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Old July 25th, 2007, 08:06 PM
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Default Inside passage vs one way trip

Am planning cruise to Alaska for July 2008. Reviewed a great deal of material and seems that one way trip has more stops and spends more time in ports. Will I see more on one way trip? Also, round trip seems to spend more time at sea? Any help/advice/opinions greatly appreciated. First cruise (of many I hope)

After reading many posts have opted for the balcony room.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: Inside passage vs one way trip

new2cruz,

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Originally Posted by You
Am planning cruise to Alaska for July 2008. Reviewed a great deal of material and seems that one way trip has more stops and spends more time in ports. Will I see more on one way trip? Also, round trip seems to spend more time at sea? Any help/advice/opinions greatly appreciated. First cruise (of many I hope)

After reading many posts have opted for the balcony room.
I don't know which cruise line you are considering, but most of the major lines have substantially similar itineraries -- three of the four major ports of call in the Inside Passage (Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, and Skagway), a day visiting glaciers somewhere, and a day transiting before and after. The difference is that the "one way" itineraries spend one of the transiting days crossing the gulf (usually in sight of the southern coastline) and may visit additional glaciers in College Fjord en route to or from Seward or Whittier, which are major ports to the south of Anchorage, whereas the "round trip" itineraries transit along the British Columbian coast both ways and stop briefly at Victoria to meet legal requirements if they operate out of Seattle.

The big difference is that the "one way" itineraries get you to Anchorage, which is the gateway to Alaska's interior. You won't see any of the interior on a "round trip" cruise.

Anchorage is a really neat city with a great downtown that's imminently walkable and safe. In the downtown area, you will find a lot of great restaurants, interesting shops that sell a lot of products that you won't find in the "lower forty-eight," and many sidewalk exhibits and other points of interest. The city also comes alive in the summer with an open air matket and street festivals on weekends. If you rent a car, Anchorage is also a great base for day trips to destinations such as Whittier (for a day cruise of College Fjord), the Mount Alyeska Resort, and Talkeetna, where a scenic overlook offers spectacular views of the world's tallest mountain (but check the weather forecast to be sure that it's going to be a clear day in the valley before you set out on this one!). If you have more time, you also can drive up to Denali National Park and Fairbanks.

And I highly recommend making reservations for lodging in Alaska's interior, as summer is the peak season. You may well encounter "No Vacancy" signs if you don't, and the nearest accommodations with vacancy may be hundreds of miles away.

Norm.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 12:52 PM
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I think it depends on what you want to do. If you want to just cruise I would do the inside passage round trip like we did a couple weeks ago. We loved it - good you have decided on a verandah/balcony. We spent a great deal of time on ours. I read a whole book on our verandah, lol. We saw so many whales & eagles. We saw orca on Captain's larry excursion we book on our own, not thru the ship. We were on Holland's Noordam.

If you want to take more than a cruise and go/ do a land tour then you do the one way.

We just wanted to do the cruise so we left out of Seattle and our itinery was leaving Seattle on Sunday, then Monday we were at sea, Tuesday we cruised the glacier bay just beautiful and we saw the largest calving (when pieces of the glacier falls in) ever seen by the people on our cruise ship, Wednesday was Juneau (oh that morning I woke up and open my curtains to the most beautiful green mountain with a picturesque little town below it. Took my breath away). Thursday, Sitka we weren't in port, but out in the bay that day. They took two of the boats down to transport people to Sitka, back and forth all day. First time to not actually dock in a town for us. WE were the only cruise ship in Sitka so it was nice to not have a crowded town like Juneau, Ketchikan, & Victoria was with 3 large cruise ships in port. Friday we were in Ketchickan then Saturday we were in Victoria. July is not the time to see Butchart Gardens in Victoria, I strongly suggest to avoid that excursion. We went July the 14th,2007. It was very congested with the locals seeing the fireworks and the cruise ships. Our excursion bus left before the fireworks or before it got dark so it wasn't a enchanted lighted gardens. The paths were just packed with people and you can't get away from the crowds. The souvenirs and to get something to drink is very expensive. We got a coke and a bottle of water for $6. 3 shot glasses, 3 ink pens, 2 key chains with little teddy bears on them cost us $42. Sunday we were back in port in Seattle again. Our debarking was wonderful on Holland. We waited on our verandah till our color was called. (This fuel tanker barge pulled up next to our ship and we thought we were going to get to watch them refuel the Noordam). No crowds just walk off, our suitcases were bunched together with our color and easily found then off to the bus to the airport. Easy breezy as they say. To get on is just as easy with no crowds and fast. Holland has this down pact. It's a crowd to get on/off with Carnival (we've been on two Caribbean cruises with Carnival). Herding of the cattle, lol.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 10:00 PM
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Thanks for info and advice. Haven't decided on cruise line yet as am trying to nail down the itinerary first. We are celebrating our 25th anniversary and are going with parents celebrating their 50th so are also looking for a cruise line that has a balance of activities and leisure time. Am leaning toward Celebrity and Royal Carribbean but have heard good things about Norwegian and sounds like Holland was good for you. Decisions, decisions - I suspect the second cruise is easier to plan
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Old July 30th, 2007, 06:25 PM
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new2cruz,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Thanks for info and advice. Haven't decided on cruise line yet as am trying to nail down the itinerary first. We are celebrating our 25th anniversary and are going with parents celebrating their 50th so are also looking for a cruise line that has a balance of activities and leisure time. Am leaning toward Celebrity and Royal Carribbean but have heard good things about Norwegian and sounds like Holland was good for you. Decisions, decisions - I suspect the second cruise is easier to plan
Each cruise line has a unique style and personality, and undoubtedly some lines will be a much better match for your style and personality than others. If you are not familiar with the various lines, I strongly recommend buying a travel guide to cruise lines and cruise ships and reading the description of each line thoroughly to get a sense of which line might be the best fit for you.

