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texasskier

Ruby Princess vrs Eurodam or Oosterdam to AlaskaPrincess vrs

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Multi generation cruise to Alaska:  Any preference among these three ships?  Itineraries are very similar. All depart from Seattle which is easily reached from all western cities.  Similar costs as well.  Advice appreciated.

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Are the ports and port times (arrival and departure) exactly the same or sort of the same?  Makes a big difference.

 

DON

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We did the same cruise on the Ruby Princess last summer with 3 generations (7 passengers) ranging in age from 3 1/2 to 67.  My DH and I (the grandparents) had already done 2 Alaska Princess cruises out of Vancouver on the Coral Princess and had sailed other itineraries on the Ruby 3 or 4 times.  I can't compare it to the Eurodam or HAL because we've never sailed on them but I can tell you what everyone liked about the Ruby Princess:

  • Princess has wonderful special activities on their Alaska itineraries.  If you haven't checked them out already, go to https://www.princess.com/learn/cruise-destinations/alaska-cruises/onboard-experi  Sence/
  • We were able to reserve 3 contiguous mini suites (and open the balcony doors) including 2 that had a connecting door which was great (grandma and grandpa in one room, DD, DSIL and DGD in the other so DGD could visit without going out in the hall).
  • the staff was very, very attentive especially to our granddaughter.  We had barely boarded when an officer started talking to us and asked her 'What is your name?'  She replied Princess Ruby and every time we saw him throughout the cruise he asked "How are you today, Princess Ruby?"  She was so tickled.   The wait staff doted on her at every meal.
  • while we didn't use the kid's club, it did look lovely.  Maybe next time when she is older.

Whichever line you choose - have a great trip and make lots of great family memories!  I will warn you that if is the first time the grandchildren have cruised, you may be creating cruising enthusiasts.  When we told our granddaughter DH and I were going on a Princess cruise over Christmas, her first reaction was "On the Ruby Princess?"  When we said another ship she still got very insistent "I want to go too!"  She keeps asking when we will all cruise again.

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We only sailed on the Ruby once, and we loved her. Never have sailed on HAL, so I'm no help there. Any Alaska sailing that goes to Glacier Bay is fine with me.

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We are Platinum on Princess and it is our favorite cruise line. We have been on the Oosterdam

and refer to it as a "bucket of bolts". It was a very subdued crowd and became very quiet about 9:00 p.m.

I think the Ruby would have much more to do  the multi generations. 

We have also been on Celebrity.

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We cruised to Alaska with Princess on the Golden 5 years ago, and are going on the Ruby next summer, multi-generation both times. I did extensive research, and decided that Princess was the best fit. Their kids program is much better, and the general mood on Alaska cruises with Princess is very family friendly. A great mix of ages, terrific Alaska-themed programming etc. We were very happy with our experience (hence the repeat next summer!). 

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And don't forget that on the Ruby you'll have a lot more room in your cabin since they have removed the barrel chairs.  You can always bring on your own chair.

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or ask the room steward for a chair. 

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Just got back from my first HAL cruise in 15 years. I found it to be far superior to my 20 plus Princess cruises. Loved the smaller size ship.

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16 hours ago, victory2020 said:

Just got back from my first HAL cruise in 15 years. I found it to be far superior to my 20 plus Princess cruises. Loved the smaller size ship.

We've sailed both lines but more so on Princess (30 vs 7 on HAL).  Started on Celebrity and have done 11 cruises on that line.  Each cruise line has pluses and minuses.  HAL ships are smaller than those on Princess (excluding Pacific P):  1,900 pax on HAL's Zuiderdam; 3,600 on Royal Princess; 2,850 on Celebrity Eclipse.  [We've sailed on all three of those ships within the last few years.]  The Royal offers more activities than the other two because of its size; but all three offer many of the same activities. Food is always subjective, but we never went hungry on any cruise <g>.  A smaller ship offers a more intimate experience, i.e. less crowds (such as in the buffet, the showroom, getting on a tender, etc.).

 

We've sailed to Alaska on all three lines and the experience was similar.

 

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If there are teens or young adults, I’d go Princess because there will be more entertainment for them and a younger overall demographic.

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The grandsons will be four and five years old if it matters in choosing the ship.  Our son and daughter have been to Alaska several times but their spouses have not.Thanks for the pearls of knowledge.  Please add any other relevant info.  Also suggestions for  hotels the night before and after the cruise would be appreciated.

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22 minutes ago, texasskier said:

The grandsons will be four and five years old if it matters in choosing the ship.  Our son and daughter have been to Alaska several times but their spouses have not.Thanks for the pearls of knowledge.  Please add any other relevant info.  Also suggestions for  hotels the night before and after the cruise would be appreciated.

We stayed at the Homewood Suites Downtown about 1 1/2  miles south of the pier (a quick and cheap cab ride) and close the Space Needle and Chihuly gardens and 1 mile north of Pike Place Market (we walked to and from). It was an excellent hotel.  They even made sure one of our 3 rooms was ready when we returned after disembarkation at 8:45 am and told us to help ourselves to breakfast.    Since we were all traveling together from and to the airport with Shuttle Express who were very good.  

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If you are worried about the "barrel chair' - there is a sofa or loveseat in every room(depending on the category of room ). I found it very convenient when getting room service in the morning( also superior to Princess). 

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Your decision is basically between the smaller, "more settled" demographics of the HAL ships and the larger, "less settled, but not a bunch of all folks" demographics of the Princess. We have sailed on all three of those ships, two of them more than once, and what I wrote above is a gross exaggeration, but you  have to start somewhere.

 

I do not think you could go wrong on any of those ships, no matter what the ages of your family members. If you have toddlers that might be different. But IMO, you might look more at the itinerary, cabin and cost among those three and pick one. We usually sail Princess, but HAL is among the top 3 of our favorite cruise lines. The older we get (70s), the smaller and "more refined" we like our ships. We are much less concerned with the shipboard activities, itinerary (assuming it's Alaska/Caribbean/Mexico <international is different>). We are more interested in the niceties of the cabin, decor of the ship, food reviews.

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On 8/16/2019 at 8:28 PM, victory2020 said:

Just got back from my first HAL cruise in 15 years. I found it to be far superior to my 20 plus Princess cruises. Loved the smaller size ship.

Princess has smaller size ships, as well.

 

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