Denali Tour

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

** Please post your recommendations ONLY in response to request...do not start a new thread. Thanks!
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 05:55 PM.
#21
California
1,111 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Originally posted by jemenybostons@verizon.net
I am doing a Holland America Cruise tour in August and I know how many of you feel about the cruisetour vs. do it yourself. But the OP already has it booked as I do, and instead of supporting the OP and assuring him/her that Alaska is great and it will be a great vacation all I hear is negative. I booked a cruisetour because it would be too stressful for my husband to try and plan everything on our own, for him he wants to arrive and have all our worries taken care of, while I agree we could do it on our own, we don't want to. I am sorry but I feel that others on the board can't see both sides of the coin and are too quick to condemn what others decide.
I've taken several HAL cruise tours and enjoyed every one. Both of you will get to enjoy the scenery and your time will be well spent. There is no way you can see everything in one trip to Alaska so you can enjoy your trip and possibly want to come back again and again. Each time is a new adventure.
#22
Rochester, New York
1,171 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
I appreciate all of the information on these boards. What I learned on these board coupled with a little research on my own showed me that we did indeed pick a poor choice of a cruise tour. We are all for doing things on our own and have planned many trips both in the US and Europe but this time we wanted to have the luxury of leaving it to RC. So I reviewed the cruise tour selections and then called our TA to change our cruisetour to a better itinerary that included 2 nights in Denali so we could do the shuttles, Seward- Kenai fjords, Anchorage all day and night, Fairbanks etc. I am so thankful that the research done will give us a good tour of Alaska. It is our first visit and I think we are making good use of our time.
Cruisetours might not be for everyone, may be more expensive but for some it is a good choice- especially if you understand how you will be spending your time and it fits your needs. Research, research is the key!
Hope everyone enjoys their trip. We are all lucky that we have the opportunity to travel to this beautiful state.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Gail

Click on the link below to view Roll call for the Explorer of the Seas: Seattle to Sydney Oct 2018
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...e-s/edit#gid=0
#23
Michigan
25 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
My wife and I are leaving on our first cruise in 3 weeks. A 13 day cruisetour to Alaska on Princess. Already I've learned from this site that if I go again it will DIY. I think the first time a cruisetour is fine.

I don't believe most people on this site are strongly against a cruisetour. Just against picking a cruisetour without knowing what you are getting.

Most folks at home don't know much even after they return. Most are unaware of TWT or shuttle, or short days in Sept. They proudly show me their pictures (so bad) not like the ones on this site. If you are going to the bother and expense please don't trust a TA or cruiseline to make your decisions. If someone does the research and picks something I wouldn't do than that's fine. We all don't want to be at the same place at the same time...
#24
Redmond WA
8,734 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Originally posted by frugaltravel
What are the options to "replicate" the cruisetour that you are referring to assuming they can't drive from Denali to Seward on Day 4 unless they want to plan on possibly missing their cruise? If they only have time for the NHT on a DIY independent tour, there is no reason to replicate the cruisetour. IMHO in order to make a trip to Denali worthwhile they need to take a shuttle or the TWT.
Of course there are options. We don't have all the information ... most importantly their arrival time in Anchorage! The cruisetour starts Day 1, but we don't know when the OP arrives, do we? Many people arrive a day early. Or maybe they're flying in from LA at 3pm and could easily drive to Talkeetna to overnight on Day 1. Or maybe they even earlier and could take the 3pm bus to Denali. Yes, there are options. Especially when we don't have all the facts.
But the OP is happy with her cruisetour and that's all the matters.
#25
Syracuse, New York
50,516 Posts
Joined May 2000
I certainly am NOT against cruisetours. BUT, I certainly will tell it like it is, once someone posts on this public board and asks for information. It is clear, people do not know what they are booking, and I always blame the vague descriptions, that "sound" good and show some nice photos, by the cruiselines.

