Alaska Cruises

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#1
125 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
My friends and I are considering a Alaska cruise next season. I have read many reviews and wanted to see what the board thought of the cruise. We will be going on the Golden Princess. Is this a trip of a lifetime or not memorible. I am aware that it isn't a caribbean vacation but more scenic.
#2
Chico, California
8,146 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by weiss5682
My friends and I are considering a Alaska cruise next season. I have read many reviews and wanted to see what the board thought of the cruise. We will be going on the Golden Princess. Is this a trip of a lifetime or not memorable. I am aware that it isn't a caribbean vacation but more scenic.
Our first cruise was last year to Alaska. We loved it. I didn't know if I'd enjoy cruising and was pretty hesitant about it. After the first one I was ready to go again.

We got lucky with our Alaskan cruise. We had clear skies and warm days in all ports and it was clear when we were viewing the glaciers as well (although not as warm!) We went in September and were told that the weather had been overcast with some rain for weeks so we were pretty stoked to have beautiful weather.

We also had "regular" hours of sunlight / night. If you go at other times you will experience shorter / longer days. I read a post where people said to skip Butchart Gardens at the BC stop because it was dark. When we were there it was daytime and the gardens were beautiful. We could easily have spent more time there than was allotted.
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Thrak

Not Elite but having fun working on it...



#3
Suisun City, California
179 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
We have taken 3 cruises to Alaska; two with Princess and one with Celebrity. All were taken in May and our weather was fantastic on each trip.

Last spring we added the cruise tour before boarding the ship in Whittier.

Cruising to Alaska is so relaxing and refreshing. We'd go back without hesitation.
#4
Va Beach VA
355 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by weiss5682
My friends and I are considering a Alaska cruise next season. I have read many reviews and wanted to see what the board thought of the cruise. We will be going on the Golden Princess. Is this a trip of a lifetime or not memorible. I am aware that it isn't a caribbean vacation but more scenic.
No, its not a trip of a lifetime. Its the 1st of many trips of a lifetime. Not many have gone and not wanted to go back.
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#5
Middle of the Sahara Desert
11,398 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by weiss5682
My friends and I are considering a Alaska cruise next season. I have read many reviews and wanted to see what the board thought of the cruise. We will be going on the Golden Princess. Is this a trip of a lifetime or not memorible. I am aware that it isn't a caribbean vacation but more scenic.
We have done Alaska twice from Vancouver for 14 days. Just booked a 7 day from Vancouver on Celebrity for July 14,2013. Alaska is a cruise that is different with each trip . Even visiting the same port twice on one cruise isn't the same. We found that Caribbean ports don't change much between cruises.
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#6
Portland Oregon
2,772 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
If you look at the cost then it may be a trip of a lifetime - AK is very expensive compared to other markets - from the cruise to excursions expect to pay big bucks.

Now for the return on your investment - most of the time Alaska will not dissapoint with scenery, wildlife, native culture, and gold rush history. Believe me your first cruise will leave you wanting more. You could easily do four cruises and focus each one one of the above catagories and still not see it all.

I have cruised there three times now (over the course of 10 yrs) and yes things have changed - mostly gotten bigger and better. Yes each port is different in its character and focus -

Ketchikan is best know for eagles, native culture, fishing, lumberjacks, flightseeing into Misty Fjords NP, and of course Creek Street.

Juneau is the capital of Alaska and has a history rich in gold, it is also the home of Mendenhall Glacier and the jumping off point for Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glacier, it is best known for whales and other sealife.

Skagway is the gold rush capital of Alaska, from there the stampeeders worked their way over either White or Chilkoot passes and into the Yukon gold fields. In nearby Haines there is an eagle preserve, you can ride the train back in time and into the Yukon. There are also hiking trails to near by glaciers and waterfalls.

Sitka is not as much of a tourist town -yet - it is filled with rich Russian culture from it's first settlers.

Glacier Bay NP is a scenic wonder - tall mountains that were scoured by glaciers over hundreds of years - a mix of hanging and tidewater glaciers. and wildlife.

