Mid May or Sept.

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#1
Fife, Scotland
3,797 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
We are planning Alaska when the cruises are released in April. Just would like some advice. We can gon 2/3rd week in May. I did see they stop in September, so it would be the second last or last cruise.

Alex
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Alex...

#2
Lancashire, UK
495 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Hi Alex

I am in a similar position in that May or September 2014 are our best months. We are waiting for Celebrity Itineraries, not very patiently...

Do you know which cruise line you want to go with or the route you want to take? what advice would you like specifically? weather, activity in the ports of call?

After some research we know we want a round trip from Vancouver or Seattle & we want Sitka as a port of call. We will see which month is best taking into account the above.
Cruise Critic is my bible & I learn something new every time I visit the site, which is everyday!
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Celebrity Constellation 09/2016 ~ Italy, Croatia & Malta
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Celebrity Reflection 09/2013 ~ Eastern Med
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Independence of the Seas 08/2010 ~ Western Med
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#3
Fife, Scotland
3,797 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by frogsgirl
Hi Alex

I am in a similar position in that May or September 2014 are our best months. We are waiting for Celebrity Itineraries, not very patiently...

Do you know which cruise line you want to go with or the route you want to take? what advice would you like specifically? weather, activity in the ports of call?

After some research we know we want a round trip from Vancouver or Seattle & we want Sitka as a port of call. We will see which month is best taking into account the above.
Cruise Critic is my bible & I learn something new every time I visit the site, which is everyday!
We go with Royal Caribbean. I think we will fly to Anchorage and have a few days there, then take the glass top train to Seward. Radiance back to Vancouver and have a few nights there. I have read a few reviews and it sounds good.

Alex
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Alex...

#4
24,108 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by bigeck
We are planning Alaska when the cruises are released in April. Just would like some advice. We can gon 2/3rd week in May. I did see they stop in September, so it would be the second last or last cruise.

Alex
I would go the 3rd week in May.
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#5
virginia
7,221 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by bigeck
We go with Royal Caribbean. I think we will fly to Anchorage and have a few days there, then take the glass top train to Seward. Radiance back to Vancouver and have a few nights there. I have read a few reviews and it sounds good.

Alex
There is no bad time to go to AK. Everyone has there priorities for experiences.


We took the last NB cruise Aug 31-Sept 7 from Seward to Vancouver. I did a "Live" thread. It might give you an idea of what September is like. The weather was cool in most places and cold in Denali. But, the beautiy of the fall colors made up for that.

[I included pictures]


http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1697232
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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 .
#6
1,850 Posts
Joined May 2008
Originally posted by bigeck
We go with Royal Caribbean. I think we will fly to Anchorage and have a few days there, then take the glass top train to Seward. Radiance back to Vancouver and have a few nights there. I have read a few reviews and it sounds good.

Alex
Alex: Are you considering a visit to Denali? If so, then you are far better off going in September, when the NPS shuttle to Eielson will be running, at least in the early part of September, than going in May. The shuttle to Eielson does not start until June 1.
#7
Singapore
230 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
We were there last sep and had a GREAT weather

Love the fall colors of the leaves!
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Our Full Alaska Cruise Story
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.c...ry-so-far.html
Pre and Post Alaska Cruise Tour
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.c...ka-cruise.html
#8
quad cities illinois
5,441 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
as said above there is no bad month too go too alaska. i have gone both in mid may and middle of sept. both times were fabulous. i saw many eagles , whales and other wildlife both times, but more in sept when the slamon were more on the run. also in sept alot of items will be drasticly reduced because it will be the end of the season. also those months are much more in my financial range for cruising. it is easier for me too cruise out of seattle, but i loved vancouver and would love too do that itinerary again. if this is your first time too alaska i would highly recommend going too a glacier . either glacier bay or hubbard. i have always gotten into glacier bay in may and sept. you will have a wonderful time. have fun making your plans.
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norwegian pearl-glacier bay alaska 09/15/13- sister and friend--CANT WAIT
carnival spirit-tracy arm alaska 05/11-coworker
carnival spirit-tracy arm alaska 06/10-family cruise
carnival fantasy-western caribbean 9/09-solo
norwegian pearl-alaska glacier bay 05/09-solo
carnival victory-new england/canada 9/07-solo
carnival spirit-glacier bay 5/05-with a friend
carnival spirit-glacier bay 09/03

