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Old 12-07-2012, 12:24 PM   #16
Dawn414
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I agree...Disney to Alaska just didn't do it for us...the cost alone was crazy. We ended up booking a Verandah room on Royal for the same price we would have had an Inside Cabin on Disney.

We don't take the cruise until June 2013, but we are doing the Vancouver to Seward. Believe it or not, the airfare pricing wasn't all that much different than Seattle/Round trip (for us leaving out of Philly) and the one way (versus cruising in a circle) was a better itinerary.

Happy planning!
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:27 PM   #17
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I've heard good things about Princess's Alaskan cruises
However we are going to Alaska this spring with Carnival because we won a free cruise with Carnival, lol. Hopefully it will be a good experience
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:01 PM   #18
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We've been on the Emerald Princess sailing to Alaska. They do a great job in terms of the trip itself. That ship has an indoor pool, which is nice for Alaska, that Disney ships do not have. Not sure if all captains do this, but we sailed wayyyy into Tracy Arm to get a close look at Sawyer Glacier. We hear we were much closer than other large ships dare to go. Our sailing also had a naturist on-board to narrate and point out wildlife and stuff as we went. Not sure if DCL does this.

The shows on Princess are definitely targetted at an older audience, though. Nice productions, but the music was before my time and I'm not exactly young either Hated the smoke-filled casino, though.

Even though we missed being on a DCL ship when it passed us one day, I still think Princess is the way to go up in Alaska.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneymomto5 View Post
Hope someone can help me. We are interested in an Alaskan cruise but want to leave out of Seattle (it's cheaper and easier). Having only sailed DCL, can anyone recommend a good cruiseline to Alaska? We have a 14 and 10 year old traveling with us.
Thanks!
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We are planning to take our 3rd Alaska cruise (first with our DDs) in 2014. We are looking to sail HAL or Princess because we want a one way North or South with a land portion. Haven't decided if we will DIY on the land portion or do a package through the cruise line. Glacier Bay is a must.
I've cruise 3 times to Alaska with Holland America.
This summer we'll be going round trip from Seattle. We've also done the one way from Vancouver to Anchorage, the last one in 2010 was a 7 night cruise plus 6 day land tour with the HAL package. That was the best vacation ever. My DD13 at the time made friends with a lot of other kids in the clubs and so had familiar faces during the land portion, since we all stayed in the same Lodges and took the same trains and buses.
Princess and Holland are the 2 biggest names in the Alaska cruise/tour industry. I believe that Holland now has the bigger monopoly in Alaska, since a couple years ago some of the cruise lines had pulled out some of their ships from Alaska. Holland has the better and newer rail road cars,with the clear domes on the upper cars. Touring with the cruise line gives you a few additional perks and priority for tours. Since Princess and Holland own most of the rail road cars, alot of the reservations have to be done using their trains or buses. If this is not done in time, you may be left stranded.
My DD cruised to Alaska at 6, 9 and 13yrs old and she loved all the Holland America cruises we've been on.
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:04 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by algae View Post
We've been on the Emerald Princess sailing to Alaska. They do a great job in terms of the trip itself. That ship has an indoor pool, which is nice for Alaska, that Disney ships do not have. Not sure if all captains do this, but we sailed wayyyy into Tracy Arm to get a close look at Sawyer Glacier. We hear we were much closer than other large ships dare to go. Our sailing also had a naturist on-board to narrate and point out wildlife and stuff as we went. Not sure if DCL does this.

The shows on Princess are definitely targetted at an older audience, though. Nice productions, but the music was before my time and I'm not exactly young either Hated the smoke-filled casino, though.

Even though we missed being on a DCL ship when it passed us one day, I still think Princess is the way to go up in Alaska.
When was your Princess Alaska cruise? Princess recycles ship names, but the current Emerald Princess was in Europe in 2011 and 2012 when DCL was in Alaska. Perhaps you were on the Diamond or Sapphire (other gem names)?
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:08 PM   #21
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We've been on two Alaska cruises with HAL and were very pleased. Glacier Bay was a highlight.

Woody
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:07 PM   #22
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I recently sailed with HAL in Alaska, this past June. I know that they do sail out of Seattle, and do the same itinerary that I did.

When researching this, my Uncle, who sells cruises only, was very insistent upon HAL. One of the reasons, is their smaller ships giving you a quieter, it goes to Glacier Bay and a more intimate cruise. Having said that, while HAL is geared towards an older crowd, we had a ton of kids on board. You never would have known it, they were so preoccupied in the kids clubs, I thought it was an adult only sailing, until the chocolate buffet came out.

We loved HAL. The cruise was amazing. And I have to say, if you miss Glacier Bay on your sailing, it would be a shame. It is truely the most breathtaking place I have been. Some say it's no big deal.......I would definitely agrue that.

