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Best time of year for Alaska Cruise #38621
02/07/2015 08:08 PM
02/07/2015 08:08 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,017
Louisiana
o2bnsxm Offline OP
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o2bnsxm  Offline OP
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When is the best time of year for an Alaska Cruise? Taking into account the bugs, the weather (rain, cold, etc), and of course the wildlife activity.
We are contemplating a Cruise that leaves and returns to Seattle, Wash on either NCL or RCCL.
We have done about 50 cruises (mostly Caribbean and Panama Canal, but no Alaska Cruise yet).
Thanks for your input.

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Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: o2bnsxm] #38622
02/07/2015 09:52 PM
02/07/2015 09:52 PM
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Virginia
SMC_Irish_68 Offline
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If you are considering an Inside Passage cruise, I would recommend mid-July. Check on when the Glacier Bay area is open for cruise ships. I think that it may be closed when the seals first have their pups and opens around mid-July.

When we were on it, the days were cool (mid-50's) and pleasant.

Karen

Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: SMC_Irish_68] #38623
02/08/2015 09:11 AM
02/08/2015 09:11 AM
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o2bnsxm Offline OP
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Yes, inside passage, and were hoping to do it around July 23rd which would work out great !! Thank you !
Our basic plan is to fly in the day before and stay at a hotel at SeaTac airport, then catch a cab the next day to the Cruise terminal. Any suggestions ?

Last edited by o2bnsxm; 02/08/2015 09:57 AM.
Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: SMC_Irish_68] #38624
02/08/2015 10:11 AM
02/08/2015 10:11 AM
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I don't know if that is something new or not, but we went to Alaska several years ago now and we were very early in the season, around June 1, and we went to Glacier Bay. One thing we did miss because of going early is that we were not able to do the dogsled expedition we booked, because there was too much snow still in the area where they drop you off for the tour. Way early in the season or way late is often MUCH cheaper than the cruises smack in the middle of the season. When we went, we had zero mosquitoes. The weather was actually quite nice when we went and fairly warm, but that is all very much a crap shoot. We got to see a tremendous amount of eagles closer than normal. The tour guides said that later on, after the salmon are running, the eagles are full with salmon and thus don't feed from the tour guides as much. We didn't see the salmon run and didn't see the bears fishing, which happens later than when we went. If and when we go again, I definitely want to go later, to be able to see the salmon and the bears fishing.


Carol Hill
Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill] #38625
02/08/2015 10:25 AM
02/08/2015 10:25 AM
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o2bnsxm Offline OP
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Carol, by later, do you mean around Sept 1st or October 1st? Right now the prices for the Cruise departing July 18 are around $1250.00 for two. Do the prices get better around Oct 1st? Roundtrip airfare seems like a deal at $400.00 pp, non-stop on Alaska Air from New Orleans to SeaTac.

Last edited by o2bnsxm; 02/08/2015 10:43 AM.
Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: o2bnsxm] #38626
02/08/2015 10:45 AM
02/08/2015 10:45 AM
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Carol_Hill Offline
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Actually, by October 1, I'm not sure they are even still running Alaska cruises! September 1 is pretty late in the season..


Carol Hill
Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill] #38627
02/08/2015 10:56 AM
02/08/2015 10:56 AM
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o2bnsxm Offline OP
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Thanks. October seems a little late. Everything should be petty much frozen up there by then. The price in my post of $1250 is a typo. I meant to type $1650.

Thanks again

Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: o2bnsxm] #38628
02/08/2015 11:14 AM
02/08/2015 11:14 AM
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I think you are wise to fly in a day early. Our ship departed from Vancouver so I don't know the hotels near SeaTac.

As I mentioned, we cruised in mid-July, shortly after Glacier Bay was reopened as the seals' pups were maturing. Even though many had left, the ice was still covered with moms and pups. With binoculars, we got a good view of them which was a treat.

The only folks who had any problem with mosquitoes were the few who took the floatplane excursion to a lake lodge. We didn't encounter them on stops like Skagway, Juneau, Sitka, etc.

Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: SMC_Irish_68] #38629
02/08/2015 02:53 PM
02/08/2015 02:53 PM
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That's interesting, we did see many seal pups, so maybe they have changed the rules since we were there.


Carol Hill
Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: SMC_Irish_68] #38630
02/08/2015 10:23 PM
02/08/2015 10:23 PM
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Definitely go the Vancouver the day before. We did that in June 2014. We got to the hotel near the airport, but our bags did not make it. They ended up being delivered directly to the boat by the airline.


