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Kam55

Best Alaskan cruise

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We have been to Alaska about 7-times. This past year we took Mille out of Vancouver, Canada. We did it B2B which was awesome! Don't worry about seeing the ports twice, there is plenty new to do the 2nd time. Leaving out out Vancouver vs. Seattle is much better!!! You get to enjoy the inside passage.

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We did the Millennium out of Vancouver in 2016 and loved it. Picked because I felt we would see more of Alaska than we would going out of Seattle on a RT. Since we ended in Seward we stayed on for 3 more days on our own to see Anchorage and Denali. I should have stayed longer. Now we are looking at 2020 also to take our whole family to celebrate our 50th and I am again looking at the one way out of Vancouver but at this point we don't know what ships are going where.

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We do round trip B2B Vancouver to Seward and back on Millennium every year. Much easier to embark / disembark at Vancouver.

 

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I have done a number of Alaska cruises. We are looking at booking next a Alaska cruise for June 2019. I'm planning to book Eclipse as it is a round trip cruise. If your up to doing a b2b cruise on Millie that would be nice. We enjoy Hubbard Glacier best. We also want to go to Icy Strait Point to do zip-lining. As both leave out of Vancouver you will have to go through Canadian customs, then US customs before you get to Celebrity check in. If you do a one why cruise on Millie then before or after your cruise you will have to take a train ride. Seward is 125 miles south of Anchorage. I think I would cruise from Seward if I was doing the 7 night cruise on Millie.

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We have been to Alaska about 7-times. This past year we took Mille out of Vancouver, Canada. We did it B2B which was awesome! Don't worry about seeing the ports twice, there is plenty new to do the 2nd time. Leaving out out Vancouver vs. Seattle is much better!!! You get to enjoy the inside passage.

Couldn't agree more! We have done this B2B twice, two years apart. Never get tired of it. We have also done (supposed) Inside Passage sailings on Solstice R/T from Seattle and IMHO the Millie itineraries are far, far better. For me, Alaska is more about the ports and the itinerary than which ship. I would definitely recommend making the decision based on that criteria. We have been to Alaska 6 or 7 times (I lose track) and liked our Millie sailings the best by FAR.

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It is widely accepted in the travel industry that Princess and HAL lead the pack when it comes to Alaska cruises, and especially when conbined with the land package. They have the licensing to go into Glacier Bay - which X does not, and offer more itineraries.

You may want to at least give them a look for comparison.

We are loyal X cruisers and had a great time in Alaska some years back on Celebrity. That being said, a return to Alaska is on our bucket list, and we plan to go with Princess (in spite of the CC benefits we will miss out on).

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We have cruised up to Alaska a dozen times ... it is our favorite itinerary. This is what I would recommend to look for in any sailing:

 

- Glacier Bay

- Cruising the inside passage during the day (believe it or not, we've been on some that do the inside passage in the middle of the night ... not sure why that was)

- I like sailings that include Icy Strait Point and/or Sitka

- The first week in Sept has always offered us fabulous weather and less children onboard

- This is the type of sailing you should splurge on a cabin with a balcony

- We've not had good luck with a smooth embarkation when they set sail from Vancouver (check to see the number of ships in port for embarkation beforehand ... if more than one, I would check into other embarkation ports)

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It is widely accepted in the travel industry that Princess and HAL lead the pack when it comes to Alaska cruises, and especially when conbined with the land package. They have the licensing to go into Glacier Bay - which X does not, and offer more itineraries.

You may want to at least give them a look for comparison.

We are loyal X cruisers and had a great time in Alaska some years back on Celebrity. That being said, a return to Alaska is on our bucket list, and we plan to go with Princess (in spite of the CC benefits we will miss out on).

I totally agree with you on all points.

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Which itinerary is best for Alaska? Looking for 2020.

 

An itinerary that includes Glacier Bay. Which none of the Celebrity cruises can do.

 

 

I like Celebrity a lot; but when it comes to Alaska, go with the the two lines that have been doing it for years and do Glacier Bay. Princess or HAL.

