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Home > Member Reviews > pablo312's Port Reviews of Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Vancouver

pablo312's Port Reviews of Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Vancouver
Coral Princess cruise in June 2012
Member Name: pablo312
Cruise Date: June 2012
Embarkation: Whittier
Destination: Alaska
Member Review: pablo312's Coral Princess Review
Scenic Drive Rating: 2.0 out of 5+
My wife and I took the Emerald Lake-Carcross tour with Dyea Dave in late June of 2012. In addition to the tour, we planned to take the train from Fraser back to Skagway. I was advised by Dave to reserve tickets for the train ride before our cruise which we did. We met Dave at the dock. Dave was not going to be our tour guide. Our tour guide was Shelby. Shelby took us to the ticket office, so I could get our train tickets. We had other tours during the trip, and those guides had an enthusiasm for their job. I can't say the same for Shelby. It appeared that she viewed herself as a bus driver and not a tour guide. Her commentary on the various sites was brief. Our stops at the sights seemed rushed. Our city tour consisted of a quick drive-thru.

We were put off by her action at a restroom stop. My wife and I were the last in line for chemical toilets at a Canadian park. While in the restroom, I heard the bus start it's engine. When my wife and I got out of the restrooms, the bus wasn't in front of the wooden walkway that led tothe toilets. We walked down the walkway and saw the bus. At this point, the bus drove off. I guess we were supposed to run after her. When she saw we weren't, she finally circled back and picked us up. We conveyed that her joke misfired. We didn't expect receiving a high school joke from a professional tour company.

At the Fraser rail stop, Shelby did wait for the train to arrive and got our tickets . She walked us to the rail car and left. We were impressed by the tour guide with Chilkoot Tours who followed his group onto the train and ensured they were seated in the right locations for the best views of scenery. He also pointed out location of the restrooms, drinking water, and viewing platforms. He was very personable.

The scenery in the Yukon was very pretty and recommend going to see it. I included some pictures of the scenery. We would advise using someone other than Dyea Dave. I wish we had used Chilkoot Tours. Based on past reviews on TA and postings on Cruisecritic, Dyea Dave is good to use if Dave is your tour guide. If you get someone other than Dave, then the quality of your experience is very uncertain.

White Pass Scenic Railway Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We enjoyed the WP&Y train ride. Riding on a train that is cut on the side of a mountain is awesome. We rode from Frazer to Skagway and would recommend that route.

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Mount Roberts Tramway Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We rode the Mt Roberts Tram while in Juneau. It was a sunny, clear day. Amazing views of the city and surrounding area. Lots of attractions and hiking trails on top of the mountain. This is a great tour to do on a clear day.

Whale Watching Rating: 5+ out of 5+
My wife and I took the whale watching tour with Orca Enterprises in June of 2012.Jeff and Capt. Josh were great. We had 15 passengers on the boat, so everyone had ample opportunity to climb the ladder to the upper deck. Only 6 people were allowed on the upper deck. Jeff gave a thorough talk at the start of the tour about the humpback whale and their feeding behaviors. Capt. Josh did a great job locating the whales. We saw many. He also pointed out the acrobatics of the bald eagle in diving for fish. We saw at least 10 bald eagles at close range on the water. We had a sunny day, so the boat ride was also enjoyable. Jeff and Capt. Josh are very personable and enthusiastic. We enjoyed this excursion.

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Misty Fjords Flightseeing Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
My wife and I were booked on the Misty Fjord-Glacier tour with Family Air (Dave is the owner and pilot) on 6/23/12. We selected Dave and Family Air because he is the only flightseeing company that would book a glacier flight for only 2 people. The other companies require a minimum of 4 people. Gretchen picked us up in front of our cruise ship dock. She was very friendly. It was a sunny day in Ketchikan, but that was causing turbulence. Dave said that the flight over the glaciers might be very turbulent, but still safe for flying. Dave said it would be our choice if we wanted to proceed with that portion of the tour, and he would credit our credit card for this portion of the tour if we chose not to proceed. This was our first experience on a seaplane, and we loved the experience. My wife could have done without the turbulence, but Dave has no control over the weather. Even with the turbulence, she did not experience any airsickness and still enjoyed the flight. We decided to not do the glacier tour. The Misty Fjord tour was great. The scenery was very pretty. It was a cool experience flying into a fjord. My wife likes waterfalls and we saw plenty of these. Dave is very personable and gave great commentary on Ketchikan, the island, and the fjords. The turbulence prevented us from landing on the lake and going ashore. He did do a water landing near a friend's boat. They had just caught a 50 lb fish. It would have been great to land in the lake and walk on shore, but standing on the pontoons in Misty Fjords was a good consolation. We enjoyed the trip and I would like to return to Ketchikan on a cloudy (hopefully not rainy) day to fly over the glacier on Dave's plane.

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City Tour Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We took the City and Stanley Park tour through Princess Cruise Lines. The tour also included a transfer from the ship to the Vancouver. We enjoyed this tour. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and personable. We enjoyed the stop in Stanley Park which has great views of the city.

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