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Old 12-24-2009, 04:22 PM   #16
speakupjc
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Please give me advice as I have never been to Alaska. I know everyone is less than thrilled with the Disney Itinerary but I don't know why. Can anyone please tell me as I am looking into cruising to Alaska with DCL but don't want to make a mistake. Cruising to Alaska with another line isn't an option for me as I cruise on points, however, I could do a Mexican Riveria cruise or something else if the Disney itinerary is horrible.
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:25 PM   #17
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Please give me advice as I have never been to Alaska. I know everyone is less than thrilled with the Disney Itinerary but I don't know why. Can anyone please tell me as I am looking into cruising to Alaska with DCL but don't want to make a mistake. Cruising to Alaska with another line isn't an option for me as I cruise on points, however, I could do a Mexican Riviera cruise or something else if the Disney itinerary is horrible.
Well this in part is what I have been asking here, now firstly I suggest you take a look at Princess cruises website and their Alaska cruises, you will see there is a far greater variety of cruises, many options 7,10,14 nights, and many pre and post cruise add ons, often it appears to me they are far cheaper and have more ports than DCL

2011 is DCL's first cruise to Alaska other lines such as Princess have been doing it for many years and have invested a lot in the area, having permits for Glacier bay, DCL cannot cruise there, and also the add ons such as the Trains and lodges.

DCL have one 7 night itinerary, that they repeat and has a selection of the places of interest, not all of them. That is most likely why you are not impressed.

Now its each to there own some will like the DCL trips, they have sold well, but it will not suite everyone and there is far greater selection out there.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:33 PM   #18
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We've cruised with Norwegian twice before, and this coming summer we will be going to Alaska with them. My number one reason, of course, was the money...with number two being the itinerary.
We were able to get an aft corner mini-suite, with a great view on 2 sides, for far less than a comparable Cat 4 (or whatever they're calling it now) on Disney. And I mean FAR LESS. With Alaska excursions as high in cost as they are, the extra money will help. Not to mention, we got a $400 OBC with Norwegian. I'd say they might be worth checking out, too, Andy.

Sorry I can't help with your decision until this summer! And I'm sure you'll want to be booking before then.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:36 PM   #19
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We've cruised with Norwegian twice before, and this coming summer we will be going to Alaska with them. My number one reason, of course, was the money...with number two being the itinerary.
We were able to get an aft corner mini-suite, with a great view on 2 sides, for far less than a comparable Cat 4 (or whatever they're calling it now) on Disney. And I mean FAR LESS. With Alaska excursions as high in cost as they are, the extra money will help. Not to mention, we got a $400 OBC with Norwegian. I'd say they might be worth checking out, too, Andy.

Sorry I can't help with your decision until this summer! And I'm sure you'll want to be booking before then.
Thank you Stace, helpful, had looked at them a bit but not in depth will look again, based everything so far on 2010, none of them apart for DCL is on sale for 2011. So there is time.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:40 PM   #20
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. . . While I enjoyed the ports, and thought that Glacier Bay was THE highlight of the cruise
We've been on two Alaska cruises, though not on Princess.
THE highlight was Glacier Bay.

Woody
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:48 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by speakupjc View Post
Please give me advice as I have never been to Alaska. I know everyone is less than thrilled with the Disney Itinerary but I don't know why. Can anyone please tell me as I am looking into cruising to Alaska with DCL but don't want to make a mistake. Cruising to Alaska with another line isn't an option for me as I cruise on points, however, I could do a Mexican Riveria cruise or something else if the Disney itinerary is horrible.
The Disney itinerary is definitely not "horrible". It's just that others, like Princess, are just so much BETTER. As Derek UK pointed out, DCL does not go to Glacier Bay (a lot of them don't because it's very controlled as to who & how many ships get entry). Glacier Bay is really spectacular, and was a highlight of my cruise.

Also, Disney only has one ship doing Alaska, and only one itinerary. So there's no choice as to ports/add-ons/length, etc.

But Disney visits the same ports that most of the cruises do: Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. They also sail Tracy Arm, which is sort of a Glacier Bay substitute, but not nearly as nice, from what I hear, and more prone to be ice-bound, so that ships can't enter.

Other lines such as Princess also allow you to add on land packages that take you into the interior of Alaska, which is VERY different from the ports of the Inside Passage, and really my favorite part of Alaska. Disney does not currently offer that, although there are rumors they may set up the Adventures by Disney Alaska trip as an add-on, which would basically be the same thing. But that would likely be way MORE points.

