Hi. Hoping someone can help us. My DH and I plan to cruise Alaska next May. I have done some research and narrowed our options down to the following three ships: Carnival Spirit, Holland America Ryndam, or Island Princess. I honestly cannot decide which ship I prefer.
Carnival is most familiar for us since we've been on 7 cruises with them. We've also been on a Princess cruise before. Ports are pretty much the same except the Carnival ship is round trip from Vancouver (so somewhat cheaper airfare).
We're in our late 30s and enjoy some night life while cruising (disco, piano bar, etc.). No kids, so children's programs are not a concern. If anyone could make suggestions, I'd sure appreciate it. Thanks.
Dawn Princess (1997)
Pride (2002 and 2003)
Legend (upcoming 2005)
You are looking at different routings??? I would determine FIRST what you wish to take THEN fit in the ship. You may not realize that the Spirit will not have the passenger mix of the Caribbean and middle aged and above will be the norm. NO party ships yet to Alaska, I also feel that the front deck viewing is significantly lacking on this ship- my opinion only. May is better for round trips unless late May going north- again my opinioin only but I would never consider a one way cruise without adding another week for interior touring- take advantage of being all the way there. I also give a big edge to Seward and Vancouver vs Seattle round trips- too much outside passage sailing for my preferences. So my suggestion- look at ports, time in ports - full days are greatly superior, route, inside Vancouver Island way more scenic, glacier- Glacier Bay gets my vote, and cost- be sure to budget fully for costly excursions.
We wanted to do a southbound cruise last year and chose Spirit for several reasons - mainly price. Was way less $ and allowed us 5 extra days of touring Alaska pre-cruise. Loved the Spirit, the naturalist on board was great!!