Has anyone been on the Alaska cruise round-trip from Seattle? What ship? How was it? How does it compare with the one-way cruises? I really prefer round trip cruises...... fewer and less complicated arrangements to make..... but not if the one-way is really a better cruise. Would be grateful for any and all opinions.
We sailed the Star Princess last summer (2003) RT from Seattle and had a great time. The summer before we did northbound on RCCL. The only thing I liked better was actually cruising the inside passage on the one-way trip since it was beautiful The round trip with a large ship didn't take the same route.
Air was definitely cheaper on the RT cruise but if we go back to Alaska I hope to do another one-way with some land time which we didn't do the first time.
R/T cruises from Seattle are always cheaper because you are paying for a r/t domestic ticket instead of two one-way tickets, with one leg either originating or ending in Canada. Basically, if you cruise r/t from Seattle, you go half-way up, and then back, and you miss the Inside Passage. NCL started the r/t from Seattle AK cruise, and other cruise lines are following suit because....US citizens pay a relatively high rate to fly in or out of Canada. On the other hand, the North or Southbound AK cruises are still the most popular, because...you get to see more, and can book a longer CRUISETOUR (part sea, part land). Have I thouroughly confused you? I hope not!
diverdiver, not confused at all. I see what you mean about the benefits AND drawbacks of each option. We don't really have time for a land tour this year, though we would like to do one someday. We want to go to Washington state this year to meet a long-lost relative of my husband's and thought, since we would already be close by, that it would be a good opportunity to go to Alaska. Obviously, this time, the round-trip would be a better deal and more convenient. However, we have read great things about the Princess land tours and one day...........!
For clairfication - you would not be buying 2 one way flights, you would be getting rather an open jaw which is significantly cheaper than 2 one ways. It is booked as a "multicity" option under booking web sites. My preference is round trip out of Vancouver due to more inside passage sailing and usually more time in ports, there are of course exceptions. But look outside the ship in your selection- consider route, time in ports, glacier ,ports, price. Be certain to budget fully for shore excurisons, you get only half a trip without them. Vancouver is an easy transfer from Seattle, you can drive (be certain to have a downtown Vancouver drop off, you don't want the airport), Amtrak, cruiseline transfer, independent bus- Quick Shuttle. Allow 4 hours.