We are booked on the Infinity for next July but I am having second thoughts. It's a Vancouver round trip. We are considering a southbound one way Seaward to Vancouver. Can anyone who has taken both itineraries give me their perspective?
Easy call. Round trip out of Vancouver.Or Seattle is even better. I have done 4 cruises to Alaska. 3 round trip. First, Anchorage is another 2 or 3 hour flight past Vancouver. This ads time and extra cost to fly so far. Anchorage airport is 2.5 hours by bus to the ship. Vancouver airport is 30 minutes or less to the ship. The only extra things you usually see by sailing so far north is Tracey Arm and College Fiords. Once you've seen Glacier Bay or Hubbard Glacier and Mendenhall in Juneau, you don't really need these. I would use the money you save on airfare and spend a day or two in Vancouver.
I've done both, several times. In my opinion, I would never consider a one way cruise, unless I was going to invest at least another week for interior Alaska touring, meaning- excellent Denali park, take full advantage of being there, also a must for me is at least a full day in Seward with a a Kenai Fjords boat tour.
Celebrity is even less attractive on their one ways only due to no College Fjords, which if doing a one way, strongly consider including. Round trips offer plenty of excellent touring packed into 7 days. I disagree on the Seattle sailings, they just do way too much outside passage sailing for my preferences, Vancouver is superior. There can be more scenic sailing on round trips depending on the routing. Do your homework, consider ports time in ports, glacier, route, price. You'll quickly find out Alaska isn't a one time trip. Go with whats fits your priorities best.
What do you want to see and do on your Alaska cruise ?
How much wilderness do you want to see ?
How much time do you have ?
If you think you'll be cruising again to Alaska, then IMHO, it doesn't matter. Try a one way and next time try a round trip.
Not sure if I would ever cruise to Alaska again, for my first Alaska cruise, I took a south bound, Seward to Vancouver with a pre cruise land tour (4 days) (Denali National Park) - I'd have to say that it was great. If all the time (and $$) you have is to see the coastal port towns (skagway, ketchikan, juneau...) - ok, they're really great, but if you've got the TIME, there's more to see in Alaska's inland. Spend time (several days) inland to see Mt. Mckinley, Denali and other Alaska National Parks. I think the north most port (for round trip cruises) is Juneau - can you take a flight to Denali to see Mt. Mckinley ? Is there enough time to get out of the plane and take a land tour of Denali National Park ?
Of course, lots of people visit California all the time and see only the coast towns: San Francisco, Monterey/Carmel, LA, San Diego - the coast towns and never see Yosemite National Park.