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Alaska Advice please.....

Rhode Island
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179 posts
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Alaska Advice please.....

Considering a trip to Alaska late June or early August. My first impulse is a cruise. We have never been to Alaska and would like to see glaciers,wildlife and perhaps some moderate hiking. My fiance has cruised in the Carribean,but his 16 year old son and I have never been on a cruise. Could somebody perhaps give me some advice on the curise lines? Is one better than another? We really don't want anything too formal. We will be coming from the east coast and packing light. Our budget is mid range. Can I do a 7 day cruise for approx. $1000 per person? What about cabins? I would love a balcony...It sounds departing from Vancover is the best option. I would appreciate any and all advice. My thinking is that a cruise would afford us the best bang for our buck,without us having to do all the planning,hotels,etc...is that accurate?

Soldotna, Alaska
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1. Re: Alaska Advice please.....

I have never been on a cruise around Canada and Alaska but I do believe it would be a bang for your buck. The beauty you will see will be amazing. The cruises I have done I always get a balcony. Its always nice to step out your own door to catch some fresh air without all the people. Just remember it will be chilly and in some spots you will see bad weather so be sure to pack for that.

Hope you all have a great trip!

Lake Tahoe...
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2. Re: Alaska Advice please.....

We cruise with Princess and usually book a balcony. But at $1000 per person for a balcony can be unrealistic, unless it is in May. The third person should be less, but with three adults (16 is considered adult) you are going to be cramped

Las Vegas, Nevada
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3. Re: Alaska Advice please.....

If you look under the TOP QUESTIONS you'll find an excellent article on Alaska cruises. I would also suggest that you buy a Alaska cruise book to learn more about the ports and what sights and activities are available at each stop.

As to whether you get more bang for your buck... that depends on the cruise itinerary and excursions you take. Your chances of seeing wildlife on a cruise are pretty slim without excursions. Does your $1,000 budget include excursions? What wildlife do you especially want to see?

In order to make the right decision for your family you need to do a little research and figure out whether a cruise or land tour would be the best option. Personally I think a DIY land tour would provide more bang for your buck if glaciers and wildlife are your priorities. Borrow a few Alaska travel books from your library to learn about various destinations in Alask. Read a few of the 2011 trip reports, also located under Top Questions. The reports might give you some ideas for a land itinerary and some of them include cruises. Have fun with your research and planning !

Edited: 01 March 2012, 19:07
Maryland
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4. Re: Alaska Advice please.....

Try Holland America!!!!! It's not formal in Alaska. We did the Holland America 14 day round trip Seattle itinerary with our 2 teens in 2010 and enjoyed it so much that this summer we're going back to do it again.

The best part for you is that Holland America has many sailings where the 3rd and 4th passengers in the cabin are FREE, except for port taxes. We found the Holland America cabin extremely comfortable for 4 people, even for 14 days.

With your budget limitations, I urge you to consider an inside cabin. We loved having the inside cabin for dark and quiet at night, and we spent the days out of the cabin on the decks to watch for scenery and wildlife.

Lake Tahoe...
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5. Re: Alaska Advice please.....

Murblelala - they seem to want a balcony and HAL is more costly than Princess at that level

Central Maine
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6. Re: Alaska Advice please.....

Cruised Alaska in 2011 and have a couple of quick comments to offer --

1. If your budget allows a balcony, do it! We weren't sure whether or not we really needed one, but our travel agent found us a last-minute sale on a balcony-level cabin on a Celebrity cruise -- we loved the balcony! At Hubbard Glacier, we could stand on our own balcony instead of jockeying for a place at the railing in one of the public spaces; coming into the various port calls, we could step out and watch downtown "appear", watch the docking process, etc.; on the few good weather days we had, we could put on our "fuzzies' and sit out and read, watching the goings-on in town at the same time; and we got a great look at the full moon reflecting off the waves one night.

2. We were told, and now believe, that Alaska cruising is different from "typical" Carribbean, Mediterranean, Hawaiian or other warm-water cruises -- on those trips, the on-board activities are the basis for most activities, where, in Alaska, the cruise ship is a convenient, comfortable, easy way to get from one Alaska destination to another -- especially places like Hubbard Glacier, Juneau and other destinations that are not accessible by road. Bottom line: Alaska cruising is enjoyable, but different from most other types of cruising you'll do....

7. Re: Alaska Advice please.....

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