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  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 3rd, 2004, 02:15 PM
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Default end of season in alaska

Just wondering what to expect on an end of the season cruise to Alaska. Anyone have experience with weather, daylight hours? Just booked some friends on a NCL Sun cruise for Sept 19th and were hoping that it will still be a good time to cruise. Thanks in advance for advice, (and even warnings)
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: end of season in alaska

It is less than ideal. You will get plenty of posts on one time "excellent" cruises. But the odds are against it. I don't recommend this time for a first time Alaska visitor. Expect and be well prepared for- average 3 days of rain, temps 40-60's dusk by 7pm. I have cruised the last cruise of the season a few times- but always as my second yearly trip. Earlier has always been better. Expect and get deep discounts. It is worthwhile- IF people know what to expect and are prepared- but I saw way too many who were not. Last season was exceptionly warm with excellent weather into late Sept. but was also highly atypical.
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Old June 5th, 2004, 08:52 AM
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Default Re: Re: end of season in alaska

Karen is right-late cruises can be 'risky'. However I am hoping to prove her wrong .We are booked on Ryndam,Southbound on 9/10.

Ok there may be shorter days but in Sept,there is a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights and also as the salmon is plentiful,a good chance of seeing whales and bears getting ready for their winter hibernation [the bears not the whales!!!]

We had a Sept cruise Northbound in 2001 and it was as good as ever.. You watch though after saying all of this- it will rain evry day etc.

The beauty of Alaska is that each seaon has something different.

Lu
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Old June 5th, 2004, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: end of season in alaska

Ok there may be shorter days but in Sept,there is a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights and also as the salmon is plentiful,a good chance of seeing whales and bears getting ready for their winter hibernation [the bears not the whales!!!]



Northern Lights are less than ideal on the Inside Passage, Fairbanks yes very possible. Any wildlife will require a tour for extended views, bears are not likely seen at all on the inside passage without a fly in tour.
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Old June 5th, 2004, 09:32 PM
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Default Re: Re: end of season in alaska

Karen,

As we are starting from Seward,and taking a few 'independent' days before boarding,Northern Lights are possible- and can be viewed as far away as Anchorage and the Kenai Penisular Fairbanks may guarantee a front row seat but the view and its effects are not limited to just that part.

You may be right regarding the need to take a trip to see any bears that are still around

All I am trying to point out is that 'later' trips are not as 'bleak' as you seem to suggest.

As long as you are prepared for slighly colder temps and less daylight, these trips can be enjoyable.

Like you I have done these cruises at all times of the season and Alaska still surprises me with the unexpected . Thats why we go back so much.

Lu
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Old June 6th, 2004, 01:19 PM
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Default Re: end of season in alaska

You aren't going to see northern lights in Anchorage- you will need to drive well out of the city. I did not say Fairbanks is the only location- but that inside passage is less than ideal. I have seen them in Skagway. Key is to be up in the middle of the night- in a dark place. Most ships don't have any. The exception is the Sun/Dawn Princess for their excellent DARK front deck on the Aloha deck, right under the bridge. I have had just excellent views from here- mostly by my self but never with more than a few people. I'm not trying to be difficult, but I too have gone on end of season cruises and by far earlier have been better all the way around. I see way too many people under prepared, still thinking it's light until midnight, not enough warm attire etc. I'm sure you have seen the people who only seemed to have packed shorts. I only post to be factual, there can be great bargains and certainly wonderful adventures. It will just make it better with all the information and being well prepared for anything. Last season was exceptional, and atypical. Let's hope for a repeat.
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Old June 12th, 2004, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: end of season in alaska

This will be our 5th cruise to Alaska, the 1st being the end of July, which we found too warm and not what we expected of Alaska. Since that time we have always booked in September and never been disappointed. It is cooler but then that was what I was expecting in the 1st place - Shopping is great - all of the end of season sales..We are booked again this year on the Carnival Spirit for the September 15th sailing..and I am ready willing and able - only 95 more days...I am sure that whenever you go you will have a wonderful cruise - the scenery is absolutely breath taking....ENJOY!!
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Old June 13th, 2004, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: end of season in alaska

Don't forget that September can be quite beautiful in the Northwest. I live in Washington State and typically September is one of the most beautiful months. We aren't far from Alaska. Dusk at 7 P.M. is not a bad time because most people will be either dining or cocktailing by then.

