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Help Deciding on an Alaskan Cruise

Discussion in 'Alaska & Pacific Northwest Ports' started by Jrb599, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. Jrb599

    Jrb599 Guest

    My girlfriend and I want to go on a cruise in Alaska in the summer of 2008. Being in college money is a somewhat tight, so we can only fly really too Seattle (coming from Raleigh, NC). Flights to Vancouver and Alaska themselves are so expensive, but a flight to Seattle is only about $250. Given this information I am trying to figure out which cruise line would do the best job on covering some great places given the Seattle is further and time is more limited. To me, I see Celebrity doing the best job as this. Also what are ports that are have to sees? Finally, is there anything else I'm forgetting to ask or check out?

    Oh yeah, and I don't think we're gonna do a land-tour.
  2. Jrb599

    Jrb599 Guest

    I should add too the only places I have found on any cruise lines that go to Glacier Bay are ones that leave from Alaska or Vancouver.
  3. Beryl

    Beryl Guest

    You have several choices for round trip cruises to Alaska out of Seattle. Have a look at and compare itineraries of Princess, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Norwegian and Celebrity. If this is a first cruise for you I would strongly recommend that you find a reliable Travel Agent who is willing to answer your questions and compare itineraries for you. Several great ones advertise on this site.

    Major ports on this cruise generally include a stop in Ketchikan, Skagway, and Juneau and Victoria. Some ships make a stop in Sitka. Glacier Bay is a preferred "cruising day" destination. I'm not sure who might offer this out of Seattle. Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm are more common on itineraries out of Seattle.

    Celebrity offers round trip cruising out of Vancouver as well. You might want to check that itinerary out and perhaps consider purchasing a transfer from Celebrity to and from Vancouver. Probably that would be more economical than flying.
  4. Jrb599

    Jrb599 Guest

    a transfer? How much do you think that would cost?
  5. Beryl

    Beryl Guest

    I have absolutely no idea =huh...but I do think it would be worth investigating. When you choose a cruise discuss the possibility of a transfer with the travel agent. I hope you find just the cruise you are looking for within your budget! Have a great time planning...it's half the fun! :grin
  6. Beryl

    Beryl Guest

    Follow-up........I just checked what Holland America's coach transfer would cost from Seattle to Vancouver. It is listed as $59.00 per person each way. Hope that will give you some idea.
  7. halfdome86

    halfdome86 Guest

    I highly recommend Glacier Bay. If not, the 2nd choice would be Hubbard over Tracy Arm.

    I've looked it up and here are some ships that go to Glacier Bay from Seattle in 2008:

    Norwegian Pearl
    Hal's Westerdam and Amsterdam.

    We've sailed Norwegian and HAL in Alaska and loved both. HAL probably gets a slight nod but NCL did do a wonderful job and especially if this is your first cruise NCL's fine. I'd use them again for the right itinerary.

    We enjoyed Celebrity as well however they don't go to Glacier Bay.
  8. IBCAR18

    IBCAR18 Guest

    We flew into Seattle and a motor coach bus then took us from the airport direct (4 hr ride) into downtown Vancouver BC where we stayed for one night and then departed for cruise next afternoon. Worked fine. We cruised one-way from Vancouver BC to Anchorage and it was the most amazing cruise I have ever been on. Good luck on your search. Anything will be amazing.
  9. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    Glacier Bay vs Hubbard...
    Depends on the weather and if one can get close.
    Base your decision on other things.
    Personally having seen both at the best of times (a yr apart) both are just great and i wouldn't pick a cruise based on any difference.
  10. blondie1

    blondie1 Guest

    I am planning my first cruise. I am contemplating between the Alaska cruise only or cruisetour. I would like input on whether it is better on the starboard or aft side on a Southbound cruise.
  11. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    NOt a big deal as far as I'm concerned. When out to sea which you are lots times you can't see much. When coming into Port it hit and miss on which side you can see the most and when traveling Inside passage their is land on both sides. AFt cabin now would let you see both side.
  12. Yukon

    Yukon Guest

    While it depends on the exact routing, on a southbound cruise you'll get better views on the port side enough of the time to make that the preferred side to choose. Be very cautious about cruisetours - most people have little idea about what they've bought. Be aware of how much time you're spending in transit and how much at destinations you want to see. A one-way cruise and independent land tour lets you get exactly what you want, will save a lot of money and in Alaska it's very easy to arrange.

  13. Jrb599

    Jrb599 Guest

    Which do you guys like more

    HAL or Norwegian

    Also are cruises out of Vancouver that much better than those out of Seattle?
  14. Jrb599

    Jrb599 Guest

    Also, when is the best time. Is may coming ok?
  15. Yukon

    Yukon Guest

    Vancouver departures get you a lot more Inside Passage cruising (Seattles go outside in the open ocean), so better scenery and calmer water. The weather before about the 20th of May can be too cold for pleasurable cruising IMO - some people get lucky (this past year was warm early), but the odds are against it.
  16. Jrb599

    Jrb599 Guest

    Is august to late to go cruising in Alaska?
  17. Yukon

    Yukon Guest

    [quote Jrb599]Is august to late to go cruising in Alaska?[/quote]

    No, not at all - I think September is too late, but the ships are still running now. Although wetter than late May or June, late August offers the best bear-viewing excursions, and the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights.

  18. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    Murray lives up there and certainly knows what the weather does. I just want to put in my two cents on it. We lived in the Northern Part of BC for years and have traveled the coast on ships a few times now. Sailing early May Early June and Late August. Weather was like we all try and tell everyone different for ever cruise and different for every day of the cruise. August in the southern part of BC was warmer other than that basically the same for all. More snow visible in the earlier months of course.
    So base your schedule on other things such as animal/whale/pricing timings the weather will always be there.
  19. Jrb599

    Jrb599 Guest

    August is the only time I can go, around Aug 8

    I just wanted to make sure it wasn't to cold.
  20. wave runner

    wave runner Guest

    One option is to take ship's transfers to and from Vancouver and Seattle. Another fun and cheaper option is to take the train from Seattle to Vancouver. I am not sure of the price but I think it is around $30.

    One word about Celebrity ships to Alaska. The Infinity and Millennium both have suffered from recurring mechanical problems that affect the propulsion system. These problems have severely impacted some Alaska cruises over the years and resulted in some cruises being cancelled altogether. For an Alaskan cruise, I would not recommend to anyone to not take this additional risk of having their cruise ruined by the possibility of this problem cropping up.

    There are many newer ships that are in much better conditon that sail to Alaska, so I would do some research and be sure you are selecting the ship that works best for you.

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