Help with Alaska Trip

Jan 25th, 2003, 06:12 PM
  #1  
Ron
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Help with Alaska Trip

I would like to book a cruise to Alaska this summer and was hoping for some advice. I have only been on one cruise and that was on a Renessaince VIII. Many things I liked (no smoking, no kids, small ship) and a few things I didn't. My wife and I are in our forties and aren't real night owls or interested in formals. We would like a 7 day round trip from either Seattle or Vancouver. Any help would be appreciated. (I did talk to a local travel agent, but she just handed me a bunch of brochures and told me to talk to her when we decide what we wanted.) Thanks.
 
Jan 25th, 2003, 11:12 PM
  #2  
Paul Therault
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HI Ron,

Best to see a travel agent that is an Alaska Cruise Expert. There is a right way and a wrong way to see Alaska and it is a trip of a lifetime. You should get to see it all the first time. I, personally think a round-trip is a waste of time and money. Go Northbound or Southbound - one way. Might also be good to take a look at all your brochures to get a general idea what Alaska looks like. A travel agent should spend a couple of hours with you in the planning stage and another couple of hours giving advice and planning your shore tours. Some tours are quite intensive and you get to see nothing but wooded areas. You have to make sure the trips are rally what you want to see and do.

Paul
 
Jan 26th, 2003, 07:44 AM
  #3  
joyce
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Paul, if money is important, most people can't afford the extra expense of flying into one city and out of another (we are a family of 5!). We decided to do a round trip in and out of Seattle and got very good airfare. We're going to book soon for a cruise in early June on NCL Sun.
 
Jan 26th, 2003, 09:12 AM
  #4  
Debbie
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Joyce,Are you taking the Norwegian Sun to Alaska in early June? Is this a good time to go?Have you ever been? I was looking at the June 1st cruise to Alaska....Are you going to book online or with a Travel Agent? I see Travelocity has a huge sale going on for all Cruises.The prices look good.Please let me know,OK? Debbie
 
Jan 26th, 2003, 02:11 PM
  #5  
maryann
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Paul, as much as I agree with you 99% of the time- nothing is really "a trip of a lifetime"manymore, unless you die right after.

Travel costs are relative to income. Sure it's a big world and if you want to see it all, some places can be visited once.

Your constant pleas to have people visit TS's is right on for most people.

They go on these boards without a clue and want someone else to tell them what to do- research is the key- then ask a specific question on the board.

Brochures and no obligation advise is avail. from experienced people, and if a rapor developes,and the price is right-then book with them.
 
Jan 26th, 2003, 04:22 PM
  #6  
Peter
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And I would say, do a quick scan of the .coms with online booking engines (travelocity, expedia, cruise.com, icruise, etc.) and compare prices for several different Alaska itineraries. Narrow it down to three or four and then come on these boards and ask for those with the experience. You'd be surprised how many of the "expert" travel agents haven't even been on a cruise or maybe haven't been to Alaska in this case. Check out reviews of the ships on cruisecritic.com and cruisediva.com.

Along the way, you'll find several recommendations for the .coms that offer the best price. Right now it appears to be cruisequick.com. They come and go depending on who's willing to give up the most commission.
 
Jan 26th, 2003, 05:21 PM
  #7  
Caleb
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Maryann--
I learn a lot from these postings, but even my Encarta dictionary didn't have "rapor" in it. Is it a foreign word maybe in your country? What does it mean? rapor developes?
Thanks! Alaska is a beautiful state!!
 
Jan 26th, 2003, 07:00 PM
  #8  
Paul Therault
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If one is going to Alaska to save money, don't. Best to save money first, then see Alaska.

I have cruised Alaska 5 times on 5 different cruise lines.

The lower part (inside passage) is only best with the small ships of Cruise West. It also rains more in the lower part of Alaska. Most passengers go to see Mendenhall Glacier. 1,000 people jammed into a small area to see the end of a glacier. You can not touch it, you can not walk on it. You cnanot take your picture in front of it. It is miles away. In order to experience a glacier in the lower part of Alaska you have to take a helicopter and that is extremely expensive. Haines is a fishing port. Sitka is a fishing port. Skagway is a recreated town with a train that is very boring after the first half-hour. Go to Alaska to see and do and learn. Not to just experience the ship. The ship should be secondary. You will sail the inside passage and then come home and look at the brochure and say "hey, I never saw that killer whale, or bald eagle, or puffin, or that calving glacier."

So go back.

Paul
 
Jan 27th, 2003, 04:16 AM
  #9  
m
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To Caleb and all,

So sorry my typing made a jumbled mess of my post. Good thing I didn't have to make a living as a typist.

I wish there were "Talking computers"

I agree,Peter, there is alot of info. on the websites, too. The general, where should I go, what should I do postings are just meaningless.

Alaska is so vast it would take many trips to see it all, even to see a corner of it, I will be happy, for now, until the next time.






 
Jan 27th, 2003, 03:56 PM
  #10  
 
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While I agree with Paul that you'll get a better overall experience by doing the Northbound/Southbound cruise, the best choice will also include a cruise/landtour adventure. This gives the best of cruising along with getting to venture somewhat "inside" Alaska. BTW Paul,I did the Inside Passage a few years back and booked tours where we had close-up encounters with Orcas, bald eagles and calving glaciers. Didn't see Puffins, but nothing's guaranteed except death and taxes.

Regards...Bob
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Jan 30th, 2003, 10:19 PM
  #11  
 
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If you liked the Renaissance then look at Radisson Seven Seas Mariner for Summer 2003. It has a max of 700 pax and has no kids. All dining rooms are non smoking. their website is rssc.com
nellie is offline  
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