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Alaskan Dream Cruises

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I am about to confirm booking for May 28 on the Admiralty Dream. Info was hard to come by, and, this will only be their 3rd trip... however, we are excited. (2 previous Cruise West Alaska trips)

Anyone else out there booking wth Alaskan Dream?

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I am about to confirm booking for May 28 on the Admiralty Dream. Info was hard to come by, and, this will only be their 3rd trip... however, we are excited. (2 previous Cruise West Alaska trips)

Anyone else out there booking wth Alaskan Dream?

 

I'm going on a Road Scholar (previously Elderhostel) trip which is being hosted by Cruise West/sponsored by Alaska-in-Depth on the Admiralty Dream in July. Can't wait! Nice to see somebody else booked on this boat (but a different sailing). I wish Alaskan Dream Cruises could score a permanent page on cruise critic so that those of us who are booked would have a home, so to speak, on this web site. My trip is called "Alaska's Inside Passage Up Close". The itinerary can be seen on Road Scholar's web page. Where will you be going on your trip? Joyce

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Please post reviews when you get back! We are very interested in Alaskan Dream Cruises as well. They are affiliated with Allen Marine who has been doing business in Alaska for over 40 years. They know the area well.

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I heard about it from my friends. If I get a chance I want to visit there ones. I like to see new places and enjoy holidays.

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We are booked. My husband, myself and 2 11yr old grandsons. I found a very good travel agent to ferret out all information. The itinerary is 7 nights from and back into Sitka. Every other day has a shore activity. One full day in Glacier Bay. We did buy very inclusive trip insurance.

Yes, it may be cold and wet...but, this is a good time to see bears and more bears.

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This Admiralty Dream cruise was fantastic! Great food, great staff, comfortable staterooms, interesting native legends, dancing, and stories. The scenery around the glaciers and waterfalls, the wildlife, all of it was wonderful. I would definitely recommend this is anyone. The Allen Marine Tours is a great company; it is like family.

 

What cruise were you on so early in the season?

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This Admiralty Dream cruise was fantastic! Great food, great staff, comfortable staterooms, interesting native legends, dancing, and stories. The scenery around the glaciers and waterfalls, the wildlife, all of it was wonderful. I would definitely recommend this is anyone. The Allen Marine Tours is a great company; it is like family.

 

Can you provide any other details? Where ydid u actually saw these sights? What was your cruise date? Was there a naturalist onboard? How many other cruisers were onboard? What glaciers did you see? Wildlife? Were there alternatives to seafood on the menu? What was the Captain's name?

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We are just back from May28-June 4 cruise. As this was only their 3rd ever overnight cruise there were minor bugs. However, it was wonderful. We had 5 days of sunshine and warm temps and 2 days of gray drizzle. Because of lack of advertising, etc. we were only 13 passengers and received upgraded cabins. I think a full load would be very crowded. We saw it all...Tracy Arm, Glacier Bay, sleeping humpbacks, orcas, bears, goats, sea otters, etc.... We had naturalists and native Tlingit cultural programs. The food was very good and plentiful with many choices. (Hamburgers and steaks were always available). Allen Marine is a very highly respected company and I believe it will only get better.

I am glad to answer any questions.

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Welcome back! So nice you posted. If you went to Hobart Bay what activities did you do? Looks like there are several options. Also, in Icey Strait Point did you go to Spaskki River for bear viewing?

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Hobart Bay; nothing there other than Allen's recreational equipment and caretaker's house. We were able to kayak, ATV on trails, and Zedoo boats. Some passengers did some activities twice.

At ISP we did the muskeg walk with observation points to view Spasski River. Bear watching is a hopeful overstatement. We saw only several squirells. The Tlinget guide was very knowledgable about the vegetation and we enjoyed his comments on his life.

We had about 1/2 hour to view the old canning equipment and shops before viewing the native dance/story-telling presentation. It was very good and because we were a small group some local Hoonah residents were able to view the presentation also. After the presentation we walked past the zipline to our dinner site. It requires 10+ participants to open...costs about $119 regularly, takes 45 minutes to get to the top and 90 seconds to descend. It is the highest/longest in North America...we were told.

