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Planning our 10 year anniversary and thinking we would like to do an Alaska cruise in 2021, can anyone advise on favorite line/itinerary/month/ship to go? We were thinking June and probably sticking with Carnival since that’s all we have experience with. We dont know anyone who has done Alaska so not sure where to start (other than stalking this forum, which we are).

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My advice would be to start with looking at the different itineraries and also decide what you want - do you want a cruisetour with land and cruise included, cruise only, roundtrip or one way. Is it important to you that your itinerary include Glacier Bay? How long to do you have in each port - are the hours reasonable to allow you to do and see what you want to see? Do some research on the different cruiselines that offer Alaska and compare their itineraries, prices and amenities. That will give you a good starting place to then come back and ask even more specific questions.

 

Our favorite line is Princess and we generally cruise either out of San Francisco roundtrip or out of Vancouver and back to back 7 day cruises. But we have also cruised Alaska with once with NCL and once Holland America based on the price or itinerary that we found desirable. But we usually come back to Princess because we have earned great loyalty perks and we love the ships and itineraries. Next year we are doing a 14 day Alaska on the Golden Princess out of LA where we live - it is awesome not having to fly!

 

Hope this gives you some ideas to start investigating!

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29 minutes ago, MomtherOfDragons said:

Planning our 10 year anniversary and thinking we would like to do an Alaska cruise in 2021, can anyone advise on favorite line/itinerary/month/ship to go? We were thinking June and probably sticking with Carnival since that’s all we have experience with. We dont know anyone who has done Alaska so not sure where to start (other than stalking this forum, which we are).

A few years ago I was in the same spot you are in.  I knew I wanted to do an Alaska cruise but that was about it. So I started doing my research for what would be the following year.  From what I gathered, May was the month for me.  It's still coolish, there's still snow on the mountians, fewer other tourists, school is not out so fewer kids, the locals aren't worn out from tourists, etc.  It's also statistically the driest month, which can be an important factor depending on what excursions you want to do.  After I had that part narrowed down I started looking at the different possible ports.  I decided Sitka was my #1 desire so that narrowed my choices of cruises down significantly.  Then, from my research {mostly here on CC}, I decided I also needed to include Glacier Bay.  That got me down to about two possible choices, I think.  Once I had my cruise and date picked I started figuring out what we would want to do at each port.  The earlier you figure all this out, the better.  You have plenty of time.  Book your excursions as early as possible too - Alaska isn't like the Carribean where you can decide when you walk off the boat.  Popular excursions will sell out very early.  This was also my first cruise ever so I wanted it all to go well.  Everything worked out great because of the research and planning I did.  We had a 10-day cruise and could have easily have stayed on the ship an additional 10 days.  Good luck!  I think you'll love Alaska!

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Hello everyone!

 

2020 will be our 25th anniversary and I've always dreamed of an Alaskan cruise.  Starting from the very beginning here, research looks daunting!  We haven't been on a vacation since 2011!  If it's not Alaska, it will definitely be some sort of cruise (our first cruise was Oasis of the Seas in 2011).

 

How long is required to see Alaska for the first time?  Wondering if 7-10 days is enough for cruise and land.

 

Thanks

 

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15 minutes ago, red-dragon said:

Hello everyone!

 

2020 will be our 25th anniversary and I've always dreamed of an Alaskan cruise.  Starting from the very beginning here, research looks daunting!  We haven't been on a vacation since 2011!  If it's not Alaska, it will definitely be some sort of cruise (our first cruise was Oasis of the Seas in 2011).

 

How long is required to see Alaska for the first time?  Wondering if 7-10 days is enough for cruise and land.

 

Thanks

 

 

It depends on what you want - most standard cruises are 7 days, but the one way cruises are designed so you can attach some land time which many people love. It is still on my bucket list! If you are planning to do the cruise plus land I would budget 12 - 14 days in order to get the most out of it. Your cruise will be 7 days, so 3 days on land, especially with transfer time taken into account just seems like you are cutting yourself short. When we do it someday I would want at least 5 days on land, preferably 7, in order to really take it all in.

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1 minute ago, karatemom2 said:

 

It depends on what you want - most standard cruises are 7 days, but the one way cruises are designed so you can attach some land time which many people love. It is still on my bucket list! If you are planning to do the cruise plus land I would budget 12 - 14 days in order to get the most out of it. Your cruise will be 7 days, so 3 days on land, especially with transfer time taken into account just seems like you are cutting yourself short. When we do it someday I would want at least 5 days on land, preferably 7, in order to really take it all in.

