I finally made the first call to start the process for our 2012 trip to Alaska. I don’t think it went too well.
Let me back up. My sister and I have been talking about going to Alaska for a couple of years now. Part of the delay has been the cost. Sis wants 2-3 nights in Denali along with a cruise. That adds up to a lot of money. While we were in Sedona we talked about it some more and basically made a decision to just go for it. If we keep waiting we won’t get there…or by the time we do the glaciers will be melted, the mountains eroded and the polar bears will have moved some place colder. 🙂
The other stumbling block is which cruise line do we want to go on. We had been looking at Holland America but then Sis heard from a neighbor that they weren’t very good. That’s surprising because Holland America has tons of Alaska cruises. Seems to me if they weren’t any good that they wouldn’t be able to have so many choices.
I suggested Royal Caribbean. They have a big, fairly new ship doing the Alaska Route, Radiance of the Seas. I have only been on 1 other cruise and it was a short one from Port Canaveral to Nassau, Bahamas. That was on Royal Caribbean and we had a very nice time.
I know people who have taken an Alaska Cruise and they raved about it. We also met some folks at the Grand Canyon that flew into Alaska, rented an RV and toured that way which would have been fine by me too. I just want to see the country and the animals. Cruise, drive, train…any of them are fine with me.
But back to my first call. I blissfully called Royal Caribbean with the mistaken idea that they would willingly offer any available discounts. That was what I was told by the Holland America rep at the AAA Travel Marketplace this spring. Well, I even mentioned AAA and Senior discounts and as far as I can tell got nada. I pointed out that the price I was being quoted was higher than their published price in their brochure and was told that was “just the starting point.”
The only good part is that you can book your cruise for a very small deposit. I told them I would have to get back to them. Within 24 hours I had both a phone call and an email trying to “close the deal.” That’s kind of putting me off right there.
I emailed Sis and got back an email that seemed to have the hair standing on end! How much ..for how long etc , etc. So I have mailed the cruise info so Sis can go to her travel agent and see if they can do better.
I can see this is going to be a bit trickier than I expected. I am not a fan of travel agents. Most of my experiences with travel agents have been disappointing but in this case, if they can get a better deal, I’m all for it.
I will keep you all updated as this saga unfolds.