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Old July 5th, 2014, 07:27 PM
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Smile Alaska cruise need info

Okay so I am a lucky duck. My mother in law is inviting me to 3 separate trips next year ! An Alaska cruise, Ireland and England trip. She would like to fly out of Seattle maybe and would like to see as much as possible on the Alaska cruise. 14 days minimum and she is interested in the train ride as well. Question: What is the best time of year to go? We are looking into next year anytime preferably spring. I have been on a bunch of cruises she has been one with us before on Princess. We both will not cruise Carnival. I like an informal seating and not be bound to a time but its not my most important thing. Looking to do many excursions to see lots of stuff. Also booking 1 balcony cabin . So any good tips? Thanks
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Old July 7th, 2014, 06:29 PM
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Alaska season is from May thru Sept basically. Best weather usually June July Aug I'd say.
I would suggest going to Glacier Bay. This means you could sail Princess again. HAL and NCL go there too.
Budget of course comes into play for excusions.
Skagway, the White Pass rail is wonderful.
Juneau, Mendenhall glacier and a whale watch trip.
Ketchikan, We enjoyed the Duck tour but we had a child with us. It was fun but aimed at the kids some. Lumberjack show, not my cup of tea but most people I talked to loved it.
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Old July 7th, 2014, 09:32 PM
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Okay so I am a lucky duck. My mother in law is inviting me to 3 separate trips next year ! An Alaska cruise, Ireland and England trip. She would like to fly out of Seattle maybe and would like to see as much as possible on the Alaska cruise. 14 days minimum and she is interested in the train ride as well. Question: What is the best time of year to go? We are looking into next year anytime preferably spring. I have been on a bunch of cruises she has been one with us before on Princess. We both will not cruise Carnival. I like an informal seating and not be bound to a time but its not my most important thing. Looking to do many excursions to see lots of stuff. Also booking 1 balcony cabin . So any good tips? Thanks
We did Alaska on the Sun with NCL out of Vancouver. The Inside Passage route is far superior to the sea route via Seattle IMO. NCL would also fit your desire for informal seating, as it is freestyle, eat when and where you want and no formal requirements. We cruised mid May and we loved the snow capped mountains when we toured. In Ketchikan, I recommend a Misty Fjords tour either by boat or air. In Skagway, a private small group tour up the same route by highway as the White Pass rail is far superior IMO to the view from the rail. We did a combo, up by highway, back by train, and I would never do the train again. In Juneau we did a 5 glacier flightseeing tour by float plane, landing on a river and having a dinner of fresh caught grilled salmon served to us at the old lodge there. Wonderful food.
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Old July 8th, 2014, 11:45 AM
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I was the opposite and thought the train part of the trip was better. This is why it's hard to make suggestions. We're all different in what we like and dislike. Hard to go wrong though, it's wonderful up there.
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Old July 8th, 2014, 10:58 PM
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The end of May is a good time to cruise. You don't want to do the land portion until after June 1 as the road to Denali is usually not open until then. Make sure you do not book the Natural History tour in Denali. You want the longer tour (Tundra or book the shuttle).
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Old July 9th, 2014, 12:49 PM
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Definitely the Tundra Wilderness Tour! We did it on June 1 of this year and encountered snow at the end of the road for that time frame (Eilisen??).

We did the Duck Tour in Ketchikan (it was okay), Mendenhall Glacier and Sled Dogs Ride in Juneau (two separate tours and both GREAT!) and the White Pass Railroad in Skagway (also Great; don't know about the highway views).

We did Glacier Bay (beautiful) and College Fjords. Took Princess Railway to Talkeenta (McKinley Lodge), Alaska Railroad to Denali (where we done the Tundra tour - eight hours and saw lots of moose, Dall sheep, a grizzly with her two cubs, another grizzly sleeping on a moose kill, caribou and lots of beautiful scenery).

Then took motorcoach to Fairbanks for the Riverboat (nice, stopped to learn about Athabascan rituals and customs from young decendents). We never saw Denali as it was always overcast and smoky from the forest fires at the time, but overall a really great trip!
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Old July 10th, 2014, 08:45 PM
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Default Thanks! Denali Explorer

Okay we singled out the Denali Explorer 12 night leaving June 6th . We are booking a mini suite and wondering which side of the ship is better? Someone mentioned port side ? We are going from Anchorage /land leaving on ship Denali towards Hubbard Glacier towards Vancouver ....Also its the Grand princess I think ..is this an okay ship? Thanks for the previous replies and help
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Old July 11th, 2014, 02:56 AM
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Also its the Grand princess I think ..is this an okay ship?
We love the Grand Princess and her twins of the same build.
There is so much entertainment, so many facilities, so well designed, especially the use of the atrium with the Cafe, bar, Alfedo's Pizzeria, and street entertainment in the main Piazza - simply sensational

Darn, now I need to go look for a cruise on her

Alan.
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Old July 12th, 2014, 09:58 PM
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I picked a few excursions that I think will suit me well. In Skagway I will do the dogsled and Helicopter outing...Ketchika Salmon fishing Denali Wilderness boat ride safari Juneau: Brown bear and wildlife adventure.


Has anyone done these before?
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