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portcbob

Is norwegian bliss a good choice for Alaskan cruise??

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Hi fellow ncl cruisers. We are a couple of aussie cruisers who are considering one of our bucket list cruises, to alaska. 

We always were told that princess was the way to go however after seeing a clip of the norwegian bliss and particularly with the present perks available with ncl. We now have the scales tipped in favor of bliss. 

We were considering star princess from san fran without glacier bay or the 7 nighter from seattle on ncl bliss with glacier bay.

Which would you choose please and why???

Kind regards Bob. 

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Hi Bob, just off the Bliss. I think they made the Bliss for Alaska cruises way more than the warmer climates. The observation lounge alone would be unbelievable to set up camp and watch the glaciers go by. Super cozy with floor to ceiling views. I've never been on princess before but i'd find it hard to believe theres a better boat with better viewing areas.

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I am not a fan of the away and away+ ships like the Bliss and prefer the Jewel class ships. I am not sure which one is going to do the Vancouver BC to Steward AK 7 day one way or 14 day B2B RT.

 

In AK you spend only a limited time at sea - the first 1.5 days and the next to the last day - the rest of the time you are in ports so I am not really sure how much of the "extras" you would be able to enjoy.

 

Of the Joy and Bliss I believe that the Bliss visits Glacier Bay and Skagway - IMHO two not to miss things in AK.

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1 hour ago, bonvoyagie said:

I am not a fan of the away and away+ ships like the Bliss and prefer the Jewel class ships. I am not sure which one is going to do the Vancouver BC to Steward AK 7 day one way or 14 day B2B RT.

 

In AK you spend only a limited time at sea - the first 1.5 days and the next to the last day - the rest of the time you are in ports so I am not really sure how much of the "extras" you would be able to enjoy.

 

Of the Joy and Bliss I believe that the Bliss visits Glacier Bay and Skagway - IMHO two not to miss things in AK.

 

I believe what I have seen in the schedule is the BLISS and the JOY are going to do rotating Seattle closed loop cruises

with an occasional port visit to Vancouver (tides permitting) -

The JEWEL will be doing the full enchilada Vancouver-Anchorage (Seward) and return.

How much the OP wants to see Alaska and budget permitting - the JEWEL offers more options of post-pre land tour

packages (7 day cruises with 3-4-5 land packages think Mt. Denali).

The BLISS and the JOY are -AWAY+ class ships - the JEWEL is smaller - half the size of these amusement parks ships.

That Princess ship the Star Princess is slightly larger than the NCL JEWEL but smaller than the BLISS.

 

Yes Princess and Holland-America offer more options than NCL but these are more expensive and not of the character

FreeStyle NCL cruises.

Just about everyone cruising Alaska hits the three major ports Ketchikan Juneau and Skagway - Holland-America

does Sitka - NCL does Icy Strait Point - some other cruises port call at B.C. Prince Rupert and Nanaimo -

Victoria is a required port call for USA origin destination cruises (PVSA)

Alaska is more than Glaciers - the interior (Mt. Denali and the Alaska Railroad are awesome adventures).

There is no one cruise that does all the Glaciers - read the details of your cruise.

 

For the OP sailing out of San Francisco involves at least a SEA day going and returning from B.C./Alaska and

one more transiting the length of Vancouver Island - not a port intensive cruise by any means.

 

Consider the perks promos OBC beverage and dining packages - the total offering that the cruise lines are making

to entice you into booking with them - this is the NCL forum and is thus prejudice in that respect.

 

The OP are your travel plans going and returning from Australia with regard to this Alaska cruise ?

 

There are no wrong cruise representations here just better ways to put a package together "More Bang for the Buck" !

 

 

Edited by don't-use-real-name
correct add data

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Did the jewel last time to Alaska if this is your first time go bliss itenery over joy due to only glascier bay and skagway.

This time I'm looking at Holland America which has less boat activities but they go to Sitka .

Like most stated you won't have allot if ship time like summer location cruises . Alaska cruises are more about the constant sites over ship activities in my opinion.

The slight cost difference in joy and bliss I would pick bliss  if you never been. U should start with skagway and glacier Bay or like I said look at Holland America eurodam sitcka and glacier Bay. But I hear the ships are allot more relaxed ( boring)

 

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NCL is usually my first choice for cruising. However, if the only ships NCL has sailing to Alaska are on the larger side, I would choose another cruise line. We sailed Alaska on the Sun and loved being able to get into ports that the larger ships could not. The  Sun was able to get closer to the glaciers and we had no need for binoculars to watch glaciers calving.

