Specialists in Cruising Alaska Style
I1/26/17 via email:
Hi Marjy, We had a great trip, even though the power was out on Lanai for 2 1/2 days, due to a huge windstorm that knocked out 19 power poles. Our flight to Lanai was postponed overnight, and when we got there the next day, no electricity. Which didn't bother us a bit. It was fun staying in a plantation style building as it would have been 100 years ago. The hotel was very accommodating, and I have to commend staff for rising to the occasion. They provided all our meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, as no restaurants were open, and while it was simple food, it was just fine. They improvised with battery operated candles for lights, and every room came with two large flashlights, so we were ok. The water stayed on, and really, it all worked out well. The hotel (Hotel Lanai) was very accommodating. Lanai and Kauai are very different from each other -- in fact each of the Hawaiian islands is different. We loved both of these and have no complaints. We are contemplating a trip, perhaps next year, to Molokai and the Big Island, as we haven't been there in many years. Will let you know as time gets closer. Best to you, and thanks for making these arrangements,
9/22/16 via email:
Marjy: Sorry to be slow in responding to your e-mail which got caught up in the accumulated emails while we were gone. We had a wonderful time on the trip you arranged. All your arrangements worked well and we had no complications or delays for which we were grateful. Thank you again for your assistance. We did indeed have some rainy days when the Chichagoff Dream was anchored in Kelp Bay (Baranof Island) and we did some kayaking and then for the first couple of days in Denali but we proceeded and enjoyed ourselves anyway. We had enough layers for the variation in temperatures so that wasn't a problem. We especially enjoyed the two fjord/glacier visits the boat made in Glacier Bay and then in Endicott Arm. The Chichagoff Dream had only 37 interesting passengers from all over the US during our cruise so we got acquainted with most of them during our time on board. The shore visits to Petersburg and Kake were interesting to learn about southeast Alaskan communities but took quite a bit of time given that there isn't really much for a visitor to see and do in those towns.. We were pleasantly surprised by the Denali Bluffs Hotel where we had a nice room and some good meals. The Kantishna Roadhouse also did a good job with a pleasant room and meals given its remote location, and had an excellent bus driver/guide on our rides in and out which were the highlights there. Of our two train rides to and from Denali, we enjoyed the Wilderness Express trip better than the McKinley Explorer. The guide in McKinley Explorer car kept the air conditioning on at an uncomfortably high level for the entire trip in order to defrost the windows as it was foggy and raining outside. Since the outside fog limited vision, it would have been better to be warmer and more comfortable and not worry about the frosted/foggy windows. Also, the Wilderness Explorer train car seemed newer and in better condition. The Comfort Inn Ship Creek in Anchorage has a wonderful location within an easy walk to the train station but the hotel was not too clean and the once nice furnishings are getting worn. Passengers piled in and out of the hotel at train arrival and departure. Well, I guess Alaska is now well into fall and getting ready for winter which I hope won't be too severe. It's finally getting down into the 80's and 90's in Arizona after almost four months of 100 degree plus temperatures. If we need future assistance with travel arrangements, is that something you could help us with? Thanks again for your help. Sincerely,
9/12/16 via email:
We had a great trip and loved our cruise. We saw it all... All the land critters, the sea critters, northern light show, and spectacular weather! The inland passage scenery was amazing, especially with all the glassy water we experienced.
9/12/16 via email:
Hi Marjy, We had a great time! Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and your generosity. We are most humbled and grateful for the extra expenses gift card you gave us. It really came in handy. Thank you also for alerting them to my birthday, which was also on same date as our wedding anniversary. I received a nice card 'signed' by the captain. We took advantage of the Pinnacle restaurant's special Le Cirque menu (including dinnerware from that famous NY restaurant) to celebrate. Thank you for setting us up with a dinner reservation in the Rotterdam restaurant. Our dining companions were two charming couples from the U.K. and the food was wonderful. We felt VIP having a standing reservation. I highly recommend the offshore excursions we took: Skagway - Ghosts and Goodtime Girls, Ketchikan - Lumberjack show. We didn't take any planes or trains as we felt we had been there done that in '99. We were surprised at the price of King Crab. We paid $24.95 each in Juneau for a 12 oz. leg each with butter and a roll at Tracey's. As you know, we spent 3 nights in Vancouver prior to catching the Volendam. We fell in love with that city. Thank you for the Blue Horizon hotel recommendation. We were on the 29th floor and had a corner window room with views of both the city and the harbor. So beautiful. The staff there was absolutely fantastic. We did the Hop On/Off tour the first day to become familiar with everything. The second day, we bought a 24 hr. pass for the public bus transportation and had a fun time finding the Harley shop and then Grouse Mountain. I must say that everyone we met in Vancouver was most helpful and did not yet seem 'tourist weary'. The weather was perfectly beautiful. At Glacier Bay, we witnessed a rather large glacier calving. Finally it turned cool and drizzly on our last stop at Ketchikan! We were really blessed the entire time. The Volendam staff was always friendly, cheerful, and helpful. I can't imagine how much they may want to get away from tourists at their final port of call! Oh - and flying Delta first class didn't hurt either. We were definitely spoiled and "L" is now wondering where his heated moist lemon-scented towel is before meals. We will definitely recommend Tyee Travel and you to our friends. You went above and beyond at every step, Marjy. Again, thank you so much!
