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Which is the best cruise to take to Alaska?

Which is the best cruise to take to Alaska?

Sep 18th, 2005, 06:19 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,027
Which is the best cruise to take to Alaska?

My husband's dream cruise is going to Glacier Bay. I am thinking of celebrating his 50th birthday by taking our family of four (2 teenagers) on an Alaskan cruise before our kids move out and we become empty nesters.

Can you tell me which cruise ship is considered the best in terms of dining, accomodations, and service? I would also be interested in doing a land tour and seeing wildlife in their natural habitat. I know there are lots to choose from. Any recommendations?
offlady is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 03:39 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,469
You have eliminated a big amount of cruises already with your Glacier Bay priority. So consider looking at Princess and HAL. My clear preference is HAL for the Seward port, but they no longer cruise College fjords, so negatives to both.

I suggest you only consider independent touring of Alaska, first off, going on a cruisetour and paying for 4 is a big expense- far at least double what you would pay otherwise. Group point to point travel is less than ideal in Alaska, expecially with a family group. Your kids are also likely to be the only ones, extremely few if any kids go on the land portion of the cruise tours.

So basic advice- allow enough time, a common mistake made by Alaska visitors, factor in at least a week. Rent a car or RV, consider at least 2 overnights at Denali Park with the SHUTTLE to Fish Creek, 1 night in Talkeetna, 2 in Seward, then either consider Fairbanks or Homer perhaps?? Very simple to go on your own, only 1 road to destinations. Top tour in Seward is Kenai Fjords boat tours of at least 6 hours on the water.

Take a look at some photos of my recent trip. http://community.webshots.com/user/budgetqueen
BudgetQueen is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 04:23 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 234
If you are really determined to go to Glacier Bay, this response will be irrelevant. Because in terms of dining and accommodations, I don't think you can beat the Radisson Mariner--all suites, all balconies, all country club casual with terrific service and food. Radisson's Web site is rssc.com. However, she sails Hubbard Glacier. We did take Budget Queen's advice and arranged our land trip and some of our excursions independently. She was very helpful in planning our itinerary. Last August, we sailed from Seward (Mariner now sails from Whittier) to Vancouver. Picked up a car at the Anchorage airport, stayed overnight, drove to a B&B near Denali where we stayed 1 night, toured the Park, drove to Talkeetna, stayed at the Lodge for 2 nights (flew over McKinley among other things--awesome), drove back to the Anchorage airport, dropped the car off, walked to the Radisson train car (at the airport), took the train (fantastic) to Seward for boarding the Mariner. The Toursaver Coupon book is also useful for Alaskan excursions (before/after and during the cruise). If you'd like more information, including a terrific TA for Radisson cruises, let me know ([email protected]).
Dreps is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 10:34 PM
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If Galcier Bay was not on our itinerary, what would you recommend? Also, would you recommend flying in to Vancouver or Seattle, or does it matter? We've taken the ferry from Seattle to Vancouver in the past.

offlady is offline  
Sep 20th, 2005, 01:45 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,469
You need to determine if the ship or Alaska is more important??? My priority is alway outside of the ship.

You may want to keep in mind- ports, time in ports, routing, glacier, price. Budget fully for costly excursions, you get only half a trip without time- my opinion only.

I most always fly into Seattle, and then drive to Vancouver, you need an extra night. I usually stay in Bellingham, then just an hour+++ with an early start to get to Vancouver. Some time to tour as well. I have rented from Avis, Budget, National and Alamo. There is also Hertz. You would want downtown Vancouver not the airport. It is very time consuming to take the ferries to Vancouver from Seattle- need 2 and at least a couple overnights in my opinion to enjoy Vancouver Island. No car ferries unless you go out of Port Angles or Ancortes. Only passenger ferry out of Seattle.
BudgetQueen is offline  

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