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Old April 23rd, 2010, 11:40 AM
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Talking Alaskan Cruise

We are already planning our next cruise and would like to go to Alaska. We leave on our FIRST cruise May 30th but I know we will be wanting to continue to book other cruises. We have many friends that have done the Alaskan one and loved it. In your opinion, which cruise line would you recommend since we are now family (cruise mates family that is). Also, leave from Seatlle or Vancouver?

Danny and Vikki
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 02:26 PM
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The choices are yours. There is a wide variety of options. HAL, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity offer "Cruise Tours" that are land and cruise packages.

What sort of ambiance are you looking for onboard. In Alaska the destination is the major draw but the different cruise lines and ships can offer a different product.

HAL and Princess have the most experience in Alaska and will give you a great cruise.

NCL's Freestyle will give you a more flexible schedule for dining and alternative restaurants.

You can spend more money and get a more up close experience with a high end line like Cruise West.

My personal favorites would be Princess and NCL. A round trip from Seattle or Vancouver will save you a "bit" on airfare. Seattle is convenient but I prefer sailing out of Vancouver. I have done a one way and it is great, especially if you are going to spend a few extra days in Anchorage and the surrounding area.

Take care,
Mike
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 04:13 PM
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I just did a cruise tour with Princess starting in Fairbanks and ending in Vancouver. With help from our Cruisemate friends and reading many books on visiting Alaska, this trip of a lifetime will never be forgotten.

My suggestion is decide what you want to experience in Alaska. Dogsledding? Fishing? Whale watching? Glacier hiking? Then find a cruise or cruise tour that fits.

I have read on here that a one way Vancouver run has more scenery and less 'oceanview', for lack of a better word. If you would like to cruisetour, most people prefer to get the packing/unpacking out of the way by doing the land portion first and then enjoy a relaxing cruise. However, the cruise lines know this and will charge a bit more for a southbound itinerary.

Seattle has its positives. The flights are most likely cheaper and I believe a full passport is not needed. I haven't checked on what is needed for US re-entry lately as I have a full passport.

Vancouver is a beautiful city and I wish I could have stayed a night or two.

Sweet Sailing!
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 05:07 PM
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We've done round trips only from Vancouver and Seattle....and prefer Vancouver. Incredibly scenic. Also I highly recommend visiting Glacier Bay which will narrow you cruiseline choice. Hubbard Glacier's wonderful but IMHO Glacier Bay is better
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Old April 28th, 2010, 03:50 PM
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What are you doing this trip?? You may want different offerings with the next?

Round trip Vancouver trips can be extremely scenic. Round trip Seattle, offer the least scenic itineraries. NCL, last season, did do a trial of Inside Vancouver Island northbound, so would be an added feature to look at.

BUT, overall, do your homework, find out about the various Alaska ports, there are only 6 on the regular 7 day sailings. Find out about the significant glacier differences.
And finally, if going with a one way, I highly recommend adding on time for touring Interior Alaska, I never do these trips without it. In my opinion, more is always better, but it can be best to look at at least 5 extra days, then Denali Park and Seward can be added- wildlife hot spots.

Head to your library and take out Alaska travel books, especially Fodor's Alaska, Frommer's Alaska, Alaska By Cruiseship.
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