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Old April 11th, 2008, 05:50 PM
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Default Any Advice for Alaska cruise 2008

Ok, Planning an Alaska cruise for my husband and I this summer. Where to begin?? Would like input on different Cruise lines, only one cruise prior to this ages ago to Mexican Riveria (Carnival) Great cruise lots of fun.
so if anyone has any information they would like to share it would be greatly appreciated. We would like our cruise line to have great staff and some good food. My husband is from Alaska so we will be departing in Anchorage to see some sights afterwards. Any input really appreciated. Thanks
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Old April 12th, 2008, 04:26 PM
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Hi-
Alaskan cruising is the best! We've been on a bunch of cruises and Alaska is our total favorite. I will say that if you're going to Skagway you HAVE TO take the White Pass & Yukon Railway Trip. It's pricy but definitely worth the money. The scenery is incredible. If your ship offers the combination trip - bus + train - that's the one to take. Take Everytime you turn around there's another photo opportunity.

Both our Alaska cruises were on Princess and we loved the accommodations; staff and food. Our last 5 cruises have all been on Princess and I would say it's our favorite line. Princess has had naturalists on board to lecture about what you're seeing and I recommend attending the lectures (no matter what line you're on) Have a great trip and BOOK ASAP!!
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Old April 12th, 2008, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Any Advice for Alaska cruise 2008

melynndee,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Ok, Planning an Alaska cruise for my husband and I this summer. Where to begin?? Would like input on different Cruise lines, only one cruise prior to this ages ago to Mexican Riveria (Carnival) Great cruise lots of fun.
so if anyone has any information they would like to share it would be greatly appreciated. We would like our cruise line to have great staff and some good food. My husband is from Alaska so we will be departing in Anchorage to see some sights afterwards. Any input really appreciated. Thanks
First, go to your local bookstore and buy one of the travel guides to cruise lines and cruise ships (all of the major travel guides publish such a volume), and read the descriptions of the major lines to determine which lines would be a good match for your style and personality. All of the major lines offer substantially similar itineraries, so the personality and style of the cruise line is the major differentiator.

Second, find a competent travel agent who does a lot of cruise bookings in your area. A competent travel agent will help you to refine your selection and will be able to match any fare except a group fare that you find on the Internet. It's always good to have somebody with whom you can deal face to face who is responsible for your booking.

Third, be sure to plan a few days in Anchorage, preferably over a weekend, as part of your trip even if you do not have time to travel much further inland. The downtown area is imminently walkable and quite safe, and it has a plethora of great restaurants, unique shops, and worthwhile attractions, including an "open air" market and a series of street festivals on weekends. If you rent a car, there are also several easy day trips including Talkeetna for its spectacular views of Mount McKinley (but be sure to check the weather forecast for the valley before setting out on this one...), the elegant Mount Alyeska Resort, and day cruises to College Fjord out of Whittier.

And if there's a train going anywhere in Alaska, be sure to take it!

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 12:00 PM
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Default Thank you for the replies...

You input is very helpful I really like to read personal expericences from experienced cruisers. As I mentioned Good customer service and good consistent food with some options are important to us. I was worried about a glitzy or cheesy cruise when there is so much natural beauty surrounding you and providing more than enough enterainment. I will continue in my searching but I also better make some travel plans soon summer is just around the corner.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Any Advice for Alaska cruise 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by melynndee
Ok, Planning an Alaska cruise for my husband and I this summer. Where to begin?? Would like input on different Cruise lines, only one cruise prior to this ages ago to Mexican Riveria (Carnival) Great cruise lots of fun.
so if anyone has any information they would like to share it would be greatly appreciated. We would like our cruise line to have great staff and some good food. My husband is from Alaska so we will be departing in Anchorage to see some sights afterwards. Any input really appreciated. Thanks
Hi melynndee:

I would recommend a cruise that goes to Glacier Bay and College Fjord. These two days of glacier cruising would insure that you will have the fantastic experience of seeing some glaciers up close. Other ships do go to different glaciers but there is a strong possibility of them being blocked by ice in the water or the ships just not being able to get anywhere near the glacier.

I would also recommend Princes, as by far the best cruise line to cruise to Alaska. Princess also has a very good customer service department that will keep you informed with accurate information.

Renting a car and driving to Denali is always one of the highlights of any trip to Alaska. You should be forewarned that seeing Mt. McKinley from anywhere and including Denali Park is always luck of the draw. We have been there about ten times and have been able to get a good view of Mt. McKinley only about two times. Talkeetna is even further away from the mountain, than Denali, so the chance of seeing the mountain from there is even less likely.

As far as what to do on land in Alaska, that is all a matter of what you enjoy. I come to Alaska to enjoy the natural beauty and experience what truly is the last frontier. Anchorage does have many things to see with a great museum and such, but for me, I rent a car and get out of Anchorage as fast as I possibly can. There is a saying from those who do not live in Anchorage and it goes like this; the best thing about Anchorage is that it is only a half hour away from Alaska!

As far as whether or not you need a Travel Agent, that again is a personal choice kind of thing. For me, doing my own research and planning my own vacation is half of the fun of taking a vacation in Alaska.
As you already know Alaska is very easy to get around in and planning your own trip will save you a lot of money and allow you to plan your vacation for exactly whatever your interests are.

