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Tacktheritrix
New Orleans Saints Fan
Wonderland
Member since Jun 2013
1013 posts

Alaska Trip-Cruise or Hotels

So I had a conversation with my parents over the weekend about a cruise they took in Alaska YEARS ago...Since then they have been back one time but just rented a cabin and they swear that the cruise is the way to go when visiting Alaska.

Has anyone ever done an Alaskan cruise? If so, do you think you got to see more if you were to have just gotten a rental car and hotels instead?

Which cruise line did you take? The one excursion they suggest was take the small plane to where the bears feed. Not sure if this was something that was purchased with the cruise line..


sstig
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Oct 2003
2512 posts

We are going in mid August on Carnival. The plane excursion is available for $450ish on this cruise.


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nopants
US Space Force Fan
Luling, La
Member since Aug 2006
857 posts

quote:

If so, do you think you got to see more if you were to have just gotten a rental car and hotels instead?


I've not done an Alaskan cruise, but I did just go to Alaska last month, saw a few cruise ships there and am pretty darn sure that we saw tons more staying in Anchorage and making a bunch of day trips (and one overnight after fishing in Seward) than you'd be able to do with cruise ship excursions.

Gratuitous plug of my post on the outdoor board with trip itinerary and pics - Alaksa trip TD thread (outdoor board)

Seriously though, the scenery you see in Alaska on or right off the roads is totally worth spending some time driving around in my opinion.



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redfish99
LSU Fan
B.R.
Member since Aug 2007
14562 posts

I have a thrice cancelled NCL planned in August. It’ll be my second to Alaska. Flying in to Seattle Friday night. Alaskan Air has direct from NOLA. Ship leaves Sunday afternoon. Friday night stay at airport hotel then downtown for Saturday night. I’ve never spoken to anyone who didn’t say it was the best cruise they’ve ever taken. Inside passage 7 day is typical. Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan are usual stops. Try to get a ship that does Glacier Bay it’s a highlight for most and not a given based on limited access. It’s the ultimate way for a first timer to see the state. Good luck
This post was edited on 6/20 at 8:37 am


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LaLadyinTx
Houston Astros Fan
Cypress, TX
Member since Nov 2018
3653 posts
 Online 

We took Princess. I'm not hearing that they are so great since the pandemic reopening. I've heard better things about Holland America.

The Alaskan Cruise and an Alaskan land vacation are just 2 totally different things. Most cruises go from either Seattle or Vancouver up to Haines/Skagway and Glacier Bay. There are one way ones that start or end in Whittier. Look at a map of Alaska. This area is all coastal and you'd see a lot of wonderful things...Glaciers, whales, cute towns, possibly a trip into the Yukon with some beautiful scenery or maybe next year, the train will be running into the Yukon as well.

Look at the map again. Most land vacations in Alaska are Denali and the Kenai Peninsula. Both of those are completely different trips than the cruise. The good thing about Alaskan cruises is that usually the port times are very long and it stays light pretty much all night. You basically go back to the ship, go to bed, and wake up in a different place, ready to tour it. I'd love to go back and do Denali. Imagine it as a much larger version of Yellowstone/Glacier National parks, and much, much more wild/untouched.


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geauxpurple
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jul 2014
8626 posts

I have been on two Alaskan cruises, both on Holland America. I loved them. The scenery was spectacular and much of it can be seen only from sea. Hubbard Glacier, Glacier Bay and College Fiord are examples of this.

We also took land tours which included a train ride to the Denali Park where we stayed in a cabin for a few days.

I highly recommend the cruises. I like the ones that go from Vancouver to Seward because the scenery gets more and more spectacular the farther north you go.


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NCTigerFan
LSU Fan
North Carolina
Member since Nov 2007
331 posts

Back in 2009, we bought open jaw airline tickets and flew into Anchorage, did some land excursions from there (e.g., Denali), and then cruised one-way southbound from Whitier to Seattle and flew home from there. I highly recommend that to anyone who has the time/means.

Having said that, we're planning another trip (this time including my tween daughter) for 2023 or 2024, and we're planning to cruise RT from Seattle or Vancouver, and I think that's going to be fine for her as a first trip.


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kciDAtaE
Member since Apr 2017
12640 posts

Only did it by cruise. Many towns and places we saw are inaccessible by car. And those were the best parts of the trip.

Remember, you can always do both. After the cruise ends, rent a car and explore Denali.


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Doofus
LSU Fan
Member since Apr 2022
16 posts

We did an Alaskan Disney Cruise for our honeymoon, and I do not have anything bad to say about it. I would gladly do the same trip again.


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Tigris
Montana Fan
Mexican Home
Member since Jul 2005
11571 posts

I've done an Alaska cruise and really liked it. Beautiful scenery while at sea and the ports were interesting. Look for local alternatives to the cruise line excursions - they are every bit as good, cheaper, and less crowded.

I've also spent a month there seeing the state in a camper van; we even made it up to Prudhoe Bay. That was the best trip I've ever done (we also spent a month driving up and back). Completely different experience. The solitude is something you just don't get on a cruise, and you see more wildlife on a road trip. If you can rent a camper that's really the way to do it. Hotels are a bit scarce in places and really expensive. With a camper you can go anywhere you feel like. People tent camp too but it's not a great option when you get to the wild places because of the bears.


LaLadyinTx
Houston Astros Fan
Cypress, TX
Member since Nov 2018
3653 posts
 Online 

quote:

Look for local alternatives to the cruise line excursions - they are every bit as good, cheaper, and less crowded.


100% this! I have never booked at excursion with the cruise line. There are a lot of very reputable smaller companies that do a great job and you're not with 100 folks from the ship. Keep your excursions small...no more than 12-16 people and I really prefer 8 or so. Then you can actually talk with your guide. I've also been on excursions I booked on my own, but I was with folks who booked through the cruise line and paid more.


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