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  #1  
Old May 15th, 2011, 12:36 PM
ampleiwb ampleiwb is offline
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Default Hawaii vs. Alaska

For those of you who have and those of you who have not-I would love to hear your thoughts...
Which would/did you enjoy more? Which one did you look forward to the most? What did your love/dislike about each? We plan to do both in due time..but I would love to hear what you thought about each of these two trips:

14or15 day Hawaii out of San Diego RT in January or
7 day Alaska RT out of Seattle.

I understand this is like comparing apples and oranges, and I will try and book both-but in the meantime I would love to hear how what you thought of the two trips-for those of you who have done both.
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  #2  
Old May 15th, 2011, 12:50 PM
bbwex bbwex is offline
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Default Couldn't be more different

Could you have picked two more disparate places? I doubt it.

While I enjoyed Hawaii a lot, Alaska is more amazing and overwhelming, at least in my opinion. Between going above the Arctic Circle and seeing how people carve out a life in such extreme places, Denali and its unbelievable sights and wildlife (grizzlies, caribou, moose and Dall sheep among others), the scenery traveling between the major points, and then the whales, glaciers, and other wildlife and things to see along the coast.

Don't get me wrong. Hawaii is stunningly beautiful too, but only the active volcano holds a candle (perhaps an odd choice of words) to what nature has created in Alaska. If you want warm weather, and seeing sights in shorts and a T-shirt, then Hawaii is a place to go.
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  #3  
Old May 15th, 2011, 01:01 PM
ampleiwb ampleiwb is offline
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thanks for the details! I know they are very different-I just really want to do both and was curious to see what people had to say about them.
I am hoping to book Hawaii for January and Alaska for September.
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  #4  
Old May 15th, 2011, 01:01 PM
Mary Ellen Mary Ellen is offline
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We've done both cruises. You're right, they are apples and oranges.

We greatly prefer the Alaskan cruises for the scenery and are returning for cruise #6 there this summer. For us the cruise from Vancouver is SO much more scenic than from Seattle (we've sailed from both ports). It would take a very extraordinary reason for us to sail to Alaska from Seattle again (and the lower cost of airfare to SeaTac doesn't cut it - there are reasonable ways to get to Vancouver from Seattle).

Our Hawaii cruise was about the relaxing sea days there and back. If we'd wanted to really see Hawaii we'd have taken a land vacation there, rather than a cruise. However, DH and I both lived in Hawaii for short times as children, so actually spending time there wasn't of particular interest to us.
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  #5  
Old May 15th, 2011, 01:21 PM
AlanAllyn AlanAllyn is offline
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Since you are considering 14-day cruises, look at the HAL Amsterdam from Seattle (which sails the same scenic route as from Vancouver northbound); that is a great itinerary.
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  #6  
Old May 15th, 2011, 01:24 PM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
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I've done both itineraries.

I like the idea of a longer cruise so I would go with the Hawaii cruise.

Keith
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  #7  
Old May 15th, 2011, 02:00 PM
jcl410 jcl410 is offline
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I have cruised both (well 7 day RT from Honolulu vs 14 from San Diego)

I enjoyed them both very much.... I would suggest that for Alaska you investigate a one way to Seward followed by a land tour to at least Denali, if not Fairbanks.

I had a balcony cabin in Alaska; I have VERY fond memories of waking up and being able to see the snow capped mountains! My 2nd favorite balcony moment was getting ready for formal night; tieing my bow tie while watching humpbacks from my balcony!

Enjoy the planning!

Aloha,

John
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  #8  
Old May 15th, 2011, 02:02 PM
Friend100 Friend100 is offline
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How about doing one of those Hawaii to Vancouver repo (mid/late April for RCL I think) then follow by a B2B Alaska crusie then you'll have both?
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  #9  
Old May 15th, 2011, 02:10 PM
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We have done both cruises, but favor Alaska for the reasons that MaryEllen and others have stated.

Also, I recommend that you visit Alaska in May or early June, if possible. We have sailed to Alaska 7 times, once in August, once in September (did not see a single bald eagle) and 5 times in May. Many say that May is the driest month and we agree, even though it can rain at any time up there.

I also agree with the poster who suggested HAL's 14-day Alaska cruise-you will see the best of Alaska in one shot, without a lot of sea days (and this is coming from someone who loves sea days). The only down side of the 14-day cruise is that it originates from Seattle. Nothing against Seattle at all, but with crusing out of Vancouver, you are transiting the beautiful inside passage within a couple of hours.

On the Hawaii cruise, we found our port days were way too short-very limiting as what we could see or do. I did enjoy the sea days, though.

Hope all of this helps!
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  #10  
Old May 15th, 2011, 06:10 PM
Hlitner Hlitner is offline
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Sure is like apples and oranges. Personally, the idea of cruising to and from Hawaii does little to get us excited. The reason is that we love Hawaii and cannot think of a worse way to see the islands then on a cruise ship. Hawaii is a place that is worthy of several weeks (especially if you are going to 4 islands). As to Alaska, it is perfect for a cruise (and even better for a cruise/tour) since parts of Alaska really need to be seen from the sea (such as Glacier Bay). My advice is to visit Hawaii on a land trip...and visit Alaska on a cruise/tour.

