As a cruise nerd who likes to try new things, I’ve been wanting to try a Pacific Coastal cruise for years. It doesn’t hurt that I lived for four years in Eugene, OR attending grad school at the University of Oregon for my Ph.D. I love the Pacific Northwest, and these cruises primarily run during the month of September – after the Alaska cruise season ends and one of the most beautiful times of year in the PNW.
There was only one problem: In my (actual nerd) day job as a college professor, I was always teaching during the times that these cruises were offered. So when I decided to take a year off teaching to start this blog, the Pacific Coast cruise was on the top of my list.
For some reason, these cruises are often not quite as popular as those in areas such as Alaska and the Caribbean. As a result, you can often find fairly cheap cruise fares on these itineraries. If you’re living near to Seattle or can fly there relatively cheaply, this one might be a good cruise to book last-minute and get a deal. (If you’re doing this, I recommend that you keep an eye on the second week of these itineraries. In the week before our cruise, the ship had done its last Alaska route, and many of the people I had talked to did a back-to-back in order to get both itineraries. On another note, the next time I’m not teaching in September, I’m totally planning to do this back-to-back!)
Overall, I can’t recommend the Pacific Coastal cruise we took highly enough. Our itinerary featured 2 sea days, on days 3 and 6, which were perfectly spaced out. We had an overnight in San Francisco that was just fantastic, including one of the more memorable sail aways where we sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge. There were a couple of downsides to our itinerary – our ship seemed way too large for the small port of Astoria, and we hit some rough seas due to weather on our way back up the coast – but they were vastly overwhelmed by the advantages of this unusual itinerary.