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Alaska pre-planning question...


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On 8/19/2021 at 4:06 PM, Lovetocruise2002 said:

I am not responsible if @Chadsterbooks another cruise!

Okay, so you're not responsible...you were actually helpful -- as was everybody in this thread. The 7-night multi-glacier trip aboard Serenade in May 2022 checks even more boxes than my previously planned 8-day trip...so I'm even more excited now. ?

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11 hours ago, Cruising With JT said:

doing the Endicott Arm/Dawes Glacier experience. The sailing into Dawes Glacier might even be better than the Glacier itself.

That is what I have read across multiple sites as well.  If we do this in 2023, I'm going to try to find an itinerary that is multi-glacier with Dawes as one of them.

11 hours ago, Cruising With JT said:

I need something big and has a lot to offer, as I am sure your children will want as well.

With the kids, we have gone on a lot of "big" ships.  They will be 15 and 17 by 2023 and it's probably time they see a "small ship".  Besides, like many have pointed out, the small ships can do itineraries that the larger ships cannot so unless a big ship is our only option, I have already accepted the fact that there won't be a Coastal Kitchen lol

 

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5 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

That is what I have read across multiple sites as well.  If we do this in 2023, I'm going to try to find an itinerary that is multi-glacier with Dawes as one of them.

With the kids, we have gone on a lot of "big" ships.  They will be 15 and 17 by 2023 and it's probably time they see a "small ship".  Besides, like many have pointed out, the small ships can do itineraries that the larger ships cannot so unless a big ship is our only option, I have already accepted the fact that there won't be a Coastal Kitchen lol

 

Haha, well Ovation of the Seas has a CK so maybe that sways your decision ?

Sounds good regarding ships, you will have fun no matter what. Definitely try to get multiple glaciers if you can!

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5 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Did you hear that @Matt?  I am not responsible for this one! ?

If Serenade does those same multi-glacier itineraries the following year, that is what I most likely will end up on too.

That's what I'm doing next year - the multi-glacier on Serenade!

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@Lovetocruise2002thank you for the shout out! Marc and I always said we would do Alaska much later in life but the pandemic also gave us both a new appreciation for the outdoors as well. We went with Ovation because we were still a little on the fence about Alaska but wanted to give it a shot and wanted to also explore Seattle, both did not disappoint! I knew Ovation was going to be an amazing ship so that already felt like a win but I have to say I was blown away by the beauty of even just sailing in the inside passage alone. I knew we would see wildlife but I was truly blown away to see both Orcas and humpbacks right off the ship! We had a side balcony and it was wonderful, i am sure an aft would be even better! We found ourselves spending hours sitting in 270 with a spiked hot chocolate because the views were truly out of this world. If we do Alaska again I think I would want to do a southbound but what I will say was a highlight for us was the pre and post cruise time in Seattle! We spent 1 day prior and 2 days on the back half and I can honestly say it was one of my favorite big city trips to date. The last day of the trip we did a wine tasting tour in Woodenville and it was a blast! We also rented a hot tub boat in Lake Union and that was on of the most fun things I think we have ever done, the boat is operated by joy stick so you kind of feel like you are driving a toy boat. I could have spent another week there alone doing more wine tasting and exploring the National parks around Seattle. 

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On 8/22/2021 at 1:39 PM, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Did you hear that @Matt?  I am not responsible for this one! ?

If Serenade does those same multi-glacier itineraries the following year, that is what I most likely will end up on too.

So to help you narrow down your aft suite (cause I know you want a suite lol) check out 8668 (2 bdrm corner) 9656 (2 bdrm corner) 1100 (corner aft JS), 1602 (JS) and the mother load: 1600 corner grand suite) 

We’ve got 1100 booked on Radiance next May for Southbound. Super excited as the balcony is really big. 
 

As you probably already know, 2023 Alaska will be released sometime in November. Keep the credit card easily accessible as those cabins listed above go speedy quick. ?

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Glacier Bay is awesome.   I was on Princess in 2011.  The inside passage was also great.  Skagway was my favorite port.  Ketchikan was not so great.   I am heading out Friday-assuming a negative covid test tomorrow on ovation.  Chose this for ship, Skagway and inside passage.  
 

gping with friends because my husband does not want to go again.  He got “tired of all the pretty scenery”

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4 hours ago, l9dance said:

We went with Ovation because we were still a little on the fence about Alaska but wanted to give it a shot and wanted to also explore Seattle, both did not disappoint!

