Which cruise line

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#22
Philadelphia, PA
1,069 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Originally posted by kayehall
I didn't think that I would like HAL but we could take my son free? That would be fantastic!!!
All cruise lines in Alaska have an older demographics of people. Our RCCL cruise was an older group. I wouldn't rule HAL out because they are known for having an older group.
#23
79 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Out of all these posts I only see one that mentions Norwegian Cruise Line.
We have just started looking and are considering NCL.

Is there a reason why they are not mentioned? Not as good?
#24
Greenville, CA
109 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
I have done Glacier Bay with Carnival and Tracy Arm Fjord with RCCL. I would recommend doing Glacier Bay as your first Alaskan Cruise. With Tracy Arm Fjord the ship could not get anywhere near the glacier. With Glacier Bay the ship was close that you could hear the glaciers calving. It was fantastic. Doing another Glacier Bay cruise on NCL in May.
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#25
NJ
99 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Originally posted by Assateague Island Princes
Kaye - go on the HAL website, pick a ship and date of sailing and do a "pretend" booking to see what the third person rate for your sailing would be. You might be pleasantly surprised!
I've been watching HAL prices and I noticed that with HAL's recent "fare sale" they actually upped the price for 3rd and 4th persons in Alaska sailing. (so the price for me and DH went down by $50 per person but my DD's fare went up by $200!

Also, I was not impressed by the way they priced a third person with their cruisetours, and it was part of the reason we decided to do the landtour ourselves (although I'm slightly stressed about it).

Finally, I'll add that I'm new to the whole Alaska thing and I booked based on itinerary and when choosing between HAL and Princess (because they both went to Glacier Bay), I ultimately decided that ship size was important to us. For the sailings I was looking at it seemed like HAL ships were smaller. For example, Statendam had 1260 passengers / 580 crew and the Zaandam had 1440 passengers and 647 crew. Comparing this to 2670 passengers and 1100 crew for the Sapphire Princess and 1970 Passengers and 900 crew for the Coral Princess, it was easier for me to go with HAL.

I actually think this is less important for others but for various reasons it seemed important to me.

I have to say that I looked at pricing at all the cruise lines and found them to be very comparable. Of course, I didn't even consider getting Verandah. I think there may be more variation in pricing on those.

Good luck. Amy
#26
South Carolina
27,167 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Originally posted by Coral
I think you will find that Princess and HAL have better itineraries (as they can get into Glacier Bay) and will be competitive price wise with your Crown and Anchor discount. Princess and HAL have a far larger commitment in Alaska and it shows IMO.
Agree!
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80+ Cruises .... Princess, Celebrity, RCCL, HAL, Carnival, NCL, Costa, etc. (Still miss Sitmar)
#28
Shediac, NB, Canada
292 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by sabri
Out of all these posts I only see one that mentions Norwegian Cruise Line.
We have just started looking and are considering NCL.

Is there a reason why they are not mentioned? Not as good?

we did our Alaskan cruise with NCL and we loved it very much. It was our first cruise so did not have point of comparison. But we were very impressed!
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#29
Portland Oregon
2,766 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
I also have sailed AK on NCL and love the product - however the OP was only interested in Princess or RCCL - hence most posters have been about those two lines.
#30
USA
5,350 Posts
Joined May 2012
Originally posted by kayehall
RCCL or Princess for Alaska cruise???
We have sailed on both. Between the two we enjoyed RCCL more because of the itinerary which included Icy Strait Point and Hubbard Glacier.
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You can view my wife's cruise pictures on her website Nancy's Oasis and individual cruise links below my cruise countdown.

