Itineraries for Alaska

Jul 27th, 2008, 09:35 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 5
Itineraries for Alaska

Help! I have never cruised but have been charged with planning a cruise for 14 people for my parent's 50th anniversary! We will have 13 adults (27-74 yr old) and one 2 year old. Everyone wants to see beautiful scenery, glaciers and wildlife. My parameters - Inside Passage, 7 days, roundtrip from Seattle or Vancouver. I have it narrowed down to two itineraries:

1. Roundtrip from Seattle on Princess - Golden Princess. This goes to Tracy Arm but not Glacier Bay or Hubbard Bay.

2. Roundtrip from Vancouver on HAL - Zuiderdam. This goes to Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay.

I am torn between the larger Princess ship (more stable, less sea sickness?) but it seems to have the least desirable itinerary or the smaller HAL ship with the better itinerary.

I am hoping all you cruise veterans can help me.

1. Which would you suggest?

2. Are my fears of the stability of the HAL ship unwarranted (it holds 1916 passengers and weighs 85000 tons)?

3. Is the route from Vancouver smoother, even on a smaller ship?

4. Does anyone know about the planned renovations to the Zuiderdam? I assumed it will be like going on a new ship?

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated! I don't want anyone to have a very expensive cruise ruined because I picked a ship that will make people more prone to being sick!
mauijane is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 10:02 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 309
Why don't you give it to a good travel agent? Not only you'll avoid all that pain but you'll also pay less.
Don't worry about stability of modern ships, and Zuiderdam did get renovation lately. HAL has better itineraries IMHO. If prices are about the same, I'd go with HAL but if I could get a sizeble saving with Princess, I'd take it.
spurs is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 08:31 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,469
I don't agree to put it in the hands of a travel agent. Very very few know anything about Alaska. I instead strongly suggest you educate yourself on Alaska. Head to your library and take out Alaska travel books. Especially good is Fodor's Alaska, Frommer's Alaska and Alaska by Cruiseship.

I replied to you elsewhere and now think you have decided on HAL??? Which is by far the better choice for your priorities.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 01:28 PM
  #4  
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Hello! Yes! We have chosen the HAL cruise thanks to all the wonderful posters that have shared their advice!

You are so right about many TA not being well versed in Alaska. I went to two very large national travel agencies and none of the TA's on staff had been to Alaska. While they are all very knowledgeable on travel in general and are more than willing to help, I was really looking for someone who had first hand knowledge. Then I found all of you!

I have been researching and reviewing the books you suggested and have found them very helpful.
mauijane is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 08:02 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 559
We returned from a Tahitian Princess 14 day cruise on July 10th. We were roundtrip from Vancouver. The entire trip was smooth as glass, except the final night between Victoria and Vancouver....that was a bit rough and also took seven hours. We LOVED being able to go to Valdez, Seward and Kodiak, places ships have not gone too much in the past nine years. We also liked Sitka alot. Tahitian Princess holds 670 people and was top-notch in every way. You cannot predict on any trip, anywhere, that someone might not get sick, you just hope for the best.
desertduds is offline  

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