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Old 04-20-2012, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,413 posts, read 10,386,904 times
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I might add, if your time is at all flexible ... get on the list for last minute deals from the cruise lines. You can get incredible bargains if you're able to sail at the last minute.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
878 posts, read 1,371,198 times
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Thanks for the great responses everyone! Lots of useful info.

To update a bit... it would be me and my lady friend. Alaska would most definitely be the cheaper option due to no travel costs to Seattle.

I'm honestly leaning that way as well... living my entire life on the flat east coast I never saw mountains and other scenic views until I moved here... and I think Alaska has some of those views as well..

As far as when... I have an open schedule so getting a last minute deal would also be in the cards... I can't leave same day or anything but a week or two notice is generally enough for my employer.

May is a bit early but will definitely look into the end of season deals.

Thanks all!
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:35 PM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,854 posts, read 20,162,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
Actually, the heat in the Caribbean is generally not as bad as it is in the Southern US during the summer months. Since the islands are all relatively small plots of land surrounded by water, they tend to remain fairly comfortable. More often than not, there's a nice sea breeze (especially in the evening) to cool you off. I'm not a fan of heat at all. However, few things are more pleasant (in my opinion) than a Caribbean evening. Your cruise ship will most likely be fairly comfortable as you'll be moving at a good pace and you'll be out on the water. I would not compare the temperature to Savannah in the summer. What you'll experience onboard and in the bahamas will be more comfortable.
Thanks for this info ... I've been reluctant to do the Caribbean cruises in the summer for fear of the extreme heat/humidity that the Southeastern US gets ... I'm used to hot weather in SO CA but not the humidity.
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:30 AM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,413 posts, read 10,386,904 times
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Oh ... one more thing. If you make reservations, be sure to ask for an upgrade. I've almost always been bumped up a class or two on the room, but paid the lower cost of the cabin that was reserved. They then can turn around and sell the lower class cabin more easily.
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
878 posts, read 1,371,198 times
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Thanks everyone.

I've decided on Alaska... later this summer and hopefully the end of the season rates will apply.
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:29 PM
 
693 posts, read 817,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRC2k11 View Post
I moved last year from Savannah, GA (my family is still there) to Seattle, WA for a new job. This summer I want to take my first cruise so I figure I have 2 options...

1) Fly back to Georgia, visit family, then take a cruise out of Florida

2) Stay here in WA and cruise Alaska

I'm leaning towards Alaska because if there is one thing I don't miss about living in the south is the heat... I can only imagine it's a lot worse down in the Bahamas or Caribbean.

Thoughts?
Hmmm, well I don't really think that you can go wrong with either option to be honest! I have done both an Alaskan cruise as well as several Caribbean cruises with my family and we had fabulous experiences on all of them! I think it greatly depends on what you want out of your cruising experience. I'll try to break it down for you below (as precisely as possible).

1) If you were to take the cruise out of FL to the Caribbean then, yes, it is definitely going to be hot during the summer time. I find that these types of Caribbean cruises are generally more geared towards just taking it easy and relaxing. Most of the ports (islands) that you stop at look more or less the same and have, more or less, the same things to do on them. A vast majority of the excursions in the Caribbean involve some kind of water sports activity (swimming with dolphins, snorkel, scuba, yacht rides, sailing, jet skiing, etc.) or something of that nature. However, with that being said, there are also other things that you can do as well. For example, you just walk around the different ports of call and do some exploring/shopping (you can even take walking tours I believe). Like I said before, most of the activities/excursions/ these types of cruises in general tend to revolve around a very slow-paced and relaxing holiday where one can lay out on the top deck or on a (gorgeous) beach on an island. I think Caribbean cruises are perfect if you want to unwind, relax, and just leave your worries behind.