#9
Texas
563 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
We have been several times in May and liked it a lot. We are going this May 2013 on a HAL ship. Have been in June also. Don't like to go much later than June. Just our opinion LOL Bill
#10
Anchorage, Alaska
2,990 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
The weather in May is usually drier than September and there is more light in May.
#11
QueensCreek, Arizona
2,116 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
The weather in late May can be cool but nice. Cruisng into Tracy Arm can be a hit or miss depending if fog sets in early in the mornings. I have heard of people being disappointed because Tracy Arm was fogged in during June weather. I worked with a lady who took a September cruise several years ago that caught a storm off the west coast and she got sea sick for the first time. She told me she wished she had taken an earlier cruise because of the weather. You do have to remember that weather can be unpredictable. Once you get into the Second week of September there is a greater chance of getting some bad weather. The first snow fall in Anchorage is usually late September or early October. Tim
#12
Arizona
8,464 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
I don't think there is a bad time to go to Alaska. Our 2 previous cruises were the last ones in Sept. Our next one will be May 20th. I go by the rates, the itinerary etc. and whether we feel my husband can get the time off from work too. May and Sep will give you the lowest rates. We never had bad weather in Sep except for a day of rain both cruises.

One nice thing about Sept and being the last cruise, was that there were so amazing deals to be had in the ports to close out their stock on hand.
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Alaska/Glacier Bay - Grand Princess Review - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1856141
(note: photos no longer show because of website being gone --- lots of good information though about our trip and the Grand Princess)

Grand Princess 05/2013 to Alaska/Glacier Bay
RCCL Mariner OTS 4/2009 to Mexican Riviera
Carnival Spirit 11/2007 Acapulco
Carnival Spirit 4/2007 Mexican Riviera (Cabo/LaPaz)
Dawn Princess 9/2006 (Alaska)
Carnival Spirit 1/2006 (Acapulco)
RCCL Viking Serenade 4/1999 Ensenada
Carnival Elation 4/1998 Mexican Riviera (Puerta Vallerta)
RCCL Viking Serenade (11/1995) Ensenada
NCL Southward (1994) Ensenada
Pacific Princess (9/1986) Alaska
#13
Singapore
230 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Yes. There were sales all round the ports of call as the shops try to clear their stuffs before end of season!
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Our Travel Blog - Discover . Book . Travel
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.com
Our Full Alaska Cruise Story
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.c...ry-so-far.html
Pre and Post Alaska Cruise Tour
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.c...ka-cruise.html
#14
Fife, Scotland
3,797 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by DragonOfTheSeas
There is no bad time to go to AK. Everyone has there priorities for experiences.


We took the last NB cruise Aug 31-Sept 7 from Seward to Vancouver. I did a "Live" thread. It might give you an idea of what September is like. The weather was cool in most places and cold in Denali. But, the beautiy of the fall colors made up for that.

[I included pictures]


http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1697232
Thanks for posting. I will read tonight.

Alex
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Alex...

#15
Fife, Scotland
3,797 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by epixx
Alex: Are you considering a visit to Denali? If so, then you are far better off going in September, when the NPS shuttle to Eielson will be running, at least in the early part of September, than going in May. The shuttle to Eielson does not start until June 1.
I read a review on here where they flew to Fairbanks and travelled by train down to Seaward. It looked amazing. I will start pricing that and Denali aswel. I want to see as much as we can. Scotland is a long way to away to just cruise.

Alex
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#16
California
2,122 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
We sailed September 1st and had an amazing time! If we do it again, I would like to do it in May to see the contrast where there's more snow and things are more iced up. On the other hand, in Sept, we got up close to Johns Hopkins glacier and it was awesome. It put on a great show for us, calving building sized chunks of ice. From what I understand, the ships can't get in to Johns Hopkins until Aug or Sept because of ice.
#17
Fife, Scotland
3,797 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Thanks everyone for the replies. I do like the sales idea, being Scottish I do like a good deal. I saw the Glacier calving on you tube and would like to see that. Wildlife is also high on the list. I know we will probanly have to come more than once to get it all done.

