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Old 04-25-2015, 10:00 AM   #61
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What time period do people here recommend for an Alaskan cruise? I remember hearing about lots of mosquitoes, maybe in the Spring. Then there are all the pesky tourists.

I clipped this from the following link: https://weatherspark.com/averages/33017/Anchorage-Alaska-United-States

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Old 04-25-2015, 10:27 AM   #62
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That's not quite so easy in Alaska, which is why they are willing to wait for you.
Perhaps the other variable is the threat of lawsuits? Alaska, being a US State, could nvolve the US court systems. Even if it's a baseless lawsuit, 12 random people in a jury are sometimes truly random in their verdicts...

Other international ports, combined with the cruise line being flagged under another foreign country, would likely not involve a US court. And it's not always easy to get you from any international port to another with other means, even with buses (and would likely require flights - and you can't just hop on a plane in a foreign country at a moment's notice to get you to the next port the next day, as their flight schedules can be far less frequent than an American or Southwest).

I remember doing a cruise in Europe a number of years ago, where the cruise ship pulled up the plank on-time, and left a woman standing on the dock who was just a few minutes late. Luckily for her, 30 minutes later, after the ship was unable to leave port due to high winds preventing the ship from thrusting away from the dock, they lowered the plank for her and let her board.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:11 AM   #63
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What time period do people here recommend for an Alaskan cruise? I remember hearing about lots of mosquitoes, maybe in the Spring. Then there are all the pesky tourists.
We went in early to mid-September. There was a dusting of snow in Denali Park (guides said it signaled the end of the tourist season). It was dry, so no mosquitoes -- but there was a wildfire near Fairbanks that made the air somewhat hazy. Also, we took a whitewater rafting trip that would have been more thrilling if the river was higher.

Still, it was sunny and bright in Juneau, and it wasn't raining in Ketchikan.
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Old 04-26-2015, 03:34 PM   #64
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We are taking the last cruise, Sept 11 it leaves. We do this mainly to have less kids. We love kids, but ours are all grown. We enjoy traveling while school is in session. :-)

OK you have all convinced me not to pre-book anything. I am fine with this, it's my hub that gets a little antsy.
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Old 04-26-2015, 04:00 PM   #65
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We went early June, there is a huge price increase around June 15th and we just went the week prior.. if you go then its normally great, zero mosquitos, but we went one year when spring was really late so the salmon were not spawning yet (even though there was a salmon fishing contest ..poor guys). we still had a blast, just had some trails closed due to avalanche conditions, but everything else was running and we saw so much wildlife... though laughed because this poor lady rode the bus in Denali two days in a row, we asked why she came out the second day.. she said she was waiting for a bull moose..and I had to break it to her.. those were bull moose she was seeing .. just too early in spring so the antlers hadn't grown in fully yet.
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:59 PM   #66
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WE decided not to book any excursions but we reserved cars in Skagway and Juneau. If the weather is good, we'll book a tour instead of picking up the cars.
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:42 AM   #67
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We've gone twice in early July and it was wonderful. We were prepared for rain and did have a few drizzly days but mostly sunny and warm enough that we didn't need jackets. ("Bring layers of clothing" is the standard advice.) Never encountered mosquitoes but we did get too close to a nest of bees or wasps on a bushwhacking hike. We didn't stick around to identify the species.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:52 PM   #68
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We did an Alaskan cruise two years ago. We had four free excursions which were fun but pretty much the cheapest ones offered. I regret not paying for an expensive whale watching tour. A gal showed me photos of the one she went on. She had a once in a lifetime experience seeing whales. If you do something on your own, make sure you are back before the boat leaves. They don't have to wait for you if you don't take one of their excursions.
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:30 PM   #69
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We went the end of august. No mosquitoes but some rain. We took a whale watching tour and it was awesome.
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Old 05-18-2018, 03:52 PM   #70
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My recommendation is to 'swing for the fences'. If you can swing it, get a suite, eat in reservations required restaurants, and do an excursion in each port, including a flight tour. Also, do a week on land. Best trip, the way to really see something of Alaska and enjoy yourself. Odds are you won't do Alaska a second time, so may as well do it up, It's breathtaking country!
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:22 PM   #71
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Odds are you won't do Alaska a second time, so may as well do it up, It's breathtaking country!
Don't even think like that!

We did Alaska on a large (over 2,000 pax) ship cruise and had a good time.

A few years later we did it again on a small (48 pax) ship and had a fantastic, wonderful, fabulous time. We also spent a week in Denali as an add-on. Incredibly good experience.

Now, a few more years later, we're planning our third adventure there. This one won't be on a cruise, so we'll be much more on our own. Still so much to see and do in our largest state.
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Old 05-18-2018, 09:36 PM   #72
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in our largest state.
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:46 AM   #73
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We went in mid May 2007. No bugs, decent temperatures, and much less crowded than later in the season.
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Old 05-23-2018, 12:08 PM   #74
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Just finished a 7-night small ship cruise last week and it was great! We had sunny days for most of the trip and saw wildlife and scenery that photos can’t fully capture. One benefit of small ship cruises is that they can go or get closer to places where the larger ships can’t. Also, the service was much more personal, compared to larger ships where you might just be a number.
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Old 05-23-2018, 02:22 PM   #75
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Was it UnCruise? I've taken their Alaskan cruise twice. I love them! (And, if it was, did you go snorkeling or take the Polar Plunge?)
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Old 05-23-2018, 02:25 PM   #76
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Gotta go on this Yukon train at the Skagway stop

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Old 05-23-2018, 03:04 PM   #77
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Gotta go on this Yukon train at the Skagway stop

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We went on that train in 2000. What a spectacular ride!
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:33 PM   #78
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Was it UnCruise? I've taken their Alaskan cruise twice. I love them! (And, if it was, did you go snorkeling or take the Polar Plunge?)
No, it was a local company, Alaskan Dream Cruises, owned by Allen Marine out of Sitka. They have 5 ships ranging from 10-74 passengers. The food was excellent. We were expecting buffet style food, but ended up with 5-course meals with 6 main course choices, 3 changing each day. You could order 2+ main courses if you want. There was one passenger who was gluten-free and they either made her special dishes or took out the gluten on menu ones. Their pastry chef was outstanding. I donít know how many times we decided to skip dessert, only to raise our hands when the specialty dessert was announced.

The polar plunge was mentioned, but not done (I donít think anyone would do it). We did kayak and went out in their DIBs (dispersible inflated boats), to the beach and exploring the area. Small ships are the only way to go.
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:53 PM   #79
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Small ships are the only way to go.
I agree! DH and I were a little uneasy given the extra cost, but we got hooked after the first one. He's gone now but I've already taken their cruise through the Panama Canal, have one more booked and another likely in 2019. I've never taken a larger ship and probably never will. One couple took a mega-ship cruise and told me that they had to walk the length of 6 football fields to get from the end of the ship with their stateroom to the main dining room!
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:59 PM   #80
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So I am curious what kind of entertainment was aboard the ship in the evenings? I like the ships that hold 3k passengers plus crew. We went on one that had 5k passengers plus crew and it was too big. Also it did not have as much entertainment as the smaller ships. We don't mind the walking as we want to get 20k/steps/day when on a cruise so as to counteract the calories we are consuming)
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