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Old 10-01-2008, 03:15 PM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 5,067,294 times
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I know what you mean, Fairbanks! I just did a self-designed land trip around Alaska's interior, and now I miss Alaska terribly. I wish I could move there.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:53 AM
 
193 posts, read 751,977 times
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Default Anyone gone on an alaskan cruise?

Hi I am just curious what people have thought about the alaskan cruises. Is it freezing? Is August an okay time to go on one? Was it mostly old people on the ship? I am just wondering if it is worth the $$ and what the cruise environment/entertainment was like. I have always wanted to go there and am thinking about doing it next Aug for DH and my anniversary. My MIL thinks a cruise to AK would be boring. I think she is wrong though. I think it would be awesome, although I know nobody that has cruised there.

Oh and I was also wondering which is the best route.....the inside passage, gulf southbound, or gulf northbound?

Last edited by zebrashoes; 06-11-2009 at 10:03 AM..
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 12,305,392 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zebrashoes View Post
Hi I am just curious what people have thought about the alaskan cruises. Is it freezing? Is August an okay time to go on one? Was it mostly old people on the ship? I am just wondering if it is worth the $$ and what the cruise environment/entertainment was like. I have always wanted to go there and am thinking about doing it next Aug for DH and my anniversary. My MIL thinks a cruise to AK would be boring. I think she is wrong though. I think it would be awesome, although I know nobody that has cruised there.
I don't yet know what to think, but I am going to find out, because we are scheduled to cruise there in August. It looks like the cruise lines are lowballing the cruise and charging tons for the excursions, so if you can swear off most of the excursions and just do your own thing, you can get good deals right now.
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,743 posts, read 3,199,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j_k_k View Post
I don't yet know what to think, but I am going to find out, because we are scheduled to cruise there in August. It looks like the cruise lines are lowballing the cruise and charging tons for the excursions, so if you can swear off most of the excursions and just do your own thing, you can get good deals right now.
I had read somewhere that cruise lines were discounting their Alaska excursions by 20% this summer because the land tour operators were discounting them as well.

To find out about crusing in Alaska try this site and click on Alaska.
Cruise Critic Message Boards

We've done two Alaska cruises and are planning another this summer.
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 12,305,392 times
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Originally Posted by Chilkoot View Post
I had read somewhere that cruise lines were discounting their Alaska excursions by 20% this summer because the land tour operators were discounting them as well.

To find out about crusing in Alaska try this site and click on Alaska.
Cruise Critic Message Boards

We've done two Alaska cruises and are planning another this summer.
Thanks. My wife is pretty on top of this, and is Alaskan, so I just sort of get towed along (trip was her idea, not mine). But I was remembering our trip to the Aegean, in which the excursions were really how the cruise line milked us, and how much more reasonable the excursions were compared to what I saw in the Inside Passage cruise brochure.

Personally, all I want is to see a glacier calving. I want to hear a tremendous boom and watch a small office-building-sized chunk of ice fall. They can keep the Soapy Smith exhibition in Skagway and getting drenched in Juneau, but if any glaciers are left and I get to see a monster piece of ice fall, it was worth the trip for me. Not that I think the rest would be dull, just that if I'm going to go on a cruise and endure all the cruise ship baloney I want to be completely out of the Americas (such as the Baltic, French coast, Mediterranean).
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Dixie's Sunny Shore
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An Alaskan cruise is a wonderful, unique experience. I had my doubts, but quite glad I was able to go. Scenery like you'll never see anywhere. You'll likely see whales, seals and, depending on your land intinerary choices, maybe moose, bears and plenty of eagles. The glaciers are awesome. We went in June, and it was a bit cool, but I live in MI so I'm accustomed to that. I'd bet you'll take more pictures on your cruise than about any other vacation. You'll enjoy it.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Orlando
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I've cruised Alaska twice, once in July and the second time in September. Both times it was freezing cold outside on the ship, particularly when you get near glaciers. Take a warm coat, gloves, and hat so you can spend some time out on deck seeing the incredible scenery. On the other hand, inland it was very comfortable, in fact it got hot on the July trip.

I strongly recommend that you include a trip to Denali -- to me that was the highlight of both Alaska trips. The cruises were much less impressive than touring Denali. I did notice that there seemed to be a lot of older people on the cruises. They were not the party ships, like you would see in the Caribbean. But that's OK -- it seemed like the focus was more on the scenic beauty and the wildlife.

One other thing: if you're prone to seasickness, just do the inside passage. That's very calm water. On both cruises, our ship sailed from Seward across the Gulf of Alaska in stormy waters and it was ROUGH. I got seasick both times, but I was fine once we reached the inside passage.
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
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I just came back from an Alaskan Cruise. I went the week of May 17th. It was 65 and sunny everyday, so we were lucky. We cruised out of Seattle on the NCL Pearl. We booked excursions with the cruiseline, but you could probably get better prices in town.
In Skagway, the train is a must!
My cruise was inside passage so the ship felt like it was stationary. The Scenary was beautiful and we had a naturalist on board thru Glacier bay. It was spectacular and we got to see all the glaciers there.

Diane G
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Spring/The Woodlands area
228 posts, read 884,803 times
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The Alaska cruise is one of the best!! I am not a cold weather person, but I finally broke down and took one with my hubby, brother and sil. It was awesome!! I cant wait to do it again. Only wish that I had done my research BEFORE I booked instead of AFTER !

Another thing, if you can, leave from Seward (or another port up north) instead of Seattle, if at all possible and come down to Vancouver. The cruises leaving from Seattle say they are the inside passage, but basically, you dont do the inside passage until you get to Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchican. So, you arent really close enough to land to be able to take your binoculars on deck and look for wild life. And, I would recommend that you add a few days cruise tours onto you cruise and check out Denali.

And, as mentioned, when you go thru the glaciers, the temp does drop, so make sure your prepared for the cold! One of the best excursions Ive ever taken on a cruise, was the Helicopter/Glacier Trek! OMG! It was awesome! But, you have to be in pretty good shape, and its not cheap. But, it was like being on another planet, and you can not imagine how beautiful that glacier is close up! The most beautiful shades of blues, and turquoise you have ever seen!! My pictures truly look like post cards. I had seen pictures before I went, and I thought, yeah right, those are post cards....now I have my very own postcards!

Also, book a float plane trip with Michelle of Island Wings! She is so awesome, and will show you some great scenery plus a landing in a gorgeous spot on the side of a lake.

We did the White Pass Train at Skagway, and that was a lot of fun too, and not too expensive. Just dont buy the video, its NOT worth it at all. Each car has a little pot belly stove that you can warm up to after stepping outside to take pictures.

Another thing that is not too expensive and a lot of fun is a Salmon Bake. You can pick one up at a port, and they will drive you to the destination and bring you back, and some wonderful food..probably about $35 a person.

One thing I could not do was go to the dog camps or take their tours. I know they say the dogs like it, but I just didnt like seeing them all chained up...I think this gets about as many good reviews as it does bad...

Alaska is not cheap, but it is SO worth it! I cant wait to go back. Dot
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:10 PM
 
Location: NY
2,007 posts, read 3,447,794 times
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We went on a Inside Passage cruise in July 2001. I say GO,GO,GO! I loved every minute of this cruise. It was chilly but not bad at all. We even got into the pool once. Bring a good jacket but a heavy coat is not necessary.
Make sure you do excursions at the ports. We took a Jeep drive in the mountains, salmon fishing and a helecopter ride to the top of a glacier where we walked around and drank glacial melt. It was one of the most fantastic trips I've ever been on.
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