I am planning a surprise trip for my girlfriend (plan to get engaged and married on the trip) for August 2004. We are an early 30's couple.
I am trying to decide between 2 cruises. One is with Princess and leaves out of Seattle (which is a little less convenient) and the other is with Royal Carribean and leaves from Vancouver. From what I have read the Princess cruise sounds like a nicer company and Boat. But the RC one goes to Glacier Bay which seems to be a must see destination.
My question is: what is more important, the company/boat or Glacier Bay?
It looks like I missed one. there is also Celebrity offering a trip out of Vancouver. They have the Infinity ship and it stops in Glacier too. How does this compare to the previous two boats I mentioned.
Also, my neice and nephew may wish to join us (they are 3 and 5). Is there anything for children that young to do on these ships or should they just stay at home?
None of your selections go to Glacier Bay?? But it indeed is a highpoint for most cruisers. There is also HAL and NCL to consider. Frankly kids that young will greatly infringe on your trip. You will be limited in your shore excursion selections (unless you have unlimited funds) and a 3 year old will likely NOT be able to tolerate extended dining, touring more than an hour and have no interest in scenery etc. If you're going to get married during the trip I would thing you would want the options to do what you wish??
Thanks very much for the response. I want to clarify a couple of things just to be sure there is no confusion.
First, the Royal Carib, and Celebrity ships go to Glacier Bay. It is just the Princess one that does not.
I have discounted HAL and NCL because they do not have something within my very tight timeframe (first week of August).
The kids are my neice and nephew, not my own. Their parents will be looking after them as they do every day. As most of my extended family will be there as well and they rarely get to see these kids there will be a lot of adults around to take turns caregiving.
You are defineitely correct about the dining thing. The kids would not be real keen to sit at dinner for 2 hours every evening. I expect they would be happier with some simpler fare. Is this not available on these types of ships?
I'm pretty sure that Celebrity does not have any ships that go to Glacier Bay. Princess does have some ships that go to Glacier Bay.
You may want to check NCL. I know that some of their cruises go to Glacier bay and the Freestyle dining is a great fit for young kids.
Our NCL trip on the Norwegian Sky (I forget her replacement) was round trip from Seattle and DID visit Glacier Bay.
We've been on HAL, NCL, and Celebrity with our son (went when he was 8, 9 , and 10) and the kids programs were great on all 3 and there are kids menus (hot dogs, chicken nuggets) available in the main dining rooms.
DAY DESTINATION ARR. DEP.
Sun vancouver, british columbia 5:45 pm
Mon inside passage (cruising)
Tue ketchikan, alaska 7:00 am 4:00 pm
Wed hubbard glacier (cruising) 3:00 pm 5:00 pm
Thu juneau, alaska 8:00 am 10:00 pm
Fri sitka, alaska 8:00 am 4:00 pm
Sat inside passage (cruising)
Sun vancouver, british columbia 7:00 am
Is Hubbard glacier not Glacier Bay? Maybe I am misinformed...
HAL have Inside Passage cruises out of Vancouver that go to Glacier Bay
For instance-August on Zaandam
Vancouver, British Columbia 5:00 pm
1 Scenic cruising
2 Scenic cruising Tracy Arm
2 Juneau, Alaska 2:30 pm 11:00 pm
3 Skagway, Alaska 7:00 am 9:00 pm
4 Scenic cruising Glacier Bay National Park
5 Ketchikan, Alaska 10:00 am 6:00 pm
6 Cruising the Inside Passage
7 Vancouver, British Columbia
It certainly isn't an 'advertisement'. If you had bothered to read the entire post you would have all the information rather than making ridiculous assumptions without having all the facts. Many posters from this board have joined us and were thankful the detailed information was available. 'Recruiting' is hardly neccessary..the cruise speaks for itself.
'Well, you are wrong! NCL has ships doing The Inside Passage as well as Celebrity...and they include Glacier Bay. Going to Vancouver when you aren't intending to do a 'land tour' is a waste of time and money..'
in reply to a civil discussion about the merits of Vancouver v Seattle-
I didnt see you then reveal your cruise from Seattle. by NCL
'Not smart -you posted to another repl;y...
'Ridiculous' is your latest response to the fact that I did think it was an advertisment.
If its not then-its the nearest approach I have seen to one,
TA's name and adress!- etc.
Ok- if those who monitor this board allow it- then who am I to complain.!!
My point is that it would have been more courteous to have revealed in your previous posts about the merits of Seattle /Vancouver that you had a good reason for choosing Seattle rather than berating those who expressed an opinion differing from you
This is nothing new from this poster. I have been on the receiving end too. I have not seen much contribution to Alaska travel in general other than promoting this cruise. I question even though not a TA perhaps this may be a free or greatly reduced trip?? The prices aren't a bargain for me but it is a good schedule and route out of Seattle.
Back to the original subject and advising Stephen on this cruise, if your family is taking kids that young I would stay clear of Holland America. Definatley not the most kid friendly line.
If your extended family is going with the young kids, I'd highly recommend the Royal Caribbean Serenade of the SEas or the new Princess ship. Both are amazing ships, and very family friendly. One big plus is that the new Princess hsip will have 4 restaurants for personal choice dining, a big plus for families with kids. It also has traditional dining as well. I think the Royal Caribbean has the edge on itenerary out of Vancouver, but in the end sometimes I would consider most what fits your family and your needs. You can have the "best" itenerary and still not have the best time on the ship if it doesn't fit you. Given your age, I'd do one of those ships, probably recommending Royal Caribbean.
My entire family did a royal Caribbean out of Vancouver and had a blast a couple of years ago. Yes, I know they don't have a naturalist on board, but we had a great time and they had great kids facilities!
We are taking a Princess cruise on the Dawn 6/21/04. It starts in Vancouver, Then a day at sea, A day each at each port in Ketchikan Juneau, Skagway, Then a day cruising Glacier Bay and then the next day College Fjord, then we dock in Whittier, Alaska. And will fly home.
We liked this itenerary, due to being able to head all the way to Alaska. And stay a day or two in Anchorage.