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Hello 🙂
 
For anyone that has done various cruise lines not just Princess Cruises, can I please ask your thoughts.  What other cruise line would you compare Princess Cruises to please for food, atmosphere, do most people wear formal every evening/ is it "stuffy"? We love to enjoy our holidays but not formal wear. 
 We have done Royal Caribbean, Disney, NCL, a short P&O.
 
It would be for Alaska on the new Discovery Princess so on this type of cruise we are expecting to be outside on deck a lot but prefer “comfy feel” to “stuffy”. Just cannot decide if Princess is for us. The shows on tv have shown the newer ships to be amazing so that is not a “concern”
 
Thank you 😊 
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Princess has a “comfy” feel...definitely not “stuffy”...we did Alaska on HAL the summer before shut-down and it was too “stiff” for me...due to that one experience, we wont be booking them anytime soon!

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16 minutes ago, Nextholiday? said:
Hello 🙂
 
For anyone that has done various cruise lines not just Princess Cruises, can I please ask your thoughts.  What other cruise line would you compare Princess Cruises to please for food, atmosphere, do most people wear formal every evening/ is it "stuffy"? We love to enjoy our holidays but not formal wear. 
 We have done Royal Caribbean, Disney, NCL, a short P&O.
 
It would be for Alaska on the new Discovery Princess so on this type of cruise we are expecting to be outside on deck a lot but prefer “comfy feel” to “stuffy”. Just cannot decide if Princess is for us. The shows on tv have shown the newer ships to be amazing so that is not a “concern”
 
Thank you 😊 

I think NCL has more to do and better entertainment. Definitely not stuffy. Check out the NCL Encore, which is currently doing Alaskan cruises and you will see what I mean,

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29 minutes ago, Nextholiday? said:
Hello 🙂
 
For anyone that has done various cruise lines not just Princess Cruises, can I please ask your thoughts.  What other cruise line would you compare Princess Cruises to please for food, atmosphere, do most people wear formal every evening/ is it "stuffy"? We love to enjoy our holidays but not formal wear. 
 We have done Royal Caribbean, Disney, NCL, a short P&O.
 
It would be for Alaska on the new Discovery Princess so on this type of cruise we are expecting to be outside on deck a lot but prefer “comfy feel” to “stuffy”. Just cannot decide if Princess is for us. The shows on tv have shown the newer ships to be amazing so that is not a “concern”
 
Thank you 😊 

Our thoughts - and many other posts seem to confirm - are that Celebrity is about the closest to Princess.  We have not been on them for a while, so may not be accurate.  As for formal, Princess only has a small number of evenings as formal dining (example:  2 nights of 7 or 10 night cruises). 

 

You can dress up or down comfortably on those nights.  Just know shorts, t-shirts, flip-flops.  Smart casual can work for you all nights, or you can dress it up some on formal nights.  Celebrity doesn't have formal, but smart chic (words escape me), but you can check out their website.  That also could be dressing up to tuxes and gowns, or suits, or just really nice outfit.  Anyway, you will see much discussion here and there on formal nights.  I'd decide on the itinerary and the general atmosphere and service on board.  I don't worry about formal nights anymore and like the flexibility that exists.

 

We have no NCL experience and perhaps some think they are closer to Princess experience.

 

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Celebrity is my favorite line.  Princess is second, but because it has a much greater presence on the West Coast, it is my primary line.  I put Celebrity, Princess and RCI all in the same category, far more similar than different.  

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1 hour ago, trvlwrld said:

Princess has a “comfy” feel...definitely not “stuffy”...we did Alaska on HAL the summer before shut-down and it was too “stiff” for me...due to that one experience, we wont be booking them anytime soon!

 

Thank you 😊 

I have stayed away from HAL for that reason too. 