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We're hoping that there will be bears at Spaskki in July. My wife did the zipline a couple years ago when we were there and really enjoyed it although she said once was enough. If you think of any highlights, please post. I see you've been posting away on the Alaska board. Great advice.

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We are scheduled to take the Alaska Dream in August and was interested in hearing from lucky people who are traveling earlier to learn about the sea conditions ...will I need sea sick meds? Is it pretty rough?

Please let us know all of the details!!

 

Expensive to get to Sitka isn't it?:)

 

thanks

hamptonroads

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We are scheduled to take the Alaska Dream in August and was interested in hearing from lucky people who are traveling earlier to learn about the sea conditions ...will I need sea sick meds? Is it pretty rough?

Please let us know all of the details!!

 

Expensive to get to Sitka isn't it?:)

 

thanks

hamptonroads

 

It was a little bit rolly one night...no rocking. Generally smooth, no open seas. This was the Admiralty Dream, don't know about the Alaska Dream.

We travelled to Sitka from Washington Reagan in one day (Alaska Air). A 4 1/2 hour layover in Seattle, time to have a nice lunch, arriving Sitka about 5:30. Same coming home, arriving 10pm. Cost was: $1896 inc.- 1st class, and $1012 inc.- coach.

I highly recommend arriving Sitka 2 days early in case of glitches.

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........Expensive to get to Sitka isn't it?

 

 

i am looking at alaska small ship cruises for may/june 2012. i am very interested in the Alaskan Dream Admirality itinerary (and its reasonable price). and hope to add a land adventure pre or post cruise.

 

i did quite a bit of research on airfares yesterday. if we fly alaska air from stl via seattle to sitka it only adds about 125 (one way). requires an overnight layover which we wanted (family in seattle). however if we fly to seattle, then fly to sitka a few days latter its an additional 275 one way. also sitka to anchorage is approx 220 one way. anchorage back to stl is pretty reasonable. so its the little legs around alaska that seem so pricey (and the ferries dont seem to be any cheaper).

there doesnt seem to be discounts for roundtrip or for multiple legs (different days) on the same airline.

 

i also noticed that the august airfares vary by day (supply & demand).

you might save enough flying in a day early to pay for the hotel and enjoy another day of vacation.

for those who havent booked airfare, you may save money by shopping around or using a travel agent who will do it for you.

 

i enjoy the micro-planning of vacation, but the reality is the payback is probably about $2 per hour spent planning. i think its time for this control freak to seek the advice of alaskan travel professionals. i have always found public forums helpful in travel planning, but there seems to be limited posts about the (newer) small ship cruise lines.

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Try splitting the airlines - try Alaska Air from Seattle and perhaps American or United to Seattle. If that fails try Los Angeles or Anchorage.

 

Our flight to Honolulu was cheaper via Seattle.

 

Definitley arrive at least the day before in case of bad weather or fog.

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Review of cruise on the Admiralty Dream, June 11 to June 18, 2011

 

Our Alaskan Dream cruise started in Sitka, not on a cruise ship but at a hall used for meetings by the local Alaskan Native Tlingit (pronounced “cling get”) people. They have lived in southeastern Alaska for thousands of years and did not have a written language. Missionaries did their best to suppress the culture and language, and diseases carried by Europeans killed off great numbers of people. But by the mid 20th century there were still members of the society who spoke the language, and a written form of it was created. Now the elders are teaching the language, customs, and dances to the young, and one of the goals of Alaskan Dream Cruises is to introduce its passengers to the Tlingit culture. Our welcome meeting for the cruise ended with dances by a group ranging in age from about three to 70.

