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Fishmonster5

Alaska on Princess or Holland America?

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Hi,

 

I am planning father/daughter cruise the first week of September. My dad is in his 70's quite active, loves fishing, enjoys the naturalists, evening production shows on the boat, and eating alaskan fish and seafood (hopefully they are on the menu). I enjoy the same things plus educational activities and the fitness center.

 

We are going to do a one way Alaska cruise (either Vancouver to Whittier/Seward or the reverse). Both Princess and Holland America offer the exact same itinerary on the same dates.

 

I am wondering which cruise line may be a better fit for the activities we enjoy and have a crowd that fits well for both of our ages. I have read that Holland America tends to attract older travelers but then I have also read that Alaska is an exception.

 

Has anyone been on both to Alaska or either? Any thoughts on which might be a better fit for us?

 

Thanks!

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Princess has a higher passenger average age than HAL, so there's that. I sailed Princess to Alaska. It seemed to me that there were more couples, mostly in the 60-70 year old range, on that cruise than there were on my HAL cruises. HAL seems to be more education oriented than the other cruise lines I've been on.

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Thanks, that is helpful. I may have had some bad information about the average age of HAL passengers.

 

Princess has a higher passenger average age than HAL, so there's that. I sailed Princess to Alaska. It seemed to me that there were more couples, mostly in the 60-70 year old range, on that cruise than there were on my HAL cruises. HAL seems to be more education oriented than the other cruise lines I've been on.

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We did Princess as they are the leaders. I have not been on HAL but from what I read they do tend to be an older more sedate demographic. We were in our early 40’s and our boys about 8 and 15. We went Memorial Day week and there were tons of families on board as well as couples our age to couples in their 80s. We really really enjoy Princess.

 

 

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We're big Princess fans. We just did our 14th and 15th trip to Alaska with them.

 

On my blog I did a "live from" on the northbound sailing of the Island Princess and the southbound sailing of the Golden Princess in May and June of this year. You might take a look there (here are May's postings) as in addition to the daily wrap-up I also have links to the Patters, the daily paper that details what is happening around the ship each day. They might give you an idea of what kinds of activities they have and whether Princess would be a good fit for you and your dad.

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I have gone to Alaska on Princess, RCI and Holland -- I would choose Princess over Holland. The Holland ship was much smaller than either of the others I had been on and I prefer the larger/mid-size ships. It was a good value but next time I'll go back to Princess or RCI.

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Princess has a higher passenger average age than HAL..

Actually, the opposite is true. HAL is known for it's older demographic...especially when compared to Princess. Of course, both lines will have a varied age group of passengers, but HAL's is typically older overall.

 

Princess does a great job in Alaska but I've heard that HAL does too. Probably won't go wrong with either.

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We're big Princess fans. We just did our 14th and 15th trip to Alaska with them.

 

 

 

On my blog I did a "live from" on the northbound sailing of the Island Princess and the southbound sailing of the Golden Princess in May and June of this year. You might take a look there (here are May's postings) as in addition to the daily wrap-up I also have links to the Patters, the daily paper that details what is happening around the ship each day. They might give you an idea of what kinds of activities they have and whether Princess would be a good fit for you and your dad.

 

 

 

I see you are from Boise and a “ reformed educator” :). I’m from north Idaho and a retired educator. I’m wondering where your next cruise will be? My email is bettty45 at gmail.com.

 

 

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I see you are from Boise and a “ reformed educator” :). I’m from north Idaho and a retired educator. I’m wondering where your next cruise will be? My email is bettty45 at gmail.com.

 

 

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We're heading out next week. Doing a "live from" on the Caribbean Princess Aug 18-Sept 8. Best way to celebrate not having to go back to school anymore!

 

When's your next one?

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We're heading out next week. Doing a "live from" on the Caribbean Princess Aug 18-Sept 8. Best way to celebrate not having to go back to school anymore!

 

When's your next one?

 

 

 

Our next is the Panama Canal after thanksgiving on Norwegian going east to west !!

 

 

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Actually, the opposite is true. HAL is known for it's older demographic...especially when compared to Princess. Of course, both lines will have a varied age group of passengers, but HAL's is typically older overall.

 

Not according to one of the ship's officers on my last HAL cruise. Princess, at the time anyway, had a slighter higher average age, taking into account all of their cruises.

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Not according to one of the ship's officers on my last HAL cruise. Princess, at the time anyway, had a slighter higher average age, taking into account all of their cruises.

