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Alaska - What would you do?


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We are looking to book an Alaska cruise in 2021 and I'm struggling with the choices.  I'd like to get opinions/suggestions from those who have been there and done that.  We are bigger ship people and would therefore default to Ovation.  We've not sailed Quantum class and that has a definite appeal.  The "smallest" ship we've been on is Serenade and we missed some of the bells and whistles (mostly in the evening).  Ovation however does the round trip from Seattle itinerary.  Seems like that does not allow us to see as much of Alaska as the north or southbound itineraries between Vancouver and Seward.  The train through Alaska (before or after the cruise) is also appealing to us.  Those Seward itineraries are on Radiance, which has us worried because of size.  I'm guessing that Alaska is more like the Med where the ship is less important than the destination (other than having great views of the outside, which both Radiance and Ovation have??)  I think we will likely just eat and sleep on the ship in the evenings after tiring port days.  Time is not an issue as we will be retired by then.  Money is not a primary criteria.

 

What would you do?  As I am writing this, I think I'm trying to talk myself into Radiance and the Seward itinerary.  But I sure would love to sail on Ovation.  

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If you want a new ship with the great itinerary look at the Royal Princess. It does the 7 night southbound, goes to Glacier Bay, newer larger ship and Princess has great cruisetours.

 

i just booked clients on that with one of the cruisetours and it came in at less than Celebrity.  They have a decent sale coming up for Black Friday with some additional OBC and reduced refundable deposits.

 

 

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If Glacier Bay is a must, consider going there before or after the cruise.  Stay at the lodge for 2 nights and do the small boat cruise thru the Bay,  Spectacular!

 

We did the Celebrity CruiseTour a couple of years ago and thought it was great.  Chose the one that was all train from Fairbanks to Anchorage.

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Shows how loyal to Royal I've become...never even had the thought to look at other lines.  Gives me something to do this afternoon while watching football.

 

Ideal for us would be a B2B with the last Alaska cruise followed by a cruise to Hawaii.  If only Royal would upload Ovation's post Alaska cruises!

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25 minutes ago, bobmacliberty said:

 

Ideal for us would be a B2B with the last Alaska cruise followed by a cruise to Hawaii.  If only Royal would upload Ovation's post Alaska cruises!

 

??? 

 

Thu 17/09/20

Vancouver / Canada

20:00

Fri 18/09/20

Seattle (WA) / USA

08:00

18:00

Sat 19/09/20

At Sea

Sun 20/09/20

At Sea

Mon 21/09/20

At Sea

Tue 22/09/20

At Sea

Wed 23/09/20

At Sea

Thu 24/09/20

Kailua (Kona, Hawaii)* / USA

07:00

18:00

Fri 25/09/20

Lahaina (Maui, Hawaii)* / USA

07:00

Sat 26/09/20

Lahaina (Maui, Hawaii)* / USA

18:00

Sun 27/09/20

Honolulu (Oahu, Hawaii) / USA

08:00

 

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1 minute ago, island lady said:

 

??? 

 

Thu 17/09/20

Vancouver / Canada

20:00

Fri 18/09/20

Seattle (WA) / USA

08:00

18:00

Sat 19/09/20

At Sea

Sun 20/09/20

At Sea

Mon 21/09/20

At Sea

Tue 22/09/20

At Sea

Wed 23/09/20

At Sea

Thu 24/09/20

Kailua (Kona, Hawaii)* / USA

07:00

18:00

Fri 25/09/20

Lahaina (Maui, Hawaii)* / USA

07:00

Sat 26/09/20

Lahaina (Maui, Hawaii)* / USA

18:00

Sun 27/09/20

Honolulu (Oahu, Hawaii) / USA

08:00

 

Op is looking at 2021

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25 minutes ago, bobmacliberty said:

Looking for 2021.  Would be nice if they copy what they did in 2020 but as of now, nothing posted on their web site.

 

Indeed not all the 2021 itineraries are out yet.   Looking for TA westbound out of northern Europe myself for 2021.  

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8 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

No line - those spots are by reservation only and this year I think were $50. 

 

Yikes!  Can you hear the calving while inside it?   

 

One of the best and most overlooked spots that we enjoy the view (other than our own balcony 😉 ) is the outside Promenade deck.   Not crowded at all, and easy to duck in to get warm.  Also easy to transfer to other side when the ship turns.  For some reason everyone tends to cram in on the bow.  

Edited by island lady
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2 hours ago, Host Clarea said:

If you want the best itinerary, look into Princess or Holland.