Beach Hunter
Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: RobT] #38631
07/16/2015 08:40 AM
07/16/2015 08:40 AM
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missouri
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Resurrecting this thread to ask some questions. We are looking at the first week of august on Norwegian pearl...we are booking a mini suite and the kids are booking an inside room across the hall.

Any advice or suggestions about the rooms, ship, excursions etc is greatly appreciated

Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: Cathyg] #38632
07/16/2015 09:56 AM
07/16/2015 09:56 AM
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Cathy--Does Norweigan do Glacier Bay? It used to be that HAL and Princess were the only ones to do it, not sure if that is still the case. Glacier Bay is not to be missed!


Carol Hill
Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill] #38633
07/16/2015 12:27 PM
07/16/2015 12:27 PM
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o2bnsxm Offline OP
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I started this in Feb 2015, and we are booked on the NCL Jewel for Aug 15th. Haven't picked any excursions yet, but want to do the train tour (the 3 1/2 hour- not the 8 hour). I think it is in Ketchikan??
Carol, I think NCL does some passage sailing, and has to turn around to get out, but not sure if is actually Glacier Bay.

Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: o2bnsxm] #38634
07/16/2015 12:30 PM
07/16/2015 12:30 PM
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o2bnsxm Offline OP
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P.S. Cathyg, sorry- can't help with your inquiry, we are first timers on the Alaska Cruise scene.

Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: o2bnsxm] #38635
07/16/2015 04:04 PM
07/16/2015 04:04 PM
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carol...the cruise we are looking at does indeed do glacier bay.

I think the train ride is in skagway isnt it?at least thats the one i want to do....there are several to chose from...i want the 3 hour one also.

princess does do glacier bay as well....and we were seriously thinking about princess but i think we are going to book Norwegian pearl with Bonnie.

Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: Cathyg] #38636
07/16/2015 09:47 PM
07/16/2015 09:47 PM
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Cathy--If you're booking with Bonnie, you can't go wrong, regardless! Enjoy!


Carol Hill
Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill] #38637
07/17/2015 05:00 AM
07/17/2015 05:00 AM
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o2bnsxm Offline OP
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Cathyg, you are right, the train is in Skagway. It is called the White Pass Yukon or something like that.
Some friends took the 8 hour trip, and said they had no time to check out the town. They went straight to the train from the ship, then straight back to the ship.
We were hoping to spend some time shaking off the "sea legs".

Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: o2bnsxm] #38638
07/17/2015 08:18 AM
07/17/2015 08:18 AM
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missouri
Cathyg Offline
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Carol...we have used Bonnie twice and she is very good. She has been on 7 Alaskan cruises so she certainly knows her stuff!

Yes 02bnsxm...it is called white pass scenic railway and it is in skagway...and is 3 1/2 hours long....I figure that is enough for my granddaughter...lol

When you return...PLEASE come back here and tell me all about EVERYTHING!!!!

What cruise line are you taking? What ports are you visiting? What excursions?

We lived in Adak Alaska in 1973-74.....we flew in and out of Anchorage...and in December...it was 30 below zero.

my husband has no desire to go back to Alaska so this trip is for my daughter in law and me....lol

Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: Cathyg] #38639
07/17/2015 11:10 AM
07/17/2015 11:10 AM
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o2bnsxm Offline OP
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We are going on the NCL Jewel, sailing August 15 from Seattle. Our only excursion will be the 3 1/2 hour train ride. We would rather just stumble around town in the other ports.

Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: o2bnsxm] #38640
07/17/2015 11:20 AM
07/17/2015 11:20 AM
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Honestly, you really should get out of the Alaskan towns, as there isn't that much there that's not straight tourist crap. Take a cool float plane ride or better yet a helicopter over a glacier!! One of a kind experiences. Excursions in Alaska are way expensive, but some of our most awesome memories from our Alaska cruise include the helicopter to the glacier and walking around on snow that had never seen human footprints, and the boat trip to see whales and eagles! Get out of town!!


Carol Hill
Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill] #38641
07/17/2015 07:07 PM
07/17/2015 07:07 PM
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o2bnsxm Offline OP
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Cathyg, our itinerary and ports of call will be:

Saturday depart Seattle 4:00 pm
Sunday at sea
Monday Ketchikan 7 am to 3 pm
Tuesday Juneau 7 am to 1:30 pm
Tuesday Cruise Sawyer Glacier
Wednesday Skagway 7 am to 5:30 pm
Thursday at sea
Friday Victoria, BC 2:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Saturday Seattle to disembark at 8:00 am

Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: o2bnsxm] #38642
07/17/2015 08:13 PM
07/17/2015 08:13 PM
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Wow, that's not a good itinerary, to me. Not very far north and very little time to enjoy any excursions off the ship, and a whole day in BC, versus in Alaska..