Here are a couple of sites that can help you make the most of your trip
http://cruiseportinsider.com/index.html
http://www.travelalaska.com/

Enjoy Alaska - but be warned - you will be back.
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#7
Syracuse, New York
49,932 Posts
Joined May 2000
I do not find Alaska cruises costly. If you want costly, take a look at NCL Hawaii- which I also do every year. This cruise is tough to get below $1200pp for an inside. I go for two in Alaska with slightly more. My three cruises to Alaska this year, came to $1850, cruise only, inside.

Anyway, my routine is to go to Alaska every year. I enjoy it there and have plenty of priority touring that I enjoy. My costs are no where near what some people pay. I've used purchased coupon books for years, that offer significant discounts. I'm always in a cheap inside cabin, as my preferences are always out on expansive ship decks. I have been "upgraded" several times to outsides- hate them, too restrictive for my preferences.

Read up on some reviews. Make good plans in port and don't waste a miinute of wonderful Alaska.
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Happy Alaska travels

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#8
Chico, California
8,146 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by bonvoyagie
Here are a couple of sites that can help you make the most of your trip
http://cruiseportinsider.com/index.html
http://www.travelalaska.com/

Enjoy Alaska - but be warned - you will be back.
I realize this is a thread about ALASKA and I'm not trying to hijack it but...

I checked out cruise port insider and was surprised to find absolutely nothing that would help with my upcoming Hawaiian cruise. Is Hawaii not cool enough to rate any info there or am I missing something?
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Thrak

Not Elite but having fun working on it...



#9
Syracuse, New York
49,932 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by Thrak
I realize this is a thread about ALASKA and I'm not trying to hijack it but...

I checked out cruise port insider and was surprised to find absolutely nothing that would help with my upcoming Hawaiian cruise. Is Hawaii not cool enough to rate any info there or am I missing something?
NCL wins all the way around for an Hawaiian cruise. I take one every year. Expect double costs for that cruise, however. Head over to the Hawaii board for plenty of information.
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Happy Alaska travels

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#10
85,859 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
The Golden Princess will be great and I am sure you will have a great time.

Read the boards to learn what you can do at each port of call.

Keith
#11
106,254 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Our first Alaskan cruise was back in the 80's -- and on Princess.

We loved it and we also love Alaska.
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Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
#12
virginia
7,530 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
We just got back last month from our first Alaska cruise. It was wonderful. We booked 9 months in advance and spent the time researching and Booking shore excursions. We paid for those as we did. So, while it is more expensive than a Caribbean, Bermuda, or Canada cruise we were able to spread it out.

We also picked an inside cabin. We spent a lot of time in the British themed night club on the Radiance of the Seas. We called it our aft cabin. We usually had it to oursleves--yet, it had amazing views. Also, we spent most of our time aboard ship on the outside decks. Dress in layers and take hooded rainwear.

We do not have immediate plans to go back --but, I am sure we will.
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Previous Cruises:Carnival Ecstasy– July 2000: Mexico; Carnival Fantasy– August 2006: Bahamas; Carnival Pride –October 2009: Bahamas; Celebrity Constellation–March 2010: Panama Canal; Enchantment of the Seas–June 2010: Eastern Caribbean, September 2010: New England and Canada, March 2012: Southern Caribbean; Celebrity Mercury–November 2010 Eastern Caribbean and January 2011 Bahamas and Florida; Carnival Legend –April 2011: Western Caribbean; Radiance of the Seas--Alaska; August 2012, Explorer of the Seas--Bermuda: October 2012; Legend of the Seas –Transatlantic, October 2013; Brilliance of the Seas--North Atlantic TA: August 2014; Vision of the Seas--Southern Caribbean: November 2014; Serenade of the Seas--B2B Bahamas and Western Caribbean: March/April 2015; Southern Caribbean: November 2015; Grandeur of the Seas–June 2005: Bermuda, April 2013: Caribbean reposition cruise; March 2014: Western Caribbean, April 2016: Eastern Caribbean, July 2016: Bermuda/Bahamas, Harmony of The Seas-- October 2016: Transatlantic, Equinox-- .February 2017: Mardi Gras cruise
#14
Bloomington, IL
2,862 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
We did our first Alaskan cruise this past summer and absolutely loved it. So much so, that we are going back next summer. We had been on a number of Caribbean cruises and Alaska was so different. Taking in all the scenery and nature was great. Seeing the glaciers was great. It was more expensive than the Caribbean, particularly the excursions, but well worth the cost IMHO. Sailing into Glacier Bay had to be one of the highlights of the cruise for me. Could have spent a few days taking it all in (I think we spent all day on deck or on the balcony as it was..) We found Alaska to be very rich in history and scenery and really enjoyed taking it all in. So much to do and see. Guess that is why we are going back.

