First of all I havent been to Alaska yet! But We will be going this July with Carnival..
Our ship leaves from Whitter Alaska and will cruise down to Vancouver with stops in Sitka, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan.
I have been researching and reading these boards for months..Heres a few tidbits I have learned..
There are several excellent companies out of Juneau for whale watching..It seems this is the port where people do most of thier whale watching...If I am not mistaken you will see mostly humpback whales ..The closer you get to Vancouver you will see Orcas..
as far as the best time of year some like to go in May because its supposedly dryer..The prices seem to be cheaper early season and late season which would be Sept..
Alot of people like to book Northbound cruises..The scenery builds and gets more magnificent as you go North..If you book a South bound cruise you can spend a week or few days exploring Denali by car or Train..
As far as the Ship goes..I have yet to read a bad thing about the Spirit Class ships..Balconies are a must when cruiseing Alaska..Least for me...If you are interested in a catagory 11 cabin go for the corner aft wraps on deck 4..The balcony is totally covered and will keep yopu protected when the weather is wet..I wished I had known that we have an aft wrap on the Empress deck..the port side looks like we will have some shelter...
I am sure you will have a wonderful time if you choose to cruise Alaska..I know I am really looking forward to ours..
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things
that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~ Mark Twain
We cruised July 6, 2005 from Whittier to Vancouver.
We did not see any full breeches but we did see tails and small sightings from the ship. We did not take any whale watching tours because our youngest son is autistic and this is just something he can not do.
I would suggest you post a question on the following website. Budget Queen is the resident Alaskan expert!!
***Edited to remove commercial reference***
Loved the cruise and the Spirit btw....whales or no whales...it was an awesome experience.
COMPLETES THE FLEET
If it is Carnival and it floats....we have sailed it!
Hubby ... DIAMOND (every ship except the Carnivale)
Me ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale)
20 year old son ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale...he is the only DOUBLE Milestone under the age of 21)
24 year old son ... DIAMOND
I haven't cruised the Alaskan cruises, but for those planning Alaska cruises, August and September are generally very rainy months. We tease that it starts raining in Aug and rains until it snows in October!!
Out state fair is in late August and if you haven't seen giant 50-60 pound vegetables thats the place to visit! The fair is in Palmer about 40 miles from Anchorage.
I have been twice. It is simply wonderful in that I love the ports of call much more than the Caribbean ports=clean, safe, scenic.
As for whales I did see killer whales and dolphins off the side. Saw some big whales' tails. While I haven't done a whale watching shore excursion, I hear they offer "whales guaranteed" tours which have never had to offer a refund .
PAST TRIPS= Enchanted Capri
Carnival: Inspiration, Legend, Valor, Destiny, Holiday, Triumph, Splendor, Fantasy
HAL: Maasdam twice, Statendam, Oosterdam
Did an Alaskan cruise and did see whales in the deeper waters away from the inside passage's narrow straits. In mho, the best port to sail out of is Vancouver, B.C. A great city and also gives you the opportunity to visit Victoria if you have an extra day.
Freedom Of The Seas -07
Radiance Of The Seas-07
Adventure Of The Seas-05
Navigator Of The Seas-04
Soverign Of The Seas-02
Big Red Boat-93