 

We went from the meeting hall to one of Allen Marine’s “day boats.” Allen Marine is a boat building company that has long provided day-trip excursions, such as whale watching, for the large cruise ships. When the highly regarded Cruise West company that offered small (45-75 passenger) voyages failed last year because of financial problems, Allen Marine acquired several of Cruise West’s ships and entered the overnight cruise business under the name Alaskan Dream Cruises. This is the first year that they are offering their cruises, and we had booked on one of their early voyages on the Admiralty Dream. (Oops! As I write this while sitting in the lounge on Day 5 of our cruise, our Expedition Leader just announced that there is a whale on the port side and that fresh baked cookies just arrived at the bar. I grab the very good binoculars that are provided for each passenger and spot first the “blow” then the impressive body of the humpback whale. The ship slows down, and for the next 10 or 15 minutes the captain keeps us in position a respectful 50 to 100 yards from the magnificent creature. Finally, there is time for the cookies – which are delicious.) Sorry for the digression. When we booked with a company with no history in overnight cruising, we were betting that their “gold standard” status in day trips would stand us in good stead. That first “day boat” trip in Sitka Strait (which ended with our transferring to the cruise ship) solidified our faith in our choice. The knowledgeable captain of the very comfortable boat led us to humpback whales, gray whales, sea otters, bald eagles, cormorants, and other critters – all against a background of snow streaked mountains. In short, it was spectacular.

 

So much for the wildlife. What about the good life aboard ship? On boarding, we were met with friendly greetings and shown to our stateroom. It was attractive, comfortable, and compact. There followed a safety briefing, an introduction to the crew, welcoming champagne cocktails, then the eagerly awaited announcement that dinner was being served.

 

This was a crucial test. We had never cruised before and always choose our restaurants with great attention to food quality. If we were to eat three meals a day for seven days in this restaurant, it had better be good. It was even better than that. It was excellent, and the service was attentive while being friendly and relaxed. As noted above, it is now Day 5. The chefs d’cuisine and pastry chef continue to impress, their creations eliciting Pavlovian responses with every dinner announcement. My wife and I have some special dietary requirements that we described in our pre-trip questionnaire, and these are graciously accommodated.

 

The superb wildlife experiences of our first day have frequently been equaled. One day our captain held the ship close by a sea of tiny icebergs on which harbor seals and their pups relaxed while a dazzling glacier “calved” in the background. Another time, as we were watching a Tlingit totem pole carver demonstrate his skill in the town of Kake, we suddenly realized that the half dozen or so birds who were swooping in the background were bald eagles. Alaska had made the spectacular seem routine.

 

The stop at Kake, a town not visited by many tourists, was just one of our shore excursions. Another was a “play day” at a wooded island with kayaking and Zego-ing in the water and Kawasaki Mule excursions on old logging roads. We at first thought of playing lazy and sitting this day out but in the end tried the kayaking, found that to be very pleasant, then opted for the Mules and, much to our delight, were led by the ship’s multi-talented bartender to an overlook from which we viewed a beautiful meadow where three bears were doing their bear-y things. Excursions drew heavily from Allen Marine’s strong ties to the Tlingit community. All were interesting but some need “tweaking” to minimize overlap and improve consistency of quality. The Cruise Director seemed eager to hear our comments about these aspects of the trip’s “programming,” so as good as our cruise was, those in the future may be even better. One excellent evening program featured two women from the National Park Service. One was an Alaskan Native whose multi-media presentation provided great insight into the Tlingit experience, and the other an enthusiastic young Ranger who prepared us for our visit to Glacier Bay and left us with a haunting violin solo.

 

Our research for the trip indicated that a small ship cruise would be best for us. We ended up with one whose captain took us to see amazing sights, on which we eagerly looked forward to every visit to the dining room, and where a friendly and helpful crew did whatever it took to make our stay enjoyable. We were delighted with our choice. Our fellow passengers, ranging in age from a 13 year old girl to a 93 year old man, all seemed to agree: This Alaskan Dream cruise was a sweet one indeed.

