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Baked Alaska
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We are scheduled for July 2019 Southbound Alaska on ROTS. We have the following shore excursions booked and would be interested in your experiences. DS will be 14 1/2 on this trip.

In ANC two days before embarkation Rust's Fly-out Fly fishing.

Day 3 Juneau Fly-Out Fly Fishing (DH and DS), Mount Roberts Tramway (will buy tickets on shore) whole family, and Tracy's King Crab Shack (late lunch/early dinner) whole family

Day 4 Skagway On our own: Klondike Gold Rush/National Historic Park whole family @twangster: Many thanks for the recommendation

Day 5 Icy Strait Point In Alaska's Wildest Kitchen (me), Icy Strait Point Stream Fishing (DH and DS)

Day 6 Ketchikan Knudson Cove Salmon Fishing whole family, hopefully will have Mystery Dinner theater this evening.

Day 7 Cruising Hello Chops!

 

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18 hours ago, Baked Alaska said:

We are scheduled for July 2019 Southbound Alaska on ROTS. We have the following shore excursions booked and would be interested in your experiences. DS will be 14 1/2 on this trip.

In ANC two days before embarkation Rusty's Fly-out Fly fishing.

Go to the Anchorage Museum - it was wonderful! Great exhibits detailing life and culture of native Alaskans (Tlingit, etc.). We could have spent a couple days there!! We also did Trolley tour which was informative.

Day 3 Juneau Fly-Out Fly Fishing (DH and DS), Mount Roberts Tramway (will buy tickets on shore) whole family, and Tracy's King Crab Shack (late lunch/early dinner) whole family

We did whale watching and Mendenhall Glacier before eating gimongous crab legs at Tracy's. Crab legs and soup were delicious and really enjoyed the root beer! Tram was down for awhile when we were there so did not get to ride.

Day 4 Skagway On our own: Klondike Gold Rush/National Historic Park whole family @twangster: Many thanks for the recommendation

Day 5 Icy Strait Point In Alaska's Wildest Kitchen (me), Icy Strait Point Stream Fishing (DH and DS)

My wife did the Wildest Kitchen and loved it. We got our case of canned salmon a few days after we got home and my wife is using the ideas/recipes she got to make some delicious food! She really enjoyed it and the salmon cakes she makes now are delicious. I went birdwatching and saw folks fishing in at least one stream that we passed

Day 6 Ketchikan Knudson Cove Salmon Fishing whole family

We went on the duckboat and after what happened in Missouri I would not recommend it!

We were there 6/22-6/29 so the salmon run had not started yet.

We had a FANTASTIC time in June and planning another Alaska cruise in 2020!!

 

 

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@KJ1231 So just a few minutes ago I reserved our train seats on the Goldstar service from ANC to Seward (Yes, July 2019 rezis, already!) and reserved our room at the Lakefront Anchorage. We are taking the Goldstar service the morning of embarkation (yawwwwnnnnnn 6:45AM) and arriving in Seward for ROTS embarkation around 1130/1200. My question to you and @twangster, is there any sort of Royal Caribbean check-in for ROTS in ANC? I could have sworn, reading a liveblog, that they were able to check in for the Radiance cruise in ANC. 

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32 minutes ago, Baked Alaska said:

@KJ1231 So just a few minutes ago I reserved our train seats on the Goldstar service from ANC to Seward (Yes, July 2019 rezis, already!) and reserved our room at the Lakefront Anchorage. We are taking the Goldstar service the morning of embarkation (yawwwwnnnnnn 6:45AM) and arriving in Seward for ROTS embarkation around 1130/1200. My question to you and @twangster, is there any sort of Royal Caribbean check-in for ROTS in ANC? I could have sworn, reading a liveblog, that they were able to check in for the Radiance cruise in ANC. 

Did you book direct with the railroad?

If so, you have to go to the train station downtown, not the airport.  The airport station is where the train picks up for the transfer charter booked through Royal.

I booked direct with the railroad in 2017.  My blog starts here:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/5211-alaska-recap-celebrity-millennium-june-2017/&do=findComment&comment=51827

I took my hotel shuttle to the train.  Early wasn't a problem because my body clock was 2 hours earlier than local time.  

Once at the station they had a tent like structure outside where they accepted bags for the ship.  At this point it was like arriving at a cruise terminal anywhere.  Ship luggage tags on, hand them my bags, give them a few bucks and walk into the train station to check in and get my tickets.  

Luggage is actually put on a truck and driven to the ship.  No sense wasting space on a train for luggage, they would rather add another passenger car.  I never saw my luggage again until it was outside the cabin door on the ship.  

It's a small train station and will become packed later so I'd advise getting there early.  There was a small store with train souvenirs.  Not much else and it became pretty packed so I waited outside and watched the train pull up.  

In this Google Earth screen shot you can see the train station and a white tent building beside it where they collected luggage.

