We are getting a large group(family, probably about 25-30 total) to go to Alaska next summer. A few of us are going to book early to get a couple of Aft Balconies (we were told May 1st for Royal Caribbean, can anyone confirm or provide another date?)
I have only sailed RCL and Celebrity, and would like to stay with one of these lines. In general what is more prefered, roundtrip or oneway? I don't think too many people are doing a land portion so the oneway isnt crucial, but i would like to see Icy Strait Point, is it worth it? Did i miss a roundtrip that stops here? Will it be added to a roundtrip next summer?
The only time that i booked airfare through the cruise line was to Rome, is this another one that should be booked through the cruise line? If not, how about airport transfers?
Oh man, this is a difficult question. First of all, much depends on the make up of your group. Are they sophisticated travelers? If so, then I would suggest a southbound itinerary. If not, then I would suggest an inside passage itinerary.
Secondly, if they are comfortable international travelers? Embark in Vancouver, if not, choose a Seattle departure.
Oooops, OK, transfers. In Vancouver, take a taxi. It is about $25 (per cab) to the port but worth it. In in Seattle, there is a Grey Line bus to take you downtown to the hotel closest to the port, and then grab a taxi to the port (less expensive) or simply grab a taxi from the airport to the port.
It is going to be a mix, the people that are booking early are cruise veterans, on top of that the couple that brought on this whole thing spent 2 months in alaska in 1999. Right now we are looking towards the one-way so that they can stay in Seward afterwards to hang out with people they met on their previous trip. Any preference about aft balconies? Radiance class or the Infinity?
I would normally suggest a southbound, but if you have folks to hang with in Seward, then a northbound will be great. You should be able to get a better deal on a northbound.
I honestly believe that the Radiance class ships are the best of the best. They have everything going for them and are a true pleasure to cruise. The Infinity is also a great ship, so it would be a difficult decision. If there are any Diamond members on Royal Caribbean, then the choice becomes a lot easier. The Radiance class ships offer a Concierge Lounge (free boooze) while the Infinity does not.
I just did the Infinity in Alaska last year...here is a link to the review:
25 - 30 of us took the Alaska cruise together two years ago. We did the northbound cruise. Ten of us went to Vancouver a couple of days early in order to visit Victoria Island and see some of Vancouver and I highly recommend anyone to considering an Alaska trip to be sure to include some time in Vancouver. We also added two evenings in Anchorage at the end. We really do not like going straight from the airport to the ship and from the ship to the airport. Its a vacation not a race and adding some non-stressful time to get through customs in Canada and from Seward to Anchorage was a good move for us.