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SweetsugarNL

First time cruiser and no Glacier Bay how bad is this

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Hello,

 

We are first time cruisers and consider a cruise to Alaska.

We going on a road trip to Oregon next year so it fits good in our schedule.

 

I have seen that cruises from Vancouver are much cheaper then from Seattle (and sometimes more scenic).

How bad is it to take a cruise from Vancouver with (fjord)Tracy Arm instead of Glacier Bay  (in July)?

Ports of call are Junea, Ketchikan and Skagway so that is good i think. (Serenade of the seas).

 

I have read that if you sail from Seattle more change have on a rougher sea and less scenic.

 

I have a book about Alaska cruises so i dive in it, but maybe some people have done both and can give us a good advise.

 

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Its your first cruise. Not stopping at Glacier Bay will not be the end of the world. Tracy Arm is nice...not Glacier Bay, but pretty.

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Assuming you get into Tracy Arm. Many ships never make it, so much so that many lines changed the stop to Endicott Arm which is just ok.

 

It is not too late too switch itineraries. I would not do that itinerary, especially for a first and possibly only trip to Alaska.

 

You are traveling all the way from Europe - pick a better itinerary!

Edited by Coral

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3 hours ago, SweetsugarNL said:

Thank you. What do you think is a better itinerary?

 

Well, one that includes Glacier and Hubbard, if possible, or possibly College Fjord in place of one of the other locations. As you are flying that far, I would look at maybe HAL's 14 day Alaska cruise, which usually gets you Hubbard, Tracy Arm, and the 26 Glaciers Excursion out of Whittier.

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Vancouver one way or round trip with 1) Glacier Bay or 2)Hubbard Glacier or 3)College Fjord or 4)Tracy Arm or a combination of Hubbard and Tracy Arm.  Glacier Bay is almost guaranteed if on your itinerary.  Tracy Arm and Hubbard may be missed due to various conditions (weather, seals birthing)

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I’ll disagree.  😀😀😀.   With only a single cruise-  you are always “missing “  something.    I find EACH  glacier area offers an excellent opportunity.  I’ll disagree on the Endicott Arm above.    It’s very scenic and good opportunity for wildlife.   A huge (100++)  sea lion rookery just north of the entrance.  Eagles.  I clearly saw 2 bears on the shore line because of the narrow passage. Etc. 

 

Don't turn your nose up or be disappointed.  Alaska offers much more than the single glacier viewing day 

 

I spent 6 weeks in Alaska cruising, this season with a lot of glacier viewing.  All was amazing in my view.

 

    I also enjoyed 3 weeks in Hawaii in August-  but what a difference.   😀😀 

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2 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

 

Well, one that includes Glacier and Hubbard, if possible, or possibly College Fjord in place of one of the other locations. As you are flying that far, I would look at maybe HAL's 14 day Alaska cruise, which usually gets you Hubbard, Tracy Arm, and the 26 Glaciers Excursion out of Whittier.

 

I agree with Poster Coral that flying that distance for a probable one time only Alaska visit, you would be wise to select a different itinerary.  While Hubbard Glacier is my favorite, one week cruises do visit College Fjord and many visit Glacier Bay.  For a European visitor on a one time visit to Alaska, I would suggest a cruise that visits one or both of those areas.  Glacier Bay is a particularly good one because of the involvement of our National Park Service Rangers in providing narration and commentary during the visit.

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11 hours ago, SweetsugarNL said:

Im not sure if we take another (Alaska)cruise after this.

So dont want that everyone say you missed the best.....

FWIW I took my parents to Alaska and sadly didn’t force the schedule to do glacier bay, Tracy arm is nice yeah it is pretty and the add on excursion that I did neat, but seriously there is a reason Glacier Bay is a national park and the rest not.   Go to Arizona and see some nice tho ha but not Grand Canyon, or LA w/o Disneyland is my analogy 

Edited by chipmaster

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On 9/20/2019 at 5:59 AM, SweetsugarNL said:

Hello,

 

We are first time cruisers and consider a cruise to Alaska.

We going on a road trip to Oregon next year so it fits good in our schedule.

 

I have seen that cruises from Vancouver are much cheaper then from Seattle (and sometimes more scenic).

How bad is it to take a cruise from Vancouver with (fjord)Tracy Arm instead of Glacier Bay  (in July)?

Ports of call are Junea, Ketchikan and Skagway so that is good i think. (Serenade of the seas).

