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Alaska cruise

NYC
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Alaska cruise

Planning to take my family on Alaska cruise this summer. Is there a particular itinerary where one can see more glaciers?

Also, what shore excursions Iat which cruise stops) do you recommend?

Thanks.

haines, alaska
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1. Re: Alaska cruise

Which ports will your cruise stop in ?......How many in your family, age of children ?......not really prying, but some of the excursions have age restrictions..........when in summer are you going ?.....again it makes a difference for some of the excursions.......

If you make sure to pick a cruise that goes through Glacier Bay National Park you will definitely see glaciers and not need to spend extra money on an excursion.......Next pick a ship by itinerary......the longest time in the ports you want to spend more time in......

Then after you pick the cruise, look over all the excursions offered by the ship, discuss it with your family......choose 2 or 3 in each port and post back to the forum with suggestions for particular excursions......

You will get honest opinions from others who have done that excursion and from those who can suggest and independent tour which may be better.......

Kimi, you are a brave soul, considering a cruise after this week's news.....

Lake Tahoe...
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2. Re: Alaska cruise

Picking a cruise line is a personal choice. We will not set foot on Carnival, a decision long decided prior to the floating toilet incident. Ours in Princess (even though Carnival is the parent company) and would recommend one that sails between Vacouver and Whittier. Suggest you find a good travel agent and discuss it with them. Some people deal directly with the cruise line, which is of no benefit on costs. Your travel agent would be better

Brooklyn baby
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3. Re: Alaska cruise

We chose the island princess from Whittier to Vancouver - it goes to Glacier Bay and Hubbard. It's a little smaller than some of the other ships - has more common space on the ship itself with less people.... We stop in juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan... I'm researching excursions - princess provides a great book of options which serve as source material for booking with smaller local vendors ... We will likely do whale watching in Juneau, some kind of bear viewing in Ketchikan (fingers crossed for Anan) and some configuration of white pass/Yukon excursion.

We priced around for the cruise and used cruisecompete.com to get the best rate plus an on board credit - which I couldn't get elsewhere.

haines, alaska
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4. Re: Alaska cruise

Kimi, If you are a AAA member, they often offer ship board credits also......both of the cruises we have taken have been through a AAA travel agency and we got really good rates and perks through them, as well........

fti
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5. Re: Alaska cruise

For glaciers, I too think you can't beat the Princess southbound itineraries. As was said, they go to both Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier. Be forewarned however that if you go earlier in the season, Hubbard Glacier can be iced out. We didn't get anywhere close to Hubbard - more like 7-8 miles away. That was in early June. I was a bit disappointed. We easily could have gotten closer but the captain gave up way too easily.

You can also do a Prince William Sound glacier cruise before boarding the Princess ship (I did that last June - you get much closer to glaciers on those smaller ships than you ever will on the larger cruises).

With all due respect, you are asking such basic questions that I second the advice of one of the above posters and suggest you seek out a competent cruise agent.

Michigan
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6. Re: Alaska cruise

For maximizing glaciers, I like the SB Princess mentioned above, or the NB NCL. Both go to Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier.

If you are looking at a round trip, the HAL Volendam and Zuiderdam out of Vancouver go to Glacier Bay and they make a service call at Tracy Arm where, if you book the add on excursion, you get off the cruise ship and take a small boat into the fjord. (small boat takes you to Juneau to catch up with the cruise ship) The glaciers are at the end of Tracy Arm Fjord and not the real highlight for me; the scenic fjord is the real highlight in my mind. Cruise ships often cannot get to the glaciers at the end, but the small boat excursions have a much better chance. Like fti mentioned with Hubbard, Tracy Arm can have the same issues too early in the season. In fact the add on trip is not even an option on the early May cruises.

Once you pick a cruise and know which ports it is visiting, we can offer you some help for excursions. However, be sure to include ages, mobility, and interests.

I also highly recommend including a tour in Whittier if glacier viewing is your priority.

