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First time cruisers - Alaska need suggestions

Discussion in 'Alaska & Pacific Northwest Ports' started by blackpearl, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. blackpearl

    blackpearl Guest

    Hi everybody,

    My husband and I are planning to go on an Alaskan cruise sometime in August or September, along with another couple. We are all in late 20s and early 30s.
    I've started my research, but there seem to be so many options we can choose.
    What are your thoughts about going for a round trip, or just one way northbound / southbound?
    Which one is better? Also, which cruise company should we go with?

    I've read that in August we could see salmon eating bears. Is it something we can see from the ship, or do we have to take excursions for it?

    I would appreciate any suggestion you may have for our first cruise trip! Thanks!
     
  2. W5KAP

    W5KAP Guest

    Welcome to the boards!! I think you will find many answers to your questions but there is really no right answer for NB or SB. It depends on what you want. Are you doing the land portion as well? If so some folks recommend the SB trips so you can do the land portion first. We decided to do the N/B out of Vancouver and then the land cruise. Either way air fair will be expensive since 1) it's considered and open jaw trip, and 2) air fare to or from AK is expensive no matter what. One other thing I would mention is if you plan on going this summer you had better decide and book fast. Most of these cruises are booked full fairly early. For example, we did ours in September of 2008. Not sure about round trips other than to tell you you will end up spending a great deal of more time on-board the ship and less time actually in AK. I does, however, making the flying portion a lot easier and cheaper. I know there are R/T's from SF, and Seattle. personally I opt for spending more time in AK.

    Not sure if this helps but I hope so. Cheers, Kenn
     
  3. PEB

    PEB Guest

    Alaska is great. I have cruised there many times. To see bears eating Salmon I would more suggest going during the July Salmon run but thats me. I would also consider a cruise that hits Kodiak Island for the best bear viewing but you can see them in some other ports if you cannot find a cruise to Kodiak. Cruising both directions as a back to back is great because you do not have to see everything all in one day when in port. I have also done roundtrip 14 day cruise with all different ports and that is nice because you see more ports but then you also only have one day in each port to see things. If you are into the glaciers I would make sure you go to Glacier Bay. Whale watching is usually best in Juneau, even though they are everywhere.

    As far as cruise lines go that depends on your likes and dislikes. Holland America and Princess have been there the longest and have an exceptional setup in Alaska but all cruise lines will take you to some great places. For me I always use Princess in Alaska but then Princess just seems to suit my wife and I the best even though we have enjoyed cruising on all cruise lines.

    For myself I have cruised Alaska 11 times and will be back many more times. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth and you will enjoy it.
     
  4. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    One way cruise pricing is pretty inexpensive right now compared to a return out of Seattle or Vancouver. But that is because the air is the opposite. I of course recommend the return trips out of Vancouver. Not just because of where I'm from but that if you are doing 7 days out of Seattle it just feels so rushed because of the extra difference you must travel to get up there and back. You will get some better "Inside Passage" experiences also.
    As far a cruise lines ... All the majors go so I would do it on price and itinerary and not worry too much about that either.

    Skagway will get you an opportunity to travel on the White Pass and Yukon railroad so keep that in mind.
    Check out my Buds Mike & Carol's site "Alaska on the Infinity 2007" for lots of info including some tours. <http://www.thepreismans.com/>

    BTW welcome to cruise @addicts.
    U2 W5KAP :)
     
  5. blackpearl

    blackpearl Guest

    Thank you everybody! We went to a travel agent in the weekend, and she recommends us to go with Royal Caribbean. My husband basically sold on their rock climbing wall feature. We are thinking to go for a Northbound trip from Vancouver - Seward, but the flight back is really quite expensive. Our problem with roundtrip is that it seems that we won't be seeing as much, basically we'd get the same view twice? We've never been to Alaska, and we would like to spend more time in there, so a Northbound trip will allow us to spend a couple more days in Anchorage before heading back home to the canadian prairies.
     
  6. W5KAP

    W5KAP Guest

    Thanks for the welcome. I just wish this these boards would be more active. There is another that shall go nameless (CC) that seems a 100 times more active. We have cruised three times before the Alaskan trip this June. We plan on spending 2 days in your beautiful city (have a next door neighbor from Vancouver). We were in eastern BC last Fall and loved it. I wish we got in earlier to YVR but the cheapest flights (we are paying for 4 people) got us in at 11:00 PM. So I guess we will have only Sunday and a little of Monday morning to explore. We plan on using the hop-on hop-off trolley as it stops at the Westin Bayshore where we are staying. Thanks for the welcome. be well.

    Cheers, Kenn
     
  7. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    Me too :) But we are smaller and friendly. Bit more like family actually. Appreciate your share. Join in a bit more and have a look around the site.

    Bob
     
  8. JenInAlaska

    JenInAlaska Guest

    If you are going to visit Anchorage I highly suggest taking an excursion (or renting a car) and visiting Denali National Park. It's only a few hours north and it's just breathtaking. You won't regret it.
     
  9. Yukon

    Yukon Guest

    But unless you have time to spend 2 nights at Denali it's not worth going.
     
  10. nanookgirl

    nanookgirl Well-Known Member

    If you are going to do a land tour along with a one-way cruise, keep in mind that if you begin the land portion first, you may need to book an extra night in the starting city (most likely Fairbanks) as many of my guests (I work at a hotel in Fairbanks) need to do this before begining their cruisetour, or the same thing if you end in Fairbanks, especially if you have late flights.
     
  11. Calgon1

    Calgon1 Awaiting results of mental evaluation

    Quack!

    Interested in what you finally ended up with. Did you ever see the salmon eating bears? Boy, those would have to be some MEAN salmon! Usually, it's the other way around ...
     
  12. GloBug

    GloBug Senior Flea Coller Tester

    We have gone to Alaska in May and June. Last year we went in August, and it was during the height of the salmon run. You could walk across the creeks on the backs of thousands of salmon waiting their turn to get through the runs. It was stunning. :clap: We'll be going back for our 4th Alaska cruise, again in August.

    No bears in Sitka or Ketchikan, though.
     
  13. GloBug

    GloBug Senior Flea Coller Tester

    Re: Quack!

    LOL, that's what I was thinking.
     

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