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Old 12-27-2009, 06:13 AM   #46
tink,too
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Originally Posted by Andrew DEREK UK View Post
I wouldn't want to cruise and find I missed an important bit and this thread highlights thoose, like Glacier bay.
That's how we feel, too. I guess I'll be checking this thread periodically until we can see prices/itineraries for other cruiselines and then take it from there. Alaska will probably be a "once-in-a-lifetime" vacation for us, so we want to fit in as much as we can.

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PS See DCL have a 30 min show on Sky???
Our DD8 saw it a few days ago, so they must be repeating it. She was so excited to see "her" ship on the telly!
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:31 AM   #47
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That's how we feel, too. I guess I'll be checking this thread periodically until we can see prices/itineraries for other cruiselines and then take it from there. Alaska will probably be a "once-in-a-lifetime" vacation for us, so we want to fit in as much as we can.

Looks like Princess have Alaska really organised will look out for their release of 2011 cruises.

Our DD8 saw it a few days ago, so they must be repeating it. She was so excited to see "her" ship on the telly!
Yes its on a bit and also a big advert in the News of the World today, for Med and repo to UK, but not Baltic as they have sold very well,

Looks like trying to fill the Med 2010 up. Sales must not be going well the prices including flights to the Med look very good.
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:06 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by tink,too View Post
That's how we feel, too. I guess I'll be checking this thread periodically until we can see prices/itineraries for other cruiselines and then take it from there. Alaska will probably be a "once-in-a-lifetime" vacation for us, so we want to fit in as much as we can.


If you are interested in an Alaska cruise in 2011, cruise itineraries should be available by April/May. However, itineraries don't change significantly from year to year, as there are only 4 glacier areas (Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier, College Fjord, Tracy Arm Fjord) and about 6 Alaska port towns (Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka [one of my favorites], Haines, and Icy Strait Point) that are available to make up the typical 7-night cruise. If you depart from Seattle, one port stop will be in Canada - usually Victoria, or less often Prince Rupert.

The major cruise lines that go to Alaska are Princess, Holland America (as good as Princess, in my opinion, with better land tour itineraries), Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, and Carnival. If you're interested in a luxury cruise experience, Crystal will return to Alaska in 2011, in addition to Regent. There are also small boat cruises like Cruise West, Lindblad, and a few others.

Do some reading now! I suggest you bookmark the Alaska board at Cruise Critic: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=55 My favorite guide books for Alaska are Frommer's Alaska by Charles Wohlforth and Alaska By Cruise Ship by Anne Vipond. The Frommer's book is especially helpful if you also plan to do a land trip.

**If anyone is interested in reading the trip report from my first Alaska cruise and land trip in 2007, including lots of ramblings - here it is (the land trip report starts at post # 20): http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=576979
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:38 PM   #49
Andrew DEREK UK
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If you are interested in an Alaska cruise in 2011, cruise itineraries should be available by April/May. However, itineraries don't change significantly from year to year, as there are only 4 glacier areas (Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier, College Fjord, Tracy Arm Fjord) and about 6 Alaska port towns (Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka [one of my favorites], Haines, and Icy Strait Point) that are available to make up the typical 7-night cruise. If you depart from Seattle, one port stop will be in Canada - usually Victoria, or less often Prince Rupert.

The major cruise lines that go to Alaska are Princess, Holland America (as good as Princess, in my opinion, with better land tour itineraries), Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, and Carnival. If you're interested in a luxury cruise experience, Crystal will return to Alaska in 2011, in addition to Regent. There are also small boat cruises like Cruise West, Lindblad, and a few others.

Do some reading now! I suggest you bookmark the Alaska board at Cruise Critic: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=55 My favorite guide books for Alaska are Frommer's Alaska by Charles Wohlforth and Alaska By Cruise Ship by Anne Vipond. The Frommer's book is especially helpful if you also plan to do a land trip.

**If anyone is interested in reading the trip report from my first Alaska cruise and land trip in 2007, including lots of ramblings - here it is (the land trip report starts at post # 20): http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=576979
Good info; thanks.
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:44 PM   #50
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We are booked on the Wonder to go to Alaska, but I have many of the same concerns that you do Andrew about the itinerary. So I have started doing research into land/sea trips. I reviewed the cruisetours of both Princess and HAL and then priced out DIY land trips. What I found is that we could accomplish more on our own cheaper than a cruisetour.

