Tracy and Chris are avid cruisers. They took a round trip from Seattle Alaska cruise in 2017. Here's their review of the ports.
Like many people, an Alaskan Cruise was a bucket-list item for us. Here’s what we did at each port while we were cruising. Angie is a pro when it comes to booking Alaskan cruises, but if you have questions and want to contact us directly, feel free to ask Angie for our contact information. --Tracy & Chris Dietel
This was the coldest and rainiest port we have ever traveled to. Through a company called Juneau Tours, we took a whale-watching excursion and glacier combo tour. First, we went to Mendenhall Glacier. We brought "frog togs" and they worked perfectly to keep us dry. While at the glacier, you could walk out to get a closer view and to also see Nugget Falls. This was about a 30 minute walk each way. Then, we went on the whale watching tour. This company was excellent and we recommend using them. On the way back to the cruise port, we got dropped off in town and walked around a bit. There are stores there and restaurants and we stopped at ate at one of them. Although beautiful, it was a gloomy place with all of the rain.
This was probably our favorite Alaskan port. We went through Chilkoot Tours and had a guide named Brian who was awesome. We got to stop and see many fun and beautiful sights as we drove into Canada. Once in Canada, we visited a musher's camp and Carcross (local town). Afterwards, we took the narrow gauge train back to the port. While on the train, you can stand between the cars (outside) and get good pictures and views. We highly recommend Chilkoot.
For this day, it was convenient to have a balcony cabin. Angie even helped us book one that gave us extra space on the balcony. Bring warm clothes (hat and gloves) and plan to get up early (6am) on this day to view the wildlife and fully experience the glaciers. There was a lot of calving (sounds like thunder) of the glaciers. It was cold and rainy basically the whole time, but you get rather close to the Glacier.
We did a floatplane experience with Isl9and Wings company. If you do a floatplane...book outside the cruise ship because it is much cheaper. (Angie's note - Just make you understand the cancellation policies. Ships can be delayed or the itinerary can switch based on safety considerations.) We did the Misty Fjords tour and it was awesome, although adding a wildlife (bears) stop to this would have been cool. There is a lot of shopping downtown after the excursion.
We took a shuttle bus directly from the port to downtown. It will pick up approximately every hour to return to the port. While downtown we walked to some local breweries and shops. We enjoyed Flavoris Chocolat, a local chocolate ice cream shop. Victoria was an awesome town and it was really fun to be there at night.
If you want to explore is an Alaskan cruise could be right for your family, email me or schedule a time to chat.