a 5- hour cruise, but basically takes the whole day due to travel time. Getting to Whittier requires travel through a one-way tunnel, which opens for a short while on the half hour. The cruise company suggests leaving Anchorage at 9:00 to easily make the 10:30 opening, as the 11:30 opening does not allow enough time for 300 people to get through and get on their boat. Before leaving, we had an excellent breakfast buffet at the Hilton, thanks to a $4 upgrade from the Concierge Lounge to get the full buffet. We were very pleased with the food quality. Seating on the boat is assigned, and all seats are at tables. I don’t know if it was because we purchased tickets waaaay in advance, or if we were just lucky, but we were fortunate to be assigned the absolute best table on the very front of the boat. It’s not that other tables were bad, but there is no question that ours was one of the two or three best. They serve a light lunch consisting of one of three types of soup or chowder with some crackers, fruit, etc. Fresh baked cookies were also served closer to the end of the tour. The 26 Glacier Cruise meanders through various inlets of Prince William Sound, visiting or passing by 26 (not that I counted) different glaciers. Some you see at a distance, and others you see very close up. The beauty of the glaciers as well as the forested hills and island, and the abundant wildlife made for a very enjoyable trip and many photo opps. This excursion ranked right up with my favorites from aboard the cruise ship. We were tired coming back, and had a very early alarm set for Friday, so we stopped at that Alaska favorite – Texas Roadhouse (ha!) -- for dinner on the way back. We weren’t up for fighting the tourist crowds.
  6. Wednesday, July 24 – Travel Day Wednesday was devoted mostly to getting back to Anchorage. After one last satisfying breakfast, we loaded the car and headed back north. We had a great time at the Majestic View B&B, and our host Maria was very accommodating to our needs. We had hoped to see their resident moose (and calf), but our timing was off. Maria cooked a variety of breakfasts the three mornings we were there, and we left stuffed each day. After an uneventful 3 hours of driving, we found ourselves near Girdwood at lunchtime. A quick check of Yelp/TripAdvisor led us to Spoonline Café. It wasn’t much to look at, but the food was very good. I had the MexiTurkey Sandwich (with lots of veggies in it) and Mary had the Vegelicious Wrap. Fresh ingredients, and well prepared. Back in the car, we enjoyed the gorgeous views along Turnagain Arms as we made our way back to Anchorage. We checking into the Hilton Anchorage (great location!!!), and met up with Greg and Tammy. I had made reservations at Simon & Seafort, but after telling them about the halibut we had at Glacier Brewhouse, we all decided to go there (again for Mary and me). I had the fish & chips this time while others enjoyed the halibut. Another great meal! We shopped a bit, looking for gifts for the young’uns, then back to the hotel for the evening.
  7. Tuesday, July 23 Maria’s husband Tim runs a private fishing/wildlife guide operation during the summer months, catering mostly (though not exclusively) to the B&B guests. I had previously arranged for a private 6-hour tour to include mostly wildlife and scenic viewing with perhaps a couple of hours fishing. Tim and I discussed timing the night before, and he said the best fishing times (low tide) would be very early morning hours or early evening. Neither of those worked well with our schedule since fishing was secondary, so we decided to leave at 8:00 and just see what we could do with the fish. Tim decided to try fishing first since the tide was still pretty low and we piloted over to a small inlet. We immediately saw a salmon jump, and Tim said that meant there were probably 30 – 50 more behind him. He maneuvered the boat to that area and we waited to see another jump. As soon as we did, Tim showed me what he wanted me to do by throwing the hook (no bait or lure) right where the fish jumped. He pulled back immediately and “snagged” one, then handed me the rod to bring him in. It was a nice 7-lb. silver (Coho) salmon. Once we got him off, we found the lead fish again and I threw out and snagged another one, this time a 9-lb. salmon. What fun! Well, as promising as that was, those were the last two we caught. They swam away somewhere and we couldn’t find them again. After an hour of searching we switched to wildlife mode. Homer is located off Kechemak Bay, a part of Cook Inlet on the Gulf of Alaska. The views in Homer are constant, as the mountains tower up just a few miles awy on the other side of the bay. We motored to the other side, with our first stop being a quaint, upscale village called Halibut Cove. This little “town” has no roads, but rather boardwalks connecting docks on the main island. The homes come in all sizes, but they are all nicely kept with no doubt very high property values! There is also a gourmet restaurant that has its own water taxi for customers. We stopped at one of the docks to use the public restroom and grab a mocha at the snack bar. For the next few hours we motored through gorgeous inlets and took up-close pictures of bald eagles, harbor seals, sea otters, puffins, and a variety of other artic birds. Homer has an occasional whale sighting, but we did not spot any during our trip. Overall, we had a great tour, and I highly recommend Tim Anderson for fishing or wildlife viewing in Homer. FWIW, Tim took some other guests fishing the evening after our tour (when he said fishing would be good), and they caught a big load of pink salmon. Tuesday evening dinner was at Café Cups. This is a VERY popular place, and you will need to call days ahead (perhaps a week) to score a table. It’s a small restaurant, and it’s popular for a reason. Outstanding food! I had the North and South which was chile lime scallops and peppercorn shrimp (with accompaniments) Mary had a special that included smaller servings of two fish – pink salmon, and a white fish (not halibut). I highly recommend Café Cups if you are staying in Homer. Call in advance!!!
