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Alaska Cruise San Francisco or Seattle


dfencecoach
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Looking at taking our first cruise to Alaska. We have 16 Cruises under our belt all in the Caribbean.  We use carnival and they leave out of San Francisco (10 day) and Seattle (7 day).  The price for both are about the same.  If you’ve done one or both give the advantage of using one or the other. I do know there is a three day difference.

 

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I agree...look at other brands. There is a wide range of possibilities. Princess also does a 10 or 12 day out of SF.

 

I would always vote in favor of the longer cruise if you can do it. Holland America has a great 14 day Alaska cruise I highly recommend.

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Find an itinerary that goes to Glacier Bay.

 

Otherwise your only difference is a 10 day versus 7 day. If you are cruising based on the ship, head to the Caribbean and save some money. If you are cruising for Alaska, find the best itinerary and book that. Princess and HAL have been in Alaska for many years.

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Choices are Carnival Freedom from Seattle, or Miracle from San Francisco.  Looking at itinerary, I would choose Freedom.  She visits Ketchikan, and Miracle does not.  In my opinion (not being an Alaska expert) I think Skagway and Ketchikan give the best simulation of a frontier town.  If I was to choose by ship, it would be Miracle because I like the layout of Spirit class, and size.  EM

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18 hours ago, dfencecoach said:

We are platinum members with carnival and have some great perks with them.  They both visit Juneau, Skagway, Icy strait, Tracy Arm, and Victoria. Any help is appreciated.

If you like both ships and don’t mind the sea days on the San Francisco itinerary look at times in each port and choose the longer ones.  We sailed round trip out of SF in 2019 on a 21 day Alaska cruise and it was for us easier than sailing out of Seattle.  We just took an uber for the short drive from our SF hotel to the port.   I’m surprised neither itinerary goes to Ketchikan.  Sometimes ships are not able to get into Tracy Arm.  Add a couple of days to enjoy San Francisco. 

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22 hours ago, dfencecoach said:

We are platinum members with carnival and have some great perks with them.  They both visit Juneau, Skagway, Icy strait, Tracy Arm, and Victoria. Any help is appreciated.

Tracy Arm is often missed by large ships. 

 

I like to spend as much time in Alaska so sailing from SFO doesn't appeal to me.

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If you take a 10 day Alaska cruise from San Francisco, you spend 3+ days at sea on the way up and 3+ days at sea on the way back, leaving you - at best - a 3 day Alaska cruise. Those 6+ days at sea typically involve choppy seas, rain, wind, cold, and very little else. If that is your thing, definitely sail from San Francisco. 

 

If you take a 7 day Alaska cruise from Seattle, you will take the outside passage, meaning 2 sea days up and 2 sea days back, leaving you with - at best - a 3 day Alaska cruise. Those 4 sea days typically involve choppy seas, rain, wind, cold, and very little else. If that is your thing, definitely sail from Seattle.

 

If you take any length Alaska cruise from Vancouver, the Alaska part starts about 3 hours after leaving the pier and entering the inside passage. You get a real Alaska cruise  for the duration of your voyage, plus calm sailing, great views, lots of wildlife, and generally better weather.

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1 hour ago, BruceMuzz said:

If you take a 10 day Alaska cruise from San Francisco, you spend 3+ days at sea on the way up and 3+ days at sea on the way back, leaving you - at best - a 3 day Alaska cruise. Those 6+ days at sea typically involve choppy seas, rain, wind, cold, and very little else. If that is your thing, definitely sail from San Francisco. 

 

If you take a 7 day Alaska cruise from Seattle, you will take the outside passage, meaning 2 sea days up and 2 sea days back, leaving you with - at best - a 3 day Alaska cruise. Those 4 sea days typically involve choppy seas, rain, wind, cold, and very little else. If that is your thing, definitely sail from Seattle.

 

If you take any length Alaska cruise from Vancouver, the Alaska part starts about 3 hours after leaving the pier and entering the inside passage. You get a real Alaska cruise  for the duration of your voyage, plus calm sailing, great views, lots of wildlife, and generally better weather.

 

Based on the cruises and the itineraries that some people take for AK, I get the impression that some people either do zero research or they just want to be on a ship going somewhere and don't really want to see much of Alaska.  If that is what you like, there is really nothing wrong w that.

 

 

DON

Edited by donaldsc
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11 hours ago, BruceMuzz said:

If you take any length Alaska cruise from Vancouver, the Alaska part starts about 3 hours after leaving the pier and entering the inside passage. You get a real Alaska cruise  for the duration of your voyage, plus calm sailing, great views, lots of wildlife, and generally better weather.

 

While you enter narrow channels about 5 - 6 hours after departing Vancouver, as it is 100 miles up to Seymour Narrows, Alaska waters don't start until Dixon Entrance, which is a shade over 24 hrs steaming from Vancouver.

 

You spend the first day out of Vancouver sailing through British Colombia's waters.

 

Since most Alaska bound ships now use Hecate Strait rather than Grenville Channel, smooth sailing is not always guaranteed on day 2, even on Vancouver based ships.

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If you want something longer than the typical 7 day trip look at the 9 day round trips from Seattle. Norwegian has a dandy itinerary with fewer sea days and more ports than the San Francisco itineraries. Norwegian also includes Glacier Bay.

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11 hours ago, donaldsc said:

 

Based on the cruises and the itineraries that some people take for AK, I get the impression that some people either do zero research or they just want to be on a ship going somewhere and don't really want to see much of Alaska.  If that is what you like, there is really nothing wrong w that.

 

 

DON

No, nothing wrong with that. Just need to advise if that's your plan, go somewhere cheaper than Alaska.

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