I'm very excited about my first time Alaska cruise (we fly to Fairbanks next Tuesday).
We have the five day land tour first and then the Island Princess.....My question is to anyone who just recently returned from that region. Does anyone know how bad the smoky air is in Fairbanks? I wouldn't be concerned except for the fact that I have asthma and they posted a weather alert for that region.
Any info will be appreciated.
My husband and I are taking the five day land tour and then onto the Island Princess on 8/28. Not our first cruise by any means, but our first Alaska cruise. I've been waiting on this one for a long time and it's been a whole year since my last cruise. I'll have to make sure I don't wait so long the next time. We're also going on the Caribbean Princess in December. Where are you from? Maybe we see you there?
THis is our first cruise ever. We are celebrating our 30th anniversary and can't wait. Been over a year since either one of us has had a day off and we are burnt out! We are from Bartlett, TN which is just outside of Memphis. How about you?? Jon
We were on the Island Princess 8/7 - 8/14 and it was fantastic. It was our first cruise and certainly our first time to Alaska. We loved every minute. My husband just downloaded the pictures we took onto the computer. 715 pictures. Wow! We had excellent weather and there wasn't any smoke at all. My sister and brother in law who were also on the cruise with us, did do a land tour outside of Anchorage for 4 days just got back Thursday morning and she indicated that it wasn't as clear as she had hoped for, but that she didn't smell any smoke, just a little hazy. When we caught our flight out of Anchorage and flew back to Vancouver, we saw some reddish smog colored clouds which we assumed was smoke, but that was just in a small area and we had been in the air for about 20 minutes heading towards Vancouver. You are going to love it. Hopefully the weather will hold out for you. Everyone on the ship was unprepared for shorts and t-shirt weather. They weren't real strict on the smart-casual dress and/or formal dress nights at dinner time. But those that didn't dress appropriately did at least get noticed by some of the cruisers. But it is easy to spend money on the ship: with pictures that you say you aren't going to buy, to bingo, horse racing, buy the soda card, its worth it, the specialty restaurant you said you weren't going to try, incidentals you just want to have because...., and each port you stop at, the prices are pretty good and you want to have something from each place, so on and on, it just adds up. Booze is expensive, I brought white rum and white tequilla in small water bottles, saved me A LOT of money. Make sure you check your account at least once before the last couple of days. Our 1 shore excursion that came with the cost of our cruise from our travel agent was charged onto our account. Fortuneatly, a representative from the agency was on board and found that all of her customers had the charge, so it had to be removed. Well, it was a great experience I made sure I was awake all of the daylight hours so I wouldn't miss a thing.
Can you share with us where on the ship you found the best viewing? We do have a balcony but we are on the starboard side of a southbound. Thanks for any additional info you might supply. We leave on the 28th. Our first ever cruise.
We're from Des Moines, Iowa, and usually cruise in the winter time to get away from the cold weather; so the Alaska cruise is a new adventure for us, but about our 31st cruise altogether. Our wedding anniverary is in December (39 years) and we have a Caribbean Princess cruise planned for that.
We were port side North bound so you will have the same as we did. I loved the side we were on during the cruising portion. We were on the ALoha deck which is deck 12 and the Lido deck (Deck 14 and Sun deck 15) was the deck above us where most of the viewing is when going past the glaciers. Being on the starboard side you will have the views of the towns the best when you are docked at Juneau and Ketchikan. I believe port side got the dock at SKagway. But just to remind you. Once you board the ship and get sailing, you aren't going to care about any of these questions. I was so concerned about being on port side, the Aloha deck with the kids zone on my deck, the lido deck above me for early morning joggers, etc., etc., I had a great view, kids didn't bother me, and I was awake before the joggers, in fact a took a few walking laps myself. Oh if you do want to do some walking laps, deck 7 is a covered walk around while deck 14 is open. Enjoy your cruise, and when you come back, you will probably laugh at all of your questions, as I have about mine. Alaska is a world of its own.
We have done the Alaska trip on the Island and found watching from our balcony was great. In Glacier Bay the ship turned right round so that everyone had a good view. You could listen to the commentary on the TV with balcony door open. Sometimes we went up on deck and sat on sunbeds with the blankets they supplied - but it is harder to have a good view with the blue glass screens.