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Old 12-18-2012, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,743 posts, read 3,198,247 times
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Alaska is much more about the ports than the ship. Youíll have a lot to select from with that price point. We did a 7 day from Vancouver to Seward on Norwegian last July for $449/person for an ocean view cabin. Although itís usually a bit cheaper (due to airfare) to cruise to/from Seattle you also cruise around the west side of Vancouver Island that can get rough at times. Cruises from Vancouver sail on the east side of the island. Check out CruiseCritic as Motordavid suggested. If you look at the details, the Alaska Marine Highway ferry is much more expensive than a cruise.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:10 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,571,346 times
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Originally Posted by Chilkoot View Post
Alaska is much more about the ports than the ship. Youíll have a lot to select from with that price point. We did a 7 day from Vancouver to Seward on Norwegian last July for $449/person for an ocean view cabin. Although itís usually a bit cheaper (due to airfare) to cruise to/from Seattle you also cruise around the west side of Vancouver Island that can get rough at times. Cruises from Vancouver sail on the east side of the island. Check out CruiseCritic as Motordavid suggested. If you look at the details, the Alaska Marine Highway ferry is much more expensive than a cruise.
I disagree to an extent. Ports are definitely important (as well as making sure your ship will sail the inside passage) but the ship is very important as well. The ports will seem to not matter much if on board you wait in line for everything, the food is terrible, the cabin is uncomfortable, the staff is overworked or surly, or the public areas are crowded and garishly decorated.
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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Originally Posted by annerk View Post
I disagree to an extent. Ports are definitely important (as well as making sure your ship will sail the inside passage) but the ship is very important as well. The ports will seem to not matter much if on board you wait in line for everything, the food is terrible, the cabin is uncomfortable, the staff is overworked or surly, or the public areas are crowded and garishly decorated.
So based on this information, are there any lines that cruise Alaska that you would definitely avoid because of these issues? I don't know of any and with a budget of $1500 they are resigned to using the main lines. Someone like Regent would be at least double that for Alaska so that's out.

All ships that cruise SE Alaska do at least a part of the inside passage which goes from Seattle to Skagway. Do you know of any cruise lines that sail in SE Alaska that don't do a good part of the inside passage? Certainly the ones that depart form Seattle sail around the west side of Vancouver Island but the next day those vessels are once again sailing the inside passage.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:46 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,571,346 times
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Originally Posted by Chilkoot View Post
So based on this information, are there any lines that cruise Alaska that you would definitely avoid because of these issues? I don't know of any and with a budget of $1500 they are resigned to using the main lines. Someone like Regent would be at least double that for Alaska so that's out.

All ships that cruise SE Alaska do at least a part of the inside passage which goes from Seattle to Skagway. Do you know of any cruise lines that sail in SE Alaska that don't do a good part of the inside passage? Certainly the ones that depart form Seattle sail around the west side of Vancouver Island but the next day those vessels are once again sailing the inside passage.
I'd be looking for the smallest ship with the highest level of quality possible, even if it meant going in shoulder season. I'd skip it before I'd sail Carnival, RCCL, Costa, HAL, or NCL. I'd probably look at Princess or wait a couple more years and save my pennies until I could afford Regent, Azamura, or Oceania, or if I had kids, Disney.
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Old 01-18-2014, 05:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by StilltheSame View Post
We just booked for a family of 4 late August on Celebrity. We booked Concierge class with a balcony, and I am excited. The excursions are steeply priced so doing my research to see how we can save but make the most of the trip. Originally from FL, but living in MN so the cold is not much of an issue - but I can give my FL friends some tips.
The cruise was amazing - the ship was top notch and I had zero complaints. Im pretty picky about housekeeping and was amazed at how immaculate the accomodations and the entire ship was. The entertainment was top notch as was the food and drink. I would definitely advise a drink package - ours was included without our knowledge and boy it probably saved us hundreds of dollars with a family of 4. As for excursions? Worth every expensive dime.
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:57 AM
 
5,543 posts, read 6,974,619 times
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Originally Posted by motordavid View Post
-As mentioned, the shore excursions are pricey, and the Princess line among others, forces one to sign up pre-cruise, making it sound as if there are no alternatives. Then, for example if it is an absolute wash out rainy day and you don't feel like doing an outdoor excursion that you signed up for, you get charged anyway.





Not true. You can sign up for Princess excursions during the cruise, and even while docking in the port with the excursions.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
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Originally Posted by ram2 View Post
Not true. You can sign up for Princess excursions during the cruise, and even while docking in the port with the excursions.
^^^This is correct. Princess, as well as others recommend you sign up in advance as some tours sell out rapidly. But we signed up for tour tickets the last minute in some ports and at other times at the last minute we were put on a waiting list in case someone wanted to drop out.
We were on Princess in Alaska when it rained a couple of days and it was a washout and everyone got credited back their cost for those tours.
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
71,920 posts, read 83,566,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilkoot View Post
So based on this information, are there any lines that cruise Alaska that you would definitely avoid because of these issues? I don't know of any and with a budget of $1500 they are resigned to using the main lines. Someone like Regent would be at least double that for Alaska so that's out.

All ships that cruise SE Alaska do at least a part of the inside passage which goes from Seattle to Skagway. Do you know of any cruise lines that sail in SE Alaska that don't do a good part of the inside passage? Certainly the ones that depart form Seattle sail around the west side of Vancouver Island but the next day those vessels are once again sailing the inside passage.
Obviously there are different opinions about this, but to consider a luxury liner, if it will strap a person financially is cutting off your nose to spite your face. Yes, most of the cruise lines do part or all inside passage and almost any line will give you a wonderful experience. Obviously Princess (which isn't my favorite line) and HAL do a great job. They have been doing Alaska for decades. Yes, Alaska, like Hawaii cruises are more about the ports than the ships. In these cases the ships become almost just a mode of transportation with food and some entertainment thrown in, at price that can be pretty attractive.
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,059 posts, read 18,990,908 times
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Originally Posted by Chilkoot View Post
Alaska is much more about the ports than the ship.
Actually, I'd say that Alaska is much more about the scenery outside the ship than the ports. When we did the inside passage, we were underwhelmed by the ports and disliked the crowds (and we sailed in mid May shoulder season with spectacular, sunny weather).

We'd do the inside passage again, but doubt we would get off at many of the ports.
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,059 posts, read 18,990,908 times
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Originally Posted by annerk View Post
I'd be looking for the smallest ship with the highest level of quality possible, even if it meant going in shoulder season. I'd skip it before I'd sail Carnival, RCCL, Costa, HAL, or NCL. I'd probably look at Princess or wait a couple more years and save my pennies until I could afford Regent, Azamura, or Oceania, or if I had kids, Disney.
From your posts, it's clear that you are part of the 2% that can afford to do the luxury lines.

I think it's fair to say that the rest of us prefer to enjoy ourselves now, rather than wait years saving our pennies to afford that luxury cruise on Regent. Hell, I could croak long before I actually got to go!
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