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Which Alaska Itinerary Would You Choose


gaylemh
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11 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:


Is there a reason why you are not considering the Serenade round trip Vancouver on 5/23??  Far superior Itinerary to either Ovation or Quantum. 

Cost of Flights and no direct. No JS available.  

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I haven't looked lately but the JS rates on Quantum were really good a few weeks ago.  That's what I grabbed for one of my bookings.  Alaska carries a premium compared to the Caribbean so finding reasonable JS rates on a Quantum class ship was a treat.  Less than half the rate that Ovation in a JS was in 2019.

 

I'm solo on the other booking and grabbed a cheap balcony GTY.  I'll probably end up in a obstructed deck 6 balcony but the rate on that was also too good to pass up, especially for Alaska. 

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17 minutes ago, twangster said:

I haven't looked lately but the JS rates on Quantum were really good a few weeks ago.  That's what I grabbed for one of my bookings.  Alaska carries a premium compared to the Caribbean so finding reasonable JS rates on a Quantum class ship was a treat.  Less than half the rate that Ovation in a JS was in 2019.

 

I'm solo on the other booking and grabbed a cheap balcony GTY.  I'll probably end up in a obstructed deck 6 balcony but the rate on that was also too good to pass up, especially for Alaska. 

My JS is only port taxes and fees of about $279.  My friend can get a Studio balcony for around $1500.  If you are sailing solo see if there are any Studio cabins.  My friends was about $700 cheaper than an OV.

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51 minutes ago, gaylemh said:

Cost of Flights and no direct. No JS available.  


If you are coming from Newark Air Canada does have non stop flights, but due to the timing of the flights you have to fly in at least one day early and stay at least one day after.  Understand though that the cabin being unavailable is a factor as well.

Edited by AtlantaCruiser72
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6 minutes ago, gaylemh said:

My JS is only port taxes and fees of about $279.  My friend can get a Studio balcony for around $1500.  If you are sailing solo see if there are any Studio cabins.  My friends was about $700 cheaper than an OV.

 

I'm under $1,400 in a GTY regular balcony all in.  On this sailing the Studio balconies started $400 more than the GTY rate and they allowed solo to book GTY which isn't always the case.  The only gotcha was I couldn't do refundable for GTY and I'll most likely get an obstructed balcony but I'm okay with that as it's my 6th Alaska cruise.  

 

$1,400 to Alaska with a balcony is a crazy good price.  My son and I did an interior on Explorer to Alaska a few years ago that was $2,400 total.  Balconies were twice that.

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16 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:


If you are coming from Newark Air Canada does have non stop flights, but due to the timing of the flights you have to fly in at least one day early and stay at least one day after.  Understand though that the cabin being unavailable is a factor as well.

There is a great flight going to Canada, but the only flight coming home was at 8:30 am.  I was also looking at one flight coming back that only had a 1 hour layover, but there were no good cabins anyway.   My friend is also flying from another airport also, which didn't have great flights.  We are already planning on flying in the day before and will stay an extra day in Seattle to see a little bit of the city.  If we decide that we want to see more of Alaska, we will book a longer cruise.  

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@gaylemh I totally understand now the parameters you are working within.  Since you are essentially locked into two twin ships it really does come down to Skagway vs Icy Strait. If gold rush/pioneer history more of interest then choose Skagway. If native cultures are a big interest then choose Icy Strait. Both have ample options to view wildlife and re in spectacular settings. 

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3 hours ago, twangster said:

I haven't looked lately but the JS rates on Quantum were really good a few weeks ago.  That's what I grabbed for one of my bookings.  Alaska carries a premium compared to the Caribbean so finding reasonable JS rates on a Quantum class ship was a treat.  Less than half the rate that Ovation in a JS was in 2019.

When we booked our Quantum Alaska in May 2021, the price difference between a JS and GS was like $150 pp. So we just booked the GS so we could eat in the [less crowded] Coastal Kitchen

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Just wanted to let you know, I ended up booking the Serenade for 5/23, after I did some more researching.   I was able to upgrade to a GS for a reasonable price, and found a direct flight going and a one stop flight coming back with only a one hour layover.  My friend was also able to get a balcony for only a few hundred more than Ovation, and no direct flights, but she said OK.  

 

Now, I'll probably have lots of questions for when I get there.  The first being where is a nice place to stay the night before and the night after the cruise?

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@gaylemh Congrats on the decision!  I personally think, from an itinerary standpoint, you made the right call. While Serenade may not be as new as a Quantum class it really is a great ship for Alaska!!!!  You can see the landscape from virtually every public room on the ship and the exterior dining area behind the Windjammer is great for scenic viewing with some shelter as an alternate to your amazing GS balcony 👍

 

I have stayed at the Marriott Pinnacle and the Coast Coal Harbour. Preferred the Marriott.  I would love to have stayed at the Pan Pacific and if you can get rooms there at a rate you are comfortable with it really is the best pre/post hotel as it literally sits on top of the Canada Place cruise terminal and has dedicated elevator access.  Really, any of the hotels within a 3-5 bock radius of Canada Place are an excellent choice. 

