By Marie L. Monyak
March 31, 2006
Ms. Deaton, I'm sorry you re beginning your trip with such a poor opinion of Ketchikan but there is no doubt in my mind that once here, our locals and our wonderful town will change your opinion immediately. Ketchikan has a reputation for being very friendly and gracious to our guests.
I work in tourism every summer either as a tour guide/narrator or by selling tours for locally-owned independent tour companies. I am quite sure there has been some confusion and I would like to help clear it up for you and any others that may be planning a cruise to Ketchikan.
Princess Cruise Lines, Holland America, Carnival and all the other cruise lines are businesses and as such sell not only the cruise, but services on board ship, merchandise in their shops and numerous shore excursions. The cruise lines will naturally do all they can to convince you to purchase your tours through them. It's their job, no different than a salesman in the mall trying to sell you his merchandise so you won't take your business elsewhere.
The price of the tour you mentioned is set by Princess Cruise Lines not the city of Ketchikan. As a tourist you have three options to purchase your shore excursions: 1) in advance through the cruise line, 2) purchasing them once on board ship, or 3) purchasing your tour once you arrive in town from an independent, locally-owned tour operator that may or may not have connections with the cruise lines.
Research is the key. I strongly advise spending time on the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau website. This is a wonderful, informative site that will help you discover all that Ketchikan has to offer. On this site, you will find links to a variety of activities and tours and can do your own price comparison. http://www.visit-ketchikan.com
Working in the tourism industry I am well aware that a cruise to Alaska is the trip of a lifetime for many people and since you are giving your mother, as you said, the trip she wants most in all the world. I would like to offer my assistance in planning your visit to my wonderful little town. Please feel free to contact me via email and I ll be happy to answer all your questions and offer suggestions. mlmx1(AT)hotmail.com (Use the @ symbol in place of (AT).)
Nothing makes me happier than seeing the look of excitement and pure joy on the faces of tourists as they explore Ketchikan. Please allow me to help make this a memorable trip for you and your mother.
Marie L. Monyak
About: Marie L. Monyak writes,
"I look forward to the tourist season every year. I make
a point of greeting each and every visitor that steps off the
ship that I'm working. Just watching the tourists "ooooh
and aaaah" at the unique sights in Ketchikan makes my day."
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.