P.S. Enjoy those 40-60 degree "fall" days w/rain. We came home to no rain while we were gone (not even from the hurricane) and a sunny 95.
9/10/16 via email:
We made it home okay, didn't get home until 2:30 am this morning, long travel day and a couple of delays. What a fantastic experience! We really had perfect weather most days, sunshine and comfortable temps. We were able to kayak, our first time ever, and DIB, saw whales, seals, otters, Eagles and other birds, more whales, mountain goats, and our last afternoon on board, two brown bears on the shore! The stops in Petersburg and Kake were very enjoyable, and the guides so informative. We weren't able to end pictures because there was no wifi, but pictures are home with us and I'll try to send one to you. Thank you so much for helping to make this possible, it truly was an unbelievable experience, and you get to enjoy it on a daily basis! Will you be snow birding this winter, and if so, where? We just purchased a small RV and are hoping to make some trips in the months ahead. Hope your weather holds out a little while longer, and sorry we missed you in Sitka.
MK & M
9/7/16 via email:
Hi Marjy, We had a fantastic time. (Un Cruise small ship cruise) The weather was great, the people wonderful, and the scenery phenomenal. Attached are a few highlights. We really spoiled ourselves on this cruise, no big ships for me :) Thank you for all of your help and advice with this trip, it was very helpful and things went so smooth. Oh, and the northern lights Wednesday night were fantastic!! Hope you go to see them too. One of the guides said it was one of the best displays they have seen in 15 years! Hopefully the images are not too big for your email account, let me know if they get cut off.
9/5/16 via email:
Marjy: We are back home after a wonderful cruise (Fantasy Cruises Island Spirit) ! Want to thank you for all your help. Several passengers work directly with Fantasy and had a real bad experience. Brenda said to thank you for the flowers they were beautiful. (note – I helped their son and daughter in law in purchase of and getting flowers – 50 long stem red roses for a 50th wedding anniversary - to the ship since Fantasy doesn’t have an ‘office’ in Alaska)
9/1/16 via email:
Hi Marjy We had the most awesome adventure in Alaska, the trip of a lifetime and I want to thank you profoundly for designing it and your expertise in how smoothly everything went. If you want to discuss any details and only one or two things I might have done differently, please call whenever it is convenient. I am attaching a pdf of the surprise photo album I co designed for Rick's birthday later in September. We were truly blessed with great weather, abundant wildlife, great people, and even got to see Denali twice! Let me know what you think....I now get why you live there and we both want to come back! I hope your season has been wonderful and all your clients are as happy as we are! Warmly,
RC & RB
9/1/16 via email:
Dear Marjy, We had a wonderful trip! The only day we had bad weather was the last day, so we were very lucky. The crew and expedition leaders on the cruise were wonderful. One of them said she was able to see mountain ranges in Glacier Bay that she'd never seen before, since it was so clear when we were there. I'm a big fan of Alaska now! I really liked staying in the Dreaming Bears apartments in Sitka. We saved a lot of money by stopping at a nearby grocery store and making our own meals. The Goldbelt Hotel was fine. All the travel arrangements worked well, which was a relief. Thanks so much for all your help. It really made me feel more reassured to know we had you to call on if we needed it, and to have your help in getting the lodgings set up. I loved the scenery,and the Alaskan Dream Cruises company really tries to put people in touch with Alaskan native people and with the animals and outdoors life. Yours truly,
8/29/16 via email:
Marjy, your weather and animal magic held for the third time! Though we had some cool weather and several gray days we also had bright sunshine and temps in the 70’s. We saw Orcas on four different days (twice a pod with tiny ones played around the ship or our skiff!) and would you believe this? Humpback whales fed for a long time near the ship! Photography was challenging because they would not hold still and sometimes it was foggy, but even so, those were events we’ll never forget. The National Park ranger who joined us could not believe our luck either when we saw 7 brown bear on one hill side, 8 total that day. We saw mountain goats, sea otters, harbor seals, fur seals (sea lions?), two species of puffin including one that has become quite rare, well, I could go on and on. Plus I scored big at the quilt shop in Sitka J Temps there were in the 70’s. We took the shuttle to the Fortress of the Bears and the Alaska Raptor Center. Wonderful, wonderful vacation. So once again we thank you!
