My husband and I would love to do Alaska on Celebrity. However, Celebrity does not go to Glacier Bay. I believe they do a smaller glacier (Hubbard). Would we be missing out much if we did not see Glacier Bay. Also, can any one comment on which Celebrity ship (Mercury, Infinity, Summit) is best for Alaska. Is the Thallostherapy Pool (? spelling) free of charge on any of these ships as it is on the Millenium? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
My opinion only, but Glacier Bay is at the top of my list and my preference of the 3 now inside passage glacier visited (have been to them all). Certainly worthwhile - ANY glacier visit. Make selections based on several factors- time in port, cost, ports, route, glaciers. Any trip will be a compromise- mandating return trips.
we sailed the infinity rt 2 yrs ago and went to hubbard. friends who had been to glacier bay commented that the trip to the bay was nicer with glacier but the hubbard glacier itself was better. we saw it calve, it was huge!
this summer we're going back adn doing the summit one way
I was amazed with Hubbard Glacier, sure look large enough for me and we were able to get pretty close, at least close enough to hear it. You can't quite capture it on film, but I did take lots of pics that day at the bottom of my Infinity review:
Hubbard glacier physically is much larger than any of the glaciers in Glacier Bay. It is spectacular. However for me there is no choice. Next Alaskan cruise will be to Glacier bay again. Many glaciers and an unbelievably beautiful setting.
Hubbard calved more than the Margerie (Glacier Bay) glacier however I got lucky and got a quick video of Margerie calving. The sound is as impressive as the sight of the calving.
We sailed the Mercury and loved her.
You have a tough decision........but a fun decision. You can't lose with either choice.
Having been to both, Glacier Bay is definitely my choice!!!!! No comparison. Also, check to see if there is a naturalist on Celebrity's ships. IMHO----RCCL and Celebrity are not choice lines for Alaska since in the past they did not include natualists on board for the week and they don't go to Glacier Bay. The thalossopy pool is only free on Millennium class ships, not on the Mercury. Also, on some of the Princess ships you have College Fiords----Not sure on HAL. Been to Alaska 4x and loving it each time.
I sm doing the Celebrity Summit one way in July. Yes, we will not see Glacier Bay, it was a compromise we made based on many factors, one of them being that Celebrity ships and service get such a great rating from cruisemates, frommer's, and various travel resources. Our primary reason for this trip is the cruise, and the secondary reason is to see Alaska.
So it's true we won't see Glacier Bay, but we will still get to experience Hubbard glacier, Icy Strait, and the ports of Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, etc.
We have done a ton of research in planning this trip and many people say many different things about what is a "must do" if you are taking an Alaskan Cruise. The following things are "musts" for many people:
1. Glacier Bay
2. College Fjord
3. Helicopter ride and glacier landing
4. Cabin with a balcony
6. White Pass rail trip in Skagway
These are just 6 of the things people say are “must do’s”, but as you can see, it is impossible to do it all unless you are working with an unlimited budget and an unlimited amount of time. I think Karen16 says it best when she states that you will have to make compromises based on several factors.
I don't speak from experience, because I haven't been there yet. My opinions are based from gathering many different opinions and taking them all with a grain of salt. Prioritize what is is you really want to do and see, and let your budget dictate what really happens!
This year I did Glacier Bay and really enjoyed it. That said it did rain and was foggy the whole time, so I did not get the experiance that some did. Personally, I liked walking up to Mendenhall Glacier( or at least the lakeside) at Juneau as much as the ones at Glacier Bay National Park. The best thing I saw at Glacier Bay NP was the ice calving.
Next year, I will be going to Hubbard Glacier which I expect to be very simular. Hubbard Glacier is actually progressing while others are in decline.
My guess is both are well worth seeing!!!
I've been to Glacier Bay but haven't been to Hubbard, so I can't compare the two, but we LOVED Glacier Bay, and it would be hard to even consider an Alaska cruise without that part of the itinerary. But we also liked the Prince William Sound area just as much. That's the area that is sailed on northbound or southbound itineraries and not on the round-trip Vancouver itineraries, and I highly recommend the northbound route since you sail out of Vancouver and don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to sail into Vancouver on the last day like you do on the southbound routes. There are fantastic glaciers in that area, and I agree with the previous post that says all glaciers are spectacular since we also saw some on our ground portion. Whatever you decide, I hope you have a great time.