Carol Hill
Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill] #38643
07/17/2015 10:59 PM
07/17/2015 10:59 PM
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missouri
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I booked ours today
Norwegian pearl july 31 2016-aug 7 2016

Sun Jul 31 Seattle, Washington
(Embark - Time subject to change) --:-- 4:00 PM
Mon Aug 1 At Sea --:-- --:--
Tue Aug 2 Juneau, Alaska 2:00 PM 10:00 PM
Wed Aug 3 Skagway, Alaska 7:00 AM 8:15 PM
Thu Aug 4 Glacier Bay, Alaska --:-- --:--
Fri Aug 5 Ketchikan, Alaska 6:00 AM 1:30 PM
Sat Aug 6 Victoria, British Columbia 6:00 PM 11:59 PM
Sun Aug 7 Seattle, Washington
(Disembark - Time subject to change) 8:00 AM --:--

Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: Cathyg] #38644
07/18/2015 08:41 AM
07/18/2015 08:41 AM
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Cathy--at least you get to Glacier Bay and have a bit more time in the various ports. I still don't see wasting a day in BC on a 7 day Alaska cruise though. If you're going to see Alaska, I would start further north to begin with. Regardless, enjoy your trip!


Carol Hill
Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill] #38645
07/18/2015 08:46 PM
07/18/2015 08:46 PM
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missouri
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we really wanted to start in seattle...not vancouver...the air is less expensive and our kids are going with us. We will get the hotels for the night before the cruise leaves and we figured Seattle would also be less expensive than vancouver. I am satisfied with the cruise we have chosen...i get to ride the train in skagway...steve gets to see Glacier bay...and we got the ultimate drink package....life is good.
We booked a mini suite with a balcony...the kids are directly across the hall in an interior room. they can cross the hall and enjoy our balcony and sofa.

Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: Cathyg] #38646
07/19/2015 09:14 AM
07/19/2015 09:14 AM
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Carol_Hill Offline
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Does "kids going with us" translate to "we're paying for the kids"?? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Laugh.gif" alt="" /> Having a balcony in Alaska really is the way to go! Not sure whether NCL does it, but Princess had lovely blankets you could get for the deck. If they do have them, they are great! Plus we made our own Irish Coffee on our balcony. We bought whipped cream and bailey's in Vancouver, and got a carafe of coffee from the buffet. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" /> Guess you can just order them up with your drink package, but Irish Coffee on the balcony, with your binocs and a good blanket--ulitimate Alaska balcony!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif" alt="" />


Carol Hill
Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill] #38647
07/19/2015 01:10 PM
07/19/2015 01:10 PM
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missouri
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well i am glad to hear the balcony was a great thing to do....and we will bring our binoculars. Anything else? We will check on those blankets.

Question.....what excursions do you recommend? What are the things we just have to do?

I never "pay" for the kids...like i am taking the kids on a cruise. However...i paid all the deposits...i will get the hotels....i will pay for excursions....etc.

So I guess you could say..."I help"

Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: Cathyg] #38648
07/19/2015 02:46 PM
07/19/2015 02:46 PM
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Regarding excursions, do check on helicopter rides over the glaciers. Expensive, but well worth it!!! And check on wildlife boat excursions, to see whales, eagles, etc. Juneau has a glacier you can drive to also. Helicopter rides I think were also from Juneau. I personally don't care for salmon, but a lot of people like those excursions, that include a salmon bake.


Carol Hill
Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill] #38649
07/20/2015 08:59 PM
07/20/2015 08:59 PM
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missouri
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i am not a salmon eater either...but Steve is.
I was thinking a whale sight seeing excursion in Juneau....

Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: Carol_Hill] #38650
08/09/2015 04:10 PM
08/09/2015 04:10 PM
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I was talking to someone who just returned from an Alaska cruise. They didn't do a single excursion, just walked around the towns. I can't imagine...


[color:"red"]NUTMEG[/color]
Today is the tomorrow you talked about yesterday.
Re: Best time of year for Alaska Cruise [Re: Nutmeg] #38651
04/21/2016 08:32 PM
04/21/2016 08:32 PM
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missouri
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We have these excursions booked

we are going on the norwegian pearl the first week of august...these are the excursions we have booked

whale watching in Juneau

best of skagway and white pass railway

saxman and native village lumberjack show in Juneau

glacier bay

enchanting butchart gardens evening


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