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  #1 (permalink)  
Old March 8th, 2009, 10:42 PM
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Default Need some advice - Alaska Cruise

I would really appreciate your input on planning an Alaskan Cruise with my cousins.
It will be my 3rd cruise and their first.
(My first cruise to Alaska)

It will probably be the only cruise they'll be able to go on... due to health issues and money issues. So a once-in-a-lifetime trip for them.

They want to do the cruise and the land tour.
They want to see Denali National park and ride the train.
We're looking at Princess. But are opened to any cruise line.

Cruise first and then Land??
Where to start and end up??

Looking forward to all your wonderful recommendations.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 08:43 AM
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Since money is an issue, look for the best deal you can find on a cruise that suits you (there are LOTS this year - even HAL has some dirt-cheap sailings), and plan your land portion with a rental car to get the best value in accommodations, meals, etc (and so you see what YOU want to see, when you want to see it). Most people prefer the cruise second, as it's the more relaxing.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 03:28 PM
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From comments that I heard on our Alaska last year.

The general option would be to do the land first and the cruise

second . This way you can relax after the land portion.

Most found the lan portion very hectic and a lot of traveling.

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Old March 9th, 2009, 09:18 PM
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I'm doing the land first with Princess. They have awesome 2 for 1 deals on cruises right now. The advice of others convinced me to cruise last. All your moving around is done. Plus, the plane ride home is shorter.

Unfortunately, flying into one place then flying out another is more expensive. Although they do have cruises (with tours?) round-trip out of Seattle.

Good Luck!
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Old March 10th, 2009, 12:04 AM
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Thanks everyone!

I really wanted to go roundtrip from Seattle, but couldn't find the land tours with that.

I'll keep searching
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Old March 10th, 2009, 06:52 AM
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Your right, I couldn't find it on their (Princess) cruisetour page. I did remember reading about Seattle cruisetours and after searching some more, there was a news announcement on their website (1/8/09) about a deal they had going in February. The promotion is over but it is hard to believe they still don't have cruisetours from Seattle.

Maybe they haven't updated the website? Try calling their 800 number. It sounds like what you're looking for.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 08:45 AM
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Thanks, I shall try calling them
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Old March 10th, 2009, 10:06 AM
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Legally cruises from Seattle can't drop passengers off for land tours.

According to the Jones Act (188?) , only american crewed ,flagged

and built ships can carry passengers can carry passengers (also freight)

between american ports . This is why cruises from Seattle stop in

Victoria sometines Prince Rupert before they arrive in Seattle.

The only exceptions are repositioning cruises.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doopydozer
Legally cruises from Seattle can't drop passengers off for land tours.

According to the Jones Act (188?) , only american crewed ,flagged

and built ships can carry passengers can carry passengers (also freight)

between american ports . This is why cruises from Seattle stop in

Victoria sometines Prince Rupert before they arrive in Seattle.

The only exceptions are repositioning cruises.
It's the Passenger Service Act. The deal Princess had included transportation to Vancouver/Whittier with a land tour package. NONE included Seattle ships.

For ANY cruisetour, it is best you do your homework. Princess, has WAY too many poor cruisetour choices, especially the ones that include the Natural History tour, completely MISSES Denali Park- why go there??? Princess trains also are table seating, with assigned seats. If you are a couple, you will be seated with another pair. This probably is best for four people traveling together. A significant factor people frequently miss and underestimate is time and distance. Again, way too many cruisetours are all transit with little time at destinations. Know the facts so you can make a choice for your touring priority. Overall avoid shorter cruisetours, at the min, you need to consider at least 5 days, better is 7++. Meals are extra unless specified. Budget 50% more than you would at home.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 10:01 PM
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Thanks so much everyone

I will really do my homework - I want this to be a special trip
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Old March 12th, 2009, 09:47 PM
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If you want to ride the Alaska Railroad, try contacting them directly. They offer land tours and you can build your own itinerary. Hope this helps. Happy cruising!
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Old March 13th, 2009, 09:48 PM
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Thanks everyone

I'll check out the railroad directly also.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Cruise4Fun
If you want to ride the Alaska Railroad, try contacting them directly. They offer land tours and you can build your own itinerary. Hope this helps. Happy cruising!
Even better, combine this with a coupon offer. BUT overall, traveling by Railroad requires more time, in my opinion, at least another full day. If short on time, you are far better off with a rental car.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 10:37 PM
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if you want it to be a "once in a life time" trip do the cruisetour that flies you up to prudhoe bay and follows the dalton highway back down.
Best Trip EVER.
it's a rough road... 450 miles unpaved, ravenous mosquitos, portapotties... but a MAGICAL experience and you will see the bush not just some trees and deer statues outside your lodge window. seriously, it makes denali look like disneyland.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 10:10 AM
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Another great idea!
Thank you so much!
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 12:35 PM
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Please get trip insurance for this very important experience.

Phil & Liz
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