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  1. #1

    • Curiouser and Curiouser
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    Cruise Tips to save $$$

    For all of you cruisers out their, do you have any tips on how to have an experiance with out all of the $$$, the family wants to take a cruise to Alaska for the parents 20th anniversary. Any tips would be helpful. Work your magic micechat.

  2. #2

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    Re: Cruise Tips to save $$$

    As far as for cruises in general, on your way to the ship, make sure you stop at a supermarket and pick up a couple of cases of soda. Ice is free, but a soda on board can run you $3 or more.

    If you're going to Alaska and can pick the time, September is usually when everything in the stores goes on sale.

    And you're going to see pretty much the same stuff in Ketchikan as you will in Juneau and Skagway, with a few exceptions. Ketchikan has the best shopping, though, so save your souvenier $$$ for then.

    In case no one warned you, it rains a lot in SouthEast Alaska. Be prepared.

    When you get closer to actually picking a specific ship and itinerary, let us know, and we can suggest some things in each port you'll want to do.

  3. #3

    • Say no to Assimilation
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    Re: Cruise Tips to save $$$

    If you are trying to save money on the cruise, try booking way in advance and choose a voyage early in the season(like end of May) or end of season(beginning of Sept.) It is colder during these times but many of the ships have pools enclosed by a retractable roof. Can't imagine a prettier site, cruising by huge glaciers while soaking in the hot tub!
    "He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side; if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion" --John Stuart Mill




  4. #4

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    Re: Cruise Tips to save $$$

    We just booked our Alaska cruise for May 2007. We're very excited. Hopefully, we will get a group together and save some $$$ too.

  5. #5

    • Curiouser and Curiouser
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    Re: Cruise Tips to save $$$

    It is between Princess and Royal Caribbean for the ships. For an inside passage cruise. Airfare is not a problem because we are in driving distance of Seattle and B.C. Any inputs on the cruise lines, or more money saving tips. Thanks

  6. #6

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    Re: Cruise Tips to save $$$

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedi Bara
    It is between Princess and Royal Caribbean for the ships. For an inside passage cruise. Airfare is not a problem because we are in driving distance of Seattle and B.C. Any inputs on the cruise lines, or more money saving tips. Thanks
    Well I just did an Alaskan 7-day Cruise out of Seattle last August. We sailed with Holland America on the Oosterdam. I was bored with Alaska for the most part, but here are a few tips.

    Wotan is right. The best shopping is in Ketichan. I didn't spend a cent til I got there, cause no one had stuff I wanted. You are going to find that unless you want kitschy Alaska junk, Jewelry, or Indian stuff there is not much to buy. One of the neatest things I saw was in Juneau. A store had Narwhal horns for sale. The big ones went for about $16000.

    Sitka sucks. I was so bored there. It was my least favorite destination by a mile. The only thing worth seeing, imho, is the Totem Pole exhibit on the edge of town.

    I did not go to Skagway, so I cannot comment on it.

    One way to save money on the cruise is to see if your ship has a Soda Pass. Basically they put a sticker on your room card (it works like a Disney room card, a key and credit card) and that gives you unlimited soda. It's much easier than carrying a lot of soda on board. I don't know if all the cruise companies have this, but it is worth checking into.

    Late August is a good time to go for sales on merchandise in the stores since they are all closing down for the season.

    Have fun.

  7. #7

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    Re: Cruise Tips to save $$$

    Being a travel professional and selling quite a few cruises, there are some good suggestions been posted here.

    Do an inside cabin, in May or late Sept for best rate. I recommend May, as it is more pristine at this time of year, and a much better chance of seeing animals

    All cruise lineS offer the soda card. it is about $25.00 for the week and allows you unlimited soda. Coffee, tea, milk, juices are all included in your price. Only carbonated beverages and liquor do you have to pay for.

    Ports - Most of the shops you find in these ports are owned by the cruise lines. Not much worth purchasing.

    Shore Excurions - arrange these through a private company not the cruise line and you will save about 50%.

    For an Alaska cruise do the Princess ship. Nicer cabins, better service, and they have been doing Alaska longer than RCCL and do a much better job and have more access to Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm. These ships do require a permit to cruise those parts and RCCL is know not to get them, or on a limited basis. They may say there going there, but will cancel when you are onboard the ship. They are not obligated to fulfill the ports they list. That can be changed anytime.

    Lastly, find a good travel professional you can trust. Many have group or block space on these cruises that will offer you better pricing or some amenities. Go to www.craigstravel.com or send me a PM and I will gladly quote you a price under no obligation. I have arranged trips for other MC'ers such as Disneyphile, and our agency is arranging the trip to WDW for the MC'ers this October.

    THIS IS CRITICAL. REMEMBER AS OF 2007 YOU NEED A PASSPORT TO TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE U.S. BY SHIP OR PLANE. SINCE THESE SHIPS ARE NOT REGISTERED IN THE U.S. THEY HAVE TO STOP SOMEWHERE IN CANADA, AND YOU WILL NEED A PASSPORT TO ENTER. YOU WILL BE DEINIED BOARDING AND FACE SEVERE CANCELLATION PENALTIES IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A PASSPORT. COST IS ABOUT $93 PER PERSON, GOOD FOR 10 YEARS. TAKES ABOUT 8 WEEKS RIGHT NOW TO GET ONE.
    Last edited by Mr. Lightyear999; 08-08-2006 at 11:10 PM.


