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  #1  
Old February 14th, 2010, 09:38 PM
banning high banning high is offline
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Default Cruising Alaska the first week in September?

Hello fellow cruisers. I need your input- has anyone cruised Alaska during the first week in September? I have been in June and had good weather. I have checked the weather averages and of course there is a little more rain and gloomy days. I just wanted to know how bad can it be? Basically- should we book or not?
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  #2  
Old February 14th, 2010, 11:55 PM
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If that is the only time you can go, book it. Weather can't be guaranteed and even if you went to Alaska earlier in the season, you could still encounter cool and rainy days. Since you can't control the weather, choose a trip that goes to the places you are most interested in and pick a cruise and a time that you can afford and don't have second thoughts.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 12:50 AM
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CALMOM CALMOM is offline
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We cruised in Alaska that time of year in 2007. I personally would not cruise there again at that time of year. It was raining 80%, very windy and very cold, especially in Skagway. It was very foggy while we were in Hubbard and Glacier Bay so it was sometimes difficult to get good clear pictures of the Glaciers. We also did the White Pass Yukon Train excursion and it was so foggy and rain you really couldn't see the scenery very well, so that was unfortunate.

If your choice is either sail in September or not be able to go, then I would definitely go, it was still beautiful and we had a great time. I would suggest not to under estimate the cold, we did and I had to purchase sweat shirts & long sleeve shirts. I would also strongly suggest that you invest in waterproof & windproof jacket, pants and shoes for the excursions and also if you do not have a balcony cabin. Make sure you also bring large Zip-Lock bags to protect your camera unless it is waterproof.

We are cruising this year in July and though we could experience some rain, I assume it will not be 80% of the time or have temperature that cold either.

Any cruise to Alaska is better then no cruise to Alaska. Just be prepared and you will have a great time. The advantage of cruising in September is the shops in port will have some great discounts as they prepare to close their shops till the following May. You will also find very few children, as they are back in school, so that can be a plus unless your bringing children.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 01:46 AM
vbmom87 vbmom87 is offline
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Since I am not a shopper, I would never plan a trip anywhere based on sales at the local stores.

What I wouldn't like about sailing in Alaska in September is the shorter amount of daylight.
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  #5  
Old February 15th, 2010, 02:38 AM
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I was on one early last September and though I don't have anything to compare it to, it was great. It was overcast and on and off drizzly in Skagway and Juneau but it never prevented us from doing what we wanted. However we were told by our fishing captain in Ketchikan that day was the first in almost a week that they had ships in port because of weather. Seems like you roll the dice the later the season you get, but we lucked out I guess.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 11:51 AM
MercedMike MercedMike is offline
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Thumbs up September in Alaska

Quote:
Originally Posted by CALMOM View Post
We cruised in Alaska that time of year in 2007. I personally would not cruise there again at that time of year. It was raining 80%, very windy and very cold, especially in Skagway. It was very foggy while we were in Hubbard and Glacier Bay so it was sometimes difficult to get good clear pictures of the Glaciers. We also did the White Pass Yukon Train excursion and it was so foggy and rain you really couldn't see the scenery very well, so that was unfortunate.
Well, you see, that is the shortcoming of bulletin boards of this type. You get one person's opinion based on ONE particular trip to Alaska ONE particular week. Opinions are valuable but it has to be remembered not to put too much weight on a single experience. The posts that have stated that weather in Alaska at any time of year is extremely variable are the ones you have to consider. There are no guarantees on the weather.

September is definitely value season in Alaska and the great prices make it a good time for us to cruise. We have cruised Alaska several times in September and had different weather each trip.

We have been over the White Pass by train and by car on beautiful sunny days and the scenery is indeed stunning. We have also driven over the pass in the fog, and found that breaking out of the fog and seeing the Yukon spread out before you was one of the most stunning views we have ever seen! What you have the day you are there is what you have the day you are there, and all sorts of weather can have its own beauty.

I think that, especially for your first cruise to Alaska, that if you have the time and money it would be a good idea to look at July or August. Why are they more expensive? Because the cruise experience might be a bit better. Is it enough better to be worth the large extra price? Maybe.

Whenever you go to Alaska, and whatever the weather, you will have a GREAT cruise!
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Old February 15th, 2010, 11:54 AM
cruisebum50 cruisebum50 is offline
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We have been on three Alaskan cruises in September and are planning another. You never know what you will get weather wise. What is funny is that we have had sunny weather in all the ports, just on different cruises. We have been to Ketchikan where the sun shined the entire time we were there and another time it was like it was never going to stop pouring down rain. The same has been true for Juneau, Skagway and Sitka. Coming from Texas where it is usually at least 90 degrees in September we love the cooler weather and rain doesn't stop us from enjoying our cruise.
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  #8  
Old February 15th, 2010, 07:08 PM
colomom colomom is offline
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I am cruising to Alaska 9/7 to 9/15 this year. My first cruise ever. Back home temps will probably be in the high nineties.

I HATE hot, I LOVE cold, raining, foggy weather. I will pack lots of layers and waterproof stuff. I would be happy if it snows! It is, after all, Alaska! If it turns out to be clear weather, at least it will be cooler than home. I will be happy either way. On this cruise I will turn 50 and so will my husband, what could be better?