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CaribSnokeler...I am so glad your first small ship cruise was a success. Our May 28 cruise did not include a stop in Kake. I wish it had. Kake is not on the published itinerary. Our itinerary was basically reversed from original. I agree that some tweaking is needed. One of my complaints was that the outside speakers were not working, so, announcements were missed. Changes were made with little or no notice. The short notice change that had the biggest effect was a 7:30 am debarkation at the end instead of the published 9 am time. This caused quite a scramble after the last night festivities. All in all we were happy and satisfied. I think that alaskan Dream Cruises has a great future. BTW, Carib, how many passengers were on your cruise? Did you stop in Juneau?

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My husband and I are looking for this type of cruise for next year. I'd already found Innersea Discoveries and this looks like an good choice as well. We've never taken a cruise before and what's important to us is a small boat, and being up close with nature. We are not interested in the typical activities on the mega-ships.

 

I keep hearing that discounts from posted cruise rates are easily available but so far I'm not seeing that. One "competitive" site doesn't even have 2012 in its drop-down menus for Innersea. Ar we too early? Or are discounts less likely on the smaller ships?

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Thank you for posting this wonderful information. I am thinking of doing this in 2012 even though I have spent a great deal of time in Alaska over the decades there are still some places that are very hard to get to.

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To HulieVA:

(1) All speakers were working on our trip, so announcements got through fine.

(2) The Kake stop was announced after the start of the cruise as a special added attraction that had just been arranged. It was an interesting stop but might be really neat during the salmon run as there is a stream that likely attracts bears.

(3) The early disembarking on the last day was announced well in advance, so we did not have to scramble. So, in general, it looks like they are acting on feedback from guests - a good sign.

(4) We did stop in Juneau. The weather (no fault of Alaskan Dream, obvuiously, and that was our only bad weather day) was the messiest of the trip, and there were 6 big ships in town, so Mendenhahl Glacier Visitor Center was a madhouse. We did some shopping in Juneau (dressed in full foul weather gear) and found it to be a pleasant place. There were 21 passengers on our cruise. Numbers should increase as they become better known.

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To Gloria Mundi:

(1) For a small ship and being close to nature, our cruise met our wishes very well. The decks are close to water level, and the captain keeps the ship as close as practical to the wildlife and hangs around for plenty of time.

Before the cruise we did a Road Scholar program in Denali and the Kenai peninsula. On it, we met two couples about our age (late 60s+) who had just done a Lindblad/National Geographic cruise. Those boats have zodiacs onboard and get into the water a lot, so they might get even closer to critters. These folks, however, said that they were really wrung out by the end, and of course the cost is much higher.

(2) We were not able to find the smaller ships on the discount sites, but it is a good idea to ask the cruise lines themselves about discounts or cabin upgrades.

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I have enjoyed reading the experiences of others on this new line

We are going the end of August and was wondering about the dress on board. Is it all casual? Did you take a coat or is a sweater enough?

thanks;)

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very casual...dress for comfort. In early June a fleece pullover plus water repellent jacket was needed. check out pictures on Alaskan Dream Cruises Facebook page.

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I have enjoyed reading the experiences of others on this new line

We are going the end of August and was wondering about the dress on board. Is it all casual? Did you take a coat or is a sweater enough?

thanks;)

 

The dress is very casual. In general, whatever we were wearing during the day, we wore to dinner, ie. hiking boots, REI hiking pants. As far as warmth, nobody can predict the end of August. In mid-June, we were wearning a flannel shirt, a hoodie, and a lined winter jacket. We added a rain jacket and pants if the clouds looked threatening. I have a friend who is on the ship this week (July 9). When he called Sitka last week to check, he was told that the previous week had been unusually warm but by the end of the week it was back to the 50s. Being on deck just above very cold water with the air temp in the 50s meant dressing as I describe. Note that this is coming from "CaribSnorkeler", although it seemed like most others were equally bundled up.

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We just returned from the Alaskan Dream. The weather was the best we’ve experienced while cruising in SE Alaska. There were some issues onboard that hopefully they will work out although they seem to be operating this more as a day cruise as they’ve been doing for years with other vessels and haven’t made the leap into multiday trips.

