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mbw1024

Have you rented a car in Juneau?

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If so what did you do?

we are thinking about it.

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We rented a car this past May.  Picked it at the AJ Dock (Juneau Car Rentals) and headed to Mendenhall Glacier.  Got there before all of the crowds and spent about 2.5 hrs.  Next headed out of town and visited St. Teresa Shrine (nice, short visit) and then went to Eagle Beach State Park.  Hiked around a bit—we were the only people out on the beach!

 

Next up was a visit to the Alaskan Brewery’s new tasting room.  Picked up some food from a food truck parked next door.  Then dropped off the car around 5:30.

 

Highly recommend renting a car.  You really can’t get lost and it is wonderful doing things on your timeline!

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I rented a car in Juneau in June 2018. Avis. Port location. We were the closest ship to downtown (Celebrity Millennium) and so the walk was awful. Uphill for most of the way...and over a mile. We deal with knee issues and we had a bit of equipment with us, so we only made it to where one of the other ships was recently docked and debarking and there were many taxis. We ended up paying about $10 after tip for the mini-van taxi to take our party of 3 to the Avis lot.

 

Check in was a breeze. We were given a newer Toyota Camry with bluetooth radio. DS and us were thrilled to be able to listen to our own music as we headed out on our grand fishing adventure.

 

We brought our own fishing poles and lures and waders and everything that you would need to be able to do some shore fishing. We headed over to Douglas Island and Fish Creek Park where we went fishing for several hours. DH and DS did more fishing than I (DW). At some point, I headed back to the parking lot where I could get some reception to talk to my parents who were also cruising with us, but had no interest in fishing.

 

While at Fish Creek Park, we caught several fish (sadly no King Salmon but we did have a King Salmon Stamp), saw several eagles, talked to many locals, and admired the beautiful area. And also fended off some horrific tiny fly things and mosquitos. All while admiring the view of Mendenhall from a distance.

 

I left DH and DS for some quality father son time while I went to get my parents for some quality only child time with my parents. We found a cute drive through coffee shack in Juneau while we waited for the guys to be done with their fishing day.

 

DS had issues with his socks so we hit up a local outdoor store for a new pair of dry Smartwool socks...went to the Sand bar and grill for some amazing local brews and halibut fish and chips. Then we went to Mendenhall Glacier where we hiked down the Nugget Falls trails and hung out to our heart's content. It was later in the afternoon and the crowds were gone.

 

We dropped off my parents and DS and all the equipment at the ship and then DH and I returned the rental car. We did take another taxi back to the ship. 

 

It was a fabulous day!

 

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Soooooo...I loved our day in Juneau!! Can you have too many photos of Alaska? Forgive me if this is too much...but well...it's ALASKA...and I love reliving a great day and sharing it.

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Thanks for sharing! I rented through Avis as well.

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Posted (edited)

We rented a car with Avis in June, and we had a fantastic day!  We had a whale watch in the afternoon so we didn’t even need the car for the whole day, but it was still worth every penny to be on our own and able to do whatever we wanted to.

 

 I’m in the middle of writing my trip report and posting  day by day and I’ve already written about our day in Juneau. If you want to skip right to it, it’s on page 2!

 

Edited by ErLee

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I've rented twice at Juneau (once from Avis and this past year from Juneau Car Rental at AJ Dock).  Even though it was an older car I feel like the better choice was Juneau Car Rental - cheaper, very handy and a local vendor. The Avis people left us waiting for about 45 minutes [wasted] while going for gas in one of their cars... Why wasn't this taken care of prior to our arriving at 1 PM???  This last time in Juneau we did almost an identical visit to DISNEYOCHEM  above. We also had dinner at the Gold Creek Salmon Bake. The salmon bake has a shuttle bus from the dock area but we just stopped in our car - there isn't much parking but most everyone comes on their shuttle so it doesn't matter. We stopped at the salmon bake to make sure we could come on our own - the manager was very friendly and we paid then so when we came back later all we had to do was eat.  (The manager suggested doing that in case we arrived when a shuttle load had just arrived... She also suggested we walk on out to their creek and waterfalls because the light was great at that time of the day. Nice people there!)  On our previous car rental visit we did Mendenhall plus stopped at the airport for our Coastal Helicopters trip to walk on a glacier - they also have a shuttle but you'll be wasting a lot of time you could spend doing something else. If one is comfortable arranging your own itinerary I think renting a car at Juneau is a very efficient way of maximizing your time - otherwise you'll spend a lot of time on shuttles that could be spent doing something much better.  Good luck!

