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Best Princess Ship to Alaska and Why?


doone
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Good morning Princess cruisers.  I am looking for the best Princess ship to Alaska, doing the land tour first and then the cruise.

 

I am a 3 star Mariner with Holland America, I have been wanting to give Princess a try for some time, but could never find a caribbean itinerary that would make me jump to Princess.  I have also sailed with Carnival and Norwegian.

 

 

With sailing to Alaska and HAL and Princess both do Alaska well, thought this may be the time to give them a try.  A must on the itinerary would be Glacier Bay for sure.  I was looking at Royal Princess but got a bit concerned when I heard a few times Juneau had been cancelled due to some type of tide situation, is this true?  

 

I am looking for everyone's expertise.  We are a group of 8 high school friends boarding to celebrate our 65 birthday's.   I would truly appreciate any advice you can give me to make our first Princess cruise great.

 

 

Edited by doone
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10 minutes ago, voljeep said:

many will post to not take the Royal Princess as it does not do the inside passage

 

many may post that seeing Glacier Bay is a MUST

 

what ships are you considering ?

Was considering Royal Princess.........good to know, I think both inside passage AND Glacier Bay are both a must.....

 

Coral Princess, friends were on that ship last year and said it needed a good refurbishment, thoughts??????  I have tried to stay away from the Coral because of that............

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I'm booking the Coral due to iteniary and reviews.  She seems to have been refurbished Jan of 2019.   

https://www.princess.com/ships-and-experience/ships/co-coral-princess/

 

I'm looking forward to the trip as it's the best of all worlds.  Inside, glacier, medium size ship, options for food/beverages, good reviews.

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2 minutes ago, Jnsplace1 said:

I'm booking the Coral due to iteniary and reviews.  She seems to have been refurbished Jan of 2019.   

https://www.princess.com/ships-and-experience/ships/co-coral-princess/

 

I'm looking forward to the trip as it's the best of all worlds.  Inside, glacier, medium size ship, options for food/beverages, good reviews.

Thank you good to know..................

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43 minutes ago, doone said:

Was considering Royal Princess.........good to know, I think both inside passage AND Glacier Bay are both a must.....

 

Coral Princess, friends were on that ship last year and said it needed a good refurbishment, thoughts??????  I have tried to stay away from the Coral because of that............


you were going to hear a lot of folks for the coral princess. All of those people are right, and your friends are wrong.

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47 minutes ago, Colo Cruiser said:

Then your work and our work is done!

Coral it is!  😁

Perfect, thanks for all your thoughts, you made a tough decision a little easier for us....................

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So, we are of the minority of Princess lovers... we did not care for the Coral and loved the Golden.

You did not say what year you are sailing? That also makes a difference on the available ships.

I think Golden is leaving the fleet next year? 

For US, the Coral did not offer common areas we loved, did not care the location and design

of the Horizon Court (buffet). The windows are slanted in and were almost always "foggy", 

due to high humidity (the Panama Canal full transit). The International Café was tiny and located

next to the smoky casino. Food was not as good as we experienced on other Princess ships.

And there are no aft balconies, however, the aft area does offer common viewing areas.

We loved the design of the Golden and yes, she may be tired, so that is also a consideration.

 

Let us know the year and we can see what ships are available. We have been to Alaska 4 times

and love it.

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20 minutes ago, nini said:

So, we are of the minority of Princess lovers... we did not care for the Coral and loved the Golden.

You did not say what year you are sailing? That also makes a difference on the available ships.

I think Golden is leaving the fleet next year? 

For US, the Coral did not offer common areas we loved, did not care the location and design

of the Horizon Court (buffet). The windows are slanted in and were almost always "foggy", 

due to high humidity (the Panama Canal full transit). The International Café was tiny and located

next to the smoky casino. Food was not as good as we experienced on other Princess ships.

And there are no aft balconies, however, the aft area does offer common viewing areas.

We loved the design of the Golden and yes, she may be tired, so that is also a consideration.

 

Let us know the year and we can see what ships are available. We have been to Alaska 4 times

and love it.

