Regarding Alaskan cruises. Are any of the Princess pools heated or enclosed? Does anyone know if land excursions are limited in May or September b/c of snow? We still can't make up our minds where to cruise to. Now thinking about Alaska-, with all the wonderful scenery----curious if pools are an option on "sea" days. Thanks for any help. What a wonderful message board.
Regarding the Diamond/Sapphire, it depends largely on the weather outside. There is a pool with a covered conservatory but the doors are kept open so cold air comes inside. If it is warmer out and the sun is shining the covered pool is great. I'm a cold person so we only felt it was warm enough to swim in the covered pool area one day, but there were several that used it every day. Also we were in Alaska during mid May so I assume it was much warmer in the following weeks.
Thanks. We're also thinking about cruising in May. Were the shore excursions limited b/c of the weather. Was there too much snow for kayaking or hiking? Did you have enough activities to do on cruising days with the cold wether. Thanks for any help. Would you pay more to cruise in June b/c of the weather.
We actually ended up having very decent weather for mid-May, about 55 degrees to 60 the whole time. Yes, we really enjoyed the sea days because there was a naturalist onboard that talked about Alaska's wildlife and what it's like living there in freezing temps along with amazing photos of the beauty.
Regarding excursions, one thing you will miss is the wildlife at it's peak, bear salmon spawning does not start until june, or mid june and the bears were just coming out of hybernation. We did see a few though. The whales had not fully arrived yet though we did see a good number boating through Skagway. We did a whale watching excursion in Juneau, while it was good I'm sure it would have been better in a few weeks. Sorry I don't know about kayaking. The hiking was great. No snow on land. We were thermal underwear the whole week and were nice and toasty.
We are planning to go again in August of this year because we want to see more wildlife, hope this helps.
Thanks, again. Sounds like you saw a lot of wildlife. It's so random. We went kayaking in Alaska last June. Like you, we were lucky with the weather.
A few more questions. Would you recommend a Seattle roundtrip cruise or a Vancouver/Alaska. You only get to cruise through the inside passage on a Vancouver/Alaska trip. Is that right? Were the swimming pools heated? Would you recommend your cruise ship?
I can't comment on the Vancouver - Alaska but I do believe it is better from what others have said. Due to my spouse's work schedule we can't do the extra flying time right now. I do know we were very happy with the sailing from Seattle. I do think the indoor pool (conservatory pool ) was definitely warmer, I'm not sure if it was actually heated or not. That goes for the outdoor too unfortunately but in general on cruise ships the outdoor pool is not heated.
I would definitely recommend the Diamond Princess, we just sailed her again doing the Mexican Riviera in Dec. The 4 themed restaurants are great as well as the ship itself. No complaints.
Great feedback! Enjoy your August sailing. Post again so we can hear about it in comparison with your May sailing. . We'll probably end up cruising Alaska in May 2006. This summer won't work b/c of prior commitments. I'm kinda sick---planning my vacations up to 2 years in advance. It makes work easier to tolerate.
Sure thing Marc. When we go in August we will be trying Holland America for the first time in order to enjoy a few different ports.
There's nothing wrong with planning a trip 2 years in advance! The planning and anticipation is a big part of the fun :-) I'm guilty of the same thing! Any more questions don't hesitate to ask. Happy sailings.
Hi Marc. We will be cruising on the Diamond this May 14th to Alaska. We have the 2 aft cabins on the port side of the Aft Terrace Pool (A744 & A746). Its going to be a nice quiet pool but don't know about the swimming at this time of year but a few steps up is a nce Hot Tub that I know we'll be in a few late nights before turning in for the night. We'll also be right near the Wakeview Bar and the Horizon Court (24 Hr Buffet). Just keep browsing this Forum and you will come across a lot of useful info. Seattle roundtrip on the Diamond or the Sapphire, to me sounds just perfect. This is our first cruise and we have had all sorts of great help here. Good Luck on your planning.....Roy
We went on the Sun Princess in early June of 2004 from Whittier to Vancouver. The main pools were open on sea days. The pools were heated to about 75 degrees. My son and I and another family were about the only ones in the pool.
We took the Dawn Princess South in July 2004. It was fairly warm once we got past the glacier country. We were layered so could easily adapt to changing conditions. June was the peak for daylight hours, but we had sunlight from 3:30AM til 11:30 PM, making for huge days in Anchorage in July.
We were so awed by the view cruising (we had clear days every day of the trip!), we never made it into a pool. The hot pools were usually full, but the main pools usually were not. The covered inside pool was small. They all seemed to be comfortable to the folks in the water.
The Grand Class ships all have fresh water heated swimming pools with one that can be covered with a retractable roof. The Sun Class and Explorer Class ships have the same fresh water heater pools except they are not covered. All the ships have great hot tubs...Enjoy...
Hey Marc junior, If you haven't booked your cruise yet I will give you a report on the Aft Balconies compared to other balconys and will give you some pointers on what the best options are. We are cruising May 14th on the Diamond. I know I'll hit the pools a couple times no matter what the weather.....Roy
The Coral Princess has an indoor pool that was popular on our cruise to Alaska last July -- especially on "at sea" days. It was chilly enough most days that the outdoor pools were pretty empty. The outdoor hot tubs, on the other hand, were in use.