Jump to content

Bucket List - Recommendations for Alaskan Cruise on Celebrity Cruise Line


Recommended Posts

Once we are vaccinated and Covid is in the rear view and we are able to cruise again, we are looking to take a cruise to Alaska.   We have cruised 9 times via RCI and Celebrity throughout the Caribbean and Bermuda, but we have never done Alaska.  This would be a once in a lifetime time trip so we want to make it count.

 

What are recommendations for:

Departure Port

Ships

Length of Cruise

Balcony vs Ocean View or Inside

Ports

Excursions

Best time of year for cruising to Alaska

Anything else to consider?

 

Want to make the most of this trip as we will only do it once.  Reason being "I HATE TO FLY".  I go out of my way to NOT fly.  We live outside of Pittsburgh, PA and when we cruise, we typically drive to Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ or Baltimore.  We have cruised out of Florida and have taken the Auto Train and then driven to Port Canaveral or Fort Lauderdale.  With an Alaska cruise that won't be possible, but its something we really want to see.  My wife is fine with flying so it won't bother her.

 

When we cruise we aren't concerned with ship size, or upscale dining.  We primarily pick a cruise based on the ports we will see.  We are loyal to RCI and Celebrity with our last 3 cruises being on Celebrity.

 

Thanks in advance for the help and recommendations.

 

Looking forward to cruising again!

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, missingyou said:

Once we are vaccinated and Covid is in the rear view and we are able to cruise again, we are looking to take a cruise to Alaska.   We have cruised 9 times via RCI and Celebrity throughout the Caribbean and Bermuda, but we have never done Alaska.  This would be a once in a lifetime time trip so we want to make it count.

 

What are recommendations for:

Departure Port

Ships

Length of Cruise

Balcony vs Ocean View or Inside

Ports

Excursions

Best time of year for cruising to Alaska

Anything else to consider?

 

Want to make the most of this trip as we will only do it once.  Reason being "I HATE TO FLY".  I go out of my way to NOT fly.  We live outside of Pittsburgh, PA and when we cruise, we typically drive to Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ or Baltimore.  We have cruised out of Florida and have taken the Auto Train and then driven to Port Canaveral or Fort Lauderdale.  With an Alaska cruise that won't be possible, but its something we really want to see.  My wife is fine with flying so it won't bother her.

 

When we cruise we aren't concerned with ship size, or upscale dining.  We primarily pick a cruise based on the ports we will see.  We are loyal to RCI and Celebrity with our last 3 cruises being on Celebrity.

 

Thanks in advance for the help and recommendations.

 

Looking forward to cruising again!

 

 

 

Then you don't have a choice.  You have eliminated the best route - Seward to Vancouver or Seattle.  Either Seattle or Vancouver RT.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have gone in September and had wonderful weather and ports were not as crowded.  Our favorite excursion was one that  probably are not for you, seaplane in Ketchikan.  Whale watching in Icy Strait Point was also great.  Both were tours we booked independently not through the ship making much less expensive.

Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, missingyou said:

Once we are vaccinated and Covid is in the rear view and we are able to cruise again, we are looking to take a cruise to Alaska.   We have cruised 9 times via RCI and Celebrity throughout the Caribbean and Bermuda, but we have never done Alaska.  This would be a once in a lifetime time trip so we want to make it count.

 

What are recommendations for:

Departure Port

Ships

Length of Cruise

Balcony vs Ocean View or Inside

Ports

Excursions

Best time of year for cruising to Alaska

Anything else to consider?

 

Want to make the most of this trip as we will only do it once.  Reason being "I HATE TO FLY".  I go out of my way to NOT fly.  We live outside of Pittsburgh, PA and when we cruise, we typically drive to Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ or Baltimore.  We have cruised out of Florida and have taken the Auto Train and then driven to Port Canaveral or Fort Lauderdale.  With an Alaska cruise that won't be possible, but its something we really want to see.  My wife is fine with flying so it won't bother her.

 

When we cruise we aren't concerned with ship size, or upscale dining.  We primarily pick a cruise based on the ports we will see.  We are loyal to RCI and Celebrity with our last 3 cruises being on Celebrity.

