New cruiser questions. We are looking at an Alaska cruise leaving Sept.22-13 days. Is that too late in the season--how will the weather be? Earlier trips available are only 7 days, my husband thinks that is too short. Being 1st timers would a shorter trip be better? Also we have a tenitive cabin on the 2nd deck, says ocean view but web site says the view could be a porthole ,not a window. I am worried re: 2nd deck,good or bad? The ship leaves Vancouver and returns to Los Angeles with a stop in San Francisco. Experienced cruisers give your opinion. Thanks
I've cruised Alaska twice in Sept. and we were lucky enough to incredible weather. But that's what weather is ... luck. The averages in Alaska that time of year are cooler, and you can experience rain etc. But none of that is guaranteed. We had shorts and bathing suit weather.
Pack clothes you can layer, along with some sort of rain proof shell... and go have a great time!
First of all the weather is a crap shoot. We did an Alaska cruise in late June and got heavy snow during the Yukon pass tour. However Juneau was beautiful weather wise. I stayed in Alaska once in mid August and it was hot and loaded with mosquitos. But September should be decent. As a first time cruiser a 13 day cruise might be bit much unless you are sure that this is for you. Whatever option you choose have a blast !
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Personally, I think it's way too late. We did a 12-night cruise/tour on Celebrity Summit in Aug. '03. We flew into Anchorage on Aug. 3rd, spent the night and left the next day on the glass-domed train to Talkeetna, the best place to see Mt. McKinley. Next day we continued on the train to Denali and spent two nights. Spending two nights enabled us to take the 8 hr wildlife adventure 69 mi. into the interior of the park. We saw awesome wildlife, including caribou and moose on the road in front of the bus and two sightings of grizzleys each way. The mother and yearling cub had crossed the road after we left on the way out. If you don't have two days, you don't have time for the long tour and that cuts down on your chance to see wildlife.
The next day we took a motorcoach to Fairbanks and had a trip on a paddlewheeler to a reconstructed Indian village and other sights/demonstrations on the way. We also had a trip to the pipeline. All these tours were included.
We left Fairbanks and flew back to Anchorage, took a motorcoach to Seward and boarded the Summit. The 7-night cruise took us to the Hubbard Glacier for a 60-90 miin photo op on the first day. Then we had stops in Juneau, Skagway, Sitka and Ketchikan with the last sea day going the rest of the inside passage ending in Vancouver.
It was a 7-night cruise, but with the 5-night land tour we didn't feel short-changed and we saw a lot more than we would have with just the cruise. Denali was the highlight of our land tour. The "village" where the shops, restaurants, and galleries are closes 9/7 or earlier depending on how early the snow falls. We stayed at the lodge at the very top of the mountain overlooking the village. Just thinking of coming down that winding road in winter weather makes me cringe.
I wouldn't go earlier than mid-June or any later than mid-Aug. Our land tour was from 8/3 to 8/8, the cruise from 8/8-8/15. Our weather was almost perfect. The specific title of our Celebrity package is Denali Discovery.