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Tips for Alaska Cruise

wolverine88 1,875 191 June 4, 2016 at 10:38 AM in Travel (3)
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Last Edited by wolverine88 June 4, 2016 at 10:41 AM
Hi,

Going to SEA end of June for a one week Alaska cruise. Already got air tickets and cruise reserved.

Looking for some tips in

1. tips to get rental car in decent value?
We have 5 person, each with a carry on luggage.
Plan to rent a full size car (big enough?) when get there, will stay in SEA for 2 days for sightseeing. Any good suggestion to rent a car? Checking at priceline.com now and its average price is $150. Any place to get some sort of codes?
Then plan to drop off the car at airport on the cruise date, either call a cab, or book cruise line bus (5 x $35), or just uber from airport to pier 66. Which one is the best option?

2. tips to get a good value hotel for 2 nights. I guess I need 2 room. Or just airbnb it? Any recommendation?

3. Any suggestion for sightseeing (just killing time in SEA) for 2 days? Have 2 teen boys and a senior lady. Thinking about getting a pass like 5 spots (Needle, Aquarium, Harbor Tour, Museum or Zoo, Science Center or Garden) in SEA for $55 - $75 each at http://www.citypass.com/seattle? Is it worth it? How about parking at downtown?

4. I know the short excursion is a little bit expensive, any recommendation for must-see-scene, like whales or mountain train in deep woods?

Many thanks here, esp. any Seattle local or native here to chime in?

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#2
One thing to remember is that most Alaskan cruises have a stopover in Canada on the way back. If you or any of your passengers have any kind of a criminal record (DUI, driver's license suspension, felony, misdemeanor, etc - no matter how old), Canadian Border Patrol will not let you in. Your date of birth/SSN number is ran against Interpol databases while still cruising and before entering port. The cruise director will single out the person (s) (over the ships intercom) and request that they disembark first to meet with Canadian Border Patrol officers. The person (s) will be forced back to the ship after the meeting. It is all very embarrassing and degrading as your fellow cruise mates watch the entire show. One piece of advice I can give is to steadfastly refuse to disembark the ship. Canada Border Security agents have no authority to board the ship and physically remove an American citizen while docked at a Canadian port.

I only mention this as many people will be causing to Alaska this summer and I wouldn't want anyone to be degraded after spending $10,000 on a cruise. These cruise ships will gladly take your money. Another note is the whale watching expedition - while fun it will be cancelled for no reason if any passenger with a criminal record signs up for the activity. The fjords are very pretty to see. I would also recommend getting an outside room with a deck. You can see so much more in privacy and the room is somewhat larger although not by much. If you get a room in the middle of the ship it will help to reduce motion sickness when the North Pacific gets rough. My favorite month to go is in May because it is still cold and a little rainy - which to me adds character and depth to the experience. At a couple of ports you can do the "ride the duck" tour. It's a little boat/truck that takes you out on the water and you can see Eagles feeding on Salmon. It is very entertaining and informative about Alaskan life. As far as car rental codes, we rented through Avis with AWD X133557. We got pretty good rates with a brand new car only had 50 miles on it. It was awesome. If you prefer Hertz, try CDP 2029445 for some great rates. In Seattle, we stayed at the Hawthorn Suites for less than a $85 a night. For that you get a 2 bedroom apartment (bedroom upstairs and one downstairs) with full kitchen and living room. It was close to some great restaurants. They also offer free rides to the airport if you need them. I would avoid buying canned or smoked fish (Salmon) at the ports as it is very expensive. You can find the same quality wild caught Salmon online for a whole lot cheaper.
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Last edited by mikedaley June 21, 2016 at 10:34 AM
#3
Quote from wolverine88 View Post :
Hi,

Going to SEA end of June for a one week Alaska cruise. Already got air tickets and cruise reserved.

Looking for some tips in

1. tips to get rental car in decent value?
We have 5 person, each with a carry on luggage.
Plan to rent a full size car (big enough?) when get there, will stay in SEA for 2 days for sightseeing. Any good suggestion to rent a car? Checking at priceline.com now and its average price is $150. Any place to get some sort of codes?
Then plan to drop off the car at airport on the cruise date, either call a cab, or book cruise line bus (5 x $35), or just uber from airport to pier 66. Which one is the best option?

2. tips to get a good value hotel for 2 nights. I guess I need 2 room. Or just airbnb it? Any recommendation?

3. Any suggestion for sightseeing (just killing time in SEA) for 2 days? Have 2 teen boys and a senior lady. Thinking about getting a pass like 5 spots (Needle, Aquarium, Harbor Tour, Museum or Zoo, Science Center or Garden) in SEA for $55 - $75 each at http://www.citypass.com/seattle? Is it worth it? How about parking at downtown?

4. I know the short excursion is a little bit expensive, any recommendation for must-see-scene, like whales or mountain train in deep woods?

Many thanks here, esp. any Seattle local or native here to chime in?
Not a local but I visit seattle once or twice a year...

