(Closed) Alaskan Cruise…need help!!!

posted 9 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
Member
2475 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I went on an Alaskan cruise the first week of September this year, and I loved it.  We were on the Norwegian Cruise Line Pearl ship, and it was pretty awesome.  It is a new boat (I think maybe 2 years old) so everything was super nice.  The thing I liked most about Norwegian Cruise Line is that they have what they call “freestyle” dining, which means you can eat pretty much wherever and whenever you want, instead of the other ships where you are assigned a time to eat.  I was impressed with the quality of the food at all the restaurants, and there were several specialty restaurants you could eat at by paying a small cover charge.  Service was great on the ship and it had a rockclimbing wall and bowling alley! 
Honestly though, I don’t really think you can go wrong with whatever ship you choose.  The best part of the vacation was just being in Alaska and doing a lot of exciting shore excursions.  Hope you have fun!

Post # 4
Member
316 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I have been on 2 Alaskan cruises. One on the NCL Pearl and the other was on I believe Carnival.  Although they were both great, NCL was wonderful and I think it would be better for a Honeymoon. NCL was more upscale while Carnival seemed to cater more to families with children. I have heard the same is true for Royal Caribbean. Whatever you do, make sure you get a balcony room because the views are amazing! Also, the freestyle dining on the NCL is great.

Post # 5
Member
326 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I’m SO jealous! I’ve always wanted to go on a cruise to Alaska! I hope you post pics after your trip! That aside – a close friend of mine went on the Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska for 7 nights last year. LOVED it! In fact, right now, prices are SUPER low. I think he paid around $3,000 for a small lower room with only a porthole. When I checked, 7 nights for us, it was now only $3,000 for a upper deck deluxe balcony suite! Good luck!

Post # 6
Member
83 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

I can’t wait to hear all the comments on this one as well. We’re going to do the Alaskan cruise for our Honeymoon sometime in the summer of 2010. We are having a difficult time deciding on what cuise line as well. I have heard mixed reviews about all, so I really dont know! Any input would be appreciated.

Post # 7
Member
2681 posts
Sugar bee

I went on the NCL Pearl for a family cruise last year and it was alot of fun.  I did like the concept of “freestyle” so you could eat when and where you wanted without reserverations but on my ship they did not execute it well.  Yes you could eat when you wanted without a reservation if you wanted to eat at 10pm!  We would go to a restaurant at 7:30 and it was empty and they would say that they didnt have a seat for 2 hours, so that was pretty frustrating.  They also messed up on our excursions – we booked them way ahead of time online and had the confirmations and they told us the one we were really looking forward to, ziplining, they didnt have our reservation.  We showed them the confirmation and everything and they didnt care, just kept saying that we were on the wait list until we asked to speak to a manager and she came out and said 2 seats opened up so we were fine.  It was kinda shady. 

The cruise ship itself was beautiful and the rooms were gorgeous (the balcony on our room was awesome and we saw the glaciers going past) but it was still a bit chilly (and it was July).  If you do go on NCL make sure you get your towel animals – on our floor our entire side of the ship didnt get them once but the other side of the ship got them every day!

I have been on 2 Royal Caribbean cruises before (one to Ensenada and one to the Caribbean for 10 days) and I highly recommend their cruise line.  Their customer service is excellent!

Post # 8
Member
2681 posts
Sugar bee

Oh By The Way, we went to Skagway, Juneau, Victoria & Ketchikan on our cruise.  We didnt do the typical tours on most stops but I definitely recommend the White Pass Railway in Skagway (ours included panning for gold, a trip to a saloon and more) and we did ATV’s in Ketchikan along with the totem pole show and in Juneau we did the zipline tour – it was SOOO much fun!

Post # 9
Member
361 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Hey, I actually grew up in Alaska, and I’m familiar with all the tourist stuff in comparison to the real stuff.  The tourist stuff is super fun, so definitely go with it.  However, if I could, I’d recommend going inland a little bit as well.  There are train tours you can take.  Understandably, it’s not in everyone’s budget to be able to add it, but it’s so worth it.  Denali is absolutely incredible.  If I could couple that experience with a cruise, I would die very happy. 

I actually don’t know if I helped or made it harder to decide, but good luck in your planning!!

Post # 10
Member
83 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

We took Holland America a couple of years ago and it was amazing.  We went to Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria (left from Seattle).  The food was so good and we could eat 5 times a day if we wanted.  We did some of the excursions and they were very well-run.  The ship was also really nice, and we generally just had a great time.  I heard something recently about some ships pulling out of Alaska (something about fees or taxes?) so it might be something to look into when planning an Alaska cruise.

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