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Which cruiseline and ship is best for Alaska?


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Many of us have been to Alaska and I think we would all tell you our own personal experiences will differ from yours. What are your interests? Service, food, activities, itinerary? Excursions, interests, scenery? What is your budget? Do you belong to a loyalty program with any of the lines which might help make this decision?

 

Yes there are many, many choices, but you also have to help us help you.... 😊

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Edited by Langley Cruisers
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32 minutes ago, Langley Cruisers said:

Yes there are many, many choices, but you also have to help us help you.... 😊

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I agree with Langley Cruisers' post.  More information about your interests/desires would be helpful.

 

Are using a travel agent?  Travel agents can be a great source of information and it does not cost you more money to use their services.  In fact, you may be able to save some money by using their services and expertise.  

Edited by rkacruiser
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I’m surprised people are actually putting money down on cruises for 2021. There won’t be any normalcy to cruising until 2022 at the earliest, IMO.  Bankruptcies are on the horizon with initial deposits down the drain. People have lost money this year due to companies not giving back anything due to cancelations and the terms of conditions that allow them to keep it. Tread lightly when considering a cruise for 2021.

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Now that I’m done with my rant, you’ll narrow down your choices based on Langley’s questions. Everybody has their favorites and you’ll get a slew of suggestions. For small ships we like UnCruise & Alaskan Dream. For the main lines, Princess  & Holland.

 

If you use a travel agent get one that knows Alaska and not just cruise lines.  Look at the itinerary and the amount of time in port.  Naturalists are important to us, some lines don’t have them.

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10 hours ago, Glaciers said:

I’m surprised people are actually putting money down on cruises for 2021. There won’t be any normalcy to cruising until 2022 at the earliest, IMO.  Bankruptcies are on the horizon with initial deposits down the drain. People have lost money this year due to companies not giving back anything due to cancelations and the terms of conditions that allow them to keep it. Tread lightly when considering a cruise for 2021.

 

I get where you are coming from, I do.  However, there are some people like us who don't have anything to loose and are willing to take a chance on 2021.  We had two cruises cancelled for 2020 and all our refunds are in FCCs so we are not out any money for reinvesting in 2021.  Also, we were fortunate that all our excursion money was refunded  or moved to 2021 excursions --- I realize that not everyone was that lucky.  Our airfare and hotels were all refundable points and our travel insurance was returned in the form of a reusable voucher.  I like to think there is hope for 2021.  If not, all our expenses will just be reinvested in 2022.

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2 hours ago, Italy52 said:

 I like to think there is hope for 2021. 

I’d like to think so too.  We’re actually looking at the 9 day NCL RT Seattle for next year but will not be throwing any money at it until the light at the end of the covid tunnel is brighter, in addition to NCL mentioning  the possibility of bankruptcy last May.

 

2020 has been the first year we haven’t cruised Alaska in 10 years. And, although we’re chomping at the bit to cruise there again, we’re not giving money to any  cruise line that isn’t even operating currently with no expected restart date.  You’re in a different position than most with the FCC and we’d probably be powering forward with plans since they’d have our money too.

 

There’s quite a bit of speculation on the future of cruising on the “Ask a Cruise Question” forum.
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3 hours ago, Glaciers said:

I’d like to think so too.  We’re actually looking at the 9 day NCL RT Seattle for next year but will not be throwing any money at it until the light at the end of the covid tunnel is brighter, in addition to NCL mentioning  the possibility of bankruptcy last May.

 

 

2020 has been the first year we haven’t cruised Alaska in 10 years. And, although we’re chomping at the bit to cruise there again, we’re not giving money to any  cruise line that isn’t even operating currently with no expected restart date.  You’re in a different position than most with the FCC and we’d probably be powering forward with plans since they’d have our money too.

 

 

There’s quite a bit of speculation on the future of cruising on the “Ask a Cruise Question” forum.

We have agreed that we will not be giving up any new money for our Alaska trips.  Since we are pretty much locked into using our "funny money" we will continue to hope.  Like you, we have many trips to Alaska behind us; 27 in all and it is very hard to sit back this summer and do nothing.  We know we are not getting any younger and would really like to return to Alaska in 2021.  I try to remain positive.  There is so much hype out there it is hard to determine fact from fiction sometimes.  Good luck to you.

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6 hours ago, Italy52 said:

 We had two cruises cancelled for 2020 and all our refunds are in FCCs so we are not out any money for reinvesting in 202

 

If a cruise line goes into bankruptcy, what happens to the value of the FCCs?  

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1 minute ago, Italy52 said:

To be honest, I don't know as FCCs are new to us. 

 

I appreciate your reply.  I don't have any FCCs, but I am an investor in the industry and keep wondering what to do with those investments.  

 

I wonder if I am "seeing the handwriting on the wall" and should not ignore it.

 

I saw such when I was an investor in JC Penney and got out before it went into bankruptcy.  