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1 hour ago, SuperCrewBear said:

I've rented twice at Juneau (once from Avis and this past year from Juneau Car Rental at AJ Dock).  Even though it was an older car I feel like the better choice was Juneau Car Rental - cheaper, very handy and a local vendor. The Avis people left us waiting for about 45 minutes [wasted] while going for gas in one of their cars... Why wasn't this taken care of prior to our arriving at 1 PM???  This last time in Juneau we did almost an identical visit to DISNEYOCHEM  above. We also had dinner at the Gold Creek Salmon Bake. The salmon bake has a shuttle bus from the dock area but we just stopped in our car - there isn't much parking but most everyone comes on their shuttle so it doesn't matter. We stopped at the salmon bake to make sure we could come on our own - the manager was very friendly and we paid then so when we came back later all we had to do was eat.  (The manager suggested doing that in case we arrived when a shuttle load had just arrived... She also suggested we walk on out to their creek and waterfalls because the light was great at that time of the day. Nice people there!)  On our previous car rental visit we did Mendenhall plus stopped at the airport for our Coastal Helicopters trip to walk on a glacier - they also have a shuttle but you'll be wasting a lot of time you could spend doing something else. If one is comfortable arranging your own itinerary I think renting a car at Juneau is a very efficient way of maximizing your time - otherwise you'll spend a lot of time on shuttles that could be spent doing something much better.  Good luck!

 

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Did you rent from Juneau car rental in advance?

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, mbw1024 said:

Did you rent from Juneau car rental in advance?

The earlier, the better.  I'm pretty sure I reserved a car this last time about a YEAR ahead.  You're better safe than sorry - they could sell out!  After all, most of the time there are at least 3 ships in port - several thousand potential renters!

Edited by SuperCrewBear

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4 hours ago, SuperCrewBear said:

The earlier, the better.  I'm pretty sure I reserved a car this last time about a YEAR ahead.  You're better safe than sorry - they could sell out!  After all, most of the time there are at least 3 ships in port - several thousand potential renters!

Earlier is always better I find in renting cars.  And then I price watch for a better deal.

 

That being said, I rented from Juneau Car Rentals about a month before our May trip.  Website showed nothing available but was able to get a car when I phoned the office directly.  This company was great to work with but be aware that the cars are older and not like the big rental companies!  Dirtier, dinged up a bit (we didn’t have to do an inspection of the car’s condition), etc.  Lovely and very friendly staff.

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You can look at the port schedule to see how many ships will be in Juneau on any given day:

 

http://www.cliaalaska.org/port-schedule/?port=JUNEAU&ship=0&date_from&date_to&search_schedule=Get Port Schedules

 

Peak days have 6 ships in port once a week..5 ships once a week...4 ships several days... Look up your travel date to see the odds and guesstimate potential competition.

 

Juneau Car Rental is the old Rent-a-Wreck...not sure about whether or not the management changed, ownership changed, or just the name...but JCR continues with the previous name philosophy. Do double check pricing between the two...we had 6 ships in port and the cost difference was only $20 between the local and national chain.

