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Old 04-15-2019, 10:20 AM   #1
mrc
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Default Alaska Cruise

Mom and Dad have decided for their 50th anniversary they want to do an Alaskan Cruise, and want me to schedule it for them. I know nothing about cruises and it appears there are many choices available. Can anyone here point me in the right direction? They want to see the glaciers and have a couple of stops in Alaska. They don't gamble or drink or socialize much so that is not important to them, the only thing they need is a restaurant that will take orders because dad has extensive food allergies and has a specialized diet. I am just trying to narrow down the options and see who has done it and enjoyed the ship.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:27 AM   #2
Deerguy
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As far as which cruiseline, I'd go with Princess. For time of year, August is great relative to temperature, wildlife, fishing. As far as which cruise, make sure you book one that includes glacier bay as this will have the best glacier viewing opportunities.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:42 AM   #3
BLACKFINTURKEY
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We are going with Norwegian In August, this will be my first cruise hopefully itís good.


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Old 04-15-2019, 10:42 AM   #4
deerplanter
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We went Holland and really enjoyed it, we did the land sea cruise.
https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US...and-yukon.html
My aunt travels all over the world and uses one travel agent, we used her on the Alaska trip and she was great. Pammy Tyler <Pammy@CruisePlanners.com>
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:49 AM   #5
txbassnaholic
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i did a Alaska cruise a couple of years ago. we went on Holland America. had a good time. One thing I would change.....I would not do a round trip, i.e. leave out of Seattle and return to Seattle. Only go one way, from Seattle to anchorage, via train, or vice versa. we hit glacier bay, Juneau, Sitka and a couple of more. for excursions, we did a whale watching excursion , the deadliest boat excursion, and a eagle excursion. the deadliest boat was the best and most informative. Sitka was a great town to visit, very quaint. Juneau was a tourist trap, really didn't care for it. I hope this helps.
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:13 AM   #6
76aggie
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I would also recommend Princess as well. Have been on a couple of AK cruises and went with them both times which were great. Tell your folks to definately get a balcony suite. Well worth the extra dollars. I cannot comment on special dietary needs but that could easily be checked out with Princess. They do have specialty restuarants on board and you can eat in the dining rooms as opposed to the buffets. The dining room meals are a lot better than the buffets in my opinion. I really don't like the buffets on any cruise line. Just OK but not great. Breakfast buffets are pretty good though. They offer a 7 day cruise. When you land in Anchorage, they have a bus waiting at the airport to take you to the ship. It goes through Glacier Bay and then into the Inside Passage with stops in Skagway, Ketchikan and Juneau. You leave the boat in Vancouver. They will need passports. Each port of call has several activities. These are all at additional costs, of course. PM me if you need any other information.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:03 PM   #7
ctom87
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I’ve been on three cruises with three different cruise lines. Not because we didn’t like any of them, but we just want to try everything/everyone once. The first was Carnival to Falmouth, Grand Cayman Island and Cozumel. The second was Norwegian to Freeport and Nassau. The third was Royal Caribbean to Nassau.

The three cruises all had one thing in common: the most excellent customer service you’ll ever have. Period. On Royal Caribbean, the waitress remembered our names and we had a party of 6 every night. To me, that is extremely impressive. Who knows how many families she had to wait on, but remembering all of our names and setting up an anniversary cake for my parents…she impressed us the most.

The other two cruise lines had superior customer service as well. Enough that I would feel comfortable going on any cruise line because they probably all have the same. Most cruise lines also have a high-end steakhouse type restaurant at an extra fee. They all also have the free food as well.

Either way, I’m sure your parents will be fine and enjoy the cruise.
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:28 PM   #8
wcg89
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We took Carnival out of Seattle for 10+ days back in June 2015, went to Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau, Victoria.

It was awesome, would definitely go again. Snaking through the fjords was one of the coolest parts to me, very pretty.