  8. #8

    • Tom Chaney R.I. P.
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    Re: Cruise Tips to save $$$

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedi Bara
    For all of you cruisers out their, do you have any tips on how to have an experiance with out all of the $$$, the family wants to take a cruise to Alaska for the parents 20th anniversary. Any tips would be helpful. Work your magic micechat.
    For a welth of info Crusing go to cruisecritic.com imho it is the mice chat of crusing, Info on every ship, every cruise line and everyport.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Cruise Tips to save $$$

    Quote Originally Posted by Melonballer
    Sitka sucks. I was so bored there. It was my least favorite destination by a mile. The only thing worth seeing, imho, is the Totem Pole exhibit on the edge of town.
    The best thing in Sitka is the Raptor Rehabilitation Center.

    Quote Originally Posted by Melonballer
    I did not go to Skagway, so I cannot comment on it.
    The White Pass Railroad is a lot of fun, but I highly recommend taking the train all the way to Fraser, and the bus back. The bus stops in Liarsville, which is a must see. And the landscape between White Pass and Fraser is beautiful.

    If you time it right, you can also get to Skagway on a Saturday and take the excursion all the way to Lake Bennett.

    Juneau offers some great wildlife cruises. You'll also see a number of excursions offering either dog sled trips or helicopter rides. They're fantastically expensive.

    And remind me to tell everyone sometime about the bear I met in the wilds outside of Ketchikan that nearly took my arm off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Melonballer
    Late August is a good time to go for sales on merchandise in the stores since they are all closing down for the season.
    Our first time, we went in mid-September, and got some terrific deals on stuff.

    We've taken multiple cruises, all on Holland America, (all out of Vancouver)and have never been disappointed. Of course, your age, your group, and your preferences may very--check them all out. HA's ships tend towards a slightly older crowd.

    Oh, and if you do cruise out of Vancouver, be aware that you can get a limo from the airport to downtown for very little money. On one trip, we stayed the night at the Hyatt (which was reasonable), about four blocks from the cruise terminal. Vancouver is very pretty, and has some great chinese food. Worth an extra day.

  10. #10

    • Shablagoo!
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    Re: Cruise Tips to save $$$

    Quote Originally Posted by Wotan
    The best thing in Sitka is the Raptor Rehabilitation Center.
    It was closed when I went. If it had been open I might have been a whole lot more impressed. I did like Holland America as a cruise line, I just thought Alaska was kind of dull. If I go on another cruise it will be in Europe.

  11. #11

    • Tom Chaney R.I. P.
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    Re: Cruise Tips to save $$$

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Lightyear999
    Being a travel professional and selling quite a few cruises, there are some good suggestions been psoted here.


    Ports - Most of the shops you find in these ports are owned by the cruise lines. Not much worth purchasing.

    For an Alaska cruise do the Princess ship. Nicer cabins, better service, and they have been doing Alaska longer than RCCL and do a much better job and have more access to Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm. These ships do require a permit to cruise those parts and RCCL is know not to get them, or on a limited basis. They may say there going there, but will cancel when you are onboard the ship. They are not obligated to fulfill the ports they list. That can be changed anytime.

    Lastly, find a good travel professional you can trust. Many have group or block space on these cruises that will offer you better pricing or some amenities. Go to www.craigstravel.com or send me a PM and I will gladly quote you a price under no obligation. I have arranged trips for other MC'ers such as Disneyphile, and our agency is arranging the trip to WDW for the MC'ers this October.
    this is what my travel professional said about your post.

    "There is some truth to that, but a lot of that is just sales. Princess has been doing Alaska longer than RCCL and they do get priority for Glacier Bay. But RCCL has a lot of its itineraries doing Hubbard Glacier which can be as spectacular as Glacier Bay. If you want to get down to it, Holland America has been there longer than anybody. From what I've heard though, RCCL's train on the land portion is better than Princess' train. Princess does own its own hotels though in many places in Alaska - which can be good or bad depending on your preference.

    As to better ship and better service, that's all preference. I haven't been on Princess yet, but reading reviews, category by category, on their newer ships RCCL's staterooms are either the same size or larger than Princess' and have better storage. Whether that makes a difference to anybody, who knows."
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  12. #12

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    Re: Cruise Tips to save $$$

    Don't know your agent, but I have been selling travel for quite some time and this was to offer some assistance to someone. You can kindly keep the personal attacks to yourself.

    As for the ships, RCI has always been known for their smaller cabins, and I have sailed on these ships. As I told her, find a travel consultant they could trust. Not necessarily our agency, but I do have quite a few contacts in the industry I could have recommend one to them in the area.

    Quote Originally Posted by tahoebob54
    this is what my travel professional said about your post.

    "There is some truth to that, but a lot of that is just sales. Princess has been doing Alaska longer than RCCL and they do get priority for Glacier Bay. But RCCL has a lot of its itineraries doing Hubbard Glacier which can be as spectacular as Glacier Bay. If you want to get down to it, Holland America has been there longer than anybody. From what I've heard though, RCCL's train on the land portion is better than Princess' train. Princess does own its own hotels though in many places in Alaska - which can be good or bad depending on your preference.

    As to better ship and better service, that's all preference. I haven't been on Princess yet, but reading reviews, category by category, on their newer ships RCCL's staterooms are either the same size or larger than Princess' and have better storage. Whether that makes a difference to anybody, who knows."


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