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SLK1
01-03-2010, 03:23 PM
Has anyone booked a Disney Alaskan cruise yet? Any thoughts on the itinerary, or whether you'd be better off on a Princess Cruise, which seems to know Alaska inside and out? Any comments out there that might help me out?

jilljill
01-03-2010, 03:28 PM
If you do a search on here you will find several threads discussing this.
Yes, many DIS'ers have booked AK cruises as you can tell by the meets threads that have been started.

clten
01-03-2010, 03:32 PM
I have booked DCL's Alaska cruise. But I have been to Alaska before (with Princess). And I will probably go to Alaska some time in the future.

If this were going to be a once in a lifetime trip to Alaska, there is no way I would do the DCL itinerary. It is lacking on two fronts -- glacier viewing opportunities and the ability to get to interior Alaska. DCL's itinerary is a good Alaska "sampler" in my opinion. If you haven't been before and want to test the waters, it's a good way. But if I was only going to Alaska once in my lifetime, I wouldn't want to miss the interiors -- Denali being top of the list. Princess does a great/seamless land/sea cruisetour. I loved that trip with them. I know some say it is easier and cheaper to do the land part on your own. For sheer convenience, you can't beat the land tours they put together. (For some people the options are too overwhelming to plan on their own.) Princess was great, down to not having to haul suitcases from hotel to hotel.

adorelc
01-03-2010, 07:40 PM
We are booked for DCL to Alaska. We are so excited! My DH and I have always wanted to go and thought this would be the perfect opportunity. We have young kids, so DCL was very appealing to us.

Ever since I started doing research I found there are a million strong opinions on how you should cruise Alaska. For my family, we could not imagine being on another cruise line right now. We love Disney and can't wait to see Alaska!

tvguy
01-03-2010, 09:09 PM
I don't think you can go wrong on any line going to Alaska.
We were on HAL, and they are generally considered the Alaska experts since they have been going their longer than anyone. The biggest decision would be which route to take in Alaska. Otherwise, the excursions are going to be same in each port, no matter what ship you are on.

GrumpyBelle
01-03-2010, 09:19 PM
We have booked with Disney (August 23, 2011). I feel comfortable that my kids will enjoy the trip as well. I worried that by going to Alaska with another cruise line my kids, especially DD9 (10 at the time) would not enjoy the trip like she will on the Wonder.

NancyIL
01-03-2010, 09:27 PM
I've been on two one-way Alaska cruises plus land trips (on my own) and a roundtrip from Seattle. All were great experiences. If cruising with Disney is the only way some people will go to Alaska, then book with Disney.

I hope to do another Alaska cruise and land trip in 2011, but DCL's itinerary doesn't interest me, and the pricetag is more than I want to pay.

woody73
01-04-2010, 10:02 AM
There are many loyal DCL fans out there -- especially on these boards.

I think they would do just fine on a Disney cruise to Alaska.

Woody

GuardMusic
01-04-2010, 10:41 AM
We booked the first Disney cruise to Alaska (May 3, 2011). Why?

BFF REALLY wanted to go to Alaska. I said the only way I'd ever go (I HATE cold weather - anything less than 70!) is if DCL went. So we're going. Neither of us has ever been. We're more about Disney service & experience than the actual excursions/itenerary.

As an example, we are doing the Western Caribbean again in 32 days. BFF booked one excursion & may cancel. I booked none. Honestly, I don't care if the ship just sails in circles!

G

Pluto,
01-04-2010, 01:38 PM
im on the first dcl cruise in alaska may 3. dcl might have a better cruise in the future to alaska to get more people to book in the future. lets say dcl goes to alaska on 2012 with the same ports who would want to book if they did the 2011 cruise but you make it better ports maybe a longer cruise than you will get a lot of people who went to alaska in 2011 to go back in 2012.

Andrew DEREK UK
01-04-2010, 01:55 PM
Long thread, with lots of info that covers your question.

http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2355920

NancyIL
01-04-2010, 02:28 PM
I think DCL's decision to start cruising in Alaska on May 3 was a smart move for DCL's bottom line, but a mistake for its passengers. DCL will earn more money by having more Alaska cruises and fewer Mexican Riviera cruises - because the Alaska cruises cost more.

I can see the appeal of cruising to Alaska with Disney - but May 3 is VERY early to be cruising there. If you look at other cruise lines, most start at least one week later or mid-month at the earliest. I'd say if you want to cruise to Alaska with Disney, fine - but go a week or two later.

Pluto,
01-04-2010, 02:45 PM
I think DCL's decision to start cruising in Alaska on May 3 was a smart move for DCL's bottom line, but a mistake for its passengers. DCL will earn more money by having more Alaska cruises and fewer Mexican Riviera cruises - because the Alaska cruises cost more.

