From: John Sisker on
Just for reference Marcia, we ourselves have opted for the Princess
sponsored shore excursion for the White Pass Railroad in Skagway, which is
indeed $125 per person. Our scheduled time is 8:10 am to 11:00 am. This is
for our Alaska Cruise/Tour this coming August. This will also leave us time
for some shopping and additional picture opportunities after the train trip,
along with plenty of time to get back to the ship before it sails. We
normally choose early excursion times, just for this reason.

In addition, we don't always go for the ship sponsored shore excursions, but
in this particular case, it made more sense to us to do so. We certainly
don't want to head out for the railroad on our own, simply to discover it is
sold out. In addition, many will point out that normally the ship/cruise
sponsored shore excursions are more expensive than trying to do the same
thing on your own. While this is somewhat true for the most part, at least
to us, the added connections and security is well worth the extra money. We
didn't get this far to start taking changes just to save a buck or two.

Obviously, the cheapest thing to do would be to simply stay on the ship and
do nothing. That way, one will save a ton of money and won't have to worry
about the ship leaving without them. Giving this extreme end of the scenario
is simply to point out that sometimes penny wise and pound foolish is not
always the way to go.

Yet, every time we hear someone complain about the price for shore
excursions, it reminds us of a father we overheard in Hawaii talking to his
kids. "We don't have the money to do these extra things," he said... "we
spent all the money getting here."

In our case, if we don't have the extra money, we simply wait until we do.
There is no point in going anywhere, then doing basically nothing once we
get there. Of course, in a few cases, some do opt to stay on the ship while
in port. But usually the scenic places are not one of them... and besides,
we talking about the White Pass Railroad here. I love trains; it is a must
for me.

John Sisker - SHIP-TO-SHORE CRUISE AGENCY´┐Ż
(714) 536-3850 or toll-free at (800) 724-6644 & (Agency ID: 714.536.3850)
www.shiptoshorecruise.com / www.tinplatedesign.com >
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From: Nanzi on


Great clear concise info Island Grampa, thanks. We're thinking about
going North too.
Nan in De
From: George on
We took the option of the Bus ride up to Carcross and the train ride
back down to Skagway. We were blessed with a gorgeous day (it was in
June). We got to see more variety of scenery because of the different
route (slightly) up and back. I don't know if the weather had been
poorer whether we'd have enjoyed it as much though as the whole point
is to see the beautiful scenery.

It was worth every penny.

George
From: D Ball on
Marcia,

I can think of a lot of ways to spend $30, so I'm one that would lean
toward booking with the railroad directly. The issues are timing and
ability to walk.

As indicated, the sole benefit you will get for that $30 is, the
cruise-line contracted train segment will board/unload at the Princess
dock vs. at the depot in town. (The cruise line train cars are not any
nicer, and all the trains go up and down the same tracks!)
Disembarking in town would require you to take a walk back to the ship
that takes about 15 minutes, as best as I can recall--that is what you
should check out if (a) the timing of your ship's "back on board"
deadline is in play, or (b) walking distances is a problem for either
of you. (Hope your guy is feeling better!) There are also town-dock
shuttles for a small fee, maybe $1, but of course, you can't rely on
one being there when you need it.

Here's the train company map showing where you will board and get off
the train if you book directly with the railroad. The depot is at 1st
or 2nd and Broadway (where their circular logo is splashed). See the
Railroad Dock--that is where your ship will be located.

http://wpyr.com/reservationroundtrip.html See, also,
http://www.wpyr.com/explore/maps.html

Here is the Skagway cruise ship calendar. Note the explanation that
ships assigned to the RRF dock (covers all Princess ships, I think)
are positioned forward on the Railroad Dock. http://www.skagway.com/cruiseshipcalendar.html

The excursion length described on the railway site is 3 to 3.5 hours.
Remember, when you're working with your ship's published departure
time, subtract 1 hour (if your port time is 8-6, for example, you will
have to be back on board by 5 or 5:30, always best to plan on the most
conservative allowance of 1 hour). Clearly, you will want to take the
Princess train if the timing is anywhere within an hour--stress-free,
better safe than sorry. Otherwise, if there's a 1+ hour margin, you'll
have no problem.

If you decide to book directly with the train, do it online in
advance--if you wait until you are in Skagway, you could be
disappointed to find the trains are full.

Hope this helps more than muddies the waters!

Diana Ball
Austin, TX
From: Marcia R. on
George wrote:
> We took the option of the Bus ride up to Carcross and the train ride
> back down to Skagway. We were blessed with a gorgeous day (it was in
> June). We got to see more variety of scenery because of the different
> route (slightly) up and back. I don't know if the weather had been
> poorer whether we'd have enjoyed it as much though as the whole point
> is to see the beautiful scenery.
>
> It was worth every penny.
>
> George

Thank you all so much for your replies.

Marcia
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