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1st time cruise to Alaska- HELP!

Liverpool, United...
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1st time cruise to Alaska- HELP!

Hi all

Myself and my boyfriend are planning an alaska cruise for 2008 and would appreciate your help with the following questions:

1.We are planning to go either the end of May or the beginning of September- which would be better? what is the weather generally like at these times?

2.We are looking at the Saphire Princess or Carnival-does anybody have any reviews or experience of these ships?

3.We will probably take the Northbound route from Vancouver- which excusions would you reccommend?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Kayleigh

Manitoba, Canada
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1. Re: 1st time cruise to Alaska- HELP!

The Sapphire Princess route is Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, College Fjord, Whittier.

Carnival Spirit is Vancouver, Ketchikan, Skagway, Lynn Canal, Sitka, Prince William Sound, College Fjord, Whittier.

1. Depends if you are adding a few days of landtour after you get there. Highly recommend you do, and we can assist you in arranging your own (not only cheaper but then you go exactly where you want to). If you're planning on doing any bear-watching excursions, May is too early.

2. Of the 2 mentioned, I prefer the Princess as a ship as well as the itinerary. You can find reviews of both ships at cruisecritic.com and cruisemates.com.

3. What kind of things would you be interested in doing? Whale-watching, bear-viewing, museums, city tours, totem poles, goldpanning, fishing, kayaking, scenic flightseeing, train rides, etc?

Liverpool, United...
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2. Re: 1st time cruise to Alaska- HELP!

Thanks for this info! Yes we are planning to spend 3 nights in Vancouver at the end of the cruise and hopefully if we have the money- do the 2 day rockies trip on the rockys mountaineer.

Is the Princess ship a round trip journey or a one way? We want to book a round trip cruise- departing and arriving at vancouver.

The excursions we would be interested in are whale watching and other wildlife, National parks- not sure what else because we haven't done anything like this before! Is May too early for Whale watching?

thanks

Manitoba, Canada
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3. Re: 1st time cruise to Alaska- HELP!

The 2 trips you mentioned are Northbound (which means all the way up to Anchorage). If you want a roundtrip from Vancouver, here is the list:

http://www.alaskacruisefromvancouver.com/

BTW, I'm not saying you should book through that site, just use it for info on the cruises. I prefer Holland America myself, because the ships aren't as big and they are much quieter, but if you want more activities especially at night, you might prefer one of the others. Carnival is known as a real "party" line if you're into that sort of thing.

First decide whether you want to see Hubbard Glacier or Glacier Bay. That will narrow your selection. Then take a look at what remains and decide which ports you'd like to visit.

For sure you'll be stopping at Juneau, which along with Icy Strait Point are the best places to do humpback whalewatching tours (nearly 100% sucess). The best place to see Orcas (killer whales) is out of Vancouver, since there are 3 resident pods there.

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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4. Re: 1st time cruise to Alaska- HELP!

I have been to both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay and if I had the choice, I would choose Glacier Bay over Hubbard hands down. In fact I am going back to Glacier Bay next summer for 3 days.

Though I have not taken them, all I have read about Carnival in Alaska is that it is not the "party ship" that it is in other cruise destinations. I could be wrong but I have read that over and over again on another message board.

John

los angeles
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5. Re: 1st time cruise to Alaska- HELP!

I took my first cruise to Alaska in August 2007. It was cold at the time (50 degrees F). I would recommend that you bring gloves and a windbreaker/rain jacket along. It rained also while we were there.

We took a helicopter to Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau and had a great time. In Skagway, we took the White Pass train and that was fun too.

Juneau, Alaska
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6. Re: 1st time cruise to Alaska- HELP!

May and June are generally the best months in Southeast Alaska - less rain than other months. By September we are getting into the rainy season and it can be pretty wet.

7. Re: 1st time cruise to Alaska- HELP!

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