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Old June 26th, 2011, 03:20 PM
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Default when to take a cruisetour

We are planning a cruise to Alaska and I'm interested in when you all think we should take our cruisetour. We will be going on Celebrity, should we take it before the cruise or after? We are looking at the end of August in 2012.
Thanx for any imput.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 05:19 PM
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From the comments I heard on board from people taking or have taken cruise tours . Most say if done again , they would take the land portion then the cruise. I normally take a 14 day NB/SB because I work country similar to Alaska .
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Old June 26th, 2011, 05:21 PM
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The cruise tour portion would be busy and active. The cruise more time to relax while you travel, so it makes the most sense to do the touring first.
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Old June 27th, 2011, 11:33 AM
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We did the tour after the cruise, because it was a TA fam trip and that is the way HAL arranged it for us. It worked fine.

A consideration is, that a pre cruise tour usually ends up in Anchorage and you board a SB cruise. We happen to like the NB cruise itinerary better in most cases.

Also, if you are doing as we did, a 3 day portion of a cruise followed by the tour, we prefer leaving from Vancouver or Seattle and doing the first three days that way.

Check out our trip report and pictures at Alaska Cruiestour The Cruise

Have a GREAT cruise!
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Old June 27th, 2011, 03:49 PM
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We did our cruise first (7 day northbound from Vancouver) followed by a 5 day cruisetour to Fairbanks. I quite liked it that way because I wanted the feeling that I was sailing to Alaska to go exploring inland.

Lisa
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Old June 27th, 2011, 08:38 PM
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We did a 7 day land tour prior to the cruise and it was fantastic .
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Old June 29th, 2011, 08:15 PM
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Thank you for your input. It seems like we wouldn't lose either way. Now to decide!
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Old June 29th, 2011, 08:58 PM
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Just make sure on the cruise section, you visit Glacier Bay. If that is not on the itinerary - I would cancel.

Cruisetour section is quite leisurely IMHO.

Annie
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Old June 29th, 2011, 10:18 PM
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I did not go on a tour including Glacier Bay but I had a fantastic vacation.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 12:13 PM
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Talking Glaciers and leisure

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Originally Posted by anniegb View Post
Just make sure on the cruise section, you visit Glacier Bay. If that is not on the itinerary - I would cancel.

Cruisetour section is quite leisurely IMHO.

Annie
I agree that for first time cruisers, Glacier Bay is the place to go. However there are alternatives. This question is so often asked I made up a page on it:

Alaska Glaciers

Hope this helps.

As for the cruise tour being leisurely -- well that depends on your definition. It consists of hours and hours on the bus or the train, and then get off and do as much as you can in the time available. So is that leisurely?
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Old June 30th, 2011, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MercedMike View Post
I agree that for first time cruisers, Glacier Bay is the place to go. However there are alternatives. This question is so often asked I made up a page on it:

Alaska Glaciers

Hope this helps.

As for the cruise tour being leisurely -- well that depends on your definition. It consists of hours and hours on the bus or the train, and then get off and do as much as you can in the time available. So is that leisurely?
I agree re hours and hours on trains - very boring JMHO - leisurely though.

Annie
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Old July 1st, 2011, 11:05 AM
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I agree re hours and hours on trains - very boring JMHO - leisurely though.

Annie
Ah, but you spend the time peering into the brush hoping to see wildlife.

Our total sighting from the train ... the South end of a moose going North fast ...
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Old July 1st, 2011, 01:23 PM
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Ah, but you spend the time peering into the brush hoping to see wildlife.

Our total sighting from the train ... the South end of a moose going North fast ...
Latterly I watched a film on my Ipod. There was very little birdlife also - it was a nice day but I think I took a total of two photographs.

Compared to the train journey from Lochgilphead to Mallaig it was very boring; I was so disappointed - I love train journeys.

They say the train journey is a highlight - all I can say is they have not completed many train journeys.

My recommendation would be to skip it - a wasted day IMHO.

Annie
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Old July 1st, 2011, 06:48 PM
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rhlaw,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You View Post
We are planning a cruise to Alaska and I'm interested in when you all think we should take our cruisetour. We will be going on Celebrity, should we take it before the cruise or after? We are looking at the end of August in 2012.
Thanx for any imput.
The scenery in Alaska seems to grow progressively more spectacular as you move northward. Thus, I think that it's best to do the cruise-tour in the northward direction rather than the southward direction. This places the land tour segment after the cruise segment rather than before.

That said, the land portion of a cruise-tour package tends to be pretty expensive. As an alternative, consider doing the land portion on your own. The main roads in Alaska are well maintained, so it's no problem to rent a car and drive yourself, but you can also book travel on the Alaska Railroad if you prefer. I do recommend reserving your lodging before you go, though -- summer is the peak tourist season and points in Alaska are pretty far apart, so it may be a long way to a hotel with rooms available if you encounter "no vacancy" signs and don't have a reservation where you were planning to stay.

Norm.
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Old July 1st, 2011, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Rev22:17 View Post
rhlaw,



The scenery in Alaska seems to grow progressively more spectacular as you move northward. Thus, I think that it's best to do the cruise-tour in the northward direction rather than the southward direction. This places the land tour segment after the cruise segment rather than before.

That said, the land portion of a cruise-tour package tends to be pretty expensive. As an alternative, consider doing the land portion on your own. The main roads in Alaska are well maintained, so it's no problem to rent a car and drive yourself, but you can also book travel on the Alaska Railroad if you prefer. I do recommend reserving your lodging before you go, though -- summer is the peak tourist season and points in Alaska are pretty far apart, so it may be a long way to a hotel with rooms available if you encounter "no vacancy" signs and don't have a reservation where you were planning to stay.

Norm.
If I was to visit Alaska again, I would not cruise and organise a land trip.

How I could incorporate Glacier Bay - I would have to research.

Denali and GB make Alaska worth the trip; the rest - .......... ?????

Annie
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 12:58 PM
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Unhappy Driving Alaska

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17 View Post
rhlaw,

That said, the land portion of a cruise-tour package tends to be pretty expensive. As an alternative, consider doing the land portion on your own. The main roads in Alaska are well maintained, so it's no problem to rent a car and drive yourself, but you can also book travel on the Alaska Railroad if you prefer.
Well, Norm, it is like this ...

We are people who like to cruise because we don't have to worry, don't have to make decisions, just relax and let the staff take care of us.

Now we don't get quite that service on a cruisetour, but it is considerably better than driving ourselves!

And as far as trying to save money -- I penciled it out before our tour, and it just doesn't work unless you are staying in budget rate dumps and eating peanut butter sandwiches. A first class driving tour worked out to be as expensive if not more expensive than a cruise tour.
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