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1 hour ago, billco said:

I think NCL has more to do and better entertainment. Definitely not stuffy. Check out the NCL Encore, which is currently doing Alaskan cruises and you will see what I mean,

 

Hello 👋 

We enjoy NCL. Went on Escape Dec 19. Happy to do NCL but some good prices for Alaska on the new ship which has made me think 

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1 hour ago, Steelers36 said:

Our thoughts - and many other posts seem to confirm - are that Celebrity is about the closest to Princess.  We have not been on them for a while, so may not be accurate.  As for formal, Princess only has a small number of evenings as formal dining (example:  2 nights of 7 or 10 night cruises). 

 

You can dress up or down comfortably on those nights.  Just know shorts, t-shirts, flip-flops.  Smart casual can work for you all nights, or you can dress it up some on formal nights.  Celebrity doesn't have formal, but smart chic (words escape me), but you can check out their website.  That also could be dressing up to tuxes and gowns, or suits, or just really nice outfit.  Anyway, you will see much discussion here and there on formal nights.  I'd decide on the itinerary and the general atmosphere and service on board.  I don't worry about formal nights anymore and like the flexibility that exists.

 

We have no NCL experience and perhaps some think they are closer to Princess experience.

 

 

Thank you 😊 

We dress for dinner as in sun dress for myself which sounds like would be fine. On the formal nights we could always eat in the buffet area. 

 

I might be wrong but thought I read Princess were one of the top for Alaska cruises

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50 minutes ago, Mike45LC said:

Celebrity is my favorite line.  Princess is second, but because it has a much greater presence on the West Coast, it is my primary line.  I put Celebrity, Princess and RCI all in the same category, far more similar than different.  

 

Sounds as if it will be fine for us. Thank you 

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Posted (edited)

You have left out the most important factor when selecting a ship for AK - port time.  You need to look at which ports you visit, port arrival and departure times and time in port.  For example, I assume that this is your first trip to AK so eliminate the cruise if it doesn't visit Glacier Bay.  If you can find one that visits Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier so much the better although ships that plan to visit Hubbard Glacier sometimes miss it while a good visit to Glacier Bay is a certainty.  Glacier Bay is not a National Park for nothing.

 

Look at time in port and arrival / departure time.  As an example, there was a thread on CC about a cruise that ported at Icy Point Strait from I believe 6 PM to 10 PM.  This might have looked good on the list of ports visited but stopping at a port for 4 hours which gives you maybe 3 hours on land is a waste of time.

 

Many cruises arrive at a port early at say 7 AM and depart at 1 or 2 PM or else they arrive at 2 PM and depart at maybe 10PM.  Consider what tourist places will be open early in the morning or late at night.  You want as much port time as possible at the ports you visit.

 

One thing and I know that many people will disagree w me is that I feel that Sitka is vastly over rated even though every cruise visits it.  When things open up again, you might have 5 large cruise ships in port at the same time.  That will be 10,000 to 15,000 people in a small town w 1 short main street.  True that you can book good stuff to do out-of-town but eventually everyone ends up on the main street which will be overrun by people.  Just my opinion.  I will add to this and I am sure that many will disagree with me is that I prefer visiting smaller AK towns as opposed to the big 3 of Sitka, Juneau and Ketchikan.

 

One final thought.  When you go to AK, I feel that you go there for what is outside of the ship and not for the amenities on the ship.  Food, atmosphere and amenities is of limited importance to me.  Good outside viewing spaces on deck is important to me so I don't have to be fighting for railing space as we go through Glacier Bay.  

 

Hope that this helps.

 

DON

Edited by donaldsc
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Personally, I wear a tuxedo to the restroom while on Princess. That includes the restroom in our stateroom. As others have said, want to escape Stuffiness, go NCL. 
 

Some on Princess are “stuffy.” 

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22 minutes ago, donaldsc said:

You have left out the most important factor when selecting a ship for AK - port time.  You need to look at which ports you visit, port arrival and departure times and time in port.  For example, I assume that this is your first trip to AK so eliminate the cruise if it doesn't visit Glacier Bay.  If you can find one that visits Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier so much the better although ships that plan to visit Hubbard Glacier sometimes miss it while a good visit to Glacier Bay is a certainty.  Glacier Bay is not a National Park for nothing.