BUT, if you "want" support, for a cruisetour choice, no matter what it is, then you are on the wrong board. The regular posters above, are very well informed and highly knowlegable about Alaska. You will get factual, accurate information. Some don't want to use it or have any interest in hearing it. A few, will benefit greatly, by starting over with their planning, those are the minority. Sorry, if this isn't what most want, but the information is there for others to perhaps benefit, who haven't booked yet.

I am never an advocate for "practice trips", but for plenty of people they are an excellent choice. Go with what works best for you.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Happy Alaska travels

budgetqueenalaska@yahoo.com
#26
Powell, OH
364 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Originally posted by Budget Queen
I certainly am NOT against cruisetours. BUT, I certainly will tell it like it is, once someone posts on this public board and asks for information. It is clear, people do not know what they are booking, and I always blame the vague descriptions, that "sound" good and show some nice photos, by the cruiselines.

BUT, if you "want" support, for a cruisetour choice, no matter what it is, then you are on the wrong board. The regular posters above, are very well informed and highly knowlegable about Alaska. You will get factual, accurate information. Some don't want to use it or have any interest in hearing it. A few, will benefit greatly, by starting over with their planning, those are the minority. Sorry, if this isn't what most want, but the information is there for others to perhaps benefit, who haven't booked yet.

I am never an advocate for "practice trips", but for plenty of people they are an excellent choice. Go with what works best for you.
Then is there a RIGHT board for help with a cruisetour? I like mine, I am happy. I don't need validation. What I would like is the ability to discuss what to do to enhance my experience. What to see in Aleyska, Talkeetna, Seward that would be doable while without a car on a tour. We do have some free time and I don't necessarily want to fill it up with expensive tours but would love some suggestions to fill out our tour.
What board should I go to for this?
#27
Las Vegas
11,147 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by jemenybostons@verizon.net
I am doing a Holland America Cruise tour in August and I know how many of you feel about the cruisetour vs. do it yourself. But the OP already has it booked as I do, and instead of supporting the OP and assuring him/her that Alaska is great and it will be a great vacation all I hear is negative.
So are you suggesting that even though we think that a proposed tour may be awful and that there are much better options, we should become cheerleaders and lie and say that their choice is wonderful and that they could not have done better.

If they wanted just positive responses to their questions, why did they bother to post on CC?

DON
#28
4,387 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by Budget Queen
I certainly am NOT against cruisetours...
BUT, if you "want" support, for a cruisetour choice, no matter what it is, then you are on the wrong board.
Ouch! Just because you don't want to "support" those on cruisetours, the Alaska forum certainly is the right board for all things Alaska cruise-related.

Originally posted by gymjudge55
Then is there a RIGHT board for help with a cruisetour? I like mine, I am happy. I don't need validation. What I would like is the ability to discuss what to do to enhance my experience. What to see in Aleyska, Talkeetna, Seward that would be doable while without a car on a tour. We do have some free time and I don't necessarily want to fill it up with expensive tours but would love some suggestions to fill out our tour.
What board should I go to for this?
Keep asking. Though some personalities tend to come through on the forum very brightly, they are not the ones who set the agenda. Keep asking questions and if those don't feel it is "wrong board" they can choose not to answer. Also there is an "ignore" feature on the forum whereby you can set preferences to not see any posts by certain posters. That might help you too. Unfortunately you have only been on the forum for a few months so you are only starting the see the domination of some forum personalities. Don't be offended.
#29
Anchorage, AK
2,957 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
As someone who has lived here for many years and has seen many a tourist come and go-as well has having many friends and family visit, I think a cruise tour is fine for many people on their first visit to Alaska.

The idea of a DIY tours is great-but if you have no experience in Alaska, I would no recommend doing it based on what you read on these boards.

People who recommend DIY tours have been here and understand the layout.

As I have said before, Alaska is a big place and just getting from point A to point B can take a long time.

I say it is just fine to come up here and take a prepackaged tour. Experience it and enjoy it. THen, when you organize your next trip, you can do a DIY because you will have a much better sense of this place.

IMHO.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
#30
4,387 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by AKman2495
As someone who has lived here for many years and has seen many a tourist come and go-as well has having many friends and family visit, I think a cruise tour is fine for many people on their first visit to Alaska.

