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Old February 10th, 2009, 09:45 AM
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Default Alaska choices

Help! Never done Alaska and am looking at 3 different lines that fit my time frame in September, the only real difference is that HAL goes to Glacier Bay, Celebrity does Hubbard Glacier and Icy Point Strait and Royal Caribbean does Tracy Arm. Can someone give me some advice on which is the best to see for a first time Alaska cruiser. Thanks.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 10:21 AM
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Glacier Bay should be your first choice
Hubbard second choice
Tracy Arm third
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Old February 10th, 2009, 10:58 AM
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Thank you Peter for the advice. I was actually leaning towards RCCL but now I see that they have the least desireable itinerary for a first timer.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 10:30 PM
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Here is Hubbard Glacier I enjoyed the ports and Alaska. However, Celebrity was not my kind of line. Not enough to do on board I like have activities and fun. Celebrity is more kick back and relax. We cruised out of San Francisco, which I really liked.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 06:52 AM
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katlady, thanks for sharing the video, that was great!
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Old February 11th, 2009, 05:46 PM
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Hubbard is spectacular.........IMHO Glacier Bay is better. GB is also easier to get to with calmer waters and more scenery.

We've sailed HAL and Celebrity to Alaska and loved both lines. You'll find on Alaskan cruises that it's much more subdued. No bellyflop contests and reggae bands by the pool. We found it very peaceful which we like.

There of course is still Bingo, Casinos, etc
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Old February 11th, 2009, 06:16 PM
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katlady,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
However, Celebrity was not my kind of line. Not enough to do on board I like have activities and fun. Celebrity is more kick back and relax.
This comment surprises me, as all twelve of my Celebrity cruises have had plenty of activities. Of course, Celebrity does not announce activities over the PA system, so you do have to read the daily program to find out what's happening where and when....

Or perhaps Celebrity's activities just are not your style? That certainly would be a fair comment!

Norm.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Alaska choices

Quote:
Originally Posted by RosieRoo
Help! Never done Alaska and am looking at 3 different lines that fit my time frame in September, the only real difference is that HAL goes to Glacier Bay, Celebrity does Hubbard Glacier and Icy Point Strait and Royal Caribbean does Tracy Arm. Can someone give me some advice on which is the best to see for a first time Alaska cruiser. Thanks.
Hi Rosie,

For a first time Alaska or fro any Alaskan cruise, for that matter, I would recommend Holland America from the choices that you gave. Many cruises that go to Glacier Bay also go into College Fjord. That gives you two full days of glacier cruising. Celebrity and RCCL are not allowed into Glacier Bay National Park. Another excellent choice would be Princess, who is allowed into Glacier Bay National Park. I have been to both, well I only got about nine miles away from Hubbard Glacier on Celebrity, and the ships in Glacier Bay have always been able to provide great viewing of the glaciers. That is another drawback to Hubbard Glacier is that frequently, in the first two months of the season, many ships can not get to Hubbard Glacier and that would leave you with no glacier days at all, on your cruise, unless you book an expensive side trip.

IMHO, Glacier Bay is definitely the way to go, especially for a first time cruiser.

Debra
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Old February 15th, 2009, 06:49 PM
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Well i'm only 14 but the first cruise i went on was a Celebrity to alaska. We saw the hubbard glacier i remember that part probably the most out of the whole cruise it was amazing!
hope i helped!
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Old February 15th, 2009, 06:51 PM
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Well i'm only 14 but the first cruise i went on was a Celebrity to alaska. We saw the hubbard glacier i remember that part probably the most out of the whole cruise it was amazing!
hope i helped!
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Old February 16th, 2009, 06:45 AM
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To the OP, it can make a significant difference on WHEN in Sept. you are going. I don't recommend anything past the first few days for a first timer, intent on Alaska priorities. This timeframe has the worse weather potential of the Alaska cruise season. You would need to be VERY well prepared and accepting of cold, rain and dusk by 7pm. Proper attire will make all the difference.

These used to be "give away" cruises, which I picked up several times for my second/third trip of the year. The discounts aren't significant any longer in my opinion and my earlier trips were always better.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 07:49 PM
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Thanks for all the great advice. Glacier Bay seems to be the way to go. Change in plans will make us more flexible time wise, either May or August. I am hoping one of those months will offer better weather than September.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 11:09 PM
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We were undecided at first too. But now are booked for HAL's 7 day-round trip out of Seattle that includes Glacier Bay for May 31. Great prices!
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Old February 17th, 2009, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
katlady,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
However, Celebrity was not my kind of line. Not enough to do on board I like have activities and fun. Celebrity is more kick back and relax.
This comment surprises me, as all twelve of my Celebrity cruises have had plenty of activities. Of course, Celebrity does not announce activities over the PA system, so you do have to read the daily program to find out what's happening where and when....

Or perhaps Celebrity's activities just are not your style? That certainly would be a fair comment!

Norm.
I read the daily program everyday. It wasn't the Celebrity's activities weren't my style it was on my cruise there weren't many. I would have enjoyed enrichment lectures, cooking demos, any kind of trivia, but nothing. Unless I wanted to pay to have my teeth whiten there was nothing to do. This just wasn't the cruise line for my hubby and I.

However, it could have just been this particular cruise; the Infinity has had complaints before mine is not the first. Maybe if it was a different ship or a different itinerary my experience would have been different. I have no way of knowing that and I'm unwilling to risk it. It's too bad because Celebrity has some nice Hawaiian cruises.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RosieRoo
Thanks for all the great advice. Glacier Bay seems to be the way to go. Change in plans will make us more flexible time wise, either May or August. I am hoping one of those months will offer better weather than September.
We went end of May 2006. We have great weather and saw whales right off the ship that part was amazing. However, the week before us Alaska had a lot of rain so we may have gotten lucky with the weather. It only sprinkled a little bit in Vancouver. I got a tan on an alaksan cruise.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen16
To the OP, it can make a significant difference on WHEN in Sept. you are going. I don't recommend anything past the first few days for a first timer, intent on Alaska priorities. This timeframe has the worse weather potential of the Alaska cruise season. You would need to be VERY well prepared and accepting of cold, rain and dusk by 7pm. Proper attire will make all the difference.

These used to be "give away" cruises, which I picked up several times for my second/third trip of the year. The discounts aren't significant any longer in my opinion and my earlier trips were always better.
I would second, what Karen has said about going in September. While the weather is always unpredictable in Alaska, my experiences in sailing to Alaska in May have been very good. Right now there are some great prices for past passengers of Princess (you must log on to get the prices) and I am sure on other cruise lines in May, as well.

Debra
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Old March 23rd, 2009, 02:15 AM
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We traveled with RCCL and they were fantastic! We did leave out of Vancouver to get to see Hubbard Glacier. It was breath taking, and I could not leave the bow until it was out of sight. They were wonderful to us, and what was almost a nightmare cruise turned out to be perfect. We had been booked on another cruiseline and 2 weeks before we left, our ship was a feature article in the newspaper. It was running only on 2 of 4 engines, and then tells cruisers, once out to sea, that they would not be stopping at many ports of call due to the slowness of their speed.
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