In general. I would predict better weather in Septenber than May for sure. We did the inland passage last June and it poured rain every day and it was quite cold. It doesn't get consistantly sunny until July. (And that is if you're lucky!)

I'd also add that it can be rainy any day of the summer in Alaska. Take a bit of rain gear and you'll be good to go.

Happy Cruising! If you don't want rain, don't go to Alaska. It's that simple.
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Old June 13th, 2004, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: end of season in alaska

We went to Alaska on 9/8/02, & only had a little drizzle at Skagway. Yes, it was cold at the glacier but the rest of the time it was very pleasant. We enjoyed it as much as the cruise we took in June 1998.
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Old June 14th, 2004, 06:22 AM
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Default Re: end of season in alaska

i am booked for sept 19 on statendam and can't wait for the change in weather coming from the northeast the weather doen not disappoint me i enjoy the weather in alaska then rather than the summer months but that's me.Scenery is breathtaking and i am just starting to countdown the days hurrah!!!!!!
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Old June 17th, 2004, 11:12 PM
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Default Re: Re: end of season in alaska

Norma, my family and I are also on the Carnival Spirit on September 15th. Have booked a balcony cabin for me and my husband and an inside for our three daughters. We are getting so excited. I also don't want hot weather, I would rather have cooler weather going to Alaska. If I wanted hot weather, I would go to the Caribbean instead! I live in the desert and will look forward to cooler weather, just hope it doesn't rain too much. I am looking forward to shopping all the end of season sales too. For shore excursions we are going on the Misty Fjords Flightseeing in Ketchikan and the Eagle Preserve Float trip in Skagway-out of Haines. In Juneau, I have a friend who lives there that is a pilot and he is taking us up in his plane and flying over the glaciers and wherever else he wants to take us! See you in September!
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Old June 18th, 2004, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: end of season in alaska

We sailed Infinity's Inside Passage 9/7/01 [yes, 9/11 happened in the middle of it.] We found the weather far better than what we expected. While it was cloudy some days it did not rain. We felt this was probably a fluk but we are a group sailing on her again 9/19/04. I am prepared for whatever weather gets thrown our way. We sail in September because it is cheaper, there are always trade-offs. Predicting weather there is tough, so go with the attitude you will accept it and have fun, I know we all will..
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Old June 27th, 2004, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: end of season in alaska

finally, someone who will be on our cruise. We are booked in catagory 11 - there is my husband, our son and a family friend....we are on the empress deck..we did the eagle preserve floattrip in 2002 - it was cold so be sure to dress warm...how old are your girls?
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Old June 27th, 2004, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: end of season in alaska

We are going to be on the NCL Sun 9/19/04..this will be our first time as well as our honeymoon..lol. We are sooo excited about this trip. We don't care what the weather is, just going to have a blast!!!
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Old June 28th, 2004, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: end of season in alaska

The weather was great the week in September 2003 that did the inside passage on the HAL Statendam. It rained one day and that was a day at sea. Lows in the 40's highs in the 50's. ( for the most part I would guess). I did get a glimpse of the Northern lights and viewed quite a bit of wildlife. From my personal experiences at least, September is about $500 cheaper than July. Also last year everything in the gift shops on shore as well as many on the ship were marked down to 1/2 price at the end of season. In Juneau I even got some nice 50/50 blend t-shirts for $5 apiece, marked down from about $20. While weather is more unpredictable in September, there can be some advantages.
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Old June 30th, 2004, 02:24 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: end of season in alaska

