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Old July 5th, 2006, 08:29 PM
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Default Carnival vs. Princess?

Has one been on Carnival vs Princess? They both feature cruisetours but never having been to Alaska I was wondering which line would have the edge? Any suggestions? Carnival has Anchorage, Prince William Sound, College Fjords, Lynn Canal, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, Ketchikan, Inside passage, Vancouver. Princess has Anchorage, College fjords, Glacier Nat'l Park, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Inside Passage, Vancouver.
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Old July 5th, 2006, 09:22 PM
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McAteeshaw,

Has one been on Carnival vs Princess? They both feature cruisetours but never having been to Alaska I was wondering which line would have the edge? Any suggestions? Carnival has Anchorage, Prince William Sound, College Fjords, Lynn Canal, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, Ketchikan, Inside passage, Vancouver. Princess has Anchorage, College fjords, Glacier Nat'l Park, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Inside Passage, Vancouver.

Given those options, I would go with Princess. If you are looking for a rowdy party, though, Carnival would be the better choice.

Norm.
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Old July 5th, 2006, 10:19 PM
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Norm is completely wrong. Passengers on Carnival and Princess are very similar in Alaska. I doubt he has cruised there on both?? I have taken Carnival on 3 trips to Alaska and they do do a good job and have an excellent ship naturalist. There are NO party ships sailing Alaska and this is a BIG myth linking this with Carnival.

As for cruisetours- do your homework- so much is not disclosed and a great many people do not realize what they are purchasing. Time is necessary- otherwise you have a great deal in transit. Cruisetours are the most costly and limiting option. A big deal is Denali Park, if you want the most scenery and wildlife- do not consider the Natural History tour- which Princess includes on most of it's tours. For clairfication- it goes only 16 of the 90 miles into the Park, my min. distance in is on the SHUTTLES to Fish Creek, but the tours do have the Tundra Wilderness tour to mile 53- get a tour with this included.

There are also private tour options to consider and going independent is easy and offers the most freedom and scheduling according to YOUR interests. A great option is to use www.toursaver.com they include a couple rail coupons this year. You need 2 nights at Denali Park in my opinion, and plenty of time for the rail. Head to your library and take out Alaska travel books, the more you know the better your choices will be for your priorities visiting Alaska.
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Old July 6th, 2006, 01:20 PM
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I did Carnival Spirit southbound a few years ago and it was wonderful! Karen is right, their ships naturalist was great. We are in our 50's and it was definitely not a party ship. Pick your desired destinations and then see which cruiseline best meets your needs.
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Old July 7th, 2006, 10:09 PM
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Husband and I just did the Northbound route with Carnival Spirit(Vancouver to Whittier)in May. We are 54 yrs old.
I would estimate that 15% of passengers were in their 20's, 15% were young couples with small children and even some babies(most of these couples were traveling with people our age, possibly grandparents to help out) and I would guess that over 70% of passengers were over 75 years old. LOTS of walkers, wheelchairs, etc. But these passengers were having a great time. There seemed to be a lot of families traveling together. We met at least 5 groups of people that had at least 10 or more people in their party.
I agree with Karen, if you want a party crowd, I don't think Alaska is it! HA
Of course, there were people having drinks at dinner and in the lounges, and the casino was usually full each day, but you just didn't have the crowd that you would have for a Caribbean cruise. I've been on one of those, and some people are drunk when they get on the ship and seven days later they are still drunk when they get off.
The Carnival Spirit is a beautiful ship! The naturalist was great and she was always coming on over the PA system, letting everyone know what to look for. She was a professor of biology from Hawaii and she spent her summers working for Carnival. I don't know anything about Princess cruise line, but I think I would only book a cruise that had a naturalist on board. You would really miss seeing some great sights if not for the naturalist. She was on the bridge of the ship and she could announce what she was seeing and you had time to see it. We saw bear, elk, whales just off the starboard side of the ship, and after a few days, you will become an expert at spotting bald eagles in the trees.
I think that when you spend that much money to go to Alaska that you are going to see sights that you have never seen before and might never see again. My husband and I just loved our entire cruise! It was better than anything I had imagined. We didn't take any dressy clothes, just jeans and tshirts. We decided that dressing up for dinner each night just wasn't for us. I would guess that over 50% of the passengers didn't dress up each night for dinner.
I would book a room that has a balcony...this is the one time that you will be very sorry if you don't have the balcony. My husband hung out over our balcony so much that his chest go sore from the railing. HAHA .I think the Carnival Spirit only has balcony rooms and inside rooms, might be wrong about that, maybe someone else can let us know if this isn't correct.
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Old July 18th, 2006, 11:03 PM
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Default Carnival anytime

There is a perception out there that Carnival has rowdy crowds---WRONG!!! I have been on the Spirit to Alaska and believe me, I was surprised by the age (lots of middle aged) some older---I think people think of the cheaper Carnival cruises going to the Caribbean when they think of rowdy cruises. I stronly recommend you look at the Carnival Spirit before you decide! Get a balcony if you can......the ship sails very close to land while in the inside passage....just AWESOME!!!!
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Old August 5th, 2006, 12:07 AM
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Default Carnival or Princess

I too agree with Karen. (Sorry Norm but I bet you've never cruised on a Carnival ship to Alaska). The Spirit is a beautiful ship with lots of middle age and older people and some families as well. It definitely was not a "party ship" atmosphere. We had a wonderful time with our family on the Spirit - so much so that it's hard for us to choose a different ship and trip for next year.
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Old August 6th, 2006, 12:22 AM
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minnow12,

(Sorry Norm but I bet you've never cruised on a Carnival ship to Alaska).

That's right. Having seen evidence of neglected maintenance "close up" on several Carnival Cruises vessels, I absolutely refuse to go to sea on them. I'll reconsider if and when I see clear evidence of a change on a ship that's old enough for such evidence to show up.

The Spirit is a beautiful ship with lots of middle age and older people and some families as well. It definitely was not a "party ship" atmosphere. We had a wonderful time with our family on the Spirit - so much so that it's hard for us to choose a different ship and trip for next year.

My contacts indicate that your experience is not exactly typical of Carnival, even in Alaska.

Norm.
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Old August 6th, 2006, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
minnow12,

(Sorry Norm but I bet you've never cruised on a Carnival ship to Alaska).

That's right. Having seen evidence of neglected maintenance "close up" on several Carnival Cruises vessels, I absolutely refuse to go to sea on them. I'll reconsider if and when I see clear evidence of a change on a ship that's old enough for such evidence to show up.

The Spirit is a beautiful ship with lots of middle age and older people and some families as well. It definitely was not a "party ship" atmosphere. We had a wonderful time with our family on the Spirit - so much so that it's hard for us to choose a different ship and trip for next year.

My contacts indicate that your experience is not exactly typical of Carnival, even in Alaska.

Norm.
Contacts???? They are wrong too. I've been sailing Carnival for over 20 years. Sorry, you don't know what you are talking about.
Again- Carnival does a good job in Alaska, they have a top rate naturalist- which is significant. An alt. works for Lindblad. I have sailed them 3 times to Alaska and consistantly, a good portion of passengers are middle aged and above, and NO party ships.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 08:09 AM
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I sailed on the Spirit 7/05 with our family of 5. The entire experience was excellent, especially the ship's naturalist. Great food, great service, and most importantly great scenery. Very diverse age group. There seemed to be something for everyone. Definately not a party ship.
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