 

We went with American Safari last year so our expectations were high. Alaskan Dream does not have kayaks or zodiacs onboard which significantly enhanced the experience with American Safari. Although we enjoy learning about Alaska Native culture, we had 4 Tlingit demonstrations on 4 consecutive days with Alaskan Dream. A bit much. We would have rather been outside exploring Alaska.

 

The meals were the highlight of the trip. The chef Brianna and pastry chef D'Anne were amazing with what they prepared. The food was excellent.

 

We did have a wonderful time although I liken the experience to wine. Once you’ve had the good stuff anything else just doesn’t cut it.

 

The small ship competition is increasing as there will be a new company serving Alaska in 2012 with American Cruise Line entering the market.

Edited by Chilkoot

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Chilkoot, so glad you had great weather as we did. I totally agree with your assessment. We enjoyed the cultural experiences, but, too many...too much. Kake has been added since our trip. We would have liked more cruising/exploring. They have a way to go to equal Cruise West in total experience.

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I have enjoyed reading the experiences of others on this new line

We are going the end of August and was wondering about the dress on board. Is it all casual? Did you take a coat or is a sweater enough?

thanks;)

 

A sweater plus a raincoat with a hood. Layers. August can be rainy and cool. Can also be hot and sunny. Be prepared. Kind of difficult with baggage limitations.

 

The weather was very nice and we actually had a few 70+ days. Even though the sun was out it was still cool in front of Sawyer Glacier although we were in shirt sleeves while in front of Margerie Glacier. There are times that you slowly motor along while whale watching and the best viewing spots are out on deck. It can get quite cold with the wind whipping by.

 

Although we were over a mile away while on the Zegos in Hobart Bay, there were several whales that were breaching over and over again. We lost count at 25 breaches. Simply amazing.

 

Please post when you return. Would love to hear how your experience was.

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we just returned from the Alaska Dream. It was a fantastic trip with a wonderful crew and about 28 of the best passengers. The ship and the staff are top notch.

We enjoyed all of the stops and especially with ATV's and z-boats. The flood was super

 

We were concerned about "Irene" targeting our town and the Captain kept us informed about the unwanted visitor to Virginia thank you Captain

 

I would recommend this trip to anyone who wants a great experience in Alaska with seeing many many bears and whales.

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We are booked on the Admiralty Dream for the 8-Day Alaska’s Glacier Bay & Island Adventure (june 2, 2012). i was delighted to find out there is a 15% early booking sale going on (ends January 31st), and it was applied to our invoice.

i believe the discount may vary based on cruise dates and itinerary, but if you're on the fence about booking, you may want to contact the cruise line and see if the savings is enough to get you to committ.

Edited by seeitallb4udie

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Discounts rarely happen on the small ships. There might be a few dates with an air promotion. Or like American Safari on one of their ships is offering a pre night in Juneau. The small ships try to have an added offer and try not to ever discount. The ships fill up 100%, they don't have to discount.

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I've seen EXACTLY the same post as the one from "CaribSnorkler" under 2 different names in 2 other places - exactly the same, word for word. Makes me wonder if it's a legitimate review. I don't doubt that it's a great small cruise line, but this seems fishy.

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I've seen EXACTLY the same post as the one from "CaribSnorkler" under 2 different names in 2 other places - exactly the same, word for word. Makes me wonder if it's a legitimate review. I don't doubt that it's a great small cruise line, but this seems fishy.

 

which post - there are several?

were the 2 other places within cruise critic, or other review websites? i dont use the same name on every website. and if i wanted to post a review on several sites, i might do a cut & paste to avoid the typing.

 

update:

i'll answer my own questions:

its the long 'review', and its also on cruisereview & tripadvisor sites. mike/caribmike (retired & 72) has multiple posts on those sites, one of which explains this professional looking review:

Thanks for the "well-written brochure" comment. It's nice that all the technical writing I did during my computer career has carried over to retirement,

Yes, Alaskan Dream is a "new" cruise line, but the Allen Marine experience seems to be getting them off to a great start.

