Tracy Arm Fjord vs Glacier Bay

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#1
Antioch CA
164 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
we are planning on taking a 10 day cruise to Alaska roundtrip from San Francisco next year. we were looking in the 2007 book and it shows Glacier Bay on some and the other show Tracey Arm Fjord...which is better? Also, the mini suites will cost us an extra 4,000 for the both of us...we are not sure what to do...we normally do the mini suites, but it is so much more then the balcony room on the Dawn. Can anyone tell me is the extra money worth it?
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2002 Star Princess Mexician Riviera
2003 Coral Princess Panama Canal
2004 Golden Princess Carribbean
2004 Golden Princess Carribbean
4/2006 Island Princess Hawaiian Island Cruise
7/2008 Alaska cruise Dawn Princess
5/2009 Diamond Princess Alaska
#2
Middle Tennessee
2,449 Posts
Joined May 2004
We did the 10 rt out of SF several years ago. It was a great cruise. Our itinerary included Tracy Arm NOT Glacier Bay. on our particular cruise we were not able to go very far in to Tracy Arm because of poor visibilty and weather conditions,in general. We have also been to Glacier Bay, which is wonderful. I might go with the Glacier Bay itinerary if you haven't been to Alaska before.I think I would just go with a balcony and for go the Mini. Lots of nice common areas on Dawn ( as I recall) to "hang out". An extra $$4,000 would buy lots of helicopter sightseeing tours!!!!
#4
Vancouver, B.C. Canada
224 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
I have been to Tracy Arm Twice, mid May, did not make it in either time. I have never been to GB, but from what I've read and pictures, I'd pick the GB.
#5
Cincinnati, OH
861 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Definitely Glacier Bay. Last year our cruise was supposed to go to Tracy Arm. Due to heavy fog the ship didn't even try to enter. This year we picked a ship going to Glacier Bay and College Fjord (same as our first Alaska cruise).
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Past:

2017 -- Ruby Princess (Alaska)
2016 -- Diamond Princess (Australia), Coral & Star Princess (Alaska), Caribbean Princess (New England/Canada)
2015 -- Emerald Princess (West Caribbean), HAL Oosterdam (Alaska)
2007 -- Island Princess (Alaska)
2006 -- Sapphire Princess (Mexico), Sun Princess (Alaska)
2005 -- Sun Princess (Alaska)
1978 -- Nordic Prince (Caribbean)
#6
Sacramento, CA
641 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I've been on 3 big ship and 2 small ship cruises into Glacier Bay and will be cruising into the Bay again on Monday, June 11th, aboard the Sapphire Princess. It has got to be one of the most beautiful & serene places in the world!!!

Our family will be taking one of the 10 day cruises out of San Francisco next year -- but am disappointed to see that Glacier Bay is not included. Instead, we'll be seeing Tracy Arm for the first time.

One thing 4 of us did in 1987 was to hire a small plane in Juneau and fly over to Glacier Bay to see it from the air. It was a fantastic flight as it was sunny the whole time!! The next day, when we cruised into the bay, it was overcast and we couldn't see the tops of the peaks that surround the bay.

Gene
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44 cruises (641 days) completed so far: 23 on Princess (313 days); 7 on Holland America (156 days); 1 on Norwegian Cruise Line (14 days); 3 on MSC (25 days); 4 on Royal Caribbean (47 days); 2 on Celebrity (32 days); 1 on Carnival (5 days); 1 on Oceania (30 days); an 8 day Danube River Cruise with Grand Circle Travel; and an 11 day Rhine River Christmas Markets cruise with Grand Circle Travel. Next cruises: #45 - RCCL Empress of the Seas to Cuba departing Tampa on 1 July 2017; #46 - Hurtigruten's Fram - departing Ushuaia on 9 February 2018 to Antarctica; #47 - Quark's Ocean Adventurer - departing Ushuaia on 10 March 2018 to Cape Verde Islands (33 days); and #48 - P&O's Pacific Jewel - departing Auckland, New Zealand on 18 June 2018.
#7
Southern Plains
2,079 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
My opinion... For cruise-ship sailing, Glacier Bay! If you can swing a Tracy Arm via small boat from Juneau, you'll have the best of both worlds. After 3 cruises, it's still my favorite excursion, but the Juneau timing has to be right or else chartering is needed if interested.
#8
14,843 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by sym1966
My opinion... For cruise-ship sailing, Glacier Bay! If you can swing a Tracy Arm via small boat from Juneau, you'll have the best of both worlds. After 3 cruises, it's still my favorite excursion, but the Juneau timing has to be right or else chartering is needed if interested.
This is off-topic - but welcome back! How was your cruise on Mercury?
#9
1,480 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by here2cruise
we are planning on taking a 10 day cruise to Alaska roundtrip from San Francisco next year. we were looking in the 2007 book and it shows Glacier Bay on some and the other show Tracey Arm Fjord...which is better? Also, the mini suites will cost us an extra 4,000 for the both of us...we are not sure what to do...we normally do the mini suites, but it is so much more then the balcony room on the Dawn. Can anyone tell me is the extra money worth it?
I would definitely agree with previous posters that Glacier Bay is the sure winner. We have done both, and while the journey through Tracey Arm was gorgeous with beautiful waterfalls etc. our Diamond Princess did not get close at all. Kinda like looking down a looooonnngggg alleyway and saying "there is a glacier down there at the end." We were so disappointed, since we had previously cruised Glacier Bay with HAL and got so up close and personal . Be sure and purchase a disposable panoramic camera for Glacier Bay. We took a Kodak one and since it was a beautiful sunny day, with bright blue skies, the picures were postcard perfect. When you hear that crack of the ice calving (white thunder), it is such a rush. Little seal pups were all over the blue chunks of ice floating all out in front of us. Occasionally we would see a coke bottle green chunk float past. Truly words do not do this awesome place justice. Going back for our third Alaskan cruise in July. gg
#10
Syracuse, New York
49,850 Posts
Joined May 2000
I also agree, Glacier Bay is FAR better via a cruiseship. But Tracy Arm is spectacular via small boat tour. You do need an all day in port, arrival by 7am, departure after 7pm.
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Happy Alaska travels