The upshot is, it all depends on what you want from an Alaska cruise. Will you see wonderful places if you sail there with DCL? Absolutely! Will you experience the same things you do on other lines' Alaska cruises? Undoubtably, with the exception of Glacier Bay. If given the choice of DCL to Alaska or DCL to the Mexican Riviera, would I choose Alaska? In a heartbeat!

What most people are saying is, you get a more in-depth, far-reaching experience on, say Princess, for a lot less money. But is DCL worthless? Totally not! Especially if you plan to use points. If you were planning to use points to cruise the Mexican Riviera with DCL, then pay cash later to cruise Alaska with Princess, I'd say go for it. If the choice is "use points for the Mexican Riviera or for Alaska, PERIOD", then I say, go for Alaska. Alaska really is wonderful.

(Oh, I must admit, I've never sailed the Mexican Riviera, but I have *been* to multiple places in Mexico, and WAY prefer Alaska. But that's just me.)

Sayhello

Last edited by sayhello; 12-24-2009 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:50 PM   #22
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Please give me advice as I have never been to Alaska. I know everyone is less than thrilled with the Disney Itinerary but I don't know why. Can anyone please tell me as I am looking into cruising to Alaska with DCL but don't want to make a mistake. Cruising to Alaska with another line isn't an option for me as I cruise on points, however, I could do a Mexican Riveria cruise or something else if the Disney itinerary is horrible.
There are a few issues with the Disney itinerary:

1) It starts on a Tuesday??? So, for a 7 day cruise, you use up 6 days of weekdays. This doesn't even allow for taking days before or after the cruise. Other Alaskan cruises start on Friday/Saturday/ Sunday.

2)Its only ports are Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. Every cruise line does those. Often, there will be an additional one or two - Icy Strait Point or Sitka or Homer.

3) It starts and stops in Vancouver. No opportunities for further exploring Alaska, or adding on the ABD tour. I see a big lost opportunity here. Most other lines have sailings that go one way, in addition to their round trip itineraries.

4) No Glacier Bay or Hubbard Glacier. These sights are what people go to Alaska to see. They are truly spectacular scenery.

As far as Alaskan itineraries go, this is the bottom of the bunch.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:50 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Andrew DEREK UK View Post

my son and I like trains
Andrew, I think you would like the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway.

We went on it in Skagway, and it was absolutely breathtaking.

Woody
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:54 PM   #24
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Andrew, I think you would like the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway.

We went on it in Skagway, and it was absolutely breathtaking.

Woody
I totally agree with this. It's a wonderful excursion on a great train through incredible scenery. I also highly recommend it!

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Old 12-24-2009, 08:18 PM   #25
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I've cruised to Alaska twice with Princess and once with Holland America. The first two were northbound cruises from Vancouver, followed by 9-day independent land trips with a rental car. The 3rd cruise was a roundtrip from Seattle because it was so cheap!

I would recommend doing your own land trip, especially with kids, and a one-way cruise. Until Princess reveals details for 2011 in the spring, ships and itineraries are a guess.
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:25 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by abdmom View Post
There are a few issues with the Disney itinerary:

1) It starts on a Tuesday??? So, for a 7 day cruise, you use up 6 days of weekdays. This doesn't even allow for taking days before or after the cruise. Other Alaskan cruises start on Friday/Saturday/ Sunday.

2)Its only ports are Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. Every cruise line does those. Often, there will be an additional one or two - Icy Strait Point or Sitka or Homer.

3) It starts and stops in Vancouver. No opportunities for further exploring Alaska, or adding on the ABD tour. I see a big lost opportunity here. Most other lines have sailings that go one way, in addition to their round trip itineraries.

4) No Glacier Bay or Hubbard Glacier. These sights are what people go to Alaska to see. They are truly spectacular scenery.

As far as Alaskan itineraries go, this is the bottom of the bunch.
What makes DCL's itinerary somewhat mediocre for a first-time cruiser is its visit to Tracy Arm Fjord. While the fjord is beautiful, the majority of ships don't make it all the way to the end to see the twin Sawyer glaciers.

Most roundtrip cruises give you just 3 ports and a glacier. If you sail roundtrip from Seattle, you'll also stop for a few hours in a Canadian port - usually Victoria. The one-ways go to either 3 ports and 2 glaciers or 4 ports and 1 glacier. The only ship I'm aware of that goes to Homer is HAL Amsterdam on its 14-day roundtrip from Seattle.
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:11 PM   #27
woody73
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Originally Posted by NancyIL View Post

I've cruised to Alaska twice with Princess and once with Holland America.
We've been on two Alaska cruises on Holland America. We chose HAL because of the itinerary and price (in that order).

We've been to Kodiak, Homer, Sitka, Tracy Arm, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, and Ketchikan (twice).