 

i'm going with this being a legit review by someone who had a marvelous time and is good at putting the experience into words (something i do not do well).

Edited by seeitallb4udie

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The ships fill up 100%, they don't have to discount.

 

We were on American Safari in Alaska in 2010 and with Alaskan Dream in 2011. Neither was full. The competition is increasing this year with the addition of American Cruise Lines entering the Alaska market which may bode well for some future discounts.

 

I've seen EXACTLY the same post as the one from "CaribSnorkler" under 2 different names in 2 other places - exactly the same, word for word. Makes me wonder if it's a legitimate review. I don't doubt that it's a great small cruise line, but this seems fishy.

I questioned it too although looking at his other posts, on other sites, believe it to be a good post. Appears he had a wonderful time on his only cruise.

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We were on American Safari in Alaska in 2010 and with Alaskan Dream in 2011. Neither was full. The competition is increasing this year with the addition of American Cruise Lines entering the Alaska market which may bode well for some future discounts.

 

the 15% discount is real - it was applied to our booking. we saved more than enough to pay for our flightseeing excursion later in our vacation. so now the flightseeing doesnt seem like such an extravagant splurge.

 

the discount is not on every cruise, mostly the shoulder seasons. contact Alaskan Dreasm Cruises to find out more.

-- it expires on tuesday Jan 31st (2012) --

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We were on American Safari in Alaska in 2010 and with Alaskan Dream in 2011. Neither was full. The competition is increasing this year with the addition of American Cruise Lines entering the Alaska market which may bode well for some future discounts.

 

 

I questioned it too although looking at his other posts, on other sites, believe it to be a good post. Appears he had a wonderful time on his only cruise.

 

 

My wife and I travelled on the Alaskan Dream in August - the review seems accurate to me. Kake in August had several black bears along the salmon stream.

 

Our thoughts on the cruise? would love to go again.

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We just reserved for the June 16 8-day tour - our first ever cruise. The discounts ranged from 15-30%, depending on the choice of room, and I was told the deadline was Feb. 10. So if you are seriously considering it.....hurry! I had a couple of nice phone calls with Thomas, who sent me pictures of several of the cabins. They will also make hotel reservations for you.....they reserve blocks of rooms at the Westmark and the Totem Pole, and have a bit of a discount.

 

I'm very much looking forward to this, and will report back when I'm home. Thanks to everyone here for great information.

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We were passenger on the 3rd cruise of the 2011 season (their first) and I was sent an e-mail offering up to 35% off selected dates and cabins...good until Feb. 20, 2012. I have noit been able to determine the specifics. The e-mail also said that capacity on the Admiralty Dream has been reduced from 78 to 66. A very good thing. and, the forward lounge has been updated. The cruise offerings and itineraries are greatly changed from the initial season. I think they have been very responsive to the comments made by the first cruisers.

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I am booked on the 10-day Alaskan Dream this year on 20 July from Sitka to Ketchikan. I got a 30 percent discount. My previous cruises were with Innersea Discoveries in 2011, and the defunct CruiseWest in 2005 and 2006 (I sure miss them). This cruise looks great and I am also looking forward to extra days on both ends. Not sure what the deal is with discounts, I got an email from my travel agent with the offer.

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We are booked on the Admiralty Dream for the 8-Day Alaska’s Glacier Bay & Island Adventure (june 2, 2012). i was delighted to find out there is a 15% early booking sale going on (ends January 31st), and it was applied to our invoice.

i believe the discount may vary based on cruise dates and itinerary, but if you're on the fence about booking, you may want to contact the cruise line and see if the savings is enough to get you to committ.

To seeitallb4udie - we are also booked on the 6/2 Admiralty Dream. Hope to meet you.

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can't wait after reading these comments. Thanks for posting! This will be the smallest ship we have ever sailed. Anyone else going on this one?

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