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Old June 20th, 2008, 11:44 AM
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Default Which ship for Alaska?

We're planning on a family (maybe 20 of us!) cruise next summer to Alaska and want to know which Princess ship you guys like the best for this cruise.

Age for the cruisers will be from 7 yrs up to folks in their 50's.

Anyone have any input?
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Old June 20th, 2008, 03:18 PM
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Good Afternoon!

Two years ago I started investigating cruise lines, ships and itinerary for an Alaska land/cruise for the summer of 2008. I chose the Princess cruise line with the Sapphire being our ship of choice. I have neither heard nor read any bad reviews of the ship and the Alaska cruise. The captains seem to go out of their way to make sure all passengers see the glacers if they so desire. The prices are very reasonable for the type of ship and service you get and we had the added benefit of upgrading to a mini-suite for $100.00 a person (were originally assigned a room with a balcony).

I can hardly wait to go on the cruise. We leave August 24th (a day earlier than actual tour start date) for Fairbanks and will travel thru some of the interior before taking off August 30th on the actural cruise. After the cruise I will post how everything went and the pro's and (hopefully very little) con's that we encountered.

Lizzyjane
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Old June 20th, 2008, 03:47 PM
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Thank you!

Sounds like you do your homework much like I do before booking! I have already started looking into the ships via websites since it was announced this morning that the family would indeed be taking the cruise.

I have yet to make it to the bedroom and the books I have, lol.

We sailed Carnival to Alaska last time and enjoyed the Spirit and her offerings. But this time we want to try another line. Adventure if you will.

We are also leaning toward the Sapphire, rather heavily. We've (when I saw "we" I'm referring to a cousin and Self) have looked at Carnival, RC and Princess and like what Princess has to offer the best so far.

I've also chatted and emailed with my friendly TA and she's doing some research of her own to find us all the best deal.

Enjoy your cruise and can't wait to read your review!
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2008 Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas to New England/Canada

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Old June 20th, 2008, 04:46 PM
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A lot of factors go into booking which ship. Look at all the different itinaries and decide what you like best. Also see if you want to do round trip or not. Then figure in the cost differences. Anyway you do it, I'm sure you all enjoy Alaska.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Which ship for Alaska?

dottiel,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
We're planning on a family (maybe 20 of us!) cruise next summer to Alaska and want to know which Princess ship you guys like the best for this cruise.

Age for the cruisers will be from 7 yrs up to folks in their 50's.

Anyone have any input?
My favorite ships of all time are MV Sun Princess, MV Dawn Princess, MV Sea Princess, and the former MV Ocean Princess (which now operates as MV Oceana for sister line P&O Cruises), but I think that MV Coral Princess and MV Island Princess would be as good.

In my first Mediterranean cruise, aboard MV Grand Princess, I discovered quite a few architectural mistakes in that ship's layout that ranged from annoying to downright frustrating, and thus resolved not to go back aboard that ship, or any of her sisters, if I could avoid it. This was a real disappointment to me, as the layout of Princess's smaller vessels is so good. Even worse, all of Princess's ships that are over 100,000 GRT -- MV Golden Princess, MV Star Princess, MV Diamond Princess, MV Sapphire Princess, MV Caribbean Princess, MV Crown Princess, MV Ruby Princess, and MV Emerald Princess -- have copied the same basic design and nearly all of the mistakes.

Norm.
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Old June 21st, 2008, 02:43 PM
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I just booked the Star for next summer on the 7 night cruise from Seattle can't wait.
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Old June 21st, 2008, 03:55 PM
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I really appreciate the input you all have given so far.

My little family (four of us) are the only ones that have sailed ot Alaska before, so this will be new and exciting for the others.

I'm hoping they all opt to sail the southern route, get the long flight out of the way. We will fly into KC from Dallas and meet up with everyone else and continue on as one large group. That's a long day with two kids ages 10 and 7!

We all will do our own excursions so that's not really a big deal as far as planning the cruise.

The ship is however! That's why we're looking to you all for your suggestions/likes/dislikes etc about the ships that sail this route.

