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Please excuse my incoherence as this is my first post. 

 

My wife and I just got back from our first cruise. We were on the Splendor to the Mexican Riviera and had more fun than we can ever imagine. We are hooked. 

 

We want to book our next cruise. We are really liking the 11 day cruise to Alaska out of San Francisco in May or June 2021. These seem to be the most affordable and budget is one of our primary issues when booking this cruise. 

 

I noticed that the Alaska cruises havent gone on sale yet for 2021. Does anyone know when they will go on sale? I have heard buying when they go in sale is when you get the cheapest rates. Is this a true statement? 

 

Also, I know Alaska cruises are very different than other cruises. Does anyone have any tips for a newb on this type of cruise and how to get the best deals for it. 

 

Thanks. Bubba. 

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We booked about a year and a half before our Alaskan cruise on the Carnival Legend.   We booked early saver so if the rates went down, we could get the lower rates.   On our cruise the rates actually went up about $500 before our cruise.   

I would try to find a good Carnival PVP and they can help you.  I wish I could tell mine but I don't think we can say names on this site.  Your Carnival PVP can let you know when the 2021 rates are posted.  If you want to see the beautiful snow covered mountains in Alaska, I would book a cruise for the 2nd or 3rd week in May.   We took the White Pass train in Skagway up the mountain and then into the Yukon.   Some of the excursions might not open too early in the season.   Seems like some were not open in April but not sure.   Out of our 17 Carnival cruises, our cruise to Alaska was my favorite!

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You might look at other cruise lines to Alaska, even if it means you only go for 7 days as opposed to 11 days.  When we cruised to Alaska a couple of years ago, only Princess and Holland America were allowed into Glacier Bay, one of the highlights of an Alaskan cruise.  If going to Glacier Bay is a "must" for you, then you won't be able to do it on Carnival, unless the rules have changed. 

 

Also, as much as I enjoy Carnival for Caribbean and Mexican Riviera cruises (we were on the Splendor for its last Mexican Riviera cruise a couple weeks ago), I think a cruise line like Princess or HAL is better suited for Alaska. 

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9 minutes ago, GradUT said:

You might look at other cruise lines to Alaska, even if it means you only go for 7 days as opposed to 11 days.  When we cruised to Alaska a couple of years ago, only Princess and Holland America were allowed into Glacier Bay, one of the highlights of an Alaskan cruise.  If going to Glacier Bay is a "must" for you, then you won't be able to do it on Carnival, unless the rules have changed. 

 

Also, as much as I enjoy Carnival for Caribbean and Mexican Riviera cruises (we were on the Splendor for its last Mexican Riviera cruise a couple weeks ago), I think a cruise line like Princess or HAL is better suited for Alaska. 

Carnival usually secures a permit to Glacier Bay for their first and last Alaska cruise of the season.

 

With that said, I would look into other cruise lines that specialize in Alaska such as Princess and Holland America Line. As they have a greater market share of the available staterooms in the area, you may find that cruise fares are even more affordable than Carnival and deeply discounted last minute. These cruise lines will be able to secure the best itineraries and will have many culturally enriching onboard experiences that you simply will not find on Carnival.

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1 hour ago, GradUT said:

You might look at other cruise lines to Alaska......

WHAT, and give up my free bottle of water at the beginning of each cruise?????  😃

 

Thanks for the information on the other lines that cruise to Alaska.... that will be helpful since we're thinking about a 2021 Alaska cruise.

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Do take some advice and check out other lines as well for Alaska. Carnival is not the first choice amongst cruise enthusiasts for Alaska. Princess, Holland America and even Norwegian do it better. We are booked next August for 12 days on NCL and it does include Glacier Bay. I believe some of their 2021 Alaska Cruises are already out and the ships are way way better than the Carnival Miracle ......Just ship around. 

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24 minutes ago, thesmiths said:

Please define better?

Ok, better ships ..... much better. More sailings including longer with land packages and shorter, better itineraries, better food, better service,   better shore excursions. Better on board informative seminars in regards to Alaskan history. Should I keep going? Carnivals Alaska sailings are very few on some of their oldest ships. Holland has been doing Alaska longer than any line. You tell me in what aspect Carnival is any better anywhere in that aspect . Even price on the 10 and 11 day Carnival sailings can be met by other lines. Most other lines like Holland, Princess, and NCL have onboard perks going on their Alaska cruises.  Bare bones nothing on Carnival Alaska sailings. The End .

Edited by tallnthensome
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With you on the west coast, 11 day outta SF would be perfect. We did Legend to Alaska last July. Absolutely incredible, however, it's downright cool up there. Our favorite excursion was seaplane over 5 glaciers outta Junea, White Pass RR in Skagway next. Favorite port, Ketchikan hands down but Glacier Bay also amazing.

 

We're booked on Panorama for Jan, so we'll be doin the itinerary you just did shortly. We've sailed outta Long Bch before, so when you're done with Alaska, yah really gotta fly to the east coast and try the Caribbean. IMO, much nicer than the Pacific.

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48 minutes ago, tallnthensome said:

Ok, better ships ..... much better. More sailings including longer with land packages and shorter, better itineraries, better food, better service,   better shore excursions. Better on board informative seminars in regards to Alaskan history. Should I keep going? Carnivals Alaska sailings are very few on some of their oldest ships. Holland has been doing Alaska longer than any line. You tell me in what aspect Carnival is any better anywhere in that aspect . Even price on the 10 and 11 day Carnival sailings can be met by other lines. Most other lines like Holland, Princess, and NCL have onboard perks going on their Alaska cruises.  Bare bones nothing on Carnival Alaska sailings. The End .