Debra
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Old April 16th, 2008, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: Any Advice for Alaska cruise 2008

Debra,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Hi melynndee:

I would recommend a cruise that goes to Glacier Bay and College Fjord. These two days of glacier cruising would insure that you will have the fantastic experience of seeing some glaciers up close. Other ships do go to different glaciers but there is a strong possibility of them being blocked by ice in the water or the ships just not being able to get anywhere near the glacier.

I would also recommend Princes, as by far the best cruise line to cruise to Alaska. Princess also has a very good customer service department that will keep you informed with accurate information.

Renting a car and driving to Denali is always one of the highlights of any trip to Alaska. You should be forewarned that seeing Mt. McKinley from anywhere and including Denali Park is always luck of the draw. We have been there about ten times and have been able to get a good view of Mt. McKinley only about two times. Talkeetna is even further away from the mountain, than Denali, so the chance of seeing the mountain from there is even less likely.

As far as what to do on land in Alaska, that is all a matter of what you enjoy. I come to Alaska to enjoy the natural beauty and experience what truly is the last frontier. Anchorage does have many things to see with a great museum and such, but for me, I rent a car and get out of Anchorage as fast as I possibly can. There is a saying from those who do not live in Anchorage and it goes like this; the best thing about Anchorage is that it is only a half hour away from Alaska!

As far as whether or not you need a Travel Agent, that again is a personal choice kind of thing. For me, doing my own research and planning my own vacation is half of the fun of taking a vacation in Alaska.
As you already know Alaska is very easy to get around in and planning your own trip will save you a lot of money and allow you to plan your vacation for exactly whatever your interests are.
I have cruised to Alaska twice -- aboard MV Sun Princess in 2002 and aboard GTS Summit in 2005. Both cruises operated from Vancouver to Seward and included ports of call in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. Additionally, the former included cruising in Glacier Bay and College Fjord while the latter included an additional port of call at Hoonah (listed as "Icy Strait Point" in Celebrity's itineraries) and cruising by the Hubbard Glacier. Overall, the itineraries were pretty equal.

Note that the day cruises to College Fjord from Whittier, which one can do as a day trip from Anchorage, actually can get closer to the glaciers, for better viewing, than the cruise ships. I agree that College Fjord is worthwhile, but can go there after the cruise if one spends a few nights in Anchorage

Norm.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 10:53 PM
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Norm:

Good point about taking a day or two trip to Whittier, but many people do not have the time or may not want to spend the extra money to rent a car and drive to Whittier and then pay for a boat cruise to see College Fjord, when it is all included by Princess, HAL NCL and a couple of other cruise lines who are allowed to cruise into Glacier Bay and College Fjord. I have cruised to Alaska more than ten times and can certainly recommend Glacier Bay and College Fjord over Hubbard Glacier or any other itineraries for cruising in Alaska.

Debra
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Old May 29th, 2008, 11:28 PM
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Debra,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Good point about taking a day or two trip to Whittier, but many people do not have the time or may not want to spend the extra money to rent a car and drive to Whittier and then pay for a boat cruise to see College Fjord, when it is all included by Princess, HAL NCL and a couple of other cruise lines who are allowed to cruise into Glacier Bay and College Fjord. I have cruised to Alaska more than ten times and can certainly recommend Glacier Bay and College Fjord over Hubbard Glacier or any other itineraries for cruising in Alaska.
As I noted earlier, my first cruise to Alaska was aboard MV Sun Princess, and it included both Glacier Bay and College Fjord. I'll grant that we saw a lot of wildlife in Glacier Bay, but I thought that the glaciers in College Fjord were more impressive than those of Glacier Bay. In any case, Princess's itinerary completely skips Hoonah, which also has much to offer with its historic salmon cannery, lots of wildlife, and its indigenous (Tlingit) tribe. Since one can go to College Fjord on a day boat from Whittier -- which actually can get closer to the glaciers than the larger ships -- I still think that the itineraries are pretty comparable overall. In any case, the two lines have very different personalities and styles, and one is going to spend a whole week on the ship. Thus, I still think it best to let the personality and style of the line be the deciding factor.

Norm.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 07:18 PM
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Hello. We just came back from an Alaska Cruise (July 2008). Yes indeed it is a once in a lifetime experience. Here are some ideas and suggestions:

1. Its very different from Caribbean cruises, in atmosphere, cuisine, music, etc....We went on the Celebrity Millenium. More European in outlook.

2. Take warmer clothing. The ship -frankly- rips you off with warm clothing (NO other way to put it). A $19.96 wind breaker on land was $50 on the ship!! I returned it ASAP.

3. The weather is very changeable so dont be disappointed if you do not see everything.

4. Anchorage is VERY expensive. A days in is $200.00 a night!!!

5. The views are breath-taking indeed.

6. We took Regal-Air to Denali for a fly-over Mt McKinley. We had great weather on a 7 seater and saw very good sights.

Hope this helps!!
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 07:44 PM
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Default HELP need advice about Alaska cruisetours 2009

Howdy all

I am starting to research cruisetour for 2009 or 10. Would love to put together a group of family and friends to see this amazing place. Want to
visit Denali and Mt. McKinley for sure. My friend loved Ketchikan.

What would you consider the best cruiseline for practical price, good food, lectures, nice ship. I don't need super expensive but nice ship (not worn out and tired...ya know), great staff, wonderful inteneraries.

Any replies would be greatly appreciated.

debbyedoops
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