Alaska

Aug 8th, 2006, 05:47 AM
  #1  
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Alaska

Trying to decide between Celebrity and Holland America for cruise to Alaska. Which of these two would be best or is there another?
cj013 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 09:48 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Just got back from Alaska on a Celebrity cruise out of Seattle. The weather was not good at all unforuntately, but since we had a balcony we were able to enjoy being outside where we couldn't on deck. The food and service on Celebrity is just great. This was our second cruise on Celebrity. We have never cruised on Holland America. The only problem was that there was too much down time on the ship when we were not docked. Would pick a cruise where you only have perhaps 2 days of just cruising at the most.
0311 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 12:39 PM
  #3  
katybird
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Are you deciding according to the ship or itinerary? I would check the itineraries. How much time in ports? Too much open ocean sailing for Seattle. HA does Glacier BAy and Celebrity does not.
My pick would be HA round trip VAncouver.
 
Aug 9th, 2006, 05:21 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 234
It also depends on how much luxury you want. Regent's Mariner provides a luxurious experience with all suites all balconies on a relatively large ship with only 700 passengers. Food and service are outstanding. In 2007, Regent becomes completely all inconclusive. (It is practically all inclusive now.) Excursions are also top notch and reasonably priced. Be glad to tell you more about our experience [email protected].
Dreps is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 05:43 AM
  #5  
 
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What is your criteria for "better"? Its impossible to say w/o knowing what you are expecting. Speaking of expectations Regent will be 2-3X the cost of most other cruise lines.
jacketwatch is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 09:17 AM
  #6  
 
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Just returned from Alaska on HAL (northbound out of Vancouver 7/16), and could not recommend another cruise more! The staff was effecient, friendly and available. The food was excellent with superior service in the diningroom. Some passengers felt there was too much emphasis on excursions, but we had not planned to do many and did not feel pressured to do more. They don't tell you much about the National Park service tours, but they are well done and free in port citites. The National Park walking tour in Skagway was especially well done. The ship's captain was informative but not intrusive with information. The ship's naturalist was great with various presentations on different aspects of Alaska wildlife. We saw many marine mamals just from the ship, and the stops at the glacier were awesome. The only time people seemed to have trouble with sea sickness was after College Fjord when we were in open seas. We had no problem eating surf N turf that night, but many didn't have dinner. My husband sometimes has trouble with motion sickness on Lake Michigan, but had none nor took any medication for it on this cruise. As for the conveniences of luggage handling, we have never had an easier trip! We never touched our luggage once it left the airport (midwest with connecting flight) until it was in our cabin on the ship. Customs and immigration in Canada were very smooth for HAL cruise customers, but we saw long lines as we went into a different area. One of our prior issues was of health for that flu like virus on ship lines, but the staff was very deligent about everyone sanitizing before meals, before using computers, and various other places. As far as we were aware, no one had that virus on board. The shows and entertainment were of high quality with talented musicians and performers. Don't know what age range is involved in your cruise, but our cruise had a wide variety of ages with the majority over 50. There were some large family units with infants, young children, teens and adults which were perhaps celebrating anniversaries etc. We didn't check into the teen area since we were only adults traveling. The cruise might not have been appropriate for late teens/young adults since the nightlife didn't go too late since we were in port early in the mornings. If you enjoy being on the deck, you don't need a cabin with a window, but we had a window and just enjoyed being able to see out if we wanted to. Many said they took inside cabins to have money to spend on excursions. We are independent travelers so booked tours are not our style. We like to explore on our own after reading up on ports of call. There is helpful local information by the docks at all 3 port cities with many locals offering tours plus also information on using local transportation. With all the cruise ship customers and tourism their main economy, the local people are very helpful! If you like glaciers, then HAL would be your choice since they sail into Glacier Bay and College Fjords which were awesome! I can still hear the glaciers calving and pictures don't do the glaciers justice compared to watching them in person! Your route may be the determing factor since that was the main reason we selected HAL, but I would go HAL again with out hesitation!
CollegeMom is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 01:26 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 111
I think Celebrity and Regency would be great cruise lines from all I have heard. We are cruising on HAL from Seattle since I didn't want to deal with immigration and security in Vancouver. I have not cruised on HAL, but my brother, who is a very experienced cruiser, says HAL is the best for the money.

We are bringing our adult daughter with us. I hope it's not too much at sea time on this cruise. However, with the HAL ship, there appears to be plenty to do on board, and I will load us up with experiences and excursions on land.

If it were just myself and my spouse, I'd go for the smaller ship experience. I think Cruise West would be great, but it's very expensive and the cabins are very small (been there, done that.) Food was great, and I'm sure they do a quality program. Something else to consider--
shorebrau is offline  
Aug 11th, 2006, 09:34 AM
  #8  
 
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I too give a big edge to HAL for glacier bay and college Fjords. But if looking at a one way- TAKE ADVANTAGE and see interior Alaska- at the very least do not miss Seward. Top attraction here is a Kenai Fjords boat tour, just superb and a don't miss.

NEVER think you won't get sick if prone, always take precautions. I see sick passengers EVERY trip.

I would suggest you look at- ports, time in ports, glacier ,ship naturalist, routing, price.

Budget fully for excursions, you get half a trip without them in my opinion. HAVE plans and reservations in advance. Don't step off your ship clueless and waste valuable time. I do not recommend showing up at the visitor center- then deciding what to do. Your choices will be very limited and you will have wasted considerable time. Far superior to have this all thought out prior.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Aug 11th, 2006, 12:27 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Best cruise we ever went on was Alaskan cruise on the Regent Mariner. Small ship, no waiting in lines, every cabin has a balcony and walk in closet, outstanding service and food, all inclusive, friendly crew including the casino staff, and the most beautiful scenery we've ever seen
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