Hi Norma: We are on the upper deck aft starboard. My daughters are ages 17,15 and 11. My 15yo daughter will be celebrating her birthday on the ship. How old is your son? My daughters are hoping to meet some boys their age on the cruise but I have told them not as many kids will be on this cruise as it is during school so hopefully they will meet a few their age. I want them to keep really busy on the ship and do their own thing so my husband and I can relax. The 11yo is really excited to go to Camp Carnival. Hope to see you on the cruise, we will have to set up a time to have a drink. Only 79 days to go!!!
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Old July 5th, 2004, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: end of season in alaska

What are you delusional? The only reason you booked in sept is $$$$$$. The weather is cold and most of the staff has gone back to college...you get what you pay for cheapie!!!
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Old July 7th, 2004, 10:13 AM
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Default Re: end of season in alaska

maryd: I think you are waaay out of line with your post. I sailed in September the first time and sailing again in September. It is cheaper for us and with a group of 60 the savings are significant. if it's cold so what, if it rains, so what, it's our purse not yours. We found the service to be superb, if people had gone back to college, it sure didn't show. Frankly, to call us cheapies only makes YOU look bad.
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Old July 7th, 2004, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: Re: end of season in alaska

Mary d: I am also shocked to hear what you said on this board about going to Alaska in September. I am taking 3 teens and with the price of the cruise and all the excursions, it is costing us a bundle as it is. We are also celebrating birthdays during the cruise and prefer to go at that time. I also read in another post where you wrote about tipping. I have been on several cruises and have always tipped very well. It has nothing to do with going on a cheaper cruise or going on Carnival, as you posted people were cheap on the Carnival Spirit. I will also be on the Carnival Spirit! I don't think you have the right to stereotype people or call them names! I found your posts to be very grim and not helpful in the least! Cheer up!
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Old July 7th, 2004, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: end of season in alaska

Mary D, this is a no flamming board!!! If you can't think of anything nice or helpful, then consider yourself unwelcome.
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Old July 8th, 2004, 07:59 AM
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Default Re: end of season in alaska

Hey Guys,

Dont let Mary's post put you off- what Karen wrote earlier is truth-
I have been before in Sept and its justa different time thats all-
Anyone who has ever been to Alaska -no matter what season will tell you that the weather is unpredicatable.

The only difference in Sept is the amount of daylight,it being obviously a shorter day than say June.-7.30-8pm Sunset rather than 10-11pm..

We are going 9/10 Southbound on the Ryndam and contrary to what Mary says-its not for the reasons she has laid out. Its our desire to try something different. We had just disembarked at Seward on 9/11 and so our time that week was , shall we say, a little tense.....

If you vsit this board often and Cruise Critics Board,you will note that there are a number of posters like Mary. for instance on this board you will note that from time to time 'Hanna' appears with her 'we are all doomed' posts...

Some folk like to always see the glass half empty.

Dont let it bother you-Alaska is great-I have not been as many times as Karen but I am catching up... Take notice of what Karen posts-She has a wealth of experience and knowledge that she passes willing on to others on this board and other boards.

Have a great cruise

Lu
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Old July 8th, 2004, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Re: end of season in alaska

She is apparently trying to keep up with the Jones's and wants to do the "in" thing at the right time and the right place. Get a grip!
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Old August 8th, 2004, 12:03 AM
Don Pelham
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Default Re: end of season in alaska

The wife and I are taking the Radience on Aug 21/04. This is our first cruise and we are anxious about what kind of clothes to bring. we were fortuate to get on this cruise as I booked it 2 weeks ago. I wanted an outside cabin and we were gauranteed one on deck 4. I looked at pictures of the ship but couldn't figure which deck was which. We have now been assigned a "family suite" on deck 8 all the way forward to starboard.

It will be nice to be aboard a ship where I don't have to stand watch.
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Old August 8th, 2004, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: end of season in alaska

You need a wide range of attire- include lightweight lined jackets- key is quick drying, rain gear, 2 pair of walking shoes, knit hat gloves, sweatshirts, turtlenecks, tshirts. I never take jeans- again take too long to dry, bulky , tend to get and stay damp, I like lined and unlined windpants, leggins.
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