 

Since its a special vacation, that makes sense, thank you.  I think spending time on land before the cruise would work better.  When we disembarked Oasis, I felt unsteady for about 10 days, although I read it only lasts a few days, so I guess everyone is different).  I will start my planning with 10 days in total.  Thanks again!

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4 hours ago, MomtherOfDragons said:

Planning our 10 year anniversary and thinking we would like to do an Alaska cruise in 2021, can anyone advise on favorite line/itinerary/month/ship to go? We were thinking June and probably sticking with Carnival since that’s all we have experience with. We dont know anyone who has done Alaska so not sure where to start (other than stalking this forum, which we are).

If at the time of your 10th anniversary (2021) you are in your mid 30's - early 40's I would strongly suggest that you treat yourselves to Celebrity or Princess.  Carnival is fine, but Celebrity or Princess kicks it up a few notches, especially for a milestone anniversary cruise.  I think that Holland is great (I am on the Amsterdam later this year), but would be too sleepy for you.  Do look at the particular cruise ship itinerary (glaciers, port of calls) and decide what is most important for you to see/experience.  You might want to check-out excursions early on and prioritize what you want to do (helicopter to a snow field with dog sledding $$$, or whale-watching $). 

Have fun planning and Happy 8th Anniversary!

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54 minutes ago, Ferry_Watcher said:

 I think that Holland is great (I am on the Amsterdam later this year), but would be too sleepy for you. 

 

Totally agree with this - Holland America has some wonderful Alaska itineraries, but our one Holland America cruise was just so quiet and subdued and we were in our early 50's at the time, but traveling with our teenage kids. It was not a choice I would make again until I'm perhaps a bit more long in the tooth shall we say - the demographic definitely skewed older which is fine, but it did affect the activity level onboard.

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On 6/20/2019 at 11:10 AM, red-dragon said:

Hello everyone!

 

2020 will be our 25th anniversary and I've always dreamed of an Alaskan cruise.  Starting from the very beginning here, research looks daunting!  We haven't been on a vacation since 2011!  If it's not Alaska, it will definitely be some sort of cruise (our first cruise was Oasis of the Seas in 2011).

 

How long is required to see Alaska for the first time?  Wondering if 7-10 days is enough for cruise and land.

 

Thanks

 

The length of cruise depends on what parts of Alaska you want to visit. You also have options for departure port, round-trip/one-way and route up to/from Alaska.

 

A 7-night R/T from Vancouver or Seattle will only visit SE Alaska - probably any combination of Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, ICP and a glacier Tracy Arm/Glacier Bay/Hubbard Glacier. The first 3 ports are busy, usually being inundated with mega ships.

 

Seattle departures have further to sail to Alaska, sail up the open ocean and must visit a Canadian port, which is usually Victoria. Unless the ship is faster, they spend less time in Alaska and have a rougher passage. Cruises from Seattle must be R/T. Vancouver departures use more of the Inside Passage, so smoother sailing, with both R/T and 1-way options.

 

N'bd & S'bd options head up to Seward/Whittier and see Prince William Sound, which is spectacular. They also have pre/post land excursions to Denali.

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I would look into Alaska By Cruiseship by Anne Vipond. 

 

Look at the different ports and glaciers and then find a cruise that meets your needs. Since it is a special cruise - maybe include land. Decide if you want to do land on your own (plenty of advice on this board) or through a cruise tour (know exactly what you are getting if you choose this).

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On 6/22/2019 at 3:03 PM, Heidi13 said:

The length of cruise depends on what parts of Alaska you want to visit. You also have options for departure port, round-trip/one-way and route up to/from Alaska.

 

A 7-night R/T from Vancouver or Seattle will only visit SE Alaska - probably any combination of Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, ICP and a glacier Tracy Arm/Glacier Bay/Hubbard Glacier. The first 3 ports are busy, usually being inundated with mega ships.

 

Seattle departures have further to sail to Alaska, sail up the open ocean and must visit a Canadian port, which is usually Victoria. Unless the ship is faster, they spend less time in Alaska and have a rougher passage. Cruises from Seattle must be R/T. Vancouver departures use more of the Inside Passage, so smoother sailing, with both R/T and 1-way options.

 

N'bd & S'bd options head up to Seward/Whittier and see Prince William Sound, which is spectacular. They also have pre/post land excursions to Denali.

Thanks so much for the detailed info.  I think I might just sit with a travel agent, there's so much to think about and do!!

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We did Carnival and loved it.

 

Strongly recommend an Ocean View cabin...

 

 

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I've decided on a different cruise ship/itinerary, but thanks again everyone!!!

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