Seattle Vs. Vancouver?

Jan 1st, 2018, 04:10 PM
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Seattle Vs. Vancouver?

Several questions about an Alaskan cruise:
1) Heard that Vancouver is a much better departure port than Seattle because Vancouver cruises go up the Inside Passage between Vancouver Island and mainland whereas Seattle cruises go out to Sea before coming back into the Inside Passage as it gets closer to ports?

2) Balcony cabins are significantly more expensive on Alaskan cruises than Caribbean cruises. A typical balcony cabin runs approximately $500 more than an inside cabin on Caribbean cruises whereas they run about $1500 more than an inside cabin on Alaskan cruises. $1500 for a smart, frugal traveler is another entire trip when combined with FF points.

Is the balcoy worth an "additional" $1500? Can you spend enough time on the balcony in Alaska? Or would you freeze your tail off?
Banff is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2018, 07:12 AM
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When are you gping on this cruise? Makes a difference.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2018, 09:15 AM
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This is my understanding: (I've done my research, but my cruise isn't until Sept)
Cruises from Seattle go on the west side of Vancouver Island, those that leave form Vancouver sail on the east side.

Everyone I have spoken to says that a balcony stateroom is well worth it.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2018, 09:21 AM
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Hi Banff,

Yes, the cruise out of Vancouver goes between the island and the mainland and is more sheltered than the cruise out of Seattle, which goes west of the island into the ocean.

The balcony is well worth it. Especially an aft balcony.

What lines are you considering?

ira is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2018, 09:47 AM
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I didn't have a balcony and it didn't bother me. We had a balcony on a short repo cruise up to Vancouver and for me it was a waste..I am too antsy to sit in one place for very long. If you have physical limitations it's probably a good idea. They'll have blankets for you to use on deck or balcony. On Alaska and on my Cape Horn cruise, I preferred to walk laps or go to the library or one of the outdoor or indoor spaces. For Glacier Bay I was on the top deck most of the day (in good weather though). I was on Holland America and the ship has been remodeled since so don't know if the public viewing areas and library with big picture windows are still as generous as they were.

Vancouver is much nicer than Seattle. It's easier to get from the port to the airport by public transit, too. On the repo cruise we rented a car and spent the day touring outlying bits of Vancouver such as the Japanese Garden and the Anthropology Museum, plus Stanley Park,, on the way to the airport. Metered parking is available although can be expensive.
mlgb is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2018, 04:52 PM
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We are planning on HAL out of Vancouver although flying into Seattle.
This cruise is in late May .... Personally, I love sitting on a balcony to read but I just can't see doing that in Alaska. And $1500 seems too steep just to look out a big picture window? But again, since I have no experience with a balcony in Alaska I'm relying upon you all, the experts, for advice and convincing as to why it's worth the additional money.
Banff is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2018, 05:41 PM
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Also it depends on how many sea days you have.

For example I did the one way southbound (Seward to Vancouver) so there were only two "sea days" plus cruising Glacier Bay.

The port days were nearly full days so a balcony would be a waste on those days.

The only time that a balcony might be critical would have been if we had bad weather for Glacier Bay, but luckily I had perfect weather and the open deck (at the time) was AWESOME. The only day we had with any rain was the Inside passage, which is probably the most boring leg. I had a cold at that point and was fine holing up with room service (HAL used to have a great room service policy, don't know about today but when I went you could order most items from the MDR for dinner if you called in the first hour).

I didn't follow all of the usual advice, either... e.g. don't go in late season, don't go North to South.

I was glad that I started in Anchorage (Seward) since I was still healthy for Glacier Bay and didn't come down with the ridiculous cold I caught on the flight until afterwards. I spent part of the day in Ketchikan riding the city bus and included a stop at the Safeway for cold meds!
mlgb is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2018, 07:36 AM
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Would the side of the ship matter if it is a RT cruise?
Banff is offline  
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