 

Look at time in port and arrival / departure time.  As an example, there was a thread on CC about a cruise that ported at Icy Point Strait from I believe 6 PM to 10 PM.  This might have looked good on the list of ports visited but stopping at a port for 4 hours which gives you maybe 3 hours on land is a waste of time.

 

Many cruises arrive at a port early at say 7 AM and depart at 1 or 2 PM or else they arrive at 2 PM and depart at maybe 10PM.  Consider what tourist places will be open early in the morning or late at night.  You want as much port time as possible at the ports you visit.

 

One thing and I know that many people will disagree w me is that I feel that Sitka is vastly over rated even though every cruise visits it.  When things open up again, you might have 5 large cruise ships in port at the same time.  That will be 10,000 to 15,000 people in a small town w 1 short main street.  True that you can book good stuff to do out-of-town but eventually everyone ends up on the main street which will be overrun by people.  Just my opinion.  I will add to this and I am sure that many will disagree with me is that I prefer visiting smaller AK towns as opposed to the big 3 of Sitka, Juneau and Ketchikan.

 

One final thought.  When you go to AK, I feel that you go there for what is outside of the ship and not for the amenities on the ship.  Food, atmosphere and amenities is of limited importance to me.  Good outside viewing spaces on deck is important to me so I don't have to be fighting for railing space as we go through Glacier Bay.  

 

Hope that this helps.

 

DON

 

One final thing that I could not add because I ran out of editing time.  Everyone buys souvenirs on their AK trip.  You have to decide whether you want a true "made in Alaska" souvenir or a "made in China"  AK souvenir.  This site will enable you to determine what you are looking at - https://www.travelalaska.com/Planning/Tips/Made-in-Alaska.aspx.  .  Support the local businesses if possible.  Considering what is going on with local AK businesses, they need all the help that we can give them.

 

That is the end of my preaching.

 

DON

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I think post #12 means Skagway instead of Sitka?   Most inside passage cruises do not go to Sitka.  We really like visiting Sitka.


Have cruised to Alaska on Disney, NCL and Princess.  Princess does Alaska well!  As previous noted, it’s the ports that make an Alaskan cruise!  We tend not to be so concerned about the bells and whistles on board because our focus while in Alaska is Alaska!  Princess has a nice enrichment program —ax throwing, lumberjacks, nature talks, music, puppies on board, totem craving, regional dishes and drinks.  
 

Compare ports and the time spent in each port.  Glacier Bay is a plus on any itinerary!  Keep in mind that the days are long in Alaska so even if you arrive late, you should be able to do fun stuff.  It’s been my experience that the local tours adjust their schedules to coordinate with the ship’s arrival.

 

We really enjoy cruising with Princess.  It fits out cruising style!  We’re fairly active mid to late 50 year olds who enjoy good music and wine.  We don’t find the atmosphere “stuffy.”

 

 

 

Edited by disneyochem
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1 hour ago, disneyochem said:

I think post #12 means Skagway instead of Sitka?   Most inside passage cruises do not go to Sitka.  We really like visiting Sitka.


Have cruised to Alaska on Disney, NCL and Princess.  Princess does Alaska well!  As previous noted, it’s the ports that make an Alaskan cruise!  We tend not to be so concerned about the bells and whistles on board because our focus while in Alaska is Alaska!  Princess has a nice enrichment program —ax throwing, lumberjacks, nature talks, music, puppies on board, totem craving, regional dishes and drinks.  
 

Compare ports and the time spent in each port.  Glacier Bay is a plus on any itinerary!  Keep in mind that the days are long in Alaska so even if you arrive late, you should be able to do fun stuff.  It’s been my experience that the local tours adjust their schedules to coordinate with the ship’s arrival.

 

We really enjoy cruising with Princess.  It fits out cruising style!  We’re fairly active mid to late 50 year olds who enjoy good music and wine.  We don’t find the atmosphere “stuffy.”

 

 

 

 

My mistake.  I love Sitka.  Not so much love for Skagway.