  8. Monday, July 22 As I said at the start, the primary thing we wanted to do pre-cruise was see bears. Brooks Falls was our initial choice, but Mary’s feet don’t always work right and we thought the 1-mile hike to and then back from Brooks Falls was very risky. I looked at numerous Trip Advisor reviews, and came across a small company called Bearfoot Tours. It’s a one-man show, but he had 26 outstanding reviews. I emailed him and asked specifically about walking. He assured me that the typical trip has very minimal walks, and we could adjust based on Mary’s needs. Only the big companies have rights to Brooks Falls, but the downside is you have to fight the crowds and you are limited on your viewing time on the platforms. Bearfoot Tours and other small operators fly until they see the bears, then circle around and land close by. The salmon were not running quite yet, so our best bet was to find some digging for clams. We took a beautiful flight over to Lake Clark National Park, and landed after spotting one. However, when we started walking toward the bear (still a good ways off), he also started walking away so we were wasting effort. After stopping for some good pictures of bear tracks, we got back in the plane for more searching. It wasn’t long before we found a group of four bears, and once again landed on the beach. The walk was longer than we wanted, but Mary did fine, and we were in the presence of a mama bear and a cub, and also two almost-full-grown bears. The mama and cub worked together, and the other two both independently. Let me tell you, these bears were RELENTLESS when it came to digging for clams! We watched them for at least two hours. They surely knew we were there, but we felt very safe at all times. They were amazing to watch, and the whole area was beautiful. It was getting close to time to leave when one of the bears decided to come up to the beach for a nap. He settled down a good ways from us, but we had to walk by him to get to the plane. Our pilot had his protection ready as we passed by him (perhaps 30 yards away), but the bear simply looked up for a few seconds, then laid his head back down. More good pictures! Our flight back included some flightseeing around some gorgeous mountains and glaciers, though I will admit dozing off at one point. All in all, we had a great trip, and I highly recommend Bearfoot Tours if you are looking for a good bear trip. Dinner reservations were at Kannery Grill. We ate at 6:00, and the place was pretty empty, but was starting to fill up by the time we left. Mary had halibut (her favorite), and I splurged on King Crab legs. At $55 (I think) the price was less than in Anchorage, but the portion size may have been a bit less. The crab was indeed outstanding, and the halibut was very good as well.
  9. Sunday, July 21 – Drive to Homer Have you ever had clarity come to you at 2:30 in the morning? Well, that’s what happened to me. I woke up and realized “Oh my gosh, I bet Enterprise canceled my reservation because I didn’t pick up the car on the day of my rental.” That was it. No more sleep for me (the Alaska time adjustment did not help, either). So I spent the next three hours researching every possible alternative to get to Homer. Predictably, I no longer had a reservation at Enterprise, and also predictable, neither Enterprise or any other major car rental agency had a car available. I looked at flying (one possibility, but very expensive), bus (not feasible), and local car rental agencies (no real time reservations). So I had to go to Enterprise, act surprised, and get them to help me. Yikes! I got there 15 minutes before they opened, only to find two others in front of me in line. Once I finally got to the agent, I said, “I’m here to pick up the car I was supposed to pick up yesterday at 2:00 when you were closed”. She took my confirmation page, typed on her computer for a few seconds, and said “I’m sorry, but your reservation was canceled overnight”. I will spare you the 10 minutes of fairly professional back-and-forth, but after she made it clear that she did not have a car she could rent to me…right then…she said she could have one for me after 1:00. WHEW!!! The best I can figure, when I made the car rental reservation months earlier, they closed at 3:00 so a 2:00 reservation was no problem. They subsequently changed their closing time to 2:00, which created the issue. So we wasted a few hours, and finally got out of town by 2:00. We missed our dinner reservation in Homer that evening, but otherwise we were no worse for the wear. We grabbed a quick bite to eat, picked up a few things at the local Safeway supermarket, then headed to Majestic View B&B. The B&B is relatively small, and is located a good ways up the hillside. Our room was neat and clean, and exactly as advertised.