Edited by AtlantaCruiser72
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13 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

@gaylemh Congrats on the decision!  I personally think, from an itinerary standpoint, you made the right call. While Serenade may not be as new as a Quantum class it really is a great ship for Alaska!!!!  You can see the landscape from virtually every public room on the ship and the exterior dining area behind the Windjammer is great for scenic viewing with some shelter as an alternate to your amazing GS balcony 👍

 

I have stayed at the Marriott Pinnacle and the Coast Coal Harbour. Preferred the Marriott.  I would love to have stayed at the Pan Pacific and if you can get rooms there at a rate you are comfortable with it really is the best pre/post hotel as it literally sits on top of the Canada Place cruise terminal and has dedicated elevator access.  Really, any of the hotels within a 3-5 bock radius of Canada Place are an excellent choice. 

The flight I'm looking at for the return is at 12:30.  I could either come home the same day as the cruise gets back, but was thinking about staying for a night, if there is anything great to see close to the airport or cruise terminal.  Any suggestions?

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3 hours ago, gaylemh said:

The flight I'm looking at for the return is at 12:30.  I could either come home the same day as the cruise gets back, but was thinking about staying for a night, if there is anything great to see close to the airport or cruise terminal.  Any suggestions?

We did a Alaska cruise in Holland America. The pre-cruise hotel was Pan Pacific, right over the cruise terminal, and it was a lovely hotel. We flew in a day early, and walked down the street to catch the Hop On Hop Off bus, nice way to tour around Vancouver. That was a nice offer from Club Royale, I only got the ocean-view offer!

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9 hours ago, gaylemh said:

The flight I'm looking at for the return is at 12:30.  I could either come home the same day as the cruise gets back, but was thinking about staying for a night, if there is anything great to see close to the airport or cruise terminal.  Any suggestions?

Stanley Park is nice to walk around in, you will see it on the left side of the ship while sailing out of Canada Place cruise terminal.

It can be nice weather too in May, not to hot and not to cool.

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On 9/12/2020 at 11:09 PM, gaylemh said:

I'm planning on an Alaska cruise next May, either on Quantum or Ovation.  I have sailed on Quantum and Anthem many times so the ship doesn't matter.

The Quantum itinerary - Juneau, Icy Strait, Endicott Arm, Victoria.  Ovation itinerary - Inside Passage, Juneau, Skagway, Endicott, Victoria.  Which is better Icy Strait or Inside Passage and Skagway.

Quantum. Icy Straights has become a favorite destination. They have apparently done a lot of additions to it. We were there two years ago, in May. Saw lots of eagles.

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20 hours ago, gaylemh said:

if there is anything great to see close to the ... cruise terminal.  Any suggestions?

 

Don't stay by the airport... stay downtown Vancouver. Great hotel recommendations already above, I personally enjoy the Pan Pacific which is located directly above the cruise terminal. If you stay in the Concierge level, your luggage is delivered directly to the ship for you.

 

2086036363_OVeastdock.jpeg.6a1f0adb3f868019a26950f13c6f389c.jpeg

 

670900773_PanPacificfront.jpeg.5bb4b054def0a8a84015453e9cd281fe.jpeg

 

"Is there a anything to do close to the pier"? 

Google "things to do Vancouver". Right out front of the hotel/Canada Place is a Tour booth with shuttles up to Capilano Suspension Bridge and/or Grouse Mountain, in my humble opinion the very best thing to do for a day in Vancouver, as long as you have good weather

 

1737657525_LookingawayfromfrontentraneofPanPacific.jpeg.125522895a797159a51857cacc9c7d25.jpeg

 

At the Pan Pacific/Canada Place, you are already directly on the waterfront promenade, which would lead you to Stanley Park. There's a HOHO bus (which also picks up right here at this tour booth directly in front of the hotel) that also takes your through Stanley Park & all of Vancouver during peak tourist season. "Fly Over Canada" is at the Pier as well. Other hot spots include Granville island, Robson Street, Gastown, English Bay, Kitsilano Beach....etc etc. Like New York, you could easily spend a week in Vancouver and not see/enjoy everything.

 

p.s. Great itinerary on Serenade! You will enjoy Sitka. Also the views out of the DL we be awesome whether it's through the British Columbia or Alaskan portions of the inside passage. If weather is great in the evenings, I strongly recommend not to get stuck in the CL where there's no view. 👍

 

Edited by Hoopster95
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