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We usually go on Royal but have been on several X cruise.  Don't know much about X ships.  Which would you choose, Eclipse, Solstice or Millennium for  a summer Alaska cruise?

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I think the question is whether you like a larger ship (S-Class) with more specialty dining and passengers or a smaller M-Class that is more intimate but lacks some of the amenities of the S-Class.  

 

Millennium has already gone through dry dock last year while Eclipse and Solstice are not schedule for their upgrade for about a year or more. 

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Even though we live in Alaska we do Alaska cruises periodically -- which other passengers find VERY amusing.  We have done the Celebrity itineraries out of Seattle, Vancouver and Seward.  In my opinion, the best itinerary is the Vancouver - Seward itinerary (in either direction).  So that means that I would chose the Millennium.

 

The Eclipse and Solstice are both S-class ships, so are larger than the Millennium which is a M-class ship.  While some Celebrity cruisers have a preference between the classes of ships I find that both have their plusses and minuses.  We are itinerary driven, so make decisions based on itinerary.

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Millennium solely because the trip from Vancouver to Seward (or reversed) is better IMHO especially if you are looking to see as much of Alaska as possible. We did this trip a few years ago from Seward to Vancouver and paired it with a land trip in Alaska on the front end. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. For Alaska we always look to where the ship is going versus the class as it really is about the ports.

Edited by prim8keeper

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We've been on 2 Alaska cruises. All 3 of these cruises are a good choice because they all include Hubbard Glacier, which is awesome. Alaska cruises are very tiring because you have lots of daylight hours, so 

 

My 1st choice would  be Millennium- The M has already been refreshed. Since this itinerary is from Vancouver to Seward (or reverse) the ship travels through the inside passage and since it's an open-jaw you get the additional stop in Skagway. This itinerary has nice long port hrs in Juneau and Icy Straight, so you can do more than 1 excursion if you have the $ and energy to do so. Even enough time to go back on ship for dinner, then off to do something else. If you have the time you can also plan a couple of extra pre/post cruise days on both ends.

 

2nd choice Eclipse- because it's out/in Vancouver the ship travels through the inside passage, which is calm and beautiful. Also has decent port hrs, but not as long as Millennium.

 

3rd choice Solstice- starts and ends the trip on the Pacific side of Victoria and it can sometimes be turbulent in that area. Some people prefer flying in and out of Seattle so that is also a factor to consider

Edited by kathynorth

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We sailed Solstice  in August 2019 and really enjoyed the Martini Bar area along with Cafe Al Bacio ( I think that is name)  Otherwise we were enjoying our excursions.  

 

For sure, though, itinerary is very important to make sure you get to the ports of call that provide the sights/excursions you want.

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1 hour ago, kathynorth said:

We've been on 2 Alaska cruises. All 3 of these cruises are a good choice because they all include Hubbard Glacier, which is awesome. Alaska cruises are very tiring because you have lots of daylight hours, so 

 

 

 

The Solstice  cruise does not include the Hubbard Glacier.   

 

I would choose the Eclipse which represents a good combination of ports and relative ease of getting to Vancouver.  It may be more convenient departing from Seattle on Solstice but I prefer the itinerary leaving from Vancouver.  Can't go wrong either way.

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1 minute ago, keesar said:

 

The Solstice  cruise does not include the Hubbard Glacier.   

 

Sorry, my error. The Solstice cruises up the Endicott Arm. 

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We choose Eclipse since in May 2021 they are doing a 9 night inside passage.  Going to get  to see more ports then just the normal 7 night plus it should be coming out of refurbishment right about then. 

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4 hours ago, prim8keeper said:

Millennium solely because the trip from Vancouver to Seward (or reversed) is better IMHO especially if you are looking to see as much of Alaska as possible. We did this trip a few years ago from Seward to Vancouver and paired it with a land trip in Alaska on the front end. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. For Alaska we always look to where the ship is going versus the class as it really is about the ports.

 

Emphasis mine.  I wholeheartedly agree.

 

My wife and I did did that itinerary (north bound) in 2016 for our 20th anniversary.  We loved every moment.  We did the land portion afterwards though.  To date one of our best vacations ever.

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Think about a southbound from Seward with a couple of days in the Anchorage area.

You get to enjoy Hubbard Glacier in the afternoon when the chance of fog is less. The ship does a slow 360 and might get farther into the glacial bay depending on conditions. We have been close to the walls and farther out so it depends but either way it's extraordinary.

As the cruise comes to an end in Vancouver - another city worth days of exploration, you will be 1,300 miles closer to home. Transfer to the YVR airport is faster/easier than from Seward to Anchorage if you have to return to Ohio. The Anchorage airport is a snap but the train or bus ride there before a long flight is another issue.

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I would do whatever ship sails to or from Vancouver so that you get the inside passage which, if this is your first Alaska Cruise, is beautiful. Most cruises from Seattle miss the inside passage because they sail on the western side of Vancouver Island and stop in Victoria for their one required foreign port. We did our first Alaska cruise last year with HAL from Vancouver to Seaward and loved every minute of the trip.

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6 hours ago, terrydtx said:

I would do whatever ship sails to or from Vancouver so that you get the inside passage which, if this is your first Alaska Cruise, is beautiful. Most cruises from Seattle miss the inside passage because they sail on the western side of Vancouver Island and stop in Victoria for their one required foreign port. We did our first Alaska cruise last year with HAL from Vancouver to Seaward and loved every minute of the trip.

 

Amen to this! We have done 8 Alaska cruises (we live in Seattle and can jump on board like those that live in Florida can to go Miami or FLL). Four from SEA and four from Vancouver. All the Vancouver ones have been better. I can't tell you how much better the Canadian Inside Passage is.

 

Another thing to think about. Millennium only does one-way trips. This means you will either need to fly to Alaska and board in Seward and then sail to Vancouver or sail to Seward and then fly home from Alaska. Alaska flights can be very spendy. 

 

Best value of all is to fly to Seattle (cheapest flights) then take the train to Vancouver, spend the night and board Eclipse there for the round trip. That way you get to see a little of Seattle and Vancouver (both awesome cities). Plus, everything in Canada is 35% off (exchange rate). 

 

Also, Eclipse does Hubbard Glacier which is the second best in Alaska (Glacier Bay has many more glaciers and is an entire day). 

 

Jim

Edited by DrKoob

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