Geez...

I was just asking a question for comparison purposes as I too am looking into Alaska for 2021.

 

Switch to decaf.

 

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, bubbapuck said:

Please excuse my incoherence as this is my first post. 

 

My wife and I just got back from our first cruise. We were on the Splendor to the Mexican Riviera and had more fun than we can ever imagine. We are hooked. 

 

We want to book our next cruise. We are really liking the 11 day cruise to Alaska out of San Francisco in May or June 2021. These seem to be the most affordable and budget is one of our primary issues when booking this cruise. 

 

I noticed that the Alaska cruises havent gone on sale yet for 2021. Does anyone know when they will go on sale? I have heard buying when they go in sale is when you get the cheapest rates. Is this a true statement? 

 

Also, I know Alaska cruises are very different than other cruises. Does anyone have any tips for a newb on this type of cruise and how to get the best deals for it. 

 

Thanks. Bubba. 

 

I would suggest looking at flying to Seattle or Vancouver and spending more time in Alaska, otherwise you are 3-4 days of just on the ocean, which if you enjoy is fine but there is so much to see once you get to Alaska I personally would rather see more of Alaska.

 

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Alaska is about Alaska, study very carefully when and what scenic cruising they got.  There are a few lines that sail Alaska a lot and have the best times for scenics in Glacier Bay, Hubbard, College Fjord etc, then others get Ttracy Arm.     The price you get on the line reflect a lot of those details. 

 

Sure you got a good deal, opps you miss Glacier Bay.  Kind of saying you are visiting California and missed Yosemite 😉

 

Also I'd never choose an Alaska cruise from SFO, whats the point of those sea days from SF to Alaska?   

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We cruised to Alaska from SF this past summer (our seventh cruise to Alaska, first from SF) and loved it.  Why cruise from there? Home port and sea days!  Left our house in the morning and two hours later we were on board enjoying a margarita.  Afterwards, disembarked at 7 am and picked up the dog from the kennel by 11am.  To each their own....

 

We’ve been to Alaska on Disney, Princess and NCL.  Our favorite for Alaska—Princess.  Much better enrichment programs than the other lines.  We enjoyed the cultural presentations (totem carvings, etc), the puppies (yes, puppies on board), the naturalist and the lectures.  You don’t get that on NCL.

 

Next summer, two more Alaskan cruises on Princess.

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On 10/18/2019 at 7:31 AM, tallnthensome said:

Ok, better ships ..... much better. More sailings including longer with land packages and shorter, better itineraries, better food, better service,   better shore excursions. Better on board informative seminars in regards to Alaskan history. Should I keep going? Carnivals Alaska sailings are very few on some of their oldest ships. Holland has been doing Alaska longer than any line. You tell me in what aspect Carnival is any better anywhere in that aspect . Even price on the 10 and 11 day Carnival sailings can be met by other lines. Most other lines like Holland, Princess, and NCL have onboard perks going on their Alaska cruises.  Bare bones nothing on Carnival Alaska sailings. The End .

Well said.

 

I am glad I experienced Alaska on the Sapphire Princess and never made the mistake years ago of doing the Carnival Spirit.

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I would add to not go too early. It is warm in California, but very cool in Alaska. We went twice, both the last week in May and first week in June and there was plenty of snow then. The first time we were a day too early to get far into Denali, but saw a good bit on our tour. The next time we sailed north and explored Kenai Peninsula on our own. Loved it!! And the kids were not out of school yet, so that was a plus.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am also looking at 2021 Alaska cruises. The 10 days out of SF from Carnival has actual more time at some of the ports. For example, 

 

Carnival round trip 10 days from SF offers:

Juneau, Alaska: 2:00 pm to 11:00 pm

Skagway, Alaska: 07:00 am to 09:00 pm

Icy Strait Point: 07:00 am to 9:00 pm

Cruise Tracy Arm Fjord: not sure for how long

Victoria: 07:00 am to 02:00 pm

 

Princess round trip from Seattle: 

Ketchikan, Alaska: 06:30 am to 3:00 pm

Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier (Scenic Cruising): 5am-9am

Juneau, Alaska: 12:30 pm to 10:00 pm

Skagway, Alaska: 06:00 am to 05:00 pm

Victoria: 07:00 pm to 11:59 pm

 

Having never been to Alaska, I can't say Icy Strait Point is better than Ketchikan or Tracy Arm Fjord is better than Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier. However, Carnival seems to have more time at each of the other 3 ports. I'm also torn because requesting to be off work 6 days is better than 10 days!

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In 2006 we sailed the Diamond Princess out of Vancouver to Whittier round May 12th. The weather was beautiful. It was beautiful seeing the snow. We are sailing the Grand May 16, 2020. Alaska is like no other we have been on. 

 

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On 11/6/2019 at 9:58 PM, Biris said:

I Having never been to Alaska, I can't say Icy Strait Point is better than Ketchikan...

 

I've been to both. I prefer Ketchikan. There are more things to do there without buying a pricy excursion. There's an old canning factory converted to a museum with shops at Icy Strait Point. You can walk to Hoonah, but there's not much there. The people on my northbound cruise last year who went whale watching from Icy Strait Point had a great time. The ones who went on the bear watch excursion were very disappointed. No bears.

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