The idea of a DIY tours is great-but if you have no experience in Alaska, I would no recommend doing it based on what you read on these boards.

People who recommend DIY tours have been here and understand the layout.

As I have said before, Alaska is a big place and just getting from point A to point B can take a long time.

I say it is just fine to come up here and take a prepackaged tour. Experience it and enjoy it. THen, when you organize your next trip, you can do a DIY because you will have a much better sense of this place.

IMHO.
And though some people feel that this forum is only for DIY touring, that is absolutely not the case. I feel sorry for people who are taken back by some of the postings and posters here. It is quite sad unfortunately. They should all feel welcomed.
#31
Oregon
1,977 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
As someone who is beginning to look into 2013 Alaska cruisetours, could you please tell me which forum/board to go to to find out my choices?

We are in our 70's,don't want to drive ourselves, want to pick a tour that does not go to a different place each day but rather stays in one place for 3 or 4 days, and then off to the ship to cruise southward to Vancouver.

We have previously taken 2 R/T Alaska cruises so this time really want to experience the wildlife and scenic beauty of the land.

Our preferred cruise lines are HAL, Celebrity, or Princess.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
#32
4,387 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by puli
As someone who is beginning to look into 2013 Alaska cruisetours, could you please tell me which forum/board to go to to find out my choices?

We are in our 70's,don't want to drive ourselves, want to pick a tour that does not go to a different place each day but rather stays in one place for 3 or 4 days, and then off to the ship to cruise southward to Vancouver.

We have previously taken 2 R/T Alaska cruises so this time really want to experience the wildlife and scenic beauty of the land.

Our preferred cruise lines are HAL, Celebrity, or Princess.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
You might want to start your own thread. But the Alaska forum should be the right one, in spite of some people only wanting it to be for those with DIY/independent plans.

Unfortunately no cruisetours stay in one place for 3-4 nights. They might stay in one place for 3 days/2 nights but generally they keep moving. I am totally with you about staying put and seeing places. You can also do a one-way cruise while doing the land tour independently but not driving.

You can take trains and buses for example. It is not the most efficient use of time (often takes longer than driving), but it can be done. What are your interests? What do you want to see/do? How long would you have on land? Maybe 3 nights in Denali and 3 nights in Seward would give you plenty of time to explore both areas, but it depends on your interests. You could have a night or two in Anchorage in between. This works best with Celebrity or HAL. If you take Princess, they depart from Whittier. You could do Seward first, then Denali then head to Whittier for the cruise (more logical than trying to get from Seward to Whittier, which is best done by taxi at about $250-$300 for the trip (not per person).
#33
Oregon
1,977 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Originally posted by frugaltravel
You might want to start your own thread. But the Alaska forum should be the right one, in spite of some people only wanting it to be for those with DIY/independent plans.

Unfortunately no cruisetours stay in one place for 3-4 nights. They might stay in one place for 3 days/2 nights but generally they keep moving. I am totally with you about staying put and seeing places. You can also do a one-way cruise while doing the land tour independently but not driving.

You can take trains and buses for example. It is not the most efficient use of time (often takes longer than driving), but it can be done. What are your interests? What do you want to see/do? How long would you have on land? Maybe 3 nights in Denali and 3 nights in Seward would give you plenty of time to explore both areas, but it depends on your interests. You could have a night or two in Anchorage in between. This works best with Celebrity or HAL. If you take Princess, they depart from Whittier. You could do Seward first, then Denali then head to Whittier for the cruise (more logical than trying to get from Seward to Whittier, which is best done by taxi at about $250-$300 for the trip (not per person).
3 nights in Denali, 2 in Seward with an original first night in Anchorage would be perfect! DH wants to take pictures of scenery and I want to see wildlife and we both love museums particularly those that focus on native/local contributions.
#34
4,387 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
You will want at least a night in Anchorage then. There is an excellent Native Heritage Center near Anchorage but with the train and bus schedules you probably need two nights in Anchorage in order to get to it. Also, the Native Medical Center has good artwork and a store that sells native handcrafts that would be of interest.