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  #1  
Old February 3rd, 2013, 05:48 AM
bigeck bigeck is online now
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Default Mid May or Sept.

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.

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Old February 3rd, 2013, 07:14 AM
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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.
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by frogsgirl View Post
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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Old February 3rd, 2013, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by bigeck View Post
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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Old February 3rd, 2013, 09:12 AM
DragonOfTheSeas DragonOfTheSeas is offline
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Originally Posted by bigeck View Post
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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Old February 3rd, 2013, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by bigeck View Post
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.
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 10:33 AM
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We were there last sep and had a GREAT weather

Love the fall colors of the leaves!
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  #8  
Old February 3rd, 2013, 12:41 PM
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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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Old February 3rd, 2013, 01:03 PM
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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
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  #10  
Old February 3rd, 2013, 01:08 PM
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The weather in May is usually drier than September and there is more light in May.

Last edited by Glaciers; February 3rd, 2013 at 01:08 PM.
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  #11  
Old February 3rd, 2013, 03:22 PM
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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
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 03:38 PM
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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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Old February 3rd, 2013, 05:52 PM
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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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  #14  
Old February 4th, 2013, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonOfTheSeas View Post
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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Old February 4th, 2013, 01:38 PM
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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.

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Old February 4th, 2013, 01:39 PM
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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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Old February 4th, 2013, 01:42 PM
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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.

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Old February 4th, 2013, 01:48 PM
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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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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
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Old February 4th, 2013, 06:31 PM
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We manage to see John Hopkins glacier too last sep and it was awesome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoobCruise View Post
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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Old February 4th, 2013, 09:37 PM
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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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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 Anniversary in 916 sq ft of paradise!

2011 Carnival Conquest ~ Eastern Caribbean Ports: Ports: Nassau, Freeport, and Key West
2010 Caribbean Princess ~ New England/Canada Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, St. John NS, Halifax NS
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
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