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Meal prices in Alaska

Meal prices in Alaska

Old Apr 9, 11, 2:45 pm
  #1  
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Meal prices in Alaska

I will be going on a your/cruise in late Aug. Only 2 meals are provided on the land portion. However, a meal plan for $399 is available. This plan provides 5 dinners and 8 breakfasts. This sounds high to me. Can someone tell me the average price for breakfast ans dinner in Denali and some other parks? Just a relative dollar amount is ok, while a bargain is not necessary, this sounds very high.
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Old Apr 9, 11, 7:35 pm
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I'm assuming you won't have your own car in Denali. This will limit your options, as some of the better restaurants (and better prices) are outside of the Glitter Gulch area where the cruise line-operated resorts are.

If you will have access to your own transportation, there are some good options about 15-20 minutes south of Denali (McKinley Creekside Cafe, 229 Parks [more expensive but very good]) and 15-20 minutes north of Denali (the Healy area). Otherwise, you're largely limited to the restaurants attached to the cruise line resorts and the lone outpost of Franchised America™: Subway. I would think you could do better than $30 per meal, though.

Can't speak to specific costs, but you might have luck reviewing the (limited) restaurant listings around Denali and possibly Googling them for their web sites and menus: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...ve_Alaska.html

You mentioned "other parks": if you're talking about Kenai Fjords and you're staying in Seward, that's a real town with real restaurants. Prices are a little higher than Lower 48 prices but aren't insane. Otherwise, what "other parks" are you referring to? Alaska is huge, and some parks are in extremely remote areas where there aren't a lot of people and consequently not a lot of eating options.

Last edited by jackal; Apr 9, 11 at 7:46 pm
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Old Apr 10, 11, 9:22 am
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Thank you

We will be at various points among which Dawson, Fairbanks, Skaway, and whitehorse.
I assume that prices will be higher, but did not think they will be insane. and did felt the prices was too high.

I am a senior and may not make it back to Alaska again. So many places I want to see. So prices are an issue, but not the top one.

thank you for you reply.
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Old Apr 10, 11, 4:17 pm
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Yes, that does seem high, even for Alaska. Assuming $30/dinner and $15/breakfast, the total would come to $270. I suspect that there is some cruise line overhead factored in.

Is there any way you could visit Denali on your own? There is a wonderful restaurant in Healy (about 10-12 miles north of the park) called the Black Diamond Grill and it was listed on that Tripadvisor link Jackal gave you. You would gain flexibility with a car and hotel arrangements you make yourself.
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Old Apr 10, 11, 6:08 pm
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To the OP i can only advise on Denali, Fairbanks & Whitehorse from our 2010 trip where we travelled independently without a car. Denali we stayed & ate at Salmon Bake- cheap & cheerful but varying quality, King Salmon had great seafood chowder for a lunch that we found reasonably priced & a breakfast at Subway did not break the bank. At Fairbanks we stayed near Big Daddy's BBQ so ate big meals that were cheap & fine & drinks were cheap. At Whitehorse we ate at Klondike Rib & Salmon BBQ where meals were a bit dearer but not particularly expensive. As Aussies we found prices fine at the time & we certainly would not have spent $399 on 13 such meals. Guess it depends on the style of meal you have & how mobile you are.
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Old Apr 11, 11, 12:02 pm
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I agree with all of you.

Cruise operators usually price their basics resonable but jacks up everything else. I feel the same way you guys do. But my traveling companion is nervous.

Thank you for all your replies.
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Old Apr 11, 11, 1:47 pm
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The cities you mentioned are real cities with decent eating options (none except Fairbanks will have international chains, but that's ok). Depending on where you're going between them, though, the extent of the food options may consist of a picnic table where you can eat your own PB&J sandwich.

You might consider ordering a Milepost guide (reasonably priced on Amazon) and following the course of your trip and seeing just where the eating options lie relative to where you'll be staying. I'm having a hard time picturing where you'll be in between Skagway, Whitehorse, Dawson, and Fairbanks—there just isn't a lot of places you'd stop to see things in between those towns, so I'm finding it hard to think of where you'll be eating (with or without a meal plan).
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Old Apr 11, 11, 7:03 pm
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This is how I explained it to members of my own family making such a trip.

If you are a toast and coffee for breakfast person who prefers a light lunch and a simple dinner......skip buying the meal plan.

If you are the sort of person who requires 3 square meals a day with desserts and etc, buy the meal plan.
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Old Apr 12, 11, 8:21 am
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My guess is that you are on the HAL cruisetour that only has 3 days cruise then you take the land tour from Skagway. The problem with "finding a place to eat" is that the bus stops at a certain restaurant for a meal. You either eat there using the plan or you eat there paying a la carte, which can get expensive. Once you get to places like Denali, you have a few more choices, but as was said, without a car, you are very limited.

Penny's advice is generally good, but I think if you only had two decent meals a day, the meal plan would probably pay for itself. Again, many of the places the cruisetour stops have no options. I read on another forum that someone didn't take the meal plan and later regretted it, for many of the reasons mentioned above.
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Old Apr 13, 11, 8:44 pm
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Originally Posted by fti View Post
My guess is that you are on the HAL cruisetour that only has 3 days cruise then you take the land tour from Skagway. The problem with "finding a place to eat" is that the bus stops at a certain restaurant for a meal. You either eat there using the plan or you eat there paying a la carte, which can get expensive. Once you get to places like Denali, you have a few more choices, but as was said, without a car, you are very limited.
Ah, that makes more sense.

Many of the places the bus will stop in between destinations are lone outposts/roadhouses. As fti said, you either eat there or not at all...because that restaurant is the only thing for 30 (or 130) miles in either direction. It's not like stopping for lunch in Tucumcari, Wenatchee, or Gillette, where there might be a Taco Bell or McDonald's across from the diner the bus stops at.

Most of my trips up and down the Alcan involved lots of PB&J sandwiches...
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Old Apr 14, 11, 5:22 pm
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Meals at out of way places

I assume that the prices will be high. But the meal plan does not provide 3 square every day. I would have opted for the plan if it did provide at least Breakfast and dinner every day. Only one meal some days , none for 2 days, for a total of 5 dinners, 7 breakfasts, and 2 lunches.

I will be bringing lots of trail mixes just to be sure. Also buying bottle water in Anchorage.

I have been on tours before, Most of them provides all or most meals. While the pick of resturants were not that great, they were harrty.


Thanks again
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Old Oct 8, 11, 10:21 am
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Meal vouchers definetely not worth it

Just got back . I did not get the vouchers and very glad I did not.

First of all it limits you to eating at the hotel.

Second, even if you decided to eat at the hotel, the meals are cheaper then what they charge you with the voucher. The vouchers assumes a full course meal including appetizer and dessert. Too much food, and I am not a light eater.

Third you may not want a full breakfast after a big dinner, juice and something light may do til lunch, voucher doe not take that into account.

Fourth at the so call expensive out of the way places, the tour provider also provides the meals free.

Remeber the vouchers do not provide for all of your meals only 11 out of 33. The dinners are provided for real town locales. Places where you have many other options.
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Old Oct 8, 11, 10:39 am
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Originally Posted by Faye View Post
Just got back . I did not get the vouchers and very glad I did not.
Thanks for coming back and reporting your experience!
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