Last MInute Alaska Cruise

Jul 19th, 2008, 03:08 PM
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Last MInute Alaska Cruise

My husband decided to book last minute Holland Alaska Cruise 8/8/08 VAncouver to Anchcorage. (He thinks he found a bargain at 6200.00 for an Ocean view room.)

We are leaving 8/8/08 out of Vancouver for 7 days Northbound.

My dilema: little time to pack and husband wants everything in one carryon and I don't know what to bring first time.

Found an evening wear top and I will take nice black slacks for 2 formal dinner nites.
I will have to bring a formal pair of shoes.

I can wear jeans or kackis & tennis shoes I assume most of teh rest of teh time.
What else would seasoned traveler suggest? Space & time are limited..
1JAR is offline  
Jul 19th, 2008, 05:48 PM
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I made good use of a fleece and wind proof jacket, as standing on deck watching the amazing scenery can get very cold. You can carry those on the plane to save space. A nice pair of slacks and top for the casual nights at dinner. Jeans and tennis shoes are great during the day. I am going on my third cruise to Alaska from Vancouver in August on Celebrity. Don't forget binoculars which you can put in your jacket pocket.
raelond is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 07:08 AM
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Sounds about right. Might want to bring a hat and gloves - we actually used ours on a couple of excursions. Think layers.

Leave shorts, short-sleeves at home - I wasted too much space being optimistic about weather.
gail is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 07:19 AM
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I would reiterate the importance of a windproof jacket on deck. We learned the hard way how important they are.
We now take lightweight, windproof, waterproof jackets on every trip, and lightweight sweaters or fleeces to wear under them, depending on the destination. The sweaters are handy on most trips anyway because we often encounter overly-air-conditioned restaurants.
mscarls is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 05:57 PM
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Thank you all very much.
Based on the comments,have ordered a fleece hooded jacket and a fleece vest both touted as wind proof/water resistant from LL Bean.

I will also take gloves/hat and binoclulars so I should be set.

1JAR is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 06:32 PM
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$6200 for an ocean view is a bargain??? How many people?
spurs is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 06:27 AM
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2 people 6200. for both
1JAR is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 06:46 AM
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That price seems awfully high to me. Are you sure this is only an OV room and not a suite or more?
jacketwatch is online now  
Jul 21st, 2008, 04:41 PM
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Posts: 2,051 is only an Oceanview and for 2 people. It is for 8/10/08 and 7 nights out of VAncouver to Anchorage (Seward) on Northbound. It does include airfare so that may be an advantage...
The Holland Am rep said she would waitlist for a balcony room but that would be over $10000.00
I almost fainted when my DH told me we are working people not independently wealthy...however My DH wanted to do this so for his 61st BD I guess we are going....
1JAR is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 05:10 PM
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Dear 1Jar,
I hate to see you "waste" your hard earned money.
I checked that cruise on Vacations to Go and the lowest oceanview room is $1,579 (including port charges, but not air or taxes). Also, I don't know what category it is compared to yours, but I doubt that the difference would be that great. Depending on where you are flying from that would determine your air.
I think you should call Vacations to go at 1 800 338-4962.
The booking can be transfered to any agent from Holland America without fee or penalty.
I don't know what your final price would be, what your airfare would be, but I think you owe it to yourself to at least check it out.
Good luck!
Paulchili is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 07:18 PM
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I appreciate everyone's input as by now we all know we are novices at cruising.
In view of the last post re: Vacations To Go (new info to me & appreciate the resource)I decided to f/u.
I typed in our exact Itinerary sail from Vancouver & date and then compared to our HA Invoice.

Since everyone has been so nice to share I thought you might like to see what I have found out so far:

VAcations to Go rate:
Brochure 2279.
VTG rate 1579.
No airfare or tax or pkg or cx fee etc

HA Rate:
Fare 2pp 3458.
Air 1478.
Packages 455.48
Cancel Plan 378.
Taxes/Fees 253.98
Air Taxes/Fees 80.93
Fuel Sup 126.

Total 6229.66
Since my husband already used charged with the credit card I am wondering if we can do anything at this point...
1JAR is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 07:27 PM
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Once you paid in full you have little recourse this close to the cruise.
On the plus side - you did not do poorly after seeing the breakdown of prices (base fare difference was only $ 300 and it may have been because of difference in cabin category).
You should enjoy your cruise - you did well.
Next time, find the exact cruise you want, post it on and agents will posts bids on your cruise. The prices can vary quite a bit, including ship credits, etc.
Again, enjoy your cruise!
Paulchili is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 09:15 AM
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Yes, you can still do something.

