Cruise duration for long distance passenger

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#1
4 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
Hello, so I have been mulling over on going on a cruise maybe in 2019 or 20. My destination ideA was the the Bahamas, but do to the hurricane I decided not to for now. I'm thinking of Alaska, my question to all of you is, I live in New Mexico so I'm going to have to Travel a great distance now matter which port I go to. How many days do you all suggest I go to make it worth all the travel time up, since I notice that most are 3-5 day cruises.
Thanks
Sierra
#2
Petaluma, Ca. 94954
29,114 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
There aren't any 3 or 5 day cruises in Alaska. Most are 7 day cruises with some 10 day and a small number 14 days routes. The Bahamas can have 3 or 5 day cruises. By the way, the Bahamas appear to have suffered only light damage. And if you are in the planning purposes, I doubt you will be sailing for at least 4 or 5 months, most likely. You can't sail in Alaska until the very end of April.

You could do Hawaii, either as a 7 day Hawaii alone, or 15-16 days out of a West Coast port.
#3
Texas
731 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by sierracook14
Hello, so I have been mulling over on going on a cruise maybe in 2019 or 20. My destination ideA was the the Bahamas, but do to the hurricane I decided not to for now. I'm thinking of Alaska, my question to all of you is, I live in New Mexico so I'm going to have to Travel a great distance now matter which port I go to. How many days do you all suggest I go to make it worth all the travel time up, since I notice that most are 3-5 day cruises.
Thanks
Sierra
You're asking an unanswerable question. No one can say with any certainty what cruise length will make you personally feel like the travel time was "worth it".
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#4
Middle of the Sahara Desert
11,802 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Alaska has 7 day and 14 day cruises. Also cruisetours from 10 to 13 days are available.
From California there are cruises from 3 to 29 days.
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#5
We live on a small lake in rural Nebr.
7,257 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Personally, I wouldn't do any cruise shorter than 7 days; we have to fly quite a ways too and it's just not worth all the hassle. In fact, we now prefer at least 14 days.

I would imagine the Bahama ports would be open soon and especially by 2019. They are not my favorite ports, though, unless you have to go for a 3-4 nighter. As far as I know there are no cruises to Alaska shorter than 7 nights.
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SciFi
#7
RI
620 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
We've been on many cruises and have flown from the east coast (RI) to Seattle and Puerto Rico to board the ship. We usually fly in a day or two prior to sailing. When we did the Alaskan cruise last month, we spent two days in Seattle before our 7-day cruise. We spent one night in Puerto Rico before our 9-day cruise.

Karen
#8
Diamond Bar, CA
851 Posts
Joined Sep 2015
Multiple cruise lines offer Alaska cruises of different lengths. Generally, you can find:
  • 7-day "southbound" cruises from Anchorage to Vancouver, BC.
  • 7-day "northbound" cruises from Vancouver to Anchorage.
  • 7-day and 14-day roundtrip cruises out of Seattle.
  • 10-day roundtrip cruises out of San Francisco.
  • 12-day roundtrip cruises out of Los Angeles.
  • 14-day roundtrip cruises out of Long Beach. Carnival is sailing their first one out of Long Beach this week, I think.
I would not doubt that there were more options.

As others have indicated, many like to add an inland tour to the "northbound" and "southbound itineraries.

One of your considerations is going to be air fares. My experience is that roundtrip air fares are less expensive than two one-way tickets.

If you could sit down with an experienced travel agent to discuss your preferences and your budget, I think that would help you out a lot.

Regardless of which cruise you might try, I am confident that you will enjoy it very much.
#9
Western North Carolina
1,463 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by sierracook14
Hello, so I have been mulling over on going on a cruise maybe in 2019 or 20. My destination ideA was the the Bahamas, but do to the hurricane I decided not to for now. I'm thinking of Alaska, my question to all of you is, I live in New Mexico so I'm going to have to Travel a great distance now matter which port I go to. How many days do you all suggest I go to make it worth all the travel time up, since I notice that most are 3-5 day cruises.
Thanks
Sierra
Sierra - Welcome to CruiseCritic.

