Excursions sold out, even before sailing?

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#1
7 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
My wife and I are booked on the Infinity for the July 4 Alaskan cruise, and I see that some excursions are already sold out. Specifically, the dog sledding in Juneau, which my wife has wanted to do for years. I tried calling all the local operators, and they are sold out as well. I called Celebrity and they said that they reserve a limited amount of excursions to be bought on board, and that my best bet would be to go to the guest services desk after I board and try to book them.

So before I break it to my wife that we can't do the excursion, does anyone know the chances of this excursion actually being available on board? If they are available, is there a mad rush to the excursions desk where people scramble to get the last remaining slots?
#2
4,250 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
They do save some for onboard booking, but it really depends how many people and what time you arrive on the ship...On my NCL cruise the shore excursion desk was jammed and I stood in line for quite a while....did not get the excursion I wanted, but one similar, and it turned out to be a great excursion
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#3
Texas Hill Country
2,375 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
They also close down the booking at some point before the ship sails. You could also be in this window now...I'm not sure how many days before...but you are pretty close here.

Also, there will be cancellations and most likely a waiting list so don't give up hope! Enjoy your cruise!
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#5
Southern California
903 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Originally posted by rev91770
My wife and I are booked on the Infinity for the July 4 Alaskan cruise, and I see that some excursions are already sold out. Specifically, the dog sledding in Juneau, which my wife has wanted to do for years. I tried calling all the local operators, and they are sold out as well. I called Celebrity and they said that they reserve a limited amount of excursions to be bought on board, and that my best bet would be to go to the guest services desk after I board and try to book them.

So before I break it to my wife that we can't do the excursion, does anyone know the chances of this excursion actually being available on board? If they are available, is there a mad rush to the excursions desk where people scramble to get the last remaining slots?
First of all, take a deep breath...been there, done that. You're going to have a wonderful time on the Infinity in Alaska. We took that very same trip just a few weeks ago. Okay, we had the same problem but with a "sold out" sea kayaking excursion. We boarded the Infinity about 11:30 am and went straight to the Excursion Desk which opened at 12 noon. Stood in a fast-moving line and booked the desired excursion without any problems. Can't forsee any problems unless you are arriving quite a bit later. Most importantly, relax and enjoy your cruise as you are in for some spectacular scenery.
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#6
7 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by eileen & jay
We boarded the Infinity about 11:30 am and went straight to the Excursion Desk which opened at 12 noon.
Was 11:30 the scheduled boarding time? I ask because my scheduled boarding is 1:00PM, and if your's was as well, I best be getting there at 11 or so!
#7
Southern California
903 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Originally posted by rev91770
Was 11:30 the scheduled boarding time? I ask because my scheduled boarding is 1:00PM, and if your's was as well, I best be getting there at 11 or so!
Hi, I know it stated 1PM as boarding time in our ticket booklet but in most cases one may board earlier. I would try to get there earlier than 1PM. We had a 7:30AM Alaska Air flight out of LAX, landed at approx. 10:15AM, got our luggage amazing fast, had a prearranged driver pick us(4) up right outside the luggage carousel and off we went to Pier 66 (maybe that drive took 30 min.) The boarding process had already started. If you can get there early don't wait, you'll avoid crowds and will be more relaxed. If there is anything else, let me know.
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eileen & jay


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#8
7 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by eileen & jay
Hi, I know it stated 1PM as boarding time in our ticket booklet but in most cases one may board earlier. I would try to get there earlier than 1PM. We had a 7:30AM Alaska Air flight out of LAX, landed at approx. 10:15AM, got our luggage amazing fast, had a prearranged driver pick us(4) up right outside the luggage carousel and off we went to Pier 66 (maybe that drive took 30 min.) The boarding process had already started. If you can get there early don't wait, you'll avoid crowds and will be more relaxed. If there is anything else, let me know.
Wow, good to know. We are arriving the night before, so can get there as early as we need to. Perhaps I should get there at 10!

FWIW, I am going to use http://www.airportdirectshuttle.com/blank.html for ground transport....
#9
Texas Hill Country
2,375 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Originally posted by rev91770
Wow, good to know. We are arriving the night before, so can get there as early as we need to. Perhaps I should get there at 10!

FWIW, I am going to use http://www.airportdirectshuttle.com/blank.html for ground transport....
WOW!!! I can "hear" your excitement!

