Jump to content

Ok, I have to ask! Cruise Line Question!!!


Recommended Posts

I've done a fair amount of research on which cruise line we'd like to use for our Alaskan cruise but I feel like I haven't been able to narrow it down!  We sailed on the Disney Wonder a few years ago and it was AWESOME!  Budget this year doesn't allow for Disney again so I was looking for something as close to that experience as possible.  I'd love some opinions, I thought I had it narrowed down to NCL and Holland but then Celebrity and Princess sound good too!  We've also done multiple Caribbean cruises on Carnival and enjoyed them as well, just thought maybe we'd try someone different.  I've found cruises on all lines that have itineraries we like so that makes it harder to decide.  Thank you!

 

-Will be me, husband, parents, brother and girlfriend (ages 35-70)

- Enjoy good dining and drinks, don't mind eating in specialty restaurant once or so but would be nice if main dining was good

- Want a smaller ship like the Wonder and round trip from Seattle

- As much Inside Passage as possible

- As much time at ports as possible

- Shows aren't high on priority but things to do would be nice

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just looked it up.  The Disney Wonder is 2400 passengers.

 

I think that's bigger than most of the ships that hit Alaska.  

RT from Seattle means typically you go as far north as Juneau and return.

 

Sounds like Princess, Celebrity or HAL would work for you for food, and ships.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We've been to Alaska on NCL (Pearl in 2009) and Celebrity (Exclipse in August last year) and are headed there again in May (Emerald Princess). This will be our first experience of Princess.

 

We loved both of our previous trips and there's little to choose between them. NCL has slightly better shows and more specialty restaurants whereas Celebrity is a little more 'refined and relaxed', but both were great experiences.

 

If it matters, NCL serves Pepsi products now and Celebrity is Coke. I know it matters to some!

Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Jnsplace1 said:

Just looked it up.  The Disney Wonder is 2400 passengers.

 

I think that's bigger than most of the ships that hit Alaska.  

RT from Seattle means typically you go as far north as Juneau and return.

 

Sounds like Princess, Celebrity or HAL would work for you for food, and ships.

Thank you!  Yes, it does seem like most ships are smaller.  There were a few NCL ships that were larger with around the 4000 passenger mark but they also had itineraries we liked with smaller ships!

 

5 minutes ago, Guindalf said:

We've been to Alaska on NCL (Pearl in 2009) and Celebrity (Exclipse in August last year) and are headed there again in May (Emerald Princess). This will be our first experience of Princess.

 

We loved both of our previous trips and there's little to choose between them. NCL has slightly better shows and more specialty restaurants whereas Celebrity is a little more 'refined and relaxed', but both were great experiences.

 

If it matters, NCL serves Pepsi products now and Celebrity is Coke. I know it matters to some!

Thank you, I really appreciate it!  I thought we had settled on NCL but  then I started looking into Celebrity (but I am a Coke person haha!).  We get to leave our toddler with grandparents so maybe taking advantage of "refined and relaxed" will be a good idea!

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, darwinsrule said:

Don't forget to look at the port times for each of the ships.  You can like a ship, but if you aren't getting the time you want and need in the ports what is the point?

Definitely, thank you!  I was a little thrown off by a few port times at first compared to our first cruise on the Wonder but then realized the amount of time you still had in port and remembering how much lighter it was later.  Luckily most the cruise lines we are looking at have sailings with times and itineraries we like so just trying to nail down the best ships!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Princess Cruise will deploy its very small ship, 600 pax, the Pacific Princess to Alaska this season.  She was suppose to be deployed for Cuban cruises but politics nixed that plan.  She is old but in great shape. 100+ days aboard in 2019.    I think she may be the smallest ship, from the lines you listed, in Alaska this season.  

Edited by tcdcruiser
Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, tcdcruiser said:

Princess Cruise will deploy its very small ship, 600 pax, the Pacific Princess to Alaska this season.  She was suppose to be deployed for Cuban cruises but politics nixed that plan.  She is old but in great shape. 100+ days aboard in 2019.    I think she may be the smallest ship, from the lines you listed, in Alaska this season.  

Oh wow, that must be the smallest!  I'll have to look into that!

Link to post
Share on other sites

if you want to spend as much time as possible on the Inside Passage, look at RT VANCOUVER not Seattle. 

 

Ships from Vancouver travel between Vancouver Island and the mainland so it's more scenic and calmer waters.

Ships from Seattle travel on the west side of Vancouver Island, so it's basically open sea .... no scenery and the possibility of rougher waters.  Plus they make an evening stop in Victoria ...beautiful port but not enough time to do much.

 

I would also suggest an itinerary that includes Glacier Bay.

 

( If flights to YVR are pricey,  it's an easy drive of 150 miles, or take Quick Coach, Greyhound, Bolt Bus )

Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, mapleleaves said:

if you want to spend as much time as possible on the Inside Passage, look at RT VANCOUVER not Seattle. 

