My MIL has purchased a 10 day Alaskan cruise for her 4 kids and their spouses on Holland America Cruise Lines. We will be cruising at the end of August on the southeastern cruise. Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Glacier Bay and Sitka among others are included ports of call. They have alot of "expensive" excursions to take. My dh wants to spend $2,000 on excursions. Surely we could get off the ship and do some exciting things on our own?
Can anyone suggest things that we need to do or need to see? I know absolutely nothing about Alaska. Any particular good shopping in those areas?
Last edit by DutchgirlRN on Apr 1, '07
Apr 1, '07
Have a great trip. Seeing the glaciers are amazing.
Apr 7, '07
I am presently working as a temp nurse in Ketchikan (but I'm from WA). I haven't been able to afford it yet. But, I hear the Misty Fjords are a must see! Have fun. If y'all decide you like Ketchikan they are always hurting for nurses, so............
Apr 19, '07
I am from Juneau....and worked with the cruise industry for a couple of years. Juneau and Skagway are the places to do helicopter tour of the glaciers and ice fields. Ketchikan and Sitka are both great for whale watching.
I grew up around Southeast Alaska...and am a bit partial to the area. Hopefully the weather will cooperate for you.
Have a great trip.
May 17, '07
Hoping this is still info you can use... I worked for Princess Tours for two summer seasons, based out of Anchorage. As far as these excursions go, whatever you do, DON'T sign up with them via the cruise line. It's WAY more expensive that way. If you're willing to put in some extra time, call the cruise line, ask them which vendors they use for the excursions, and call the vendor yourself. You should be able to look at your itinerary and book the same trip as other passengers at like half the price. You could also "take a chance" and not sign up on the cruise, disembark at the port, walk up to the tour guide, and ask if they have any open spots they'd like to fill for a lesser price. Don't feel bad about trying to get a cheaper price at the last minute. These people live seasonally and are happy to take in every penny they can. Overall, the more you stay away fro the masses, the better off you'll be. These companies treat their passengers like cattle. The more independent you travel from them, the more fun you'll have.
May 18, '07
THANK YOU! so much for that info. We will definately follow your advice! We are going August 25 - Sept 6 so we still have plenty of time to check it out. We were going to do only a couple of excursions together and my dh was going to do 2 on his own and we were already up to almost $1,000.
Thanks again. Joanna
May 19, '07
Does anyone know how much Alaska RN's get with experience?