1. I typically use autoslash or costcotravel for rental cars. For that many people I would try to get a minivan, they are the most convenient. You could uber from the airport to the pier, or you could take the light rail from airport to westlake center then uber from westlake to the pier. Depends on if one or all will go to airport to drop off car.

2. I've never used airbnb in Seattle. When I go I usually get rooms at hyatt place or hyatt house downtown as I have hyatt points available for use. Both hotels are close to public transportation and have free breakfast.

3. We did the City pass a couple years ago. My kids are younger than yours by quite a bit but they liked the Science Center and the Zoo. The space needle is cool to do once. The aquarium is terrible, I would compare it to the one in Honolulu. If you have been to monterrey, baltimore, New Orleans or Maui aquarium you will be disappointed by Seattle. Parking is terrible down by the pier, everywhere else it seems to be easy to find but expensive.

4. I've never been on an alaskan cruise, but I am from Alaska. If the cruise stops at the giant zipline in Hoonah, that would be one thing I wouldn't miss. For teenagers, an ATV tour would be cool.
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#4
Quote from bta15 View Post :
Not a local but I visit seattle once or twice a year...

1. I typically use autoslash or costcotravel for rental cars. For that many people I would try to get a minivan, they are the most convenient. You could uber from the airport to the pier, or you could take the light rail from airport to westlake center then uber from westlake to the pier. Depends on if one or all will go to airport to drop off car.

2. I've never used airbnb in Seattle. When I go I usually get rooms at hyatt place or hyatt house downtown as I have hyatt points available for use. Both hotels are close to public transportation and have free breakfast.

3. We did the City pass a couple years ago. My kids are younger than yours by quite a bit but they liked the Science Center and the Zoo. The space needle is cool to do once. The aquarium is terrible, I would compare it to the one in Honolulu. If you have been to monterrey, baltimore, New Orleans or Maui aquarium you will be disappointed by Seattle. Parking is terrible down by the pier, everywhere else it seems to be easy to find but expensive.

4. I've never been on an alaskan cruise, but I am from Alaska. If the cruise stops at the giant zipline in Hoonah, that would be one thing I wouldn't miss. For teenagers, an ATV tour would be cool.
great, thanks, much appreciate. Good tips on car rental.
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#5
Quote from mikedaley View Post :
One thing to remember is that most Alaskan cruises have a stopover in Canada on the way back. If you or any of your passengers have any kind of a criminal record (DUI, driver's license suspension, felony, misdemeanor, etc), Canadian Border Patrol will not let you in. Your date of birth/SSN number is ran against Interpol databases while still cruising and before entering port. The cruise director will single out the person (s) and request that they disembark first to meet with Canadian Border Patrol officers. The person (s) will be forced back to the ship after the meeting. It is all very embarrassing and degrading as your fellow cruise mates watch the entire show. One piece of advice I can give is to steadfastly refuse to disembark the ship. Canada Border Security agents have no authority to border the ship and physically remove an American citizen while docked at a Canadian port.

I only mention this as many people will be causing to Alaska this summer and I wouldn't want anyone to be degraded after spending $10,000 on a cruise. These cruise ships will gladly take your money. Another note is the whale watching expedition - while fun it will be cancelled for no reason if any passenger with a criminal record signs up for the activity. The fjords are very pretty to see. I would also recommend getting an outside room with a deck. You can see so much more in privacy and the room is somewhat larger although not by much. If you get a room in the middle of the ship it will help to reduce motion sickness when the North Pacific gets rough. My favorite month to go is in May because it is still cold and a little rainy - which to me adds character and depth to the experience. At a couple of ports you can do the "ride the duck" tour. It's a little boat/truck that takes you out on the water and you can see Eagles feeding on Salmon. It is very entertaining and informative about Alaskan life. As far as car rental codes, we rented through Avis with AWD X133557. We got pretty good rates with a brand new car only had 50 miles on it. It was awesome. If you prefer Hertz, try CDP 2029445 for some great rates. In Seattle, we stayed at the Hawthorn Suites for less than a $85 a night. For that you get a 2 bedroom apartment (bedroom upstairs and one downstairs) with full kitchen and living room. It was close to some great restaurants. They also offer free rides to the airport if you need them. I would avoid buying canned or smoked fish (Salmon) at the ports as it is very expensive. You can find the same quality wild caught Salmon online for a whole lot cheaper.
Thanks, quick question, I could not find any info about 2 bedroom at Hawthorn Suites for less than a $85 a night? Can you PM the link? Thanks a lot.
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#6
I don't have a link but got the rate directly at hawthorne Suites in Seattle. It is really a great deal as everyone has their own bedroom and since one is upstairs and one downstairs everyone is assured of privacy. Plus it has a nice separate living room, dining room, and kitchen. They are part of the Wyndham chain. I just checked rates for one night later this month and it came up to $199. I was there in early May, so maybe the summer rate structure kicked in hence the higher rate than what I was charged.
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#7
My sister's family had lunch at the Space Needle on a recent visit and thought it was pricey but an amazing experience and worth it to do once. Her boys are in the low teens.