 

Doesn't keep me up at nights, but still....what to do?  

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I would also like to know which cruiseline is best for Alaska?  I would like to take my grandson to Alaska in Summer 2022.  He will turn 9 by then.  We are more interested in the land tour extension (Princess calls it cruise tour), but do not mind taking the cruise as well.  Princess is popular for Alaska cruising with cruise tour Extension.  Wonder if there is a better alternative?  Love to take Viking, but Viking does not allow children.  We may consider skipping the cruise and signing for a land tour if there is one better than Princess’ cruise tour.

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4 hours ago, dreamercruise said:

I would also like to know which cruiseline is best for Alaska?  I would like to take my grandson to Alaska in Summer 2022.  He will turn 9 by then.  We are more interested in the land tour extension (Princess calls it cruise tour), but do not mind taking the cruise as well.  Princess is popular for Alaska cruising with cruise tour Extension.  Wonder if there is a better alternative?  Love to take Viking, but Viking does not allow children.  We may consider skipping the cruise and signing for a land tour if there is one better than Princess’ cruise tour.

 

If you really want just the land tour, you could book a pure land tour through an AK specialist TA and forget the cruise.  Just my opinion but if you really want to experience a bit of AK and spend the same time on the trip, most cruisetours are 10 to 12 days total and a 12 day land tour will let you and your grandson see a lot more of AK than a 7 day cruise combined w a 4 or 5 day land tour.  My only thought is whether your 9 year old grandson is a bit too young for an extended land tour.

 

DON

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Back to the basic question.  😉     There is NO BEST.    So I caution following claims of it.    Instead  I would hope you were going to Alaska -   for Alaska ?    If not then just pick your favorite ship.       But if for Alaska-  then you need to do your homework first.   meaning,  determining YOUR interests and what YOU want out of your trip.    First step is looking at each inside passage port-  simple-  there area only 6,   realize this is not the Caribbean,   touring is 50%  of your trip-   so determine your top tour choices and make selections in each port,  then rank YOUR priorities.     That goes a long way toward narrowing down itinerary options.    Select what is best for you.     Look  carefully at port times.        I never go with the Must claims of Glacier Bay either,   it's one day out of your 7.   Look at your entire itinerary.   

 

I am a strong advocate of taking advantage of Seward and Whittier-  which most cruise tours do not.   again think carefully.    This is a place where,  many wrong assumptions and big mistakes are made      Know what you are doing and looking at in the details.     Add as many days as possible.    Mainland Alaska is vast and it's a common mistake to underestimate time and distances.      I suggest adding at least an additional week.   

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I've gone with Princess for all my Alaskan cruises. I had one booked on HAL that I had to cancel a few years ago. I wish I could have gone, and I haven't been able to find another bargain since on HAL to Alaska. For me, price is a big consideration. We met a couple on our cruise tour who didn't have such constraints. They were doing Alaska first class. For them, it was a bucket list trip. They spent more on excursions on just the land portion than we did for our entire cruise. For me, I want to go back again and again, discovering new things each time as well as revisiting favorites from past trips.

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1 hour ago, geoherb said:

I've gone with Princess for all my Alaskan cruises. I had one booked on HAL that I had to cancel a few years ago. I wish I could have gone, and I haven't been able to find another bargain since on HAL to Alaska. For me, price is a big consideration. We met a couple on our cruise tour who didn't have such constraints. They were doing Alaska first class. For them, it was a bucket list trip. They spent more on excursions on just the land portion than we did for our entire cruise. For me, I want to go back again and again, discovering new things each time as well as revisiting favorites from past trips.

You likely can't travel last minute?   2019 was the year for give away Alaska cruises.   I did 6  for a total cruise cost of less than  $2100.   solo  rates

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On 8/6/2020 at 9:47 PM, Budget Queen said:

You likely can't travel last minute?   2019 was the year for give away Alaska cruises.   I did 6  for a total cruise cost of less than  $2100.   solo  rates

 

I went last-minute solo last year for a great price on back-to-back cruises. I booked less than three weeks before leaving. I know a lot of people who were disappointed by canceled cruises this year, but I was waiting until the last minute again. I was hoping to take another European cruise in the fall this year as well. 

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1 minute ago, geoherb said:

 

I went last-minute solo last year for a great price on back-to-back cruises. I booked less than three weeks before leaving. I know a lot of people who were disappointed by canceled cruises this year, but I was waiting until the last minute again. I was hoping to take another European cruise in the fall this year as well. 

Last year was a jackpot for solo last minute.  🙂      I picked up 22.   

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On 8/8/2020 at 5:44 PM, Budget Queen said:

Last year was a jackpot for solo last minute.  🙂      I picked up 22.   

 

Yes, it was. DH went with me on a transatlantic in the fall, but then he had to work the rest of the year. I went without him on a partial Panama Canal cruise in December. In addition to a great price for a solo cabin, Princess offered free airfare too.

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