Well, according to many, many Cruise Critic posters, HAL has the older demographic. My elderly parents only took 1 cruise (and it was on HAL) and dad called it a "floating nursing home." :')

 

I've sailed 100 days on Princess and most people are 40-60 yrs old....very similar to Celebrity.

 

But in regards to th OP's topic, both Princess and HAL have good Alaska cruise programs.

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HAL has been going to Alaska for 70 years and considered by many to be the best but the demographic is older and the ships smaller. I like the smaller ships especially as they tour Glacier Bay. The educational sessions are excellent if you like that sort of thing,

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;)

Well, according to many, many Cruise Critic posters, HAL has the older demographic. My elderly parents only took 1 cruise (and it was on HAL) and dad called it a "floating nursing home." :')

 

I've sailed 100 days on Princess and most people are 40-60 yrs old....very similar to Celebrity.

 

But in regards to th OP's topic, both Princess and HAL have good Alaska cruise programs.

Go-Bucks, your dad is funny. :D I’m sailing on HAL in a couple of weeks. This is my 2nd cruise the first was when I was much younger. I’m 58 and very active but I chose HAL because I thought I would like a smaller ship. Looking forward to a good time.

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These are two somewhat similar cruise lines. If you want to be educated about your surroundings and ports, Holland does the best job. Otherwise, look at what venues are offered on the respective lines. Do you like blues, Holland has a blues club. Etc.

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I've been to Alaska on HAL. I thought they did an excellent job explaining what we were seeing. A naturalist came on board for the time we were in Glacier Bay. I found that HAL in general had more activities suited to those who liked an enriching experience than the other cruises I've been on. But I've never been on a Princess cruise so I cannot compare. Does Princess go into Glacier Bay? Some cruise lines cannot. It's really worth seeing.

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I've been to Alaska on HAL. I thought they did an excellent job explaining what we were seeing. A naturalist came on board for the time we were in Glacier Bay. I found that HAL in general had more activities suited to those who liked an enriching experience than the other cruises I've been on. But I've never been on a Princess cruise so I cannot compare. Does Princess go into Glacier Bay? Some cruise lines cannot. It's really worth seeing.

Yes, Princess is one of the few allowed in Glacier Bay. They also own a train going up to Denali, along with lodges to stay in there and tour guides there. Princess does an excellent job in Alaska.

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We would select by ship, itinerary, time in port, and price. Both cruise lines are good. I would not be too concerned about logo on the funnel.

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We would select by ship, itinerary, time in port, and price. Both cruise lines are good. I would not be too concerned about logo on the funnel.

 

 

I agree with this philosophy, especially for Alaska. Itinerary and time in port are very important in Alaska. I have sailed with Princess and RCI in Alaska and would gladly go with either again. The Radiance of the Seas has a great itinerary. It does not include Glacier Bay (which some say is a must), but does include Hubbard Glacier and usually enough time in Juneau to go to Tracy Arm with Adventure Bound to see Sawyer Glaciers. We had no issues with getting to Sawyer or Hubbard last May, as some report can happen.

 

 

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FWIW, the OP has already sailed on the Norwegian Jewel. But maybe our opinions may help someone finding this thread in the future.

 

My take on HAL vs Princess for Alaska (or anywhere else) is: do you want to travel in a large room on a small ship, or a small room on a large ship. (This applies up to but not including Princess's MiniSuite, which is equivalent to a standard Verandah on HAL's ships.)

 

For us that has always tilted in HAL's favor. Until now (hat-tip to iancal): I just found a Princess itinerary that HAL has nothing like, at least in 2020: South Pacific RT from LA, our home port!

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On 10/1/2018 at 3:50 PM, Go-Bucks! said:

Yes, Princess is one of the few allowed in Glacier Bay. They also own a train going up to Denali, along with lodges to stay in there and tour guides there. Princess does an excellent job in Alaska.

HAL and Princess lodges at Denali are neighbors.  You can walk.from one to the other.  The town is across the highway from them.  HAL also has a dedicated train from Denali to Anchorage.  So far, it's a tie.

 

The Kenai Fjords National Park in Seward is the tiebreaker in my mind.  The boat tour from there was one of my top experiences ever.  Maybe 50 people on the boat, so we could get very close to things.  The captain took us to where the wildlife was, would circle in place or stop, as needed.  We saw dozens of orcas (they travel in packs of ten or so), humpback whale, grey whale, puffins, seals, glaciers.  Lunch on the boat.

 

Maybe you could get there from Whittier?  At Seward, it's a long walk or a short ride from the fjord cruise to the cruise ship and they'll handle the luggage.

Edited by Trueblueky
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