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Old June 29th, 2008, 08:49 PM
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Default royal caribbean vs. princess cruise to Alaska

I'm planning a cruise to alaska next summer with my husband & 4 kids (14, 12, 10 & 3). I heard Royal Caribbean is great for kids, but Princess
is $1000 cheaper for the same rooms. Has anyone been on both lines?
Any recommendations on which cruise to go on?
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Old June 29th, 2008, 11:49 PM
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I have been on cruises on both lines. RCCL is a better fit for kids. I cruised Princess to Alaska from Vancouver, B.C., and it was excellent. I can't believe that Princess is cheaper. It has almost always been the other way around. The average age of cruisers is older on most Alaska cruises, and that also goes for Princess versus RCCL.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 02:46 AM
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Which Princess did you go on to Alaska? My travel agent told me
Coral/Island gets better reviews, but Diamond/Sapphire works better
with our schedule. I read some reviews (although they were old -
about Diamond that were negative).

I really want to go on RCCL, but I'm trying to justify the price difference.
Is it really worth $1000 more.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 09:18 AM
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We have the same issue!

We are looking at a family cruise of 20 folks next summer to Alaska. I've been asking questions since we came up with the idea

We sailed our first time to Alaska on Carnival Spirit and had a great time! The kids were 5 and 3 at the time and loved Camp Carnival.

I'll be watching this thread for sure!
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Old June 30th, 2008, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: royal caribbean vs. princess cruise to Alaska

ike201,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I'm planning a cruise to alaska next summer with my husband & 4 kids (14, 12, 10 & 3). I heard Royal Caribbean is great for kids, but Princess
is $1000 cheaper for the same rooms. Has anyone been on both lines?
Any recommendations on which cruise to go on?
Princess always seems to have great children's, youth, and teen programs -- especially in Alaska where the rangers in Glacier Bay National Park do special programs for those age groups. The only problem that I have ever seen with the children's program on a Princess cruise was a mother who was having a very difficult time persuading her youngster -- who very adamantly wanted to go back to the children's center to "play with kids" -- that it was time to get ready for dinner.

That said, all of the major cruise lines have very similar itineraries for cruises to Alaska. There are three basic itineraries -- a "round trip" itinerary (typically called "Inside Passage") out of either Seattle or Vancouver that does not go to the interior, a "Northbound Gulf" itinerary that goes from Vancouver to either Seward or Whittier (which are major ports on the Gulf of Alaska to the south of Anchorage), and a "Southbound Gulf" itinerary that goes from either Seward or Whittier to Vancouver. The details differ from cruise line to cruise line, but all three itineraries typically stop at three of the four major ports of call along the Inside Passage (Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau, and Skagway) and a day of glacier viewing. Some itineraries include a second day of glaciers while others include a minor port of call such as Hoonah (sometimes listed as "Icy Strait Point"), Wrangell, Haines, or, on itineraries that operate round trip from Seattle, either Prince Rupert or Victoria.

When it comes to choice of cruise line, the major differentiator tends to be the style and personality of each cruise line -- and you undoubedly will have the best experience on the line that's the best match for your personal style and personality. If this is your first cruise, I recommend getting a guidebook to cruise lines and cruise ships at your local bookstore and reading the description of each line to see which sounds like the best match.

Norm.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 06:50 PM
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subtropic,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I can't believe that Princess is cheaper. It has almost always been the other way around.
Historically, it was the other way around -- Princess, as a "premium" tier cruise line, commanded higher fares. It changed about four or five years ago. The changes that turned me "off" to Princess -- the dysfunctional layout of the line's post-Panamax ships, the discontinuance of "semiformal" evenings and confusion caused by the "personal choice cruising" advertisement (the introduction of which made no mention of changes to dress code but coincided with another line's introduction of "freestyle cruising" that included an explicit "formal attire optional" policy) which completely destroyed the ambiance of "formal" evenings, the frequent unavailability of "traditional dining," the often very self-centered people whom the "personal choice cruising" advertisements seemed to draw, the discontinuance of flaming desserts and other very noticeable cuts introduced under the parent company's "cost reduction programme" -- seem to have driven away a lot of Princess's historical customer base, forcing the line to lower fares to attract new customers.

Norm.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 10:29 PM
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thanks Norm for the advice on picking the cruise with the personality
that suites me best. I think I'll go with Royal Caribbean & hopefully,
they will come down in price within the next year.
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Old July 11th, 2008, 04:40 PM
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We have just returned from an Alaskan cruise on the Star Princess. We are a family of 5 (2 adults and 3 teenagers) we had a wonderful cruise but definitely chose the wrong cruise line. While we had no really big complaints about the ship or the service it was very difficult to find activities to keep busy on sea days. This line certainly caters to an "older population" and for very active families it could become quite boring. Again, it was a great cruise and Alaska is beautiful beyond imagination. The excursions are fabulous. Make sure you do the glacier walk and the lumberjack show. We will go back again but will definitely choose another cruise line.


Jill
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Old July 11th, 2008, 10:27 PM
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thanks! I actually ended up booking Royal Caribbean, wondering if I
made the right decision, since it was alot more. But after reading your
post, I am glad I did. Thanks for the excursion tips!
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Old July 12th, 2008, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillharrell
We have just returned from an Alaskan cruise on the Star Princess. We are a family of 5 (2 adults and 3 teenagers) we had a wonderful cruise but definitely chose the wrong cruise line. While we had no really big complaints about the ship or the service it was very difficult to find activities to keep busy on sea days. This line certainly caters to an "older population" and for very active families it could become quite boring. Again, it was a great cruise and Alaska is beautiful beyond imagination. The excursions are fabulous. Make sure you do the glacier walk and the lumberjack show. We will go back again but will definitely choose another cruise line.


Jill
Sorry but you are in Alaska and the sea day should be about nature such as whale watching, spotting birds, etc.. If you want to play silly games take a Caribbean cruise and not Alaska
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Old July 12th, 2008, 10:44 AM
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OP with your kids age groups in my opinion RCCL is best.

Some kids are not into nature and whale watching so silly games and all the bells and whistles of RCCL is the way to go with kids.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecruisequeen
OP with your kids age groups in my opinion RCCL is best.

Some kids are not into nature and whale watching so silly games and all the bells and whistles of RCCL is the way to go with kids.
I have to agree that kids don't allways enjoy nature stuff, plus if the kids are busy and have agood time, the parents also have a good time.

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Old July 12th, 2008, 07:30 PM
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busy kids = happy parents = an excellent vacation!
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Old July 12th, 2008, 09:26 PM
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Busy kids=happy parents=happy fellow cruisers=it's ALL good !
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