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Old March 16th, 2009, 11:38 AM
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Default Alaskan Cruise Advice Needed

Hi all,

A little help for a newbie.

Hubby and I are planning our first 7-day cruise to Alaska on either Star or Sun. I have some questions.

1. We can go either May 16 or June 7. Which is better and why (aside from the per person cost of cruise)?
2. We are trying to decide whether to port out of Vancouver or Seattle (we are from Phoenix). We would like to visit Victoria for a couple of days prior to cruise...which would be easier in terms of transportation to/from airport and dock?
3. We are on a budget...is it better to pay for a balcony stateroom or spend the money on shore excursions? I am leaning toward an oceanview room and spend the difference at the ports.
4. Any recommendations for fun shore excursions at Skagway, Juneau or Ketchikan?
5. Finally, how do you know which rooms are quieter (less engine noise) and where on the ship is better if hubby has tendency toward seasickness?

Thanks much in advance for any and all answers!
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 12:38 PM
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>June 7th will have slightly better weather and it will stay daylight at night a little bit longer.

> Leaving from Seattle will be much cheaper, especially when you consider airfare, international taxes on airfare, etc. Distances from airports to terminals is pretty much a wash when comparing between the two cities.

>Ferry or jet boat passage to victoria is not that different from either city. You can double check this on the net.

> I think you will be quite happy with a regular outside stateroom with a picture window. Balconies in Alaska (those dates especially) are a bit chilly and you can always view from one of the outside decks used as common areas.(Or so it seems to me.)

> Midship and a lower deck is more stable. Most vibration from engine noise is near the rear generally.

> We loved the Misty Fjords flight/float tour but just walking around Ketchican is great fun too., Whale watching in Juneau is fabulous. Skagway is not my favorite port. Many people like the train ride but we thought it was a snore. Many people like to rent a car from Avis and take a driving tour of the Klondike Hwy.

Bon Voyage
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Old March 23rd, 2009, 10:50 AM
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Thanks everyone for your responses - I really appreciate the insight from folks who have already traveled to Alaska. :-)
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Old March 24th, 2009, 08:49 AM
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Cruised Alaska both out of Seattle and Vancouver....I liked it much better out of Vancouver. It was more of an inside passage, where going out of Seattle was totally out, never really close to land at any point during the cruise, really missed that.
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Old March 24th, 2009, 09:11 PM
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Leaving from Vancouver you sail close enough to the

coast to see coast mountains of BC. Usually from Seattle you

lose one Alaskan port because they have to stop in a canadian

port . Usually Victoria (really beautiful ) or Prince Rupert

,which could be a snore or boring.
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Old March 30th, 2009, 04:51 PM
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I am going to Alaska in July w/ DH, DD 21 and DS 17.

In Skagway we have the Helo/Dog Sled and White Pass Train.

In Juneau we have the Canopy Zip Line.

All pricey but I figure I may never get to Alaska again and this is a special celebration cruise so we are doing it up big.

I understand that you really need to book excursions b/c the Alaska towns are small and not very active. The good thing is that most excursions have gotten good reviews no matter the price range.
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 01:42 PM
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Wildrover, just sayin, if it were me in Juneau, I'd skip the zip line (they have those everywhere now) and do the Mendenhall glacier, a truly rare treat!
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Old April 30th, 2009, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: Alaskan Cruise Advice Needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by mi_mariposa
Hi all,

A little help for a newbie.

Hubby and I are planning our first 7-day cruise to Alaska on either Star or Sun. I have some questions.

1. We can go either May 16 or June 7. Which is better and why (aside from the per person cost of cruise)?
2. We are trying to decide whether to port out of Vancouver or Seattle (we are from Phoenix). We would like to visit Victoria for a couple of days prior to cruise...which would be easier in terms of transportation to/from airport and dock?
3. We are on a budget...is it better to pay for a balcony stateroom or spend the money on shore excursions? I am leaning toward an oceanview room and spend the difference at the ports.
4. Any recommendations for fun shore excursions at Skagway, Juneau or Ketchikan?
5. Finally, how do you know which rooms are quieter (less engine noise) and where on the ship is better if hubby has tendency toward seasickness?

