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What is your favorite princess ship for Alaska?


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You're trying to decide what cruise line to take for upcoming Alaska cruise(7 days).

 

We've only been on the Grand and Golden Princess: those of you who have sailed to Alaska what is your favorite ship and why?

 

 

 

Thanks!

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Coral or Island Princess, preferably the Coral Princess. These ships are actually longer than the Grand-class ships but are narrower and have a lot fewer passengers at less then 2,000. Their passenger/space ratio is excellent. They both have public deck areas both forward and aft for excellent scenery viewing. The Coral Princess has been updated with the International Cafe whereas the Island Princess hasn't yet been updated.

 

Whichever line you choose, pick an itinerary that goes to Glacier Bay as that's where the most spectacular scenery and glacier viewing is. Some lines aren't permitted to sail into National Park Service areas. Princess and HAL are.

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Coral or Island Princess, preferably the Coral Princess. These ships are actually longer than the Grand-class ships but are narrower and have a lot fewer passengers at less then 2,000. Their passenger/space ratio is excellent. They both have public deck areas both forward and aft for excellent scenery viewing. The Coral Princess has been updated with the International Cafe whereas the Island Princess hasn't yet been updated.

 

Whichever line you choose, pick an itinerary that goes to Glacier Bay as that's where the most spectacular scenery and glacier viewing is. Some lines aren't permitted to sail into National Park Service areas. Princess and HAL are.

 

The National Park area sounds fascinating! Have you sailed Holland America as well? Going to check out the coral princess tonight.

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The National Park area sounds fascinating! Have you sailed Holland America as well? Going to check out the coral princess tonight.
Yes. I'm a 3-star Mariner on HAL. You can't go wrong with either Princess or HAL in Alaska. HAL generally has an older demographic, even in Alaska, and there usually isn't as good entertainment nor as much variety as Princess. But they have smaller ships with fewer passengers, cabins are generally larger with many having a small couch in the cabin rather than just a chair, etc. HAL bathrooms are generally larger than Princess.
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Coral or Island Princess, preferably the Coral Princess. These ships are actually longer than the Grand-class ships but are narrower and have a lot fewer passengers at less then 2,000. Their passenger/space ratio is excellent. They both have public deck areas both forward and aft for excellent scenery viewing. The Coral Princess has been updated with the International Cafe whereas the Island Princess hasn't yet been updated.

 

Whichever line you choose, pick an itinerary that goes to Glacier Bay as that's where the most spectacular scenery and glacier viewing is. Some lines aren't permitted to sail into National Park Service areas. Princess and HAL are.

 

Ditto!!! We love the Coral. It's a beautiful ship and a nice size. We sailed on her to Alaska and Panama Canal.

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The 14 day Alaska cruise on the Tahitian Princess that we took was the best. It was it's last cruise before it got "redone" and also got a new name. We've done the Sapphire, Dawn, Sea, and Grand and one other I don't recall which one. I loved Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm but best of all was Icy Strait. All the cruises have been great but the smaller ships can get closer.

 

Cruisin Oldies

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There is one major flaw with the Pacific Princess which frustrates many passengers. There is absolutely no forward view, and thus picture taking, without trying to see through very thick glass. The wind breaking glass towers over your head, and is often covered in morning dew, dried salt spray or bird poop. There is also limited side viewing without glass panels as well. The other ships in Princess's fleet and all of Holland America's have fantastic viewing opportunities.

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There is one major flaw with the Pacific Princess which frustrates many passengers. There is absolutely no forward view, and thus picture taking, without trying to see through very thick glass. The wind breaking glass towers over your head, and is often covered in morning dew, dried salt spray or bird poop. There is also limited side viewing without glass panels as well. The other ships in Princess's fleet and all of Holland America's have fantastic viewing opportunities.