One of the nicest things about our cruise is the ship and I plan on taking full advantage of all the goodies offered there.

In many ways I think a cruise is what you make of it.

I say...go for it!

If it helps...this is what the Farmer's Almanac says:

I LOVE the Farmer's Almanac
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  #9  
Old February 15th, 2010, 09:38 PM
oldmama oldmama is offline
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Last Sept was my first trip to Alaska. The first week inland was clear & cool, & the week on the ship had some rain, but nothing to stop anything I wanted to do or see. I went flightseeing to Misty Fiords, whale watching, & on the train in Skagway - all amazing. Just be prepared with a waterproof jacket & shoes, & a rain sleeve for your camera and you will be fine. Alaska is the most beautiful place no matter what the weather, just enjoy.
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  #10  
Old February 16th, 2010, 09:39 AM
Middle Aged and Happy Middle Aged and Happy is offline
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In 2009, we did our first Alaska cruise the first week in September. We got all prepared for rain based on input from others. To our surprise, we had beatiful weather the entire trip. I think it was raining in Ketchikan one morning but other than that, it was beautiful. I don't think you can plan a trip months out and know how the weather is going to be. It is just a gamble. I've heard others say that their trips have been completely rained out. It is your call but I wouldn't hesitate to sign up for a September sailing to Alaska.
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  #11  
Old February 16th, 2010, 10:04 PM
fleckle fleckle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MercedMike View Post
Well, you see, that is the shortcoming of bulletin boards of this type. You get one person's opinion based on ONE particular trip to Alaska ONE particular week.
Mike, that shortcoming would certainly apply if the OP had received only one reply from one person based on one trip. But a major advantage of bulletin boards of this type is being able to get multiple opinions from different people based on different experiences.

It is also possible for the same person to have very different experiences even on the same trip, such as I did on a b-2-b Alaska cruise in September. I had been to Hubbard Glacier previously so was already well aware of the vastly different conditions it is possible to encounter there.

On the northbound leg, we cruised Hubbard Glacier early in the morning on a day when it happened to be foggy, overcast and cold with light rain. The ship did not get close to the glacier. We saw and heard very little calving. If that had been my only Hubbard Glacier experience, I probably would have left disappointed, with the opinion that Hubbard Glacier was vastly overrated and no big deal.

On the southbound leg, we cruised Hubbard Glacier in late afternoon and had a diametrically opposite experience even though it was only 2 days later! The sun was shining brightly with clear visibility, the icebergs in the water were glistening, the ship got up very close to the glacier and we saw repeated, massive calving complete with full sound effects (the loud gunshot and rumbling thunder type noises),

There were constant ooh's and ahh's coming from the passengers as Hubbard Glacier put on a spectacular show, far more dramatic and impressive than anything I have ever seen at Glacier Bay. So if that had been my only Hubbard Glacier experience, naturally my opinion of it would have been very different.

By the way, Mike, I have long been grateful to you for recommending the Relief Band as a remedy for seasickness that does not have any side effects. Even though I seldom need it anymore these days, it still works better for me than anything else I ever tried in rough seas. I have loaned it to other cruise ship passengers several times when they got bad side effects from medications, or upset stomachs from trying various herbal remedies. In each case, it worked so well for them that they ended up buying their own Relief Bands.
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  #12  
Old February 17th, 2010, 10:34 AM
Budget Queen Budget Queen is offline
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As already well noted, Alaska weather is something that just can not be predicted. BUT averages do have it more rain and cooler temps in Sept. Less daylight, can be a significant feature, with mid Sept, being dark by 7pm. I don't go past the first week of Sept, unless they are giving the cruise away- which they used to. My experiences have always been worse in Sept, compared to all the earlier trips.

It all comes down to be well prepared in your attire, will make a significant difference.
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  #13  
Old February 17th, 2010, 01:36 PM
MercedMike MercedMike is offline
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Exclamation Shortcomings and advantages

Quote:
Originally Posted by fleckle View Post
Mike, that shortcoming would certainly apply if the OP had received only one reply from one person based on one trip. But a major advantage of bulletin boards of this type is being able to get multiple opinions from different people based on different experiences.
Ah, that is the significant point!! Sadly too often I see posts that say, "there have been complaints on this board," and in checking it out find that one or two negative posts among dozens of positive ones have worried the poster. You are absolutely right that multiple opinions are the major advantage of this board, as long as due care is given to consider the overall picture and not focus on any ONE person's ONE experience.
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  #14  
Old February 18th, 2010, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MercedMike View Post
Ah, that is the significant point!! Sadly too often I see posts that say, "there have been complaints on this board," and in checking it out find that one or two negative posts among dozens of positive ones have worried the poster.
What I find even more curious is that those posts frequently mention that they have read "many" complaints when in reality there have been only one or two negative posts compared to dozens of positives. I guess it says something about the greater impression that negative reviews seem to make or something about our willingness to believe that anything negative that has happened to anyone is bound to happen to us, while we won't experience any of the positives.
I guess that their philosophy is "assume the worst and you'll never be disappointed."
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