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-   -   Spend extra for a balcony cabin? (http://www.cruisereviews.com/forum/alaska-port-chat/12619-spend-extra-balcony-cabin.html)

wwide 07-03-2008 09:08 AM

Normally, I wouldn't think of spending extra to have a balcony as I wouldn't plan on being the cabin much anyway, but I'm wondering if it's worth it for Alaska?

I've read most Alaska cruise sellers say it's definitely worth it, but I've read other places it's not worth it.

I would think the best view on cruising days is up top where you get a much broader view. My concern is that the upper decks will be piled high with people - I'm a short person so this can be problematic if I don't have a rail spot.

I guess my questions:

1. Are the upper decks 3 or 4 deep with people while cruising Glacier Bay, College Fjord, etc?

2. Are there good covered spots on the decks if it's a rainy day (I guess this depends on ship though.)

3. For those who have cruised Alaska before, what are your thoughts on was the balcony worth it or did you miss the balcony if you didn't splurge for it?

One of the cruises I'm considering has only one full day doing scenic cruising, another has 3. I would think if I choose the one with only 1 day it's not worth it, but the more days at sea, the better value it is?

wwide 07-03-2008 09:08 AM

Normally, I wouldn't think of spending extra to have a balcony as I wouldn't plan on being the cabin much anyway, but I'm wondering if it's worth it for Alaska?

I've read most Alaska cruise sellers say it's definitely worth it, but I've read other places it's not worth it.

I would think the best view on cruising days is up top where you get a much broader view. My concern is that the upper decks will be piled high with people - I'm a short person so this can be problematic if I don't have a rail spot.

I guess my questions:

1. Are the upper decks 3 or 4 deep with people while cruising Glacier Bay, College Fjord, etc?

2. Are there good covered spots on the decks if it's a rainy day (I guess this depends on ship though.)

3. For those who have cruised Alaska before, what are your thoughts on was the balcony worth it or did you miss the balcony if you didn't splurge for it?

One of the cruises I'm considering has only one full day doing scenic cruising, another has 3. I would think if I choose the one with only 1 day it's not worth it, but the more days at sea, the better value it is?

Dave 07-03-2008 09:36 AM

It is definitely worth it. On our Alaska cruise last week the upper decks did have people stacked up at the best places for photos. There were no places to get out of the drizzle. We had a balcony and I spent most of the time on it, sitting in a chair, drinking hot chocolate, and got better views than could be had on the open decks. The ship rotated from side-to-side so everyone got a chance to see the same things. Alaska is one itinerary where splurging on the cabin is the way to go.

wwide 07-03-2008 10:01 AM

Thanks, Dave.

That's my thought - that this might be the place to splurge a little.

Can I ask what cruise itenerary you went on last week? What were your favorite excursions?

Dave 07-03-2008 10:24 AM

Ours was round trip from Seattle on the Rhapsody Of The Seas - Juneau, Skagway, Endicott Fjord and up close with Dawes Glacier, cruising the inside passage, Prince Rupert BC (ho hum), and then back to Seattle.

The train ride in Skagway was the best excursion. The scenery is truly memorable.

"The" thing to do as far as an Alaska cruise is a southern run from Seward or Whittier to Vancouver or Seattle.

wwide 07-03-2008 11:27 AM

Why southern over northern as far as "the" thing to do?

Dave 07-03-2008 12:15 PM

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Why southern over northern as far as "the" thing to do? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

One reason is the flight(s) home will be shorter. Ending a cruise up north and having to fly home from Anchorage is a long ending to a cruise. Flying up there on the front end will be tempered by the anticipation of the cruise. It is around 1400 miles from Seattle to Anchorage - or around 3.5 flight hours. Plus for me the flights home from Anchorage have terrible times - late night or early morning as in 1am. That means a long wait for a long flight.

TrvlPro 07-03-2008 02:18 PM

Yep, most flights departing Hawaii or Alaska will be red eye flights. All the attractive fares will be. Plan your trip to these destinations accordingly.

Cheers, Neil

Nadine 07-03-2008 05:29 PM

Hi wwide!

Having just returned from our Alaska cruise a few weeks ago, I would definitely agree with Dave--a balcony is worth the extra money. It's awesome to wake up in the morning, open your drapes, and see mountains and glaciers. What a way to start the day!

Another plus is that if you get cold, it's easy to go back into your room, warm up, and go back outside without missing any sites.

If you are ever going to splurge on a cabin, this is the time!

Nadine

bizzybee 07-04-2008 11:42 AM

We cruised Alaska in early May and totally agree with the previous posters, a balcony if you can afford it is the way to go. Since the weather was cool we brought up blankets from the pool area.

I also agree with Dave's excursion advice. The White Pass Railroad was great. Our excursion took the bus into the Yukon and returned on the train. Our bus passed a bear and we saw mountain goats on the mountain top. Our stop at Emerald Lake was beautiful. The scenery from the train was also great. We were able to get a seat at the back of our train car, so we could go in and out on the platform easily.


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