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ALASKA N CRUISE - what not to miss?

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Jan 23rd, 2005, 04:27 PM
  #1
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ALASKA N CRUISE - what not to miss?

We're considering a cruise next year with three other "50ish" couples. None of us has been on an Alaskan cruise before - could you recommend some destinations/excursions that are not-to-be-missed? What month is best?
What to pack? How are the land/sea packages?
Would you take a week, or extend it somewhere? Any help is appreciated!
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Jan 23rd, 2005, 06:24 PM
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Hi HotWheels,

We went to Alaska last year on the Radisson Mariner and loved the cruise and loved Alaska. I would highly recommend adding at least 5 to 7 days either pre or post cruise to do some land tours. Alaska is huge and you will not be able to see everything in one trip.

We flew into Anchorage a week before the cruise. That is a great location for access to Denali, about 8 hours north, and to the Kenai peninsula, about an hour south of Anchorage.

I guess it is still pretty cool in May. June was wonderful - actually we were hot in the port cities.

If you go to cruisecritic.com , there are forums there that talk about Alaska in depth. You can gain a lot of info from there. Here also, if you search for Alaska on these boards.

What cruise line are you considering?

Ginny
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Jan 24th, 2005, 02:34 AM
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You need to consider several factors- how much time can you invest. With 2 weeks consider a one way cruise with an additional week for interior touring. Round trip cruises are superior out of Vancouver for more inside passage sailing and always my preference. Look at several factors, time in ports, ports, glacier, route, price. Budget fully for costly excursions. On a one way- superior in my opinion are cruises that include Glacier Bay, College Fjords and Seward- which is HAL. Head to your library and take out Fodor's Alaska, Frommer's Alaska and anything else. Forget asking a travel agent at this point as they will sell you a cruisetour- of which you won't know what you are buying. The more you know the better. There is no guarantee on weather, but for a first timer, I recommend end of May through the first week of Sept. going later in Sept is just too iffy weather wise. For interior travel- you want an arrival after June 1 if Denali Park is a priority - and it should be. Head over to www.cruisecritic.com and read my many posts on interior touring- then decide what you want to do.
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Jan 24th, 2005, 05:12 PM
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We're just beginning to gather information, so any major cruise line would be considered. One couple may only be able to go for about 1 week, mid-June to early July, flying out of Minneapolis. The rest of us are flexible. What are the normal dollar ranges for off-ship excursions?
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Jan 24th, 2005, 10:18 PM
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Definitely do at least one wildlife excursion. there is nothing like seeing bears, eagles, and such in their natural habitat.
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Jan 24th, 2005, 10:21 PM
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If you are looking to book this summer you better do so soon, many deals may already be gone. Helicopter rides and flightseeing can cost $300+ as well as dog sledding, Alaskan excursions are expensive but worth it. Land based excursions are more reasonable.
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