 

Ships from Vancouver travel between Vancouver Island and the mainland so it's more scenic and calmer waters.

Ships from Seattle travel on the west side of Vancouver Island, so it's basically open sea .... no scenery and the possibility of rougher waters.  Plus they make an evening stop in Victoria ...beautiful port but not enough time to do much.

 

I would also suggest an itinerary that includes Glacier Bay.

 

( If flights to YVR are pricey,  it's an easy drive of 150 miles, or take Quick Coach, Greyhound, Bolt Bus )

We did go out of Vancouver on our last cruise and loved it!  Those are really good points.  We started looking at Seattle because flights to Vancouver from southern California were MUCH higher but I didn't think about driving up!

Link to post
Share on other sites

If Vancouver is an option another option for you.  We booked HAL Koningsdam doing a RT for August 29th.  It isn't doing Glacier Bay, just Tracey Arm, but we haven't done Tracey yet so still thumbs up.  One of those weekend sales back in October for our Thanksgiving, was just too good to pass up (CAD at par with USD, kids sale free, $400 obc, free wifi, steakhouse, etc).  Worked out to be $4000 CAD, so $3k ish USD in an extended, extra large balcony which we will definitely be using.  Have never sailed HAL, however reading about it service should be at a similar level to DCL, food looks amazing online, and the port times are excellent. 

 

EDIT - Should have added that size wise Koningsdam is only a little bigger than Wonder.  As much as I loved NCL Getaway, we have zero desire to be on an -away+ class ship with that kind of passenger count.

 

As an FYI we just got back from our 3rd cruise on the Wonder.  Techically it was our first cruise 10 years ago, and now our latest.  We somehow have managed to do her every 5 years (also in 2015).  Love her, but would never pay the premium Disney wants for Alaska - its about the destination and I would rather have those dollars going to excursions and things that are really important. 

Edited by darwinsrule
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, darwinsrule said:

If Vancouver is an option another option for you.  We booked HAL Koningsdam doing a RT for August 29th.  It isn't doing Glacier Bay, just Tracey Arm, but we haven't done Tracey yet so still thumbs up.  One of those weekend sales back in October for our Thanksgiving, was just too good to pass up (CAD at par with USD, kids sale free, $400 obc, free wifi, steakhouse, etc).  Worked out to be $4000 CAD, so $3k ish USD in an extended, extra large balcony which we will definitely be using.  Have never sailed HAL, however reading about it service should be at a similar level to DCL, food looks amazing online, and the port times are excellent. 

 

EDIT - Should have added that size wise Koningsdam is only a little bigger than Wonder.  As much as I loved NCL Getaway, we have zero desire to be on an -away+ class ship with that kind of passenger count.

 

As an FYI we just got back from our 3rd cruise on the Wonder.  Techically it was our first cruise 10 years ago, and now our latest.  We somehow have managed to do her every 5 years (also in 2015).  Love her, but would never pay the premium Disney wants for Alaska - its about the destination and I would rather have those dollars going to excursions and things that are really important. 

That's a great deal you got and thanks for the info!  Vancouver airfare looks to be pretty expensive so that's the reasoning for Seattle but I'll need to take other expenses into account.  We were very lucky to do the Wonder to Alaska in 2013, got a great deal through my father's company who took a bunch of employees which is why we will be going with a different line this time!  We are definitely about the experiences on shore as well.

 

Have you sailed NCL before?  There is a sailing on the Sun which seems perfect (only 1900), the other sailings are on the Bliss which is pretty much a no go for us with the 4000 passenger count!

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have done Dawn to Bermuda, and Getaway twice on an Eastern Caribbean run.  We did have Jewel booked on the Noth-South Alaska run last summer but cancelled when the opportunity to do the Wonder's repositioning from San Juan to New Orleans came up (that was a couple of weeks ago).  The freestyle aspect of NCL is ideal for a trip like Alaska.  You don't want to be tied to set times because everything that is going on outside the ship is on its own schedule.  

 

We still have a Future Cruise Certificate we need to use with them and have no clue how or when we will will use it.  Sun is doing some longer trips isn't she? That alone makes it a serious contender in my mind.  Get as much time as you can in,  you will likely want to go back anyway but a couple of extra days now is cheaper than an entire new trip. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Redphotog said:

We did go out of Vancouver on our last cruise and loved it!  Those are really good points.  We started looking at Seattle because flights to Vancouver from southern California were MUCH higher but I didn't think about driving up!

Amtrak is an even better option than driving.

Link to post
Share on other sites

First cruise to Alaska?  Definitely consider an itinerary  that includes Glacier Bay!

