Alaska NB v SB + which ship & room advice

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Jan 14th, 2009, 06:45 PM
  #1
jxt
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Alaska NB v SB + which ship & room advice

we are planning a cruise to Alaska either late May or early June. Can anyone give advice on whether it is better to go northbound or southbound. The boats we are looking at are Carnival Spirit, Celbrity Millenium, Vandeem or Sapphire Princess - any feedback on these would be good to help make the decision. We are aged 54/55 & like meeting people but would prefer not to have lots of young children around. Also help please on types of room - looks like we can only afford a not so good ocean view or an inside room - we only want to spend up to US$800 on the room. Sould we forgo the ocean view to be in a better 'mid ships' position or should we go for an ocean view in a different positon/restricted view/porthole instead of window?
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Jan 15th, 2009, 01:32 PM
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We did Alaska SB cruise in June - we are in our 50s and had our 2 almost-adult kids with us - on Coral Princess.

Our kids are 18 and 22 and there were no visible passengers in their age group and very very few young kids. In fact, it was an incredibly quiet and tame cruise - went looking for an open bar at around midnight to have drink with our son (the older one) and found only one bar open - and it was "last call"

I would definitely get oceanview (we had balcony cabins and one could skip that luxury) - since at that time of year it is light about 21 hours/day there are things to see all the time. Keep looking for bargains - cruiselines are hurting and their are lots of bargains out there (try cruisecompete.com - they send your cruise out to bid and you get email quotes).

Be sure to budget for shore excursions - either thru ship or independent. This is one cruise where merely walking around a port town will not get you much - you need to get out of town to see wildlife, glaciers, scenery - and this can get expensive.
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Jan 15th, 2009, 06:10 PM
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On an Alaska cruise and a Panama Canal cruise definitely spend the money for a balcony. You can see alot by sitting on your balcony!!!
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Jan 16th, 2009, 02:05 AM
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fosterag - OP was trying to decide between inside cabin and oceanview - it appears balcony is out of budget. While we love balconies on cruises, if financially necessary, we could have passed on one for Alaska - we sat outside only once due to temperature - and since you are going May/June that is likely to be the case.

A balcony is nice, but not essential - save your money for excursions if budget is a concern.
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Jan 18th, 2009, 05:10 PM
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We did a NB on the Coral Princess. Be sure to get a cabin on the Starboard side going north. Outstanding experience!
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Jan 28th, 2009, 04:34 PM
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Alaska is a great experience and I would take what I can get, but after cruises wiyh a balconey, I'm hooked. Incidentally let me know where you can get a cruise for $800.
Also a HAL ship generally has few children aboard. On the other hand there seem to be a lot of walkers and power chairs aboard. North or South - I can't imagine a big difference. The land tours that tag on the beginning or end are really worthwhile.
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Feb 8th, 2009, 06:12 AM
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Sorry, I put the above link on a wrong post.
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Feb 14th, 2009, 05:19 PM
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jxt
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Thanks for everyones help. we settled on Celebrity Millenium from Anchorage to Vancouver & ended up paying a bit more to get a portside balconey room - can't wait to go!
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Feb 15th, 2009, 04:33 PM
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We did an Inside Passage cruise the first week in September, from Seattle to Seattle. We had a lovely large suite with a balcony. Unfortunately, once you get near Alaska, the balcony becomes too cold and wet to use. We've been to Alaska both the last week in May and in September, as I mentioned. Both time, the weather was cold, windy and rainy at times. Since this is Alaska, we expected that, but I felt the balcony was a complete waste of money for this type of trip.
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Feb 15th, 2009, 07:31 PM
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<we settled on Celebrity Millenium from Anchorage to Vancouver>
There are no cruises from or to Anchorage. Your cruise is from Whittier or Seward. You still need to arrange to be transferred from Anchorage.
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Feb 16th, 2009, 01:18 AM
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They will be sailing into/out of Seward. I ONLY recommend you add at least a day here. It's a fantastic place loaded with excellent activities. It's a waste to just get there and leave, which unfortunately many people do. Ask yourself, how often you are going to get to Alaska, take advantage of being all the way there.

www.seward.com
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Feb 18th, 2009, 01:59 PM
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North bound. It's a progression thing. You start with the nsode passahe, see some wild life, climax with the College Fjord. You go Southboud, you end up seeing the majectic galcier first and it goes down hill from there.
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