cruise to Alaska in Sept with 81yr old Dad


Active Member
Been researching about the cruises to Alaska, and the only time I can go is the second week in Sept. My Dad and I are going to go and this will be our first trip to Alaska, and want it to be special and see everything we can in a short time. Looks like I am leaning towards Holland Cruise out of Vancouver, that is according to what I have read on various sites. Would love to see the whales, and spend some time in a few of the ports, not just in and out, have to check that yet. Is it worth getting a balcony room, and any other suggestions would greatly be appreciated. I have been on 3 cruises, but my Dad hasn't ever cruised.
I would love all comments, because we decided to do this today, and now I am doing my research to make this a wonderful cruise for him.
Thank you


Awaiting results of mental evaluation
I would recommend not getting a balcony since, in reality, you're really not in your cabin other than to sleep, shower, shave and ... change clothes. And, you'll be eating the same great meals, watching the same exciting shows and visiting the same beautiful ports of call as the folks who booked the higher priced cabins.

Take the extra $ you'll save and invest it in the higher priced shorexs as they can be rather pricey, expecially if you take a flight-seeing tour (and that's just about the only way your're going to see Kodiaks).

Holland America is definitely a great choice! They really "do" Alaska better than anyone else out there. As an alternative to the itinerary you mentined, you might want to consider the 14-day Alaskan Adventurer, round-trip, out of Seattle. If you book an inside, you can possibly get something in the $115 per person, per day range. Or stick with your original choice of the Stattendam and take a land tour on the end of your 7-day cruise.

Whichever way you go, get an inside cabin and throw the difference into the shorexs. You'll be glad you did.


Forum Manager
Staff member
Normally I would agree on the room advice given by Calgon. But you might want to think a bit on that because of you Dad.

First cruise an all would give him a bit of a treat and for sure opportunities to just get outside when docked with out having to make it to an outer deck.

You couldn't go wrong with any major cruise line out of Vancouver on a seven dayer. They all do basically the same trip with a few exceptions. Skagway is a spot that I would recommend with the train ride available. But a Seven day return from Vancouver does not get you all that far north. Your balcony would also allow you to see and get outside through the inside passage also.

Interested in Fishing Canneries .. check the Mercury's itinerary for Ice Point Straight. ( Also one of the worlds longest Zip lines there if you want to send your Dad off in style :) )


Community Manager
Staff member
I am going to disagree with Calgon a little on this. After 8 trips to Alaska, we have always had a balcony, BUT I am not advocating a balcony cabin, but at least go for an outside, even if it is partially obstructed. There is nothing like waking up in the morning with the sun shining in and being able to look outside at the awesome scenery, nothing compares to it.
Do your whale and wildlife watching in Juno and don't (my opinion) waste a lot of time with doing Mendanhall Glacier tour, you waste time looking at dirty ice, the only way to do Mendanhall is by air, and that is expensive, do consider the White Pass Railway in Skagway, and do native encounters (village tours) in Ketchikan.

Besides Holland America don't rule out Princess, but do it on one of the bigger Grand Class ships, not the Sun Class, Princess has been doing Alaska as long or longer than Holland America, the two are the premium Alaska providers and make sure that the cruise you pick includes Glacier Bay, it is worth the whole trip.


Well-Known Member
You and your dad will enjoy a cruise to Alaska. If you really want to see the whales take an excursion with Capt Larry in Juno. The views from the train ride in Skagway are great. A trip to the totem parks in Ketchikan are great as well as a tour of Ketchikan by water. There is plenty to do on an Alaskan cruise.

As far as a balcony room that all depends on how much time you wish to spend in your cabin. You know better then us on what you and your dad's activity level is. If you think you may need to spend some time in the room resting I would pick a balcony. If you feel you and your dad can spend more time moving around to see things an inside can be fine because there are plenty of public places on the ship to go to for viewing the scenery and meeting friends.

Personally when I am cruising Alaska I spend more time out meeting people and viewing things from the deck then I do in my room.

I do believe you and your dad will enjoy Alaska and it will be a memorable cruise.