I am surprising my husband for his 40th birthday with a cruise to Alaska. I can't decide between the Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas( roundtrip from Vancouver) or the Princess- Island Vancouver to Seward. We are going at the end of July without our children. Is the additional ports on the one way voyage worth an extra 3 hours on the plane (coming from NYC).
My opinion only- but I would never consider any one way sailings without at least 5 extra days interior touring. It is costly in time and money in/out of Anchorage not to take advantage of being all the way there. There is no extra port on the Island??? If you are referring to Whittier- nothing there. (Princess doesn't go to Seward) Don't worry about a round trip if it fits your plans better- there is plenty packed into 7 days with 3 wonderful ports and a great glacier viewing day- a great value. Perhaps make the one way trip another time when you can add another week?? Again, my opinion only.
College fjord is not a stop- it is a sailing past glaciers- excellent day of scenery. Again- Princess does NOT go to Seward- it goes to Whittier. About an 1 1/2 hours SE of Anchorage. (counting "tunnel" time). Some RCI sailings don't go to College Fjords- again my opinion only, I wouldn't consider any one way without it. Just such a scenic sailing day to have.
We sailed on the Radiance and thought it was a poor choice for Alaska. Royal Caribbean just doesn't do Alaska as well as Holland and Princess. Holland and Princess have a lot of information sessions on the ship relating to Alaska and also has a naturalist on board. It is obvious they do Alaska right and have a lot of history doing Alaska. Royal Caribbean just stops at the ports. It was a huge disappointment for us. We also prefer Glacier Bay and College Fiords.
Definitely do the one way -----it is so much better then RT from Seattle or Vancouver. I also wouldn't choose RCCL or Celebrity since they don't go to Glacier Bay and College Fiords and are considered last choices for me for Alaska due to lack of naturalist. Radiance may be a pretty ship but it is definitely lacking in Alaska.