I can see the appeal of cruising to Alaska with Disney - but May 3 is VERY early to be cruising there. If you look at other cruise lines, most start at least one week later or mid-month at the earliest. I'd say if you want to cruise to Alaska with Disney, fine - but go a week or two later.

i wanted to go on the repo cruise thats the only reason i booked may 3. if i wasnt on the repo there is no way i would of book on may3

Scooby3x1y
01-04-2010, 02:53 PM
I agree with the mixed reviews. I've been to Alaska on the Celebrity Infinity. It's been a few years, but at the time, they had the best port times for the places we wanted to spend the most time.

May 3rd is VERY early for Alaska. Bring your Parka. If you're main objective is to see Alaska DCL style, you'll love it. If you want to really experience Alaska, I'd think about seeing it a different way. It will be a good sampling for sure. I didn't know they didn't have a glacier scheduled in, I haven't really looked at the itinerary. For us, that was a big hit. These captains literally pull up right in front of the glacier, you watch it calf, the chunks breaking and plopping in the water, he swings the boat around so the otherside of the ship can see, and it is very cool.

Also, be sure a book your excursions, many independent operators will not be open May 3rd. Love DCL, but I'd look at port times.

sayhello
01-04-2010, 03:15 PM
I didn't know they didn't have a glacier scheduled in, I haven't really looked at the itinerary. For us, that was a big hit. These captains literally pull up right in front of the glacier, you watch it calf, the chunks breaking and plopping in the water, he swings the boat around so the otherside of the ship can see, and it is very cool.

Also, be sure a book your excursions, many independent operators will not be open May 3rd. Love DCL, but I'd look at port times.The itinerary *does* include glacier viewing, but it's Tracy Arm, which is not as impressive as Glacier Bay (at least as far as glaciers are concerned), and is more prone to being frozen in, so that the ships cannot make it all the way to the glaciers.

Very good point about the excursions. There will certainly be less available in early May, unless DCL is VERY persuasive

Sayhello

Tneah
01-04-2010, 07:54 PM
The itinerary *does* include glacier viewing, but it's Tracy Arm, which is not as impressive as Glacier Bay (at least as far as glaciers are concerned), and is more prone to being frozen in, so that the ships cannot make it all the way to the glaciers.

I've read time and time again one of the main reasons not to do an itinerary that only includes Tracy Arm if you're interest is in seeing the Glaciers. So if the ships can not get in to Tracey Arms, then you have no other chance to view the glaciers. I would be so bummed because well for me that is one of the biggest reasons for taking an Alaskan cruise.

NancyIL
01-04-2010, 08:20 PM
Tracy Arm is a beautiful fjord, and ships do get into the fjord. However, the fjord is ~ 30 miles long, and many ships either run out of time or encounter too much ice to get all the way to the Sawyer glaciers at the end.

If seeing a glacier is important, I urge you to get to Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau at a minimum. There are also helicopter glacier landings out of Skagway and Juneau - if you feel like being adventurous and have a lot of money to spend!

Pluto,
01-05-2010, 02:26 PM
The itinerary *does* include glacier viewing, but it's Tracy Arm, which is not as impressive as Glacier Bay (at least as far as glaciers are concerned), and is more prone to being frozen in, so that the ships cannot make it all the way to the glaciers.

Very good point about the excursions. There will certainly be less available in early May, unless DCL is VERY persuasive

Sayhello

i dont think there will be anything to worry about on excursions.there will be plently. just think if it was your job for excursions you main income is 4 months a year when the ships come in. you want to start working early. you think the excursion operators are going to say oh they are here too early in the year were not going to work. no they are going to want to get out there and make some money.

sayhello
01-05-2010, 02:31 PM
i dont think there will be anything to worry about on excursions.there will be plently. just think if it was your job for excursions you main income is 4 months a year when the ships come in. you want to start working early. you think the excursion operators are going to say oh they are here too early in the year were not going to work. no they are going to want to get out there and make some money.If the weather is too bad the first week in May for them to safely operate, then they're not going to do it just because Disney dangles money at them. But then, if it wasn't safe, I wouldn't expect Disney would ask. But a lot of the people who do the excursions are seasonal workers, and may not be available to start 2 weeks earlier than they normally do. Money is not always the only motivation people have.

Sayhello

Scooby3x1y
01-05-2010, 03:11 PM
If the weather is too bad the first week in May for them to safely operate, then they're not going to do it just because Disney dangles money at them. But then, if it wasn't safe, I wouldn't expect Disney would ask. But a lot of the people who do the excursions are seasonal workers, and may not be available to start 2 weeks earlier than they normally do. Money is not always the only motivation people have.

