The Regatta is a beautiful ship with wonderful staff and great entertainers.
We left San Francisco and headed out to Victoria. We took our very first ever ship's tour to Butchart Gardens and it was beautiful. They just drop you off and pick you up and since we did not have a lot of time we thought the ship's tour would be best - it was great.
Sitka was our next stop and we did a private tour with Captain Davey (puffinsandwhales.com) and he gave us an amazing tour. We saw whales, puffins, sea lions, eagles and lots of other wildlife.
Icy Strait Point we did another whale watching trip this time with Glacier Wind Charters and had another wonderful tour. Capt. was great and wildlife was abundant!
Skagway we did a tour with Chilkoot Charters and Tours which was the white pass train and riding in a van back. The train was fun (I stayed outside most of the trip) and the tour driver in the van was full of great stories; also we saw two black bears (one More
of which came right up to our van door and looked like he wanted to get in - we left then).
Juneau we went to Mendenhall Glacier. The bus wasn't running until the afternoon so we hired a car and driver and she gave us a great tour and took us to the Glacier - impressive, like all of Alaska. Also found a wonderful store "Jim Hopkins" a great artist who makes jewelry out of fossil walrus ivory and mammoth ivory. Look for signs in the windows of shops (usually off the main streets) that say "Alaska owned".
Ketchikan we went flight seeing with Michelle from Island Wings Air Service. It was a four hour tour over the glaciers and landing in a beautiful lake surrounded by serenity. Perfect day!
As others have said - always dress in layers. We wore a lot of fleece and a light gore-tex jacket. It never really rained ( a few sprinkles in Butchart Gardens in Victoria) until we got back to San Francisco but the jacket is good for the chill. Gloves and hat or ear warmers for boat trips or just getting out early on the ship.
Loved having a balcony - actually used it more than I thought we would. The bed is so comfortable, the food delicious, the staff very personable. We met some wonderful people from Cruise Critic (now friends)and that was just an extra bonus.
I still packed more then I needed, but I'm getting better.
The Blue Bus was not running in the morning yet so we hired a car and driver to take us to Mendenhall Glacier. We stopped in the visitors center which had many interesting things and then on to the Glacier- Wow! Don't miss it. Our driver gave us a tour of the town on the way back and it was all very interesting. If the bus is running do it that way so you'll have all the time you want for exploring.
Did a private wildlife tour with Captain Davey (puffinsandwhales.com). It was a four hour tour that showed us whales, puffins, sea otters, eagles. We went to St. Lazaria Island and it is an amazing place. Dress warmly, it gets cold out on the water.
Did the White Pass Railway with Chilkoot Charters and Tours. Loved it. Stayed outside on the train most of the way up- the scenery was amazing. The tour guide-driver on the way back told many good stories. He also spotted two black bears so we stopped and one acted like he wanted to come into the van so we left. (Cool!)