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cabland

Downsides (or upsides) to last Cruise of the Season for a Specific Ship

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Hello All,

 

As I look at last minute cruises to Alaska, there are a few boats (like the Nieuw Amsterdam) that stop cruising earlier than others.  The NA's last cruise, as an example, leaves on 08/31 while others continue through September.  I understand the general pros/cons of an Alaska cruise in September.  My general question revolves around any concerns with sailing that "last cruise" in a given area?  As an example, since the next step would (presumably) be a re-positioning activity of some kind, might they be "skimping" a bot on provisions, stocking up the galley, etc or perhaps looking at crew changes so folks might be "phoning it in" a bit?

 

Anyway, just wondering your thoughts on this?

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I have done 2 last of the season AK cruises and did not notice any significant differences, except for closeout AK merchandise in the shops.

 

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We did a 14 day Alaska Explorer cruise a few years ago in September, the last cruise for the itinerary, and fully enjoyed it.  We didn't notice any difference in the ship/service on board compared to when we have done the same itinerary in earlier months.

Karen

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I've done last and next-to-last cruises in Alaska and I didn't see any reduction in services, either on board or in port. The ship takes on provisions before every cruise, so they shouldn't be running out of anything. 

 

The ship did have a "tables by the pool" sale to get rid of Alaska souvenirs, and some of the shops in port had sales. But I don't recall businesses being closed--if there's a ship in port, they want to get your money. 

 

One plus if you stop in Ketchikan (and most Alaska cruises do) is you can see lots of salmon swimming in the creek at this time of the year. And if the tide is in, maybe a seal swimming after them, looking for a meal.

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Crew begin and end contracts all the time, so there won't be wholesale turnover at the end of your cruise. Hence, not all of them will be winding down to head home.
Ships are provisioned on a regular, on-going basis. On some longer cruises provisions can run short toward the end of a cruise, but I haven't seen this happen on the shorter cruises.

The only thing different in your cruise will be related to the diminishing weather and daylight. Unless shopping matters to you, in which case you will find lots of things on sale.  

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9 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

But I don't recall businesses being closed--if there's a ship in port, they want to get your money. 

We were in Denali for the very last ship of the season and several places closed at Noon or early afternoon for staff parties.  On the ship we didn't notice any difference in service. Of course they had all AK themed merchandise on sale.

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Though I haven’t done the last cruise of a region’s season, I have done a repo cruise right after, and there was no difference in service and food aside from a palpable excitement from crew to move on to a new region. Alaska is known for its amazing seafood, so it would seem unlikely they’d skimp on the last sailing. Anything left over like souvenirs and regional specialties can just be finished off and put on sale on subsequent sailings. 

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On 8/15/2019 at 7:38 AM, cabland said:

Hello All,

 

As I look at last minute cruises to Alaska, there are a few boats (like the Nieuw Amsterdam) that stop cruising earlier than others.  The NA's last cruise, as an example, leaves on 08/31 while others continue through September.  I understand the general pros/cons of an Alaska cruise in September.  My general question revolves around any concerns with sailing that "last cruise" in a given area?  As an example, since the next step would (presumably) be a re-positioning activity of some kind, might they be "skimping" a bot on provisions, stocking up the galley, etc or perhaps looking at crew changes so folks might be "phoning it in" a bit?

 

Anyway, just wondering your thoughts on this?

 

The NA's last AK route for the season is Sept. 21. The final 3 loops seem to not list Tracy Arm but the rest of the itinerary is the same.

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