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HAL Eurodam Vs. Princess Emerald?


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Since June 2023 rates are not out yet I was researching 2022 to see what ships leave out of Seattle. Of these two ships, does anyone have any pros or cons? DH is a spa guy and both of these look like they have decent spas and plenty of pools on both also (not that I am expecting to be in them that often due sightseeing). I even looked at what shore excursions each cruise line has and they look similar is offerings and prices. 

 

Do I need to consider buying "spa passes" for either of these lines for DH to be able to enjoy the spa? I mean, I know messages are extra both they both seem to look like they have a separate spa pool.  I sailed HAL as a child and don't remember much about it so please consider these questions from a "newbie" on both these lines. We mostly travel Carnival but since my research pointed towards Princess and HAL I thought I would ask the experts, Thank you!

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Yes, in order to use the thermal suites, you will need to pay for spa passes. I believe both ships have included saunas in the locker rooms that can be used with no passes. 

 

Don't look too much into the pools. Remember, its cold in Alaska. 

 

For Alaska, look at itinerary first. Do both ships go to the same ports? Make your decision on that.

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4 minutes ago, 1025cruise said:

Yes, in order to use the thermal suites, you will need to pay for spa passes. I believe both ships have included saunas in the locker rooms that can be used with no passes. 

 

Don't look too much into the pools. Remember, its cold in Alaska. 

 

For Alaska, look at itinerary first. Do both ships go to the same ports? Make your decision on that.

 Thank you for the information. I JUST posted on the Princess Board also asking about all things Emerald. I might do a similar post on the HAL board as well for the Eurodam.

 

Yes, they both have the same itinerary and the same port excursions. I'm just on the fence about the ships. As far as the pools, I was more thinking DS (17 at the time of sailing) would appreciate  a dip in the pool.  

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When I cruised to Alaska, it was too cold for the pools. I don't remember if the Emerald has a covered pool or not. Remember, this is not a Caribbean cruise.

 

In terms of excursions, look through this board. A lot of people book their own stuff.

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1 minute ago, 1025cruise said:

When I cruised to Alaska, it was too cold for the pools. I don't remember if the Emerald has a covered pool or not. Remember, this is not a Caribbean cruise.

 

In terms of excursions, look through this board. A lot of people book their own stuff.

HAL has covered pools on all of their ships.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I know this post has been up for a while, but I've been looking at these 2 ships as well. I've been to Alaska on the Eurodam once, and it was amazing. I may book that again. The Emerald Princess is quite a bit bigger, I think about a 1000 more people. I don't think every trip on the Emerald Princess gets to cruise Glacier Bay, which was a highlight on our previous trip. We were not that in to the entertainment on the Eurodam, but the trip is port intensive, and we struggled with the time change so we didn't stay up too late. The roof was closed over the pool on the Eurodam, but I didn't see too many people swimming. 

 

I'm also looking at the Norwegian Sun, We like smaller ships and it is about the same size as the Eurodam.

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  • 2 weeks later...

GIVE ME PRINCESS ANY DAY!!! "Mature" on HAL means nothing happening after 8:00 pm

Princess has fantastic nature commentators who will be on the loudspeakers when sailing

in a glacier. We were on HAL once and the ship was only 5 years old at the time. It was like

a bucket of bolts. Anyway, Princess is known for dong Alaska very well.

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29 minutes ago, nini said:

Anyway, Princess is known for dong Alaska very well.

Both lines have a long history of doing Alaska and both lines are run by the same group under the Carnival Corp umbrella. Even more so, Alaska for both lines is handled by the same office. So experience wise, they are both good.

 

Emerald Princess does not have a covered pool - if that matters.

 

Look for ports, glaciers and times in port.

Edited by Coral
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Coral- Very true... but HAL was not always under the Carnival umbrella.

 

As for using a pool... one time when we left Ketchikan, it was so warm and

gorgeous, good luck finding any space in or around a pool or hot tub! This was

in September.

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43 minutes ago, nini said:

Coral- Very true... but HAL was not always under the Carnival umbrella.

 

As for using a pool... one time when we left Ketchikan, it was so warm and

gorgeous, good luck finding any space in or around a pool or hot tub! This was

in September.

Nor was Princess at one time.

 

Holland America was purchased by Carnival Corp in 1989. Princess in 2003.

 

And HAL has been sailing to Alaska longer than Princess.

 

Itinerary rules in Alaska. Pick by ports, glacier and times in port (important).

 

I have mostly done Alaska with Princess but would do HAL in a heartbeat. I prefer smaller ships in Alaska. Princess is sending some large ships there and some of them I would not go on in Alaska.

 

Both lines have great reputations in Alaska and have huge infrastructure and investments there. They own many hotels, rail cars, busses, pier in Skagway, etc.....

Edited by Coral
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As others have mentioned, Alaska is all about the itineraries. When I just looked them up, Eurodam includes a day in Sitka plus a stop at Icy Strait Point after Glacier Bay. Princess includes a stop at Skagway instead. All of these stops are great and each has its own culture and personality. Sitka and ISP are definitely 2 of my favorites, but Skagway offers an important glimpse into the Gold Rush. Note that Skagway routinely handles 4-5 ships at a time, including mega-ships, so the crowds will also play into the Skagway personality. Pay attention to the times in port as well. Both show Ketchikan stops from 7am - 1pm. All aboard will probably be 12:30. Not really enough time to appreciate the town.

 

With respect to the Eurodam, I did this in 2019 an it was great. Yes, I am 69 years old and still in the younger half of a typical HAL cruise. But they don't roll up the sidewalks after dinner. B.B. King Blues Club has 3 sets of great live music every night and a DJ after that. My favorite cruise ship music venue, though your tastes may be different. Also, the trip into Glacier Bay had the 3 onboard rangers which added a lot to the trip. I think this is standard now by the park service for all ships calling in Glacier Bay. 

 

Although I haven't sailed Princess (on my wishlist), they have a great reputation in Alaska. But i would happily sail HAL and the Eurodam again

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5 minutes ago, kennystwin said:

Also, the trip into Glacier Bay had the 3 onboard rangers which added a lot to the trip. I think this is standard now by the park service for all ships calling in Glacier Bay. 

 

It is a requirement - all cruises that go to Glacier Bay have National Park Rangers onboard. It has been that way for a very long time.

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