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Include Glacier Bay and College Fjord. They are fabulous days of glacier viewing. We went in August 2018 for the second and I highly recommend a cruise with both— must be one way cruise.

 

If you go south to north, the scenery keeps getting more spectacular.

 

 

 

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An advantage for Seattle are the number of nonstop flights coming from the East Coast. In addition, the check-ins were painless and just walked thru customs with passport in hand. The FREE luggage valet worked flawlessly. We got our boarding passes delivered mid-day of the day before departing. Picked up our luggage in Boston.

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Best is what is good for you. Vancouver R/T is better than Seattle R/T. Glacier Bay or Hubbard Glacier should be on your itinerary. Too early in the season you may not get very close to Hubbard, due to ice in the water. Check the port times for each stop.

 

Just back from HAL, R/T out of Vancouver. Great smaller ship and itinerary on the Volendam. Ship sails on a Wed. This sailing and the one that leaves on Sat. offers an excursion before you get to Juneau where you board a boat and you go up Tracy Arm fjord. Best done later in the season to see Sawyer glacier. If it is too icy, you will go see a different glacier. A super trip. The downside, is that you will get to Juneau later and may not have time for some other excursions.

 

If you think you may return, you can see what you missed the first time. Going on the Mille southbound in 2020! Want to see Hubbard, and the itinerary looks good. Will spend a few extra days in Seward before our trip. Looking forward to the train ride from Anchorage over to Seward too!

 

I really like the book by Frommer's: Alaska Cruises & Ports Of Call.

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We have been to Alaska about 7-times. This past year we took Mille out of Vancouver, Canada. We did it B2B which was awesome! Don't worry about seeing the ports twice, there is plenty new to do the 2nd time. Leaving out out Vancouver vs. Seattle is much better!!! You get to enjoy the inside passage.

Totally agree. We love that itinerary, and being able to include a wonderful excursion up into the Kenai Fjords from Seward on the turnaround day provides an extra bonus.

 

 

It is easy to include Glacier Bay on a Celebrity cruise by taking a flightseeing excursion over Glacier Bay from any of the surrounding ports.

You get to see much more of Glacier Bay that way than what can be seen from a cruise ship.

 

One year we took the Solstice cruise from Seattle, and it was very disappointing by comparison because it spent 2 days out of 7 just cruising out in the Pacific Ocean, totally missing a lot of the best scenery.

 

If we couldn't do the Vancouver - Seward route, then the Vancouver round trip itinerary would be our second choice.

 

If you choose the Millennium B2B round trip (Vancouver-Seward-Vancouver), then having the extra day in Juneau gives you the opportunity to include Adventure Bound's Tracy Arm excursion from Juneau.

https://www.adventureboundalaska.com/

Their small boats are able to get all the way to the glacier even early in the season when the cruise ships can't make it, and they can spend a lot more time whale watching than the larger boats used by the cruise lines for their own Tracy Arm excursions.

 

So if you wanted, you could see Hubbard Glacier, Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm all on that Millennium northbound-southbound B2B itinerary.

 

Or, if you have even more time, include an Alaska land trip between the northbound and southbound legs.

Or do Celebrity one-way, to or from Seward and another cruise line in the opposite direction, to or from Whittier, with a land trip in between them.

Lots of possibilities to consider.

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Two years ago we were looking to book a last minute booking for an Alaskan cruise and decided on HAL . Who couldn't pass up 14 nights for $999 pp . Their sailing is a true 14 night and not a btb, and it is round trip Seattle. Loved all the different stops which included Icy Straight Point, Homer, Kodiak. And more and the usual places. HAL was wonderful and we enjoyed it very much. No beverage package but they have certain hours of two for one. They had the best pre dinner dancing music I had ever had on a ship.

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Thank you so much for all the suggestions. It is helpful. As much as I love Celebrity I will check out some of the other ideas.

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We did Alaska with NCL, because X doesn't do Glacier Bay. Glacier Bay was amazing. Also, recommend doing a one-way from Vancouver to Alaska.

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