Saw some neat wildlife too, brown bear, black bear, mountain goat, humpback whales, killer whales. Went on a train ride, went ziplining, saw glaciers. You won't regret it!
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:19 PM   #9
dclifton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txbassnaholic View Post
i did a Alaska cruise a couple of years ago. we went on Holland America. had a good time. One thing I would change.....I would not do a round trip, i.e. leave out of Seattle and return to Seattle. Only go one way, from Seattle to anchorage, via train, or vice versa. we hit glacier bay, Juneau, Sitka and a couple of more. for excursions, we did a whale watching excursion , the deadliest boat excursion, and a eagle excursion. the deadliest boat was the best and most informative. Sitka was a great town to visit, very quaint. Juneau was a tourist trap, really didn't care for it. I hope this helps.
***1,000

I would not do a round trip cruise. I was absolutely sick of that boat after being on it for 7 days. Getting on and off was a breeze so i would have much rather got to stop more and just went up or down one way then train or flew back.


I hated Seattle. If i had to do it again i think their is cruises out of Vancouver or Victoria that are one way.

We went on the Norwegian bliss and it was very clean and nice but the food was lacking in my opinion. Now if you went and scheduled a dinner at one of the restaurants that you pay for that food was awesome.

We rode the train out of Skagway that is a must if they make that stop.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:28 PM   #10
Deerguy
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In addition to Glacier Bay, if they don't mind plane rides, the 5-glacier seaplane excursion in Juneau is awesome. You can just do the plane ride or you can add the Taku lodge and meal (where there is good chance of seeing a bear).
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:39 PM   #11
Quackerbox
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We did princes. Round trip to and from Seattle. I liked Seattle.

My parents are wanting to do the same for their 50th in 2020 and wife and I want to treat. So tagged for new info
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:36 PM   #12
mrc
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Has anyone left out of San Francisco, dad is wanting to see the Californis coastline also.
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:54 PM   #13
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Last year we did a cruise on Holland America the first week in September. Left out of Vancouver ended in Sewell and then did a week on land. Buses and trains, ended in Fairbanks. I think the land tour was as good or better than the cruise. It was the end of the season, not too crowded, the weather was perfect. Was a bit cheaper than the summer, but the leaves were changing. We saw grizzly, black bear, moose, caribou, whales, seals, otters, mountain goats, eagles, all sorts of critters. I've been on a bunch of cruises and this was the best. We add a cabin at the back of the boat, I highly recommend it. I can give more details if you're interested.
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:25 PM   #14
Dejashoot
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We did Southbound from Seaward to Vancouver last year. Round trip spent too much time on the boat so we did one-way. Norwegian had restraints that were sensitive to dietary restrictions. We took the train from Anchorage to Seaward. Great experience. Had a blast on excursions.
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:31 PM   #15
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Number one tip, get a room with a balcony view! So much to see. I have been fortunate that my in-laws have taken my wife and I twice. My advice would be to fly to Vancouver and sail up to Anchorage, you have longer stops and see more, than the Seattle out and back.
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:38 PM   #16
RascalArms
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Another vote for Princess. We did a Alaskan sea-land cruise combo for our 30th wedding anniversary through Princess cruise lines last June. Even the land portion was on Princess properties. It was a great experience.

We flew into Seattle and spent a couple of days doing some sightseeing there before heading up to Vancouver where we boarded the ship.

I too highly recommend paying the extra funds for a balcony room. We’ve taken many cruises in the past and I wouldn’t say a balcony view was a deal breaker on most of them....but not Alaska! There’s just so many breathtaken views that you don’t want to miss, trust me.

We were on the Coral Princess with stops and excursions in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay National Park, College Fjord and Whittier before starting the land portion throughout Denali NP. The tour through Denali and the train ride from Whittier to Denali were spectacular.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:30 PM   #17
Lefty5
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Princess no doubt Do the 10 day trip Fly into Anchorage and do the land travel by Princess stay in princess resorts all the way to anchorage then get on princess cruise ship made seven stops before finishing up in Vancouver Ready to go back and do it again For sure book a balcony suiteAll accommodations are the best
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:47 PM   #18
Darrenkw
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I'm doing Norwegian in September. Around the time of the solstices is the best time to see the northern lights plus the weather is supposed to be pretty good around that time.
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Old 04-16-2019, 04:05 AM   #19
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This is absolutely no help but I’ve heard from everyone that I’ve known to do an Alaska cruise that it was awesome.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:13 AM   #20
Rick
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I have been thinking for a long time about an Alaskan cruise. To the ones that say get a balcony room, are both sides of the ship good? or do you want to be on the land side? do you even have the option of choosing?
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:55 AM   #21
Deerguy
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Depending on which fare you pick and availability, you can choose (the cheapest fare picks for you). I've been on both sides and I don't know that it really matters, other than going up the fjord to see the Sawyer Glacier (where you want the starboard side).
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:13 AM   #22
RascalArms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
I have been thinking for a long time about an Alaskan cruise. To the ones that say get a balcony room, are both sides of the ship good? or do you want to be on the land side? do you even have the option of choosing?
Both are good IMO. Remember itís the inner passage so you have land on both sides throughout much of the cruise...not all, but most.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:09 AM   #23
mrc
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Thanks for the info, this gives me somewhere to start.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:41 AM   #24
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Quote:
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Has anyone left out of San Francisco, dad is wanting to see the Californis coastline also.
No help on anything that hasn't already been said, but the northern California coastline is about the only saving grace for that state and I was raised just north of Napa.

