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Home > Member Reviews > mforkner's Port Reviews of Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Whittier

mforkner's Port Reviews of Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Whittier
Island Princess cruise in May 2011
Member Name: mforkner
Cruise Date: May 2011
Embarkation: Vancouver
Destination: Alaska
Member Review: mforkner's Island Princess Review
Ketchikan
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Did no excursion here - hired a cab for a tour and trip to Totem Bight Park. The park was interesting, the town is pretty and we did a lot of walking around. Found a shop we really liked, Julies, and completed a lot of our obligatory gift purchases. I purchased earrings and necklace for my wife that were made by a local who happened to work there and truly enjoyed chatting with him.

Be sure to check the steeple of the white church just beside the dock location. The First Lutheran Church is the favorite perch for the aptly named Bald Eagle, Luther.



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Juneau
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Town was not overly impressive - did one excursion - a combination Salmon hatchery, Mendenhall Glacier, Salmon Bake. The trip was boring, the hatchery had no fish due to the season (interesting, but too long a stay for nothing to see, Mendenhall is beautiful and we saw our first Mountain Goats. The Salmon Bake was perhaps the best meal of the week! The driver was a bit glib and obviously had to read books on the area - he just had moved from Brooklyn. I would do the Glacier and the Salmon bake again. Town was not great for shopping unless you were looking for jewelry.


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Skagway
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Beautiful little town - we took a Princess excursion into the Yukon that was a highlight of the entire trip. We left early AM And were gone about 8 hours. The trip paralleled the White Pass and Yukon Railroad, but went on much further. The turnaround was an old trading post location that house the most spectacular taxidermy museum I have ever seen. Our driver, Megan, was excellent, funny and full of tales. She was great about photo stops and actually went on a couple of miles further than the planned turnaround to a beautiful site, Emerald Lake. Our Yukon excursion was great! In talking to those who did the train, I really believe we had the more enjoyable excursion. Seeing our first wild bear was a highlight.

The town had some nice shops, but, once again for a town of about 800, 23 jewelry stores seems like overkill.



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Whittier
Port Rating: 0.0 out of 5+
All we did here was disembark and hop on a bus (not sponsored by Princess) for a ride to Anchorage. The trip was nice and there was a canned CD that had good information, but our blowhard, braggart driver, (who told a tale of nearly being eaten by a 1,500 black bear). he ruined the trip and I didn't feel like telling him the average black bear would hardly outweigh him and that the record one (from North Carolina) was less than 900 lbs. Arguing with him would have been futile ... he also told of his "deadliest catch" experience - again, I think he had some exaggeration involved, but that would only be a guess on my part (although I doubt it's 90 below on board those ships).

Anchorage was good - highly recommend Flattop (watch for moose on the drive up) for viewing and City Diner for eating. We rented a car and drove to Seward - more spectacular scenery and wildlife. we visited Exit Glacier which was interesting and returned to Anchorage for some final shopping and departure home.



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