Hank
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  #11  
Old May 15th, 2011, 08:28 PM
imsulin imsulin is offline
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IMO:

Alaska - do at least a 10-day cruise/tour.

Hawaii - do at least a two-week land trip, seeing at least two islands.

In either event, bring $$$$$$$$$$$$$$!! Shore excursions for Alaska cruises can be very expensive, as can hotels, rental cars, gas, food, etc. in Hawaii.

Enjoy! Both are lovely and scenic locations with vastly different histories and expectations.

If you have nothing better to do in the next year or so, read James Michener's books "Hawaii" and "Alaska". They will each give you a good idea about these destinations!
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  #12  
Old May 15th, 2011, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampleiwb View Post
For those of you who have and those of you who have not-I would love to hear your thoughts...
Which would/did you enjoy more? Which one did you look forward to the most? What did your love/dislike about each? We plan to do both in due time..but I would love to hear what you thought about each of these two trips:

14or15 day Hawaii out of San Diego RT in January or
7 day Alaska RT out of Seattle.

I understand this is like comparing apples and oranges, and I will try and book both-but in the meantime I would love to hear how what you thought of the two trips-for those of you who have done both.
Take Hawaii, the longer cruise, with all the paper work and preparation, I find that a 7 day cruise is not worth the effort.

john
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  #13  
Old May 16th, 2011, 09:49 PM
cruisingberger cruisingberger is offline
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Default 14 days is a lot

We have done the 14 day cruise. It was a lot of fun but frusterating that we couldn't spend more time on the islands. The trip back was cold so we didn't spend a lot of time at the pool, therefore we got a little bored. The kids were a little stir crazy by the end. The highlight was the Volcano National Park. We rented a car at each of the ports and took off for the day. It was fun, but Alaska sounds great also! Good Luck.
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  #14  
Old May 16th, 2011, 11:15 PM
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Hawaii: have thought cruise and everytime do a land, or should I say an island-island hop. Why there is little advantage to cruising, on each island so much to see, can stay in one hotel and rent a car and drive to and see everything. So much of the fun is the hike, laying by the beach or discovered little things that you linger at. I cruise with only 12 hours in port seems so limiting. When I reflect back so much of the fun have been the breakfast ( fresh local fruit ) and dinners ( local flare and stuff ). Be a waste to do a cruise and feel the pressure to go back to the boat for the freebie.

I'd say two weeks you can do 4 Islands; Big Island, Kauai, Maui, and Oahau wow 3-4 days on each.

Alaska, that is easy too so much can only be seen by ship and scenic cruising.

Now which one is like asking do you like an apple or orange so different.
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  #15  
Old May 17th, 2011, 08:01 AM
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I would vote for Alaska
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Old May 17th, 2011, 09:37 AM
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we have done both

much prefer alaska -- so beautiful
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  #17  
Old May 17th, 2011, 11:51 AM
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The two week Alaskan cruise on the Westerdam would be the best pick if you are definitely wanting to cruise. See as much of Alaska as you can. If/when you want to see Hawaii, like another poster, I agree it should be land based. Stay a 5-7 days on Oahu, 4-6 on Maui, a couple on either Hawaii or Kauai (or both if possible). Once you're off Oahu, the pace of life drastically slows on the other islands. There is much to see and do on those 4 islands.
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  #18  
Old May 17th, 2011, 08:37 PM
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I've never done a Hawaii cruise, but I did a 7-day Alaska cruise two years ago. It was one of the best vacations of my life- I would return again in a heartbeat. I would vote for that.

We went in early July- saw LOTS of bald eagles. Two weeks later, apparently, it would have been prime bear/salmon season. Also, weather was beautiful in early July.

Good luck! Great choices!
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  #19  
Old May 17th, 2011, 11:56 PM
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I have done both. Alaska is beautiful -- Princess has a naturalist onboard when you go through the glacier cruising.

I have been to Hawaii twice on land trips and twice on the RT from LA. The Princess RT on the Golden has something that I feel is unique to that cruise: a full fledged set of activities/entertainment that is geared to the itinerary. Onboard is a husband/wife team named Elua (she's a native of Hawaii) that provide Hawaiian music as well as activities (uke, hula, and lei-making classes). There are also lectures on the islands as well as many of the movies shown onboard are set in Hawaii.

I would definitely recommend both itineraries. For those who haven't been to Hawaii yet, the RT Hawaiian cruise will give you a good taste of Hawaii. You can see which islands you prefer to return to visit on a longer land trip.
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  #20  
Old May 18th, 2011, 09:15 PM
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OP...who are the travelers? Age especially. We have been to both but both 7 day. Well and we did northbound out of Vancouver ... I would say the RT's aren't nearly as awesome since one ways you get to see so much more of Alaska. Donna
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