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Old September 14th, 2002, 12:40 PM
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Default Any advice on picking my first cruise to Alaska?

Hi. I've taken several Carnival Cruises (Southern Caribbean, Bahamas, Ensenada), but I am now wanting to take a cruise to Alaska. What is the best cruise line for Alaska? My husband wants one that includes a land trip to Denali. I'd appreciate any suggestions you have. We could spend anywhere from 7 - 14 days. Thanks!
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Old September 14th, 2002, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: Any advice on picking my first cruise to Alaska?

Try to include Glacier Bay in any itinerary you choose. I really liked going to Alaska on Holland America. They had a steady stream of naturalists on board at all times. I also loved the cozy woolen plaid blankets on all of the real wood deck chairs. It gave a very warm welcoming touch to the cruise.

We took the 7 night round trip from Vancouver and enjoyed it greatly. We are going to sail on the Amsterdam next year out of Seattle. We have always wanted to see Sitka and the Hubbard glacier, so are starting to plan now.
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Old September 14th, 2002, 06:47 PM
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Default Re: Re: Any advice on picking my first cruise to Alaska?

Hi Janet,
BOth me and my husband had a wonderful time on Celebrity Infinity last week. It was an inside passage and round trip from Vancouver. Its possible to add on a land trip and add another 7 days.

There are just so many good Alaska itinaries to choose from, hope you find one thats suits you the best, but just be sure to do it, was a great cruise and I still can't believe what we saw.

You can check out the review on Cruisemates and the pics at the end, enjoy:

http://www.cruisemates.com/Articles/...infinity14.cfm

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Old September 17th, 2002, 02:13 PM
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Default re: Alaska

Actually, Carnival Spirit is a great ship for Alaska, since the balcony rooms are so cheap, and you MUST have a balcony room in Alaska!

I took it in June and loved it, and have already booked again for next June. The only disappointment is that it doesn't go to the Hubbard Glacier in 2003.

Denise
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Old September 18th, 2002, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: re: Alaska

My husband and I went on a wonderful Princess Cruise and Cruisetour in 2001. We did the cruisetour (land segment) first. We flew to Anchorage, stayed overnight. Went to Kenai Peninsula Princess Wilderness Lodge for one night. Went back to Anchorage for another night and caught the ultra dome train to Denali. We stayed two nights at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness lodge, taking a tour of Denali National Park. Then we got back on the train to Fairbanks for a one night stay at the Princess Riverside Lodge. In Fairbanks we took the riverboat trip, which was very interesting. Then we flew back to Anchorage and took the bus to the ship for the southbound cruise.
The nice thing about Princess is that all the hotels and buses and tours are owned by Princess. They do a wonderful job.
The Kenai Peninsula was gorgeous as was the Mt. McKinley Lodge. If you do decide on Princess I would highly recommend staying at the Mt McKinley rather than the Denali Princess Lodge. The Mt. McKinley Lodge was much more picturesque. The Denali Lodge was nothing to write home about. (We stopped there for lunch after our park tour, so we got a good look at it.)
The only part I was disappointed in was Fairbanks. The lodge was okay and the river was pretty and the riverboat trip was interesting, but there was no time to really see the city of Fairbanks. I would have enjoyed walking around there. Also, I thought I wouldn't like Anchorage, but on the contrary, it was a very nice city, picturesque and historical.
Princess has dozens of cruisetours to pick from. Get their brochure.
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Old September 26th, 2002, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: Re: re: Alaska

We've done 2 Alaska cruises on Royal Caribbean, & they were both round trip from Vancouver. The scenery is beautiful, & towns interesting. We took the interior tour on our own as we had free airline tickets to Anchorage. We stayed 4 nights there, and 2 nights each at Denali & Fairbanks. Don't miss Cabin Night at Denali. The food & entertainment are very good, kind of like going back in time. We took a taxi down to old Fairbanks, but it was Sunday & very few shops were open. Anchorage is big & lots to see & do there. We've also been on Princess cruises, & they are also good. No matter which one you choose, you'll have a great time in Alaska.
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Old September 26th, 2002, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: Any advice on picking my first cruise to Alaska?

Janet,

Princess Cruises and Holland America Lines are the most seasoned operators in Alaska, and both have their own tour divisions (Princess Tours and Westours, respectfully), rail cars, and hotels (Princess wildnerness lodges and Westmark hotels, respectively). If you opt for a cruise-tour option (highly recommended if you can swing it), Princess seems to be the better option because Princess has lodges in the remote areas, where there's no other lodging of similar grade, whereas Holland America's Westmark hotels are in the major cities where there are plenty of other premium hotels. The "Royal Celebrity Tours" (a sister operation of Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, owned by their parent, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.) was new this year IIRC and has not yet developed the same level of infrastructure.

As far as cruise itineraries are concerned, I definitely recommend the Gulf of Alaska cruise (called "Voyage of the Glaciers" on Princess) that visits College Fjord. Also, be sure your cruise visits Skagway and be sure to use the Alaska Railroad's "Grandview Rail Transfer" between Anchorage and Seward.

Norm.
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Old October 2nd, 2002, 05:49 PM
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Default cruising to Alaska

Hi. I've taken several Carnival Cruises (Southern Caribbean, Bahamas, Ensenada), but I am now wanting to take a cruise to Alaska. What is the best cruise line for Alaska? My husband wants one that includes a land trip to Denali. I'd appreciate any suggestions you have. We could spend anywhere from 7 - 14 days. Thanks!



My husband and I chose the Princess Cruisetour in 2001 even though we are avid RCCL fans. After sailing six cruises, I can say that this trip tops all others (ie, Hawaii, western Caribbean, southern Caribbean, and Bermuda). You are right to plan the land tour--the train trip MAKES the vacation! One piece of advice we were given, and we were glad we followed: do the land trip first, flying to Fairbanks and working your way down to Seward for the cruise. The land part was spectacular, but we were tired because of frequent packing and unpacking, and the cruise was restful afterwards so that we did not go home tired. Plus, our flight home was shorter and the longer flight was before the cruise when we were better able to handle it.
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Old October 3rd, 2002, 10:01 AM
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Default tour

Hi. I've taken several Carnival Cruises (Southern Caribbean, Bahamas, Ensenada), but I am now wanting to take a cruise to Alaska. What is the best cruise line for Alaska? My husband wants one that includes a land trip to Denali. I'd appreciate any suggestions you have. We could spend anywhere from 7 - 14 days. Thanks!

I am a many time Alaska visitor. Most important with any land touring is to allow at least 7 days if with a tour or at least 5 on your own. None of the tours include any meals unless specified. It is a fact you can indeed see twice as much for half the cost on your own. Very very simple to do. Look closely at any tour you may be considering- all can be duplicated if you decide to go independent. Since you are interested in Denali Park- it is important to know that there are many options into the park- a lot of people never realize this. Main differences are the TOUR buses and SHUTTLE buses. 2 tours Natural History- skip it- essentially useless only goes 17 miles in, Tundra wildlife 53 miles to Toklat. Shuttle Eielson mile 66 and Wonder Lake mile 85, I never go any less than to Eielson. Big cost differences Tundra tour $70+ get a box lunch and can't get off the bus except at the scheduled stops. Eielson $23 bring your own lunch and drinks, can get off the bus anywhere, but the stop at Eielson is sometimes enough to return on the same bus. With any travel- be sure to consider the VAST travel distances and time. The rail Anchorage- Fairbanks is 12 hours. Be sure your plans allow enough time at the destination- a lot of tours are lacking in this. Best in my experience is to go on your own- you see way far more of what is your interest. Get the MILEPOST- necessary reference for any independent touring.
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