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SeeDiver
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Loc: Des Plaines, IL
Alaska Cruise
      #1530859 - 08/26/13 12:54 PM (71.201.78.161)

Our 20th anniversary is next year, and Lisa and I are considering Alaska for our anniversary trip.
I must preface this by stating that while we are not cruise fans, we believe the best way to experience the sights would be via water, as opposed to land-based.
We're thinking a one-way, 10-day cruise would cover the most territory, and let us spend a few pre- or post- days on land.
We do not want one of the Mega- size floating cities
We definitely want a balcony, good food, smaller-to middle sized ship from the more reputable lines.
It appears the best weather window is in late July-early August.

We've begun looking at travel sites on the Web, but would appreciate input from others with experience to help us weed out the outliers so we can focus on the let's say top 5-7 choices.

Thanks for any input

--------------------
Roger

Cenosillicaphobia - Fear of an empty glass

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Alaska Cruise [Re: SeeDiver]
      #1530862 - 08/26/13 01:13 PM (71.101.34.243)

Holland America and Princess have by far the most 'presence' in Alaska. As far as HUGE ships, Princess has, unfortunately, succumbed to some extent to the huge ship craze, although their ships are not as large as Oasis of the Seas and NCL Epic, etc. It's been a long time since we cruised Alaska, but it USED to be that you almost needed to do either HAL or Princess among the larger cruise lines in order to get into Glacier Bay, which is a real must, especially if you think you will only do Alaska once. It used to be that the National Park Service only gave out just a limited number of permits for Glacier Bay, so you should check that out, to see if your ship would visit Glacier Bay or not. HAL and Princess both have lodges which they own in Alaska and you can book package deals which include the land lodging with the cruise price. You should at least LOOK at both of them before you look at anything else. Both have plenty of balcony cabins. HAL has traditionally been an older crowd than Princess, but Alaska in general is an older crowd than the Caribbean. HAL will have smaller ships than Princess and the food will be slightly better. But Princess will have a livelier crowd onboard.

As far as the others, I really don't know what they have to offer these days, but I would check out Princess and HAL first and then compare them to the rest.


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swg
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Joined: 10/20/03
Posts: 327
Re: Alaska Cruise [Re: SeeDiver]
      #1530868 - 08/26/13 02:00 PM (24.152.255.162)

You also should check out Celebrity Cruise Line.

We like their itinerary. I am not aware of any of the mega ships cruising in Alaska, but it has been a while since I checked out cruises to Alaska.

Sue


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Alaska Cruise [Re: swg]
      #1530877 - 08/26/13 03:24 PM (71.101.34.243)

Just curious--does Celebrity go to Glacier Bay? As years ago, when we went, they were not able to.

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Snorkeller
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Re: Alaska Cruise [Re: SeeDiver]
      #1530878 - 08/26/13 03:41 PM (108.4.112.247)

We cruised Alaska with a family group this past June (2013). We did a 7 night RT Seattle primarily because of a family member's medical restrictions which limited us to a US port. Because we wanted to go to Glacier Bay, we had a choice between HAL and Princess - at least with mass market ships. We went HAL. I am hearing that there is not a lot of age difference on HAL and Princess in Alaska - both have a fairly old crowd - any one cruise can be different. We usually go with Royal Caribbean but HAL was very nice - we got one of the SC Neptune Suite aft corner cabins - which was really great. You could do what I do and send an email to Bonnie Buchanan and make her work at getting you an explanation of your options. That's is what I do.

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Alaska Cruise [Re: Snorkeller]
      #1530886 - 08/26/13 04:59 PM (71.101.34.243)

So--that is still the case--that other mass market ships can't get into Glacier Bay? That in and of itself is a major reason to book Princess or HAL. And yes, Bonnie works very hard!

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SeeDiver
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Joined: 07/15/03
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Re: Alaska Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1530948 - 08/27/13 12:16 AM (71.201.78.161)

Carol,
Thanks for the tip about Glacier Bay. it may be the key to narrowing down the list.

--------------------
Roger

Cenosillicaphobia - Fear of an empty glass

[url=http://www.TickerFactory.com/]

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Alaska Cruise [Re: SeeDiver]
      #1530969 - 08/27/13 08:19 AM (108.117.85.24)

No problem. I know that USED to be the case in Alaska, but it's been a while. Glacier Bay is amazing. All of Alaska is amazing. Enjoy!

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GaKaye
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Joined: 07/09/06
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Re: Alaska Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1531029 - 08/27/13 12:50 PM (70.193.4.62)

Yes, Carol, thank you for posting this, as I was also unaware that all of the ships couldn't enter Glacier Bay. We're probably not going for a few more years, but when we do we definitely want to cruise Glacier Bay, so we'll be sure to do the necessary research before we book.

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SeeDiver
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Re: Alaska Cruise [Re: GaKaye]
      #1531033 - 08/27/13 01:06 PM (71.201.78.161)

It also appears that Northbound vs Southbound makes a difference. My reading says northbound between Ketchikan and Juneau ships pass through Snow Passage - a very beautiful area known for sightings of humpback whales. Northbound most of the season ships transit this area after dark however southbound it is during the morning.

--------------------
Roger

Cenosillicaphobia - Fear of an empty glass

[url=http://www.TickerFactory.com/]

[/url]


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