Tim
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Royal Princess - Western Caribbean 2/16
Regal Princess - Eastern Caribbean 1/15
Grand Princess - Alaska 10 Day out of San Fran - 7/13
Coral Princess - Voyage of the Glaciers - Alaska 6/12
Grand Princess - Southern Caribbean 12/11
Caribbean Princess - Caribbean from NYC 6/11
Sapphire Princess - Mexican Riviera 1/11
Island Princess - Panama Canal 4/10
Crown Princess - Western Caribbean 11/09
Caribbean Princess - Classic Southern Caribbean 4/09
Crown Princess Eastern Caribbean 11/08
Golden Princess - Mexican Riviera - 11/07
Star Princess - Western Caribbean 12/06
Dawn Princess - Southern Caribbean 11/03
Golden Princess - Eastern Caribbean 4/03
Disney Magic - Western Caribbran 9/02
#17
Middle of the Sahara Desert
11,398 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by jklin987
Hai hows ur experience with celebrity? I am newbie on crusing.

Did u go by celebrity?

Hope u can share ur experience

thanks
Can't understand your text symbols.
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#18
USA
5,395 Posts
Joined May 2012
We have been to Alaska twice and enjoyed both cruises. We hope to go back again someday.
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You can view my wife's cruise pictures on her website Nancy's Oasis and individual cruise links below my cruise countdown.



2016 14 day Alaska Maasdam Ketchikan,Juneau,Dawes,Icy Strait Point,Anchorage,Homer,Kodiak,Hubbard,Sitka, Victoria,BC
2015 Christmas Adventure of the Seas St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Dominica, Barbados
2014 Christmas Island Princess ~ Partial Panama Canal with Columbia, Costa Rica, Grand Cayman, Aruba
2013 Christmas Adventure of the Seas ~ So.Caribbean St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Aruba, and Curacao
2012 Christmas Mariner of the Seas ~ W.Caribbean Cozumel (Tulum) Jamaica, and Grand Cayman
2012 Radiance of the Seas ~ Alaska Southbound Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Hubbard Glacier
2011 Christmas Mariner of the Seas ~ W. Caribbean Belize (Lamanai), Roatan, Costa Maya (Kohunlich), Cozumel
2011 Carnival Ecstasy ~ Western Caribbean Cozumel and Progresso (Chichen Itza)
2011 Carnival Ecstasy Owners Suite Visit from the Upsell Fairy - 916 sq ft of paradise!

2011 Carnival Conquest ~ Eastern Caribbean Nassau, Freeport, Key West
2010 Caribbean Princess ~ NE/Canada Upgrade Fairy Visit FREE PH Suite - Newport,Boston,Bar Harbor,St. John,Halifax
2009 Star Princess ~ Alaska Inside Passage Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Tracy Arm
2008 Christmas Carnival Ecstasy ~ Western Caribbean Progreso (Uxmal) Cozumel
2007 Carnival Conquest ~ Western Caribbean Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel
#19
NJ
99 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Originally posted by Budget Queen
My three cruises to Alaska this year, came to $1850, cruise only, inside.
Budget Queen. Just curious what your cruise of choice is for Alaska? Do you mix it up or stick w one cruise line?

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
#20
Santa Rosa, CA
198 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
My two cents worth: I had absolutely no interest in going to Alaska. Warm, sunny is my choice of cruises. However, my husband wanted to go - and it was a cruise - so we took the Golden in 2010. Can't say enough of the beauty, the air, the untouched wonder of it all. I would do that cruise again in a New York minute! My husband was able to take a fishing expedition out of Juneau and I have a large photo of him holding up his catch. I treasure that photo even more now since I lost him at Thanksgiving. Take the cruise, I feel certain you will find it to be a wonderful, wonderful experience!