Its until 2022, so the itineraries are not out yet, just trying to get a feel for what people really like and don't like.  I really appreciate your opinion and I did hear that the Golden was sold or was for sale, so that makes sense.

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If you book the Coral, do yourselves a favor and grab The Sanctuary for Glacier Bay day. We just happened on it while touring the ship after boarding (our first cruise ever) and got the last 4 spots. It was our favorite day of the trip. The cost was a little extra but well worth it. Beautiful views and a great day of pampering!

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Our last cruise to AK was on the Star and I think it's well-suited for Alaska.  It's got a wraparound, covered promenade deck which worked out well IMHO at Glacier Bay:  easy to pop inside to warm up, they bring around free hot drinks, etc.

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14 minutes ago, greenie082756 said:

We are again going on the Golden to Alaska this August. 

That ship was our first experience with Princess and it was a lasting impression.  We wanted to sail on her 

one more time before she goes away.

 

We also booked the Golden, for June, it was our best ship in Alaska and we wanted to sail one more time before she moves over.

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5 hours ago, Colo Cruiser said:

Coral.

Best pass count.

Best outside deck viewing.

Several forward and aft viewing decks.

Best wide Promenade deck.

2 story Universe Lounge and the Princess Theater.

Agree 100%. Have been on the Golden, the Diamond (long time ago) and the Coral to Alaska. Also on HAL but Princess is a win for us.

 

Theo

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In Alaska we’ve been on the Star, Grand and Sapphire.  We did the California Coastal on the Golden.  She had just come out of a three week dry dock and was spiffed up.  We had no issues with her.  We also did a northbound Glacier Bay out of Vancouver on the Sapphire.  We love the Grand and will be sailing on her this fall on a 10 day Glacier Bay out of Vancouver.  As far as Alaska cruise special moments, it would be our first sea day out of Vancouver.  We were up early sitting on our balcony with coffee and it was magical.  We hope we get to relive it this fall.  I’ll sail Alaska anytime on any Princess ship.  Since we live on the west coast we go there as often as we can as we don’t care for warm weather ports.

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8 hours ago, Colo Cruiser said:

Coral.

Best pass count.

Best outside deck viewing.

Several forward and aft viewing decks.

Best wide Promenade deck.

2 story Universe Lounge and the Princess Theater.

 

Absolutely spot on. There is no question in my mind that, given the choice, Coral Princess wins hands down.  If you do sail Coral be sure to go early for On The Bayou in the Universe Lounge so you can get a good seat near the front. You won't find another show like it on Princess and the stage is specially made for the performance.

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Another Coral-lover here.  In addition to the splendid features already mentioned, add to that a lovely library with comfy chairs situated at large windows (my best orca sighting was sitting in one of those chairs as we were sailing out from Ketchikan), with a nice card room directly across on the port side of the ship, also with nice lovely large windows.  I actually prefer the Horizon Court at the front of the ship - yes the windows can be a bit foggy but the room configuration is good and in our opinion - easier to scout for seating.  Did someone mention the covered pool area, also with nice warm scenic viewing from the deck chairs there?  Nice place to sit while snacking on ice cream cones after dinner while you're sailing down one of the passages.

 

But whatever you choose, Alaska is wonderful so you'll have a great cruise!  (but even better if you cruise through the true inside passage into or out of Vancouver ...  😊)

Edited by LoriPhil
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1 hour ago, Coral said:

Coral Princess!

 

I would not book the Sanctuary. I find it an un-necessary cost.

 

There is plenty of viewing on Deck 7. Everyone goes up to top deck, go to Deck 7.

 

Decks 10 and 11 (Caribe and Baja) go all the way to the end of the corridor - both fore and aft - and out through the heavy door there to the forward and aft viewing decks. The forward decks have no furniture but the aft viewing decks have loungers. We book an OV on Baja all the way aft. In the picture Keith posted above you can see the window right next to the door that goes to the aft viewing deck. It's like having a huge balcony that is (usually) unoccupied. Of course on Glacier Bay day it would likely have folks but it's still less known than the upper decks and such. I totally agree about the great, wide, Promenade deck as well.

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