Carnival Miracle Inaugural Alaska Sailing (4/29/13)

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#1
Seattle area
2,488 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Just off the Carnival Miracle after having done the April 29, 2013 inaugural sailing. I'll be posting a review (with pictures) on the Carnival board, but I thought I'd offer up a few thoughts for those pondering the same itinerary next year (the 8 day out of Vancouver includes Glacier Bay; the 7 day sailings out of Seattle for the rest of the season go to Tracy Arm Fjord instead).

- This was my 7th cruise with Carnival, but I don't think I'd do Alaska with them again. I'd been to Alaska previously on Celebrity, Holland America, and NCL, and the one thing their ships have that Carnival's don't is a forward facing lounge, with wrap around windows. Doesn't sound like a big deal until you're in Glacier Bay in the pouring rain and there's nowhere for great viewing but outside. On previous cruises I spent a LOT of time in the Navigator Lounge (Celebrity), or the Spinnaker Lounge (NCL), reading and watching the gorgeous scenery go by. I really missed that on this cruise.

- It was great to be the only ship in port, but the disadvantage to being so early in the season is that were things I really wanted to do that I couldn't because they weren't in operation yet, i.e. the ferry from Skagway to Haines and a boat trip out of Juneau to Tracy Arm Fjord. Also, I drove up to the Yukon out of Skagway, and Carcross was totally boarded up for the winter, which was disappointing.

- Weather can never be predicted; this year SE Alaska got hit with snow particularly hard, right up through April. It was great to see so much of it on one hand, but on the other, it did impact tours, etc. Some of the helicopter glacier viewing trips had to deviate from the norm because of the amount of snow on Mendenhall Glacier, one of the White Pass trains up to the Yukon had to sit for hours with passengers aboard while snow from a small avalanche was removed from the tracks, etc. I'm glad I went up this early, because I really wanted a lot of ice and snow, but when I go again next year or the year after, I'll go in August again.

Again, I'll post a full review on the Carnival board, but if you have any questions feel free to ask; I'll pop on back over here later...
#2
17 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Thank you for that information. Looking forward to reading the review! Sailing in 2 weeks!
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#3
Concord, California
3,398 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
Thanks for the info, I sail on the Island Princess on May 13. I'm booked with Adventure Bound to Tracy Arm on Thurs 5/16, I think this will be only their 2nd trip of the year. Any idea when Carcross is opening up? I may head up there on one of my visits as I'm doing a B2B. Lots of snow alongside the road?
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dbhembroff@aol.com

Princess 54 cruises 528 days HAL 4 cruises 40 days Celebrity 4 cruises 37 days
RCCL 4 cruises 32 days NCL 1 cruise 14 days Carnival 1 cruise 8 days

Alaska 26 Caribbean 14 Mexico 11 Coastal 5 South America 2
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#5
Northern California
6,860 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
Originally posted by DougH
Thanks for the info, I sail on the Island Princess on May 13. I'm booked with Adventure Bound to Tracy Arm on Thurs 5/16, I think this will be only their 2nd trip of the year. Any idea when Carcross is opening up? I may head up there on one of my visits as I'm doing a B2B. Lots of snow alongside the road?

Doug, drop by when you return from your cruise. Looking forward to hearing about your Adventure Bound trip. Unfortunately for us, we can't make AB this year; looking forward to our return in 2014.

Have a great time on your cruise.
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#6
Seattle area
2,488 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by DougH
Thanks for the info, I sail on the Island Princess on May 13. I'm booked with Adventure Bound to Tracy Arm on Thurs 5/16, I think this will be only their 2nd trip of the year. Any idea when Carcross is opening up? I may head up there on one of my visits as I'm doing a B2B. Lots of snow alongside the road?

I'm so jealous that you're doing Tracy Arm with Adventure Bound! We really wanted to do it, but their boats hadn't been Coast Guard inspected yet (I think that's what they told me) and wouldn't be ready 'til this week.

Carcross should be *open* when you get there. I talked to a gal I saw coming out of the post office; she said that it should be another week (this was on May 3). The snow should be gone up there by now, but they had a really bad April. It was so weird to see the Matthew Watson General Store all boarded up...

Yes, lots of snow alongside the road, and Emerald Lake was frozen! It was all very beautiful, but there were parts of the highway I remembered having pulled off of to take pictures, and I couldn't this time because of the snow.

Enjoy your trip! I was supposed to be on the Golden Princess on May 12th, but ended up taking this one instead.
#7
Concord, California
3,398 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
This will be my 4th time out with Adventure Bound, each one has been a great trip
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dbhembroff@aol.com

Princess 54 cruises 528 days HAL 4 cruises 40 days Celebrity 4 cruises 37 days
RCCL 4 cruises 32 days NCL 1 cruise 14 days Carnival 1 cruise 8 days

Alaska 26 Caribbean 14 Mexico 11 Coastal 5 South America 2
Panama Canal 2 Hawaii 2 Transatlantic 2 Baltic 1 Tahiti 1
Australia/New Zealand 1 Norway 1
#8
acworth, ga. usa
10 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
Did you have to go through customs? Also what time did you get off the ship? Sorry this is my first Alaska Cruise and I am sailing on the Miracle also.