Alaska cruise-northbound or southbound? Ships to avoid?

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Wasilla, Alaska
3,752 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Originally posted by PAKathy
Important part of this cruise is just being together as a family and exposing the grands to the wonders of cruising and of course the beauty and vastness of Alaska.
We have similar priorities. DH and I are taking 2 grandkids (11 years old). Being with them (alone without other family so we can kind of spoil them), exposure to cruising, and seeing a different part of Alaska other than where we all live...those are our priorities!
35 Posts
Joined Apr 2018
Originally posted by j in tx
i am getting overwhelmed researching Alaska cruises. Do any of you have strong feelings about choosing northbound or southbound cruises (pros or cons) ? Also, any ships to avoid? Or consider?
Thanks for any advice!
As a Seattle native I've always preferred the Northbound travel (whether by our WA state ferries to San Juans, Alaska Ferry from Bellingham, WA) or the 1-way cruise to Whittier (from Vancouver) last June. I think the landscape gets "more wild" as you move north, and am not sure if the landscape would be a let-down starting with the awesome Glaciers.
Also - YES to what others have said preferring covered Princess ships; we did Star last June.
And YES to Glacier bay, if possible.

But, MANY folks say do land tour first if doing that.. and rest afterwards. Have fun planning!
61 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
J - I hope you don't mind a fellow Texan jumping in, but it's on the same lines. I booked us the Northern route Vancouver to Whittier then plan on renting a vehicle and doing our own land tour to Denali and maybe Fairbanks. Anyone done this?
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32 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Originally posted by Jmcdonald85
We are also booked on the Royal next year and I can't wait!!!
We are booked on the Royal Southbound next year. Worked best for our schedule plus it was the only one with connecting inside rooms for our family of 4. Wasn't too much more than one inside and drastically cheaper than all of us in one balcony cabin.
2,131 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Avoid the Island Princess! The Coral is a wonderful size for Alaska!!!!

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227 Posts
Joined Apr 2016
Originally posted by Italy52
Waiting is the hard part --- Alaska is so worth it!

So are we! The wait is killing us!

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Quartz Hill, CA
72 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
Southbound has perfect times in all the ports.
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1,469 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
We leave on Monday for Vancouver and will board the Coral for the Northbound...this will be our 6th trip to Alaska and the scenery never gets old....We enjoyed the Ruby so no complaints there and we love the Royal so I guess it is all a matter of opinion..we were not thrilled with the Grand but many people like that ship....Regardless, Alaska is an American treasure....we were in Norway last month and many places reminded us of Alaska....
27,046 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by LongtimecruiserfromCA
Southbound has perfect times in all the ports.
Northbound has better times in Juneau IMO. Enough time to do Adventure Bound Alaska to Tracy Arm.
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