Hope to cruise to Alaska in 2004. First time cruiser and not to excited husband.
Would like some advise on cruise line to look at.......will do it more for scenery...not for entertainment on ship. We don't have a huge budget.
Where do I start ?
Merry, the first and best place to start is with a local travel agent. You and hubby need to go together, sit down and just talk to a travel agent, tell her what you are looking for, likes and dislikes, wants and don't wants and she will tailor a cruise to fit your needs. Each cruise line has its own "personality" and you need to find one that suits you.
I'd start by posting in the "bargain finder" here and see what kinds of prices you get for Alaska in 2004, its still early yet, but you should get a feel for what will be available. There are many good cruises in Alaska, you'd need to decide what ports you want to do, if you want to do a round-trip from Vancouver/Seattle or a northbound/southbound and add a land trip in there? There are lots of options for Alaska and if you can afford the extra time/money I hear the land trips are amazing!
I did see a show on the Travel Channel with Radiance in Alaska, absolutely loved that ship and I can see how it would be so great up there, cruised her in the Caribbean and she's my favorite ship!
Here is the link to the bargain finder, hopefully you will get back some information that will help you decide where and what ship to book:
While I can't give you advice on a good Alaska cruise since I have never been there, I have been on 3 different cruises and know that even with a small budget, which is what we usually have, you can enjoy cruising. There are so many free activities and shows. There are usually the big evening shows. Some of the ships have movie theaters and show good movies. There are all kinds of evening shows like comedians, or newlywed games or some have one called the "liars club" which is hilarious. Every day you will get a daily cruise activity sheet and read through it because there will be all kinds of fun and free entertainment. I bring a highliter from home and highlight the things that sound like something we'd enjoy and carry the daily schedule with me. We even hit things like napkin folding, or trivia games or ice sculture carving. All of this stuff is free and you can make it all fun. You don't have to spend a fortune. We don't drink so we do all of the free entertainment and if we go to a lounge for a party, we might each have a coke to keep costs down. Meal times we only drink tea, water, juice or milk which most cruislines this is all free. We figure the less we spend on the ship, the more we can do on shore to enjoy the ports. I think your not too excited husband might just have a good time when he really gets on board and starts to relax and let others wait on him!
If you are going for the scenery, try to budget for a balcony! There is beautiful scenery to watch almost the entire cruise. We spent hours on our balcony watching the beautiful scenery and watching for wildlife. Consequently, we didn't spend as much on other items as we might have done. (We weren't in the public areas to be tempted by various offerings.) Some of the ships have a large number of balconies so you can get one at a reasonable price. We loved Princess, but there are several good lines to choose from.
Merry -- my Alaska cruises have all been excellent. Personally, I think the best value for the dollar would be Norwegian, although Holland American is also great.
You've got plenty of time to research -- use the internet. Contact a reputable travel agent, but remember that some agents will push one line over another for various reasons, and not all of those reasons are to your advantage.
I booked our very first cruise to Alaska next June on Celebrity Summit. I researched for weeks about all the cruise lines to try to find the best match for us. I spent a good deal of time reading through forums and it was very helpful. Good luck!