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Cheap cruises to Alaska

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posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 06:38 PM
Folks, we are now approaching the time of year when cruise operators make deep cuts in cruise tickets.

Several years ago, my family took a 7 day cruise from Vancouver BC to several ports in Alaska, including Sawyer Glacier. The price was approximately $320.00 per person, plus $75.00 to cover all port entry fees. The cruise line turned out to be Norweigan Cruise Lines. It was a fun vacation. The only thing we had to be careful about was to avoid telling our fellow cruisers how little we paid ... most of the other passengers had paid full price (2 grand).

We got those tickets in late February on the website, however Ubid no longer handles travel. Too bad.

Here is a link for one cruise bargain website. Maybe you'll have some good luck finding a bargain the way we did: 0@2r8AAAAj:20090128003106

posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 02:07 PM
Were the tickets last minute? I hear that's the way to get the best price, get the tickets a couple days before they sail...and they're looking to fill up cabins...

Of course, hard to plan a vacation at the last minute...

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 02:14 PM
No, the tickets were not sold on a last minute basis. When we bought the tickets in 2001, they had been first posted in late February, and we bought them around mid-March. There was actually a range of available cruise dates, which vary according to the cruise destination. Due to weather considerations, Alaska cruises offered on Ubid website in 2001 started around mid-June and ended in mid-September.

We chose a cruise to Sawyer Glacier in Alaska during the last week of August, starting and ending in Vancouver BC, with stops at a number of Alaskan sites in between. For those prone to seasickness, it's especially noteworthy that the coastal Alaskan cruises are very smooth since most of the voyage is along Alaska's Inside Passage ... nice.

We really enjoyed the Freestyle Cruise option on Norwegian Cruise Lines, where your daily meals can be taken where and when you like ... surprisingly, many cruise lines are rather regimented about not only when and where you eat onboard, but also are quite stuffy about clothing requirements (I kid you not). Hey, who wants to join the military just to take a cruise, for Pete's sake?

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 02:29 PM
The cruises are cheap. But the excursions are expensive. A bottle of water is 7 bucks. A drink is ten bucks. And bingo is 20 bucks.

Just to do anything besides eat and look off the boat costs you money.

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 02:43 PM
Righto, our day-trip excursions to a wildlife sanctuary (because I was dying to get my first glimpse of a bald eagle) and to Mendenhall Glacier (because I wanted to see a real glacier up close ... a great experience, but incredibly cold!) were about $100.00 per person, not including snacks etc., but remember that most cruises to remote places involve trucked-in or flown-in snacks, drinks, etc., so definitely a lot of pricey add-ons. But taking the day trips is optional.

Several friends who had taken cruises warned us about the fattening cruise food and how easy it was to gain several pounds on the trip. We ended up staying the same weight because we chose a large cruise ship with a outdoor walking deck, and we ate most of our meals at the so-called Sports Bar where buffet type service was provided.

On NCL, there is also a mandatory gratuity charge per passenger for the cruise, so that you don't have to tip every waiter and housekeeper every time you turn around. I think that's reasonable.

By the way, our stateroom was inboard (no windows), but it was quiet and clean, and oddly enough on a nice upper deck location amidships (so you feel less of the boat motion).

On any cruise, however, I definitely recommend taking along your choice of a pitcher-type water filter, because the water coming out of the tap tastes weird. We brought the Brita pitcher, and that worked really well.

The other thing to be aware of before you buy any cruise tickets is to find out about their policies regarding the use of cigarettes, cigars, etc. Better to be in the know before you buy if you have a sensitivity to tobacco products, because the cruises are usually so desperate to get paying customers that almost "anything goes" as far as their smoking policies.

[edit on 2/17/2009 by Uphill]

posted on Feb, 19 2009 @ 10:20 AM

On NCL, there is also a mandatory gratuity charge per passenger for the cruise, so that you don't have to tip every waiter and housekeeper every time you turn around. I think that's reasonable.

This is actually industry-wide...not the mandatory part, but it's strongly suggested, and it's a good tip to be fully aware of this ahead of time...especially as cash is easiest for this....

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