Most boarding times say 1:00 pm but we always get there early; 10:00 might be too early because they still might be disembarking folks!
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#10
292 Posts
Joined May 2008
If you are a member of the Captain's Club I would give them a call and see if they can get a couple of those places that are held for the ship. It's worth a call even if they say no.
#11
7 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by Verity
If you are a member of the Captain's Club I would give them a call and see if they can get a couple of those places that are held for the ship. It's worth a call even if they say no.
Just gave that a shot, but they just forwarded me to the normal excursion department, who of course told me no. Thanks for the tip though; I hadn't even signed up for the club (even though I have sailed with them before) so I did so and associated my CC account with this upcoming trip.
#12
Chicago, IL
2,585 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
We were unable to book a few excursions online for our recent Med cruise.

We went to the excursion desk ( we are Elite members ) and were able to purchase them when we boarded, or were put on a priority list.

We were able to confirm all excusions by the second day.

Dave
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#13
Southern California
903 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Originally posted by rev91770
Wow, good to know. We are arriving the night before, so can get there as early as we need to. Perhaps I should get there at 10!

FWIW, I am going to use http://www.airportdirectshuttle.com/blank.html for ground transport....


I would aim for boarding at 11AM. You'll have a wonderful time!



We used http://www.jandstowncar.com for our ground transit to and from Pier 66. They were fanastic!
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#14
54 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
We were in your situation a few years ago when we booked an Alaskan cruise last minute. Do yourself a favor and call Coastal Helicopters and book yourself a helicopter tour that lands on the glacier. You won't be disappointed. They flew over the dog sledding on the way back. I know it isn't your first choice, but you will still have an amazing time. Make sure you are on deck as you sail into Juneau. At a distance, you will what looks like a bunch of crows sitting in a big tree. You will be pretty amazed once you get closer and realize that they are not crows. They are bald eagles.
#15
South Jersey
4,505 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Dog-sledding can sometimes be cancelled even if you have booked. The weather on the glaciers is tricky. Dog-sledding is one of the most cancelled activities. Hope this doesn't happen but a glacier trek is also amazing.
Good luck!
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#16
Chicago area
14,081 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
If you end up not being able to book - then do go to the concierge desk, or customer realtions if there is none, and see if they have any information for other local providers. Sometimes they have local tourist guides and brochures that might list other operators you can check with.
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#17
Florida
7,103 Posts
Joined Nov 2000
Rev ~ first of all....welcome to Cruise Critic! You're in for a fantastic cruise to Alaska.

Have you visited your roll call for your cruise? Here's a link: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...=644847&page=8 Jump over there and post that you are interested in finding a dog sledding tour. Sometimes people may have some opening in an excursion they planned independently or may have some suggestions of vendors you might contact. Be sure to let them know if someone has a cancellation to let you know.

If everything is on time with the ship's turnaround, they'll likely begin boarding sometime after 11:00 AM so if you are there by then you'd probably be among the first to board.

Have a fantastic cruise!
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#18
Houston area
252 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
I'm sailing on the July 4th Infinity also - make sure you have signed up for the Cruise Critic party - we currently have 35 people registered. you will find the link on the 1st page in the roll call thread if you haven't signed up yet

see you on board!
#19
6,841 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Originally posted by rev91770
Wow, good to know. We are arriving the night before, so can get there as early as we need to. Perhaps I should get there at 10!

FWIW, I am going to use http://www.airportdirectshuttle.com/blank.html for ground transport....
You can ALWAYS board earlier than your paperwork states. Almost always by 11 to 11:30.
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#20
117 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
If you are unable to book the dog sled trip consider taking the Taku lodge flight excursion. I was interested in the dog sled but was glad that in the end we chose the Taku trip. The glacier was so beautiful, the lodge was rustic and cozy. They served the best bbq salmon meal and when the bears come down to clean the barbeque. All I can say is they are big and beautiful but when one takes a step in your direction I dare you not get a little nervous. It ranks up there with the private boat tour we booked out of Sitka on the Esther G.

More importantly I had scoured these boards, read numerous travel guides and planned the "perfect" collections of tours for my in-law's 50th anniversary trip. Then the dreaded propulsion problems caused us to miss part of a private tour we had arranged. The inlaws missed seeing the gardens in Victoria and it worked out for the better. We had more time for tea at the Empress and ended up with a beautiful tour of Victoria and some of the lesser known areas. It all seems to work out in the end. A beautiful cruise ship, good food, excellent service and lots of time to enjoy the company of those you love.

Enjoy your cruise.
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