For example, for the price of a 4-day Princess cruisetour (2 nts Fairbanks, 2 nts Denali, 7-day SB Voyage of the Glaciers cruise), we could do the following:
  • 2 nts Fairbanks
  • 2 nts Denali
  • 2 nts Anchorage
  • 2 nts Seward
  • 2 nts Girdwood
  • Rail between all points
  • 7-day SB Voyage of the Glaciers

This is just an example for discussion purposes, but it does show how much more you can do on your own for the price of a cruisetour.

In terms of cruise itinerary, the Voyage of the Glaciers cruises both Hubbard and Glacier Bay, which is much more attractive than just doing Tracy Arm with DCL.

Like you, I'm also waiting for the 2011 schedules from Princess and HAL to make a final decision. But at the moment, I'm leaning towards cancelling our DCL cruise and doing a DIY land/Princess SB cruise.
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:49 PM   #51
Andrew DEREK UK
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Originally Posted by mousemom11 View Post
We are booked on the Wonder to go to Alaska, but I have many of the same concerns that you do Andrew about the itinerary. So I have started doing research into land/sea trips. I reviewed the cruisetours of both Princess and HAL and then priced out DIY land trips. What I found is that we could accomplish more on our own cheaper than a cruisetour.

For example, for the price of a 4-day Princess cruisetour (2 nts Fairbanks, 2 nts Denali, 7-day SB Voyage of the Glaciers cruise), we could do the following:
  • 2 nts Fairbanks
  • 2 nts Denali
  • 2 nts Anchorage
  • 2 nts Seward
  • 2 nts Girdwood
  • Rail between all points
  • 7-day SB Voyage of the Glaciers

This is just an example for discussion purposes, but it does show how much more you can do on your own for the price of a cruisetour.

In terms of cruise itinerary, the Voyage of the Glaciers cruises both Hubbard and Glacier Bay, which is much more attractive than just doing Tracy Arm with DCL.

Like you, I'm also waiting for the 2011 schedules from Princess and HAL to make a final decision. But at the moment, I'm leaning towards cancelling our DCL cruise and doing a DIY land/Princess SB cruise.
Looks good and in the ball park of my thinking.
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:58 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by mousemom11 View Post
We are booked on the Wonder to go to Alaska, but I have many of the same concerns that you do Andrew about the itinerary. So I have started doing research into land/sea trips. I reviewed the cruisetours of both Princess and HAL and then priced out DIY land trips. What I found is that we could accomplish more on our own cheaper than a cruisetour.

For example, for the price of a 4-day Princess cruisetour (2 nts Fairbanks, 2 nts Denali, 7-day SB Voyage of the Glaciers cruise), we could do the following:
  • 2 nts Fairbanks
  • 2 nts Denali
  • 2 nts Anchorage
  • 2 nts Seward
  • 2 nts Girdwood
  • Rail between all points
  • 7-day SB Voyage of the Glaciers

This is just an example for discussion purposes, but it does show how much more you can do on your own for the price of a cruisetour.

In terms of cruise itinerary, the Voyage of the Glaciers cruises both Hubbard and Glacier Bay, which is much more attractive than just doing Tracy Arm with DCL.

Like you, I'm also waiting for the 2011 schedules from Princess and HAL to make a final decision. But at the moment, I'm leaning towards cancelling our DCL cruise and doing a DIY land/Princess SB cruise.
For more convenience, I would recommend renting a car and driving between the Alaska towns. However, I would fly into Anchorage and rent from there. A flight to Fairbanks and a one-way car rental will cost more than a flight and rental car from Anchorage.

I would also look into coupon books for some savings on hotels and excursions:

TourSaver - www.toursaver.com
Northern Lights - http://www.alaska-discounts.com/

When visiting Denali - we stayed 2 nights at the Denali Lakeview Inn in Healy - about 12 miles north of the park entrance: www.denalilakeviewinn.com
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:05 PM   #53
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For more convenience, I would recommend renting a car and driving between the Alaska towns. However, I would fly into Anchorage and rent from there. A flight to Fairbanks and a one-way car rental will cost more than a flight and rental car from Anchorage.

