Young 25 year old first-timers. We're trying to decide between the Sun Princess 7 day Inside Passage and Norwegian Wind Alaska and Sawyer Glacier cruises.
Here are our preferences:
1) Biggest priority is the "nature" and seeing neat things like glaciers and wildlife from the ship itself, preferably on our private balcony. We're not big into excursions and dont really want to pack a ton of stuff into a 7 day cruise. Mostly, we want to chill and relax and take the nature in. Think Ralph Waldo Emerson. With that said, we'd like to do some excursion stuff but the from-boat scenery is by far the most important.
2) We like food. We like good food. We like a lot of good food.
3) Entertainment is good but not very important. We'd like to see some good revues but its not a dealbreaker.
4) Size of room isn't a huge deal to us. But we really do want a balcony. I should rephrase. We think
we want a balcony but we're not sure if we're overrating the whole balcony experience since we are first-timers. Is it more of a gimmick? Or is it really worth the 800 dollar per person difference, given our preferences?
5) We want "neat" things on the ship, for lack of a better word. Want it to be fun and feel like there is some hustle and bustle.
6) The itineraries are important. For example, Sun spends a day in Victoria (something we don't really care about) while Norwegian spends more time in glaciers (goes through Sawyer Glacier) and the Inside Passage, which admittedly is more important to us.
The price difference, we have found, is pretty huge. Taking into account airfare and everything, for a balcony in a Norwegian it's about 2600 per person (stateroom with picture window being about 1800). Balcony on the Sun Princess is about 1700. We want the best value obviously. Our instincts tell us to pick the Norwegian stateroom at this point since it is reasonably priced and gives us (what we think) we like in nature and scenery. It seems Princess is more excursion-savvy than Norwegian, something which isnt a big plus to us. But then the key question is, is the balcony worth the huge price jump? Would we really be missing out if we didn't have a a balcony?
And a related question: would it just be better to get the Sun Balcony over the Norwegian stateroom? Both are about the same price.
Thanks for all the help everyone.