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Old September 23rd, 2003, 10:51 AM
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Default Alaska--Celebrity, Princess, HAL or Radisson????

I would appreciate any help from the cruisemates experts.

I am planning a surprise 30th anniversary cruise to Alaska for my wife and would like this trip to be extra special, so I need to get your opinions on which Cruise Line to choose.

Background: We have sailed RCI, Celebrity, Princess and HAL and--this time I am seriously considering Radisson. Our room preference has been SS and RS on Celebrity, Cat B/C on RCI, Cat A/B on HAL and Cat AA (mini suite) on Princess.

We prefer a laid back, relaxing cruise with lots of personal attention. How does Radisson compare to Celebrity and Princess with regard to cabin, quality of service and food. I know this can be very subjective, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Gentleman J
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Old September 23rd, 2003, 03:12 PM
Richard Stein
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Default Re: Alaska--Celebrity, Princess, HAL or Radisson????

I have been to Alaska 6 times twice each on Celebrity, HAL and Princess. Celebrity may have better food in dining room, but entertainment and everything on shore not up to other two. I cannot afford Radisson. HAL has the most permits to Glacier Bay and offers a good product, good entertainment and does well from Seward to Fairbanks. They also go deeper into Denali than Princess. I have been on Princess 13 times and if you like Italian food, more choices on dining than the other two, good entertainment and more lodges in Alaska do Princess especially the Coral or Island. Princess and HAL do Alaska best. The choice is you. Hope this helped.
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Old September 23rd, 2003, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Alaska--Celebrity, Princess, HAL or Radisson????

Thanks Richard for your response. I have a lot of thinking to do--decisions, decisions!
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Old September 23rd, 2003, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: Re: Alaska--Celebrity, Princess, HAL or Radisson????

I have friends who say Radisson is amazing. I have not been able to afford that line yet. I have sailed Princess three times, Celebrity twice and this November will be our fourth H.A.L. sailing. All three give a great product for the money.

I used to put HAL as favorite but after recent cruises I have reversed my opinion. I now like Princess best, followed by Celebrity and then H.A.L. But I am more than happy to sail any of the above depending on price and itinerary.
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Old September 25th, 2003, 09:43 PM
Bun73@aol.com
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Default Re: Alaska--Celebrity, Princess, HAL or Radisson????

Radisson is hands down the best! Guess I shouldn't say that, we have not cruised Celebrity. Done all the rest-love Radisson. It is all the little things and the food is fabulous. If you can get a price comparable (well maybe a bit more) than the others, then there is NO question, go Radisson!
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Old October 2nd, 2003, 05:31 PM
bmct
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Default Re: Re: Alaska--Celebrity, Princess, HAL or Radisson????


While HAL and Princess have the most extensive infrastructure in Alaska, I would
do Radisson.

Just got off the Maasdam this week. Lovely ship, not too big, but they need to pay attention to some details.

There was a strong odor of diesel fuel in our Verandah deck suite.

The sink /vanity were chipped and cracked.

While we liked the sconces on the mirror above the bed were nice, and there was a
reading light attached to the headboard, the cabin still felt a bit dark.

Since one of us tends to hole up in the cabin and read or do needlepoint, we would like to see more light in the cabins.

There were many, many light bulbs out in the dining room overhead atrium lights. This is not one fixture, but hundreds of Murano glass fixtures, each with one light bulb. They looked kind of like flowers. Beautitul! And the Oriental lanterns around the upper tier
dining room needed bulbs.

We have not been on Princess for three years, but have heard that they have slipped quite a bit since then.

We were on Celebrity last year, and believe the service to be superior to HAL. We had exceptionally good dining stewards on the Maasdam at our table, but not so good at breakfast and lunch "open seating."

I prefer the European decor on HAL, while the other half prefers the lighter decor on Celebrity. We both preferred the food on Celebrity, although there is no substitution allowed -- take what's on the menu. Dont' ask for steak and lobster on one plate if they are offered separately.

We both feel that Radisson, even though more expensive, provides a superior cruise experience. On the Navigator, the smallest suite, and it is a suite, is 305 sq ft. Walk in closets, separate tub and shower ( not so on the Mariner ), a free liquor set-up on boarding, free wine at dinner ( of their selection). We had a Flora Springs white that was great -- looked for it here in Calif, it was $26 a bottle, so it isn't rot gut that they pour.
Also, hard liquor ordered at the dining table was free at night.

