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Alaskan Cruise

justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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including airfare and other transportation expenses, as well as excursions from the ship which can add a lot of $$$ to your costs
Definitely research this before you set your budget, especially if you've done cruises in the Caribbean. To equal what I spent on one 7 day cruise in Alaska you'd have to add what I've spent on five 7 day cruises. It was a shock to me even though I "knew" Alaska was more expensive, but definitely worth it.
 
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VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
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We were able to limit our expenditures on excursions in several ways:
  • In Juneau, the shuttle from the ship provided an easy way to see things. We walked to the State Museum, and took the hourly bus to Mendenhall Glacier. Very low cost.
  • In Skagway, the Yukon Train and Skagway Street Car were ship excursions and quite reasonable cost-wise.
  • Glacier Bay was essentially "included"
  • At Ketchikan, the lumberjack show was a few blocks from the ship and again "reasonable". We then walked to the Totem Center (free) and came back along Creek St where there are a lot of shops. Nothing else appealed to us.
  • In Victoria BC, we took a combo excursion that included a tour of the city and Butchart Gardens. Very affordable.
Maybe $400-$450 total . . .
 
Jun 24, 2019
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We went in May. Many of the bears were still asleep. We did see bears along side the train track going to the various Princess lodges. The railroad clears 50-100 feet on either side of the tracks, and in that area dandelions grow, which the bears like. We did not see bears at the various spots where salmon run.
 
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Apr 19, 2017
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We just came back from an Alaskan cruise, on Celebrity out of Seattle. We had an amazing time, and enjoyed excellent service on Celebrity, though your choice of line and ship will depend on your own circumstances. One of the major variables is what port stops you will be making. Ours were Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria. Other lines will have different itineraries, though each of them must include a Canadian port because of the strange ancient legal code governing marine transportation.

Make sure to always arrive at your embarkation city the previous day, even though if you arrange your air through the cruise line you will have to pay extra for the privilege of doing it right. As we filed off to see Victoria on our last stop before Seattle, one sheepish couple with a mountain of luggage was leaving the ship there, because their same-day arrival flight was delayed and they missed the departure. Now they faced an expensive one-way trip home from Vancouver. I didn't get around to asking them how they had boarded, but because the first stop was Ketchikan, they must had had to do an even more expensive one-way to board there. Apparently when you do that, it is illegal to sail to the destination, which is why they had to get off in Victoria.
 
Aug 9, 2017
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We just came back from an Alaskan cruise, on Celebrity out of Seattle. We had an amazing time, and enjoyed excellent service on Celebrity, though your choice of line and ship will depend on your own circumstances. One of the major variables is what port stops you will be making. Ours were Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria. Other lines will have different itineraries, though each of them must include a Canadian port because of the strange ancient legal code governing marine transportation.

Make sure to always arrive at your embarkation city the previous day, even though if you arrange your air through the cruise line you will have to pay extra for the privilege of doing it right. As we filed off to see Victoria on our last stop before Seattle, one sheepish couple with a mountain of luggage was leaving the ship there, because their same-day arrival flight was delayed and they missed the departure. Now they faced an expensive one-way trip home from Vancouver. I didn't get around to asking them how they had boarded, but because the first stop was Ketchikan, they must had had to do an even more expensive one-way to board there. Apparently when you do that, it is illegal to sail to the destination, which is why they had to get off in Victoria.
With respect to Celebrity, I echo the comments of Alan. One suggestion would be to do this trip in the early half of the summer (late May to mid July) as opposed to the latter half. Rain is common all summer but the winds can really pick up in August which may affect your trip.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
2,416
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Maui Hawaii
We just came back from an Alaskan cruise, on Celebrity out of Seattle. We had an amazing time, and enjoyed excellent service on Celebrity, though your choice of line and ship will depend on your own circumstances. One of the major variables is what port stops you will be making. Ours were Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria. Other lines will have different itineraries, though each of them must include a Canadian port because of the strange ancient legal code governing marine transportation.

Make sure to always arrive at your embarkation city the previous day, even though if you arrange your air through the cruise line you will have to pay extra for the privilege of doing it right. As we filed off to see Victoria on our last stop before Seattle, one sheepish couple with a mountain of luggage was leaving the ship there, because their same-day arrival flight was delayed and they missed the departure. Now they faced an expensive one-way trip home from Vancouver. I didn't get around to asking them how they had boarded, but because the first stop was Ketchikan, they must had had to do an even more expensive one-way to board there. Apparently when you do that, it is illegal to sail to the destination, which is why they had to get off in Victoria.
As a paranoid cruiser, I suggest arriving in your port of embarkation at least 2 days early (if it is Vancouver there are LOTS of things to do and see). That way if there is a flight issue you just relax knowing you will make the boat. Due to many factors, holding the sailing for late-arriving passengers virtually never happens. We cruised 11 days out of Vancouver to Seward/Anchorage in Aug 2019 and went there (Vancouver) 4 days early and spent the time in Whistler.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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"Apparently when you do that, it is illegal to sail to the destination, which is why they had to get off in Victoria. "

Celebrity cannot carry passengers between who board in Ketchikan and disembark in Seattle. It violates the Passenger Vessel Services Act, and Celebrity will likely be fined $300 per person and pass the fine along to the passenger. Celebrity can carry passengers between Ketchikan and Victoria.
 
Feb 28, 2018
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After many Alaskan cruises from Vancouver, Seattle, and San Francisco I have some suggestions: the cruise itinerary is important. If your cruise can take in Glacier Bay,and Skagway, you will enjoy them. The round trip cruises from Seattle or San Francisco are much less costly than the Vancouver departures . Try to get cruises with as much time in the ports as possible to permit you to see what is there. The interior train trip to Denali is worthwhile if you can spend enough time at Denali to take the all-day bus trip into Denali Park from the town of Denali ( which is outside the park). I personally thought the Fairbanks visit was a total tourist nothing : a paddleboat rivr ride, 'panning for gold 'in a created sluice, etc. The Victoria visit to the Butchart gardens are lovely if you can get there when there is enough light to see the flowers. some cruises arrive late, get to the garden at twilight, and you can't see what is there. We took Princess and HAL and noted little differences, since we took silar itineraries. Alaskan weather is unpredictable.
 
Jun 22, 2019
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After looking at photographs of my mother's Alaskan trips some decades ago, I am totally determined to take an Alaskan cruise. I know there are many lines that offer the cruise, I'd love people's opinions on their experiences of which is the best (or worst and to avoid). I am definitely interested in shore excursions, but also ship life/entertainment.

Thank you.
Each cruise line is different in what you will experience. I like Windstar as they have smaller ships that get into more ports without using tenders. My favorite cruise line is Viking but they do not do Alaska at this time. They have no kids, no casinos, a tour in every port, and refer to themselves as the think man's cruise.