2) On the other hand, you have the Alaskan cruises. I found our Alaskan cruise to be absolutely exhilarating. It's one of the best trips I've ever been on. First off, Alaska is just stunning. Plain and simple, it's beautiful. The pictures and commercials that you see on TV don't do it justice....it's unbelievable. In contrast to the Caribbean cruises, I find that Alaskan cruises tend to be more active. You really can get the chance to interact with the stunning nature that surrounds you. We saw glaciers, whales, national parks, beautiful landscapes, went zip-lining, etc. It was incredible. This sounds so cheesy and tacky, but being in Alaska (at least to me) gives you a sense of freedom. You feel very much in touch with the beauty and nature around you and it's an amazing experience. One thing you might want to consider is, when we went on our trip (our cruise left from Alaska and made its way down to Seattle) we flew in early and then spent a few days before the cruise departed at Denali (which again, is amazing). After our time at Denali, we then took a "scenic train" to the cruise (several hour train ride through the countryside of Alaska....obviously stunning) and boarded and began our cruising voyage from there. It was a very nice addition and we are really glad that we did it. Fantastic opportunity.

Overall though, like I said, you can't really go wrong with either cruise as a first time cruiser. I'm sure you'll have a fabulous time no matter which one you choose. If it were me, however, I would opt for the Alaskan cruise again. Another word of advice that I might add is to make good use of all the amenities on board. Cruise lines offer a plethora of wonderful activities and amenities that you don't want to miss out on. You might as well take advantage of them, after all, you paid for them lol.

Hope you have a fabulous time! Check in with us and let us know which one you choose and what you thought of it!


EDIT: Just saw your last post and that you chose Alaska. Good for you, I'm sure you won't regret your decision. Have a blast!
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:36 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,225 posts, read 14,927,129 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
Actually, the heat in the Caribbean is generally not as bad as it is in the Southern US during the summer months. Since the islands are all relatively small plots of land surrounded by water, they tend to remain fairly comfortable. More often than not, there's a nice sea breeze (especially in the evening) to cool you off. I'm not a fan of heat at all. However, few things are more pleasant (in my opinion) than a Caribbean evening. Your cruise ship will most likely be fairly comfortable as you'll be moving at a good pace and you'll be out on the water. I would not compare the temperature to Savannah in the summer. What you'll experience onboard and in the bahamas will be more comfortable.
Generally that's true - about the cooler temperatures on the islands but that's the eastern and western Caribbean. The southern caribbean is hotter than hades! We had been on 5 cruises around the Caribbean and decided to take the southern trip, leaving out of PR, in Sept. OMG, the islands were so hot that doing anything not on the water was really uncomfortable. Barbados is, after all, nearly on the equator. It wasn't much cooler in St. Kitts or St. Thomas either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRC2k11 View Post
Thanks for the great responses everyone! Lots of useful info.

To update a bit... it would be me and my lady friend. Alaska would most definitely be the cheaper option due to no travel costs to Seattle.

I'm honestly leaning that way as well... living my entire life on the flat east coast I never saw mountains and other scenic views until I moved here... and I think Alaska has some of those views as well..

As far as when... I have an open schedule so getting a last minute deal would also be in the cards... I can't leave same day or anything but a week or two notice is generally enough for my employer.

May is a bit early but will definitely look into the end of season deals.

Thanks all!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatteress View Post
Thanks for this info ... I've been reluctant to do the Caribbean cruises in the summer for fear of the extreme heat/humidity that the Southeastern US gets ... I'm used to hot weather in SO CA but not the humidity.
It isn't the humidity, it's the sun. Be VERY careful of burning. I generally take a long time to tan except on the cruises where I burn in 15 minutes. My husband has even gotten a burn and he's darker-skinned being Italian and Hispanic.

We went to Jamaica and Grand Cayman in May and when we went to Hell, we were soaked to the skin with sweat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRC2k11 View Post
Thanks everyone.



I've decided on Alaska... later this summer and hopefully the end of the season rates will apply.
We are planning an Alaska cruise for after we are retired and can go to the Pacific North Wet.

Enjoy Alaska and report back!!
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