 

Thanks in advance for the help and recommendations.

 

Looking forward to cruising again!

 

 

 

seems like you won't be doing an Alaska cruise then

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there.

   Alaska is beautiful.  We did a 10 day cruisetour in July/Aug 2012, the Millenium (mid sized, about 1,900 pax at the time).  We enjoyed them taking care of the hotels and transportation.  We did their excursions.  Weather was pretty warm actually.  

   I like a balcony room as it gives you a bit more moving around room, but we didn't spend much time on it!  Sometimes had multiple excursions a day.  We did a tour that started in Anchorage, train and bus up to Denali NP and back down to Alyeska.  They transported to Seward.  I believe most of the main line cruiselines do 7 days on the water down through the inside passage.  Smooth sailing through there. Ends in Vancouver usually.  Crowds? on ship, there was supposedly 200 kids on board but we really never saw them.  In port, not terrible, any volume didn't really bother us.  There's a limit to the number of ships that can fit in most of those ports.

   Trip was amazing and recommend doing the land tour first as it is a bit of being on the run, then the cruise afterward can be more relaxing.

   Check with their tourism board to see when they expect the salmon to 'run'.  Some excursions may take you to where the bears go fishing.  We missed that though because the weather was a bit too warm they said.  They also run through Ketchican, you can see them from the bridge there.  We saw a bear for free on a trail behind the Alyeska hotel.  Go figure.

   Whale watching is a must!  You can also get a bit of Inuit culture tours.

   Weather can be very variable so you'll need cool weather clothes, and some for warm, like sunny 70s if summer. Also bring travel size umbrellas or ponchos in case.  Definitely hiker shoes, hiker sneakers, or at the least, regular sneakers in case you are walking on dirt trails or it rains.  And bring multi-use layers as it does get pretty chilly up on deck for glacier viewing.  

   Hope this helps.  Have a wonderful time whenever you wind up going.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, lyndarra said:

Much thanks - I have actually looked at this - The time by train and car are just too long when you consider round trip.  So I am going to suck it up and fly to save the time.  I have flown and I can fly  - I will just avoid it if at all possible.  So for this trip I will fly so that we can go.  Hopefully we can find a direct flight or minimal layovers.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, missingyou said:

Once we are vaccinated and Covid is in the rear view and we are able to cruise again, we are looking to take a cruise to Alaska.   We have cruised 9 times via RCI and Celebrity throughout the Caribbean and Bermuda, but we have never done Alaska.  This would be a once in a lifetime time trip so we want to make it count.

 

What are recommendations for:

Departure Port

Ships

Length of Cruise

Balcony vs Ocean View or Inside

Ports

Excursions

Best time of year for cruising to Alaska

Anything else to consider?

 

Want to make the most of this trip as we will only do it once.  Reason being "I HATE TO FLY".  I go out of my way to NOT fly.  We live outside of Pittsburgh, PA and when we cruise, we typically drive to Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ or Baltimore.  We have cruised out of Florida and have taken the Auto Train and then driven to Port Canaveral or Fort Lauderdale.  With an Alaska cruise that won't be possible, but its something we really want to see.  My wife is fine with flying so it won't bother her.

 

When we cruise we aren't concerned with ship size, or upscale dining.  We primarily pick a cruise based on the ports we will see.  We are loyal to RCI and Celebrity with our last 3 cruises being on Celebrity.

 

Thanks in advance for the help and recommendations.

 

Looking forward to cruising again!

 

 

 

 

We did our Alaskan cruise on Celebrity Solstice and really enjoyed it.   We departed from Seattle  in August which was our choice as we wanted to take a nonstop flight.  A fun city.  Temperatures were in the middle 90s in Seattle and lower 70's at all our stops.  It was cooler over the open water.   We really enjoyed a seaplane excursion in Ketchikan and whale watching in Juneau.  In Skagway, we took a small bus excursion up to the Yukon which was fantastic.  All of these were private tours.  Butchart Gardens in Vancouver Island is not to be missed and we did that one via the cruise line. There was a guest speaker who was entertaining who talked about wildlife.  His name was Brent Nixon.

