Category Archives: Alaska Cruise

Improving your Cruise with Best Excursions

By | Adventure, Alaska Cruise, Cruise | No Comments

Adding Shore Excursions Is EZ and Better with Help!

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Sure, you can book your shore excursions on the cruise ship – it seems like the safest way to go, but is it the best way to go?

When EZTravelPad cruises we book our excursions sometimes with the cruise line and more often with 3rd party vendors – why? – for a better experience!

Choosing the right shore excursions on your cruise vacation is an important part of the overall planning so get the help you deserve

Often the cruise line excursions are packed with dozens and dozens of people while the 3rd party excursion might be a much smaller group – like this glacier trek we did in Alaska – just 2 guides and 10 guests, the experience was unforgettable!

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Same with our whale watching excursion in Alaska – very intimate.

We have had the same sorts of experiences in Caribbean, for example at a place such as Stingray City in the Cayman Islands, when the cruise ships excursions had 50-60 people splashing around in the water with the stingrays, our smaller group of about 14 was much, much better and actually cost less!

Time to get started on your own shore excursions, or know someone planning a cruise this year? Share this link with them or use it yourself to  shop quickly and conveniently from home for the best shore excursions available…

Remember – even if you have booked your cruise on your own EZTravelPad is still available to help make the experience as great as it can be! Get with “Your friends….in the travel business” today, you’ll be glad you did

EZTravelPad is a travel agency helping all sots of people enjoy all sorts of vacations, and saving them money all along the way!

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Alaska Cruise – a bucket list adventure!

By | Adventure, Alaska, Alaska Cruise, Cruise | No Comments

Cruising in Alaska Is Beyond Breathtaking – It’s Life Changing

The natural beauty seems endless with the air so clean and the nature so close

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Recently some of the team here at EZTravelPad were able to both accomplish a bucket list trip and at the same time celebrate a very important birthday – a terrific celebration that was simply unforgettable. We cruised out of Vancouver on Celebrity Infinity doing a 7 night inside passage voyage to Alaska with stops at

  • Icy Strait Point (terrific whale watching!)
  • Juneau (more adventures than you can accomplish if you had a whole week)
  • Hubbard Glacier (awesome scenery)
  • Ketchikan (terrific shopping and history)

If you have cruised Alaska before then you know what I mean when I say…WOW!

If you have yet to experience this most amazing destination then you owe it to yourself to go – and go as soon as you can

One of the most amazing days was spent in Juneau on a 3.5 mile trek to the Mendenhall glacier

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The hike was difficult but worth every scrape and sore muscle . We were able to hike on the glacier (and yes, I did fall through a soft spot but no serious injuries). On the glacier we experienced the ever-changing landscape of ice caves and ice streams on this frozen river of ice which is constantly in motion.

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In Icy Strait Point the whale watching was unreal – we experienced a large pod of humpbacks bubble feeding all around us for over an hour. It is indescribable unless you have experienced it – simply awe inspiring

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Previous to the whale watching adventure was a Bear Viewing excursion (photo at the top) – bears so close that the guides with rifles were on their toes the entire time – in all we spotted 9 brown bears in their natural habitat

In Ketchikan we took a float plane through the Misty Fiords National Monument – there’s nothing quite like landing on the water deep into the Alaska wilderness!

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After the float plane adventure we got in some shopping at the historic area once built to house the first businesses…brothels which serviced the local fishermen 100 years ago….

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It’s about the nature and it’s about the beauty and it’s about the wildlife – the stunning beauty like the Hubbard Glacier pictured below…

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There are many ways to experience the awe inspiring splendor of  the largest state in the US but for most people the preferred method is on a cruise, and if that’s your choice then we strongly urge a balcony cabin – why? See for yourself – there’s nothing quite like sipping a bottle of champagne as you listen to some tunes on your bluetooth speaker watching exhilarating scenery slowly reveal itself

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and like any cruise, it’s also about the ship – and the food – and the fun on-board. Qsine is a fun restaurant that gives you the sense you have passed through the looking glass and arrived to dine with Alice or the Mad Hatter

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Of course the departure port is another big part of the overall cruise experience and I would strongly suggest planning a fewextra days pre or post-cruise to enjoy either Seattle, or North America’s top rated city – Vancouver, BC. We completely fell in love with this amazing and gorgeous city – truly a fantastic place from which to start a great adventure!