Funny you mention that because that is where I am torn.  I like the itineraries from Vancouver much more, but I really want to explore Seattle.  We've been to Vancouver several times already and I doubt we would be bored, but Seattle would be brand new.  I saw the hot tub boat on your story, it looked "interesting" lol

42 minutes ago, Jill said:

So to help you narrow down your aft suite (cause I know you want a suite lol) check out 8668 (2 bdrm corner) 9656 (2 bdrm corner) 1100 (corner aft JS), 1602 (JS) and the mother load: 1600 corner grand suite) 

Thanks! lol  I'm pretty sure I want the aft 2 bedroom OS.  The only thing I am not sure about is if those balconies are all the same size between Deck 7-9.  Hard to tell from the deck plans and cruisedeckplans doesn't have any detailed info on the different decks, but it almost looks like Deck 9 has the largest balcony.  If anyone has any info on balcony size on the 2 Bedroom aft Owner's suites on Radiance class, I would love to hear it!

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On 8/19/2021 at 11:39 AM, Lovetocruise2002 said:

So...I know some of you will laugh at me for this after proclaiming up and down that (already coming from too much cold weather) I have no desire to sail Alaska. However, I will be the first to admit that I can be wrong (sometimes lol), and it might be in our 2023 summer plans.

I totally blame two things for this recent turn of events, one being our recent trip through the Rockies (turns out Hubby really likes mountains/waterfalls/creeks), and the recent pics and stories posted by @Cruising With JT, and @l9dance. And looking back through old @twangster blogs, I can admit that I see things in a different light now. I still don't feel a burning desire, but a cruise to Alaska is a decent compromise for Hubby and I. He gets his outdoor piece, and I get my cruise.  Also, we would have our two teenage girls with us on this one.

Here are my preliminary questions for the group, I am sure I will have more as time goes on.

1. Sail from Seattle or Vancouver? Flights are not a factor. I can fly from DTW or Toronto. Non issue. I am assuming the world will be in a better place by 2023 and border closures are a distant memory. We more or less want to know which embarkation port gives us better itineraries. (Edit: thinking of mainly RT itineraries this time around)

2. Getting a balcony is an obvious yes for us, but side balcony or aft?

And yes, before anyone points it out, I am fully aware there may not be a CK available! lol

Depending upon where you live in Canada, you may already be in a similar topographical setting (so I understand your comment).   But it really is a great cruise route.   We've done it 3x with different itineraries and now prefer the 1 way, with a land tour through Denali.  The train is a great way to see the sites, while relaxing with your favorite beverage an a meal.   Plus you have the opportunities for viewing all sorts of great marine animals and eat some of them (salmon, halibut).  Balcony is a must, side depends on how you sail  RT doesn't matter, 1 way you'll want to select where you can best see nature.  Highly recommend, you're probably already acclimated to the weather.

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29 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Funny you mention that because that is where I am torn.  I like the itineraries from Vancouver much more, but I really want to explore Seattle.  We've been to Vancouver several times already and I doubt we would be bored, but Seattle would be brand new.  I saw the hot tub boat on your story, it looked "interesting" lol

Thanks! lol  I'm pretty sure I want the aft 2 bedroom OS.  The only thing I am not sure about is if those balconies are all the same size between Deck 7-9.  Hard to tell from the deck plans and cruisedeckplans doesn't have any detailed info on the different decks, but it almost looks like Deck 9 has the largest balcony.  If anyone has any info on balcony size on the 2 Bedroom aft Owner's suites on Radiance class, I would love to hear it!

So if you want to see Seattle, do a southbound out of Seward, then drive from Vancouver to Seattle! Problem solved! 

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39 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

If anyone has any info on balcony size on the 2 Bedroom aft Owner's suites on Radiance class, I would love to hear it!

We have 7672 booked on Jewel for our August 19, 2022 12 night British Isles Cruise so if we are able to go (protocols, ya know....) I will let you know how it is !!  I guess that's probably too late, isn't it ?  Oh well...you can let ME know how it is !!