Edited: 16 February 2013, 22:05
Greater Sydney...
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7. Re: Alaska cruise

I see lots of good advice above, but nobody has yet directed you to look at the Top Questions at the top right of screen where there is one dealing exclusively with Alaska cruises. I highly recommend that you read that before anything else, as the critical first choice you need to make is whether to do a one-way, as some mention above, or a round trip, as also mentioned by happytrav, from Vancouver or Seattle, with Vancouver providing a superior cruise than Seattle.

Once you have decided that point, then you can advance you plans a lot further and more detailed advice can be provided.

Edited: 17 February 2013, 01:58
South Florida...
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8. Re: Alaska cruise

Looking to take a cruise in Alaska for 10-14 days next year and been researching cruise lines. Princess has more sail dates and we did Alaska on them 15 years ago. Their ship would be the Star. We've sailed HAL other places a few times. HAL does a 14 day Alaska trip but a little pricey - ship would be the Amsterdam. Never sailed Celebrity but have heard it's a nice line - ship would be the Century. Oceania does an itinerary we'd like but read their cabins are small and the ship is about 1/2 the size of others we've been on - ship would be the Regatta. Norwegian has an itinerary but not sure after sailing HAL we'd be happy with this line - ship would be the Sun. Any input on these cruise lines and their ships would be appreciated.

Greater Sydney...
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9. Re: Alaska cruise

G'day Lynn,

You have posted your question on a thread started by another person 8 months ago for their cruise last summer. It is not a good idea to piggy-back another thread, and ideally you should have commenced your own new thread as the information you seek is not relevant to the original poster who would now have received an email advice the someone has posted a new message, and it is not related or relevant. In addition, some advisors may not visit an old thread for which the answer has already been provided, and therefore your post could have gone unanswered.

To some extent I cannot follow your thinking above, as to many of us it is not so much the ship for an Alaska cruise, but the itinerary. Part of my confusion arises by your inclusion of Star Princess which for 2014 is doing 11 nights round trip from San Francisco, meaning four very long days at sea.

These are my personal opinions and observations:

Star Princess 11 nights from SF - too many sea days (for me) but otherwise a pretty good itinerary with Glacier Bay National Park and the three main ports, together with the compulsory stop in Victoria but, surprise, that is at reasonable hours which most are not. Passengers 2,600.

HAL Amsterdam 14 nights from Seattle - only a four cruises next season on this quite interesting itinerary including Homer, Kodiak and Sitka, but no Glacier Bay. Most other sailings of Amsterdam are 7 nights Seattle round trip substituting Sitka for Skagway, and no Glacier Bay. Passengers 1,380.

Celebrity Century 7 nights round trip from Vancouver - not the best of itineraries IMO with only Juneau, Ketchikan and Hubbard Glacier. This itinerary would be one of the last ones I would choose. 1,750 passengers.

Oceania Regatta is getting toward the luxury end of the market. 10 nights R/T Seattle - Juneau and Ketchikan, with ISP, Sitka, Wrangell and Hubbard Glacier, also usable time in Victoria. 688 passengers.

Norwegian Sun 7 night ONE-WAY Vancouver or Wittier - the 3 usual ports with Glacier Bay N/B and ISP S/B. 2,002 passengers.

You nay see where my confusion kicks in because you have a mixture of a O/W with R/T's from Vancouver, Seattle and even SF, with number of nights ranging from 7 to 14.. I would have thought that the first decision would be whether to do a O/W or R/T and, if the latter, from which port and what duration? I highly recommend that you read the Top Question on this forum regarding Alaska cruises as that would be a guide for you to make such decision

Looking at the 7 night round trip options, my PERSONAL choice of cruises based on itineraries would be as follows:

Vancouver - HAL Volendam or Zuiderdam, then Pacific Princess, Celebrity Century, HAL Zaandam or Disney Wonder.

Seattle - Golden Princess or Norwegian Pearl, HAL Westerdam, then the rest who are nearly all on very similar itineraries.

Just a few thoughts to get you going.

10. Re: Alaska cruise

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