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Anita Latte

Days until your Alaska Cruise?

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The recent thread talking about booking 2020 excursions now has me wondering...how far in advance have you booked your Alaska cruise?

 

I just booked a 2021 Alaska cruise. 817 days in advance. 😂😱 Someone did a TR on the NCL Bliss and ever since then...I have wanted to go on that ship. I've never sailed NCL...and our first AK cruise did Hubbard. So...excited for a late season Glacier Bay itinerary. Most wouldn't be excited to visit AK in the cold...and I am well aware that most excursions and shops and oh everything will likely be closed during my cruise. Don't care.

 

So just wondering...how far in advance did you book YOUR AK cruise?

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Hi Anita.  We booked our May 2020 B2B Coral Princess cruises to Alaska on 5/28/19. 

 

Love your Alaska cruising spirit!

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Booked NCL Jewel Aug 19, 2019 sailing 529 days in advance. Have 32 Days to go!! 

I booked so far in advance because I have been wanting to go to Alaska for years but something else always came up. When I booked NCL it was $1 deposits so I knew I could change my mind but felt committed. Once I started seriously planning last September, booked flights/hotels/excursions, there was no way I was changing my mind. Can't wait for this one!!

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About 10 months in advance.  Started booking excursions a couple months later.

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We booked our end of May 2020 cruise this past April. We wanted to make sure we got the itinerary and cabin we wanted.

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Hi Karen! I know you love cruising Alaska too! After our first...and ONLY so far...AK cruise last summer, I knew it would be a while before we could go back. Life events have conspired to make it very challenging to be able to take DH's vacation time up to AK. Moving...DS going to college.

 

I'm so excited though! I figured out when we could go and honed in on the ship and itinerary I wanted. Awful price but a cheap deposit...so hoping for some price changes before we actually go.

 

princess_mom...you must be SO excited! That's a long countdown! I think you nailed the key to doing...you start making plans and make it work.

 

TonyB17...that's similar to what we did for our first AK cruise. I think we booked in September/October for end of June the following year.

 

Hey CrusinfromFL!...we just moved to Orlando in June. Yes...why I booked too. So surprising how many cabins were unavailable. I was able to get the one I wanted though!

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We are the opposite, booked in May, going in August! So we only had to wait about 80 days. 

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We are in an Orlando hotel right now, flying out EAAARRRLLLYYY tomorrow for a few days in Homer before cruising late next week on Millenium.  We booked last October for good cabin selection.  Here’s hoping the suitcases weigh the same tomorrow as they did today at home!

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Hi Anita-loved your AK Trip Report! I booked our July 2020 Millenium cruise while on the Reflection last summer. Been planning since then! What new excursions are you eyeing this time around?

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We booked our late August 2019 cruise in early February of 2018. So, I guess that's 18 months in advance. :-)

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We booked our July, 2020 cruise/tour February, 2019

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Posted (edited)

We booked our August 2nd, 2019 Northbound Millennium cruise in September 2018, and the ship departs in 14 days! Our actual trip starts in  11 days! So we booked 329 days in advance, but I had been eyeing it for a while prior to that. Anita's TR really helped me decide that we would love the Millennium. It's first time to Alaska and our first time on a cruise so I was hesitant with no GB, but the timing was perfect to meet our friends in Seward (we arrive the same day they do; they are flying into Anchorage the day before and arriving in Seward that day by train). 

Edited by AuroraRose

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11 hours ago, Cali Viajera said:

Hi Anita-loved your AK Trip Report! I booked our July 2020 Millenium cruise while on the Reflection last summer. Been planning since then! What new excursions are you eyeing this time around?

 

Thank you! This AK trip will be completely different! IDK that we will have many excursions per se because I believe everything will be shut down! We sail OCT 9, 2021. I'm hoping to see the Northern Lights! Am I crazy? I wouldn't mind some snow! LOL. 

 

11 hours ago, djwool said:

We booked our late August 2019 cruise in early February of 2018. So, I guess that's 18 months in advance. 🙂

 

11 hours ago, Iamom75 said:

We booked our July, 2020 cruise/tour February, 2019

 

11 hours ago, Weluv2cruise2gether said:

We sail this July 27 and only booked this May 3! 

