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Budget Queen

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I’m currently on my 4th out of 5 Alaska cruises, so far, this year.    I have run into a lot of people who aren’t booking any tours or even having any idea of port highlights.    

 

Before you go down that road make certain you won’t have regrets.     “I wish,  I should have “. expressed with the enthusiasm of returning tour participants, reports.

 

Loads of excellent accurate information on this site.    

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I hope you're preaching to the choir if they've found this board. But I know from reading my roll call threads that some folks don't plan very much.

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Then there are the ones that will find this board, or go on facebook, and simply ask "what is the best thing to do in XXX?"  instead of searching through the topics and posts to find tours or things of interest to them.

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I recently looked at roll call for people that took the same ship as me the next week and a very high percentage of the members only posted in roll calls which surprised me. If they read the main board they didn't post.

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I can't imagine traveling anywhere without doing some form of research ahead of time. Even for business trips, I like to at least research nearby restaurants for food 😉

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11 hours ago, 1025cruise said:

I can't imagine traveling anywhere without doing some form of research ahead of time. Even for business trips, I like to at least research nearby restaurants for food 😉

Exactly!!  Nothing worse than being in a new city, standing on the corner trying to decide where to look for a good restaurant.  

 

We're going to be doing Alaska at the end of the summer, I already know where I'm eating....lol in Juneau, and Icy Strait Point at least. 

 

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We too met lots of folks on Solstice that had “ no clue” as to what to do or where to go on their cruise to Alaska. I researched everything and read every post, blog and website available to insure we got the most out of our trip. I am amazed that others don’t. I met a couple that had no idea they could schedule and pay for their excursions before boarding and were panicking at viewing their final statement. We prepaid for as much as possible so their were no surprises at the end of the week.  I guess we are just very odd. 

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I have been reading everything I can for 2 year and feel totally unprepared. Leave this Thursday. Bobbi

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I've often felt that many people on Alaska cruises are just there to check Alaska off their bucket list.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, mapleleaves said:

I've often felt that many people on Alaska cruises are just there to check Alaska off their bucket list.  

 

 

Our cruise is two weeks from today and that's exactly how I feel about it.  We said we would visit all 50 states before our kids turned 18.  The Alaska cruise is just checking one more state off the list.  We still have two stops with only a very general idea of what me might go, Sitka and Victoria.  

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I wonder whether many people who make no shore plans have been on cruises only to the Caribbean, where it's possible to join a casual tour or get a ride to a beach at almost any moment, with generally more supply than demand. Alaska ports have only so much capacity for excursions, especially those by small boat or plane, at any port.

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I did some live interviews with experts in Alaska about what to see and do.  I posted them on my YT channel.  We just came back from the Jewel southbound, and we had an amazing trip, but it was all planned in detail before we left.  Alaska is not like the Caribbean where one island is pretty much like the next.  Also, excursions book early.

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Budget Queen -- on this subject, do you have any particular suggestions for Skagway?  This will be our 5th time there.  First time we rented a car and drove to Emerald Lake.  2nd time we did the Lake Bennett train excursion.  3rd time we did the Davidson Glacier canoe tour.  4th time we did the Yukon Drive and stopped and saw the sled dog puppies.

I currently have a car reserved in Skagway, but really don't know if I want to do that again.  Yes, it's beautiful -- but the weather forecast isn't looking super great and I don't know if I care about seeing it in cloudy, showery weather.  Anything else that's worth doing?

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On 6/10/2019 at 4:09 PM, atobols said:

We said we would visit all 50 states before our kids turned 18.

Cheering you on!!!  We did it, too! We hit #50 this past September.  Our 6 year old hit #50 in April.  

 

I had researched and researched Alaska stuff prior to our cruise last year.  This year we are just winging it.  I'm not saying there won't be different things to do and see, but I'm not overly planning it like usual.

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We are total planners.  I’m getting antsy as our cruise is May 2020 and I have no idea when NCL will release our shore excursions.  Sure I can see them in general but not actually book yet.

 

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 "We prepaid for as much as possible so their were no surprises at the end of the week."

 

This is one of the reasons why I think I am going to love being on Regent, Crystal etc.  Still trying to figure out which one to try next year.  Everything is included for the same price, if not a little bit cheaper, than I would be paying for a suite on Celebrity etc.  When I am on vacation I want to relax and not have to worry about my bar tab , excursion tab etc.

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On the other hand, I received an email today from Regent with specials on last-minute cruises to Alaska. I was floored by the prices. One week was four times more than I'm planning on spending in total for two, including my flights, hotel, gratuities, alcohol, and shore excursions.  

