My family has a cruise booked for July 2012. The itinerary is Whittier, Hubbard Glacier, Glacier Bay, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, and ending in Vancouver. We have two children who will be 7 and 10 yrs. This is our first cruise as a family. My husband and I have had a couple short Caribbean cruises, but never bothered with excursions on our own because all we were interested in was finding a local beach to snorkel. This is a completely different experience for us.
I am on a budget too. We are willing to spend to get the experience, but I want to be smart about who I book through so I'm not paying extra booking fees, etc. I'm not sure booking through the cruise line is the best, but I want to shop my options. I would appreciate any tips on where to begin my search.
My biggest challenge is to add on a short trip to the beginning of our vacation. We will be flying into Anchorage and I would love to take the kids on the train to Denali, take a Denali guided tour, and then back to Whittier. It looks like I could do that in a 3 day add on, but I don't have a clue where to begin. Will I need a rental car? Are there any package deals or should I be booking everything separately? Secondly, are there any "must-do" excursions for any of the ports I listed? I would love to take the kids on a dog-sled ride!
I could really use some direction and advice. Thanks so much!