  10. Friday, July 19 – Travel Day 1 The good news is when you leave at 6:15, you arrive at 9:30 AM, so we had almost a full day in Seattle. We were fortunate to get into our hotel room early, and after a short rest we took the light rail into downtown. We have been to Seattle a couple of times previously, so we didn’t feel like we had to DO Seattle. But we have enjoyed Pike’s Market and the surrounding area, albeit touristy, on past visits and we trekked there from the light rail station. We walked, shopped, and ate some of our favorites for a few hours before returning to the hotel for the evening. The hotel recommended a nearby restaurant, Mango Thai, and it was excellent. If you find yourself looking for a good and affordable dinner near Sea-Tac, give it a try. We especially liked being able to dial in your personal spiciness level from 1-5!
  11. Friday, July 19 – Travel Day 1 The good news is when you leave at 6:15, you arrive at 9:30 AM, so we had almost a full day in Seattle. We were fortunate to get into our hotel room early, and after a short rest we took the light rail into downtown. We have been to Seattle a couple of times previously, so we didn’t feel like we had to DO Seattle. But we have enjoyed Pike’s Market and the surrounding area, albeit touristy, on past visits and we trekked there from the light rail station. We walked, shopped, and ate some of our favorites for a few hours before returning to the hotel for the evening. The hotel recommended a nearby restaurant, Mango Thai, and it was excellent. If you find yourself looking for a good and affordable dinner near Sea-Tac, give it a try. We especially liked being able to dial in your personal spiciness level from 1-5!
  12. I am going to post my trip report on a day by day basis. Our complete trip lasted two weeks (July 19 - Aug 3), so there will be quite a few entries. Feel free to ask questions. My comments are pretty detailed and not terribly exciting, but I always appreciated others that provided details I hadn't read elsewhere. I hope you enjoy planning...and going on your Alaska adventure as much as we did. Introduction: My wife and I have close friends that we dine with almost every weekend. I remember throwing out the idea of traveling together on an Alaska cruise at least 3 years ago. The response was “sounds great!”, but of course life gets in the way. About a year and a half ago my friend says “you know, I have a meeting in July, 2019 in Vancouver”, and the planning began. Using his meeting dates, we honed in on a handful of cruise options and finally settled on the Celebrity Millenium, southbound from Seward. Since Greg and Tammy were tied up in meetings pre-cruise, we decided to do some inland touring before meeting them. We had taken our son on an Alaska cruise in 2002, and the one big thing we did NOT do on that trip was go see bears. So I researched where the bears are and we decided to go to Homer. But I’m getting ahead of myself. It actually took us three days to get there. Mary’s ears are sensitive to air travel, so we try to limit travel by plane to one per day. I had a Delta Companion ticket, which is only good for Continental US, so we decided to fly to Seattle first, then on to Anchorage after spending the night. The initial booking had us on a 5:00 pm flight out of Orlando, landing in Seattle at 9:15. However, Delta called a month after booking and that flight was cancelled. The only remaining non-stop left at 6:15 AM, so our plans changed accordingly. On to Day #1...
  13. moneeman

    Itinerary question

    Note that your "express service" is helpful (sometimes) on the front end, but makes no difference on the return. It simply depends on who is working returns, and who (and how many) are in front of you. Returns are usually pretty straightforward, and hopefully you won't be the unlucky one to get behind someone who scratched up their car.
  14. Good suggestions above. Everyone says it, and it is true. Layering is key. We went in late July, so the weather was a bit warmer than you will likely experience. But probably not a whole lot different. Lows ranging from low 40's to low 50's, and highs from low 50's to 70. Yes, they had a heat wave a few weeks ago, but that won't happen in September. Perhaps it's easier for guys, but I was very comfortable with the following: - long-sleeve t-shirt (my base layer - I had several) - fairly heavy sweat shirt - Columbia zip-up jacket that I could wear with or without the sweatshirt - light-weight rainproof jacket I had every layer on at Hubbard glacier, and when we were dogsledding on the glacier. Otherwise, I had combinations of the other layers, but generally did not need both the sweat shirt and the zip-up jacket at the same time. Have a great trip!
  15. Tipping opinions vary wildly, and truly it is a personal decision. Out of curiosity, and not because I care, I will frequently watch the line ahead of me to see if tipping is standard. What I see does not affect my tip, but it helps me understand the tour guide's situation. I figure if the tour guide is with the group for most of the day, it would be great for the group in total to add $100 to whatever pittance he or she makes from the company. If we have 20 or so people on the trip, I will probably tip $10 per person. I know a number will not choose to tip, so my $20 (two of us) combined with a few like-minded people will give the tour guide a decent return for their effort. If the tour is smaller and they give us more personalized attention for a lengthy time, my tip will be more. We had a private 6-hour boat tour in Homer where I tipped $100. On the flip side, if the tour is an hour or less with a full van, I will tip more like $5 per person, and for the van driver who simply takes you from the ship to the tour, only $1 or $2. There is nothing magical about what I do. I'm just listing it as an example.
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