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Old 02-16-2013, 07:57 PM   #16
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I hadn't realized you'd be gone so long! Great plans so far! You are going to have some great views out of that window too.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:13 PM   #17
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Sounds like a fantastic way to mark 60 !!! I look forward to all the wonderful pictures you will take. Good luck with the fitness program. I was inspired by the marathon reports too and signed up at my local Running Room for a program starting in March.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:16 PM   #18
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Great plans! Are you planning a whale watching excursion in Juneau? That's one of the best ports for it (if you have time)!

Hope you make it back to FL!
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:24 PM   #19
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How cool that you have a door from your cabin directly onto the top deck!
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:47 PM   #20
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This trip really intrigues me. Sounds like a great thing to start thinking about for DH and I to do some day.
I really feel you on the out of shape stuff. I used to walk 5 miles 5-6 times a week and have become just horribly lazy. Just a short walk around the neighborhood tires me. I keep telling myself to get up and do something but myself keeps ignoring me!!!!
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:46 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by num1DVCfan View Post
I hadn't realized you'd be gone so long! Great plans so far! You are going to have some great views out of that window too.
It does sound like a long trip, but I imagine it will go fast.

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Originally Posted by rlb38 View Post
Sounds like a fantastic way to mark 60 !!! I look forward to all the wonderful pictures you will take. Good luck with the fitness program. I was inspired by the marathon reports too and signed up at my local Running Room for a program starting in March.
The PassPorter runners probably inspired a number of us with their great reports. I imagine I will be taking lots of photos

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Great plans! Are you planning a whale watching excursion in Juneau? That's one of the best ports for it (if you have time)!
Hope you make it back to FL!
Thanks, Marnie. I've been considering it, but I'm thinking we should have opportunities to see some whales during the three weeks of the cruise.

It took us 20 hours of airports and airplanes to get to Florida, and another 5 hr drive to get home. But, it's all good now - I told Lou it was a good warm-up for the Alaska flights.

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Originally Posted by pamcarey View Post
How cool that you have a door from your cabin directly onto the top deck!
Thanks - of course, others might see into the room sometimes too, because I doubt we will close the curtains except when sleeping.

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Originally Posted by mcneal View Post
This trip really intrigues me. Sounds like a great thing to start thinking about for DH and I to do some day.
I really feel you on the out of shape stuff. I used to walk 5 miles 5-6 times a week and have become just horribly lazy. Just a short walk around the neighborhood tires me. I keep telling myself to get up and do something but myself keeps ignoring me!!!!
Thanks for stopping by. The hardest part for me is getting started when it comes to exercise!
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:04 AM   #22
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Yeah! I just found this!

Your plans look great!!! That is a small boat! but definitely looks interesting! Amazing opportunity! Will you be able to stay in the same Ann unpacked for all 3 legs?

Good luck with the couch to 5k! Got to get myself going actually!
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:57 AM   #23
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Yeah! I just found this!

Your plans look great!!! That is a small boat! but definitely looks interesting! Amazing opportunity! Will you be able to stay in the same Ann unpacked for all 3 legs?

Good luck with the couch to 5k! Got to get myself going actually!
We are on the same boat for the first two weeks. After Week No. 1, we do get off in Ketchikan, but our stuff stays on the boat, and they will do our laundry. For Week No. 3, we switch to a different, but similar boat. We will have to pack then, but they hold our stuff while we explore Juneau again.

Packing will be a challenge, even with the laundry help.

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Old 02-18-2013, 09:26 AM   #24
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How We Picked this Adventure

We knew we wanted to do a smaller ship. Innerseas ( now the name is "UnCruise") was part of American Safari, and was using ships previously owned by Glacier Bay and Cruise West. The American Safari part of the company offers even smaller ships and more luxury, but is also more expensive. The other option was Lindblad, who hosts the National Geographic Tours. They are also more expensive, but did have the advantage of offering tours geared to photographers.

We couldn't find many reviews of the Innerseas Adventures, but decided to go with them because of the option to do the longer cruising time. I've since seen a dozen reviews, and all are good except for one disgruntled couple.

The smaller ship should offer the opportunity to get closer to shore and go places the larger ships can't. It is also equipped with skiffs to take you on shore adventures, as well as kayaks, paddle boards, and snorkeling equipment. I doubt we'll need the last two. We also liked the fact that all of our time will be in the Inside Passage and We will also have 3 days in Glacier Bay.

The land package was booked through the cruise line. We could probably have saved money doing it ourselves, but this was easier and will include all luggage transfers, transportation and lodging. Lou booked everything through a travel agent recommended by the UnCruise, and actually made the reservation 18 months ago, before the 2013 dates were on the website.

We leave on one of their first sailings for the season. I was worried about going in mid-May, but I guess the weather is a risk at anytime in Alaska. May reportedly has less rain than later summer months, but we'll see. Wildlife sightings are another variable that is hard to predict. We will miss the salmon run, but supposedly it's possible to see bears on the coastline, and there should be whales in a number of the areas we'll visit. Hopefully, we will have decent weather and wildlife viewing during at least parts of the trip, since we'll have three weeks on the water.

We are also looking at doing at least one flight seeing trip - possibly to Redoubt Bay to see bears on our last day in Anchorage.

30 Days is a long trip, and it is still difficult to accept this is possible - just one of the good things about retirement - there is no need to rush home for work. I think the ideal trip would be two weeks cruising, two weeks exploring on land. But, we didn't want to have to worry about driving, and we are comfortable being on the boat for most of the trip.


Here's another map showing the full course for the 3 week cruise:

Week 1 - Juneau to Ketchikan

Week 2 - Ketchikan to Juneau

Week 3 - Juneau to Sitka, where we'll fly to Fairbanks to catch the train to Denali


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Old 02-18-2013, 11:32 AM   #25
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It sounds like this is going to be quite an adventure. I can't wait to see all of your pictures. Alaska is at the top of my bucket list.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:45 PM   #26
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Amazing adventure. Who is looking after Natasha ?
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:58 PM   #27
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I love the idea of doing three consecutive cruises along the passage, giving you a chance to get into all the nooks and crannies with the smaller ship. I agree that with the smaller ship and three weeks you have a pretty good chance of seeing whales at some point. I wonder if I'll ever get used to the fact that I'm retired and don't need to ask for time off or plan flights to make sure I'll be back for work! For my 60th I did a DCL Panama cruise. This just sounds great.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:34 PM   #28
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What a wonderful plan. If I could do a month - I think I would do the 2/2 system - with at least 3/4 days at Denali and 3/4 days at Katmai National Park. Can't wait to read all about your trip!!
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:50 PM   #29
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It all sounds amazing to me.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:56 PM   #30
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Great plans!!
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