Alex
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Alex...

#18
quad cities illinois
5,441 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
i love the cooler, crisp weather in may or end of sept. i live in the midwest where we have horrible humid and hot summers. so the refreshing jean/jacket season in alaska is right up my alley . and i have been very lucky and only had about a 1/2 hr shower in ketchikan. but if it rains it wont bother me.
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DUSTY



norwegian pearl-glacier bay alaska 09/15/13- sister and friend--CANT WAIT
carnival spirit-tracy arm alaska 05/11-coworker
carnival spirit-tracy arm alaska 06/10-family cruise
carnival fantasy-western caribbean 9/09-solo
norwegian pearl-alaska glacier bay 05/09-solo
carnival victory-new england/canada 9/07-solo
carnival spirit-glacier bay 5/05-with a friend
carnival spirit-glacier bay 09/03

#19
Singapore
230 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
We manage to see John Hopkins glacier too last sep and it was awesome!

Originally posted by NoobCruise
We sailed September 1st and had an amazing time! If we do it again, I would like to do it in May to see the contrast where there's more snow and things are more iced up. On the other hand, in Sept, we got up close to Johns Hopkins glacier and it was awesome. It put on a great show for us, calving building sized chunks of ice. From what I understand, the ships can't get in to Johns Hopkins until Aug or Sept because of ice.
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Our Travel Blog - Discover . Book . Travel
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.com
Our Full Alaska Cruise Story
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.c...ry-so-far.html
Pre and Post Alaska Cruise Tour
http://discoverbooktravel.blogspot.c...ka-cruise.html
#20
USA
5,183 Posts
Joined May 2012
We sailed on the Radiance last August on the southbound route. We loved it!

When we booked the cruise, we arranged to have transfers through RC and I'm glad we did. We didn't have any trouble at all.

When we flew into Anchorage, we asked for the RC representative. We were directed to a kiosk where the friendly RC staff checked us off their list, and then told us when the next bus was leaving for Seward. I think we had about a one hour wait.

We grabbed a quick bite to eat at the food court, then went back to the waiting area at the RC desk. When the bus arrived, we got in along with several other people and the driver loaded up all the baggage.

I'm not sure how long the drive was but it seemed to pass quickly. The scenery was fantastic and the driver gave information about what we were seeing from time to time.

Before we knew it, we had arrived at the Seward terminal. The Radiance was the only ship there! Check in at the terminal was a breeze. We walked right in, went up to the counter to check in, and went right on to the ship!

The quickest embarkation we have ever had.

The ship is fantastic and the cruise was the best we have ever had. The itinerary includes 4 ports of call. Icy Strait Point was and still is our favorite. We went on the Bear and Whale watch combo excursion through RC. We saw two bears catching Salmon and countless whales! It was absolutely breathtaking!

When we went through the Hubbard Glacier area, we witnessed numerous "calving" which is when great chuncks of ice break off with loud cracking and rumbling then fall into the water.

I could go on and on. As you can see, even now I get excited just thinking about it and trying to describe what we saw.

We went in August and had beautiful weather all week, even in Ketchikan where it rains so much.

At the end of the cruise, going though the Vancouver terminalwas no trouble at all. We also had a transfer that took us to the Vancouver airport.

We have never been on a Celebrity cruise, so can't comment on that. But, I highly recommend Radiance!

You might be interested in seeing my wife's picture slideshows. Here is a link to the page where you will see slideshows about the different ports of call as well as the ship. The slideshow will start when you click on the link, but you can also go through the pictures if you want to by clicking on the thumbnails one at a time.

2012 RC Radiance of the Seas ~ Alaska Southbound

HAPPY SAILING! It's a great way to explore the world!
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You can view my wife's cruise pictures (shore excursions, around the ship, etc.)in the Travel section of her website Nancy's Oasis and at the links below.

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