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Old May 1st, 2014, 08:39 PM
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Default All Info We can get on Alaska!!

We are a group of 8 people. We need all the info we can get about Alaska. We are planning on cruising Carnival for sure. But need to know about good excursions.. when we end our cruise we are in Canada. Do they ahve shuttles to Seattle Washington or what??? where is Seattle airport ?? near port?? or not?/ Hotels..? so many questions. Any help will be greatly appreciated! thanks ahead of time. Cruisingrandma
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Old May 1st, 2014, 09:14 PM
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Are you already booked on Carnival for your Alaska cruise? If so, did you book with an agent or did you do it yourself? And if you are already booked, which cruise are you taking? Dates, ship name?

We need this information in order to help you with specific answers.
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Old May 1st, 2014, 11:31 PM
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Just me, but if I was doing Alaska, Carnival would be the last one on my list. There are other much better ships and the prices are not that much different. But to each their own.

As Dave alluded to, we need more information to help you. But hopefully you booked with an agent who has been there done that and can spend time discussing all the various details. If you booked directly with Carnival, they won't be much help at all because the people you'll talk to have never been on a cruise, let alone ever been to Alaska.

We spent 14 days on a cruise tour and Alaska is absolutely amazing, so I know you'll have a wonderful time.

Pete
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 08:47 AM
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Since cruising Alaska is one of those once in a lifetime kind of cruises, I too would consider looking at some of the other lines. I prefer Princess when going to Alaska, many more ships and ports to visit, plus you want to make sure you have a good glacier stop in there. You also can start at ports other than Seattle... I would do some homework and talk to a good cruise agent and book the best cruise for your group.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 08:58 AM
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Just me, but if I was doing Alaska, Carnival would be the last one on my list. There are other much better ships and the prices are not that much different. But to each their own.

Pete

Carnival would be the last on my list no matter what the itinerary was.


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Old May 2nd, 2014, 10:43 AM
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I take it you are taking the September 10th cruise on Miracle. If you are cruising Carnival Miracle out of Seattle then you will be cruising Glacier Bay. This is a wonderful experience and Carnival will have a rep from the U.S. National Parks Service and a Naturalist on board. They will give information to the ship while you cruise Glacier Bay. The Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara ships do not go to Glacier Bay because of an incident a number of years ago. If you are only doing a cruise then Carnival will be a good choice. If you were doing a cruise tour then I would recommend HAL or Princess. If you like Carnival then go with Carnival.

I would also budget for at least one "Big" tour. This would be something like a "Flight seeing" excursion in Ketchikan. A helicopter tour in Juneau, whale watching, or dog sledding.

There are also a number of bear watching excursions and the salmon feeds are a great time and good food.

The White Pass train excursion is interesting but do some research to see if it something you would like to do.

In my previous Alaska cruises there was cruise transportation available to Seattle. You will need to contact your TA or Carnival in order to get the definitive information on this.

One great thing about an Alaskan cruise is that you can sit back, on deck or your balcony, and see some of the best scenery anywhere in the world.

One thing to remember: The whales will always be on the opposite side of the ship then the side you are on.

Take care,
Mike
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 11:02 AM
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As I mentioned in my response to Cruising Grandma, if you like a certain cruise line then the cruise portion of most, closed loop, Alaskan cruises will have very similar itineraries, no matter what major cruise line it is. I.E. Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Victoria, and perhaps Sitka. The differences are what "Glaciers" and "Arms" they cruise.

Carnival has a good itinerary for Alaska that includes Glacier Bay. Royal Caribbean, including Celebrity and Azamara, cannot do Glacier Bay and will do Tracy Arm/Twin Glacier or Hubbard Glacier. Both, in my opinion, inferior to Glacier Bay.

Carnival will also have a Naturalist on board as well as a rep of the Parks Service. The Naturalist will be on the cruise the whole time and will provide information and give lectures. The member of the Parks Service will be on board while in Glacier Bay and provide information over the PA system. Just like on other cruise lines. This is the same as Princess, HAL or Celebrity.

Where some other cruise lines shine is on a "Cruise Tour" where you have a pre or post cruise land tour of Alaska or Canada. Princess and HAL are the best choices for a cruise tour. If you aren't doing a cruise tour then the cruise line choice is wide open.

So don't make a blanket statement that Carnival is not a good choice for an Alaskan cruise. If someone likes the Carnival product then it can be an excellent choice for them and don't perpetuate the myth that they will be missing out on some "secret" that only the other cruise lines can provide.