Entertainment was good. The productions shows were very good, the other shows
varied. One solo singer had a great voice but unbearable demeanor, the song and dance routines were okay. Had a great entertainer in one lounge who did a show on
Noel Coward that was fantastic.

The cruise director / social hostess on Radisson are far superior than any we have had on any other cruise. The guest lecturers are superior. Radisson also has one lecturer
on their payroll who has a degree in anthropology/archaeology, but I think she tends more to South/Central America cruises.

The library on Radisson is open 24 hrs, take what you want, when you want. No check-out required.

The internet is far cheaper on Radisson. Although they charge 75 cents a minute, that
is for download time only. I could click on an article and sit and read it, but rack up only 35 cents charge for the time it took to download. Same with email -- free while reading and typing, but charged only for the time ti takes to upload after you hit "send."

If you have a good travel agent, he/she will be able to look for specials on Radisson.
It still won't be as "cheap" as HAL, Princess, or Celebrity, but then again, it's a whole
different experience.

Would we go on HAL again? Yes. Princess? Yes, we are Platinum on Princess, and would go again. But we will save more, cruise less, to go on Radisson.

Enjoy!
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Old October 2nd, 2003, 06:35 PM
Sue Clark
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Default Re: Alaska--Celebrity, Princess, HAL or Radisson????

I think the decision is between a Royal Suite on Celebrity or Radisson. With the difference in pricing, we have always chosen the RS on Celebrity because we really enjoy the space - we would have a much smaller cabin on Radisson.

Sue
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Old October 2nd, 2003, 08:22 PM
Bun73@aol.com
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Default Re: Alaska--Celebrity, Princess, HAL or Radisson????

Look carefully at cabin size on Radisson, their smallest cabins are far larger than some suites on other lines. Remember there truely is no tipping on Radisson, and it is not expected or anticipated. They do not nickel and dime you for things that you pay for on other lines. Raining out-take one of their complementary umbrellas for the day, always bottled water at the gangway to take along, when in port they will shuttle you into town for no cost. All these little things add up to a great experience. bmct is right the smallest cabin on the Navigator is over 300 sq. ft. and we are not kidding a walk in closet. I would go in there to dress it was so big. The bathrooms are great too. The personal touches are wonderful!
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Old October 3rd, 2003, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: Alaska--Celebrity, Princess, HAL or Radisson????

bmct
I was reading your post but could not find when you had last cruised on Radisson, you said when you did on the other lines, but just not this one.

Barry

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Old October 3rd, 2003, 02:36 PM
Mike in Tampa
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Default Re: Alaska--Celebrity, Princess, HAL or Radisson????

I have worked aboard Radisson, HAL & Celebrity ships, and have sailed all as a passenger on all, including Princess. While HAL, Celebrity and Princess are all fine 'Premium' cruise products, Radisson is in the next echelon commonly refered to as "Luxury" cruise products. Radisson ships are all about low density, high passeneger space ratios, hotel like accommodations, a high end country club enviroment and sophisticated dining experience. By maintaining a low passenger count, the crew / service ratios are very high and allow for very personalized, but unobtrusive service. The ships have very well trained and often hand picked staff. There are very little 'busy' or noisey activities onboard. The program consists of lecturers, port & tour information, and less of the deck games, cabaret & bingo atmosphere the higher volume ships cater to.

The Radisson Fleet is very new. The exception being Song of Flower (being retired from the fleet this month) and Radisson Diamond (the uniquie SWATH / Catamaran designed ship). Radisson guests tend to spend more time in suites, so they are designed for that comfort, TVs, VCRs, DVDs, etc...and many guests dine in the suite or at least have cocktails with guests in the suites.

Although Radissons experience in Alaska is not as extensive as the Premium lines (HAL, Princess & Celebrity), they are world traveled and manage a first class experience wherever they go. Again, the smaller passenger count allows for the attention to detail, and that polish. Keep in mind, Radisson also caters to a more worldly clientel who require less handholding, less hearding and more personal choices that the larger volumes ships often cater too.
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Old October 3rd, 2003, 04:40 PM
Bun73@aol.com
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Default Re: Alaska--Celebrity, Princess, HAL or Radisson????

Mike, well said. I know what I have experienced, but you could not have said it better.
brenda
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