 

558174003_anctrainstation.jpeg.d47e7f45549a16d6c1ee4cc405c44407.jpeg

Once you arrive in Seward you are approximately 1/2 mile from the ship and cruise terminal.   They have free buses or you can walk like I did.  Because you will never see your luggage until on board the ship, make sure all your cruise docs and passports are with you on the train, not in your checked bags, just like when arriving at a cruise terminal in Florida.  

Once at the Seward cruise terminal you check in and get your seapass card. 

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I booked with Royal for my trip in a few weeks.  That train stops very close to the cruise terminal but Goldstar wasn't available on it when I booked.  I wanted to try it compared to direct.

Here is the train station inside when you book direct.  When you first get there you need to get your train tickets at the window toward the left.  Do this as soon as you get there because lines will get long.  Then it's just a matter of waiting until they open the doors to board the train.  It's assigned seating so no need to be the first out the door.

1672558755_ANCTrainStation.jpg.ed41d817bd06111757c3a5f8dc0de0df.jpg

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Here is the Seward cruise terminal as seen once on board the ship.  The train in this photo is the charter train booked through the cruise line.

 Alaska-49aa.jpg

For a train booked direct, the Seward train station is 1/2 mile from the cruise terminal. 

1714979945_SewardGE.jpeg.47583d4615c2b7f4134616d9fd5c52b8.jpeg

In the upper left of this Google Earth screen shot you can see the Seward train station labeled "Alaskan Railroad Corporation" and toward the right the cruise terminal labelled "Dale R. Lindsey Intermodal Facility".  You can see it's not a long walk at all and after sitting on a train for 4 hours it felt good to walk.

In that port area to the right of the cruise terminal we saw a humpback whale feeding as soon I ventured onto my balcony while we were still tied up at the pier.  Keep an eye out for wildlife.

Alaska-101.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

Here is the Seward cruise terminal as seen once on board the ship.  The train in this photo is the charter train booked through the cruise line.

 [pic]

For a train booked direct, the Seward train station is 1/2 mile from the cruise terminal. 

[pic]

In the upper left of this Google Earth screen shot you can see the Seward train station labeled "Alaskan Railroad Corporation" and toward the right the cruise terminal labelled "Dale R. Lindsey Intermodal Facility".  You can see it's not a long walk at all and after sitting on a train for 4 hours it felt good to walk.

In that port area to the right of the cruise terminal we saw a humpback whale feeding as soon I ventured onto my balcony while we were still tied up at the pier.  Keep an eye out for wildlife.

 

 

So, really there are TWO trains? One booked through RCCL (above) and then the other (not pictured?), booked through Alaska Railroad? For the train that is not booked through the cruiseline, how close to the cruise terminal does it get you? The reason for my asking all this, is that I really like the idea of checking in for the whole day ONCE at ANC airport (train and cruise).

Love that last pic!

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9 minutes ago, Baked Alaska said:

So, really there are TWO trains? One booked through RCCL (above) and then the other (not pictured?), booked through Alaska Railroad? For the train that is not booked through the cruiseline, how close to the cruise terminal does it get you? The reason for my asking all this, is that I really like the idea of checking in for the whole day ONCE at ANC airport (train and cruise).

Love that last pic!

There are two trains.  Both trains simply get you to the cruise terminal.  In both cases you need to check in for the cruise and get your seapass card in the cruise terminal.  

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Goldstar service became available today for the direct train on the 31st.  So I've cancelled the train through Royal and I am booked Goldstar direct with the railroad.  

I'm glad I grabbed it while I could.  Checking back and it looks like I got the last Goldstar seat.  Only Adventure class tickets are available now.

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

Goldstar service became available today for the direct train on the 31st.  So I've cancelled the train through Royal and I am booked Goldstar direct with the railroad.  

I'm glad I grabbed it while I could.  Checking back and it looks like I got the last Goldstar seat.  Only Adventure class tickets are available now.

Good deal! 

I did further research. The Grandview train is the one offered through Royal. It does not have Goldstar service (meals and 2 bar drinks included - Mimosa, anyone? It's 645 AM!). Also, the Goldstar service from Alaska Railroad (booking direct with www.alaskatrain.com) will get you at Seward by 11:30am or so. The Grandview train, offered by Royal, has you arriving later in the day 4/4:30pm.

Grandview RCCL info: http://www.royalcaribbean.com/contentWithHero.do?pagename=us_direct_grandview_transfer

Alaska Railroad Goldstar service info: https://www.alaskatrain.com/service/goldstar-dome.html

I just received my confirmation email (about 4 hours from when I booked): 

Thank you for your booking with AlaskaTrain.com.  

We are in the final weeks of completing our 2018 summer season and are preparing to launch our 2019 reservation system  the first week of October.  Your reservation has been confirmed. We will process your payment, and email your confirmation and itinerary on October 2nd.  

Because of the Goldstar service, the domed cars, and early arrival, we will forgo the ANC airport check-in. So, hopefully, we're good to go! @twangster I think between the two of us, we're coming up with some outstanding Alaska cruise itineraries!! 

 

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