 

Just make friends with someone in one of the forward suites.:eek::D Ok, just kidding. I will post a review of our upcoming Alaska on Pacific, warts and all. BTW, I love your list of ships sailed. Some great ones in there.:D

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No votes for the Crown? I'm doing a 7 night southern this August on that ship. It seemed fine in the Mediterranean. Too big or new to Alaska?

 

We did the Crown in Canada NE (a cooler climate cruise) and it was pretty crowded. It carries an extra deck of passengers compared to Grand class and the pool isn't covered. I would worry about it seeming crowded in Alaska also. Just my opinion. This is my least favorite ship of all the Princess ships I have been on.

 

I also vote for Coral or Island Princess.

Edited by Coral
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Coral or Island Princess, preferably the Coral Princess. These ships are actually longer than the Grand-class ships but are narrower and have a lot fewer passengers at less then 2,000. Their passenger/space ratio is excellent. They both have public deck areas both forward and aft for excellent scenery viewing. The Coral Princess has been updated with the International Cafe whereas the Island Princess hasn't yet been updated.

 

Whichever line you choose, pick an itinerary that goes to Glacier Bay as that's where the most spectacular scenery and glacier viewing is. Some lines aren't permitted to sail into National Park Service areas. Princess and HAL are.

 

Slam dunk..hands down these two sister ships are the only way to go.

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I think the smallest Princess or Hal ships are best for Alaska. I would also try to see more of Alaska than just the inside passage. The Coral and Island are both excellent choises but if the Pacific is doing a longer cruise that would be my first choice.

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No votes for the Crown? I'm doing a 7 night southern this August on that ship. It seemed fine in the Mediterranean. Too big or new to Alaska?
The negatives to the Crown Princess IMHO are: no covered pool area and no forward or aft public viewing decks. The reason why no covered pool is an issue is that if it's raining or cold, passengers have no place to go other than inside which makes the ship feel very crowded. They tend to stake out a table in the HC and stay there all day. Other than Promenade deck, there are few good viewing areas although Skywalkers is a good place or even the Adagio Lounge where you can relax comfortable and pop out to the small deck that's immediately outside the Adagio and Sabatini's.

 

The Crown isn't a bad choice but I don't think it's the best.

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I love the Coral and am booked for an Alaskan cruise this year. The only drawback is her one way voyages, making flight arrangements difficult (but not impossible). I do like the Golden, although there are not the amount of public viewing spaces as the Coral.

 

Do your homework and compare total price point, including air and transfers. It's a lovely cruise.

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Crown would be hard to position for the Alaska cruise season; its mostly Panamax ships that can do the seasonal canal crossings. When the new locks are completed maybe we'll see some bigger ships? I'd rather do Alaskan ports on a small ship; sure looking forward to being back on the Coral for our land/sea vacation later this year.

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Unca Pete: The Crown is already on the west coast and will be doing Alaska cruises starting next month! The Ruby (Crown sister ship) will be coming next year for Alaska as well.

 

I plan on going on the Crown this coming October for a coastal cruise, but I (along with others on CC) don't understand why they would put ships without indoor pools in Alaska (like the Ruby and Crown). On that same note I don't understand whey they would build all their newest ships without indoor pools and continue to sail them in cooler weather locations. I love the indoor pools on the original 5 Grand class ships (7 if you include Coral and Island). With all the great pool options Princess offers, an indoor venue works so well with the older ships...don't understand why they did away with it on the newer builds.

 

It also doesn't make sense why they moved the Sapphire along with the Diamond to Asia. I've heard the argument that since the Sapphire and Diamond were built in Japan, it makes sense to keep them in Asia. That argument makes no sense to me...most all Grand Class type ships are pretty similar and their differences have no bearing on where the ship was built. Besides, why would you want almost identical sister ships in the same region of the World? It would seem to me that it might give people an extra reason to take another cruise if they had different options to pick from instead of (almost) identical ships. Of course, with the Diamond's latest refurbs, maybe it will be different enough. I personally love taking different ships and don't necessarily care to repeat ships that often (although looking at my cruise history might make you think otherwise).

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