That being said, a larger ship may be better for you if you enjoy using lots of ship amenities. Consider the things that matter most to you and you will make the right choice. Enjoy your sailing! Alaska is beautiful!

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For what it's worth, we cruised to Alaska twice, once on Celebrity (September 2011) and once on NCL Bliss (September 2018). The Bliss is a gorgeous ship, especially for Alaska, no question.  Frankly, my issue with our cruise (RT from Seattle) was I didn't feel like we had very much time in each port, which, in my opinion, is the reason to go to Alaska.  The Celebrity cruise we did had MUCH longer times in port, so we were able to do excursions and then still walk around a bit and shop in each port.  On the Bliss, we could do excursions but that was it.  For example, we were in Juneau from 7am to 2pm only.  Not really much time to do anything.  Again, just my two cents--it's the one thing that stood out to me between our two Alaska experiences.

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The Bliss has some terrible port times. ie Ketchikan 6am to 1pm.   Doesn't leave much time for any sightseeing.  Realistically what time do you think you'll be showered, fed, and off the ship,  only  to be back on board at noon ???

 

If it has to be NCL (or any line), look at Vancouver departures instead.  Actually Vancouver is a superior route  in that the ships sail between the mainland and Vancouver Island, so it's more scenic and calmer waters. Seattle departures sail on the west side of Vancouver Island so open seas and more chance of rough water. 

 

Regardless of which line or itinerary, look carefully at port times. Make sure you have enough time for planned activities.

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Thanks guys for all your excellent answers. Didn't think to look at the port times. I'll now do some researching of the port times and perhaps cruises from vancouver. 

Yes, we will be coming and going from brisbane, Australia. 

 

Kind regards Bob. 😁

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Just one question. 

While I'm researching is glacier bay a Must in the itinerary so I can discount all other cruises without gb??

cheers Bob. 

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Is it out ? I don't think so but it is one if the best must see for first cruise to Alaska for most people. 

The Holland America cruise I mentioned is larger cabins for less cost also if that helps.

Not sure your age but like I stated they claim to be an older crowd I'm in my 40s but still considering it.

 

If you can go from Vancouver they do go much better route. For me Seattle is only option

 

 

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2 hours ago, portcbob said:

Just one question. 

While I'm researching is glacier bay a Must in the itinerary so I can discount all other cruises without gb??

cheers Bob. 

Everyone says that Glacier Bay is a must see.  This is one of the reasons that HAL and Princess are popular, they have most of the Glacier Bay stops covered.  NCL does have some, however. 

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For my family, the Bliss is a good choice for Alaska. I've been trying to convince DH and DD (15) that we should go on an Alaskan cruise for the past few years. They are warm weather vacationers (as am I, for the most part), so it was a tough sell. I really want to see Glacier Bay, but I'm not really interested in sailing with Princess or HAL at this point in time. And DH and DD really only want to sail on newer ships with bells and whistles, good places to eat, etc. The fact that Bliss and RCCL's Ovation of the Seas are sailing to Alaska now was a game changer for us. We've really enjoyed our RCCL cruises, but we ruled out Ovation pretty quickly since that itinerary does not include either GB or Ketchikan. Are the Bliss port times ideal? No, but we can make them work. Three stops in Alaska + GB, along with the many cool features of the ship, make Bliss the right combination of ship and itinerary for us.

Edited by LisaLisa87

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17 hours ago, portcbob said:

Hi fellow ncl cruisers. We are a couple of aussie cruisers who are considering one of our bucket list cruises, to alaska. 

We always were told that princess was the way to go however after seeing a clip of the norwegian bliss and particularly with the present perks available with ncl. We now have the scales tipped in favor of bliss. 

We were considering star princess from san fran without glacier bay or the 7 nighter from seattle on ncl bliss with glacier bay.

Which would you choose please and why???

Kind regards Bob. 

Bob,  

 

Never been on Princess so I have no way to compare. But which ever cruise you decide you should make sure to see Glacier Bay. Its one of those places on earth like no other. No pictures, videos or stories can do it justice. It is a must see.

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