Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Alaska questions

Recommended Posts

Looking To book a Alaska cruise May or September which one is the best out of the two?

The Sun is the ship offered,we have only been on one cruise and that was the Getaway

Booking a Family  Balcony deck 8 was mid ship deck 10,11 said forward, mid or aft.

what would you suggest

 Thanks for your suggestions 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

My opinionated response - - -

Weather generally more favorable in September as opposed to May

SUN smaller than the JEWEL and the huge JOY BLISS class ships

She fits in nicely with getting into right up front with the glaciers

Restaurants and shows (theatre) are all aft on this ship

Best Observation Lounge forward

You would be smart to get a balcony - best would be one of the

Mini-Suites on deck 11 forward - that not in the cards pick a balcony

cabin with cabins above and below (deck 9) for limiting adverse deck

noise from the Buffet and the Pool deck 11

Ease of access elevators are mid-ship 8 and aft 4


Deck Plan map for reference LINK:




Click on deck you want to view


Now as to what to see - what to do - WOW there is so much to see

and do - be prepared to be awed by it ! 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

May and September are the beginning and end of the AK season - therefore prices are much lower than July and Aug. That said I would lean towards May - usually the weather is a bit better and you do have slightly longer daylight hours.


Comparing the Getaway to the Sun is more of a challenge as they are very different ships in all respects - size, age, and amenities. For us we are in our 60's and don't travel with any kids or grandkids, we enjoy cruising for the destination so we are less about the ship and more about where it goes so we are biased towards ships like the Sun, Dawn, and Jewel class. Besides, in AK the cruise is very port intensive and the scenery is great so we call them see days. You are going to pay more for a mid ship cabin on any deck - we prefer deck 10 on the Jewel class ships and either mid  or aft - Aft is closer to the Great Outdoors and Garden Buffet areas as well as the aft MDR. It is farther from the theater and atrium areas but that gives us a little bit more exercise in the evening. Mid ship is going to equalize the walk to all of the dining venues. Mid ship cabins also feel less up and down motion from rough seas - which you could have on your first and last days when you transit the west side of Vancouver Island. Deck 10 on the Sun is directly below the pool deck and you will hear the noise of those areas above you - which is not so much of a problem in the day - but at night and early morning the crew is either taking down or setting these areas and it can get quite noisy as they drag the tables and chairs around the deck. Deck 9 you are only going to have cabins around you. 


You mentioned getting a family balcony - how many of you are cruising and what ages? 

I believe that the family balcony cabins sleep one in a pull down bunk one on the sofa and two in the main bed and are no larger than a standard cabin - a mini suite would offer you only  larger bathroom and the Sun does not have much in the way of multi bedroom suites like the Jewel ships have. 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would suggest September and Deck 10. 

The salmon are running in September (early) and there is a better chance of seeing bears and other wildlife. 

Deck 8 is over public areas and you need to be very careful to get a room that doesn’t have the bing bing bing and cheers of the Casino all night long. We, personally, would pick Deck 11. But people tend to avoid the potential of a kid running on the deck or a drunk adult dragging chairs around in the middle of the night. (Neither would bother us). 


Edited by BirdTravels

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

We did Alaska in early September 2016 on the Sun and it was a great cruise.  We had an aft-balcony which is perfect for doing Alaska.  Glacier Bay is fantastic.

One thing, after the cruise we had a private tour to Denali, which had already starting closing some hotels.  Our last night at the hotel was the last night before the hotel closed.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The SUN deals:


For best bang for the fare buck look at Repositioning cruises in the Spring and Autumn.

Some of these start at San Pedro (Port of Los Angeles) San Diego San Francisco and end

at Seattle or Vancouver with port calls at Astoria Juneau Ketchikan Skagway Icy Strait Point

perhaps even Sitka or Victoria BC depending on the cruise itinerary

In the Autumn the reverse agenda - 10 11 12 15 day possibilities.


The problem with the repo cruises is the Land Tour packages may not be fully in play.


The JEWEL deals:


Land Tour packages southbound begin either in Fairbanks or Anchorage lasting 3-5 days

then the 7 day cruise ending at Vancouver - ship would be the JEWEL

Northbound (JEWEL) would do the reverse of this.

Flights Fairbanks Anchorage Vancouver would have to be coordinated




Start and end at Seattle - basic Ketchikan Juneau Skagway Icy Point Strait Glacier Bay

and some other variations with Victoria BC a required port call due to PVSA regs.


Anyway you put it together hurry before a Global Warming - New Ice Age is upon us !  ROFLOL ! 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter Now for a Chance to Win a 7-day Cruise for Two
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
  • Create New...