2016 14 day Alaska Maasdam Ketchikan,Juneau,Dawes,Icy Strait Point,Anchorage,Homer,Kodiak,Hubbard,Sitka, Victoria,BC
2015 Christmas Adventure of the Seas St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Dominica, Barbados
2014 Christmas Island Princess ~ Partial Panama Canal with Columbia, Costa Rica, Grand Cayman, Aruba
2013 Christmas Adventure of the Seas ~ So.Caribbean St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Aruba, and Curacao
2012 Christmas Mariner of the Seas ~ W.Caribbean Cozumel (Tulum) Jamaica, and Grand Cayman
2012 Radiance of the Seas ~ Alaska Southbound Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Hubbard Glacier
2011 Christmas Mariner of the Seas ~ W. Caribbean Belize (Lamanai), Roatan, Costa Maya (Kohunlich), Cozumel
2011 Carnival Ecstasy ~ Western Caribbean Cozumel and Progresso (Chichen Itza)
2011 Carnival Ecstasy Owners Suite Visit from the Upsell Fairy - 916 sq ft of paradise!

2011 Carnival Conquest ~ Eastern Caribbean Nassau, Freeport, Key West
2010 Caribbean Princess ~ NE/Canada Upgrade Fairy Visit FREE PH Suite - Newport,Boston,Bar Harbor,St. John,Halifax
2009 Star Princess ~ Alaska Inside Passage Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Tracy Arm
2008 Christmas Carnival Ecstasy ~ Western Caribbean Progreso (Uxmal) Cozumel
2007 Carnival Conquest ~ Western Caribbean Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel
#31
Lake Wylie S.C.
1,405 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by bonvoyagie
I also have sailed AK on NCL and love the product - however the OP was only interested in Princess or RCCL - hence most posters have been about those two lines.
I agree! We are sailing b2b on NCL this year and love the itinerary. Sawyer Glacier was a disapointment the last time we sailed.
Dave
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#32
Utah
207 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
We chose the NCL Sun northbound itinerary because it leaves Vancouver on a Monday. We were able to combine it with a weekend vacation in Seattle beforehand (extended family lives in Seattle area). It works out perfect for us and our work schedules. Having sailed on NCL before, I know what to expect and we like their product. Our cruise goes to both Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier.

Whatever you choose, the true star will be Alaska itself.
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2013 - NCL Sun, Alaska Northbound
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1994 - NCL Southward, Baja
#33
Wasilla, AK
827 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
We chose based on itinerary. We will probably only cruise Alaska once. I almost switched to HAL but then their rates increased for the one I wanted.
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Stephanie
FUTURE CRUISES:
Celebrity Millennium 6/2/17 Alaska Southern 7 night no kids
NCL Jade 11/6/17 Southern Caribbean 10 night no kids
NCL Sun 11/28/17 Southern Caribbean 10 night with kids

PAST CRUISES:
Celebrity x4
Carnival x11
HAL x1
Louis Cruises x1
RCCL x1
#34
Binghamton, NY
1,026 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
What is the difference between Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay? I know it is 2 different areas but which one is better?
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KAYE

#35
Carrollton, Texas (dfw)
2,629 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
We have done Princess and Celebrity, and Glaciar Bay and Hubbard.

We LOVED our Celebrity Millinieum cruise, the ship was amazing and the brunch buffet they have on last sea day is SPECTACULAR. Yes, it was an "older" crowd and we are in our 40's. Also, we thought Hubbard would be a dissapointment compared to Glaciar bay, WRONG, we saw more calving and were able to get so close to glacier it was wonderfull!! oh and ICY STRAIT is where we saw TONS of whales jumping and some had their babies with them.

Princess Diamond had great dining, but I thought the ship was "tired".