8/29/16 via email:
Dear Marjy, thanks again for organizing our trip, it was a great experience and definitely one of the best vacations I ever had! First the Uncruise Trip: This was just outstanding and exceeded our expectations. The food was 5 star level! The crew and everyone extremely friendly and nice. It turned out that our cabin was just perfect... It was very quite and more comfortable than we expected. We talked with others, who stayed in some of the 200 cabins towards the back of the boat and they complained about the noise of the engine, in particular during the night. The packcreek bear tour was great! We saw exactly what we wanted to see: Brown bears catching and eating Salmon. The weather was horrible, the wildlife viewing however made up for this! Flight to Anchorage, picking up the rental car, drive to Denali... all went fine, we stopped at the Iditarod Headquarter and in Talkeetna, both we enjoyed a lot! The cabins in Healy were a great choice! At first we were a bit anoyed that we had to drive further than the park entrance and Denali "down town", but the the cabin was very nice and the quiteness mad up for it! Also it was just up the road from the 49th state Brewing Company, where we ended up eating all three evening and we can't recommend this place enough! In the mornings we experienced the busy big hotels near Denali and we were sooooo glad that we didnn't stay there! The Kantishna bus tour was great. Even though we spend roughly 10 hours on the bus, we thought it was well worth it to experience the whole park. Would highly recommend it to everyone (and ... yes, we saw the mountain! Not both peaks at the same time... but still we saw them both!)! Next morning was the Steps in time hike... And... well this was really the only disappointment on the trip and absolutely not worth the money! Instead of a 3 to 4 hour hike the whole hike only took max. 2 hours. There really was no story told, as it was explained in the description and the hike itself was quite boring. I think we would have been much better of (and it would have been mucht cheaper) to do any of the ranger guided hikes, that the park offers. We did a hike to the Mt. Healy overlook on our own in the afternoon, which was just fantastic. Drive to Sheep Mountain lodge with stopover at the Musk ox farm (very nice and interesting, would recommend to others). Sheep Mountain lodge is a great place with excellent food and great cabins! Drive to Chitina, we had time enough to explore Chitina, which was a lot of fun! We had lunch at the "hotel" and the food was excellent! Wrangell Mountain Air flights: Just the best!!!!!!!!! Kennicott lodge: Fantastic location, well organised, good food, great packed lunches... only downside: shower did not get hot (funny enough the water in the sink got too hot...). But still would highly recommend to anyone. St. Elias Alpine Guides: Brilliant! The fly-in Hike was an experience of a lifetime and the glacier hike was great, too (And a half day was more than enough glacier hike experience). So, that was our trip... on our last evening in Anchorage we ate at the Glacier Brewhouse, which was good, too.
Best regards AD & JT
PS: I already know, that I will be back! Will be in touch :-)
8/25/16 via email:
Dear Marjy, Thank you so much for taking such good care of us during the entire Alaska cruise process. From helping us plan to making sure everything was in order you ensured our vacation was the vacation of a lifetime. Everyone had a great time and my Dad was so happy to have us all together. Take care. Thanks Again!
The “B & A” families
8/23/16 via email:
Hi Marjy, Well, we had maybe the best vacation of our lives!!! Both the Backcountry Lodge and the Un-cruise were amazing, and we had a great time at all places. We really saw some amazing sites on the cruise—at one point we were watching around 50 (!!!) humpback whales feeding, breaching and spouting all around us. The captain said he hadn’t seen anything like that in years! “A” and I also went snorkeling in the frigid waters, paddle boarding, and we took a polar plunge amid the icebergs! It was all really great and the accommodations worked out great—thank you so very much again! I haven’t yet downloaded the photos but I’ll be sure to send you some when I do.
