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Discussion in 'Alaska & Pacific Northwest Ports' started by YoungAtHeart, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. YoungAtHeart

    YoungAtHeart Guest

    Planning first Alaska cruise experience for next year and all the info' on the message board has already been most helpful...........thanks all contributors!

    However, if anyone cares to comment on the following matters, I will be grateful:

    1. We plan to go early, mid May '04 and have heard that weather may be better than June (though appreciate that it is a bit of a lottery at any time) Has anyone experience of a May cruise?

    2. We originally thought of an Inside passage itinerary, Vancouver back to Vancouver but now feel that a North-South, Seward/Whittier, may be better, due to additional glacier cruising in College fjord. Any views?

    3. The choice will probably come down to Princess or Holland America, as both do Glacier Bay and have lots of balcony cabins. I understand that they are both good for Alaska but can anyone compare them from experience?

    Thanks in anticipation.

    Graham

    PS This is for my wife's 60th so a good time is planned!
     
  2. AnnW

    AnnW Guest

    June is a *splendid* time to go to Alaska! Our first Alaskan cruise was right around June 21, summer solstice, so there were very long days. We flew to Fairbanks (and did a 5 day land tour first), arriving at 3:30 in the morning, and it was still light outside!

    We had rain only one day, and only for an hour or so. Others claim it "rains all the time in Ketichkan", but the day we were in port it was actually hot and sunny.

    I understand that May and September (when we're next going, in 40 days) are the riskiest for bad weather -- cold, rain... June/July/August are considered "peak".

    I think the one-way cruise, Seward - Vancouver is really nice -- you get to see a bit more of Alaska, and certainly more glaciers (when you're going I guess Princess' home port will be Whittier).

    Since this is such a festive occasion for you, you might also want to consider spending a few days in Vancouver at the end of your trip --it is a lovely city, lots to see and do. Very cosmopolitan, yet the Canadian exchange rate is such that it's very favorable to Americans (you can get some very fine meals and lodging for significantly less than in the States).

    I've only had experience on the Princess line -- which was wonderful. And which we're using again (Island Princess), so can't offer any comparisons. There is a Princess board here, too -- and you've probably read the reviews, which should help you decide.

    Whichever line you choose -- Alaska is awesome, and I think you'll have a wonderful time!
     
  3. BarbaraK

    BarbaraK Guest

    We have taken Vancouver to Seward, Seward to Vancouver and Vancouver to Vancouver, and I have to say we enjoyed all 3. :)
    Our first cruise was Vancouver to Seward and is still my favourite mainly because it was our first cruise! We have been hooked ever since , we also hired a car and drove out to Denali after the cruise, which was a wonderful trip also.
    We also sailed in the middle of May and it was a total change from the September scenery we had seen before, more snow and ice, very pretty. ( Snow and ice in the distance I should add! )
    We will be booking for next Mays repo cruise on the Summit from San Diego to Vancouver as we had to cancel our September repositioning cruise on the Summit for this year :(
    I haven't sailed on HAL or Princess.
    I have to say that for Alaska we do splurge and book a balcony! :grin
    Hope that you have a great time :)
     
  4. DesrtDrmr

    DesrtDrmr Guest

    Hello,
    We have sailed Vancouver to Vancouver in May on Princess. The weather was beautiful! It was the first Alaska cruise of the season, and some man we heard in the elevator said that he had never been in May before, but in his prior 42 (!!) Alaska cruises, it rained some of the time, and on this one, we didn't have any rain. The only time it was really cold was the day we had in Glacier Bay.
    We have also sailed on Holland America, twice, but not to Alaska. I think the two lines are very similar, and we like them both. Of course, our first cruise was on Holland America, so that will always have a special place in our hearts.
    To me, it seems as if there is a wider age group on Princess, but we were in our 30s when on our first cruise, and ages were not a problem. We started cruising on Princess because they had itineraries we wanted to do, and they were a little less expensive than Holland Amreica.......I don't know if that is still the case. The cruise experience, to us, was quite similar.............we're not gourmets, but the food was similar to us, the activities were similar, and the atmosphere was similar........a bit more formal than RCCL. We haven't been on Carnival, so can't address that line, but RCCL has more physical fitness type activities than the other two, and less traditional activities, except for Bingo.........they ALL have Bingo!! :)
    Happy Cruising!
     

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