 

I'm doing my 5th Alaska cruise (Ruby Princess) in Sept.  I'd planned to change things a bit & not go to Glacier Bay, but my adult kids (their 2nd time) quickly VETOED that idea.  Back to the Bay!

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, DRS/NC said:

First cruise to Alaska?  Definitely consider an itinerary  that includes Glacier Bay!

 

I'm doing my 5th Alaska cruise (Ruby Princess) in Sept.  I'd planned to change things a bit & not go to Glacier Bay, but my adult kids (their 2nd time) quickly VETOED that idea.  Back to the Bay!

We did Alaska in 2013 on the Disney Wonder.  We did Tracy Arm up to the Sawyer Glacier and it was incredible to maybe I will make sure the itinerary this time includes Glacier Bay!  I will look into Princess, thank you!

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Redphotog said:

. . . 

Have you sailed NCL before?  There is a sailing on the Sun which seems perfect (only 1900), the other sailings are on the Bliss which is pretty much a no go for us with the 4000 passenger count!

 

This year's Sun Alaska cruises are for 11 days, and she will sail through Hubbard Glacier, Glacier Bay and Endicott Arm. The ship is the perfect size. In May we will sail on her for the fourth time, third time to Alaska.

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Cruise_More_Often said:

 

This year's Sun Alaska cruises are for 11 days, and she will sail through Hubbard Glacier, Glacier Bay and Endicott Arm. The ship is the perfect size. In May we will sail on her for the fourth time, third time to Alaska.

Ugh I was really leaning towards NCL but we have to figure out if 11 days is too long even though that sounds amazing (leaving two year old with grandparents!).  The Sun does a 9 day which I was almost set on but then it looks like it doesn't do any glaciers which is a bummer!  I'd rather do a glacier day then the Icy Point stop...

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Redphotog said:

Ugh I was really leaning towards NCL but we have to figure out if 11 days is too long even though that sounds amazing (leaving two year old with grandparents!).  The Sun does a 9 day which I was almost set on but then it looks like it doesn't do any glaciers which is a bummer!  I'd rather do a glacier day then the Icy Point stop...

I actually enjoy ISP.  Great place to chill, enjoy the local scenary (it a small port town), and maybe do a small tour.  Some folks do the big zip line or the bear adventure.  This year I'm doing the whale tour.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Jnsplace1 said:

I actually enjoy ISP.  Great place to chill, enjoy the local scenary (it a small port town), and maybe do a small tour.  Some folks do the big zip line or the bear adventure.  This year I'm doing the whale tour.

Thank you, that's great to know!  I hadn't heard about it before and when I looked it up quickly I just quickly read it was privately owned so I did automatically assume it was mostly a tourist trap.  Thanks for the insight!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing to remember is that the Seattle cruises go around Vancouver island (aka open ocean), Vancouver cruises go inside between the island and the mainland in Canadian waters.  Going out of Seattle in 2017 both my DW and youngest DD were seasick overnight until mid afternoon the first day when we got back behind Haida Gwaii and the seas calmed down.  12 cruises and it is only time I have felt quesy, and that includes our Hurricane Irene experience on the Disney Dream in 2011. One of DW requirements in going back to Alaska again was that it had to be out of Vancouver. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
8 hours ago, SusieKIslandGirl said:

We ended up getting great airfares through the Princess EZ airfare program.  

agreed.  Plus the ability to move things around prior to payment is a nice option.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/22/2020 at 4:39 PM, Redphotog said:

Thank you, that's great to know!  I hadn't heard about it before and when I looked it up quickly I just quickly read it was privately owned so I did automatically assume it was mostly a tourist trap.  Thanks for the insight!

 

I don't think it is a tourist trap, just locally owned by the tribe. Its one of my favorite ports.

 

 

20190516_080631.thumb.jpg.2568a9d70d502ce1a03bc1adae9f755f.jpg

 

 

20190516_081357.thumb.jpg.b3ed0139281da9842db52b439a62be45.jpg

 

20190516_081418.thumb.jpg.84e04040e15ea7dcfbe4b7f15949b846.jpg

 

20190516_090512.thumb.jpg.5daa6da9f77dffb5a94e72644c90d9fb.jpg

 

 

20190516_090519.thumb.jpg.b02a0679022bf99d9536fd58f19f9b01.jpg

 

 

20190516_094421.thumb.jpg.f901086d817274dab25fd7b6325640af.jpg

 

20190516_124957.thumb.jpg.c1e827dcae612c10e2589b38e9c98447.jpg

 

20190516_131851.thumb.jpg.772baefeba9fb3a99faa655b0074669c.jpg

 

20190516_142800.thumb.jpg.c0ddcacaa6036d7cd93f14a036a49518.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with Barbara Muckermann, CMO Silversea Cruises
      • ICYM Our Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team: New Ship Ultramarine
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...