8/21/16 via email:
Dear Marjy, Well, I am finally sending a few pictures of Richard and myself from our fantastic vacation. Once again, I want to thank you for all of your work and how smooth our vacation went. It was a vacation of a lifetime. “R” and myself are getting ready to start planning our next vacation for next year. We think we want return to Alaska and see southern Alaska and from Anchorage to Fairbanks. We will definitely use you for our travel agent. Thank you,
8/17/16 via email:
Hi Marjy, Sorry for the delay in responding. We had a wonderful trip. Thanks, in large part, to your help and eye for detail. Each segment was perfect! (Denali and Alaskan Dream Cruises small ship cruise) It was a delight to meet you, in person, after all those months of long distance communication. Rest assured that we will recommend your services to any of our friends looking to take in Alaska and we hope to use your agency again for any of our future trips. Feel free to use any of the enclosed photos, as you see fit. #1 - Us on the Alaskan Dream, #2 - At the end of the road in Denali, #3 - Glacier Bay National Park in front of Glacier Marjy (Margerie). Sincerely,
8/17/16 via email:
Hi Marjy, Okay, just a quick thanks for all you did for us. Your recommendations were spot on. The whale watching was amazing. We saw a pod of 13 humpbacks and they were bubble-net feeding. 30 minutes later we saw a pod of 8 or 9 Orcas. Not just the dorsal fins but the entire whales, with their markings and everything. Both pods were well within 100 yards and more likely 50-75 yards away. Ship board entertainment was great. Terry was really informative and fun to listen to. When we got to Hubbard Glacier we were already experts on glaciers thanks to her. The glacier was an incredible sight. We must have seen 15 different calvings from pretty close up. Close enough to hear it. I have to be honest and tell you there was one HUGE disappointment and that was the food. (Regent Seven Seas Mariner) All you ever hear about is how good the food on cruises is, even on the lower grade cruises. I have to say, on the best day the food was mediocre. I had to send two meals back including a filet mignon that was too tough to cut. One night when the waiter brought us our dinner he said we should add salt because people were complaining that it lacked flavor. That was my main complaint about the food, it lacked flavor. I’m not very critical but I love food (I’m not a foodie) and I expected the food on the cruise to be excellent at every meal. Otherwise, it was amazing. We saw Denali fully exposed, grizzly bears, caribou and moose up pretty close. We actually had to stop the bus and wait for the caribou to get off the dirt road we were on. It was so cool. ‘L’ got 2 flecks of gold while we were panning. Again, thanks for all of your assistance and the $300 ship board credit. We had great massages.
8/16/16 via email:
Hi, Marjy, We had a great trip. It didn't rain while we were in Denali, which we really appreciated after it POURED on us while we were kayaking in Prince William Sound! We especially enjoyed the amazing scenic flight. We did take some group photos, but they are on my husband's camera. When he gets back, I will ask him to send some. Thanks!
LW and family
8/12/16 via email:
Marjy - the only time the weather was a real issue was on our return to Dallas. We got diverted to San Antonio because of thunder storms in the DFW area. Finally got home late Saturday. The weather in Juneau was as I would expect from a rain forest. We had a couple days of rain, we zip-lined, fished and went whale watching anyway. The first and last day with the bear watching was perfect, however we had to leave Waterfall Creek a little early, because the clouds were closing in. Sure glad we didn't go to the Anchorage area - I hear they got some real weather. The hotel was fine (Goldbelt) - rooms were great, front desk was adequate. The on property restaurant, Mc Givney's Sports Bar, was also very good, especially breakfast. Paul (Chum Fun Charters) was extremely pleasant and made fishing in the rain great. Whale watching with Jayleen was also a wonderful experience. Probably not for everybody, but for small groups wanting a real personal touch they were great. I will get some photos your way soon as I get caught up. Everybody enjoyed the trip immensely - thanks you!! We will be going again, hopefully a little sooner this time!! Til next time - thanks!! Regards,
M.S. and family
8/12/16 via email:
Just leaving Denali on the train. Had beautiful weather (can you believe it?). Flew 360 degrees around Denali peaks and then Added to our journey by taking the plane back from Kantishna. Thanks for arranging the trip.
CE & BW
8/12/16 via email:
Hi, Marjy! Yes! We had a fabulous time - thank you! Let me give you a quick recap on our experience:
Fairweather Suites - perfect in that it was cozy, comfortable, CLEAN, and easy walking distance to our activities. It worked really well for us. Only improvements would have been a shuttle to and from the airport; however, the space and convenience of being "downtown Sitka" was really worth it. I'm glad we stayed there. Thank you!