 

I have read that if you sail from Seattle more change have on a rougher sea and less scenic.

 

I have a book about Alaska cruises so i dive in it, but maybe some people have done both and can give us a good advise.

 

When you depart Seattle you go out into the Pacific Ocean on the west side of Vancouver Island, then into the Inside Passage. There’s always the chance of rough seas. Out of Vancouver you sail on the east side of Vancouver Island, the seas are calm. This route you see the shoreline on both sides of the ship.

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If you are worried about getting to Vancouver vs Seattle, please realize there is an easy (and cheap) train that you can take between the two cities. We did it, and it is a pleasant, scenic ride.

 

 

 

Edited by RussNJodi
grammar

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We didn't get to Glacier Bay until our third cruise, and we never felt cheated on the first two. We loved Tracy Arm and did take the small boat excursion that gets you closer to the face of the glacier. Our second glacier trip was to Hubbard, which remains my favorite.

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I never even worried about it! We did ours and just booked what worked and what we wanted to do. We had an amazing time, loved all the things we saw, and don't feel that we missed or regret anything. And we live in the US. We have no real intentions to do another one either. There are way too many other places we want to travel to. You will always miss seeing some "thing" no matter what you pick. We did not get into Tracy Arm on ours, but Endicott was beautiful! We did the small boat excursion to see it better. The cruise ship got within a couple miles, but we were almost right next to it. We spent time there watching the calving, it was awesome! We did the helicopter ride/walk on Mendenhall, totally worth every penny, despite my slight dear of flying. A wilderness safari tour and walk on another glacier in Skagway was a blast! We were very happy with our cruise and loved it all.

 

Endicott Arm

_MG_3125.jpg

 

 

Endicott Arm calving, Dawes Glacier

_MG_3437.jpg

 

 

The filter turned the sky purple! Dawes Glacier

_MG_3447.jpg

 

 

On the canoe heading over to the glacier in Skagway

_MG_3673.jpg

 

 

Standing in front of the glacier

_MG_3707.jpg

 

 

Chopper ride over Mendenhall

_MG_4253.jpg

 

Landing on Mendenhall

_MG_4278.jpg

 

 

Our son on Mendenhall - he loved it!

_MG_4316.jpg

Edited by kctwinmommy

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45 minutes ago, Cruise_More_Often said:

We didn't get to Glacier Bay until our third cruise, and we never felt cheated on the first two. We loved Tracy Arm and did take the small boat excursion that gets you closer to the face of the glacier. Our second glacier trip was to Hubbard, which remains my favorite.

Frome where was the small boat excursion to tracy arm?

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19 minutes ago, SweetsugarNL said:

Frome where was the small boat excursion to tracy arm?

 

The first time we did it, the small boat met up with the ship near the entrance to Tracy Arm. We boarded the small boat from the ship and proceeded up to the Sawyer Glacier.

 

On our second trip to the Sawyer Glacier, we boarded the small boat in Juneau and went to the Glacier and back to Juneau.

Edited by Cruise_More_Often

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1 hour ago, Cruise_More_Often said:

 

The first time we did it, the small boat met up with the ship near the entrance to Tracy Arm. We boarded the small boat from the ship and proceeded up to the Sawyer Glacier.

 

Do you book this thru the cuiseline?

 

Edited by SweetsugarNL

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Yes. I believe the company that does this excursion offers it only through the cruise lines. There is another company in Juneau that does it, but it leaves before most cruises arrive at the dock.

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We just got back from Alaska. We were on Ovation of the Seas and we went to Endicott Arm, but Royal did not offer a small boat excursion. We are fortunate that we got the closest to it of any Ovation sailing. I thought it was amazing! I’m sure being closer in a small vessel would have been even cooler, but I’m glad I got to see what I did. We had a lot of reasons for choosing the itinerary we did. I think whatever you choose you will see something spectacular. Maybe others will have seen something different, but Alaska is so beautiful you really can’t go wrong. 

 

Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau was also amazing. Unfortunately we did not get much time there because we prioritized whale watching. It we have the opportunity to go again, I would try to do one of the excursions where you canoe or kayak right up to it. 

 

 

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Go to Glacier Bay. You won't regret it and you won't miss it.

 

Mendenhall is really amazing if you land on it. Not impressed if you just go to see the face.

 

I won't do another trip out of Seattle. Less scenery.

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