I am considering an Alaskan cruise. Is any cruiseline better than another for this itinerary? I'm sure all cruiselines have their pros and cons, but I would be interested in hearing what experienced cruisers think.
Thanks in advance.
Cannot speak for other cruislines but I have sailed both ways between Vancouver and Seward on Princess and am booked to do it again. I really enjoyed the trip and how Princess treated us. Most the tours we took were for whale watching but every tour we took was great. The trips for seeing glaciers were also outstanding, at least in my opinion.
Princess and Holland America seem to have the best and most long standing reputation in Alaska. RCCL & sister Celebrity are rather new kids on the block, but if you just want a 7 day cruise, I can attest that they give a very good cruise for the money.
If you're just doing a cruise, any of the major lines should provide a good experience, though one may be better than the other for you depending on your personal preferences. If I knew what those were, I might be able to make a better recommendation.
Princess and Holland America are considered to be the Alaska leaders and both have extensive land operations in the region to complement their cruise itineraries. So if you're considering a cruisetour, I'd stick with one of these lines. I haven't sailed with HAL, but I can recommend Princess without reservation and their newer ships are gorgeous.
I have cruised twice on HAL to Alaska, and I would recommend that you stick with HAL or Princess. They offer similar excusions, and we would see Princess folks at every stop. They seemed just as pleased as we were, and I spoke to several. Both are class acts. I know that HAL has a very extensive child activity program and both kids and parents seemed pleased.
We are longtime fans of RCI, but when it came time to cruise Alaska, we chose Princess for its years of experience and because we also wanted to do a landtour to see more of that spectacular state. We were not disappointed as Princess runs a fantastic operation in Alaska. If we were doing only a cruise I might opt for Royal Caribbean because the Solariums on its Vision class ships allow you to swim and sunbathe protected from the elements while still providing you with awesome views of the scenery. Now that they are going to offer their own landtours,I might throw them into the mix as well, but might still give Princess the edge because of its history. This will be their first year of operation so you might want to give them time to get the kinks out. HAL might also fit your requirements, but I think that both Princess and Royal Caribbean attract a younger and more active crowd. Whatever line you choose set aside some time before or after your cruise to visit Vancouver.
I have cruised 4 different lines to Alaska and would not consider RCI again due to their annoying full front blue wind screens that greatly distort scenery and wildlife viewing. Also the ship had the smallest cabins and felt more crowded. BUT most of what I go to Alaska for is outside the ship. I spend all my time out on the front decks and opt to go as cheap as I can to allow me 2 trips per year.
Personally, I think Princess does the best job. They are outstanding in Shore Excursions and the ships are beautiful. Should you decide on a cruise/tour, theirs are the best since Princess has its own private lodges for passengers.