Norm.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by new2cruz
We are celebrating our 25th anniversary and are going with parents celebrating their 50th so are also looking for a cruise line that has a balance of activities and leisure time. Am leaning toward Celebrity and Royal Carribbean but have heard good things about Norwegian and sounds like Holland was good for you. Decisions, decisions - I suspect the second cruise is easier to plan
My .02....Celebrity and Royal Caribbean do not cruise Glacier Bay...if that is important to you.

The round trips from Seattle miss most (but not all) of the Inside Passage. They have so far to travel that they spend a lot of transit time on the open ocean.

One way trips from/to Vancouver cover more (most) of the Inside Passage, are on the open ocean for a day or so to transit from Glacier Bay to Prince William Sound. Princess, Carnival, Holland America and Norwegian (I think) all have permits for Glacier Bay.

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Old August 5th, 2007, 03:23 AM
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Default Re: Inside passage vs one way trip

[quote="Rev22:17"]new2cruz,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Am planning cruise to Alaska for July 2008. Reviewed a great deal of material and seems that one way trip has more stops and spends more time in ports. Will I see more on one way trip? Also, round trip seems to spend more time at sea? Any help/advice/opinions greatly appreciated. First cruise (of many I hope)

After reading many posts have opted for the balcony room.
The difference is that the "one way" itineraries spend one of the transiting days crossing the gulf (usually in sight of the southern coastline) and may visit additional glaciers in College Fjord en route to or from Seward or Whittier, which are major ports to the south of Anchorage, whereas the "round trip" itineraries transit along the British Columbian coast both ways and stop briefly at Victoria to meet legal requirements if they operate out of Seattle.
quote]


Having sailed many one way trips, the only ones that had land viewing crossing the Gulf were a long time ago when they sailed coastal and docked in Valdez. Expect this to be an open ocean day.

Round trip Seattle sailings, rarely are close to land, so essentially count this a 2 sea days. The exception is until third week in May, since this is a heavy humpback migrating route. So you can get excellent whale watching those 2 days.
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Old August 5th, 2007, 03:27 AM
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for clairfication- all Alaska cruises do inside passage. Can't get to the ports without it.

Round trip Vancouver can offer an excellent packed 7 days with usually 3 ports and a glacier. Scenic sailing during most of the transit days.

A one way, does NOT necessarily have more scenic sailing, it can have less, depending on the route. Especially if the itinerary does not include College Fjords with a northbound trip. This misses inside Vancouver Island and usually a sea day crossing the Gulf.

I only do one way trips when I am adding at least another week for interior Alaska touring. Consider taking advantage of being all the way there. Extremely worthwhile to do so.
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Old August 5th, 2007, 08:38 AM
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Thanks everyone for the excellent info. Don''t have time to do a cruise tour this time so have decided on an inside passage from Vancouver. Have pretty much decided on RCI. We are late 40s and travelling with my parents early 70s. RCI seemed to have something for all of us. Since this is my first cruise I don't really have any expectations - just glorious scenery. Everything else is a bonus.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 11:41 PM
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IMHO - a round trip cruise is preferable. Anchorage to me was like most other mid sized cities except for the very short nights and the earthquake park. The inside passage is a unique perspective of a place on this planet and a balcony cabin is a must so you do not miss anything.
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