We did Alaska on a one way from Vancouver to Seward on NCL and it was great.  We did Glacier Bay and the Hubbard Glacier.  Don't miss Glacier Bay.

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HI,

I am looking at the same thing.. We are looking for May 2021 one way southbound. I decide if I am going to to Alaska I am going to do it.. Fly in before the cruise tour on our own then take the ship southbound.  I like that Royal and Celebrity has an extra stop but HAL does Glacier Bay.  I tend to bigger ships also but I noticed Celebrity and HAL ships were recently updated.  Waiting to see what Princess opens up with. 

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As much as you favor the biggies, I’d go with a one way to see as much as possible. The idea of doing the Royal Princess would be a compromise, since it’s the biggest ship doing the one way cruises, and it goes to Glacier Bay. I know it’s hard to use a different cruise line (we favor Princess but have to stray sometimes for itinerary), but the scenery on the one way cruise is worth it. Plus, the land tour really takes you into AK, and Princess does the land tours better than anyone. They have the best lodges and smoothest operation. If you could couple the last Royal Princess southbound with an Ovation Hawaii, you’d get to finish on your desired ship, making it the best of both worlds. Good luck figuring it out!

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6 hours ago, Host Clarea said:

If you want the best itinerary, look into Princess or Holland.

Agreed. Do not book Alaska for the ship - the destination is your experience. We sailed Holland Volendam and loved the experience.  Check the itineraries on all the lines - Holland, princess, celebrity and Royal - and pick the one that most appeals to you and is in your price range.  We did an itinerary that followed the path of the gold rush, was more land than ship, went into the Yukon for 3 nights, included 2 days at Denali, and paid less than if we had done Royal or Celebrity cruises that had itineraries that didn’t interest us as much.  HAL and Princess are the only lines that still have their own lodges at Denali and their own scenic railway cars.

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We did a celebrity cruise tour. Flew into Fairbanks and took 8 days to get to Seward and then a 7night inside passage Cruise to Vancouver. It was great. The lodging while not owned by the cruise line was great in every place. The viewing train from anchorage to Seward was also phenomenal. 
for what it’s worth, I’d like to try holland America sometime but have never had the opportunity. We did try princess and had a horrible dining room experience - never again. Tried NCL and it was ok but don’t think we’d like their dining arrangements they have now. 

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3 hours ago, 4774Papa said:

We did Alaska on a one way from Vancouver to Seward on NCL and it was great.  We did Glacier Bay and the Hubbard Glacier.  Don't miss Glacier Bay.

 

Another vote for Glacier Bay.

 

1 hour ago, gogiantsfan29 said:

HI,

I am looking at the same thing.. We are looking for May 2021 one way southbound. I decide if I am going to to Alaska I am going to do it.. Fly in before the cruise tour on our own then take the ship southbound.  I like that Royal and Celebrity has an extra stop but HAL does Glacier Bay.  I tend to bigger ships also but I noticed Celebrity and HAL ships were recently updated.  Waiting to see what Princess opens up with. 

 

This sounds very appealing...tour on our own either before a southbound or after a northbound.  Also now waiting for Princess.

 

35 minutes ago, cruisequeen4ever said:

If you could couple the last Royal Princess southbound with an Ovation Hawaii, you’d get to finish on your desired ship, making it the best of both worlds. Good luck figuring it out!

 

Love this idea.  Unfortunately, neither is out yet.  Patience, I guess.

 

11 minutes ago, Miss Vickie said:

Agreed. Do not book Alaska for the ship - the destination is your experience. We sailed Holland Volendam and loved the experience.  Check the itineraries on all the lines - Holland, princess, celebrity and Royal - and pick the one that most appeals to you and is in your price range.  We did an itinerary that followed the path of the gold rush, was more land than ship, went into the Yukon for 3 nights, included 2 days at Denali, and paid less than if we had done Royal or Celebrity cruises that had itineraries that didn’t interest us as much.  HAL and Princess are the only lines that still have their own lodges at Denali and their own scenic railway cars.

 

Didn't realize that HAL and Princess have lodges.  I thought the Alaska land part would be DIY.  More research to do.

 

3 minutes ago, judatt said:

We did a celebrity cruise tour. Flew into Fairbanks and took 8 days to get to Seward and then a 7night inside passage Cruise to Vancouver. It was great. The lodging while not owned by the cruise line was great in every place. The viewing train from anchorage to Seward was also phenomenal. 

 

Your Fairbanks - Seward - Vancouver with train sounds a lot like what I'm toying with.  What lodging did you use?  Was it an organized tour or DIY?  

 

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts.

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