 

A highlight for us was the fresh seafood brought on board in Juneau.  It was an amazing grilled fish meal for a couple of days. Fresh crab, salmon, cod, etc.  .  

 

As mentioned, there are other lines that go to Glacier Bay. Another consideration.  Also, don't go to Alaska and expect to see alot of animals.  We saw hardly any and I am glad I went to our local zoo before heading to Alaska. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

A balcony is a must. I would also choose a cruise that sails the inside passage (between Vancouver Island and the mainland) which means sailing from Vancouver.   The scenery is gorgeous.  if you sail from Seattle you will sail west of Vancouver Island in open ocean.  I don't know what bothers you about flying so I would ask, is it the taking off and landing mostly?  if that is the case, I would try and get a nonstop to Seattle (lovely city too) and take the Amtrak up to Vancouver.  I don't think you will get a non stop flight from PA to Vancouver but I could be wrong.

We have sailed in May and September and were lucky with the weather.  It often rains in Ketchikan.  We loved Skagway.  The White Pass railroad trip is favored by many but we have not done it.  We rented a car instead.  The aerial tram in Juneau is fun too.  We had a Halibut pizza in Icy Straight Point that we still dream about!

I hope you enjoy the planning and that the trip is awesome for you.  Don't forget a day or two in our fair city.........

Edited by TeaBag
Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, keesar said:

 

Also, don't go to Alaska and expect to see alot of animals.  We saw hardly any and I am glad I went to our local zoo before heading to Alaska. 

We saw the animals on the land tour portion of the cruisetour.  Quite a few in Denali.  Even some after the cruisetour.

Edited by NMTraveller
Link to post
Share on other sites

Flying itself doesn't bother me - its the fear of crashing.  I did take the Fear of Flying Class from USAir in the late 80's and was fine and able to manage/control it up until 9/11.   I flew once a couple years after that and haven't flown since.  I don't drink so . . . well you get the idea.  Thank you for your suggestions!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree with the poster who recommended a cruise line that includes Glacier Bay.  We have cruised Alaska on Coral Princess and NCL Bliss.    Glacier Bay is a wonderful experience.

 

Please put $$$ aside for tours NOT connected with the cruise line (if that is even a choice going forward for some time).  We did:  whale watching, flight landing on a glacier, hiking to watch the bears salmon fishing in Anan Creek, Lumberjack show,  and the railroad trip.

 

Also on NCL a cruise ship sponsored trip that got really close to a glacier; we even had glacier cocktails!

 

I like Celebrity very much, but my recommendation would be a Princess midsized ship for Alaska.  By the way, both Seattle and Vancouver are great cities to explore.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

You all have given me some good things to consider - The suggestions of clothing and layering I hadn't considerred as well as rain.  I have made some notes and we will be doing some research - planning is half the fun!  Much thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Flying has not been an enjoyable experience for many years; but if you can put up with it, your best choice would be to fly into Anchorage, do a land tour up to Denali.  And then a rail trip from Anchorage to either Seward or Whittier - depending on your choice of cruise line - for your departure on a 7-night Southbound cruise to Vancouver BC.

 

I personally recommend you find a cruise that takes you to see both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay National Park in the warmer months of June or July.  Unfortunately Celebrity does not go to Glacier Bay but does take you to Hubbard Glacier.  In order to see both, glacier sites, you would need to cruise on Princess or Holland America.  In June/July of 2022, There are 23 Southbound 7-night cruises from Whittier to Vancouver that visit both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay - 14 on Princess ships and 9 on Holland America ships.

 

All 23 of these cruises also stop at the three classic ports of Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan and finish with a cruise through the Inside Passage before arriving in Vancouver.

 

Celebrity's Southbound cruises leave from Seward, visit Hubbard Glacier, skip Glacier Bay, and instead stop at Icy Strait Point in addition to the three classic ports and the Inside Passage on the way to Vancouver.

 

Back to the issue of flying.  There are no direct flights from Pittsburg to Anchorage - so you would need to take two flight segments totaling about 8.5 to 9 hours in the air and 1 to 2 hours in a connecting airport. Similarly, the return from Vancouver would be about 6.5 hours in the air and 1 to 2 in a connecting airport.  Definitely a real pain, but worth the effort to enjoy an included land tour.

