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  #1  
Old December 3rd, 2012, 07:43 AM
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irish cailin irish cailin is offline
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Talking Help needed with choosing cruiseline!!

Hi guys,

I am looking for some help in choosing which line, in your valued opinion, is best to use for Alaska Cruise at the end of June 2013 (preferably around the 20-25th as need to be back by 3rd July). Have previously travelled with NCL in a suite (so cannot downgrade now!!) 2 adults and 1 child (6), and need to take into account kids club facilities. We are travelling from Ireland so a roundtrip will work out cheaper for us (dont mind what port). Looking to do inside passage, and either hubbard or glacier bay, but open to ideas on what else we really need to see. Disney is totally out of our price range (unless we swim the Atlantic first!)

Our budget is $5000-$5500 for the 3 of us.

What we liked best about "suite" life was the priority boarding, and use of restaurant for breakfast and lunch (no queueing). This i would like have again! The butler and concierge come third to this! Decent sized balcony would be nice, no preference to forward or aft of the ship.

So over to you guys, i know you will do your best to help us out!! thanks in advance for all your posts.
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  #2  
Old December 3rd, 2012, 09:17 AM
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Putterdude Putterdude is offline
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If you enjoyed NCL why not stick with them? Princess does a great job as does HAL in Alaska but I am not a fan of HAL and their age demographic as does Celebrity isn't really geared toward children. However, I would be more inclined to look at itineraries, dates and prices, do research into what you want to see and then make the decision based on that rather that on some less than objective recommendations in these forums.

That all said, I will add that a cruise out of Vancouver is much more scenic then that out of Seattle and it would be shame to come all this way and not take see at least one of the glaciers.
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  #3  
Old December 3rd, 2012, 10:05 AM
Budget Queen Budget Queen is offline
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If you want a suite, then you have a pretty limited budget, if that includes your tourr as well?

As mentioned, the most scenic routing will be round trip Vancouver, which NCL does not do. So I suggest you look and see what price ranges come up to that itinerary.

Having sailed HAL, twice in the last three years, I have to disagree with the "age demographic" comment above. I don't find it accurate. I sailed on three different lines to Alaska THIS year, and the demographics were just as similar as they always are on Alaska sailings. All ages sail with a larger number middle aged and above. My two teenaged nephews had no difficultity fitting in on either Princess or HAL, this summer. With some teens on each. HAL is running ships round trip Vancouver that may be worth looking at, don't know, but last year, I picked up my sailing with free 3/4, which may be a savings for the OP, who has cabin priorities?

So, I would look at round trip Vancouver Glacier Bay sailings. IF you can't find any that work for you, look at Hubbard routings. If you go with a Tracy Arm, be advised- it is "necessary" in my opinion to purchase the add on Tracy Arm tours, which are in the $200pp range. FAR superior.
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  #4  
Old December 3rd, 2012, 12:17 PM
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irish cailin irish cailin is offline
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thanks guys!

I do think its likely we will fly into Vancouver and not Seattle as flights are coming in a little cheaper

The budget amount i stated is just for the actual cruise, we have a seperate budget for extras such as hotels pre and post cruise, service charge, excursions, wine, spa, more wine, more spa etc!!

Have got a quote with irish company with Celebrity coming in just on budget for sky suite on century, but to be honest i think i have looked at every cruise leaving the west coast to alaska this past few weeks and am now very confused on what to do!
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Old December 3rd, 2012, 12:51 PM
Budget Queen Budget Queen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irish cailin View Post
thanks guys!

I do think its likely we will fly into Vancouver and not Seattle as flights are coming in a little cheaper

The budget amount i stated is just for the actual cruise, we have a seperate budget for extras such as hotels pre and post cruise, service charge, excursions, wine, spa, more wine, more spa etc!!

Have got a quote with irish company with Celebrity coming in just on budget for sky suite on century, but to be honest i think i have looked at every cruise leaving the west coast to alaska this past few weeks and am now very confused on what to do!
The Century has a very nice itinerary, with a good routing and port times.
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  #6  
Old December 3rd, 2012, 01:20 PM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is offline
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I agree with Budget Queen.

Take a look at Celebrity.

You could get a Sky Suite for three for a total of $5,500.00

http://www.celebritycruises.com/sear...AN&shipCode=CN

Keith
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  #7  
Old December 3rd, 2012, 03:05 PM
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The NCL Pearl does Glacier Bay - we did three of us in an SF aft penthouse and really enjoyed ourselves - esp the breakfast and lunch in Cagneys. Butler was also nice. We went at the end of June and spent just under 7k for the cruise alone. AK is an expensive cruise.
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  #8  
Old December 3rd, 2012, 08:18 PM
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NoobCruise NoobCruise is offline
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DH and I are early 40s and we cruised on The Westerdam in SB8147, which is an aft corner deluxe verandah suite that has a balcony that wraps around the back corner of the ship. We absolutely LOVED the balcony, but we also had fabulous weather. I would book HAL in a heartbeat if I could have one of those corner suites again. Check out the links in my signature for pics. I did a short review of the Westerdam on the HAL board then a detailed trip report of Alaska on this board. Lots of pics in the Alaska review.

I disagree with the age demographic. There was a good mix of people from 30s to I don't know, average in the middle. We only saw a few children, but we sailed in September after most schools have started. I'm sure there would be more children in June.

The bed was extremely comfortable. I have a very bad back and this was important for me. Great bed!

Priority boarding was great! There was no line to board. We basically walked through and were in our stateroom within 20 or 30 minutes from unloading our stuff from the shuttle.

The Neptune Lounge and concierge were great! We never did breakfast in the Pinnacle though. We went once at 5 min to 9am and they were closed for breakfast already. We had room service for breakfast all the other mornings and it was great!

We did open dining and were seated immediately every time we went to dinner.

The ship got very quiet after 9 or 10 pm though. Not sure if that would be an issue for you. Alaska is very port intensive though, with 7am ports, so we didn't want to stay out too late anyway.

Last edited by NoobCruise; December 3rd, 2012 at 08:21 PM.
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  #9  
Old December 4th, 2012, 12:52 AM
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Everyone chooses what defines value. IMHO an Alaskan cruise is about scenic crusing, get Glacier Bay, about excursions of a lifetime.

Frankly waiting in line for a few minutes for dining or feeling important because of perks recieved because of big $$$ thrown on cabin is one persons value versus once in a lifetime excursion ( you have to decide ) it would be easy for me to decide on the "budget"

Not making judgment but just saying make sure you know what you are trading off.

I do know I splurged on excursion and my wife thought I was crazing for popping several thousand for the helicopter / dog - sledding, lets say afterward was never questions about that versus anything else I might have chosen, but I know very very personal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by irish cailin View Post
Hi guys,

I am looking for some help in choosing which line, in your valued opinion, is best to use for Alaska Cruise at the end of June 2013 (preferably around the 20-25th as need to be back by 3rd July). Have previously travelled with NCL in a suite (so cannot downgrade now!!) 2 adults and 1 child (6), and need to take into account kids club facilities. We are travelling from Ireland so a roundtrip will work out cheaper for us (dont mind what port). Looking to do inside passage, and either hubbard or glacier bay, but open to ideas on what else we really need to see. Disney is totally out of our price range (unless we swim the Atlantic first!)

Our budget is $5000-$5500 for the 3 of us.

What we liked best about "suite" life was the priority boarding, and use of restaurant for breakfast and lunch (no queueing). This i would like have again! The butler and concierge come third to this! Decent sized balcony would be nice, no preference to forward or aft of the ship.

So over to you guys, i know you will do your best to help us out!! thanks in advance for all your posts.
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