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swhit47 Aug 12th, 2008 08:40 PM

Help Pick a Cruise
 
I've decided to take my husband on a cruise to Alaska for our 9th anniversary-never had a honeymoon- in august or september 09.

What is the best cruise line and why?

What is the best itenerary and why?

Thanks for any help recieved!

BudgetQueen Aug 13th, 2008 08:28 AM

You need to do your homework first.

How much time do you have and are you looking at a one way or round trip??? Interior Alaska travel??? For me, I never do any one way trips without at least another week.

The best itineraries, have the longer port times, Glacier Bay is my preference for glacier viewing, although Hubbard is certainly impressive, and NCL does a fantastic job with Tracy Arm and the "necessary" add on ship jet boat tour.

I avoid cruising Alaska past the first week of Sept. Just too much potential for foul weather and these trips are no longer give aways with deep discounts.

So, after deciding the above. Compare- ports, time in ports, glacier, route, ship naturalist, price. Budget fully for costly excursions, you get only half a trip without them in my opinion.

For many, Alaska is what this trip is about (including myself), so you may want to compare and make a list of your priorities from above, then find a ship that fits.

RONREYN2008 Aug 13th, 2008 03:20 PM

Yes how much time you have is very important in picking the best cruise. If I was going to go on a cruise to Alaska this year I would go on the Tahitian Princess 14 day cruise leaving from BC on the 21st of August. It is a smaller ship and it is a great itinerary. My wife & I did an Tahiti cruise on that ship and loved it. We had a balcony and doing Alaska you have to have one.I know it is a little longer than most Alaska cruises but what you get to see is worth the days & money spent. Good cruiseing.

Dreps Aug 14th, 2008 04:46 AM

Budget Queen is THE expert on Alaska. We took her advice on several aspects of our trip. That said, I think you should spend several days on land pre- or post-cruise and include the Denali area at a minimum. We took a flight over McKinley and spent some time in Talkeetna. As for the cruise, it depends on how luxurious you want the experience to be. Regent's Mariner is all suite, all balcony, and all inclusive. They have great food and great excursions. We did a mixture of their excursions and those we booked independently, which is easy to do for Alaska. At the end of the cruise, we spent several days in Vancouver/Victoria. All-in-all, we had a great time.

Eschew Aug 15th, 2008 01:38 PM

Have to admit Budget Queen is very knowledgable but she and I have some disagreemnt in the past. She tends to give very good advises.

I am stating my persoanl preference here, especially for first timers.

My voyage choice: North bound.
I will skip anything that offers inside passage only. People would think South bound would be the same but for for me. I often wonder why they charge less for South bound when comapred to North bound on the same trip?

I prefere cruise originates from Vancouver and ends in Alaska. Take land tour afterwards and fly back.

All crusie lines have similar destinations. Unless there are places that you must visit, then they are very similar for all the mass market ships.

My personal chioce: Princess (education), Celebrity (food)
Second choices: HAL, Carnival
Least Favorite: NCL (service & food)

TheCruiseLadies Aug 18th, 2008 09:17 PM

I would recommend Princess Cruise Line-they have been offering cruises in Alaska for a very long time. They own lodges and transportation. I would recommend you add a land package to your trip. This will give you the best chance to experience Alaska. Best of Luck--Enjoy your Cruise~~~Christine

1JAR Aug 25th, 2008 08:13 PM

We just rtned from HAL Northbound Volendam out of Vancouver Inside PAssage 8/19 and were very, very happy with a balcony midship.
Saw lots of wildlife..galciers without having to pay extra for tours..if we had more time I would have added a land trip..took teh train from Seward to Anchorage...train broke down, HAL rescued us and we saw way more wildlife than if we had just taken teh bus.

FYI..we traveld same day from Anchoage all the way home...and were pretty tired as you get off teh ship at 6:00am..so I would suggest if time take an extra day split up time home.

I posted another Trip Report..somewhere ..scroll down

sunny515 Aug 26th, 2008 06:02 AM

BudgetQueen:

Hi. I'm going on an Alaskan Cruise in 3 weeks. My family and I are going on the Carnival Spirit. The reason why is because we have been on Carnival Ships on other cruises and they have reasonable prices if well booked in advance. You are right. Do your homework! Research all the possibilities on the cruises, ports, and iteneraries. From what I've researched, the Alaskan cruises leave either from Seattle, WA or Vancouver, B.C. My advice is the same as others. Check the cruise lines and compare prices rooms(they have virtual tours of the ship). I know you will have fun. Best of luck to you.

sunny515 Aug 26th, 2008 06:05 AM

Sorry. I've sent my response to the wrong author. My apologies. Swhit47, I know you'll have fun. Best wishes.


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