alaska cruises

Old Oct 14th, 2009, 10:34 AM
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alaska cruises

Planning a family trip in June 2010. There is a big price difference between a Carnival cruise and a Princess cruise. The Carnival goes to Tracy Fjord for glacier viewing and the Princess goes to Glacier Bay. Any suggestions? cheryl
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Old Oct 14th, 2009, 08:05 PM
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Princess is a more upscale cruise experience than Carnival. That's probably the reason for difference in price. A better forum for info on cruises is cruisecritic.com.
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Old Oct 15th, 2009, 07:08 AM
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You have some misinformation- Tracy Arm is NOT a glacier priority and probably only about 25% of the cruiseships actually get within sight of the Sawyers. IF you have a glacier priority, then rethink this itinerary.

As for the pricing difference, who knows, but I don't find the "upscale" significant with this Alaska itinerary. Passenger demographics are similar on both lines, and Carnival certainly does do a good job in Alaska. Previously, they have had some of the top naturalists in Alaska, which can greatly enhance your trip.

Find out more about the routing, round trip Seattle is the least scenic of Alaska cruises. It is easy to get to Vancouver to/from Seattle with an extra day.
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Old Oct 15th, 2009, 11:27 AM
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I agree with BudgetQueen, go for the RT out of Vancouver. I've done the RT cruise from both Seattle and Vancouver and the latter is much more scenic.
Carnival is known as fun ships" and there can be very much a party-like environment. Princess is more laid back, but lots of family activities. Both my Alaska cruises were on Holland America, but I've sailded on both Princess and Carnival and really prefer Princess.
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Old Oct 15th, 2009, 12:05 PM
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Sorry, Carnival is in no way, a "fun" ship in Alaska, demographics are similar to all the other lines, middle aged and above the bulk. I have sailed Carnival in Alaska 3 times. It is not a party ship, by no means. I have sailed 5 different lines to Alaska, including both Princess and HAL. The above poster is generalizing with Caribbean sailings, which have nothing to do with Alaska.
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Old Oct 16th, 2009, 05:40 PM
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We just did a 7-member family cruise with Holland America from Vancouver. It was my first cruise so I can't comment on comparisons, but we saw the Hubbard Glacier and it was my favorite thing on the trip. It is incredible.
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 06:42 AM
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Thanks so much for all the info. I will check out cruisecritic.com. We decided to go with Princess because of cruising into Glacier Bay. I'll check in when we return. Should have looked at the Vancouver route earlier.
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Old Oct 24th, 2009, 05:20 AM
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Hubby and I are planning our first curise. Sept. 2010 on the only ship that sails on the date we want is Celebrity (Millennium) we are doing a southbound from Seward to Vancouver. Doing our own thing before hand in Achorage before the sailing. Any suggestions on what to do before hand. We want to take train into Danali for one or two nights and then come back to Anchorage, any other things we should do or see? Also wanted to go Concierge Class, is it worth it?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Dee
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Old Oct 24th, 2009, 11:07 AM
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Dee,
Check out cruisecritic.com for reviews of Concierge Class on Celebrity. In general, though, it's all up to your budget because on a cruise --- the more you spend on your cabin, the more elegant is the experience.
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Old Oct 25th, 2009, 09:41 AM
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When are you going??? Overall, it is better weather potential to go northbound first week of Sept, followed by interior travel, with getting to Denali Park before mid month when the shuttle buses stop running.

You need two nights at Denali Park, by rail, then another 2 days. You can see and do a lot more going via car and better use of short time. The rail on the Anchorage/Denali portion, just about parallels the Parks Highway. The most scenic portion, by far, is Seward/Anchorage.
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Old Oct 25th, 2009, 12:42 PM
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I am sure that some Glaciers are bigger, better, etc. But any large size glacier calving into the water anywhere in Alaska is a site and sound that will stick with you forever. Just awesome. I personally don't care for cruises, the fewer people when seeing a glacier calve the better. Kayak is the best way to go, in my opinion. Next best would be a smaller boat with a limited number of folks on board. I do see the advantages of cruising, however. Budget Queen has great advice on alaska, so certainly take into consideration whatever she has to say.
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Old Oct 25th, 2009, 01:59 PM
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Budget Queen,

