Which cruise line

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#2
SoCal
10,013 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by kayehall
RCCL or Princess for Alaska cruise???
It's a good idea to figure out what you want to see/do in Alaska, and the select based on itinerary. The actual cruiseline isn't quite as important.
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19 Cruises, 11 ships, 194 nights

#3
virginia
7,751 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
That is the question everyone asks.

Princess goes to Glacier Bay and everyone says that is the place to see. RCL does not. However, we took a cruise on the Radiance last season. We loved it. Here is a link to our cruise. I did a "Live report."

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1697232
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Previous Cruises:Carnival Ecstasy– July 2000: Mexico; Carnival Fantasy– August 2006: Bahamas; Carnival Pride –October 2009: Bahamas; Celebrity Constellation–March 2010: Panama Canal; Enchantment of the Seas–June 2010: Eastern Caribbean, September 2010: New England and Canada, March 2012: Southern Caribbean; Celebrity Mercury–November 2010 Eastern Caribbean and January 2011 Bahamas and Florida; Carnival Legend –April 2011: Western Caribbean; Radiance of the Seas--Alaska; August 2012, Explorer of the Seas--Bermuda: October 2012; Legend of the Seas –Transatlantic, October 2013; Brilliance of the Seas--North Atlantic TA: August 2014; Vision of the Seas--Southern Caribbean: November 2014; Serenade of the Seas--B2B Bahamas and Western Caribbean: March/April 2015; Southern Caribbean: November 2015; Grandeur of the Seas–June 2005: Bermuda, April 2013: Caribbean reposition cruise; March 2014: Western Caribbean, April 2016: Eastern Caribbean, July 2016: Bermuda/Bahamas, Harmony of The Seas-- October 2016: Transatlantic, Equinox-- .February 2017: Mardi Gras cruise
#5
24,971 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
I have done both and Princess was more impressive. I felt like RCCL just made stops at the ports and Princess did a lot of enrichment programs on the sailing about Alaska.
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#6
Philadelphia, PA
1,091 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
We have also done both and would recommend Princess. Royal Caribbean was a huge disappointment in Alaska. Princess has better itineraries and goes to Glacier Bay. Royal Caribbean can not go to Glacier Bay. If you go Southbound on Princess you can see both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier bay. Best itinerary out there.
#7
Binghamton, NY
1,079 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Now see, that's what I am talking about. I heard that Princess is an excellent product in Alaska. I would totally enjoy the enrichment programs.
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KAYE

#9
Shediac, NB, Canada
294 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
we went with Norwegian Cruise Line, did the Glacier ! We loved it very much !
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#10
374 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
You'll always get people passionate about almost any line. I've been in Alaska with RCI 3 times and Princess 3 times, and RCI has been much better quality, Princess is almost always cheaper now with good reason.
#11
438 Posts
Joined May 2003
Originally posted by huskyguy
You'll always get people passionate about almost any line. I've been in Alaska with RCI 3 times and Princess 3 times, and RCI has been much better quality, Princess is almost always cheaper now with good reason.
We have sailed both lines and think Princess has a better itinerary and does a better job in Alaska. We also prefer HAL to RCCL in Alaska. RCCL usually has higher rates as they give off the top discounts to their Crown and Anchor members based on the cabin and many times half of the ship or more is receiving hundreds off of their cabin.
#12
Portland Oregon
2,775 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
While not always an indication of how serious a line is about a destination is how many ships they bring to the party. Princess and HAL have by far the most ships in AK and offer the most cruises from both Seattle and Vancouver, OneWay and RT and all of their cruises include Glacier Bay and some one ways also do Hubbard Glacier and College Fjords. Princess was also the very first cruise line in the AK market, followed by HAL and the early founders of NCL - one reason these three lines have the spots in Glacier Bay.

Alaska is really what the cruise is about - most of the time you will be in sight of land and there is lots to explore in the ports - there is gold rush history, wildlife, and native culture.

You can choose between one way cruises with a land tour on either end, or a roundtrip from Seattle or Vancouver. So with so many choices, you need to decide what you want first, then find the lines that go there, I think between the two lines of your choice you will end up with Princess.
#13
USA
5,473 Posts
Joined May 2012
We have sailed on both cruiselines and enjoyed them both for different reasons.

Whichever you choose, you will have a great time. It's Alaska. Enjoy!
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#14
Binghamton, NY
1,079 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Confession, I am a Crown and Anchor member. Never been on Priness but have been impressed with the feedback on their product. I am leaning towards RCCL because I don't know the difference in the itneraries having never been there and I will probably get a discount of some type from RCCL
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KAYE

#15
Pittsburgh, PA
830 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
We picked our Alaska cruise (and most of our cruises) by itinerary. According to many, Glacier Bay is a must-see. But Glacier Bay is restricted to a limit on cruise ships, so only the long time Alaska lines like Princess and Holland America can get in.

I'm not sure what level C&A you are, but in our recent price comparison the cruises on HAL were significantly cheaper than RCI. Probably enough to make up any discount.
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#16
24,971 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by kayehall
Confession, I am a Crown and Anchor member. Never been on Priness but have been impressed with the feedback on their product. I am leaning towards RCCL because I don't know the difference in the itneraries having never been there and I will probably get a discount of some type from RCCL
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.
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#17
Bethlehem, PA
4,676 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
As an FYI - HAL offers 3rd and 4th passengers in a cabin free or for very little cost (taxes apply of course) on many if not all Alaskan sailings. We did three adults in an oceanview cabin on the Main deck on HAL's 14 day Alaskan itinerary (which, sadly is no more) in 2011. with the third person "free", we just totalled the amount and divided by 3 for an extremely nice per person cost - what a bargain!
#19
Binghamton, NY
1,079 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
I didn't think that I would like HAL but we could take my son free? That would be fantastic!!!
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KAYE

#20
Bethlehem, PA
4,676 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
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!

BTW - I've only ever sailed on HAL to AK. Please don't believe the very misguided impressions folks seem to have about HAL being for the geriatric set. Trust me - on every one of our AK sailings, there have been PLENTY of kids who all appeared to be having a fantastic time. We saw them doing a scavenger hunt, having their own pizza party in the Lido, even a movie night for the kids w/popcorn and ice cream later. During Glacier Bay sailing, there are programs for the kids to meet w/rangers to complete various "homework" type activities as well.

HAL's Kids Club is very well attended and there are plenty of activities related to Alaska, plus those enrichment programs they also have on Princess for the adults. Indoor hot tubs and a pool w/retractable roof that can be opened during good weather, also outdoor pools and hot tubs. Kids Club has its own "space" above the Lido deck that is a no adults zone.

The third and fourth person free or for a greatly reduced rate is an excellent offering and you could save big $$$ by taking advantage of it. My niece's fiance' - a 6 ft. guy, took the sofa bed on our sailing and said it was surprisingly comfortable. There is also the option of a drop down bed from the ceiling in cabins that sleep 4, if your child would prefer that "adventure."

I'm sounding like a HAL cheerleader, and I apologize, I just think you should check out their itineraries and the third person free rates before making your decision. Good luck. Whoever you sail with, Alaska is the star of the show and an amazing trip of a lifetime - perfect for kids of all ages! Enjoy, enjoy!