RCCL was cruising Alaska as of this past summer, so if they have stopped, it would be for next summer. We had 2 RCCL ships with us the entire cruise, as well as another HAL.

I would find a travel agent that specializes in cruises. Then get their opinion. Some are better itineraries....pick the best one for your family.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:07 AM   #23
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Twice to Alaska on HAL out of Seattle, with Disney Eastern Caribbean on the Magic, and Hawaii on NCL America's Pride of America sandwiched in between.

HAL has been going to Alaska longer than any other cruise line, service was on par if not a notch above Disney, and they had kids clubs. We priced Disney for Alaska for our cruise this past June, yes, the price was nuts, but the deal breaker for us for they go Monday to Monday, not Saturday to Saturday or Sunday to Sunday. Having to burn up an extra vacation day just wasn't in the cards.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:06 AM   #24
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We sailed to Alaska out of Seattle on Princess 5 1/2 years ago when my son was just under a year old. Their amenities for young children were horrible. The crib they gave me was older than the hills and we were worried he would pinch his fingers in the hinges of the rickety thing so he ended up in bed for us. Not real sure how older kids would fare. We had previoulsy been on a Carnival boat which was much more youthful and lively so Princess seemed geriatric by comparison.

Annnnyway, the Tracy Arm Fjords are not to be missed (I think this is the same thing as Glacier Bay). Stunning!

Good luck with your planning!
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:15 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jodical View Post
We sailed to Alaska out of Seattle on Princess 5 1/2 years ago when my son was just under a year old. Their amenities for young children were horrible. The crib they gave me was older than the hills and we were worried he would pinch his fingers in the hinges of the rickety thing so he ended up in bed for us. Not real sure how older kids would fare. We had previoulsy been on a Carnival boat which was much more youthful and lively so Princess seemed geriatric by comparison.

Annnnyway, the Tracy Arm Fjords are not to be missed (I think this is the same thing as Glacier Bay). Stunning!

Good luck with your planning!
Tracy Arm Fjord is lovely, but it's not the same thing as Glacier Bay National Park. If you have a choice between the two - I'd choose Glacier Bay.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:46 AM   #26
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We did HAL before we had kids. Several things:

1) Alaska cruises are really some of the absolute best for cruising!!! (We've done both DCL and HAL.) You simply have to go!
2) Don't pick the first cruise of the season - it may be cheaper, but they haven't gotten the ship put together really for the itinerary and regardless of how many times they've sailed it, there will be hiccups. Plus most of the really cool excursions are simply not available yet in the season.
3) Pick an inside passage cruise - PARTICULARLY if you get seasick. That outside passage can be a real doozy! (And make sure it's inside both ways!)
4) If you can, don't book a round-trip cruise (unless you can stay out for 14 days or so). The best thing we did after our HAL cruise, was get off and take the train up to Denali! The views are spectacular and the wildlife amazing! (Unfortunately, you can't do this with DCL.)
5) Do note though that HAL's demographic is very different than DCL. Although I think it's probably slighly younger than Princess. We didn't have kids yet on our cruise, but there definitely weren't very many families on our trip! That said, I think HAL did the nature experts better than DCL - again catering to the demographic.
6) If you go after June - take mosquito repellent! Some of those things are bigger than birds!
7) If you can afford it, the balcony cabin is the way to go. Up on deck it is REALLY cold on that glacier day!
8) MUST go whale watching!!!! Must take a seaplane!!! Dogsledding is COOOOOLDDDD and often cancelled. Eat some fresh salmon too! (Can't stand the stuff down here - but up there, it's like CANDY!)

Whichever one you choose - it will be truly the vacation of a lifetime!
Enjoy!
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:48 PM   #27
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Quote:
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Tracy Arm Fjord is lovely, but it's not the same thing as Glacier Bay National Park. If you have a choice between the two - I'd choose Glacier Bay.
I agree. We've sailed both Tracy Arm Fjord and Glacier Bay. Glacier Bay wins hands down.

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Old 12-17-2012, 04:59 PM   #28
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Only two cruise ships per day are allowed into Glacier Bay because of the fragile eco-system. Ships that can't get permits for Glacier Bay often go to Tracy Arm, which is also gorgeous! but not the same.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:48 PM   #29
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Quote:
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When was your Princess Alaska cruise? Princess recycles ship names, but the current Emerald Princess was in Europe in 2011 and 2012 when DCL was in Alaska. Perhaps you were on the Diamond or Sapphire (other gem names)?
Ack! You're right. It was the Golden Princess. It was this year in June/July.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:58 PM   #30
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Ack! You're right. It was the Golden Princess. It was this year in June/July.
I sailed on the Golden Princess to Alaska in 2009 out of Seattle, with the same itinerary as DCL's (in 2012). Loved the ship!
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