If that's something they are interested in, I'd suggest flying into SFO, renting a car, driving up the Napa valley, across to 101, then up to the redwoods, across to hwy 1 and drive the coast back to cross the golden gate back into San Francisco. Go see Alcatraz too.

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Old 04-16-2019, 11:50 AM   #25
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I live in Alaska, and wouldnt do a cruise. Fly to Anchorage, rent a motorhome and set your own pace. The cruises are crowded, when you get to port you unload like lemmings to shop in stores that carry trinkets and then back on the boat. With a motorhome, you can see so much more inland. But again, I live here so there's that.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:19 PM   #26
Mike D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lefty5 View Post
Princess no doubt Do the 10 day trip Fly into Anchorage and do the land travel by Princess stay in princess resorts all the way to anchorage then get on princess cruise ship made seven stops before finishing up in Vancouver Ready to go back and do it again For sure book a balcony suiteAll accommodations are the best


We did a similar trip in 2013 with Princess Cruise Lines and had a fantastic time. 4 days on land/7 days on ship plus an extra day in Vancouver. We flew into Fairbanks.

Next time we will spend more time inland. The ship was great with plenty to do but there was lots more to do inland.




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Old 04-16-2019, 02:12 PM   #27
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My wife and I have done the inner passage Alaska cruise twice (Glacier bay, Juneau, Skagway, etc), and loved it both times. She is a registered travel agent specializing in cruises. Give her a call! She'll get them the best prices, and will handle all details--airfare, excursions, etc. www.GreatDayToTravel.com
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:52 PM   #28
mrc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hughiam View Post
I live in Alaska, and wouldnt do a cruise. Fly to Anchorage, rent a motorhome and set your own pace. The cruises are crowded, when you get to port you unload like lemmings to shop in stores that carry trinkets and then back on the boat. With a motorhome, you can see so much more inland. But again, I live here so there's that.
My thoughts exactly, I am trying to talk them into that.
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Old 04-16-2019, 03:53 PM   #29
mrc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HSULongbow View Post
My wife and I have done the inner passage Alaska cruise twice (Glacier bay, Juneau, Skagway, etc), and loved it both times. She is a registered travel agent specializing in cruises. Give her a call! She'll get them the best prices, and will handle all details--airfare, excursions, etc. www.GreatDayToTravel.com
I may have them do that, it appears you are close to us.
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:53 PM   #30
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We are taking Princess on an Alaskan "land/sea" vacation this July for our 30th. Flying on our own to Seattle for 4 days of hiking & sight-seeing that I never did when stationed nearby in the mid-80's. Then flying to Fairbanks and working our way to Anchorage over 5 days. This is the land part of the Princess vacation package. Travelling via rail and coach. Then its 7 days of cruising to Victoria, BC. I upgraded to a mini-suite (much nicer) and we were comped the drink package for booking last year.

We've only cruised out of Galveston so far on both Royal Caribbean and Carnival. Done 3, 5 & 7 day cruises. Of the two, I'd choose RC every time. IMO, Carnival's food was crap. We did enjoy the poolside hamburgers & fries though.
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:10 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lefty5 View Post
Princess no doubt Do the 10 day trip Fly into Anchorage and do the land travel by Princess stay in princess resorts all the way to anchorage then get on princess cruise ship made seven stops before finishing up in Vancouver Ready to go back and do it again For sure book a balcony suiteAll accommodations are the best

This is spot on, we did this and had a great time
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