Our 2009 HAL 7-night "Glacier Bay, Inside Passage" cruise R/T from Vancouver cost $514 pp + $345 tax and port fees, for a total of $859 pp. We got a free upgrade to a veranda suite.

YMMV.

Woody

Last edited by woody73; 12-24-2009 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 12-25-2009, 12:49 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by speakupjc View Post
Please give me advice as I have never been to Alaska. I know everyone is less than thrilled with the Disney Itinerary but I don't know why. Can anyone please tell me as I am looking into cruising to Alaska with DCL but don't want to make a mistake. Cruising to Alaska with another line isn't an option for me as I cruise on points, however, I could do a Mexican Riveria cruise or something else if the Disney itinerary is horrible.
My family is booked for Alaska with DCL. I did a ton of research and comparisons and it came down to that I knew I would be devastated about pulling in to port seeing the Disney cruise ship and knowing I was not on it. In my opinion, I am a Disney lover and if there is a Disney option, I am taking it! We booked a secret porthole room to keep costs down and we couldn't be more thrilled. Keep doing your research, there are so many ways to see Alaska. How could any way be bad? It is a beautiful place. I can't wait to go!
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Old 12-25-2009, 04:06 AM   #29
Andrew DEREK UK
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Originally Posted by woody73 View Post
We've been on two Alaska cruises, though not on Princess.
THE highlight was Glacier Bay.

Woody
Thats what I understand and wouldn't wish to miss this jewel in the crown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sayhello View Post
The Disney itinerary is definitely not "horrible". It's just that others, like Princess, are just so much BETTER. As Derek UK pointed out, DCL does not go to Glacier Bay (a lot of them don't because it's very controlled as to who & how many ships get entry). Glacier Bay is really spectacular, and was a highlight of my cruise.

Also, Disney only has one ship doing Alaska, and only one itinerary. So there's no choice as to ports/add-ons/length, etc.

But Disney visits the same ports that most of the cruises do: Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. They also sail Tracy Arm, which is sort of a Glacier Bay substitute, but not nearly as nice, from what I hear, and more prone to be ice-bound, so that ships can't enter.

Other lines such as Princess also allow you to add on land packages that take you into the interior of Alaska, which is VERY different from the ports of the Inside Passage, and really my favorite part of Alaska. Disney does not currently offer that, although there are rumors they may set up the Adventures by Disney Alaska trip as an add-on, which would basically be the same thing. But that would likely be way MORE points.

The upshot is, it all depends on what you want from an Alaska cruise. Will you see wonderful places if you sail there with DCL? Absolutely! Will you experience the same things you do on other lines' Alaska cruises? Undoubtedly, with the exception of Glacier Bay. If given the choice of DCL to Alaska or DCL to the Mexican Riviera, would I choose Alaska? In a heartbeat!

What most people are saying is, you get a more in-depth, far-reaching experience on, say Princess, for a lot less money. But is DCL worthless? Totally not! Especially if you plan to use points. If you were planning to use points to cruise the Mexican Riviera with DCL, then pay cash later to cruise Alaska with Princess, I'd say go for it. If the choice is "use points for the Mexican Riviera or for Alaska, PERIOD", then I say, go for Alaska. Alaska really is wonderful.

(Oh, I must admit, I've never sailed the Mexican Riviera, but I have *been* to multiple places in Mexico, and WAY prefer Alaska. But that's just me.)

Sayhello
Do agree, with one ship and first year DCL had limited options, their cruise is good, its one option, and very popular, but it doesnt see everything, and if I go, its one trip in a lifetime not to be repeated so I want to see as much as possible, and the DCL trip doesnt do that for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abdmom View Post
There are a few issues with the Disney itinerary:

1) It starts on a Tuesday??? So, for a 7 day cruise, you use up 6 days of weekdays. This doesn't even allow for taking days before or after the cruise. Other Alaskan cruises start on Friday/Saturday/ Sunday.

2)Its only ports are Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. Every cruise line does those. Often, there will be an additional one or two - Icy Strait Point or Sitka or Homer.

3) It starts and stops in Vancouver. No opportunities for further exploring Alaska, or adding on the ABD tour. I see a big lost opportunity here. Most other lines have sailings that go one way, in addition to their round trip itineraries.

4) No Glacier Bay or Hubbard Glacier. These sights are what people go to Alaska to see. They are truly spectacular scenery.

As far as Alaskan itineraries go, this is the bottom of the bunch.
These are the minus points for me, and I agree, the Tuesday to Tuesday departure causes me considerable issues and loss of vacation days, we tend to travel transatlantic at weekends to extend our vacation. No Glacier bay, is a big loss to me personally and if I am paying a higher price for DCL, and then miss this highlight personally thats not the cruise for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by woody73 View Post
Andrew, I think you would like the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway.