Take care,
Mike
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 01:08 PM
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Didn't see anyone saying Carnival wasn't a good choice for Alaska. I and others said it was just not a good choice for us. If someone likes Carnival, then they'll enjoy them in Alaska.

I was just saying I, personally, would prefer other cruise lines in Alaska - not saying others should do them. As I said, to each their own. What one person loves, another will hate. And with cruising, there's something for everyone and everyone has their own opinion about what's good or bad for them.

And just for informational purposes, the Miracle only has three departures this year that include Glacier Bay. All the rest of their cruises go to Tracy Arm. Plus, they do not go to Hubbard Glacier.

If you want glaciers, try Princess - they have an itinerary that includes both Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier.

Or if you really want to do an awesome itinerary, Holland America has a unique 14-night cruise that goes from Seattle to Anchorage and back. About the only place they're not going is Glacier Bay, but they do have some wonderful ports that most others don't do.

But I do agree with others, if you really want to see Alaska, there's nothing like a great cruisetour (which Carnival does not offer) that gets you into the heart of Alaska to places like Anchorage, Denali, and Fairbanks.

My best advice is to decide where you want to go, what you want to see, what you want to do, and then take a look at what cruise lines go there because this may help you narrow down your choices of which cruise lines may be able to satisfy your needs. If you choose the cruise line first, then you may miss out on some places you really want to see. Remember, Alaska is more about the destination than it is about the ship.

Pete
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 09:59 PM
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we did not book yet. middle of july 2015... i usually book with carnival directly.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 10:01 PM
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If you choose the cruise line first, then you may miss out on some places you really want to see. Remember, Alaska is more about the destination than it is about the ship.
Absolutely! For Alaska always look at what you want to see first, and then find out which cruise lines will take you there.
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 11:46 PM
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we did not book yet. middle of july 2015... i usually book with carnival directly.
Just my opinion, and yes I'm prejudice on the matter because I am an agent, but it's always best to book with an agent. For one, if you book with the cruise line and have any problems, who do you think they represent? If you book with an agent, they don't charge any more for the cruise, but sometimes will charge less or provide amenities not offered by the cruise line. Plus, they've been there done that, so they can offer some firsthand experience that will help you with what to do, where to go, and what to see. And they represent all the cruise lines, so they can help you compare what they all have to offer, not just provide information on one cruise line. If you book with the cruise line, you're almost always talking to someone who; 1) works in a call center, 2) is not a travel agent, 3) has worked for the company less than 6 months, and 4) has never been on a cruise or to any of the ports. Their job is to sell you something, period. If you book with an agent and have any problems, they have contact information and resources not available to you to help solve those problems, so they'll work hard to help you. After all, they want your repeat business and your referrals.

It's like doing business with any other professional, such as an auto mechanic, accountant, dentist, etc. Once you find one you trust and does a good job for you, you develop a great working relationship and you become a loyal customer, which will serve both of you well.

Just my professional opinion, of course.

Pete
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Old July 13th, 2014, 09:02 PM
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I am also going to Alaska next year June 2015 as well and with zero knowledge have researched the internet and cruise boards to see what's out there. Lots of information and I have concluded Princess is a good choice for us <Denali Explorer> since we are doing a land and cruise tour combined. What stood out to me was how much I can see in 12 days. Our goal is to see as much as possible and cover as much as we can. It is very expensive and this seems to be the most logical sense. Splurging on a mini suite and my excursions cost a small fortune. But I do believe this is a trip of a life time so it should be that way. I have cruised several cruise lines in the past and Princess once. I think once done with this trip I need a Caribbean cruise lol Either way have fun and let us know which cruise line you booked
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Old August 28th, 2014, 01:35 PM
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Just returned from an 11 day RC cruise tour. had a wonderful time. I would be glad to answer any questions you might have. We were on the Radiance of the Seas and had an 4 day post land tour. We left out of Vancouver so we stayed there 2 days prior to the cruise.. If you have any questions please fire away!!!!!!!! I will say one thing.........BRING YOUR MONEY!! food and some excursions on the land portion were extra and very pricey!!
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Old August 28th, 2014, 08:04 PM
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With 8 cruisers you should be eligible for a group rate.Ask for group desk at both line and several large discount cruise agencies. Cruise.com, Crucon, VTG all good. I found good Alaska pricing for 2014 6 months out. I agree no CCL. Princess, NCL or Celebrity recommended.. Lots of AK cruise books in your local library. Tripadvisor.com also. I chose a cruise that went through Inner Passage both ways.
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