BUT this is just my two cents, I will say that the ONE WAY trips are the way to go, as you see more.
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#36
Carrollton, Texas (dfw)
2,629 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Originally posted by BubMunkeyBles
We chose based on itinerary. We will probably only cruise Alaska once. I almost switched to HAL but then their rates increased for the one I wanted.
we wanted to do HAL but on our last 2 previous Alaska cruises, while in port of Ketchikan we rode the bus and when we stopped at HAL, seriously the folks that got on all were 70 and above, we asked becuase we were so surprised and they said YES that it's definatally known as the "older" crowd.
and we did go to a AAA meeting for HAL and when asked our ages, 42/43, we were the youngest by 15 years in that room!
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PAST and FUTURE SALINGS
Carnival Vista April 2019
Harmony of Seas October 2018
Liberty of the Seas February 2018
Emerald Princess Alaska May 2017
Carnival Breeze Feb. 26, 2017
Celebrity Infinity Alaska VanCouver Sept 4, 2016
Caribbean Princess March 6, 2016
HAL Noordam Alaska Sept 19 2015
RC Navigator of Seas February 22 2015
Disney Dream May 2014
Carnival Magic Feb 2014
Celebrity Century Alaska Aug 2013
Disney Magic May 2013
Crown Princess March 2013
Carnival Magic August 2012
Celebrity Millennium, Alaska June 2012
Carnival Truimph January 2012
Carnival Ecstasy August 2011
Disney Dream July 2011
Carnival Ecstasy February 2011 (cruise to nowhere)
RC Voyager of Seas Turkey Week 2010
Carnival Conquest March 2009
Carnival Conquest Christmas 2008
Diamond Princess Alaska July 2008
RC Voyager of Sea March 2008
Carnival Conquest Turkey Week 2007
RC Rhapsody of Seas June 2007
Carnival Conquest Turkey Week 2006
Disney Wonder June 2005
#37
Wasilla, AK
827 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by 232271
we wanted to do HAL but on our last 2 previous Alaska cruises, while in port of Ketchikan we rode the bus and when we stopped at HAL, seriously the folks that got on all were 70 and above, we asked becuase we were so surprised and they said YES that it's definatally known as the "older" crowd.
and we did go to a AAA meeting for HAL and when asked our ages, 42/43, we were the youngest by 15 years in that room!
I cruised HAL as a kid to Alaska and had a great time. I was only 10. But everyone at dinner with us was probably over 70. Maybe another time we'll do HAL. I'd love to go to Sitka or Kodiak so maybe we'll try to hit one of those up down the line.
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Stephanie
FUTURE CRUISES:
Celebrity Millennium 6/2/17 Alaska Southern 7 night no kids
NCL Jade 11/6/17 Southern Caribbean 10 night no kids
NCL Sun 11/28/17 Southern Caribbean 10 night with kids

PAST CRUISES:
Celebrity x4
Carnival x11
HAL x1
Louis Cruises x1
RCCL x1
#38
Abbotsford, British Columbia
348 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
My first cruise last year was with RCCL on a round-trip (Van-Seattle) with Tracy Arm (Sawyer Glacier). I was a bit sad that I didn't do my homework (aka hadn't found CC prior to booking) and didn't check for itinerary options first. We couldn't get too close to the glacier but I thought it was still amazing for early May. This year we're going on what sounds like the only HAL cruise to Alaska that wont go to Glacier Bay. It's actually the same exact itinerary we did last year but we only booked because friends had already committed to this sailing.

Make sure you decide what you want to see and then figure out which cruise line offers those locations and if they are in your price range.
Living near Vancouver, BC I will probably have lots of oppourtunity to check out all the ports I want so I'm not too worried about duplicates. I am also looking forward to this HAL cruise for the comparison and because RCCL's west coast offerings are very limited (I really hate flying).
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Rhapsody of the Seas: May 11, 2012
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#39
Kent
95 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Hi all
Does anyone know when HAL will be releasing their 2014 schedule for Alaska? We want to do the 7 day round trip from Vancouver on Volendam and any stateroom recommendations (two needed) would be very welcome. We're thinking of opting for the lowest grade verandahs but would like advice on location etc. Many Thanks!
#40
Carolina Puerto Rico
673 Posts
Joined May 2003
I just booked on NCL for Alaska 2014 for July. At this moment only this cruise line has released the 2014 itineraries for their ships.

The ship is the Norwegian Jewel. The best thing is the freestyle and going on this trip it will be good.
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