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Old November 1st, 2011, 08:03 PM
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Husband and I are doing our 1st cruise. September 2012. We going to Alaska for 7 days and then staying in Seattle for 4 days. I wasn't going to do a balcony, but talking to a few people, they said that was the way to go... I booked a mini-suite... Needless to say we're excited, and would LOVE any advice.... Thank you.....
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 08:36 AM
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Hello and Welcome to CruiseMates! Which ship and on what deck have you booked? We love the mini-suites on Princess. Totally agree that a balcony is the way to go on an Alaskan cruise
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 10:26 AM
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Congratulations on booking your cruise. A mini-suite is a great way to enjoy the scenery of the Inside Passage. It is also great for some private glacier viewing.

I would suggest that you reserve enough in your travel budget to do one "big" excursion such as: Helicopter Glacier tour, Flightseeing, dog sledding or even whale watching. It's something you will remember for the rest of your life.

Alaska is a great destination and IMO the most beautiful cruise.

Take care,
Mike
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 11:09 AM
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The best advice I can give newbie cruisers is READ IT ALL! You will receive lots of information, both in advance and on board. Read it all and take advantage of everything going on!

We love Alaska! Check out our trip reports and pictures at Cruising with the Halls
and my specific comments on Alaska at
Alaska Glaciers
and
Alaska Excursions Guide

Have a GREAT cruise!
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 11:26 AM
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Agreed! I found this forum when researching our first cruise 5 years ago, and I'm still here!

We love cruising...Even more than Disney World!

Krunch

Quote:
Originally Posted by MercedMike View Post
The best advice I can give newbie cruisers is READ IT ALL! You will receive lots of information, both in advance and on board. Read it all and take advantage of everything going on!

We love Alaska! Check out our trip reports and pictures at Cruising with the Halls
and my specific comments on Alaska at
Alaska Glaciers
and
Alaska Excursions Guide

Have a GREAT cruise!
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 06:29 PM
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You will love the mini-suite. They are so nice that I can't talk myself into booking a full suite.
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 06:52 PM
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Welcome to Cruisemates, and,congratulations on a great cruise to look forward to. The good thing is, you have lots of time to read up on Alaska, and the ship, and, if you have any questions, we can be with you all along the way, to help you.
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 03:14 PM
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Thank you for the welcomes..... I'm booked on the Star Princess. I didn't know what deck would be best, so I went with AD.

Mike, you suggest a "big" excursion... Is that available to book once you get on the ship? Is there enough time when we stop in port to do an excursion? This 1st cruise is going to be a great big learning experience.... We haven't even done it yet, but are already talking about another one.

I just want to make this an enjoyable experience.... of course.
Thank you...
Jean
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Old November 4th, 2011, 12:42 PM
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Talking Excursions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanieb506 View Post
Thank you for the welcomes..... I'm booked on the Star Princess. I didn't know what deck would be best, so I went with AD.

Mike, you suggest a "big" excursion... Is that available to book once you get on the ship? Is there enough time when we stop in port to do an excursion? This 1st cruise is going to be a great big learning experience.... We haven't even done it yet, but are already talking about another one.

I just want to make this an enjoyable experience.... of course.
Thank you...
Jean
Shore excursions are a big part of the cruise experience, especially in Alaska! There are various ways to do it.

For a first time cruiser, using the ship's excursions is a very safe, efficient and convenient way to do it. Sometime around 120 days before your cruise, bookings will open up online. But even before that you can go to the cruise line web site and get a brochure describing the many many excursions available. Port time is always planned around the excursions, and you will certainly have time for one ship's excursion, maybe even two, in every port.

It is possible to wait until you are on board the ship to book excursions. HOWEVER the most popular excursions fill up fast. Sometimes we have boarded the ship and seen that all the helicopter trips were already closed. So I seriously recommend booking well in advance, especially for the things you really want to do!


The "big" excursions in Alaska would be helicopter trips, including landings on the glacier maybe; Float planes; jet boats; whale watching; bear watching; and these days even more things! I agree with the other Mike that you should definitely budget at least one BIG excursion!

For some excursions that we have enjoyed (not by any means ALL the choices) check out our trip report and pictures at Alaska Excursions Guide

Planning and anticipating is half the fun!

Have a GREAT cruise!
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Old November 14th, 2011, 10:11 PM
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Thank you for the response... I will definitely plan on something. I like the whale watching....
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