Welcome to My Swiss Alps.
<<"I tried a few options using the timetable but got confused. I heard you
should go to Lucerne and go to Kriens and take the cable car up, but the
timetable was sending me by bus a different way that seemed to bypass
Lucerne station altogether. We plan to travel ourselves and not by a
tour. Is it advisable or even possible to buy tickets in advance for the
bus/train/cable car for the trip?">>
The timetable defaults to the fastest route. Four images are attached of screen grabs to help you understand how to use the timetable's details.
The first shows the routing that you obtained. The one I captured takes 2 hrs 21 minutes
Look at the top left corner and note that the "via" box is empty.
After you click on the "+" sign to expand the details of a particular journey, you will find the option of "map" in the footnotes. Click on it.
See details of footnote.
You will see the route outlined on the third image.
The 4th image shows what happens if you force the time table to choose a route through Luzern. Look in the "via" box, where I have entered Luzern.
That route is much more scenic, using a lake boat. It takes 2 hrs 51 minutes. The lake boats run somewhat less frequently than buses, but, unless you have already taken the lake boat to Treib or Beckenried, it is worth the extra time.
With those examples, you should be able to use the timetable more effectively in the future.
You might like to see some pictures of the area, including a photograph taken from the promenade of the Hotel Sonnenberg, in :
There is a nice walk from Seelisberg to Bauen ( or vice versa.) I prefer to walk from Seelisberg.
Hope that helps.