Posted June 23rd, 2018, 11:20 AM
We are on our trip right now. It also is probably our one and only - and a graduation treat for one of our two daughters.
I always like to research and this time I had loads of time because I had two months off work at the start of the year due to an accident. I chose a Princess and started with an agent to do the land and cruise parts. I would have liked to do Denali and the Kenai peninsular but daughter 2 could not take enough days off work. We have hired a car for Denali and will have two days in Vancouver after a southbound from Whittier.
The agent came up with a good plan but in the end she exceeded my budget. I stuck with her flights and cruise and saved loads by booking my own lodging and activities. We had to sacrifice the planned Bear flight because it was just too expensive.
Driving has been easy - daughter has done most but it is nice to share. I have never driven an automatic and was stressing about that. It is easy.
Booking the hire car early was important- and choosing the flights and cruise- after that I slowly built up a plan. I think reading through trip reports is important. You get a feel of what is available- for us it was important having our own car and not having to stick with a group. I would rather that than be on a narrated tour all the time.
I know others prefer to have things planned for them - but that costs money. Just doing things like sharing a room on our arrival night when all we were doing was sleeping for 8 hours, finding 3 star not 4 star hotels and finding a cabin with a fridge and microwave has saved me a good amount of money. I am paying for 4 adults so it makes a difference. The first quote was for $22000 without food! Hmm. My credit card choked a bit on thAt.
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Ollie, Bert and their Mum
Voyager of the Seas July 2006 Western Med 2292
Jewel of the Seas July 2007 Baltic - can't remember the stateroom, just that we had a brilliant time!
Adventure of the Seas July 2010 Western Med 7289
Liberty of the Seas July 2011 Western Med 7331 and 7329
Adventure of the Seas July 2012 Western Med (they just get better) 6616
Norwegian Epic July 2013 - Western Med (well at least we are going on a different line this time) 9191
Norwegian Epic April 2016
Western Med (the Spring weather made this birthday cruise great) 11079
Norwegian Epic Oct 2017 (Halloween, again the weather is great) 9141
Coral Princess June 2018 Alaska - the kids persuaded us, it was a trip of a lifetime E269
Norwegian Epic Oct 2018 Western Med. 30th Anniversary. Hooray I got an even numbered stateroom for a different view