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Celebrity Infinity is a terrific choice but depending on the experiences that you want to enjoy and the destinations that are best suited to what you have in mind, either Holland America or Princess are also fantastic choices – that’s where it is helpful to get some guidance from your friends….in the travel business!

EZTravelPad is a travel agency well suited to help with your next vacation – be it to Alaska, Caribbean, Disney, Europe, South Pacific, Latin America…you name it.

Get the help and guidance that you deserve, all with no added fees and best prices guaranteed!

 

 

 

 

Zika Virus and Alaska….an inevitable link?

By | Alaska Cruise, Caribbean, Romance, Travel Tips | No Comments

What?     Zika Virus in Alaska?

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center - Alaska

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center – Alaska

 

Well…..not yet, and entirely improbable because the variety of mosquito that carries the Zika Virus lives in the tropics, so until Alaska becomes a tropical climate (after we are all long gone and forgotten) then I don’t think that will happen.

So why the provocative headline?

Simple…because if and when Zika is confirmed to have been transmitted in the state of Florida (and when could be very soon) then the map of the world where Zika has been confirmed to have been transmitted will also include Alaska because Alaska and Florida are both in the United States – follow the logic?

So where is safe to go? Where isn’t it safe to go?

As of the latest update from Sandals resorts (the Caribbean’s leader in adults-only all-inclusive resort vacations) there have been a total of only 4 reported cases of confirmed Zika transmission within the 8 islands in which Sandals operates (3 in Barbados and 1 in Jamaica – so that means 0 cases throughout the islands of the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Antigua, St Lucia and Grenada)

The Mexico Tourism Board reports 56 of the 65 reported cases to be in the most remote states and 0 reported cases in the very popular tourist areas of either Cancun / Riviera Maya or Los Cabos. Those areas appear to be “guilty by association”. Bear in mind that the resort areas are going above and beyond in controlling mosquito populations as well. See this link for more and see an excerpt below-

“Negrete noted that the Zika maps that have been released by the CDC simply show entire countries where there have been reported Zika cases, rather than pinpointing where Zika has been found within those countries.”

So what is the conclusion? We don’t know…it is too early to know conclusively whether or not there is a definitive link between Zika Virus and Microcephaly (the disease that can cause babies to be born with abnormally small heads and other conditions), and if there is proven to be a link then knowing definitively where it’s safe (and not safe) to live & play can still be a moving target.

So what can you do to be safe? Make your own decisions – read – ask  – think. If you decide that it’s likely safe for you to vacation at an all-inclusive resort that is taking extraordinary precautions to ensure your safety then you’ll most likely be fine….and if you decide that you don’t want to take that risk because you are thinking of becoming pregnant then EZTravelPad can also help you with a cruise in Alaska where you should be perfectly safe (as long as you’re not eaten by a bear)

Here’s a link to MUCH more info from the World Health Organization

For complimentary help with vacation planning and a best price guarantee contact “Your friends….in the travel business” at EZTravelPad

Dreaming of….Alaska Cruising

By | Alaska, Alaska Cruise | No Comments

in a little over 5 months EZTravelPad will be cruising to Alaska – will you be joining us?

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Planning for an Alaska Cruise offers many more possibilities for different sorts of adventures than the past several Caribbean cruises that I have experienced so even though I have advised many people on things that they could experience, this time it’s for me…and my wife…and there are so many options that the choices are difficult!

For sure we need to experience a whale watching expedition and since I have heard from many travel agent friends that some of the best whale watching is at Icy Strait Point – and since that just happens to be one of our stops, and since they guarantee that you will see whales at Icy Straight Point, I think this choice is a no-brainer….

 

…of course we can’t pass up the world’s longest zip-line now can we? Fortunately there is a combo tour that allows for both, and includes transportation!

As for Ketchikan and Juneau the choices might be tougher

In Juneau there are tours ranging from a Salmon Bake  – to – Helicopter & Dog Sled Tour – to – Flightseeing over a Glacier – Private Trek & Climb on Mendenhall Glacier – to – Fishing or Floating or Kayaking….not gonna be an easy choice!

It doesn’t get any easier in Ketchikan with options such as Bear viewing, Rainforest Hiking, Flightseeing in a Seaplane, plus more ziplining, whale watching, canoeing, fishing, learning about native culture and so much more….

Stay tuned as we keep planning (and let us know if you want to come along – it’s still not too late!)

Celebrity Infinity departs from Vancouver on Aug 14th for 7 nights cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage

For more info contact scott@eztravelpad.com