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Old 09-17-2018, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
2,435 posts, read 3,659,178 times
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This will be our first cruise. Do not need luxury services, or a party scene, and we are turned off by Mega-Ship capacities. We looked into Viking Ocean Cruises but their sail dates do not work with our schedules (my wife works for the local schools and her last day of work is June 15th IIRC).


A former boss who cruised a lot preferred Holland America line, but he retired 15 years ago so a lot could have changed.


Thanks,
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Old 09-17-2018, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Seattle
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Although pricey there are several smaller lines. For Alaska, on the main lines, it's much more important to look at ports and time in port than the ship itself. For us the ship is just the floating hotel that gets us from one point to the other. Consider your interests. If glacier viewing is important than Glacier Bay would be a priority. Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm have exceptional viewing but are often missed due to being clogged with ice.

Princess and Holland do a wonderful job in Alaska and have good itineraries. They both have good naturalists. The smaller lines can get into areas the big ships can't. We've been on most of the major lines in Alaska although nothing really compares to the two trips on UnCruise. Really an incredible experience, but you pay for it. Not sure we'll be able to swing another trip with them, unfortunately.

Seabourn
Windstar
Crystal
UnCruise
Alaskan Dream
Lindblad/Nat Geo
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Old 09-17-2018, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
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I agree with Chilkoot: for Alaska, the smaller the ship, the better. Splurge on a small ship if you possibly can!
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
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Thanks Chilkoot & Aredhel!


We normally pride ourselves on our long-range planning abilities but it appears September 2018 is too late to book any Alaska cruises for 2019 - except the very early or late trips with their questionable weather, and only Penthouse accommodations available on them!


2020 here we come, unless the small ships have significantly different booking patterns.
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Old 09-18-2018, 11:27 AM
 
326 posts, read 116,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilkoot View Post
If glacier viewing is important than Glacier Bay would be a priority. Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm have exceptional viewing but are often missed due to being clogged with ice.

The smaller lines can get into areas the big ships can't.
Last year on RCI's Explorer of the Seas the captain had us nearly on top of the glacier... and had the ship doing 360's with the bow thrusters so (in his own words) "you can get a good view no matter where you are on the ship."

I thought it was pretty amazing considering the channel width... 150 or so yards on each side of the ship to work with maybe with icebergs floating about. It was a pretty scene and we came out the same way we came in. This was at Tracy Arm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MI-Roger View Post
2020 here we come
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Ovation_of_the_Seas

RCI's Ovation of the Seas is replacing Explorer for Alaskan cruises out of Seattle in 2019. The ship might be too big for you but they do have 2019 availability and it was a great experience. An older crowd for the most part and didn't really see tons of kids other than at the video arcade. It was definitely not a "party scene" because if it was I wouldn't be going back. We enjoyed the atmosphere at the piano bars and related establishments we ran into. We are in our 40's and plan to take this cruise again.

I didn't find the size too overwhelming. It was no worse than your average shopping mall IMO. The food was great and the price of the cruise was reasonable too.

Good luck!
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Holland American. They also have land tours. Try https://boards.cruisecritic.com/ for more detail answers.
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:52 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
71,925 posts, read 83,566,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MI-Roger View Post
This will be our first cruise. Do not need luxury services, or a party scene, and we are turned off by Mega-Ship capacities. We looked into Viking Ocean Cruises but their sail dates do not work with our schedules (my wife works for the local schools and her last day of work is June 15th IIRC).


A former boss who cruised a lot preferred Holland America line, but he retired 15 years ago so a lot could have changed.


Thanks,
For an Alaskan cruise line, I would recommend Hal or Princess. Both have been doing Alaska for many years and they do it right. I am not, normally a Princess fan, but for Alaska, yes. There certainly are not the only line that does it right. I love the food selection on NCL for instance. Mainly because they do have so much variety to offer. Each line has something positive to say about them and each has drawbacks. I agree with you, not a lover of mega ships. So probably the size of the ship is as important as the brand name.

BTW, it is not too late to book and get a good selection for 2019. It will be in a few more months. If you haven't already, get a good travel agent to work with you. It costs you nothing or very little and they can be worth their weight in gold, especially when you are are working with a new adventure.

I see others suggesting the smaller, luxury lines. Well, as most of us know, cruising Alaska is pricey anyway, to choose the luxury lines is out of the range for many of us.
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Old 09-20-2018, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
For an Alaskan cruise line, I would recommend Hal or Princess. Both have been doing Alaska for many years and they do it right. I am not, normally a Princess fan, but for Alaska, yes. There certainly are not the only line that does it right. I love the food selection on NCL for instance. Mainly because they do have so much variety to offer. Each line has something positive to say about them and each has drawbacks. I agree with you, not a lover of mega ships. So probably the size of the ship is as important as the brand name.

BTW, it is not too late to book and get a good selection for 2019. It will be in a few more months. If you haven't already, get a good travel agent to work with you. It costs you nothing or very little and they can be worth their weight in gold, especially when you are are working with a new adventure.

I see others suggesting the smaller, luxury lines. Well, as most of us know, cruising Alaska is pricey anyway, to choose the luxury lines is out of the range for many of us.

I agree, and as I posted, both Princess and Holland do a good job in Alaska. Although I did include some suggestions on luxury lines, I also included a few that arenít like UnCruise, Alaskan Dream and Lindblad. They are expensive but certainly not luxurious.

The poster indicated they are turned off by the mega-ships so I tried to accommodate that request. They also indicated they had considered Viking which implies that they donít have much of a problem with a pricey cruise. One of the Alaska cruises Viking has posted for next year is close to $10,000 for two people.

If a poster was to ask what they should have for dinner but said they were turned off by broccoli would you then recommend broccoli just because thatís what you like? Appears that may be the case here.
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Old 09-20-2018, 03:18 PM
 
326 posts, read 116,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilkoot View Post
They also indicated they had considered Viking which implies that they donít have much of a problem with a pricey cruise. One of the Alaska cruises Viking has posted for next year is close to $10,000 for two people.

OP said doesn't need luxury services but is pricing a $10k cruise.... k.
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,302 posts, read 4,148,032 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvsCruisin View Post
OP said doesn't need luxury services but is pricing a $10k cruise.... k.
When it comes to Alaska cruises, a high price doesn't automatically equate to luxury. The smallest ships (like the one I sailed on in 2006, which only carried 120 passengers) aren't luxurious at all. My ship had no fancy cabins with balconies, TVs, and DVD players, no fancy specialty restaurants, and the only evening entertainment onboard was board games in the common lounge. But that was fine, because the passengers were spending all their time outside on the deck looking for wildlife. We were paying an arm and a leg to get REALLY close to whales and to glaciers (and we did!).
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