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Old July 31st, 2006, 01:20 AM
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Default Princess, NCL or Holland America for Pacific Coastal??

I am trying to decide between 3 different lines that do the Pacific Coastal. My choices are Princess ( Diamond or Island)
NCL Pearl
Holland America ( Oosterdam, Zuiderdam, Zaandam or Volendam).

I have only ever cruised once before on the NCL Star so can't compare NCL's service with anything else.

We will be a party of 20 women so will want a good night life. Half of the women will not want to do the formal nights as it is not their style. We might want to eat in groups of 10. Any suggestions as to what will fit our style? Most of these women have never cruised before.
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Old July 31st, 2006, 08:07 AM
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For me this is a "no brainer". If you want a bit of night life, you automatically rule out any Holland America ship. I'd personally prefer "Princess", although I've had some excellent cruises aboard NCL as well. I'd go with the Princess, or NCL ship that offers the best price. Happy sailing,
Ken
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Old July 31st, 2006, 12:41 PM
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Me thinks Ken offers some pretty good advice!!

And if you don't want to dress up, for sure NCL gets the edge.
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Old July 31st, 2006, 02:09 PM
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When you mentioned nightlife- that pretty much eliminates Holland American.
I can't speak of the night life on NCL. Princess has pretty good nightlife, there is always something going on in the bars, show lounges, casinos, theatre and the discos.
Princess would be my top pick- Princess is casual/elegant yet not stuffy or snooty, Princess ships have the feel of a nice resort hotel. Anytime Dining on Princess works much like FreeStyle on NCL. Princess does have formal nights, but all that would be required of the ladies would be a nice cocktail dress, dressy dinner suit or dressy pants with a dressy top. Formal nights are very special (IMO) the menu is special, the dining room is all decked out with the fine linens, china & crystal, the waiters wear their dress uniforms, the ambiance just sparkles! You don't have to go to the dining rooms on formal nights if you don't want to, Horizon Court buffet is always casual.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 01:16 AM
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Thank you for the input, I didn't know that about Holland America...that is the line my inlaws always cruise on....

NCL and Princess both have excellent prices on the route I want, I just want to make sure I am steering my group of 20 in the right direction and pick the most appropriate line according to the diverse tates they all have. On Princess, can you eat at any of the restaurants any time that you like by either walking up or making a reservation that day? ( NCL was like that which was great as we never knew in advance WHAT we were doing). I do not want to be set to exact times, I would prefer to be more relaxed in our dining choices. Also does Princess allow you to be dressed in relaxed attire at dinner times on non formal nights? We couldn't wear jenas or shorts after 5 pm in the restaurants on NCL, but capri pants and a nice shirt, or dockers and a golf shirt were fine everywhere. The formal night only had 3 restaurants participate out of 13 so we were fine going somewhere. Thanks for the help, we are getting ready to book so i just want as much info as possible!!
Kelly
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Old August 7th, 2006, 06:13 AM
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Have done the coastal, from Vancouver down 2 times, each the 5 day itinerary, and am doing the 7 day in September.

All on Princess and all outstanding!
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Old August 7th, 2006, 01:45 PM
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Kelly - Anytime Dining on Princess works like a restaurant back home, you have 2 dining rooms to choose from, the menu is the same in both dining rooms, you can just show up for dinner anytime during the posted dinner hours, however with a group of 20 you would really need to make reservations if you all wanted to eat at the same time - it would require two usually 3 tables, most tables seat 8.
On Princess the dress code for the evening applies to all the dining venues with the exception of Horizon Court Buffet, room service and the Pizzeria.
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