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Old September 7th, 2007, 06:20 PM
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Default Millenium Celebrity versus Coral Princess in Alaska

I'm planning a trip in August 2008 to Alaska with a land package to Denali and I'm deciding between the Millenium Celebrity and the Coral Princess.
On the Millenium Celebrity I'm looking at the Panorama Deck with Concierge Class with a Balcony. On the Coral Princess I'm looking at the Caribe Deck with a Balcony.

I heard that the shower on the Coral Princess is very small and tiny versus the Millenium Celebrity which is much larger.

Also, the land package I'm looking at is 3 nights on Celebrity vs 4 nights on Princess. Celebrity goes strictly on Motorcoach while the Princess goes by Train. Any thoughts on this
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Old September 9th, 2007, 11:42 AM
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Both are beautiful ships. The cabins on Caribe deck on Princess are not very large, and unless it's a mini suite, there's no sofa, just a tub chair. The Caribe deck do have larger balconies than other decks, so there's a bonus there.

The Millie concierge cabins, while not huge, are very nice... and they do have nicer showers.

Princess and HAL, because of their long experience there, are sort of known as the "kings of Alaska", whereas Celebrity is fairly new to the region. But I'm sure either would provide a good experience!
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Old September 10th, 2007, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Millenium Celebrity versus Coral Princess in Alaska

Quote:
Originally Posted by rich99
I'm planning a trip in August 2008 to Alaska with a land package to Denali and I'm deciding between the Millenium Celebrity and the Coral Princess.
On the Millenium Celebrity I'm looking at the Panorama Deck with Concierge Class with a Balcony. On the Coral Princess I'm looking at the Caribe Deck with a Balcony.

I heard that the shower on the Coral Princess is very small and tiny versus the Millenium Celebrity which is much larger.

Also, the land package I'm looking at is 3 nights on Celebrity vs 4 nights on Princess. Celebrity goes strictly on Motorcoach while the Princess goes by Train. Any thoughts on this
Hi rich99,

I have sailed the Coral Princess to Alaska and the Celebrity Summit. I would highly recommend the Coral Princess for any cruise to Alaska. The bathrooms on the Celebrity m-class ships is just a bit larger than on Princess. The CC class on Celebrity are only a standard balcony cabin with a few perks thrown in such as a small vase of fresh flowers.

If you do decide on Princess please check out the price of the mini suites as often the price is only $100 or more than a standard balcony. The size of the mini is about 1/3 larger than the standard balcony on either ship. The food on Princess has remained very good while reports from those just off Celebrity ships seem to indicate a downturn in food quality. Another major plus for Princess is that their ships are very seaworthy and do not suffer from the same recurring propulsion problems that the Millennium has.

The train to Denali is just outstanding. We have also rented a car and driven to Denali and given the freedom of having your own car, we have found that that is the best way to go. It also reduces the overall cost by more than 50%, as compared to a cruise tour.

Hope this helps.
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Old September 10th, 2007, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Millenium Celebrity versus Coral Princess in Alaska

rich99,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I'm planning a trip in August 2008 to Alaska with a land package to Denali and I'm deciding between the Millenium Celebrity and the Coral Princess.
On the Millenium Celebrity I'm looking at the Panorama Deck with Concierge Class with a Balcony. On the Coral Princess I'm looking at the Caribe Deck with a Balcony.
These cruises are pretty similar overall, with very comparable itineraries and ports of call. The major difference is the style of the respective cruise lines. Celebrity is traditional, with two assigned seatings for dinner in the main dining room and maintains the custom of two "informal" evenings (when gents wear sport coats or "blazers") in addition to the two "formal" evenings, so only three eveings are casual, whereas Princess offers the option of "Anytime Dining" (open seating, either with reservations or on a "walk-in" basis, like restaurants ashore) in addition to "Traditional Dining" in separate main dining rooms and has only the two "formal" evenings that are not "casual." The "formal" evenings have substantially the same standard of dress, modified "black tie," on both lines. If you have a preference for either line over the other, the line that you normally prefer would be the better choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I heard that the shower on the Coral Princess is very small and tiny versus the Millenium Celebrity which is much larger.
The configuration of the heads in standard cabins, including the size of the shower stall (30" x 48"), is about the same on both lines. They are compact and efficient, but adequate. Suites have larger heads with full tubs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Also, the land package I'm looking at is 3 nights on Celebrity vs 4 nights on Princess. Celebrity goes strictly on Motorcoach while the Princess goes by Train. Any thoughts on this
I think that the land tours offered by both lines are rather expensive. You would do much better with independent arrangements -- and Alaska is one of the fifty states, so it's not like you would be in a foreign country with strange customs and cultures. The most seamless option is to book a transfer from your port of disembarkation to Anchorage International Airport through your cruise line, where you can pick up a rental car to tour on your own. Here are a few tips.

>> If you disembark in Seward, the "Grandview Rail Transfer is the best way to go to Anchorage International Airport (where the Alaska Railroad built a new station that exits directly into the main airline terminal). The train is much more comfortable than a motorcoach, as it has more spacious seats and allows you to get up and move around during the transfer. The train also offers food and beverage service and an excellent narration of the spectacular scenery that you'll see en route, much of which is not visible from the road.

>> If you have only three or four days, your best option probably is to reserve a hotel in Anchorage and use that as a base to see the surrounding area. There are several significant attractions that you can visit on day trips from Anchorage including the spectacular Mount Alyeska Resort, a day cruise to College Fjord to see the glaciers there from Whittier, and Talkeetna for its spectacular views of Mount McKinley (be sure to check the weather forecast for the valley before setting out on this one, though, as you won't see much on a foggy day). Anchorage is has a great downtown with a diverse range of lodging in all price categories, many unusual shops, outstanding restaurants in all price ranges and styles of cuisine, and many attractions and points of interest. The city also offers an open air market and a variety of street festivals on most weekends.

>> If you can spring another day or two, a trip up to Denali National Park and Fairbanks becomes a reasonable option. The main road through the valley is in excellent condition, so driving is no problem, but do allow plenty of time to take in the scenery along the way.

I strongly recommend reserving your lodging and rental vehicle in advance, as the summer is the peak season.

BTW, you can reserve a room in any lodge listed on the cruise lines' package tours, including the Princess Wilderness Lodges, without booking the respective cruise line's land tour.

I should also mention that the cruise lines that Kuki describes as "newcomers" in Alaska have been cruising there for ten to twenty years, so they are not exactly rookies. (The "kings" have been cruising to Alaska for over thirty.)

Norm.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 11:46 AM
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Thanks Norm for your very well written comparison of the two ships. One more thing that should be included in any complete comparison is that the Celebrity Millennium does occasionally have propulsion problems. These problems happen on the Millie about once every eighteen months. While most cruises do not have this problem, when it does happen there can be missed ports, late arrivals and cancelled cruises. While there is always some risk on all cruise ships this is a risk that is over and above any other things that can happen to any ship, such as weather.
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Old October 10th, 2007, 08:15 PM
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I did the Alaskan cruise on the Island Princess a couple of years ago. It was wonderful. We also did 4 days land trip to 2 Princess lodges, Denali and Mt McKinley. as well as a few days in Anchorage. If we had to do it again, we would have skipped the land tour. The Princess train was 9 hours sitting at a table across from stangers. It was most uncomfortable. The first hours was ok, but once you have seen one mountain they all look the same. The lodges we a huge disappointment after getting off the ship. They was construction, thefood was expensive and there wasn't much to do. All in all, the extra costs were definitely not worth it. I would have preferred to stay in Vancouver for a couple of days instead.

Have a great trip!
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