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NCL Star RT from Seatle OR NCL Sun RT from Vancouver?


winslowthedog

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Both of these cruises are tempting because we can drive to either Seattle or Vancouver. Having never been to Alaska, I can't decipher the differences in their itineraries and I can't figure out which would be the best itinerary for people who just want to look at the scenery and do mostly free or inexpensive shore trips. (Spending very little $$$ is a priority this year.) Also, is one ship nicer than the other (we'll be booking an inside).Thanks for ANY insights or advice you can offer me!

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IMHO, The Star is a little nicer of a ship. But the Sun is not bad. The best all around service I've ever received with NCL was on the Sun.

 

Both itineraries are very similar, but this year you will only get three port calls on the Sun, while you will get 4 on Star. (Not that Prince Rupert is that great of a stop). They go to the same ports in Alaska. I think all of the port were very conducive to just walking around, doing your own thing.

 

All and all, it is a toss up. You won't go wrong on either.

 

Now if you want to add the NCL Pearl to the mix, I'd choose that itinerary over the Star and the Sun. Glacier Bay is an outstanding experience.

 

 

Jingle

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since you are driving and since both of these cruises do the same glacier (tracy arms), i would do the sun...it does the full inside passage. with the star (which i love, BTW), you go west around vancouver island...in open sea. don't get the views until much later the next day.

the sun has views from the moment it leaves port.

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The Sun is a smaller vessel and much more compact in design. This has advantages (we found it a more intimate experience and you weren't walking endlessly to get places) and disadvantages (fewer dining options, for example). The Inside Passage is lovely and I feel (personal opinion, of course) that sailing away from Vanc under the Lions Gate Bridge is soooooooo beautiful.

 

We chose the Sun for our family reunion, but DH is sailing on the Star in a month, so we think that they are both outstanding.

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I totally agree with Toyz. Especially if you're interested in looking at scenery from the cruise ship, you can't beat the inside passage sailing once your leave Vancouver. If you sail from Seattle, you're out at sea more. The Sun sails up the east side of Vancouver island, and the scenery was spectacular!

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There actually are BIG differences between these two choices. The Sun is FAR more scenic as it sails INSIDE Vancouver Island, the Star is open ocean, outside. BUT- in my opinion, it is "necessary" to consider purchasing the add on Tracy Arm jet boat tour- since it is FAR FAR superior to anything via the ship. You are NOT likely to see any glaciers from the ship, if a priority to see any, then you need to consider booking some type of tour for this.

 

Frankly, the Pearl is a much better itinerary with Glacier Bay. IF it's a couple hundred more, it's well worth it, since the Tracy Arm jet boat is in that range too.

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Frankly, the Pearl is a much better itinerary with Glacier Bay. IF it's a couple hundred more, it's well worth it, since the Tracy Arm jet boat is in that range too.

 

I've been waiting for someone to mention the Pearl with the Glacier Bay itinerary:D

BQ & I are in complete agreement. I think she's been to Alaska something like 12642 times by ship, I've been there about 5 times by ship and a few times by air, so I'm still a rookie

 

Especially if this is a first (and possibly your only) Alaska cruise, and I were sold on a RT cruise instead of one way-I'd try to work GB into the itinerary

 

I might also suggest to the OP that they spend some time in the Ports of Call area and visit the Alaska board (just as garycarla also suggested). I find that to be one of the best boards on CC

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I've been waiting for someone to mention the Pearl with the Glacier Bay itinerary:D

BQ & I are in complete agreement. I think she's been to Alaska something like 12642 times by ship, I've been there about 5 times by ship and a few times by air, so I'm still a rookie

 

Especially if this is a first (and possibly your only) Alaska cruise, and I were sold on a RT cruise instead of one way-I'd try to work GB into the itinerary

 

I might also suggest to the OP that they spend some time in the Ports of Call area and visit the Alaska board (just as garycarla also suggested). I find that to be one of the best boards on CC

 

I must be on a lot of ignore lists!

 

Jingle

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We did the Star last year and this year we are going on the Pearl.

 

Last year I think the ships made it into Tracy Arm very few times and did Endicott Arm instaed. We have chosen the Pearl this time because of Glacier Bay, as others have mentioned, this will be worth paying a bit extra for I think. I just think that this is an all round better itinerary with better port times too.

 

I have not travelled on the Sun so cannot make any comment on the route from Vancouver. It does seem though that the scenery may be a little better on the first and last days.

 

Jean

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I have not travelled on the Sun so cannot make any comment on the route from Vancouver. It does seem though that the scenery may be a little better on the first and last days.

 

Jean

 

It is SIGNIFICANTLY better scenery.

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If the OP is interested in throwing the Pearl into the mix, that would also be my recommendation. We sailed on the Pearl in May, 2007 and the Sun in June, 2004.

 

I'd rank the Star as the least favorable itinerary, with the Pearl slightly ahead of the Sun.

 

Happy cruising!

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We sailed the Star to Alaska last year on an unusual itinerary. It was the first Alaska cruise of the year. The ship left from Vancouver but returned to Seattle.

 

I loved the Star (never sailed on the Sun), but I'll agree with others...the scenery from Vancouver was much better. It was beautiful from the time we left port and all through the first sea day. So calm and smooth, too. The seas were much rougher at the end of the trip as we headed back to Seattle.

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I've been waiting for someone to mention the Pearl with the Glacier Bay itinerary:D

BQ & I are in complete agreement. I think she's been to Alaska something like 12642 times by ship, I've been there about 5 times by ship and a few times by air, so I'm still a rookie

 

Especially if this is a first (and possibly your only) Alaska cruise, and I were sold on a RT cruise instead of one way-I'd try to work GB into the itinerary

 

I might also suggest to the OP that they spend some time in the Ports of Call area and visit the Alaska board (just as garycarla also suggested). I find that to be one of the best boards on CC

 

Yep, Glacier Bay is a definite do. And on the Pearl we met incrdible people we still keep in touch with on the boards.

 

We had a Meet & Greet and were introduced to staff, which we had been before on previous cruises, but they were really nice, instead of just standing around looking like they'd rather be somewhere else. Plus, we got free bowling the last sea day for an hour. We really got to know each other during that event.:)

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