Goodall - Answered a Question by Wood (04 Dec 08 17:51)

Our first cruise was to Alaska in 2001 with Princess, which involved a 5 day coach tour pre-cruise from Calgary to Vancouver with overnight stops in Banff, Jasper and Kamloops. There was 37 of us on a luxury coach and it was a very enjoyable start to the holiday. We also went on the Athabasca Glacier by snocoach, went white water rafting and enjoyed great scenery. The lodges we stayed at were also very good. Regarding which cruiseline, Princess, Holland America and Celebrity all cruise there and you wouldn't go far wrong with any of them. One tip, take 2 sets of good binoculars with you.

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TERRY - Answered a Question by Wood (06 Dec 08 09:48)

We did Alaska in September with R.C.I. on The Serenade Of The Seas. We had a fabulous holiday with many memorable sights, particularly The Hubbard Glacier and The White Pass Railway. We were lucky to have extremely good weather which was an added bonus. We did not do a pre-cruise tour of The Rockies, but did spend a week In Vegas at the end as the ship re-positioned down to L.A. (I would, however, still love to do The Rockies at some point.) Alaska is a wonderful cruise with so much to see. We booked all our tours with R.C.I. before we left the U.K. as the pound was still strong then, and enjoyed all of them. It is a holiday we won't forget in a hurry and would like to do again sometime in the future. The only downside to the holiday was going through American Immigration in Vancouver. As our cruise had a very high proportion of non-americans it took between two and three hours, with only cold drinks and cookies as refreshment. It took so long that the ship was delayed leaving. I think the next time I did this cruise I would go out of Seattle as you would go through immigration at the airport on the way in.

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Macro - replied to TERRY (09 Dec 08 02:54)

Why were you going through American immigration in Canada?

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TERRY - replied to Macro (10 Dec 08 09:42)

Our first port of call, in fact, all our ports of call were in Alaska, before sailing back down to Seattle and Alaska is, as we all know, in the U.S.A. I don't think Immigration could have quite coped with around 2,000 non-American passengers disembarking in Sitka to do tours etc.

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Earl - Answered a Question by Wood (06 Dec 08 10:25)

We have cruised to Alaska twice, once with Celebrity, once with Royal Carribean, bith of which were excellent, but NCL & princess are also as good. We had balcony cabins, which we really appreciated to see the spectacular views even when relaxing in our cabin, and I would recommend stretching to a balcony if any of teh lines have a good deal as a decider between the lines as they are all about the same. We dod the rockies western explorer on the rocky mountaineer, that starts with train then carries on by luxury coach with hotels overnight. The service on board train was the best we have ever had, better than any of the cruises we have done (and we have done approx 30) but we paid the extra for gold leaf, giving luxury seating, better views, and seperate dining area, and I would recommend this as worth the extra spend. The whole trip was a wonderful way to see the rockies which were superb, but we regretted not having longer at each stop, as often it was an overnight stop, neaving no time to explore the area. If you get the chance to spend longer at any of the stops as some of our fellow travellers did then you may find it worthwhile too. it is a very intensified full itinerary and everything was so spectacular we didnt want to miss a thing, and found it quite tiring, an extra night at some stops would have allowed time to relax. I am sure you will have a great time whatever you do as the natural beauty is so breathtaking, and I wish you a wonderful time.

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CLARKE - Answered a Question by Wood (06 Dec 08 17:56)

I used to live in vancouver, canada. it has to royal caribbean or princess. if you want luxury also holland america or celebrity. if it was me i would be going on princess cruise line and do their 'rocky mountaineer train journey; or one if there landtours with their deluxe package, you will stay in some goregous hotels with amazing scenery. it will cost you a bit but you want to do this right and if you have the money book a balcony cabin to see the sights also. regards michelle.

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hood - Answered a Question by Wood (07 Dec 08 14:32)

We have done Alaska twice first time did a coach tour of the Rockies then down to Vancouver and sailed with NCL second time cruised with Princess from Japan to Vancouver via Alaska - as ships go preferred Princess food was poor on NCL also waiter service in Restaurant left a lot to be desired. If I went again would do the Rockie Mountaineer train journey - a balcony cabin is a must for the sceanary and wild life. Wale watching trip on a small cruiser in Junea was fantastic. Glacier Bay was also a great experience on both occasions.

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jennings - Answered a Question by Wood (09 Dec 08 19:31)

Hi We did Alaska on the Celebrity Mercury last year, and had an excellent time - , I am sure that all the lines are very similar - i agree with the comment about a balcony, its well worth it - As all the lines are similar I think the most important thing for you will be the port of calls, try and get one that cruises Hubbard glacier and also takes in skagway and Juneau, that way you will get the real favour - enjoy.

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Wright - Answered a Question by Wood (10 Dec 08 09:52)

It depends if you want the "cruise" experience or the "Alaska" experience. A few years ago my wife and I travelled with Cruise West on a small (100 passengers) expedition ship. Their motto is "up close and personal". It was certainly that and we thoroughly enjoyed seeeing the parts that other cruise ships don't reach. Each to his own but we wouldn't dream of doing Alaska any other way. {We split our cruising between mid-size ships and expedition ships. Each has their own pros and cons but for Alaska I would strongty recommend and expedtion cruise.} As for the Rockies, we have visited them on several occasions. Each time hiring a car and doing our own thing. Again, much more personal - you stop when you want to, to see what you want.

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Matchett - Answered a Question by Wood (10 Dec 08 10:18)

We did a 9 day coach tour of the rockies which was wonderful and then tagged on a 7 day crusie to alasks with Holland America on the Volendam. It is a lovely ship with wonderful staff. The cabins are very comfortable and a nice size. I would highly recommend it.

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