It takes only about 5 or 6 hours to get to either of your departure port options compared to about 2 or 3 hours to get to your closest possible cruise port in southern CA. The extra 3 hours should not be a significant factor if you are truly interested in cruising. Take the longest cruise you can afford with regard to both available time and available money
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#10
Fredericksburg, va. USA
83,463 Posts
Joined May 2001
The Bahamas are not in the Caribbean. The actual Caribbean islands offer MUCH more than the Bahamas. Go to the S. Caribbean....it's gorgeous! So is the Eastern, which may have a stop in the Bahamas on the itinerary. Flying from NM, I wouldn't do less than a 7 nighter...which means you'll need to plan for 8 nights. You will want to arrive in your port city a day prior!
#11
southern NM desert
11,363 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by sierracook14
Hello, so I have been mulling over on going on a cruise maybe in 2019 or 20. My destination ideA was the the Bahamas, but do to the hurricane I decided not to for now. I'm thinking of Alaska, my question to all of you is, I live in New Mexico so I'm going to have to Travel a great distance now matter which port I go to. How many days do you all suggest I go to make it worth all the travel time up, since I notice that most are 3-5 day cruises.
Thanks
Sierra
As stated, none of the Alaska cruises are 3-5 days. All are 7 or more days.

We also live in NM, the southern part so our nearest airport is El Paso TX, 88 miles away. We did an AK cruise. It was awesome. We chose Holland America's 14 day itinerary because it visited ports such as Homer not visited by other cruise lines. It was Roundtrip Seattle.

HAL does not always do that cruise but I would strongly recommend it for being able to see the most of AK.
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#12
Florida
2,412 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Since travel distance is a concern, you may want to consider cruises leaving out of southern CA - Mexican Riviera or Hawaii are the shorter cruises (7 day) that I am aware of. I don't know what your flight time is to Seattle or Vancouver for the Alaska cruises but as other have said, 7 days is the minimum.

You should check one of the cruise websites that covers various cruise lines but allows you to pick departure point on a search.

Personally, I prefer longer cruises and have never been on one less than 7 days and would recommend a 7 day cruise. Not everyone feels that way though. You have to do what is right for you.


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#14
Pennsylvania
5,574 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by XBGuy
Multiple cruise lines offer Alaska cruises of different lengths. Generally, you can find:
  • 7-day "southbound" cruises from Anchorage to Vancouver, BC.
  • 7-day "northbound" cruises from Vancouver to Anchorage.
  • 7-day and 14-day roundtrip cruises out of Seattle.
  • 10-day roundtrip cruises out of San Francisco.
  • 12-day roundtrip cruises out of Los Angeles.
  • 14-day roundtrip cruises out of Long Beach. Carnival is sailing their first one out of Long Beach this week, I think.
I would not doubt that there were more options.
Also 14 day roundtrips out of Seattle on Holland America.
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#16
87,665 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
As others have mentioned for Alaska cruises are 7 days or more.

I would see if you can get a travel agent who specializes in cruises to help you with all of this.

Keith
#17
Orange County, CA, USA
2,084 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
We took 6 members of my family on the Holland America 7-day Inside Passage (round trip out of Vancouve) last year - first cruise for four of them coming from Southern Utah, and my aunt flew from upstate New York. I helped set up some of the flights and was surprised that the old rule of round-trip being significantly less than two one ways seems to have disappeared.

We've invited them all plus two more upstate NYers for the 14-day Great Alaskan Explorer round trip out of Seattle, for August 2018. All are excited and none seem nervous about the length of the trip - though it is the first cruise for the two newbies. Maybe they figure that coming so far they might as well get the most bang for the travel time.

Either Vancouver or Seattle has plenty to occupy you before or after the cruise. As others have mentioned, plan to arrive at departure city at least the day before. (My aunt wound up arriving at the hotel at 11 pm the night before embarcation--thankfully not the night after!)
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#18
Southlake, Texas
1,132 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
If you are avoiding the Caribbean/Bahamas because you want to avoid a hurricane yourself, that is solved by not sailing during hurricane season. (June-November)
If you comment is due to devastation from Irma and Harvey, It will take quite awhile for many damaged ports to recover. However, only a portion of the islands were affected. You could choose a cruise that does not visit those locations, (many itineraries will be
changing to drop those ports anyway)
#19
Central Ohio
2,200 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
If you elect to do the Bahamas/Caribbean, then remember you could always do a back-to-back cruise (two consecutive cruises on the same ship), if the shorter itineraries go where you want to be.
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#20
Middle of the Sahara Desert
11,802 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by sierracook14
Hello, so I have been mulling over on going on a cruise maybe in 2019 or 20. My destination ideA was the the Bahamas, but do to the hurricane I decided not to for now. I'm thinking of Alaska, my question to all of you is, I live in New Mexico so I'm going to have to Travel a great distance now matter which port I go to. How many days do you all suggest I go to make it worth all the travel time up, since I notice that most are 3-5 day cruises.
Thanks
Sierra
What is your definition of Long Distance? If your in New Mexico (?) distances to cruise ports aren't very far .
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