We are 4 adults (2 of them are senior citizens and are non US residents) and 1 four year planning for a 7 day cruise to Alaska. We live in Chicago and will need to fly to either Seattle or Vancouver and board the cruise.
Any suggestions on getting a good deal on cruise and a flight package? Do we have to book them separately? Also, the inside rooms are less expensive than the Oceanviews. is it worth spending double the cost? What websites should I use for finding the deals?
I'm obviously prejudice on the matter, but I definitely suggest talking to an agent as they can provide you all the options for your to consider and find you the best cruise for your lifestyle, needs, and budget. They will help you find the best deals and are there if you need assistance, but they don't charge anything for their services. Definitely do not book directly with the cruise line or these online sites. As my favorite saying goes; what one person loves, another will hate. There are several cruise lines offering cruises in Alaska and some are definitely better than others. So you have to look at what is the most important thing to you; cheapest price, best deal, or best quality.
With that in mind, I always suggest looking at the least expensive staterooms because you're going to want to spend the extra money on shore excursions since Alaska is one place you'll definitely want to explore. If you do an inside stateroom, you can spend time on the upper decks watching as you cruise into and out of port.
Some cruise lines have more presence in Alaska than others, so they tend to offer more options. Best price is not always best deal, so it really depends on what you want to do and what you want to see. And everyone will have their favorites, so you'll get as many different recommendations as there are people responding. It really depends on what's best for you, not what's best for others.
And look at independent shore excursions because they are going to afford you a much better experience and are alot less crowded.
But no matter what you decide, Alaska is one of those places you definitely have to see at least once in your lifetime. It truly is a wonderful experience.
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We've found that the best way to do air was book by ourselves and arrive a day early, just in case of flight delays.
Not sure if you'd be doing a one way to/from Seward or a round trip Seattle or Vancouver. Assuming round trip we prefer the Vancouver port. More scenic in our opinion and a bit smoother. However, we found Seattle a lot more convenient for getting in and out.
One thing to consider is your likes and dislikes. Lifestyles. We don't party at all. Avoid the casino, karioke, dance clubs. Our best times are sitting and watching nature roll on by. So in our case, a balcony for Alaska is a must. If you're going to sample all the activities and think the cabin is mostly for sleeping and changing clothes, than an inside should be fine. If that's the case, try and book on a deck near exits to the outside. Promenade deck or one of the top decks. We've sailed NCL, HAL, and Celebrity to Alaska and loved all 3 lines. Oh, also about the nature. We feel that Glacier bay is a must, especially for a first timer in Alaska. Absolutely stunning. This would eliminate some cruise line choices (such as Celebrity) who don't go to Glacier Bay. Hard to make a bad choice with an Alaskan cruise.