 

Whatever your choice - enjoy!

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, missingyou said:

Flying itself doesn't bother me - its the fear of crashing.  I did take the Fear of Flying Class from USAir in the late 80's and was fine and able to manage/control it up until 9/11.   I flew once a couple years after that and haven't flown since.  I don't drink so . . . well you get the idea.  Thank you for your suggestions!

 

Perhaps you can do a nice road trip to get to the west coast, to avoid flying, make a bunch of stops and then board the ship w/o having to of flown, good combo vacation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have been at least 6 times mostly on 7 day cruises. on 3 different cruise lines. Our favorite areas by far are Glacier Bay. Skagway and Sitka are also great for scenery. We did fly into Juneau and rented a car and drove throughout Alaska; also found great scenery in most all areas with wildlife all over including moose by the airport in Earthquake Park in Anchorage and bear, Dall sheep and even a lynx In Denali National Park.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Glacier Bay seems to be coming up a good bit - so I am definitely going to look that up and research it.

 

Much thanks.

13 minutes ago, LGW59 said:

Perhaps you can do a nice road trip to get to the west coast, to avoid flying, make a bunch of stops and then board the ship w/o having to of flown, good combo vacation.

Yeah I have considered that  - its definitely an option but would be a 3 week trip at least -which isn't bad actually.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't forget gloves. and jacket and maybe raingear. You need to be outside to hear the calving of the glaciers, awesome experience as the Captain does a 180 so everyone gets to see.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One tour recommendation is for Skagway. we took a private tour with Chilkoot Tours that had us do a bus up into the Yukon and then caught the train back to Skagway. We did the longer 7+ hr tour. It was a small bus of about 15 of us with stops when we saw sights we wanted to stop and see and up into Canada/Yukon to the Emerald Lake, then back to the train departure point. Lovely time. Small tour further into the back country area.

 

Den

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, missingyou said:

Flying itself doesn't bother me - its the fear of crashing.  I did take the Fear of Flying Class from USAir in the late 80's and was fine and able to manage/control it up until 9/11.   I flew once a couple years after that and haven't flown since.  I don't drink so . . . well you get the idea.  Thank you for your suggestions!

 

My mother in law is terrified of flying. The only way she can handle it is to get a prescription for Xanax. We went to Hawaii in 2018 and she flew from Phoenix to LAX to Kona. She said the Xanax took enough of the edge off that she was able to focus on her book or a show. I’m an anxious flyer as well (take off scares me!) so I put my headphones on and blast a podcast. I’m so sorry you have such a fear. I live in Seattle and my first ever cruise was to Alaska in 2009 and it hooked me in! Alaska is incredible so I know you will enjoy it. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, TeaBag said:

A balcony is a must. I would also choose a cruise that sails the inside passage (between Vancouver Island and the mainland) which means sailing from Vancouver.   The scenery is gorgeous.

We had a balcony for the first time for our Alaska cruise, as there was too much that we would have missed otherwise.

The day that we viewed the.glacier would have been so disappointing otherwise, as so many people were gathered at viewing points around the ship, which made photography impossible, so we went back to our balcony.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Many great ideas already re places to visit...I will concentrate on the ship experience. I must say that on cold weather cruises you do get the best out of purchasing a suite...

 

Bigger windows and balcony. I would sit on the balcony on a sunbed wrapped in the blankets provided by the butler watching us entering or leaving ports sipping hot chocolate (fortified) supplied by our butler...

 

Extra storage is useful too. Totally agree with the comments on layers...If your jacket or shoes get damp your butler will take them away and they will arrive back in your room dry and fresh...

 

Suite treats we also have enjoyed on colder cruises have been sail in/away events on the helipad (great viewpoints),  bridge and kitchen tours on sea days (activities like this always appreciated more if the weather isn’t wonderful)...

 

I would also recommend looking at your itinerary and if you are on an S class ship book Tuscan on evenings when you are leaving the ports as Tuscan opens. Great wake views, wonderful then to see day change to night...

 

Have a fantastic cruise whatever you decide!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team: New Ship Ultramarine
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...