Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Cruises
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jul 3, 08, 1:42 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Bay Area
Programs: UA, Marriott, WN
Posts: 3,864
Alaska Cruise recommendations?

Hi can anyone recommend a good cruise for seeing Alaska? This is our first and probably only time we will go so we want to have the best experience possible. Thanks!
primusux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 3, 08, 3:51 pm   #2
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: IAD/DCA
Posts: 21,840
there are threads on this..

budget?
Kagehitokiri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 4, 08, 8:50 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Bay Area
Programs: UA, Marriott, WN
Posts: 3,864
Hmm I only see about 5 threads in this forum and none on alaska. We really dont have a budget. Willing to pay what it takes to have a great time since it will be the only time we'll go there.
primusux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 5, 08, 10:00 am   #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 468
How old are you? What is your lifestyle? Do you want a small ship? Do you want a party ship? Like Children? Want all inclusive (gratuities and drink prepaid)?
Linda VH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 5, 08, 11:16 am   #5
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: IAD/DCA
Posts: 21,840
you dont know how to search / display from beginning

assuming cruise and not yacht, silversea = best
Kagehitokiri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 5, 08, 12:01 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Programs: HH Diamond, Hyatt,Marriott,AA
Posts: 393
If you are going Mass market (royal carbbn., celebrity, Holland Amer, Carnival, etc.) look out to pick an itinerary with a "true" inside passage. Ships out of Seattle usually plow right into open sea. Ships out of Vancouver usually take the route closer inland (traversing the Seymour Narrows). Smoother ride and much more scenic. See this blog by a Holland Amer. Captain.

http://www.avidcruiser.com/albert/?p=441
sallyerd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 5, 08, 5:32 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Washington,DC
Programs: UAL, USAir, AA + many more
Posts: 38
I've been told that there are some which are considerably better for those with real interest in flora and fauna....any advice on this would be helpful to me as well.
armybrat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 7, 08, 4:10 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Programs: HH Diamond, Hyatt,Marriott,AA
Posts: 393
Flora and fauna translates to small ship not mass market. Guest lectures, zodiac outings, etc. Here are some names: American Safari Cruises, SeaDream Yacht Club, Cruise West, Silversea Cruises, The Yachts of Seabourn

Prices are maybe 5 times (?) more for the small ship experience. Cruise West is well-known for Alaska.
sallyerd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 8, 08, 6:08 am   #9
-hh
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Northeastern USA
Posts: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by sallyerd View Post
Flora and fauna translates to small ship not mass market. Guest lectures, zodiac outings, etc. Here are some names: American Safari Cruises, SeaDream Yacht Club, Cruise West, Silversea Cruises, The Yachts of Seabourn

Prices are maybe 5 times (?) more for the small ship experience. Cruise West is well-known for Alaska.
I've done Cruise West in Alaska and even though our travel personality tends to avoid crowds, we would definitely go with them again. We did get in a quick "family reunion" cruise (not in Alaska) with them last summer; my brother & his wife have put a deposit down to do Alaska with CW next summer.

Unfortunately, the Small Ships are much more expensive than the mass market behemoths (economy of scale disadvantage), but you'll never have the "flora and fauna" interaction on an aircraft carrier sized ship, or when your battalion storms ashore to take over a town. Having only ~100 guests yields a personable "extended family" sort of experience and on a <200ft boat, yields flexibility, particularly when navigating in more remote areas (CW has itineraries that 'gunk hole' explore). They'll stop the ship for wildlife, as this can attest, and for glaciers and ice fields, the question is is this close enough? BTW, both of these are uncropped film photos that were taken from right onboard the ship's deck, in Prince William Sound.

Finally do be aware to compare products equitably: on the Small Ships, there's a lot of stuff that's already included in the price, such as all crew gratuities and usually, shore excursions.


-hh

PS: since shore excursions are common, do be aware that the Alaska railroad has very poor track conditions, so trips from Anchorage to/from Denali can be painfully slow. Our return took 12 hours to go the ~300 miles. A better itinerary is a private bus for the Anchorage-Talteetna (sic) leg; the train between Talteenta and Denali isn't too long, and is generally the more interesting of terrain/landscape views.
-hh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 8, 08, 1:08 pm   #10
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: IAD/DCA
Posts: 21,840
seadream and seabourn dont do alaska.
Kagehitokiri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 08, 12:07 pm   #11
Suspended
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Seattle
Programs: Ephesians 4:31-32
Posts: 10,695
When you go to Alaska, make sure you go all the way up to Whittier, which probably means a one-way trip to Alaska from Vancouver, B.C. You will either need to cruise up and fly back, or vice-versa, or take a 14 day back-to-back cruise. College Fjord is just not to be missed, so that leaves out the round-trip Seattle cruises, and the round-trip San Francisco cruises, at least on Princess, which is the line we usually choose.

The food and rooms are marginally better on Holland America, but the people seem to be considerably older, although that may not necessarily be true on an Alaskan voyage. HAL and Princess are the only lines that go to Alaska that we have sailed.

It is certainly a wonderful experience. We went in late August and the weather was just about perfect, although it did rain one day, but then rain is also part of the Alaska experience.

OBTW, I have an excellent agent here in Seattle who has booked 12 cruises for us. Let me know if you are interested.

Enjoy!
Punki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19, 08, 3:16 am   #12
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: wurtulla,queensland,australia
Programs: hh diamond,Qantas club life,AA EX-explat.SPG plat.
Posts: 1,217
If you want flora and fauna then definitely a small ship.2006 we went on the Sikumi.Only 8 passengers.sure expensive but worth every penny.
Kayaking with the whales-priceless!
__________________
Make a small loan,Make a big difference-kiva.org
Member of Flyertalkers lending team.
drron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 19, 08, 11:08 am   #13
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 213
While I wish this forum had more posters, if you hop over to www.cruisecritic.com you will find much more info.
I have cruised to alaska 3 times, the most recent was last month on the Dawn Princess. 10 day RT San Francisco.
I would like to do it again and do a cruise tour as I haven't been up as far as Whittier.
Enjoy your trip.
Bob
__________________
AA million miler, Platinum
Hyatt Diamond
bob95409 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 08, 11:43 pm   #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 90
What cabin should I choose, assuming value (cost/benefit) is most important?
aceking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 08, 11:48 pm   #15
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 15,789
<deleted>
__________________
TSA - The primary cause of death in air travel.

Last edited by birdstrike; Mar 4, 09 at 10:20 pm.
birdstrike is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 7:41 am.