We went on it in Skagway, and it was absolutely breathtaking.

Woody
Looks good will look into this, another reason to consider another cruise line to fit this in before or after, I have seen these great railways and would like to experience it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sayhello View Post
I totally agree with this. It's a wonderful excursion on a great train through incredible scenery. I also highly recommend it!

Sayhello
As before, the train would be a highlight for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NancyIL View Post
I've cruised to Alaska twice with Princess and once with Holland America. The first two were northbound cruises from Vancouver, followed by 9-day independent land trips with a rental car. The 3rd cruise was a roundtrip from Seattle because it was so cheap!

I would recommend doing your own land trip, especially with kids, and a one-way cruise. Until Princess reveals details for 2011 in the spring, ships and itineraries are a guess.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NancyIL View Post
What makes DCL's itinerary somewhat mediocre for a first-time cruiser is its visit to Tracy Arm Fjord. While the fjord is beautiful, the majority of ships don't make it all the way to the end to see the twin Sawyer glaciers.

Most roundtrip cruises give you just 3 ports and a glacier. If you sail roundtrip from Seattle, you'll also stop for a few hours in a Canadian port - usually Victoria. The one-ways go to either 3 ports and 2 glaciers or 4 ports and 1 glacier. The only ship I'm aware of that goes to Homer is HAL Amsterdam on its 14-day roundtrip from Seattle.
Yes awaiting the release of Princes 2011 in Spring, to see whats on offer, I do agree with the comments on Tracy Arm Fjord, I personally feel that a lot of people booked DCL, because its Disney, now a lot will be happy with it, but the same as the Baltic, there may be a drift away, when other cruiselines release their cruises, in the Baltic people found they can get more for a huge reduction in price and are taking a reality check, I paid $18k for the Baltic in 2010, don't regret it, but would like value for money on that.

Reviewing Princess there are so many options for a lot better price, often including flights for me which is a great extra over DCL. (They do not do UK flights on normal cruises)

Quote:
Originally Posted by adorelc View Post
My family is booked for Alaska with DCL. I did a ton of research and comparisons and it came down to that I knew I would be devastated about pulling in to port seeing the Disney cruise ship and knowing I was not on it. In my opinion, I am a Disney lover and if there is a Disney option, I am taking it! We booked a secret porthole room to keep costs down and we couldn't be more thrilled. Keep doing your research, there are so many ways to see Alaska. How could any way be bad? It is a beautiful place. I can't wait to go!
I understand and would feel that a bit, but after six cruises I can close my eyes and *see* Disney, Mickey and co, done the shows, been to Palo etc.My kids are getting older so Mickey and co are less important, (dare I say that, but its the truth) There is a limit to paying for fireworks and free soda, time might be right to swap to a far better experience of itinerary, and different shows and food, for a more competitive price.

If I saw the Disney ship can say, done that, seen it, and wrote the book!
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Old 12-25-2009, 09:45 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by woody73 View Post
We've been on two Alaska cruises on Holland America. We chose HAL because of the itinerary and price (in that order).

We've been to Kodiak, Homer, Sitka, Tracy Arm, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, and Ketchikan (twice).

Our 2009 HAL 7-night "Glacier Bay, Inside Passage" cruise R/T from Vancouver cost $514 pp + $345 tax and port fees, for a total of $859 pp. We got a free upgrade to a veranda suite.

YMMV.

Woody
How was Kodiak? My first cruise on HAL (Caribbean on the Zaandam in 2004) wasn't so great, but my 2008 northbound Alaska cruise on the Veendam was excellent. While I think Princess has prettier ships, HAL does a great job in Alaska. I picked the Veendam because it went to a glacier (Hubbard) and several ports (Haines and Sitka) that I didn't see on my first cruise on the Coral Princess. When HAL cut one ship from it's one-way line-up for 2010, it was that itinerary that was cut.

My Golden Princess roundtrip from Seattle in May was really cheap: $532.61/pp ($419 + taxes) in the least expensive inside cabin. That cruise went to Tracy Arm, but since it was my 3rd Alaska cruise and I hadn't been to Tracy Arm before, I didn't mind the itinerary. The fjord was beautiful, but we were unable to get to the end to see the glaciers.

I plan to return to Alaska in 2011 with two friends who have never been there, and I'm leaning towards HAL Amsterdam's 14-night roundtrip from Seattle (http://www.hollandamerica.com/find-c...de=A&dateCode=). I may still do a land trip by flying to Anchorage before or after the cruise.
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