 

I love seeing the variety in planning...I hope everyone does a TR!

 

35 minutes ago, AuroraRose said:

We booked our August 2nd, 2019 Northbound Millennium cruise in September 2018, and the ship departs in 14 days! Our actual trip starts in  11 days! So we booked 329 days in advance, but I had been eyeing it for a while prior to that. Anita's TR really helped me decide that we would love the Millennium. It's first time to Alaska and our first time on a cruise so I was hesitant with no GB, but the timing was perfect to meet our friends in Seward (we arrive the same day they do; they are flying into Anchorage the day before and arriving in Seward that day by train). 

 

Happy sailing! I hope you can get close to Hubbard! Have you read about changes to Millennium since the revolution dry dock? I've been reading that they open the helicopter pad up for viewing now to everyone, not just upper tier because the forward deck is the suite deck. I think that would be AMAZING...Mom said it was a great view and very special. She expressed concern though as to how they regulate who is there because it isn't a normal public space. I do hope you write a TR!!

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14 hours ago, sbt518 said:

We are the opposite, booked in May, going in August! So we only had to wait about 80 days. 

 

Just out of curiosity...how was the availability for excursions? Have you planned any? Was there anything you couldn't get that you wanted to?

 

14 hours ago, moneeman said:

We are in an Orlando hotel right now, flying out EAAARRRLLLYYY tomorrow for a few days in Homer before cruising late next week on Millenium.  We booked last October for good cabin selection.  Here’s hoping the suitcases weigh the same tomorrow as they did today at home!

 

Bon Voyage!!! I'm sure you had flown out now because it is NOT early as I post. I would LOVE to read about your stay in Homer. We spent time on the Kenai Peninsula post cruise and so I know that there is so much to do there, including Homer, that we didn't even make a dent in all the options there. Please share!

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@Anita Latte I hadn't read that about the helicopter pad; that is awesome! I had read a lot about the changes but since we have never been on a cruise I didn't think it would affect us much (in that I wouldn't know what it used to be like if that makes sense). Thank you for reminding me about a TR; I should probably start one of those soon with our trip coming up in less than 2 weeks! 

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15 hours ago, Anita Latte said:

Hi Karen! I know you love cruising Alaska too! After our first...and ONLY so far...AK cruise last summer, I knew it would be a while before we could go back. Life events have conspired to make it very challenging to be able to take DH's vacation time up to AK. Moving...DS going to college.

 

I'm so excited though! I figured out when we could go and honed in on the ship and itinerary I wanted. Awful price but a cheap deposit...so hoping for some price changes before we actually go.

 

Anita, having lived through many "life events" especially with all of DH's company relocations, I can empathize with your situation.  We had a relocation to Orlando for one of DH's engineering projects --- enjoy your time there.

 

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@AuroraRose Fair warning...I did read that people were 5-6 deep at the rails on the helipad. If I were sailing, I'd be talking to whoever might know about this when well before Hubbard day. My main concern would be 1. verify that what I read on someone else's TR was REAL. 2. ask if there is a max limit to how many can be on the helipad. Not as much of a concern for an AK sailing, BUT you do need closed toed shoes to go on the helipad. LOL.

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Karen...so far we are enjoying Orlando. I find the weather very similar to Houston, where we lived for many years, so not surprising. It seems cooler after a rain though...which I don't recall in Houston. Any Orlando secrets you could share? We are attempting to live a "resident tourist" life with DS going off to college...treating our move down to Orlando as a kind of permanent vacation as much as we can with DH still working.

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58 minutes ago, Anita Latte said:

 

Just out of curiosity...how was the availability for excursions? Have you planned any? Was there anything you couldn't get that you wanted to?

 

 

Surprisingly better than we/I expected.

We are only taking a 1 week trip roundtrip Vancouver so we didn't have too many excursions to book but everything we wanted was available. My husband can't take that long a vacation this summer.

 

When we booked over Memorial Day weekend the first thing we did was book whale watching in Icy Strait Point with Glacier Wind, we got the first 2 spots (out of 6 on Captain Shawn's boat) there were still available spots on Casey's also.