Sitka Alaska Outfitters (ATV & Volcanic Crater Hike and the Ocean Rafting and Goddard Hot Springs) - wow! This is a top-notch company! They were courteous, informative, and fun - Alex, Jacob, Tanner, and Dick treated us well. We had a blast! Riding the waves in the ocean raft was one of my top three activities of the entire trip.
Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures - This company proved every bit as great as the one we just got done working with. Kayaking in the Sitka Sound with Walt as our guide was everything I hoped it would be and was another of my top three activities of the trip. The kayaks and paddles were of good quality and easy to maneuver. I love kayaking anyway and kayaking near Sitka was a beautiful experience. My family was, again, the only ones in our outing - talk about personalized service!
Juneau Hotel - beautiful room, convenient shuttle to/from the airport, continental breakfast, and we walked to our meeting point for our activities - a great choice for accommodations.
Alaska Zipline Adventures - this was fun (the last of my top three activities). Good company to work with, beautiful area to zip through. :-)
Alaska Travel Adentures Glacier View Sea Kayak - Sorry to say, I was disappointed with this. The kayaks were hard to maneuver and the paddles were heavy and harder to work with than what I'm used to. I'm a pretty experienced with a kayak but I did not enjoy this outing. We were part of a larger group, it was raining, I did not like the equipment. The afternoon wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either.
Positive point is that we got back in time to jump on a whale watching excursion and got to see a lot of whales! Bonus! :-)
All the flights went well.
Here are a few pics from our trip. Thank you again for your helping in planning our great adventure! We had a grand time in your frontier! Take care -
BN and family
8/09/16 via email:
Hi Marjy, I was going to send you a quick thank you for all of your guidance and help. The weather was perfect. The only time we had rain we were either on the train from Denali to Anchorage or lying in bed in the cabin. I’ll bore you with the details later this week when we get settled. We saw Denali, bear, moose, caribou and more. We had a WONDERFUL trip and adventure. (Regent Seven Seas Mariner and Denali Kantishna Roadhouse Lodge land tour) Thanks again,
8/09/16 via email:
Thank you Marjy! Everything did go great!! We were prepared for the rain and actually even enjoyed it. So hot and dry here in Denver this summer is was a nice escape ( even with wearing long underwear silks LOL). We did get a couple breaks in Denali from rain - so that was nice. GREAT guides with amazing knowledge especially Kerstian in Kantishna.. We did a couple of our hikes with her. A major A+ for her!! We appreciated that a lot. The food was actually pretty good. Really no complaints. And everything went smooth which is always a bonus! Thanks for putting it all together. We will recommend you when ever we get a chance. Take Care, Cheers & Peace!!
8/09/16 via email:
Hi there, It was beyond amazing. (Un Cruise) I can't even put it into words how much fun we had and how smooth everything went. Our weather was perfect. Not a drop of rain until our departure day yesterday and we had a fun hike in the rain. I'll send you some pictures as soon as I get them organized. Thank you for your part in our fabulous vacation.
8/01/16 via email:
Marjy The helicopter adventure and dogsledding was truly the experience of a lifetime. Magnificent weather and scenery and such gratitude for everything you've done and it's only the first day. Thank you Marjy Take care.
7/31/16 via email:
Marjy, We had a wonderful time in Alaska! Every part of the trip (Best of Alaska 8 day) was spectacular. We had the best tour guide, great people in our group to travel with, nice accommodations, and a week's worth of unforgettable experiences. Alaskans love their state and generously like to share it. Of all things, there was another couple in our group celebrating their 30th anniversary and married the weekend after us. Our two favorite excursions were the Knik Glacier Jet Boat Tour and the Talkeetna Air Taxi Glacier Landing. We would encourage everyone to make this trip. Thank you for all of your help getting us there.
7/25/16 via email:
Hi Marjy! We really enjoyed the Alaska trip you put together for us. (Princess cruise plus land tour) It was a trip of a life time. We left Alaska with the temperature in the 60's and when we got home it was in the 90's and has stayed in the 90's. What a shock. The Artic circle trip was the high light of the trip. We really enjoyed it, especially when the Wiseman resident spoke to the group about living in Wiseman. Attached are two pictures of us, one from above the Artic Circle and one from the dog sled training area. Everyone involved, the hotel staff, the bus drivers, the people on the tours, and the Artic Circle pilot could not have treated us any better. Thanks for a great trip
D and A