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Nosleepatall

"Select Royal Princess voyages may sail on the West side of Vancouver Island."

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Very disappointing to read that this is in fact what is happening right now on the first Royal cruise north of the season - they went west around Vancouver Island (reported in a different thread).  We planned our trip to leave out of Vancouver precisely to be able to sail through the Inside Passage vs. out to sea.  Perhaps I missed it but I don't recall seeing that disclaimer in the itinerary description when we booked in November.  I do believe it was marketed as an "inside passage" cruise.  Do any other ships that originate in Vancouver head west of Vancouver Island?

 

Is anyone currently on board Royal able to comment on this change in itinerary?  Was there any sort of announcement?  We are still excited about our upcoming trip and certainly won't let this spoil it but had really hoped to enjoy some beautiful scenery on that first full sea day instead of looking out at Pacific ocean from our portside balconies.  Many people have said that the Royal is just too big for Alaska - could this be the reason for the change in itinerary or was there any other specific reason given?  I'm just wondering if this is going to be the norm for the Royal.

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15 minutes ago, Nosleepatall said:

Very disappointing to read that this is in fact what is happening right now on the first Royal cruise north of the season - they went west around Vancouver Island (reported in a different thread).  We planned our trip to leave out of Vancouver precisely to be able to sail through the Inside Passage vs. out to sea.  Perhaps I missed it but I don't recall seeing that disclaimer in the itinerary description when we booked in November.  I do believe it was marketed as an "inside passage" cruise.  Do any other ships that originate in Vancouver head west of Vancouver Island?

 

Is anyone currently on board Royal able to comment on this change in itinerary?  Was there any sort of announcement?  We are still excited about our upcoming trip and certainly won't let this spoil it but had really hoped to enjoy some beautiful scenery on that first full sea day instead of looking out at Pacific ocean from our portside balconies.  Many people have said that the Royal is just too big for Alaska - could this be the reason for the change in itinerary or was there any other specific reason given?  I'm just wondering if this is going to be the norm for the Royal.

You may want to check out the post here entitled  “Alaska Pilots concern about Royal” as someone currently aboard is discussing this topic.

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Posted (edited)

Not that unusual.  Ships leaving from Seattle often go west around Vancouver Island, and then join the Inside Passage prior to Ketchikan.  The AlAska cruise will be great.  No worries!🙂🛳⛴🐋🐬🌈🛥🌝

Edited by Cruiserkenn

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Yes and that's why we paid the extra money to fly into Vancouver.  As I said, we'll still enjoy but would have been much cheaper to sail out of Seattle if we knew it would be the same experience.

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Yes, I am not a fan of the Royal and the other mega ships.  I do like the convenience of Seattle.  But still, at this point, do enjoy. Alaska will be great.

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It probably has to do with the times of the tides. Most of that inner passage is done in the middle of the night. By the time you get up in the morning you are in Queen Charlotte Sound with land in the distance. It will be a beautiful ride around Victoria. The important part is the return to Vancouver when you spend the last sea day going between Vancouver Island and the main land. 

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1 minute ago, Eileen G said:

The important part is the return to Vancouver when you spend the last sea day going between Vancouver Island and the main land. 

This first sailing was a northbound so unless someone is on for a B2B they won't get to see that on the last sea day. 

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Posted (edited)

We enjoyed our sail west of Vancouver Island (so far west you couldn't see V. I.) when we departed from SF for Alaska a few years ago.  The water was really flat giving a wonderful reflection of the sky near/at sunset our second day.  There were a few islands with hill/mountains to our northwest that evening and I've never been able to identify them--perhaps they're unoccupied.  The other interesting thing that happened was ducks emerging from the water near the ship's starboard side--took some photos of them, but never did identify them.  I'll look up those photos and post them.  We were on the Star P so had that lovely wraparound deck from which to observe the above.

Edited by BarbinMich

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Many of us warned people that this ship is not a good choice for Alaska. We did not know the exact route but I based on a dozen trips to Alaska - I could not imagine this ship would be a good choice for a variety of reasons. And I was not the only one who advised against this.

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2 hours ago, Nosleepatall said:

 I do believe it was marketed as an "inside passage" cruise.  Do any other ships that originate in Vancouver head west of Vancouver Island?

Inside passage is such a vague description.

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Posted (edited)

Here are a few of my photos, as promised, from our sailing to Alaska and going west of Vancouver Island.  The first photo was taken about 5 pm local time, the second about 6 pm, and the third about 6:30 pm.  Apologize for the fuzziness of the duck photo--I was on the starboard side, sun was setting on port side, so light was pretty low.

226056.jpg

226058.jpg

226071.jpg

Edited by BarbinMich

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Despite the change in paths to get to Alaska, the Royal is still a great ship. Friendly crew, amazing cruise director, and it has a great itinerary. I had breakfast overlooking Ketchikan this morning while sitting in the sun. Can't get better than that. 

