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Old December 5th, 2006, 04:28 PM
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Default Need help with Alaska cruise proposal

Hi everyone;
So basically I am looking into an 7-9 Alaska cruise for 6 ppl travelling end of May into June, or end June into July 07 out of Seattle or Vancouver. We have a budget of around 2000 a person. Since I brought up the idea..i was given the task of setting up the proposal. So just trying to get as much info as possible, answers to any of these questions is greatly apppreciated.

1) I live in Bellevue, any reputable travel agents around the Seattle area?

2) Biggest concern is the weather during the May 26-July 8 time period...I researched some temp averages, but any first hand experience; was it too cold to lay out in the sun and/or swim in the pool on the ship?

3) Group Info: enjoys nightlife, theater shows, eating, shopping, some outdoor excursions, but definitely want to enjoying the weather, scenery, and wildlife. Ages: 54, 53, 27, 23, 21, 20.

- Any recommendations on which cruise line to use and/or ship?
- Any recommended part of alaska/canada to cruise and/or port stops?

My family and girlfriend have never cruised before, and I just want to do as much research as possible. Thank you so much.


~Gavin Ng
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Old December 8th, 2006, 10:13 AM
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Default Re: Need help with Alaska cruise proposal

Gavin:

1) Your travel agent can be anywhere in the world, or the cruiseline itself, for that matter. Proximity is not important in the electronic era.

2) May-June is as iffy a time up there as it is in the Seattle area. Cheaper, yes, but statistially your weather would be better toward July. Having lived in Seattle I chose to cruise Alasaka the last week of July and hit 80 degree weather in Juneau - but nothing is guaranteed.

My 11 year old kid and I swam in misty weather as the ship went into a fjord with iceburgs and it started snowing. We are SCUBA divers and adventurers, however. Go for a ship with a covered pool deck and heaters inside the pool area and swim in comfort.

3) You have a mix of ages - a family party. The older folks might want a larger suite, maybe the group wants connecting rooms (in that case book early for best selection)? But don't pay a premium just for balconies as you are unlikely to lounge on them on an Alaska trip. Go for a ship with plenty of public areas with windows and enclosed stairways. Bring binoculars for the wildlife, take the whale watching and otter watching cruises which will likely also take you by eagle's nests. Do a fish hatchery or an excursion that takes you near a river to see a salmon run. Plan to take parkas or rainsuits and 400 speed film if you don't have a digital camera.

Leave out of Seattle for convenience with your large party. Check if anyone gets any motion sickness and consider hedging with an inside cabin (less rocking motion) near the rest of the group.

I am biased toward Holland America, but suggest you pull some brochures from various lines and maybe order their videos to get a feel for their particular flavor of cruising. HAL's Oosterdam runs Seattle-Alaska-Seattle in your time frame. Norwegian's Norwegian Star is another possibility. Princess's Sun Princess also.

If you need any more tips just post again. Will say that Alaska is typically a later cruise (generally an older, more upscale group) - most cruisers start off with the more discounted and warmer Caribbean cruises. BTW, you younger folks (you, girlfriend, etc.) probably would also enjoy a trip up to Vancouver - take the AMTRAK and Sky Train if you have not already.





Quote:
Originally Posted by gspin2k1
Hi everyone;
So basically I am looking into an 7-9 Alaska cruise for 6 ppl travelling end of May into June, or end June into July 07 out of Seattle or Vancouver. We have a budget of around 2000 a person. Since I brought up the idea..i was given the task of setting up the proposal. So just trying to get as much info as possible, answers to any of these questions is greatly appreciated.

1) I live in Bellevue, any reputable travel agents around the Seattle area?

2) Biggest concern is the weather during the May 26-July 8 time period...I researched some temp averages, but any first hand experience; was it too cold to lay out in the sun and/or swim in the pool on the ship?

3) Group Info: enjoys nightlife, theater shows, eating, shopping, some outdoor excursions, but definitely want to enjoying the weather, scenery, and wildlife. Ages: 54, 53, 27, 23, 21, 20.

- Any recommendations on which cruise line to use and/or ship?
- Any recommended part of alaska/canada to cruise and/or port stops?

My family and girlfriend have never cruised before, and I just want to do as much research as possible. Thank you so much.


~Gavin Ng
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Old December 8th, 2006, 10:52 AM
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Thanks a bunch, will definitely look into the vancouver thing as well as the Holland cruiseline. Right now the only thing worrying me is the whole suite guarantee and how it works..but it looks like most ppl who book are stuck with the guarantee.
~Gavin
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Old December 8th, 2006, 11:08 AM
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Gavin, i would suggest that you put this trip into the capable hands of a travel agency. A good travel agent with cruise experience will be worth her/his weight in gold. The vast majority of travel agencies are very good, i am sure you could fine one in your area.
As for the room guarantee- if you book a cabin catagory guarantee all the means is that you will get a cabin in that specific cabin catagory. You cannot choose a specific deck, location or cabin, one will be assigned to you. Cabin catagories are all about location, location,location. IF you don't care where your cabin will be then booking a guarantee is a good thing, it can save you some $$ and it increases your chances of an upgrade, but you could also get stuck with a less than desirable cabin location.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 01:53 AM
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"2) Biggest concern is the weather during the May 26-July 8 time period...I researched some temp averages, but any first hand experience; was it too cold to lay out in the sun and/or swim in the pool on the ship? "
The weather is going to be a gamble regardless of when you go. I sailed in mid-July and mid- September and while the weather was a little better in July the cost was more. All things considered, I would recommend the cheapest times. Even in July it was too cold to sun on open decks in a swimsuit. The pool had a retractable roof which permitted all the swimming that I desired.

"3) Group Info: enjoys nightlife, theater shows, eating, shopping, some outdoor excursions, but definitely want to enjoying the weather, scenery, and wildlife. Ages: 54, 53, 27, 23, 21, 20. "
Any ship, time or itinerary should offer that, so that shouldn't be a criterion.

"- Any recommendations on which cruise line to use and/or ship? "
I've done Holland America to Alaska twice, but feel that any of the big lines would be comparable. I would compare price with what ports I preferred.
"- Any recommended part of alaska/canada to cruise and/or port stops? "
It's ALL great. It would be hard to screw Alaska up, but it all depends on what you like. Antique railroads=Skagway, Russian-American history=Sitka.
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