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Alaska Soutbound: Coral Princess or Zaandam?

Alaska Soutbound: Coral Princess or Zaandam?

Jan 15th, 2008, 08:58 AM
  #1  
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Alaska Soutbound: Coral Princess or Zaandam?

I've been reading reviews on cruisecritic.com and other sites, but I am still having difficulty choosing a cruise southbound out of Alaska. We are 3 couples traveling together (ages 40-60). We'd like to fly to Anchorage, spend a few days on our own, then cruise south to Vancouver before returning to Florida. Choices are:

Coral Princess: Leaving from Whittier, oceanview cabin (no couch, tiny shower/no tub). Some bad comments also about the beds. Food doesn't get many good remarks. Ship otherwise rated very well.

Holland America Zaandam: Leaving from Seward, oceanview cabin (bigger room, w/couch and tub/shower, lots of good comments about beds). Some of the comments, though, lead me to believe this ship is not as nice as other Holland America ships.

We'd like to spend time in Seward, and doesn't seem like there is much in Whittier. But HAL is more expensive, by about $100-200+ per person for a 7-day cruise.

Any comments from my fellow Fodorites? I need to make a choice this week and need some advice. Thanks, all!
sludick is offline  
Jan 15th, 2008, 10:29 AM
  #2  
 
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Hi Sludick - I'm meeting you all over the board!!! I like the Zaandam and certainly prefer it to the Coral Princess. Are you taking any side trips to my part of the world while you are there???
traveller69 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2008, 10:35 AM
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HI again - I forgot to mention that the Zaandam doesn't carry as many passengers which is a plus. The ports on the Alaska cruise get absolutely jammed with cruise passengers so its nice to be on a slightly smaller ship.
traveller69 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2008, 03:51 PM
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Well, we do get around, don't we?! At least, we seem to prefer the same places.

Well, once we're in Vancouver, DH wants to visit one of his favorite restaurants - Joe Fortes or the Salmon House. I don't think we'll get over to Victoria this time. We're trying to avoid renting a car this trip, so we'll stay in Van and then take the train back to SeaTac airport. In Alaska, we'll look at train again, but might rent a car for a day or two before the cruise.

How have you been?
sludick is offline  
Jan 15th, 2008, 09:11 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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I think we both have excellent taste in travels! We are spending the winter in our Arizona home then back to Oliver and then to Victoria. I guess it keeps us young??? My latest adventure is to leave DH home with D doggie and my girlfiend and I (friends since we were 8 - just a few years ago) are going to do a back to back Baltic/Mediterranean cruise. Her husband isn't a much of a cruiser and so we are going on our own. Mine is a golfer - belongs to club in Oliver and one in Az so he can keep himself busy on the greens. By the way a good friend of mine was the Exec Chef at the Salmon House but left a couple of years ago so I don't know what the food is like now. Otherwise he could have given you the royal treatment. Enjoy the Zandaam if you decide on HAL.
traveller69 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2008, 05:15 AM
  #6  
 
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I would pick HAL anyday over Princess for Seward. That $100 difference isn't significant, and it will cost you time/money to get to Seward from Whittier. Makes the best use of time, if your priority is Seward.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Jan 16th, 2008, 07:33 AM
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I took a Celebrity cruise in Alaska this year, and spoke with several passengers that had been on the Zaandam and said it was great. Having been on the Coral Princess before - I would pick HAL....
Debi is offline  
Jan 16th, 2008, 02:45 PM
  #8  
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Thank you everyone for your advice. We are confirmed on the Zaandam, leaving Seward on May 18. It was more expensive, but we are happy with it.

traveller69 - that Baltic/ Mediterranean cruise sounds wonderful. I took a short (3-day) Mediterranean cruise back when I was a teenager; it was part of my college trip to Greece to study classical Greek architecture. I'd love to go back. You know, we felt that there had been a change in the Salmon House the last couple of visits. For one thing, the menu has changed somewhat. I liked it better before, so that must have been your friend's influence. The view is still unbelievable, though.

Now to put out a post on Denali and other "must dos." We'll be there pretty early, and this may well limit our options.

Thanks again!
sludick is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 05:23 AM
  #9  
 
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You are too early for Denali Park, I suggest you look at perhaps, Seward and Homer. Both offer some great touring. www.kenaipeninsula.com

New discounts and cabin credits came out today for HAL. IF Denali Park is a priority, I suggest you look at and rebook a northbound sailing.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 01:32 PM
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Thanks, BudgetQueen. I see that Denali Visitor's Center opens only the day before we would arrive, so I'm not surprised. We're constrained by the date, as we absolutely must be back in Florida before May 30. We'll find something to do, I'm sure.
sludick is offline  
Jan 12th, 2015, 07:20 PM
  #11  
 
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HAL, do they go to Glacier Bay? We are deciding between Princess, Norwegian and HAL for our cruise. I too would rather go to Seward than Whittier at the end of the trip but also want to see Glacier Bay , which Princess and Norwegian do.
robbiegirl is offline  
Jan 12th, 2015, 07:34 PM
  #12  
 
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My error, I wanted to say Norwegian sun goes to both Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier.
Also , please comment on the pros and cons of northbound vs southbound cruising.
Thank you.
robbiegirl is offline  
Jan 12th, 2015, 10:33 PM
  #13  
 
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First off, this is an old thread. So you may not get too many responses. For me, there really is no preference between Northbound or Southbound. Either one is better than round trip inside passage.
You go from warm to cold or cold to warm. Most people take the one way cruise also add on cruise tours in Alaska, either pre-cruise or post-cruise.

HAL ships also go to Glacier Bay. College Fjord is very nice as well but it is different than Hubbard. If your heart us set on Hubbard, then find one itinerary that travels to both Hubbard and Glacier Bay.

Princess has the most ships in the area so you have more choices of dates.
Eschew is offline  
Mar 30th, 2015, 09:05 AM
  #14  
 
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Eschew, It seems like you have done alot in Alaska. Do you have a favorite cruiseline? Would you suggest going to Glacier Bay or Hubbard Bay? Which cruiseline has the best land cruise trip? Thanks C & J
CherylandJeff is offline  

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