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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 15th, 2011, 10:57 AM
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Default Alaska- one way or roundtrip?

We are a family of four ( children 5/7) starting to plan our first cruise which would be to Alaska. It appears that the two best itineraries are offered through Princess and HAL. I have read a few times about the option of doing a one way to allow for more time to spend at each port and also more ports.

Haven't been able to find detailed threads on the topic.

Could someone provide me some thoughts on doing a OW vs RT and the most enjoyable and best value for returning back to Seattle or Vancouver.

I would like to avoid driving back so my husband can really relax and enjoy the scenery but not opposed if the are big benefits to it.

Thanks so much in advance for your feedback!
Sharon
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Old July 15th, 2011, 07:00 PM
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I prefer the RT cruises because I live near the port of Vancouver . This saves airfare for us. A 14 day cruise on HAL is something I would consider. All cruise visit most of the same ports. The advantage on a RT is you get to see the same ports twice. That means you get a second kick at the cat for the ports. On Princess you visit Glacier bay and College Fiord northbound and Hubbard Glacier as well Glacier bay southbound. Skagway , Juneau and ketchikan are on almost all cruises.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 07:10 PM
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A 7-nt RT will most likely not visit Glacier Bay or Hubbard Glacier. I prefer one way with a pre/post in Alaska to Denali. Kids will love it.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 09:39 PM
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We did a 7 day land trip followed by a 7 day cruise .It was fantastic .
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Old July 15th, 2011, 10:07 PM
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Thank you all. I didn't realize a RT made stops on the way back. Hmm

The airfare looks to be an additional $145 for a open jaw (multi city) not too bad. Trying to figure out how much time we would need on land to get a ood feel of the land but not make the whole trip cost prohibitive.

Thanks again!
Sharon
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Old July 15th, 2011, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photojunkie View Post
Thank you all. I didn't realize a RT made stops on the way back. Hmm

The airfare looks to be an additional $145 for a open jaw (multi city) not too bad. Trying to figure out how much time we would need on land to get a ood feel of the land but not make the whole trip cost prohibitive.

Thanks again!
Sharon
Doing a land tour in Alaska on your can be more expensive then
the lower 48 states . Distances are very deceptive in Alaska .;-)
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Old July 16th, 2011, 11:19 AM
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Question Round Trip or One Way

This is a much asked question.

First some basics: Marc is not correct about Glacier Bay. Both Princess and HAL offer Glacier Bay on RT itineraries. I would seriously recommend Glacier Bay for first time Alaska cruisers. See Alaska Glaciers for my thoughts on glacier viewing.

Airfare to or from Anchorage on an open jaw is not a whole lot more expensive than RT to Seattle or Vancouver. Your travel agent can advise you. If you sail from Vancouver, many flights will take you to Seattle and you need to arrange the transfer to Vancouver which will be an additional expense. But in any case, expense is really not the biggest consideration.

Most of the established cruise ports are on the panhandle of Alaska in the Inside Passage. So when you continue on to Anchorage (all these remarks apply to the opposite way Anchorage down also) what you basically get is College Fjord and the Gulf of Alaska as opposed to more time in the inside passage.

One of the major reasons for the one way itinerary is to connect with cruisetours. If you want to go on to Denali and Fairbanks, or even a longer tour, then Anchorage is the best place to connect with the tour. If you are not planning to add a tour to your cruise, it really does not matter. Check out our trip report and pictures at Alaska Cruisetour, Fairbanks to Denali for some cruisetour information.

So, ultimately, I don't think that RT or one way is the main decision. I would suggest you talk to a good Travel Agent about the ships available and let the ship, the ports, the dates, and the bottom line prices make your decision. There are so many variables in planning a trip to Alaska that only the very brave would do it online or via an 800 number instead of visiting a good face to face full service Travel Agent in their home town.

You can check out trip reports of our 8 trips to Alaska, including both one ways and round trips and also a cruise tour at Cruising with the Halls

Also there is a dedicated Alaska Board and that would be a good place to post this.

Have a GREAT cruise!
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Old July 16th, 2011, 12:33 PM
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Thanks Mike. I appreciate your detailed reply. I will be looking over your links today.

I am starting to think more in line with skipping the land portion and just doing RT.

I normally do all vacation planning myself but I agree that this trip could really benefit from a TA's knowledge especially since we are first timer cruisers.

However, finding one has been a struggle. Most that I have spoken with over the phone haven't been too impressive. Anyone care to recommend a 5 star agent in the Dallas Fort Worth area?

Thanks again,
Sharon
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Old July 16th, 2011, 07:17 PM
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Exclamation Accredited Cruise Counselors

Sharon ...

Go to

Welcome | Cruise Lines International Association

And enter your address in the box on the right side to find Accredited and Master Cruise Counselors in your area. I just entered "Dallas" and found over a dozen.

ACCs have extensive experience in cruising and have completed a lot of training. They should be able to give you excellent advice.

Have a GREAT cruise!
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