Best Alaskan Cruise

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#1
Troy, MI
1 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
I have yet to explore Alaska and I am in the beginning stages of starting to plan a cruise there next year. Can anyone tell me what the best cruise line is for an alaskan cruise. I am looking for an overall combo of good price, delicious food, good size ship, quality service.

Thanks!
#2
Ontario, Canada
5,181 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Princess and Holland America have been in Alaska the longest. They have the best on shore infrastructure and relationships with tour providers. They also have the most permits to get into Glacier Bay. Both cruise lines are owned by the same parent company which markets HAL about a half to one star above Princess. Depending on personal preferences one may or may not appreciate the differences.
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#3
USA
8,952 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Welcome to CC,

What is your budget, what do you hope to see and do, what is your expectation.

Kind of like asking I've just started shopping for a new car, what is the best one. Want comfortable, good mileage, reliable, safe, etc. etc.

On a serious note, must get Glacier Bay or Hubbard for your first cruise. Should see about doing one way. Almost all the ports are the same, thus come down to which kind of cruisline/style you like.

As the other poster mentioned HAL/Princess offer the most ships and choices, but NCL, RCCL, Carnival and others sail, but again get Glacier Bay than find the ships that meet your budget/schedule and from there your style.

Originally posted by Blueeyes2188
I have yet to explore Alaska and I am in the beginning stages of starting to plan a cruise there next year. Can anyone tell me what the best cruise line is for an alaskan cruise. I am looking for an overall combo of good price, delicious food, good size ship, quality service.

Thanks!
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#4
84,322 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by Blueeyes2188
I have yet to explore Alaska and I am in the beginning stages of starting to plan a cruise there next year. Can anyone tell me what the best cruise line is for an alaskan cruise. I am looking for an overall combo of good price, delicious food, good size ship, quality service.

Thanks!
Welcome to cruise critic.

Let me begin by saying that there is a port of call board for Alaska which is a great place to ask specific questions and to get a lot of good input on Alaska. The board is at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=55

There is a wide range of cruise lines and ships that sail Alaska so when you say best what is best for one person might not be best for another one.

The prices also range considerably because you'll find that mass market, premium and luxury lines serve Alaska. You will find less crowds, smaller ships, wonderful cuisine and service on luxury lines but you will pay more than on a premium or mass market line so one of the major factors comes down to budget.

I would first begin by figuring out what type of itinerary you want to do and whether or not you want to combine this with a land package.

If you want to just cruise I would consider an inside passage cruise which is a seven day round trip cruise out of places such as Vancouver which will allow you to visit some ports of call and also sail some beautiful areas possibly Glacier Bay. If you want to spend a few days on land consider a Northern voyage which ends in Alaska and from there you could spend some time on land or you could consider a Southbound voyage which begins in Alaska where you could spend a few days prior to the cruise.

In terms of line, rather than saying what is best I would just say check out these line in terms of budget and itinerary and then if any interest you, then do more reading and research on them.

In the Mass Market category I would take a look at Princess as they have been sailing Alaska many years and they also have cruises with and without land packages. Likewise, in the premium category I would look at Celebrity.

In the premium category Crystal has one voyage of Alaska next year early in the season and both Silversea and Regent have several voyages. None of these lines have a pre or post land package.

There are certainly other lines that you can look at such as Holland.

Again, consider itinerary and budget.

Keith
#5
Maine
1,335 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Princess and HAL. Go to Denali and stay at Princess Lodges before you cruise.
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Emerald Princess, Caribbean, 2016
Ruby Princess, California Coastal, 2015
RCCL Serenade of the Seas, Bahamas, 2015
Royal Princess, TA east from Copenhagen to NYC, 2014
Grand Princess, Alaska, 2013
Caribbean Princess, Caribbean, 2013
Ruby Princess, Eastern Mediterranean, 2012
Emerald Princess, Baltics and Russia, 2011
HAL Nieuw Amsterdam, Caribbean, 2011
Ruby Princess, Caribbean, 2010
Diamond Princess, Alaska, 2009
Crown Princess, Caribbean, 2008
HAL Westerdam, Western Mediterranean, 2007
RCCL Mariner of the Seas, Caribbean, 2005
HAL Westerdam, Caribbean, 2002
Grand Princess, Caribbean, 2000

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#6
104,177 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Welcome to Cruise Critic.

HAL offers a 14 day Alaskan cruise on the Amsterdam -- port intensive. We did it and loved it.
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Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
#7
Oklahoma City, OK
11,246 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
To me, Alaska is more about the ports than the ship/line. The mass-marketed lines are more alike than they are different, though some typically appeal more to certain demographics. I would choose the ports you want to see and then narrow down the ships going to those. You will get much more "Alaska" on a one-way cruise (north to south, or the opposite), but we've not been able to work one of those in yet. You get more glacier days that way usually. I believe most one-ways are sailing out of Vancouver, which is a fantastic place to explore in itself.

If you are doing a one-way cruise, a land trip is possible as well. If you just want to show up and go with the crowd, Princess and HAL both have cruise/tour packages that are very popular. If you want to go at your own pace and do your own thing, that's also doable (we would be in this group because I don't like feeling like I'm in a herd of cattle, but some don't mind that).
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Carmen

Celebrity Galaxy 11/04
Grand Princess 2/06
Carnival Conquest 10/06
Celebrity Mercury to Alaska 9/07 very cool - literally!
Vegas, baby! 11/08
NCL Spirit 1/09, where everybody knew my name (which was strange and a little fun at the same time)
NCL Pearl 3/10
HAL Oosterdam 5/2011, back to Alaska we went!
RCCL Mariner OTS 3/2012 - another 1st!
NCL Star 12/2012 - more firsts!
NCL Jewel 12/2013 - Christmas on the water
NCL Jewel 11/2014 - and a few more firsts!
NCL Sun 5/2015 - North to Alaska, this time into Denali!
NCL Dawn 11/2015
NCL Dawn 11/2016. I'm really getting used to not cooking on Thanksgiving!
NCL Pearl 11/2017


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