If you paid deposit only, and I hope this is what you've done, you can "release" the reservation to a travel agent of your choice (like Vacation to go) after getting that agent's number.

I think you can do it within 14 days of initial payment, but not 100% sure.
FainaAgain is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 11:19 AM
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It is too late to transfer August booking to travel agent and it's been already paid. Since you purchased insurance, you can theoretically cancel and rebook at lower rate, but I'm not sure how you'go about airfare. You will most likely lose money. Next time, talk to cruise line, find out all prices but book with agent who would discount. Another hint do it early. Alaska cruises are seasonal and tend to go up in price closer to sail.
ROSWALT is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 11:55 AM
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I hope you are budgeting for excursions from ship at ports - and these are budget-killers. Not much to see independently strolling thru port cities.
gail is offline  
Jul 28th, 2008, 06:24 PM
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Here is an update pls tell me what you think..seasoned cruisers.
We receied our trip itinery info from HAL.

My issue is with the rtn fight fr Anchorage.
Apprently my DH told HAL rep on the phone "just book the flights for us."

We must lv the ship at 6:00am on Sun 8/18 in Seward. We then have a choice of booking additonal shore excursions or sit in Anchoarge until 11:30 pm commuter flight that connects in Seattle at 3:00am on Monday 8/19 with layover until 7:00am and arrives in San Diego about 10:00am day Mon 8/19.

So we were booked on a redeye commuter flight which is completly booked and has no First Class. We will be traveling from Sat 6:00am until Monday 10:00am.
I asked my DH to call the HAL airline co and had the most ridiculus conversation I have ever had..when I asked politely why no one mentioned we would be booked on a redeye..the agent said "didn't you get your itinerary? OF COURSE taht's whay I am calling! even the agent agreed he would not do that..but insisted if we wnated to change it would be an extra 400.00 to get on a 3:00pm Alaska flight that would get us back to San Diego luxery Economy class same day Sunday 8/17.
So what do you thinK?
1JAR is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 04:28 AM
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Try to speak to someone up the ladder but it seems you are stuck. You could raise Cain a bit and demand a better itinerary and ask if THEY would like such a lousy connection. Also tell them you'll never book with them again unless you get a better route. We had friends who were way down on the waitlist to be seated with us on Princess cruise to the Baltic last yr. and he demanded to be put at our table or he would cancel. He got it right away. Trying this tactic sure can't hurt. Lesson to be learned is book your own airfare and don't leave it to the cruie lines to do you any favors. Sorry to hear of this totally awful connection. I think its ridiculous. Larry
jacketwatch is online now  
Jul 29th, 2008, 08:23 AM
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IF you did not pay for a deviation for your flight, you agreed to go with WHATEVER HAL booked for you, which is going to be the cheapest bulk rate air. Sorry, but at this late date you are committed to this unless you are willing to pay the extra fees. Next time, book your own flights, then YOU choose your schedule.

Overall you are not an informed Alaska traveler, most flights are overnight flights out of there for cruise passengers. Are you also aware that you will be on a 3 hour bus ride from Seward to Anchorage?? With that timeframe, I would look for an independent transfer to Anchorage and spend at least the morning touring Seward PLENTY to see and do there, really not to be missed. listings for transfer options
BudgetQueen is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 09:10 AM
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If HAL got the cheapest rate what did they charge you?
jacketwatch is online now  
Jul 29th, 2008, 06:22 PM
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As I mentioned in my first post, my DH decided to book last minute.
Yes novices about cruise booking: my DH has never planned any of our vacations: I research everything in advance before I book. My DH says "sure go ahead and book it for me."

I am now left to p/u the pieces and rely on the kindness of the Fodors Posters so hopefully we and others can learn..

HAL originally booked/charged airfare 1558.93 including tax for 2 people or 780.00 pp.

What I learned today:
we had "platimun protection" which apprently provides some protection in not losing all the airfare all ready charged. If we entirely cxed airfare we would have lost 500.00.
I was encouraged by HAL (both the reservation and the air travel staff were very nice & helpful) to use their Air bookers again and do a change air ticket for both of us: that cost an additional 300.00 for both of us 150.00 per person to the 1558.93 already paid. So total for airfare is 1858.93 for 2 people or 929.47 pp.

We are now on a flight that gets us from Anchorage to San Diego on same day Sunday 8/ middle seats on all flights and neither HAL nor Alaska would change seat assignment.

And FYI..all the shore excursons for Seward are booked..we will only be able to take the bus we paid for already Seward to Anchorage 3 hrs and wait for the 2:30 flight..
1JAR is offline  

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