Alaska Cruise - roundtrip or one-way?

Nov 22nd, 2004, 03:04 AM
  #1  
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Alaska Cruise - roundtrip or one-way?

We are planning an Alaskan cruise for six of us (ages 28-65) for July 2005. We have decided on Princess Cruise Lines but can't decide between a one-way (Vancouver to Alaska) or a roundtrip (Seattle). Is it the one-way more interesting versus the ease of the round trip? Some in our group are pushing the Seattle round-trip because of the ease and newer ship. Others feel the one-way is more to offer sightseeing wise. Anyone been on either? Help!
projoe is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2004, 07:14 AM
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I only do one way cruises with AT LEAST 5 days additional time for interior touring- independent? Are you planning this? It is very costly to travel all the way up there and then just take a shuttle bus and leave. I also would NEVER consider the round trip Seattle sailing on Princess, way too much outside passage sailing- go to Alaska for the scenery NOT the open ocean. Vancouver round trips (which Princess does not do) are far superior. Also with no Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm instead- another strike.
Group travel is difficult especially when it appears none have been there before. A TA won't be much help either, so I would suggest you do some more research and educate yourself on Alaska travel, then present options. I would include HAL round trip Vancouver in the mix and if most can't or won't add days interior, understand 6 of the 7 days are the same on round trips and one ways. College Fjords is the extra on the one ways. Consider several factors- ports, time in ports, glacier, route, price. Budget fully for costly excursions- you get only half a trip without them. I am a many time Alaska visitor, no trip is perfect and involve a lot of compromise- but make the correct choices for you.
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Nov 22nd, 2004, 09:43 AM
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I did the Diamond Princess RT from Seattle in May. If flying time is not important, I would do the one way. I really miss not having seen Denali Nat'l park. The new ship was great though, but if sightseeing is the most important I would take advantage of the extra ports. Any questions about the Diamond, just let me know
travelinwifey is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2004, 09:43 AM
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Thanks so very much!
projoe is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2004, 10:02 AM
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Very helpful. Sounds like a one-way trip is most beneficial if land tour is part of the plan. I will look into HAL roundtrip Vancouver as another option as well. I think we will not do the Seattle round-trip on princess even though ship bigger and newer but down side is too much outside passage sailing.
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Nov 23rd, 2004, 06:01 AM
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We had the same questions and have opted for the round trip on the NCL Star, primarly since it is the only ship that goes to Glacier Bay out of Seattle. I agree that if you are doing a one way, you would want to add a 4 day land tour to justify the airfare to Anchorage. Of course that makes it a whole different trip in terms of cost.

Having done lots of warm weather cruises, we have trepidations regarding Alaska. Based on my research, you can expect lots of rainy and chilly weather, of course you may get lucky but plan on the former. Based on that, we want to cut our losses in case we get lousy weather. If we fall in love with Alaska, we will do the one way (Southbound) out of Anchorage with a 4 day side trip to Denali in a couple of years.
Frank is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2004, 06:42 AM
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For clairfication- 4 days interior touring is NOT enough time. Ideally you need at least a week and especially if going on a cruisetour- do not even consider any less. The way these tours are set up- there is some down time that is unproductive and the shorter tours have WAY too much time in transit compared to at the destination. I am a many time frequent Alaska traveler, who has been posting for several years- over and over the biggest mistake people make is not allowing enough time and grossly underestimating distances. You best need 2 nights in Denali Park and at least 1 each way for travel, but that is a very skimpy trip that is seeing very little. Go for as long as you can afford. Alaska isn't a frequent trip for most. I am fortunate, I spend a month in Alaska/year as well as travel several other areas for usage of my 8 paid weeks off per year- AND I use every one of them!!!
BudgetQueen is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2004, 11:20 AM
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I wouldn't consider more than a 7+4 cruise/tour of Alaska for a first trip. As they say "to each his own". In general we like warm weather cruising, like the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, etc. When we want to spend the real bucks, it's generally on places like Italy, Ireland, France, England, etc. I'm open enough to re-evaluate after our Alaska cruise next Summer, but I couldn't imagine spending a month a year in Alaska unless I had business or family there. Just my opinion.
Frank is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 04:09 AM
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For clairfication- interior Alaska IS WARM, the cold/cool areas are the Inside Passage. Fairbanks is typically 80 in the summer sometimes warmer. Again- way too many people grossly underestimate time and distance required. I still recommend a 7 day add on if using a cruisetour, or at least 5 days on your own. Unless you are happy with all your time on the road for hours on end and lacking time at the destination this is the best option. My 4 weeks per year are split between a summer and winter trip. AND still not enough time.
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