 

I would recommend people who generally book suites on the mass market cruise lines try the luxury brands. Those of us who generally book an inside or ocean view cabin, though, will have to stick to sailing with the masses.

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Posted (edited)

We just got our stateroom account summary on Princess at the end of 7 days, and even with gratuities I had no surprises.  Around $15 per day, per person; budget it.

 

Blows my mind that BQ is on her 4th Alaska cruise this year, and this year is far from her first rodeo.  Holy Stellar Sea Lions!

Edited by tetleytea

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On 6/13/2019 at 12:39 PM, misguy said:

I did some live interviews with experts in Alaska about what to see and do.  I posted them on my YT channel.  We just came back from the Jewel southbound, and we had an amazing trip, but it was all planned in detail before we left.  Alaska is not like the Caribbean where one island is pretty much like the next.  Also, excursions book early.

 

I late book my Alaska trips and don’t have any problems getting my tours booked.    Sometimes with the rush to “Book early “,   Especially with first timers-  the more that is read the “must” evolves and changes.   

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On 6/13/2019 at 12:59 PM, ute_fan said:

Budget Queen -- on this subject, do you have any particular suggestions for Skagway?  This will be our 5th time there.  First time we rented a car and drove to Emerald Lake.  2nd time we did the Lake Bennett train excursion.  3rd time we did the Davidson Glacier canoe tour.  4th time we did the Yukon Drive and stopped and saw the sled dog puppies.

I currently have a car reserved in Skagway, but really don't know if I want to do that again.  Yes, it's beautiful -- but the weather forecast isn't looking super great and I don't know if I care about seeing it in cloudy, showery weather.  Anything else that's worth doing?

 

I never tire of the endless beauty and changes on the Klondike Highway.      

 

What about flying??    Have you been to Haines?     Fly one way, ferry the other.   Rent a car drive the Haines Highway???   Murray also has a guide. 😀.      

 

I never worry about weather.    

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9 hours ago, hospsafe said:

 "We prepaid for as much as possible so their were no surprises at the end of the week."

 

This is one of the reasons why I think I am going to love being on Regent, Crystal etc.  Still trying to figure out which one to try next year.  Everything is included for the same price, if not a little bit cheaper, than I would be paying for a suite on Celebrity etc.  When I am on vacation I want to relax and not have to worry about my bar tab , excursion tab etc.

  In Alaska,  my opinion only. It’s a huge mistake to have included tours.    They usually are general and basic.    There is so much more.  😀

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7 hours ago, tetleytea said:

We just got our stateroom account summary on Princess at the end of 7 days, and even with gratuities I had no surprises.  Around $15 per day, per person; budget it.

 

Blows my mind that BQ is on her 4th Alaska cruise this year, and this year is far from her first rodeo.  Holy Stellar Sea Lions!

  

And hundreds of Stellar Sea Lions, I’ve seen.     😀😀😀😀😀

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We usually do the Caribbean cruises since we live in Florida..but for our 20th anniversary we knew we wanted it to be special. So I researched. This has been 2 years in the making.  Alaska has been something we wanted to do for awhile.  So in 9 days we will be on the Legend. I've booked excursions in EVERY port except Victoria and Ketchikan.  I still may wrangle up something for Ketchikan. I knew I had to book early and buy excursions early. I have saved up for my carnival gift cards to apply to my account. I prepaid gratuities and I feel like I'm good to go. Staying in Seattle for 3 days after the cruise to check it out... so I can NOT imagine NOT planning!!! 

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On 6/15/2019 at 5:56 PM, Budget Queen said:

 

I never tire of the endless beauty and changes on the Klondike Highway.      

 

What about flying??    Have you been to Haines?     Fly one way, ferry the other.   Rent a car drive the Haines Highway???   Murray also has a guide. 😀.      

 

I never worry about weather.    

Didn’t see this before we sailed. Thanks Budget Queen. We went ahead and got

our rental car and drove the Klondike Highway. Getting the rental car was fairly quick - maybe 20 minutes - and the road was beautiful as always. 

 

Next time we go I’ll consider getting to Haines and renting a car there. Didn’t know Murray had a guide that covered that area too. 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/15/2019 at 10:30 AM, hospsafe said:

 "We prepaid for as much as possible so their were no surprises at the end of the week."

 

This is one of the reasons why I think I am going to love being on Regent, Crystal etc.  Still trying to figure out which one to try next year.  Everything is included for the same price, if not a little bit cheaper, than I would be paying for a suite on Celebrity etc.  When I am on vacation I want to relax and not have to worry about my bar tab , excursion tab etc.

Crystal doesn't include excursions. Plus, I don't think Crystal will be in Alaska next year.

Edited by Coral

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