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End of Season (Oct 16-23)- Stuff Open?


barbiecruiser27
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We are looking at a NCL Oct 16-23 sailing out of Seattle. I wonder since this is the last cruise of the season. Will things be open? Obviously I expect it will be slightly colder than a June/July sailing....but besides that any other negatives?

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Several years ago we did the last Alaska itinerary on a different line.  We did it to pair with a Pacific Coastal for a lovely B2B.  

 

My recollection is that our Alaska segment departed Vancouver on September 11 or so.  The temperatures were not slightly cooler than June/July but much cooler.  We had prepared for heavy rain so were well prepared for what we encountered.  The rain in Juneau was almost torrential.  We also missed Ketchikan due to heavy wind.  Actually, every ship scheduled for Ketchikan missed it that day.  We weren't surprised as when we were in Juneau we had lunch at a coffee shop;  they were playing a local radio station and so we heard SE Alaska news.  Two or so days before all ships scheduled for Ketchikan also had missed the port, again due to heavy winds.  The seas were rough enough one evening that the MDR was only about 25% full; the bulk of the tables were empty.  

 

None of this was much of a surprise for us.  We  live in Alaska.  My husband worked out of Ketchikan many years ago on a geologic exploration project.  I also have been in Juneau on business in October.

 

 

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"Slightly cooler"? It could be much cooler...20-30 degrees, realistically. We had sleet on a sailing on Labor Day a number of years ago. There have been major storms in September...such that ports have been skipped and ships have been damaged. Yes, people will come on and say their cruise in XXXX was perfect weather, but not in mid October. I haven't heard any cruise line going that late.

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I don't know the answer to this question but on a normal year, how many ships would be doing AK into mid October.  Think about it.  There is probably a reason that they don't usually do it that late (weather)  and a reason that they are doing it this year (greed).

 

BTW - these are the average high and low temperatures and number of days of rain in Juneau for the months of Sept., Oct., and November.

 

September   57° / 45°   19 days

October   49° / 39°   21 days

November   40° / 31°  18 days

 

DON

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Alaska in general is having difficulty getting temporary workers. There’s a log jam with the J-1 Visa program due to the pandemic and this is what many of the seasonal workers use to work in Alaska.  With the short season and so few ships sailing after the end of September there is a good chance there will be few tourist venues/excursions  that will be open. I checked a few vendors in Juneau and they aren’t booking past September.

 

Alaska during the beginning of the cruise season is fantastic with snow still on the mountains making for some good photo ops. Have to imagine October might give you similar scenery if you have some good weather.

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Daylight hours will be very short.  Check sunrise, sunset hours for your ports. Alaska.org has a handy chart.  Tourist shops will be closed, excursion opportunities will be limited. 

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11 hours ago, donaldsc said:

I don't know the answer to this question but on a normal year, how many ships would be doing AK into mid October.  Think about it.  There is probably a reason that they don't usually do it that late (weather)  and a reason that they are doing it this year (greed).

 

BTW - these are the average high and low temperatures and number of days of rain in Juneau for the months of Sept., Oct., and November.

 

September   57° / 45°   19 days

October   49° / 39°   21 days

November   40° / 31°  18 days

 

DON

 

Check out this weather site for Juneau - https://www.weather-us.com/en/alaska-usa/juneau-weather-october#rainfall.

 

DON

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20 hours ago, barbiecruiser27 said:

We are looking at a NCL Oct 16-23 sailing out of Seattle. I wonder since this is the last cruise of the season. Will things be open? Obviously I expect it will be slightly colder than a June/July sailing....but besides that any other negatives?

 

This subject was discussed extensively on a previous thread. Here is a link

 

When I worked Alaska cruises, we stayed in the Inside Passage almost continuosly, unless heading to Sitka. Even then we wouldn't remain in Alaska after about 3rd week of September. Cruising Alaska in September, I experienced a 70 kt storm each year.

 

Operating out of Seattle and cruising up down the open ocean in mid-October is ludicrous, unless the ship is QM2, or a long since scrapped liner. The chance of real heavy weather is extremely high.

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2 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

This subject was discussed extensively on a previous thread. Here is a link

 

When I worked Alaska cruises, we stayed in the Inside Passage almost continuosly, unless heading to Sitka. Even then we wouldn't remain in Alaska after about 3rd week of September. Cruising Alaska in September, I experienced a 70 kt storm each year.

 

Operating out of Seattle and cruising up down the open ocean in mid-October is ludicrous, unless the ship is QM2, or a long since scrapped liner. The chance of real heavy weather is extremely high.

 

We will never know unless someone on the ship reports but it will be interesting to know how many people are so desperate to go on a cruise actually book and go on on this cruise.  

 

One of the first time my wife and I were on a ship was maybe 40 or 50 years ago when we traveled by ferry from someplace in Norway to some place in Scotland in early September if I remember correctly.  I do remember that it was the last run of this ferry before they closed down for the season.  To make it worse, we had a cabin at the very bow of the ship.  It was years before I could get her on a ship again and she still insists on a cabin that is low down and center.

 

DON

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3 hours ago, donaldsc said:

 

We will never know unless someone on the ship reports but it will be interesting to know how many people are so desperate to go on a cruise actually book and go on on this cruise.  

 

One of the first time my wife and I were on a ship was maybe 40 or 50 years ago when we traveled by ferry from someplace in Norway to some place in Scotland in early September if I remember correctly.  I do remember that it was the last run of this ferry before they closed down for the season.  To make it worse, we had a cabin at the very bow of the ship.  It was years before I could get her on a ship again and she still insists on a cabin that is low down and center.

 

DON

 

Don - if you arrived on the mainland it would most likely have been Rosyth, just outside Edinburgh. I also vaguely recall Orkney and/or Shetlands having ferry service to Norway.

 

With respect to the mid-October Alaska cruise, I find it interesting that only NCL are offering these late departures. The experienced Alaska cruise lines are long gone.

 

After leaving cruise ships, I worked the BC North Coast for a number of years out of Prince Rupert, and the weather can be rather unpleasant. Storms of 90 kts were not uncommon, in fact we once encountered a 120 kt storm on the Queen Charlottes. Had one experience, where it was so bad in Hecate Strait, we sought refuge behind Banks Island for 2 days, not bad for a crossing meant to last 6 hrs.

 

Ship movement doesn't bother me, but it still isn't an overly comfortable experience, especially standing on the Bridge. Certainly tolerable when we were being paid, I just can't imagine wanting to pay good money for the experience.

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I live near Seattle and the weather here is usually extremely windy and very very wet that part of October . We cruised to Alaska for our first cruise in September 2009 and it was very cold. I ended up buying some warmer socks for our excursions. The best weather we had was in Ketchikan and we ended up doing a snorkel excursion in a full wet suit. It was really great! I think as long as you are prepared for wet weather, and probably not much open on excursions, you will have a great time! I would love to sit cozy and warm in a ship. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

We have cruised Alaska four times. We went twice in mid September which was the last week of Alaskan cruises. They ships were getting ready to close for the season and having close out sales. Also, if you do a search for shore excursions, you will find that about September 15th will be the very last ones Of thebyear; like whale watching, etc.

I have NEVER heard of Alaska cruises in October.

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