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Any Alaska cruisers out there?


Knightyme23
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I try to book my cruises as far in advance and keep an eye out on the price drops. With this being said, I hear a lot about Alaska cruises and I have been very curious. I'm anxious to get on a Quantum class ship but I need a great itenerary preferably in the summer months. I've booked a couple  of cruises so far leaving the summer 2016 spot open for when the schedule comes out. I know a new Quantum class ship will arrive as well as the newest Oasis sister. Is it possible that every new ship will be overseas based in the summer months? If so, I'm Alaska bound...... any great info?  Also, is there a big difference between departure from Seattle as opposed to Vancouver? 

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I've done Alaska twice on two different lines from Seattle. It's a great trip and one of my favorite itineraries in all of my cruises. Canada/New England would be a close second, which I've also done twice. The scenery is amazing and the glacier viewing is something that I think everyone needs to experience at least once in their lives.

 

Seattle is a great city, as is Vancouver, but Seattle is easier and much more affordable to fly into. The downside, though, is that you'll likely sail outside of Vancouver Island. As a result, your "Inside Passage" cruise is significantly truncated as a result as you don't cut into the Inside Passage until after you're past Vancouver Island. From Vancouver, you're always in the inside passage. Also, depending on the ship and itinerary, you may have a very late night port of call in Victoria for the required foreign port stop, which doesn't really give you a lot of time to enjoy the beautiful city.

 

If I had to do it over again, I'd fly into Seattle and take the train or the shuttle services, some run by the cruise lines, to Vancouver to get the full Inside Passage experience and to reduce costs compared to flying in. However, there's a lack of convenience as a result. In addition, the cruises I've priced out of Vancouver have always been more expensive than out of Seattle.

 

Let me know if you have any specific questions I can answer.

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I've done Alaska twice on two different lines from Seattle. It's a great trip and one of my favorite itineraries in all of my cruises. Canada/New England would be a close second, which I've also done twice. The scenery is amazing and the glacier viewing is something that I think everyone needs to experience at least once in their lives.

 

Seattle is a great city, as is Vancouver, but Seattle is easier and much more affordable to fly into. The downside, though, is that you'll likely sail outside of Vancouver Island. As a result, your "Inside Passage" cruise is significantly truncated as a result as you don't cut into the Inside Passage until after you're past Vancouver Island. From Vancouver, you're always in the inside passage. Also, depending on the ship and itinerary, you may have a very late night port of call in Victoria for the required foreign port stop, which doesn't really give you a lot of time to enjoy the beautiful city.

 

If I had to do it over again, I'd fly into Seattle and take the train or the shuttle services, some run by the cruise lines, to Vancouver to get the full Inside Passage experience and to reduce costs compared to flying in. However, there's a lack of convenience as a result. In addition, the cruises I've priced out of Vancouver have always been more expensive than out of Seattle.

 

Let me know if you have any specific questions I can answer.

GREAT info, thank you for sharing

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Hey
I have sailed out of Vancouver and really liked it - the city itself is great to walk around

and has some great sites to see either close by or you can easily get trains up to

Whistler and see much more of BC while you are there.

 

I flew into Seattle and drove into Vancouver which is one option - but the Amtrak from Seattle

is a beautiful ride and worth doing from Seattle also - it leaves early like 7am to get you up

to Vancouver so plan on staying a pre-night or two in Seattle.   Likewise there are a few

bus companies that p/up from SEA or downtown Seattle that bus you over the boarder

Runs about $50 one way, per person.

 

Like DocLC said, Seattle is cheaper to fly into but you can still do that and have options
Vancouver airport if very easy as well and there are some budget hotels in the downtown

area that are nice in VAN as well.

 

Agree - love the itinerary and it has been one of my favorites as well.

Main reason you do not get bigger ships here is they cannot fit through the Panama Canal

to get to Alaska, and Alaska does not want bigger ships there either.  Smaller is better for

this itinerary. 

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I did Alaska out of Vancouver in August 2013. 

 

Flights around that time must be jam packed because when we missed our connecting flight, and Delta was having trouble rebooking us on WestJet, they resorted to Air Canada who was booked thru 2 days or so. (We were scheduled to fly in EARLY the day before embarkation). We flew direct to Vancouver.

 

We selected it because we wanted Radiance instead of Rhapsody. Both are beautiful and newly refurbbed.

 

I NEVER get a room besides interior, except in Alaska. An oceanview balcony is HIGHLY recommended (coming from the cheap-o over here).

 

Snorkeling in Alaska (yes, you heard right) is an unreal experience. Also highly recommended.

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I agree with Bryce G. I am price conscious and often book interior unless an ocean view or balcony are only $100 or so more per person as my family does use our balcony nearly as much as we use to when my son was younger. However, in Alaska, you miss out on a lot of scenery without a balcony and you're going to fight your way for rail space when viewing the glaciers. It was also nice to have a room to retreat to. We also ordered room service to enjoy when visiting Glacier Bay.

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