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1 hour ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Funny you mention that because that is where I am torn.  I like the itineraries from Vancouver much more, but I really want to explore Seattle.  We've been to Vancouver several times already and I doubt we would be bored, but Seattle would be brand new.  I saw the hot tub boat on your story, it looked "interesting" lol

Thanks! lol  I'm pretty sure I want the aft 2 bedroom OS.  The only thing I am not sure about is if those balconies are all the same size between Deck 7-9.  Hard to tell from the deck plans and cruisedeckplans doesn't have any detailed info on the different decks, but it almost looks like Deck 9 has the largest balcony.  If anyone has any info on balcony size on the 2 Bedroom aft Owner's suites on Radiance class, I would love to hear it!

We have an OS-2bdr #1054 for our Southbound next July. My son and his buddy will be sharing the 2nd bedroom. We had a one-bedroom OS last time we sailed Alaska southbound. It was okay, but honestly, I asked myself why I didn't book a GS instead. There wasn't much difference (other than the bidet) between the OS and GS on Radiance. We like to have privacy for everyone in our group, especially nonfamily when we travel. So the OS-2bdr4 was a no-brainer.

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28 minutes ago, Baked Alaska said:

We have an OS-2bdr #1054 for our Southbound next July. My son and his buddy will be sharing the 2nd bedroom. We had a one-bedroom OS last time we sailed Alaska southbound. It was okay, but honestly, I asked myself why I didn't book a GS instead. There wasn't much difference (other than the bidet) between the OS and GS on Radiance. We like to have privacy for everyone in our group, especially nonfamily when we travel. So the OS-2bdr4 was a no-brainer.

I considered the GS on Deck 10 with the JS next door.  But after watching several videos, it doesn't look like the divider opens, so that's not going to work for me.  Watching from the balcony is something we want to do as a family so that divider in the way is a big no.  Assuming it's going to be Radiance class again in 2023, the aft OTs are best suited for "what I need", and the family as a whole.  But like I said, the only thing I cannot tell is if there is a difference in the size of the balconies because there are aft OTs on Deck 7, 8, and 9.  On cruisedeckplans, it says, "Cabin size ranges from 533 to 586 square feet plus 139 to 196 square foot balcony" but no indication as to which is which.

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50 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

We have 7672 booked on Jewel for our August 19, 2022 12 night British Isles Cruise so if we are able to go (protocols, ya know....) I will let you know how it is !!  I guess that's probably too late, isn't it ? 

Yeah, I am guessing that I will book when new 2023 itineraries come out this fall/winter.

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2 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Funny you mention that because that is where I am torn.  I like the itineraries from Vancouver much more, but I really want to explore Seattle.  We've been to Vancouver several times already and I doubt we would be bored, but Seattle would be brand new.  I saw the hot tub boat on your story, it looked "interesting" lol

I had never seen anything like it! It was a fun way to see the space needle and we were on the same lake as the houseboat from Sleepless in Seattle! I added some photos unless anyone is interested!44A12254-C22C-4658-B717-0839B0D95F98.thumb.jpeg.b0090e06c69269612320760ff1bec4c8.jpeg6B758E66-D5FD-4E46-8C58-4F3CAE2C040E.thumb.jpeg.a85079d0ff524dcc9309c734c60de13d.jpeg

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Since this thread is about Alaska pre-planning, I'd like to ask about timing an Alaskan cruise.  If one were to choose between May and September (the shoulder seasons), which would be better?  What are the pros and cons of each option?

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We are going the end of September on Ovation OTS and looking at Matt's latest posting I cannot wait to see (hopefully) the Northern Lights as he said September is the best time during the Alaska cruise season for this. Have been all over the world but this is one of the things that I have not experienced. Swapped my snorkel gear for my big camera. Hoping we will pass the Covid testing again and enjoy the scenery and wildlife along the way. Hopefully that will be outside the ship and not inside.?

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21 minutes ago, CrznTxn said:

We are going the end of September on Ovation OTS and looking at Matt's latest posting I cannot wait to see (hopefully) the Northern Lights as he said September is the best time during the Alaska cruise season for this. Have been all over the world but this is one of the things that I have not experienced. Swapped my snorkel gear for my big camera. Hoping we will pass the Covid testing again and enjoy the scenery and wildlife along the way. Hopefully that will be outside the ship and not inside.?

I was on the Ovation in early September 2019.  I too was looking out for the Northern Lights one night. I gave up around midnight (Alaska Time) because my Floridian body clock was telling me it was 4AM.  The next day, the lady next to me on the excursion shuttle was showing pictures she had taken of the Northern Lights the night before.  I had gone to bed one hour too early... (shaking my head)

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