 

Then we booked a rainforest walk and bear excursion in Ketchikan.  We were going to book directly with the vendor but the Celebrity excursion was cheaper and it said it was limited to the same amount of people so we booked with the ship, which we never do.  AND then the excursion went on sale so we got it for even less.

 

We didn't book an excursion for Juneau, we are going to take the shuttle to Mendenhall and then maybe to the tram and then go to Alaskan Brewing Company, I absolutely love their beer from when I lived in Denver and you can't get it here so I'm kind of obsessed with it and for me, spending part of my day in Juneau at their brewery is important.

 

And the other day I checked on the X website and I still could book the small boat excursion to Hubbard Glacier but I Have not decided yet if we want to do that.  I better decide soon or the decision will be made for me, if it isn't already.

 

Even though we've never been to Alaska, we are already talking about this as our FIRST trip and what we want to do next time.  Either all land based or a one way cruise.  But we have to keep reminding ourselves to get through this one first before starting to plan the next one.

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Posted (edited)

@sbt518 Excellent news on the availability! We went out with Captain Shawn! Makes for a great day! ! I hope you have good weather and good sightings! ISP is wonderful...my one regret with my upcoming itinerary is that it doesn't stop in ISP...but as you said, this will only be our SECOND AK cruise...so, compromises must be made! Our first was a one-way with post-cruise DIY land...so this RT has some appeal for air travel and less time off work. 

 

You'll be happy to know that X has bottled Alaska Brewing Company beer onboard. At least, they did on Millennium last summer. Being craft beer lovers ourselves...I completely understand the pull to go visit a favorite brewery! I would think the brewery would be open year round...that could be something I could do in October...hmmm.

 

In 7 cruises, I have never gone on a ship's excursion! But I have heard that about AK...most of the vender's need the relationships with the cruise lines, and something about the way that relationship works...sometimes, unlike other areas of the world...you do get a better deal booking through the ship. Congrats on the savings! Always a plus...but especially in AK!!

 

Happy sailings! I hope you do a write up.

 

Edited to add...I just paid attention to your avatar...my kitty does the same thing with her paw! So cute when she covers her eyes...

Edited by Anita Latte

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@Anita Latte I read your trip review at least twice, maybe more, it was great and gave us so many ideas but we are not as adventurous as your family.  No camping for me! I really enjoyed all the detail and even the clothing tips.


We typically do not book ship excursions either but I do always check for pricing and  if I'm getting the same product for less, then it seems like a no-brainer to me. I think the only other one we did was a ferry and then bus tour to the Mayan Ruins in Cozumel, it was a long day with lots of transportation logistics and we figured with that much potential for delays it was better to be with the ship. 

 

I am super excited for the Alaskan beers on board.  Off topic but once a few years ago we were on NCL Star out of Tampa and it was the first Caribbean cruise of the season, they had just come from Alaska and then through the Panama Canal on the previous cruise. They still had some Alaskan Amber on board and I was drinking it and my favorite bartender collected it from all the bars so I'd have a supply at our favorite bar on ship! So I got to drink Alaskan Amber while in Mexico!

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37 days as of today.

 

We got off a ship yesterday (Oceania Insignia) as we had to have something to do while we wait for Alaska! We spent 7  nights in the Caribbean thanks to an exceptional offer we couldn't refuse.

 

I'm happy to report that sailing on a supposedly ultra-luxury ship (capacity 684 passengers)  has not spoiled us and we'r thinking that the Eclipse will be MUCH better!

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We booked 61 days out from our mid September 2019 cruise.  We were going to be in Seattle anyway so why not throw in an Alaska cruise for just a few dollars more?  I hate booking a cruise too far in advance - the anticipation is too much.

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2 hours ago, Anita Latte said:

Karen...so far we are enjoying Orlando. I find the weather very similar to Houston, where we lived for many years, so not surprising. It seems cooler after a rain though...which I don't recall in Houston. Any Orlando secrets you could share? We are attempting to live a "resident tourist" life with DS going off to college...treating our move down to Orlando as a kind of permanent vacation as much as we can with DH still working.

Anita, I think you have Orlando figured out.  We also had a TX stint (Frisco).  The only Orlando info that I can pass along (and I am sure you already know this) is to make sure you have supplies for hurricanes/tropical storms.   

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