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

rayliang's Port Reviews of Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Whittier
Diamond Princess cruise in August 2011
Member Name: rayliang
Cruise Date: August 2011
Embarkation: Vancouver
Destination: Alaska
Member Review: rayliang's Diamond Princess Review
Ketchikan
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We had 7 days of rain on our 7 days of cruise, so my review might not be the same as others.

I hired Ketchikan Taxi Cab Tour and got David as our driver. He was very informative and helpful, giving us a lot of information about various points of interests on Ketchikan. He taken us to the Potlatch Park and we saw many totem poles and buildings. We learned a lot about the local people and enjoy the location very much. He also had umbrellas and binoculars for us to use.

David also taken us to a stream near the Ketchikan zipline tour are. We saw a lot of salmons, and we saw a yearling bear, a momma bear, and 2 cubs.

Too bad because of the rain, we didn't want to tour Ketchikan proper, so I never really got to see much of Creek Street.



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Juneau
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Rain again :(

We rented a minivan from Rent-A-Wreck. We got an old Dodge Grand Caravan. The car worked well.

We drove to the Mendenhall Glacier, but because of the rain, we only stood at the visitor's center and taken pictures. We also saw some bears near the glacier. However given the glaciers we saw latter in our cruise, I now think the visit to Mendenhall as a bit redundant. However that could just be because of the rain making our visit less then ideal.

We then visited the Salmon Hatchery. The place is worth a visit. The tour guide at the hatchery did a decent job with explaining the facility and salmon in general.

We then visited the Last Chance Mining Museum. The drive to the museum is a lot of fun, though the museum itself can be skipped. There's not much to see there except the electric generator. You don't get to visit any mine shafts. We did see people panning for gold in the stream in front of the museum.

We ate lunch at Tracy's King Crab Shack. Its located right next to the library. The food is excellent, though to have a decent meal, you should expect to spend about $25 / person on average. The crab legs are great, the crab bisque are great, the crab cake can be skipped. I'd recommend park at the library parking lot, go up to the parking lot to register your parking and spend some time there, then go eat at Tracy's.

We then visited the Alaska Legislature building. The tour there is very good and informative, and is worth a trip. Parking near the building might be a little problematic, as only street parking is available.

We didn't shop or walk around Juneau downtown, mostly because of the rain.


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Skagway
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We rented a minivan from Sourdough Car Rental. Sourdough is about 0.7 mile walk from the dock, or you can take the $2 shuttle from the dock into town. We hired a tour guide from Dyea Dave. Debbie did a good job guiding us around.

Because of the rain and the fog, we didn't see much on our drive up toward Yukon. We didn't get out of the weather until we got pass Frasier. After taken the drive though, I'm more convinced then ever that the train ride is NOT worth the money. The scenery between Frasier and Carcross are beautiful and very much worth the drive. The drive is easy and relaxing.

We visited Carcross, which is a pretty quaint little town and worth walking around. We visited Emerald Lake. The place is beautiful. We then drove back toward Skageway and stopped at the Yukon Suspension Bridge. This little tourist trap is not bad at all, and the view of the canyon from the bridge is fun, though I kind of think its not worth the ticket price if you need to pay for it. Debbie had tickets so we got in and had fun. The suspension bridge has a lot of info about the Klondike gold strike and the gold seekers, which is very nice. We also drove to the Chilkook Trail entrance, and the drive to the trail entrance along is worth it, as the view are just beautiful and different then the drive up to Yukon.

Skagway proper is a fun little town to walk around. The Klondike Gold Rush National Reserve visitor center has a very nice exhibit and a lot of information about the Klondike gold rush and is worth the visit. Overall the town of Skagway is just a big tourist trap.



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Whittier
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Not much to see in Whittier. Our disembarkation is very fast though. Even though we were asked to disembark on 6:50am, I think you should just take your time and go down in a latter time. We got our luggage by 7:15am and had to sit around and wait for over an hour before our bus came. We booked with Alaska Cruise Transfer and Tour for their 3 hour tour. We left Whittier on time and drove pass Portage Glacier. WE didn't stop because the rain and fog masked the glacier. We stopped at the Alaska Wildlife Reserve. This is a fun place worth visiting, and we saw many musk oxes, reindeer, and bears.



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