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#11
Antioch CA
164 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
now ya'll have me wondering why Princess would choose Tracy Arm rather then Glacier Bay...i really want to do the 10 day roundtrip out of san francisco so we don't have to fly to vancouver or seattle, but the cruise only goes to tracy arm..the only one that doesnt is the september sailing and i'm afraid the weather won't be as nice as it is in july...it seems most of you had bad weather in tracy arm and didn't get to see much...now i don't know what to do!
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2002 Star Princess Mexician Riviera
2003 Coral Princess Panama Canal
2004 Golden Princess Carribbean
2004 Golden Princess Carribbean
4/2006 Island Princess Hawaiian Island Cruise
7/2008 Alaska cruise Dawn Princess
5/2009 Diamond Princess Alaska
#12
Bayou Country
950 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Based on comments on Cruise Critic - I looked seriously at Princess for our 2008 trip. I want to do a RT (since we won't be doing a land portion) from Seattle or Vancouver. Princess was listed right up there with HAL as top ships for Alaska. However, Princess RT is only out of Seattle and goes to Tracy Arm instead of Glacier Bay. Perhaps given my situation, Princess might not be the best ship for me.

Maybe I need to post this in a thread of its own.
#13
Syracuse, New York
49,850 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by cajun-crazy
Based on comments on Cruise Critic - I looked seriously at Princess for our 2008 trip. I want to do a RT (since we won't be doing a land portion) from Seattle or Vancouver. Princess was listed right up there with HAL as top ships for Alaska. However, Princess RT is only out of Seattle and goes to Tracy Arm instead of Glacier Bay. Perhaps given my situation, Princess might not be the best ship for me.

Maybe I need to post this in a thread of its own.
No this isn't entirely true. The ONE way Princess cruises are excellent. Their round trip Seattle sailings, so so at best in my opinion. Lacking itineraries.

Vancouver is definately superior for scenic inside Vancouver Island sailing and HAL has one of the best round trip itineraries in my opinion, that include both Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay.
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Happy Alaska travels

[email protected]
#14
1,480 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by cajun-crazy
Based on comments on Cruise Critic - I looked seriously at Princess for our 2008 trip. I want to do a RT (since we won't be doing a land portion) from Seattle or Vancouver. Princess was listed right up there with HAL as top ships for Alaska. However, Princess RT is only out of Seattle and goes to Tracy Arm instead of Glacier Bay. Perhaps given my situation, Princess might not be the best ship for me.

Maybe I need to post this in a thread of its own.
Indeed, Princess has a great fleet of ships, just as HAL does. This July will be our 3rd RT, Inside Passage to Alaska. First trip out of Vancouver, HAL Zaandam, Glacier Bay, Juneau, Skagway, Juneau. Fabulous in every way. See my post on this thread re: that adventure. Last cruise, two years ago, Diamond Princess, out of Seattle, Tracey Arm, and the same three cities. Very disappointed on the sailing out of Seattle, around the West coast of Vancouver Island (Pacific Ocean), far less spectacular scenery. Out of Vancouver, you sail the true Inside passage, on the East side of Vancouver Island. Look at a cruise map on the web site of each of these cruise lines and you will see the exact route and you can tell what the difference is......ocean vs fabulous scenery. And Tracey Arm, while beautiful, is in no way comparable to the type of glaciers you will see in Glacier Bay, as far as the magnitude and closeness. So, this year, we knew we were ret. to Alaska, so I chose the ship that had what we wanted........true Inside Passage out of Vancouver plus Glacier Bay, as well as the three ports we wanted. That equaled Zuiderdam out of Vancouver in July. And we are so excited to return again to Awesome Alaska. gg