We'll keep reading and making suggestions so keep em comin!
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2005 Carnival Spirit to Alaska

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Old June 21st, 2008, 06:47 PM
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well, i have only been on one cruise and it was the diamond but maybe my observations help...

i really loved that it was a big ship with a lot of amenities but never felt crowded.

being in my mid 20's, i also enjoyed the sky walkers club (i think that's the name?) anyway it's waaaaaay up high and provides a really fun view above everyone else, and also serves as a club at night that is more suiting to people 20-40s compared to the other lounges.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 09:14 AM
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My favorite for Alaska is the Coral & Island with almost all the amenities of the grand class fewer people. However the Grand Class ships (my favorite for longer cruises not in Alaska) would be in 2nd place. On the bottom of my list would be Sun, Dawn and the Sea due to the small in hull balconies. However ships are very subjective and what one person hates another may love. The only way to find out whats for you is to try one for yourself.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 12:36 PM
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Our favorite ship is the Sapphire Princess. We did have a mini-suite so that made it that much more enjoyable. It was wonderful to sit on the balcony and watch the scenery go by, plus it was wonderful in Glacier Bay.
We had breakfast on the balcony.
We cruised out of Vancouver. We picked a cruise out of Vancouver over Seattle because we really didn't want that open sea cruise with no scenery. We had one in our group that is prone to motion sickness and we found the Inside Passage to be very calm. The only movement we felt (and it was so slight we wondered if we really felt it) was after we left Glacier Bay into the Gulf of Alaska. From Vancouver the ship travels the Inside Passage and not out in the open sea, less movement and more scenery. We also liked the itinerary, Vancouver,Ketchikan, Juneau,Skagway, cruising College Fjord and Glacier Bay, finally to Anchorage. College Fjord and Glacier Bay is a must see, IMO.

Ships and experiences are relative. We really enjoyed the Sapphire. Really good kids programs, food was excellent, ship was beautiful, lots of activities for all ages,efficient and polite employees---What's not to love.
(We have cruised on the Diamond to Alaska as well and while it was a good experience we found we like the Sapphire better).

Have a great cruise.


I agree with you about travling southbound and getting that long flight behind you. The flight from Anchorage to Vancouver, to Denver,to DFW/Dallas-Ft Worth was really hard on everyone. We all decided for our next trip to Alaska we will get the long flight overwith first.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 12:53 PM
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Yup, that flight is a killer but you're so excited you don't really care! I decided if I could live thru that flight experience then anything else is easy.....

We're trying to get mini suites booked on the Sapphire but not sure we'll be together which I suppose would be fine if we're not but nice if we can swing it. Nothing like hunting family down to see them!

The Diamond is a close 2nd and can someone tell us about the Coral?
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Old June 23rd, 2008, 01:58 AM
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Have you considered coming to San Francisco, to catch the ship, and cruise to Alaska. It's a 10 day trip.

This time of year the weather is pretty good here. The Alaska cruise was one of our most memorable cruises ever.
Have a great time.
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Old June 23rd, 2008, 08:23 AM
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Donald, we hadn't considered that but might. We'll look into it and see our options.
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2005 Carnival Spirit to Alaska

2007 Carnival Conquest to Western Caribbean

2008 Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas to New England/Canada

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Old June 23rd, 2008, 10:03 AM
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I just got off a week long cruise to alaska, and really like the ship I was on, which was the star.

But basically depends on which ports you would like to go to.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 02:22 AM
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There are several dates in the month of July of 2009 for your Alaska
cruise, leaving from San Francisco.
They are 10 day round trips. Check the Princess web site.

Good luck and have a great cruise.
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Old July 5th, 2008, 07:46 PM
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You asked about the Coral. Four of us sailed on the sister ship, Island and loved it. there is lots of glass on the decks so your views are not obstructed at all. I would recommend a minisuite if you can swing it. Much more room and the bath is wonderful! Actually, the best part of Alaska is the excursions, so don't be like me and worry over every little detail! You will have a grant time, no matter what!
Bonvoyage!
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Old July 8th, 2008, 06:11 PM
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We were on a southbound June sailing of the Coral a couple of weeks ago. The ship is beautiful and there is so much public space that we never had a problem when out on deck to get a good viewing spot. The itinerary if also very good.

That being said, I think that you might be better off on one of the larger ships given the range of ages. On the larger ship there is a better chance of having more children. Also, the Skywalkers club up on top is a great place for young adults to all adults young at heart who enjoy night life and dancing.

