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Alaska Cruise
Old 07-18-2004, 10:15 AM   #1
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Alaska Cruise

I've never been on a cruise but my wife has this great need to experience this aspect of life.

The idea of crusing to Europe, the Carabeean, or other area so far does not do it fo me. I am, however, considering an Alaskan cruise. I'v 'e never been to Alaska nor have I ever crused but if I am destined to go this sounds like the best of the choices to me.

Any suggestions? Horror stories? Best time of the year?

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Re: Alaska Cruise
Old 07-18-2004, 05:59 PM   #2
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Re: Alaska Cruise

We took HAL's cruise through the inside passage on the Zaandam. We went on the last cruise of their season in September, which meant we got a discount, and it also meant the tourist ports of call were essentially ghost towns. I consider that a plus.

My memories are blurred by the constant consumption of food on the trip. The quality wasn't bad, but the quantity was way up there.

Splurge and get an outside suite with a balcony. Bring a good pair of binoculars. And bring a good book.

The best side trip I took, by far, was a kayaking trip on a glacier-fed lake. Good. Clean. Fun.

I also won the ship's ping-pong championship. Let's just say this was one of the rare moments in which my youth was an advantage.

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Re: Alaska Cruise
Old 07-19-2004, 05:48 PM   #3
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Re: Alaska Cruise

I don't have any experience with cruises in the state but I've lived in Anchorage since I was a kid so I've got experience with Alaska in general.

Almost any time during the summer is a good time to visit. As another poster already said the Alaska weather can be bad at any time. This summer in Anchorage has been awesome, lots of sun, 80+ degree days all over the place and only a couple weeks of overcast skies but you can never really predict when it will be good or bad. The good news is if you vacation is free-form and you aren't on a cruise you can always drive to a different section of the state to find sun (the weather between the Kenai Penn, Anchorage and Fairbanks can be worlds apart).

One of my friends LOVES alaska in Sept., it is his favorite month. Sept. is a great time of year to visit if you are not opposed to the temperature dropping off at night. It is starting to cool off and the nights can get kind of chilly but the tourists are mostly gone and as mentioned the students are back in school. If I were to choose a time to vacation in Alaska it would be Mid May through August. There maybe more tourists/etc. but the weather is warm by Alaska standards.

If you are looking for the cruise experience than by all means do it that way but if you are open as to how you travel in Alaska you will get a 100% different experience by renting a car/RV and driving around the state. There is lots to see and do and having a free form vacation means you can do and see what you want. Princess has facilities both on the Kenai Penn and in the Denali park that I have heard good things about. My girlfriend (who used to work for Princess) has good things to say about the cruisees but I don't have any personal experience with them.

Anyway, just my 2 cents.
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