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Alaska by cruise ship; choosing your cruise line

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Choosing your cruise line can be difficult, but the assistance of a good travel agent can make it easier. She will have an abundance of slick, glossy brochures available for you to review and ogle. She can direct you to cruise line web sites to get more information and to get a feel for the atmosphere of each cruise line you may be considering. She can steer you clear of sites that may not be legitimate, and she can often get you better prices than you can find after hours of searching the internet. Each cruise line is fairly consistent in their on line amenities and activities, but your travel agent will have the knowledge and training to provide you with more detailed ship information, often from personal experience. Each cruise line certainly has their individual style; for instance some are family oriented while others have a party atmosphere. Still others are more relaxed, and have a casual, more intimate experience. There are independent organizations such as the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) and U.S. News and Travel which rate each line on factors such as the level of accommodations, cuisine, service and upkeep. In addition to rating the best cruises by brand, they rate the best budget cruises, best couples or family cruises, or best cruises by region, for example. U.S. News and Travel recently rated the Silver Shadow, the Celebrity Soltice and the Disney Wonder as the top overall cruise ships for Alaska.

When selecting a cruise line, cost may play a role in your decision. You should know that the cost of an Alaskan cruise ca.n range from under $200 per day to over $1,000 per day and more. The cruise fare almost always includes the cost of food and entertainment and sometimes includes all beverages or all alcoholic beverages. The stateroom you select ranging from the lowest price inside room on a lower level to the most expensive luxury suite with a verandah or balcony will also factor into the cost. Another factor to consider is the season. If you sail early or late in the season, you are likely to save money. Finally, cruise lines reward guests who book early by offering discounts, on board amenities or free upgrades. The best thing to do is book early and purchase cancellation insurance just in case something precludes you from sailing.

Alaskan cruises also offer excursions and some offer land tours before or after the cruise. Holland America and Princess both offer fully integrated land tours. This is a convenient way to extend your cruise and see the interior areas of Alaska including Denali National Park. Other cruise lines offer land tours through independent operators or the services of Holland and Princess. Your travel agent specializes in cruise holidays and can provide you with a high level of expertise in cruise travel relevant to helping you select the perfect cruise for you.

If all this sounds enticing, it's only a phone call away. Call your cruise vacation expert or cruise specialist Mary Baker at 318-588-2567 or email maricticket2travel@yahoo.com. Please come back frequently to read all about Alaska cruises and learn insider details and tips.

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