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Alaska Cruise for Family of 4 - Which Cruise Line?

Alaska Cruise for Family of 4 - Which Cruise Line?

Apr 12th, 2008, 11:16 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Alaska Cruise for Family of 4 - Which Cruise Line?

We are planning a big trip to celebrate two graduations and our
25th anniversary. Our son will be 22, his sister 18. We're focusing on a northbound Alaska cruise, but
need some advice as to which cruise
line to use, what to be wary of, etc. Thanks in advance
JMK38 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2008, 12:16 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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No real advice, but great minds think alike. We are going to Alaska in June to celebrate the same with our 2 kids, same age. (Except our older kid has decided to pursue the 5-year-plan for college and will not graduate until next year). We fly to Alaska 6/9, spend a week on own on land, and then do Princess southbound cruise 6/16. Will let you know how it is in 3 months.
gail is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 12:18 PM
  #3  
 
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Princess offer the most choice. If you want party, go with Carnival.

Most Alaskan criuises are full of middle age and mature people and few young family. I haven't seen too many 18 to 22 year old or younger so far on my few trips. But then, I stay away during the peak summer months. (May and Sept are great!)

It really depends on what your 22 and 18 year old likes. Some 18 and 22 year old likes to party and drink and some don't (especailly when the parents are around).

You really can't go round with any line. Pick the stops that you want (they are almost the same anyway) and decide. If you want to go to Sitka, then yor choice is narrower.

Good luck!
Eschew is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 05:22 AM
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For clairfication, the above "party" reference to Carnival is totally false with Carnival Alaska cruises. They do a great job in Alaska with the same demographics of passengers, middle aged and above. NO PARTY ship.

BudgetQueen is offline  
Apr 14th, 2008, 01:53 PM
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I have to clarify the "party" comment. If you like ship board announcement, wait staff harassing you for drinks on deck, singing and dancing at the dining room etc etc then go with Carnival. I prefere a quiet uneventful dinning. If I want sing and dance, I'll go to the show.
With that said, Carnival food is getting better. The shows are not bad. So there are pluses, provided you can take the annoyance.

One more thing ... only Carnival goes to Sitka, so if you want to stop at Sitka, not much of a choice here.
Eschew is offline  
Apr 20th, 2008, 07:31 AM
  #6  
 
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wrong information, HAL also sails Sitka.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Apr 20th, 2008, 07:35 AM
  #7  
 
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And so does Celebrity.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 12:48 AM
  #8  
 
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And yes, Budgetqueen is right, Celebrity also goes to Sitka.
Eschew is offline  
Apr 26th, 2008, 06:59 PM
  #9  
 
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I saw this on another website. Take it for what you think it's worth.

Top 10 signs you belong on Royal Caribbean:

1. You think standing in lines is a good way to meet people.

2. The cabins are way bigger than that cell you were just released from.

3. You don’t notice that the comedian spends more time saying what a great cruise it is than telling jokes.

4. You watch Home Shopping Network more than 10 hours per week

5. You know you’re having a good time when you’re told you’re having a good time.

6. Drink of the day? You’d go for drink of the hour!

7. Olive Garden is your special occasion restaurant.

8. You’re interested in all those business offers being e-mailed to you from Nigeria.

9. “You suck” sounds to you like “ Have a nice day” in the language of your homeland.

[ Wait – you complain there’s only 9? Well, Royal Caribbean gets away from promising more than they deliver, so why can’t I?]
rosie170 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2008, 05:15 PM
  #10  
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First, thanks to all for your help and suggestions. Sitka sounds very
interesting - do you think this is
a "must see" for an Alaskan cruise?
JMK38 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2008, 05:58 PM
  #11  
 
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Sitka was the site of the old Capital of Alaska when it belongs to the Tsarist Russia. There are lots of historical buildings with obvious Russian influence. Below is a link to Sitka so you can do some research. It is obviosuly a very large of Alaskan human interest history. It's at the Pacific coast, with mild weather but rains a fair bit. It's nice but it does not comapre to the Glacier National Park which I think is a "must" see.

http://www.sitka.com/
Eschew is offline  
May 8th, 2008, 06:54 PM
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I enjoyed Celebrity tremendously, and went to Alaska with Celebrity for our first cruise. If you take the Infinity, the captain is really experienced and I hear has gotten the ship pretty close to glaciers whenever conditions allow it.

Otherwise, nothing to be wary about really. Depending on what ports you visit, Ketchikan comes to mind immediately, you will have to tender into port. Basically, take a smaller boat from the cruise ship. I find it a lot of fun. Others don't.

Also, after you book your cruise, IF you want to take a shore excursion through the cruise line, make sure you book in advance. Some excursions really do sell out in advance, as we found the hard way!
mcnyc is offline  
May 12th, 2008, 06:29 PM
  #13  
 
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For cruises, you get what you pay for

HAL, Celebrity, and Princess are Premium lines. But you get a nicer ship, less crowding, etc.

I would clearly avoid NCL. While I loved the Norway, my last NCL "freestyle" cruise was horrid.
ivan1951 is offline  
May 14th, 2008, 03:40 AM
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Regent also goes to Sitka. If you want an upscale experience for these special occasions, you can't beat the Mariner. All suite, all balcony, all inclusive (tips, drinks (including alcohol), terrific food, etc.). Of course, excursions are your own responsibility. When we went, we did a mixture of Regent's excursions and our own, which are fairly easy to arrange for Alaska. Also, I'd try to work in a pre- or post-cruise trip to Denali.
Dreps is offline  
May 21st, 2008, 07:39 PM
  #15  
 
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My husband and I have taken 4 cruises to Alaska alll on Princess. That being said, our two memorable cruises were round trip to out of San Francisco and featured a nuturalist named Bren Nixon. This year he is the naturalist on Celebrity cruises. If I were booking this year I'd look for him. He is amazing and really makes the cruise experience.
mvspitzer is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 08:19 PM
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Has anyone ever done Royal Caribbean to Alaska and if so would you recommend it. I did Princess in 2001 for 2 weeks land and southbound cruise. We had a blast and did a lot of excursions. My favorite excursion was the Yukon White Rail Pass which I recommend for anyone going to Skagway. You have to do it. I agree Denali Nat'l Park is a must see. I was spoiled by my first trip to Alaska and I'm happy I did 2 weeks on a Princess tour. However I recommend using a non-acid photo album. My pictures were darkened by a souvenir photo album. So any tips on Royal Caribbean to Alaska?
Travelgirl563 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 08:27 PM
  #17  
 
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I cannot agree with the poster about the digs on RCCL. RCCL is at the top of my list for favorite cruise lines. I love the drink of the day. I love the comedians and the shows. I just took my 2nd RCCL cruise last year and I'm planning a 12 night for this November. The staff, food and entertainment is great. I would say the inside cabins are small but I've moved up to the balcony which has a bit more room. I stopped cramming 3 people in a room. I'm older now and need comfort. I love RCCL. My friends are avid cruisers and they are Platinum and Diamond members on RCCL. I love Celebrity and Princess too. So far I can review RCCL, Celebrity and Princess and I don't have any complaints.
Travelgirl563 is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 02:03 AM
  #18  
 
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Rosie give it up. She has a vendetta vs. RCCL and this stuff was posted months ago and was ignored then. BTW we just returned from the AOS and it was great. We thoroughly loved that ship.
jacketwatch is offline  

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