They go 2 DIFFERENT routes. Dawn- one way Whittier/Vancouver, Diamond round trip Seattle. I would think the route would be your first priority on sailing??? My opinion only- the Diamond does too much outside passage sailing and doesn't go to Glacier Bay. Must do's at some point in Alaska travels. If you are looking at a one way- just dont leave/arrive the day of the cruise. Most people don't get to Alaska often. The interior touring options are spectacular- take advantage. Allow at least 7 days if going on a cruisetour- 5 independent (you will see twice as much for 1/2 the cost and my clear preference) Be very informed of WHAT you are purchasing- descriptions are vague. Budget fully for costly excursions- you get only half a trip without them. As for the Dawn- it has supurb front deck viewing space- necessary with any Alaska ship selection. Even if getting a balcony- head out front at least part of your trip- nothing beats the full front views. I have sailed the Sun three times to Alaska- too bad it is now considered one of the "smaller" ships sailing.