I would also look into coupon books for some savings on hotels and excursions:

TourSaver - www.toursaver.com
Northern Lights - http://www.alaska-discounts.com/

When visiting Denali - we stayed 2 nights at the Denali Lakeview Inn in Healy - about 12 miles north of the park entrance: www.denalilakeviewinn.com
Thanks, my son and I are train lovers and I have seen the nice trains out there and find them quite appealing. So I am looking at that more than hire car.
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:24 PM   #54
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Thanks, my son and I are train lovers and I have seen the nice trains out there and find them quite appealing. So I am looking at that more than hire car.
I would not drive in the UK, so I wouldn't blame you if you didn't want to drive in Alaska.

The most scenic train route is between Anchorage and Seward. Our northbound cruise on HAL ended in Seward, so we spent the day there, then took the 6 p.m. train to Anchorage. The next morning we picked up our rental car for the rest of the land trip. Even if you choose a SB Princess cruise out of Whittier, do try to visit Seward.
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:57 PM   #55
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I would not drive in the UK, so I wouldn't blame you if you didn't want to drive in Alaska.

The most scenic train route is between Anchorage and Seward. Our northbound cruise on HAL ended in Seward, so we spent the day there, then took the 6 p.m. train to Anchorage. The next morning we picked up our rental car for the rest of the land trip. Even if you choose a SB Princess cruise out of Whittier, do try to visit Seward.
London driving, is an art form, if you can drive here you can drive anywhere, nothing will ever worry you, driven many times in USA, just prefer train ride. Take your advice on that rail route.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:30 PM   #56
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Hi Andrew,
My sister has been to Alaska on Princess, her first cruise and LOVED it and has cruised twice since.
I have been to Alaska twice and its just beautiful, so much so that even my 12yoDD has said she wants her honeymoon there!
We jumped ships when we went instead of waiting for DCL because they pulled out of Glacier Bay contract.
You will love it!
And I agree with the driving in London! I would be Chevy Chase in Holiday Vacation stuck driving the round about in Trafalgar!
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:34 PM   #57
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We are thinking of going on an Alaska cruise. I have just started researching it, but I am leaning toward Princess. Not sure if we will just do the cruise or land and sea.

My DH has some feet problems--sometimes he has no problems walking and other days he does not do well walking. It is a long story.

Anyway, I am wondering what the land excursions are like. Is there a lot of walking or are you shuttled to different locations? How far ahead of time do you need to schedule the excursions? Can you decide to do a land excursion the same day? Any opinions are appreciated.
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:05 PM   #58
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Anyway, I am wondering what the land excursions are like. Is there a lot of walking or are you shuttled to different locations? How far ahead of time do you need to schedule the excursions? Can you decide to do a land excursion the same day? Any opinions are appreciated.
Earlier this year we went on two Alaska cruises.

There were many excursions offered (33 in Juneau alone). The excursions were rated "Easy activity," "Moderate activity," or "Strenuous activity." Almost all of them included bus or car transportation from the port.

You can book excursions in advance or on the ship, though some were sold out by the time we sailed.

Woody
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:28 PM   #59
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Land ho! The buffet table ends!

Please note that on the land portion of Princess CruiseTour, food is *not* included in the price. It's a bit of a shock to have to start paying for food again after being on the ship for a week. As you might expect, food choices are limited and expensive on the land portion.


-Paul
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Old 12-30-2009, 11:24 AM   #60
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Hi Andrew,
My sister has been to Alaska on Princess, her first cruise and LOVED it and has cruised twice since.
I have been to Alaska twice and its just beautiful, so much so that even my 12yoDD has said she wants her honeymoon there!
We jumped ships when we went instead of waiting for DCL because they pulled out of Glacier Bay contract.
You will love it!
And I agree with the driving in London! I would be Chevy Chase in Holiday Vacation stuck driving the round about in Trafalgar!
Agree; my thoughts.
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Originally Posted by Sweety_tweety View Post
We are thinking of going on an Alaska cruise. I have just started researching it, but I am leaning toward Princess. Not sure if we will just do the cruise or land and sea.

My DH has some feet problems--sometimes he has no problems walking and other days he does not do well walking. It is a long story.

Anyway, I am wondering what the land excursions are like. Is there a lot of walking or are you shuttled to different locations? How far ahead of time do you need to schedule the excursions? Can you decide to do a land excursion the same day? Any opinions are appreciated.
Good questions; seen Woody has answered.
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Please note that on the land portion of Princess CruiseTour, food is *not* included in the price. It's a bit of a shock to have to start paying for food again after being on the ship for a week. As you might expect, food choices are limited and expensive on the land portion.


-Paul
Good point it adds up.
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