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Northbound from Vancouver

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Nov 13th, 2011, 03:49 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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Northbound from Vancouver

Hi,
I have a sabbatical coming up the summer of 2012, so as part of that our family (mom and day, boys 15 and 13) is headed to Alaska in August 2012. I'm usually very good at researching things online, but cruises are a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. I simply can't find a lot of the information I'm looking for. for instance, I have been told that there are some cruises that are more family friendly and that in certain rooms book kids at a lower cost. Also, we want to go northbound from Vancouver to Anchorage (we will be staying in Homer, AK, for a week before flying home to Minneapolis area). Our total cruise budget for the four of us is $3,600. Is that a doable budget? Where can I find info? Help!
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Nov 14th, 2011, 04:59 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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[email protected] good custom help for me in the past

might also price crucon.com vacationstogo.com priceline.com

one cheap inside for kids and one nice cabin worked best

for me... in the past flight cheapest into SeaTac(SEA)

shuttle up to Vancouver or leave from Seattle cheaper...

Happy planning relax you have plenty of time...

My best experience was with Princess there cruisecritic.com

forbest ship reviews...

Happy Deciding!
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Nov 14th, 2011, 07:52 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I think you can probably do the base cruise for $3600 but the incidentials add up. Things like tours, insurance, souvenirs, tips, drinks (alcholic, soda, special coffees), photos (taken by the ship), extra charge restaurants, gambling, spa, etc. will add substantially to your cost.

Also, will you be able to deal with the 4 of you in one cabin for a week? If so that will save you money. Do you need a balcony or can you deal with an outside or inside cabin? Those decisions will greatly affect the cost.

Also the cruise line you choose will affect the cost, I would recommend Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and NCL if they have itineraries that meet your needs. Princess, Celebrity and especially Holland America attract an older clientele and are generally more expensive.

cruisecritic.com will give you lots of cruise info to solve some of the mysteries.
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Nov 14th, 2011, 08:41 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 351
It will be difficult to do for $3600. You will want either 2 cabins or a suite and that will be expensive. Incidentals are expensive add ons, but controllable to some extent. Air fair is a big expense that is rarely included in the advertised price. That price depends on your distance, and who arranges the travel- you or the cruise line. Their are advantages both ways. My best advice is to get a local - not an internet outfit in a distant state - travel agent who has experience with cruises and is willing to deal with your problems.
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Nov 14th, 2011, 09:32 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
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Do you have your heart set on a cruise? I would look into flying to Anchorage, exploring the area south of there maybe from Homer, then driving up to Denali for a couple of days and either back to Anchorage or up to Fairbanks for the flight home.

You could do a boat or ferry trip for a day or two if you want some water time.

I should add that I am not a real cruise fan and found the first couple of days through the inside passage from Vancouver while pretty scenery were not very exciting, and do prepare yourself for some rainy weather along the coast.

There are a couple of TRs on the US board that include information on less expensive travel in this expensive area.
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Nov 14th, 2011, 10:34 AM
  #6
KVR
 
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Your budget for just the cruise fare to get on the ship is probably not within reason. We just did an Alaskan cruise 2 months ago on Princess. A balcony cabin for my spouse and I was $2,900. Add on ship board expenses and tours in each port and that is going to be way over $3,600 for 4 people. We also spent 4 1/2 days in Seattle, so we had to add in hotel, food/drinks, transportation around the city. We had rewards tickets on Southwest, so didn't have to include airfare. Airfare to Vancouver is very expensive. My brother and SIL did the one way from Anchorage to Seattle in July and spent more than we did. The port excursions in Alaska are a huge expense, but worth it.

I would recommend to get a travel agent that is highly experienced in Alaska cruises. Also check out www.cruisecritic.com. Tons of information.
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Nov 17th, 2011, 02:05 PM
  #7
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Thanks, all. We are working with a local travel agent, and this background helps. We're starting in Santa Fe, will be attending two performances of the SF Opera, then heading to San Francisco, the Wine Country, driving up the coast, spending a few days in Seattle and then will catch the cruise out of Vancouver (not decided yet on which, but it has to be Vancouver since we'e doing a northbound only) to end in Whittier/Seward to spend a week in Homer. All that's on the heels of my three week solo canoe trip in the Boundary Waters (Minnesota) and two weeks with a friend in Ontario's Quetico Provincial Park. Should be great.
The $3,600 is just the cruise. Airfare, incidentals (not extravagant) are all already paid for.
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Nov 21st, 2011, 12:03 PM
  #8
 
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Cabins: book one inside and one outside (or balcony) across teh hall from each other. Adjoining suites or cabins both outside are expensive. If you book for mid AUgust, you may find deals. I have seen fare as low as $600 for inside and $1100 for balcony (all per person). You will find bargin on Northbound cruises but not inside passage round trips.

Although the $3,600 would be sufficient for the cruise fare, but there are "must" incidentals such as soft drinks, tips (among other things).

Tips is about $10.50 per person per day. 4 of you for a week would be almost $300. Soft drinks, a glass of wine here and there could add up quick. Shore excursions are extra as well so be prepared to spend an extra $1000 on top of the cruise fare.

If you want to skip the week at Homer, you can save a pile by taking a SF inside passage round trip. No airfare from Alaska back home, no extra expenses to go to Vanacouver, overnight stay at Vancouver etc.

For a first time Alaskan cruise, inside passage round trip is not a bad way to go, although I personally liked the one way better.
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