We didn't have the luxury or dilema of having a chat room to read about other people's experiences and recommendations on cruises. Is this stuff addicting? I got stuck on a Disney World site for 6 mos before we went. Oh well!
Looking at Dawn Princess and HAL Statendam or Veendam for Southbound Alaska cruise in late May, 2002. I've read all of the reviews on this site and Cruise reviews.com. Std outside cabin, we are in early 50's(sort of), into wildlife, scenery and photography. Not into late nite partying except the shows unless the scenery is better. Any recommendations for one over the other? Like smaller ship, bigger cabin, not sure about Skagway (Princess) ver Sitka (HAL)?
Have all 3 reserved until tomorrow, Monday, would appreciate imput. Thanks.
Tough choice. I've done Alaska 5 times on Princess (3) Celebrity (1) and HAL (back to back) hard to go wrong with either pick.
Overall I prefer the food and entertainment on Princess and Celebrity over HAL but I didn't go hungry for sure. The cabins on the Statendam are probably a little bigger than on the Statendam but you don't get the in cabin fridge that the others have.
Overall if as you say you are into the scenery and the experience I would choose the Statendam. She has more outside deck space. certrainly with the open forward bow section. I thought she was a more "up close and personal" experience than the Sun class ship. I do have a review posted on this site and several others about the trip.
Skagway/Sitka is a tossup. I find Sitka not as touristy as Skagway and the local totem park and the Raport center are both nice. On the other hand the Yukno White Pass and the Yukon adventure excursions are very nice.
Glacier bay, College fjord and Hunnard are all spectacular. If you can get some time the Kenai fjords tours out of Seward are great. I love the sail out of Seward for great scenery.
What about choosing betwen HAL and Princess if you include the rail trip as well? From what I've seen in the brochures, it looks like Princess has the better land cruise. We've been wondering about this, but never asked.