Sayhello

I kind of agree, they are totally seasonal, and having been there, the only excursion options may be what DCL offers, except maybe in the bigger cities. Just a guess though.

i dont think there will be anything to worry about on excursions.there will be plently. just think if it was your job for excursions you main income is 4 months a year when the ships come in. you want to start working early. you think the excursion operators are going to say oh they are here too early in the year were not going to work. no they are going to want to get out there and make some money.

Really the timing is about 3 1/2 months. They don't really count May, and only the first two weeks of Sept. One year we went through Sept 14th, literally we were the last boat and stores were boarding up for the winter behind us. All the clothes and souvies were on sale/clearance.

That year, we had a crew member tell us that they were not able to get to several of the Fjords. They were still frozen the first two weeks of their routes. So, like all things I'm sure it's hit and miss.

We scheduled our excursions outside of the ship, and were happy for the most part, but it may be worth starting to get a hold of some of them to see what they'll be offering. Besides, just because DCL's offers them doesn't mean they'll happen, or take place. If weather is unpermitting, of course they'll be canceled; whether they were agreed upon to go that early in the season or not.

tinktwice
01-05-2010, 03:22 PM
Has anyone booked a Disney Alaskan cruise yet? Any thoughts on the itinerary, or whether you'd be better off on a Princess Cruise, which seems to know Alaska inside and out? Any comments out there that might help me out?

Haven't booked a Disney Alaskan cruise. We would love to take our kids to Alaska on a cruise in a couple of years but think we'll try another Cruise line for that trip. DH and I went on an Alaskan Princess cruise several years ago. It was a one way out of Vancouver. We then spent a week on our own exploring Anchorage and surrounding area including a plane ride over Mt. McKinley. If you can swing it, a one way trip is awesome as there is so much to see on a "land tour". We did go in late May and THAT was considered early for Alaska. Other than wanting to do a one way itinerary and the glacier viewing as mentioned previous, my other concern is just the layout of the Disney ships. Specifically, no indoor pools as most of the newer ships have that go to Alaska. I think my kids would be a little disappointed if they couldn't swim in the pools. Sure, they COULD, but it wouldn't be all that comfortable. They also don't spend much time in the kids clubs so that's also not an issue for us. We've been wanting to try another cruise line with the kids and think Alaska would be the best time to try it. If we were doing the Caribbean or Mexico, we would worry about too much of a "party" atmosphere but that's not usually an issue for Alaska. In fact, I don't remember seeing but one or two very young children on our cruise on Princess and we were by far some of the youngest people on the cruise (at the time we were in our early 30's).

mousemom11
01-05-2010, 05:16 PM
We are booked with DCL to go to Alaska 6/21. But, I am seriously thinking about canceling it and doing a combination of DIY Alaska land tour and a 7-day one-way cruise with Princess.

Two things are causing me to re-think cruising Alaska with DCL in 2011. First, we really would like to spend time in Denali and Seward and DCL's round-trip itinerary out of Vancouver doesn't work with that. Second, glacier viewing is a high priority for us and Princess's southbound cruise goes to both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay, while DCL only goes to Tracy Arm where you may or may not make it to the glaciers at the head of the fjord.

I have heard and read many positive reviews of Princess's Alaska cruises, including their kids clubs. So, while we love cruising with DCL, I think that DCL just won't be a good fit for us for Alaska next year. I'm waiting for Princess to release their 2011 Alaska itinieraries and prices this spring before making the final decision

Scooby3x1y
01-06-2010, 10:44 AM
I think they will be tweaking the itineraries. We went on the inaugural Med, and a couple of the ports were real duds. They are no longer stopping in those ports two years later.

Often, they do whatever they can to get their foot in the door, and tweak the ports they stop in as they become available for another ship to stop there. I know their are laws and restrictions about how many ships can be viewing any one fjord in a given period of time.

Again, if you really want to do it with DCL's, and want the ultimate Alaskan cruise, give it a little time, they'll get the kinks worked out. If you want to go to Alaska this year, go with a cruise line that has their route established, and sees what you want to see.

Tneah
01-06-2010, 11:28 AM
Yes, I do think Disney is trying to get their foot in the door and needs to take what they can. You've got to start somewhere.

I've read that next year many of the lines are supposedly cutting back on Alaskan cruises. So, this may open up areas where Disney can get in and have a better intinerary the following year. Lacks of ships may also increase pricing.

TheTexasKid
01-20-2010, 04:57 PM
Yes, at least, I have a deposit down on the first cruise by Disney from Vancouver, B.C. to Alaska. I also have a deposit down on the repo cruse from L.A. to Vancouver, so this will be my first B2B.

I've been on seven cruises with Disney. Never regretted it, Thus, I don't see any reason to regret this one. Anyway I like maiden voyages, as it's always something new for everyone.