We enjoy Pike's Marketplace. If you Google "free things to do in seattle" you will get a lot of hits. Also, check TripAdvisor.
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#8
http://www.yelp.com/biz/bill-spei...-seattle-2
http://www.undergroundtour.com/

the above is a great tour...
If you would like a nature drive

https://images.search.yahoo.com/y...mp=yhs-002

says the mileage from seattle to deception pass is 80 miles.. view is breathtaking


car rental
when we went on our cruise there was a free shuttle to airport/ship port from the hotel

I would personally return the car to the airport and shuttle back to hotel, pick up family and bag and shuttle to port.. in fact it was cheaper for us to go up a day early, pay to stay at the hotel and park our car for free (included in room rate) use the shuttle to and from the port ( again included in room rate), than it was to drive up and pay to park for a week


the food at teh space needle was amazing both times we went.. it is $$$

but the way we figure

space needle tickets to see deck
https://sn.secure.accesso.com/emb...word=daily

start at $14- 24

lunch menu
$29 for a burger

but you should pay no ticket fee
so really a $15 burger

you can sit for an hour easy and that is a full turn in the needle.

if you simply go to the deck you stay about 15 minutes

it is a peaceful quality meal



you NEED resrvations btw

I would pick the cheaper lunch over dinner Wink
and double check all my info, it has been a few years

hth
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#9
Quote from wolverine88 View Post :
Hi,

Going to SEA end of June for a one week Alaska cruise. Already got air tickets and cruise reserved.

Looking for some tips in

1. tips to get rental car in decent value?
We have 5 person, each with a carry on luggage.
Plan to rent a full size car (big enough?) when get there, will stay in SEA for 2 days for sightseeing. Any good suggestion to rent a car? Checking at priceline.com now and its average price is $150. Any place to get some sort of codes?
Then plan to drop off the car at airport on the cruise date, either call a cab, or book cruise line bus (5 x $35), or just uber from airport to pier 66. Which one is the best option?

2. tips to get a good value hotel for 2 nights. I guess I need 2 room. Or just airbnb it? Any recommendation?

3. Any suggestion for sightseeing (just killing time in SEA) for 2 days? Have 2 teen boys and a senior lady. Thinking about getting a pass like 5 spots (Needle, Aquarium, Harbor Tour, Museum or Zoo, Science Center or Garden) in SEA for $55 - $75 each at http://www.citypass.com/seattle? Is it worth it? How about parking at downtown?

4. I know the short excursion is a little bit expensive, any recommendation for must-see-scene, like whales or mountain train in deep woods?

Many thanks here, esp. any Seattle local or native here to chime in?
One other thing I forgot to mention. If you like soft drinks bring your own. I saw people wheeling cases of it aboard ship. Depending on the cruise line, you can easily get charged $5 for a coke with just one refill. That will add up. Bring snacks because the food that is free is very limited in scope and tends to be the same everyday. Eating pizza twice a day is not my idea of a cruise.
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#10
4. Depending on your ports, if you go to Ketchikan, you can take the bus down the block from the cruise port to Totem Bight State Park [alaska.gov]. I think it cost us less than $5 (total for 2 people) round trip. Bus Schedule [ak.us]

The ship offered the bus there for like $35 a person or something crazy (to me) like that. We enjoyed the bus ride and it was a nice tourist place without being schlocky.

Also the only meal we paid for food the entire trip was in Juneau's port, Tracy's King Crab Shack [tripadvisor.com]. It was worth it.

You didn't ask but there are often (at least 2x a day, on our trips) raffles at the jewelry counter. You have to listen to a little talk but there were times only 4 or 5 people showed up. We didn't win but odds were pretty high many times we went because so few people did.
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#11
When I did my Alaska cruise out of Seattle I stayed at this house:
https://www.facebook.com/search/t...tt%20house

Right on the Light Rail line and a quick ride from airport to house & and then from house to Pike's Place and Safeco Field. There is a drugstore, fast food restaurants and supermarket within walking distance along with the ever present Starbucks.
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#12
Quote from odragon View Post :
4. Depending on your ports, if you go to Ketchikan, you can take the bus down the block from the cruise port to Totem Bight State Park [alaska.gov]. I think it cost us less than $5 (total for 2 people) round trip. Bus Schedule [ak.us].
The bus trip is definitely worth the 2 buck round trip fare -- even if it does get crowded at peak times. Totem Bight is a self guided tour with stops at each pole. You can read the brochure yourself or pay someone to read it to you and possibly add some additional minutiae. Allow yourself more than just couple of hours to do it on your own figuring in travel time.

Check out totem bight here:http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/totembgh.htm

We found a Groupon for a Juneau whale watch on the Seattle Groupon page.
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#13
great company!
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#14
amazing!!
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#15
I want to book a cruise between Juneau and Anchorage.. Never been on a cruise earlier.. Please suggest a decently priced cruise company and their rates. I dont have candian visa..
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