 

DON

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14 hours ago, Nextholiday? said:

 

Thank you 😊 

We dress for dinner as in sun dress for myself which sounds like would be fine. On the formal nights we could always eat in the buffet area. 

 

I might be wrong but thought I read Princess were one of the top for Alaska cruises

Yes, Princess has enjoyed a good rep for Alaska over the years and as I understand it, well-deserved.  When we do Alaska, we will do a land tour, followed by a one-way cruise, combining two vacation elements.  I have also read that HAL does well there (sister line).  I would not consider RCI and Celebrity for Alaska as some pointed out the Glacier Bay miss.  I would think RCI in general more for bringing youth to enjoy all their toys which we aren't interested in. 

 

Buffet (World Fresh Market) is certainly an option to try out, but you can wear that dress any evening.  Also, Specialty Restaurants are always smart casual.  

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Princess is our cruise line of choice; truly, it is like coming home!

HAL did not impress us as there is not much going on in the evening or on sea days.

Celebrity IS STUFFY and SNOBBY (in our opinions of course). Numerous times we were somehow

reminded of "our class" on the ship. However, our cabin steward was great. Bartenders were snooty

and never smiled. Food was a major disappointment.

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A big plus for Princess is its Direct-to-the-Wilderness Rail.  You can board their train right from the pier and go inland.  The route is spectacular and scenic.  A cruisetour is the way to go to do both sailing along Alaska coast and ports and the interior.  Combined with Princess Air and transfers, then you have the entire package with no fuss.  Just relax and enjoy.

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21 hours ago, Nextholiday? said:

people wear formal every evening/ is it "stuffy"?

Just got back 8/22. Maybe 10% were formal. But only on formal nights. I brought a dress (could be casual with sweater or formal with sheer capelet). Never again. Should've brought another flannel shirt and 3rd pair jeans instead.

 

Nice pants / nice top works on formal nights. Whatever you'd wear to a nice restaurant works other nights. 

 

 

Edited by Ombud
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23 hours ago, donaldsc said:

You have left out the most important factor when selecting a ship for AK - port time.  You need to look at which ports you visit, port arrival and departure times and time in port.  For example, I assume that this is your first trip to AK so eliminate the cruise if it doesn't visit Glacier Bay.  If you can find one that visits Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier so much the better although ships that plan to visit Hubbard Glacier sometimes miss it while a good visit to Glacier Bay is a certainty.  Glacier Bay is not a National Park for nothing.

 

Look at time in port and arrival / departure time.  As an example, there was a thread on CC about a cruise that ported at Icy Point Strait from I believe 6 PM to 10 PM.  This might have looked good on the list of ports visited but stopping at a port for 4 hours which gives you maybe 3 hours on land is a waste of time.

 

Many cruises arrive at a port early at say 7 AM and depart at 1 or 2 PM or else they arrive at 2 PM and depart at maybe 10PM.  Consider what tourist places will be open early in the morning or late at night.  You want as much port time as possible at the ports you visit.

 

One thing and I know that many people will disagree w me is that I feel that Sitka is vastly over rated even though every cruise visits it.  When things open up again, you might have 5 large cruise ships in port at the same time.  That will be 10,000 to 15,000 people in a small town w 1 short main street.  True that you can book good stuff to do out-of-town but eventually everyone ends up on the main street which will be overrun by people.  Just my opinion.  I will add to this and I am sure that many will disagree with me is that I prefer visiting smaller AK towns as opposed to the big 3 of Sitka, Juneau and Ketchikan.

 

One final thought.  When you go to AK, I feel that you go there for what is outside of the ship and not for the amenities on the ship.  Food, atmosphere and amenities is of limited importance to me.  Good outside viewing spaces on deck is important to me so I don't have to be fighting for railing space as we go through Glacier Bay.  

 

Hope that this helps.

 

DON

Not every cruise ship goes to Sitka.  As a matter of fact it is one of the least visited of ports.  Most go to Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan.  I do agree with you after visiting Sitka a couple of times I found it underwhelming and would not make an effort to find an itinerary that goes there.

 

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