Planning an Alaskan Cruise

Old Jan 10th, 2024, 05:30 PM
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Planning an Alaskan Cruise

We are planning an Alaskan cruise for this year and I am finding that there are SO many options! We are looking at a 9 - 11 day cruise. Wondering a couple things and would like to get your expert opinion! What is the best month to go? What is the best ship to book and what ship(s) should we steer clear of? We are in Northern California, so sailing out of San Francisco was very appealing. Would anyone recommend flying up to Washington or Alaska and starting the cruise from there? Thank in advance for your assistance!
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Old Jan 11th, 2024, 03:43 PM
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I'm near Sacramento and when we went we found the one way itineraries out of Vancouver were better than out of SF. We flew SMF > SEA to YVR. Then flew ANC > SEA > SMF home.

Honestly -- most any of the Inside Passage cruises that include Glacier Bay will be pretty similar. Some prefer one cruise line/ship, some will prefer others.

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Old Jan 11th, 2024, 05:43 PM
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Lots of complaints about NCL's new Ward Cove dock location in Ketchikan.

Recommend browsing Cruise Critic or some of the YouTube cruise vloggers such as Tips For Travelers.

I favor Holland America's Noordam for Alaska.

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Old Jan 12th, 2024, 10:06 AM
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A few other things to look at:

If you decide to do a oneway cruise, there are two departure ports used for "Anchorage" cruises. The lines that have virtually all of the Glacier Bay slots (HAL and Princess) now leave trom Whittier, which is inferior to Seward as a place to visit before or after.

NCL Encore visits Glacier Bay round trip from Seattle but there are many issues with that itinerary.

I don't think the Crown Princess out of San Francisco is a bad itinerary if you don't mind all of the sea days. For a new cruiser it might be a challenge. Crown is an older design similar to the Grand which I traveled on last year. It does have a full promenade deck which many of the newer ships have abandoned. (But you have to go up stairs to complete a lap). However I had some service and quality issues during meal times, and from what I've heard Princess is still struggling . Even though Holland America is also owned by Carnival, I think they offer a better experience albeit at a higher price, usually.
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Old Jan 17th, 2024, 06:19 PM
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We loved being on a smaller ship, fewer than 100 passengers, as it could get into smaller bays and places than the huge cruise ships could. We went with Lindblad.
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