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We’ve rented from Juneau Car Rental near the AJ Dock several times except this year, they had no cars so we used Avis on Mill St. Other than the older vehicles at JCR, there was little difference.  The advantage of JCR is that if there is a ship at the AJ Dock there will also be a shuttle that runs from there to the tram area. The last time we took it back to the tram it was $3 after we dropped off the car.

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On 7/27/2019 at 4:07 PM, disneyochem said:

We rented a car this past May.  Picked it at the AJ Dock (Juneau Car Rentals) and headed to Mendenhall Glacier.  Got there before all of the crowds and spent about 2.5 hrs.  Next headed out of town and visited St. Teresa Shrine (nice, short visit) and then went to Eagle Beach State Park.  Hiked around a bit—we were the only people out on the beach!

 

Next up was a visit to the Alaskan Brewery’s new tasting room.  Picked up some food from a food truck parked next door.  Then dropped off the car around 5:30.

 

Highly recommend renting a car.  You really can’t get lost and it is wonderful doing things on your timeline!

 

That sounds just like our group is planning. Did your ship dock in the morning? We don't dock till after noon, and I am wondering if we can get those three stops in (not the Brewery stop)  My Mom may also get dropped off for the Salmon bake, and the last seating is at 6pm, so trying to decide if 5 hours is enough to get to Eagle Beach. We would probably not be at Mendenhall much longer than 90minutes.

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I have tried renting a car for June, 2020 on Avis' website, but it says the location is closed - because it is showing they are only open until October, 2019... I assume they are just closed for the winter since there are no cruise ships in port... Anyone know when I might be able to make the reservation, or do I just need to call them instead of trying to do it on the website?

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4 hours ago, flutprop said:

 

That sounds just like our group is planning. Did your ship dock in the morning? We don't dock till after noon, and I am wondering if we can get those three stops in (not the Brewery stop)  My Mom may also get dropped off for the Salmon bake, and the last seating is at 6pm, so trying to decide if 5 hours is enough to get to Eagle Beach. We would probably not be at Mendenhall much longer than 90minutes.

 

We had a morning arrival—picked the car up around 9.

 

The drive to Eagle Beach is only about 30 minutes.  Everything is pretty close.  We did hit some traffic around the airport.  By traffic, I mean we had to sit through 2 stoplight cycles!

 

You can probably do it in 5 hours.  We hiked quite a bit at Mendenhall and Eagle Beach.  It was nice to stretch our legs after being on the ship.  We also spent a long time at the brewery talking to people.  Hubby brews his own beer so we had a very nice chat with the brewers.  The shrine is beautiful but can be done quickly.  There is a little walk but going to the chapel is pretty close to the parking lot.

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I'm hoping to post my Juneau day later this week.  We rented a minivan from Juneau Car Rentals - perfect solution for a larger group (we planned on 6 and actually had 7, so all seats were filled!).  We were on Celebrity Solstice and had checked ahead and saw we were scheduled to dock at AJ Dock when we were in Juneau, so I opted for renting through Juneau Car Rentals because it's right there, the convenience can't be beat.

 

They were super friendly/easy to work with by phone and email.  I had a slight delay getting the car when we got there because there's only one employee and the guy in front of me in line was being ridiculous (kept going back and forth between a minivan and full size van and wanting to inspect each vehicle), not JCR's fault.  The van we got was clean-ish (a few old snack bags and whatever in it that we threw out) but it ran fine and served the purpose for the day perfectly.

 

Our ship docked at 1 PM and we took the glacier excursion beforehand so we were there even later, so the rental car was a good thing.  We ate a quick lunch on the ship and then picked up our rental and went to Mendenhall.  It was PACKED already, but we found a close parking spot right outside the parking lot along the road (parking lot was full).  IT was nice to not be held to someone else's schedule.  Afterward we drove out to the Sandbar for an early dinner (hangry was striking again) and then we took a drive out to Douglas Island where a friend is a kayak tour guide and took a look around the spot where they kayak.  Being able to get away from the crowd and do our own thing was great.

 

 

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