Thanks much in advance for any and all answers!
My first cruise ever and we are sailing out of Seattle on May 22 on Rhapsody/RCCL. Looking forward to new world of cruising and first visit to AK! Woo!

It seems the price is better on airfare for sailing out of Seattle. If you do that you can upgrade cabin. If you chose BC then you may have to sacrifice good cabin to make up for diff. in airfare.

Enjoy!
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Old May 17th, 2009, 09:33 PM
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Default Response to Alaska

My advice is do a 14 day land Cruisetour - you dont want to miss anything. I have cruised to Alaska twice.

Get a Balcony for sure. My wife was sick when we went and we had no balcony - she missed the Glaciers. She was stuck inside the room.

Go In June - all in Alaska revolves around the Salmon and there are none in May.

Stay midship if the hubby gets seasick or have him take drugs - thats what I did and worked it phenomenal. No one gets sicker than me.

Seattle would be easier as it is a bigger aiport.

email me at gregg814@aol.com and we can discuss in some more detail.

Gregg
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Old May 28th, 2009, 02:27 PM
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Seattle can be much, much cheaper to fly to compared w/ Vancouver. Had I known this when I booked, I'd be sailing out of Seattle.

Mendenhall Glacier does sound fantastic but w/ kids the age mine are --- we need something more active than just looking at a glacier. The Canopy Zip line is going to be a huge hit w/ my crew = 10 zip lines, a boat ride, ATV ride and a suspension bridge. It has it all! We'll do the glacier when it's just me and DH.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 03:54 PM
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O.K. wild, but there are zip lines on practically every cruise now -- there is only one Mendenhall Glacier. Those kids of yours would remember it for the rest of their lives -- I promise. it's worth seeing and worth learning about.

One of the things you can do there is they helicopter you up and leave you there with a naturalist -- right on the glacier for about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes while they bring in a new load. The chopper ride alone is super, but the glacier experience is truly unique. If you think the kids would be disappointed, you are mistaken.
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Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
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Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10
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Old May 28th, 2009, 09:16 PM
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Wild Rover.

I hate to disagree with you but RichStacy is 100 % right. Do not put off the glaciers whether it be Mendenhall or any other glacier.

Your kids will appreciate having seen it when they all melt off this earth.

And if you think about it who can say they had a drink of real glacier water. Forget Aquafina, Dasani and Fiji - this is the real thing.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 10:28 PM
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Well cruisin easy, If they do melt -- they will be back. They always come back. The earth has been in a typical cyclical period of warming since much of North America was covered by ice during the last ice age (one of many) -- a mere 20,000 years ago. And specifically we have been in a pronounced warming trend since the "little ice age" which lasted from about the 16th century til about the middle of the 19th century -- all without the assistance of man or Al Gore. Truth is, the only thing that has EVER been stable about the earth's climate is its instability. It changes constantly with periods of warming and cooling occurring frequently (in terms of geologic time) if not predictably. "Climate change" is nothing new -- it is quite the normal situation. Those who tell us otherwise, are playing on fear and ignorance.
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Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
Cr.Pr., Carib. 08
Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10
Golden Princess
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Old June 6th, 2009, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildRover
Seattle can be much, much cheaper to fly to compared w/ Vancouver. Had I known this when I booked, I'd be sailing out of Seattle.

Mendenhall Glacier does sound fantastic but w/ kids the age mine are --- we need something more active than just looking at a glacier. The Canopy Zip line is going to be a huge hit w/ my crew = 10 zip lines, a boat ride, ATV ride and a suspension bridge. It has it all! We'll do the glacier when it's just me and DH.
[size=18][color=#444444][color=green]Please be advised, that flights all vary in cost, Flying to or from Anchorage is just as costly as flying from Vancouver.
I got a r/t from San Diego to Vancouver for $348 inclusive for June 19th
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