On the Coral this is the only area in which I was disappointed. I didn't find a venue with dance music that we enjoy. Having been on many Princess cruises we would always end up in Skywalkers and we are in our 50s. I did miss the dancing and the atmosphere of this club on the Coral.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 02:13 AM
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What type of dancing are you referring to? We are planning another trip to Alaska in 09 or 10. We usually have numerous couple and we are all ballroom dancers. I am always looking for good ballroom dancing on cruises.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 12:00 PM
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Dottiel,

We were a family/friends group as well and not all of our staterooms were together.
We purchased inexpensive walkie-talkies (local Sporting Goods Store and Walmart) and no matter where we were on the ship we could always keep in touch. Great for the kids as well for the walkies gave them a little more freedom. Just clip them on a belt or purse for the adults and attach a cord and hang around the neck of the kiddos so they don't lay it down somewhere. Works Great.

I hope you will be able to book on the Sapphire, and Mini-suite will be perfect or a stateroom with a balcony. Our TA told us early on there are 2 places in the world you really want to book a balcony and that is Alaska and South America. Well, never been to South America, but she was right on in regards to Alaska. The scenery in Alaska is so breath taking you will not want to miss any part of it.

Have a great cruise.

Bandrews
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Old July 18th, 2008, 12:27 AM
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We went on Dawn princess in 2004 and couldn't imagine anything better. Balcony definitely essential. Something for all ages. Next month we repeat on the Coral Princess and anticipate just as good a time, even with 10 of us from teens to 70. Don't forget to get the coke or chocolate deals. Unlimited drinks payoff!
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Old August 18th, 2008, 10:49 PM
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I am a ballroom dancer also but I didn't go with a dancing partner. I was on the Coral Princess but the situation might be true for other ships as well. There were plenty of opportunities to dance at the Wheelhouse bar but only if you brought your own partner. There were some dance lessons for beginners in Merengue, ChaCha and Salsa but no attempt was made to bring that experience to the dance floor by having the group meet at a later time to do the dances.
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Old August 19th, 2008, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: Which ship for Alaska?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
Even worse, all of Princess's ships that are over 100,000 GRT -- MV Golden Princess, MV Star Princess, MV Diamond Princess, MV Sapphire Princess, MV Caribbean Princess, MV Crown Princess, MV Ruby Princess, and MV Emerald Princess -- have copied the same basic design and nearly all of the mistakes.

Norm.
Hi Norm. Could you elaborate on what you consider the mistakes in the design of the large Princess ships?
Thanks.

Rich
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Old August 21st, 2008, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: Which ship for Alaska?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dottiel
We're planning on a family (maybe 20 of us!) cruise next summer to Alaska and want to know which Princess ship you guys like the best for this cruise.

Age for the cruisers will be from 7 yrs up to folks in their 50's.

Anyone have any input?
It is a matter of choice but I prefer the Island class of ships on Princess to cruise to Alaska because it is a medium size ship. For me the larger Grand Class ships are just a little too large for me, but again that is a matter of personal choice.

There are NO design flaws on any of the many Princess ships that I have sailed, there is however, another cruise line with a serious design flaw but I digress.

The Grand class Princess ships hold about 2,600 passengers and would give you more ship to roam around in. Again, as I said it is a matter of personal choice. Princess has been cruising to Alaska and is the leader in Alaskan cruises. Many Princess cruises do offer two full days of glacier cruising in Glacier Bay and College Fjord. Glacier Bay is the high light of any Alaskan cruise and there are several cruise lines that are not even allowed to go into this beautiful National Park.

Have a great cruise.

Debra
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Old September 4th, 2008, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Which ship for Alaska?

Quote:
Originally Posted by richsea
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17
Even worse, all of Princess's ships that are over 100,000 GRT -- MV Golden Princess, MV Star Princess, MV Diamond Princess, MV Sapphire Princess, MV Caribbean Princess, MV Crown Princess, MV Ruby Princess, and MV Emerald Princess -- have copied the same basic design and nearly all of the mistakes.

Norm.
Hi Norm. Could you elaborate on what you consider the mistakes in the design of the large Princess ships?
Thanks.

Rich
HI Norm. Maybe you didn't see this so I'll ask again. What are the mistakes in the design of the large Princess ships?

Thanks.
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