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help with cruise excursions! please!

South Florida...
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help with cruise excursions! please!

Hi I'm taking a cruise with carnival in aug. when in alaska we stop in skagway ketchitan and juneau. I want to see bears and eagles and whales. Basically as many wild animals as possible. However the cruise excursions are sooo expensive. Do you think i'll see eagles and whales from my cruise ship and then i can spend the money on a different excursion? If i knew i would see the eagles and bears and whales from my cruise ship or from the shore somewhere off port, i could do helicopter dog sledding combo! Please any advice related to wildlife excursions would be so helpful!

Alaska
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1. Re: help with cruise excursions! please!

You have a very good chance of seeing whales and eagles from your ship. You also have a good chance of seeing eagles in each port, where they congregate around local docks, fishing boats, and canneries. Humpbacks, orcas, sea lions, and seals are frequently seen from aboard ship, particularly if one spends a lot of time on deck looking for wildlife and enjoying the scenery. It is almost a certainty that you will NOT see bears from your ship. There are several posts in this forum inquiring about bears and those responding have given most of the information you will need if seeing bears is a priority for you. Have fun!

South Florida...
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2. Re: help with cruise excursions! please!

That is wonderful news! Thank you! I have been exploring the bear related posts.

Greater Sydney...
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3. Re: help with cruise excursions! please!

From the cruise ship the whales, if in the vicinity, are humpback and are usually only seen in the distance. Sighting of Orca is quite uncommon.

New York
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4. Re: help with cruise excursions! please!

I have been on many Alaska cruises, and disagree with the first response on the whale sightings from a cruiseship- just not good advice.

It is NOT common to see whales without a large investment of time forward viewing with a good pair of wide angle binoculars. You are multiple decks up with it even less likely sightings of sea lions, seals and orcas, like they mention. I spend just about all my sailing time doing this, and know the "success" areas. Overall, you are looking for hours, with maybe- minutes of view.

IF you want wildlife sightings, take tours, bottom line.

South Florida...
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5. Re: help with cruise excursions! please!

Thanks for all the various input. Its really helpful getting different opinions on this subject

South Florida...
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6. Re: help with cruise excursions! please!

Thanks for the opinions! Very helpful! I'll be in Alaska aug 7-12. I'm really trying to figure our which excursion would be My priority. It's been very challenging with all the different opinions and reviews I find online are also very contrasting. For such an investment as these excursions are, I'm worried I'd pick one and then be dissapointed, either by a cancelation, no whales due to rain, or in worst senario get scammed- I have read terrible reviews where people booked outside of their cruise line and got stood up or simple taken for a boat ride and saw basically nothing : ( Ever since I was a young girl I have wanted to go to alaska and see animals wild- as in , not in a zoo, like here in Florida!

Greater Sydney...
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7. Re: help with cruise excursions! please!

Whales don't worry about the rain - they are already wet. :)

Cancellations happen but in Alaska that is usually weather caused for safety reason, such as flying trips. I would also ignore the information in the first reply about spotting whales from the cruise ship, as I tried to dash out a reply to you while on a boring phone call at work @ #3 and was affirmed by BQ @ #4. The whale watch excursions from Juneau have an almost 100% record of spotting humpback though. We spotted a few humpback at some distances on our cruise day in Glacier Bay NP.

The reply at post 1 was accurate in regard to spotting bears from the cruise ship, although we did spot two on while in GBNP which were very distant.

Have you ever read a review about anyone getting ripped off by an non-ship booked excursion in SE Alaska? I doubt very much if you would find any report of such. These are quite small communities, with a lot riding on the cruise industry for the locals. Book private excursions by all means, and with the provider direct not a booking agency, but please do due diligence checks and ask on the forums first.

South Florida...
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8. Re: help with cruise excursions! please!

Looks like I have some more searching to do.

Greater Sydney...
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9. Re: help with cruise excursions! please!

Just post your preferences for excursions in each port and we will try to point you to the local providers.

Adirondack, New York
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10. Re: help with cruise excursions! please!

I understand if this is your first cruise and deciding what excursions to take could be time consuming and difficult but you have so many almost identical posts and already got many answers in many places. Make choices based on YOUR own preferences and book tours today. I think I already stated this in at least three of your other posts there is no guarantee you'll see whales or bears from your boat or on shore in towns. I agree with Budgetqueen about taking tours. I feel like I'm writing this over and over again in a number of your posts. I never heard of bear watching or whale watching trips being cancel by rain. Bear watching trips could be cancel due to high winds, low clouds but this could happen regardless whether you book your trip with your cruise liner or privately. I can assure you the weather does not discriminate. There is no more favorable weather for cruisers than for independent travelers.

Edited: 10:13 am, April 05, 2012