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baby doll 11-01-2011 12:46 PM

first time Alaska cruise
Hi haven't been in here for a long time, but need some help. Taken 12 cruises, but never to Alaska. Can you tell me a good ship, and for first timers the best route to see the best of Glaciers...were twp seniors...would love to go out of San Francisco but not good reviews for the sea princess

Dave 11-01-2011 04:21 PM

Most people think the itinerary going from mainland Alaska south (or vice versa) is superior to doing a roundtrip inside passage cruise from Seattle or Vancouver. This means starting or ending at Seward (Anchorage), and also starting (or ending) at Vancouver in most cases.

Of course most of the cruise lines do these itineraries. You might want to look at Holland America or Princess since they do have the best infrastructures in Alaska and have done Alaska cruises longer than the other lines. I believe Princess has one of their small ships there too.

But I will note that the round trip from Seattle we took in 2008 on Splendour Of The Seas with Royal Caribbean was a wonderful cruise. We got about 100 feet or less from the face of a glacier. It was perhaps the most serene morning I've ever experienced.

baby doll 11-02-2011 07:52 AM

thanks for the response
Thank you for your response. I knew you would Dave, as always there for me. I read all the first time cruisers to Alaska, as suggested, and get lost in the albums etc and forget what I I really want to take sea princess out of San Francisco, really close to us and for once not have to fly, but heard a bad report on the ship, then another a good report. Isn't the Inland Alaska more out to sea and ruff waters compared to the Inside Passage? Does the smaller ships work better and that's why they use them? Sure been spoiled to the larger ships, but whatever works I will do.

Dave 11-02-2011 12:49 PM

The inside passage is like being on a lake all week. You can encounter choppy seas if in the Gulf Of Alaska. Not usually, but it happens. A well-traveled friend of mine (and former travel writer) once told me the worst seas he ever encountered was on a cruise from Anchorage to Vancouver. But it isn't something I'd spent any time worrying about.

As for the Sea Princess...don't let a blend of reviews sway you. As we've recently discussed in other threads, negative reviews often involve people with an agenda to settle because of some little issue that engulfed them. There is a lot to say about cruising from a port you can drive to and not have to fly.

baby doll 11-02-2011 02:03 PM

do you know anywhere to find updated reviews? Only 2001 and that's a way off from ships condition. I understand cause I have had wonderful experiences on a ship and to read someone else thought it was awful. Would a TA be aware and tell you or just want to book you? Tell you anything they think you want to hear??? I hope they do take care of it cause food is the most important and you can't spend 10 days with lousy food. I can get past the sewage smell. Seen that before and just choose a different hall way. I'm leaning on the sea princes if can get a more recent review. have tried all area's I can think of...any idea's?

Dave 11-02-2011 02:16 PM

It's important to find a cruise specialist agent, and I'd also encourage you to find someone with a professional certification from CLIA. This is no guarantee, but agents who go through the trouble of obtaining a level of certification are not likely to mislead you or withhold information just to close the sale. I can tell you that my agent, more than once, has told me to reconsider 'that ship'. And no, it has never been about Sea Princess.

We have no current reviews on this ship. Here is one from a year ago from our sister website Cruisemates.

Berick1234 12-26-2011 06:56 PM

I've cruised to Alaska 4 times now...last time being in May....We prefer sailing in May because the scenery is what you expect in Alaska...SNOW....the mountains are still covered with it....I live in Minnesota and I HATE Snow, but in Alaska, it's wonderful...We've sail on NCL and Carnival.....NCL Pearl is our favorite....round trip from Seattle.....Carnival was out of Vancouver to Whittier and a bus ride to Anchorage....
All of these have been 7 day land travel...We have become Holland America lovers and would suggest looking at their cruises....Make sure you do the White Pass Railroad in Skagway....It does rain a lot and really doesn't make much difference what time of the year you sail.....Wear layed clothing, bring a nice rain poncho....Some love a balcony, but most of the time it's raining, cold and we've stayed with an Ocean View and spend lots of time on deck.....of our 26 and soon to be 27 cruises, Alaska is our favorite.....Have a smashing good time...

Bob E

susanmaz 12-27-2011 11:33 AM

A few other reasons to look at Holland America for this itinerary - no ships over 2100 passengers; Hot Dutch Chocolate on deck in the morning while cruising Glacier Bay; Hot Split Pea soup on deck in the afternoon while cruising Glacier Bay. While they don't have any departures from San Francisco, they do have departures from Seattle. The inside passage is a wonderful voyage - there is scenery on both sides of the ship, so it doesn't matter which side your cabin is on . . .

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