This is what we have so far, depart JFK (New York)11:am 8-29-10 arrive Anchorage 6:25pm. Hotel in Anchorage from 8-29 to 9-9 (inbetween that time take Danali Star Train to Danali for 2 nites 3 days). Any suggestions on where to stay in Danali? Getting mixed reviews of places. Depart Anchorage take train to Seward on 9-9,depart Seward 9-10 for Southbound curise On Celebrity Millenium to Vancouver. Need opinions on side excusions in each port. What things are worth splurring on? We are already spending extra for the Concierge Class with Veranda. This is our big retirement trip. Have been all over the world, but never on a cruise to Alaska Our last trip was in Sept. went white water rafting in the Colorado in Moab Utah. Love national parks!!!
If you can help, it would be great!!!
Dee
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Old Oct 25th, 2009, 03:11 PM
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MontereyBob,

Checked out cruisecritics.com thanks! There was a lot of good info. Does anyone know about perks you recive when booking your cruise with your Amex Platinum card?

Dee
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Old Oct 26th, 2009, 08:56 AM
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I think you need to rethink this??? IF I am reading you correctly, you plan on blocking your time out in Anchorage, with a couple nights, "in between" going to Denali Park?? Sorry, but this would be NOTHING I would ever recommend. You have a nice block of time, and it is a mistake to base out of a single area- especially Anchorage, then "think" you are going to "day trip" out of there?? You have FAR more opportunity for some far superior areas to consider, and if you don't, then absolutly get to Seward at least another day earlier.

You would be far better off with a car rental and on the move. Distances are vast- you are going to run out of your Anchorage "touring" quickly. I am making assumptions that people come to Alaska to see it. Sorry, if you have a different priority perhaps?? My information is general.

With your cruise that late, you need to be well prepared, it will be dusk by 7pm, and average of rain- 3 days. Since you now know this, all the better!

You need to do your homework, there are hundreds of excellent tours to consider. Narrow down your interests, and repost, have your budget determined, no point in recommending options of no interest, or out of price ranges.
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 02:50 PM
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Budget Queen,

What would be your suggestions? We are renting a car for the time we are in Anchorage. We were using Hilton pts for Homeward Suites (costing no $). How many days in Anchorage would you suggest? In what direction should we be going other then Denali? We are usually pretty good at planning out our own vacations, but this one for some reason, has us all over the place. Trying to use hotel points, air miles etc. so we can splug on other things. I knew there was a rain factor, heard that from many people. We have been other places where rain is the norm, and really didn't stop us too much As I said we love national parks, hiking, sight seeing, photography (special hobby of mine)wildlife. We have taken helicoper rides,seaplanes, and small 6 seater planes in different places. We are getting a little older, so are slowing down on the level of hiking. We love out of the way places to drive to. Does that give you enough info? I really appreiate your input. Most people I know just go on the cruise and do their side trips. We would rather do things on our own if possible or book on our own. We never have a certain amount in our buget. We just see want there is to offer then determine what we think is worth the money

Thanks again for your help!
Dee
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Old Oct 31st, 2009, 05:31 AM
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Sorry, I really can not offer, what I would consider a far superior itinerary with your "priority" using hotel points in Anchorage. Either, you are going to be in areas that would offer you far more options, or you are going to be fixed in Anchorage, and limited to a few day tour options, which in Alaska won't be many, and certainly not enough to use up your total 11 days, with a couple, in between in Denali Park.

I have already suggested- get some Alaska travel books, do your homework, and determine, what you want out of this trip. If you're happy parked in Anchorage, then keep those plans. BUT, I suggest you look at the total picture of what is available with this decision. Not sure why you are "all over the place". There are ONLY 2 basic "loops" to consider Anchorage/Fairbanks/Valdez, and Kenai Peninsula Seward/Homer. Only direct single roads.
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