IMG_4609.JPG

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Coral said:

Many of us warned people that this ship is not a good choice for Alaska. We did not know the exact route but I based on a dozen trips to Alaska - I could not imagine this ship would be a good choice for a variety of reasons. And I was not the only one who advised against this.

Feh.  It's just a day or so.  Rather like any missed port due to weather conditions but slightly better than a missed port.  If you know the drill, choose the smaller ships.  Problem solved.

 

Royal will be fine.  It'll have to.  Too many plans and itineraries otherwise.  As we say in our family, don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed. 

Edited by musicpro442

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OK, am I crazy?  Looking at the Princess web site and doing a general search on Alaska cruises for 6-8 days (all dates), I can't get any Royal cruises to come up unless I specifically add Royal Princess to the search criteria.  Am I doing something wrong?  If not, am I reading too much into this?  

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I believe all ships travel west around Vancouver island.  I also think that technically the inside passage doesn't start until you reach Alaska.  I have taken 3 trips  2 on the Star and one on the Grand (I think it was awhile ago) to Alaska and all started out going west around Vancouver Is.

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19 minutes ago, LessWorkMoreTravel said:

OK, am I crazy?  Looking at the Princess web site and doing a general search on Alaska cruises for 6-8 days (all dates), I can't get any Royal cruises to come up unless I specifically add Royal Princess to the search criteria.  Am I doing something wrong?  If not, am I reading too much into this?  

 

I put in just Alaska in destination and selected May June, July, Aug no other selections and got plenty of Royal.  If the itinerary is the same you will see multiple ships including Royal.

https://www.princess.com/find/searchResults.do

 

Watching this with interest as I board Royal on June 1.

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1 hour ago, idahospud said:

Despite the change in paths to get to Alaska, the Royal is still a great ship. Friendly crew, amazing cruise director, and it has a great itinerary. I had breakfast overlooking Ketchikan this morning while sitting in the sun. Can't get better than that. 

IMG_4609.JPG

 

Does Royal have to dock a bit outside the main part of town?

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On the 2 cruises we did out of Seattle, we went inside passage up and Pacific Ocean back. Smooth sailing the whole way.

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13 minutes ago, hpeabody said:

 

Does Royal have to dock a bit outside the main part of town?

We're at Berth 4. The farthest one from town but it's an easy, flat walk. 

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15 minutes ago, grg said:

I believe all ships travel west around Vancouver island.  I also think that technically the inside passage doesn't start until you reach Alaska.  I have taken 3 trips  2 on the Star and one on the Grand (I think it was awhile ago) to Alaska and all started out going west around Vancouver Is.

 

No and no. Every ship I've been on to/from Vancouver and every one I've tracked went east of Vancouver Island - Strait of Georgia, Seymour Narrows, Discovery Passage, Johnstone Strait, and Queen Charlotte Strait. Last year SB on Coral Princess, we were the middle ship of three going through Seymour Narrows at the time of the evening the tide allowed (all three ships arriving Vancouver the next morning).

 

North of Vancouver Island, the traditional Inside Passage (at least as we did on Sky Princess in 1993) includes the Lama Passage past Bella Bella, Laredo Sound, a passage between Aristazabal Island and  Princess Royal Island (an ironic name given this discussion), and then the Grenville Channel. After that, it was Chatham Sound by Prince Rupert before finally reaching Alaskan waters.

 

At least in you believe Wikipedia, the Inside Passage runs all the way from the south end of Puget Sound to Icy Strait (Glacier Bay is off of Icy Strait) where you have no choice but to go out on open ocean across the Gulf of Alaska to get to Whittier or Seward.

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Are cruise ships allowed to open the casino in the inside passage after leaving Vancouver?

 

I really don't know.

 

It looks like some of the straits between Vancouver Island and the BC mainland are pretty narrow and, I would assume, in Canadian Territorial waters.  I really do not know much about Canadian law, but can this be an issue?

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1 hour ago, XBGuy said:

Are cruise ships allowed to open the casino in the inside passage after leaving Vancouver?

 

I really don't know.

 

It looks like some of the straits between Vancouver Island and the BC mainland are pretty narrow and, I would assume, in Canadian Territorial waters.  I really do not know much about Canadian law, but can this be an issue?

Last year out of Vancouver the casino opened one hour after sailing. 

This week on the Royal it opened 90 minutes after sailing.

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19 hours ago, idahospud said:

Last year out of Vancouver the casino opened one hour after sailing. 

This week on the Royal it opened 90 minutes after sailing.

 

Interesting.

 

Thank you.

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With or without a disclaimer the ship can go any route, it is up to the captain and the conditions...

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