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alwayzmile Sep 8th, 2004 02:01 PM

which cruise line is best
my family and i will be going on our first cruise next summer. we are really looking forward to seeing alaska. i have read several of the message boards and it seems that people are very split about their favorite cruise lines in terms of side trips, food, etc. can anyone give me an idea of which cruise line would be the best overall?
thanks so much for your help!

happycruiser Sep 8th, 2004 02:19 PM

There is no such thing as best cruise line. The best one for me is the one I like the most; for you it can be the opposite. Thats why there are so many of them. Tell us your age, interests and then you can get a good advice.

drummer0002 Sep 9th, 2004 05:04 AM

the answer to your question is very subjective. It is like asking what country is the best. See what I mean?

simonv Sep 9th, 2004 11:32 AM

And your budget.

lizette Sep 12th, 2004 08:38 AM

It also depends on how old your group is. I have 2 younger kids (aged 8 and 6) and we've taken them on cruises 3 times before. Although everyone recommended Carnival bec. of my kids' age group and their program, overall, we prefereed to be on the Royal Caribbean. I prefer to be in an older crowd rather than too many younger kids. It's weird, but that's how we are. So, it depends on your preference. My parents, of course, rave about Celebrity (which is supposedly a higher up than Royal). I'm going on a Princess for the first time next year.

Also, a cruise is something that you either like it or you don't. If you don't get seasick and keep an open mind, I think you will enjoy your cruise regardless of which cruise line you take. It's an experience by itself and once you like it, you'll eventually get a feel for what you prefer. In my opinion, there are a lot of varying opinions and tastes. Just don't think that everything should be 100% perfect. I've taken 6 cruises and there were good things and bad things on each cruise, although I have to say the best I've ever taken was last year when we went to Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas. Of course, it was a brand new ship then, too.

Good luck and I hope my comments helped.


BudgetQueen Sep 12th, 2004 10:32 PM

The kids argument doesn't go in Alaska. Overall very few kids sail there compared to the Caribbean. All lines have passengers of all ages but the majority is still middle aged and above- again on all lines. Consider looking beyond the ship and what is outside. For me Alaska sailing - what is important- time in ports (more is better), ports (on one ways I give a Big edge to Seward), glacier (Glacier Bay is still my preference after having sailed all 3, plus I never consider any one ways without College Fjords), naturalist on board?, route (Seattle departures have more outside passage sailing), price- budget fully for costly excursions you get only half a trip without them. Research- read trip reports- BUT factor in their cruising experience IN Alaska- if their only trip- they are comparing. I have sailed 4 lines in 10 cruises to Alaska. None are perfect- just make the right choices for you. :)

alwayzmile Sep 18th, 2004 05:58 AM

thank you very much to everyone for their advice.
basically, the people going are my parents, in their 50's, my sister and i, we are in our 20's, (and possibly my grandmother and her sister who are in their 70's.) so there is a very wide range of ages and likes and dislikes as you can imagine.
we enjoy sightseeing, so i imagine the stops we take would be important. the quality of the food would be pretty important. the condition of the ship would also be a factor in our decision. my sister went on a cruise to mexico this summer and hated the ship, she said it was very old and outdated.
as for the price, it doesnt have to be the cheapest there is, however a moderate price would be good.
i hope that makes it easier, and i appreciate all the advice and help.
(at the moment i think we are leaning toward royal carribbean or possibly norweigan)

cruznut6 Sep 18th, 2004 06:52 AM

I would also include Princess, based on the info you've given. They have several new ships sailing Alaska, plus offering "anytime dining", which gives you the flexibility to eat when it's convenient for you.


simpsonc510 Sep 18th, 2004 08:49 AM

I give my thumbs up to Princess!

TopMan Sep 19th, 2004 01:52 AM

The best one is the one you just went on and had a great time. The even better one is the one you are going on next.

Get real: people are going to STAY "very split" (to use YOUR words) no matter how many you ask..but of course, this post gives them something new to talk about.

everittp Sep 20th, 2004 08:33 AM

Your group sounds similar to the mix of ages I had on my Alaskan cruise. My 78 year old mother, my 32 year old daughter and I shared a balcony cabin on Celebrity Infinity. My TA had suggested that ship and cabin. Daughter slept on the convertible sofa. Mom and I had single beds.
The ship was excellent. Not too big for Mom to walk around comfortably. We only had one tender. Balcony allowed us to have afternoon tea and a rest for Mom while watching the always present scenery. There was a naturalist aboard. Stage is very big and modern, allowed innovative dance acts.

Lots of choices for tours. e.g. daughter took guided hike on Gold rush trail. Mom and I rode train and saw same but more comfortably.

We all took the whale watching tour, and were pleased, though Mom and I were content to stay inside and daughter went outside.

Infinity is a big ship, so we were a bit envious of the smaller ship up closer to the calving glacier.

I suggest that you do get 3 balcony cabins side-by-side so you can all enjoy the scenery. Because their are 6 of you, no one would have to pay single supplement. If your TA is really good, you should be able to book early rate with minimum down, and appropriate insurance bought at time of final payment. We also had early sitting which was great for all of us because we wanted to sleep in the dark times and be up early so as to see as much of the scenery as possible. For that reason, and for comfort, I'd choose inside passage itinerary.

cjj814 Jan 13th, 2005 11:05 AM

I am going on my 2nd Cruise to Alaska in June 2005. Last year I cruised the inside passage from Vancouver to Anchorage. This year I am taking the Cruise/Tour which includes a week long trip from Anchorage to Prudoe Bay then a Cruise from Anchorage to Vancouver. I really can't wait!!! I have been on several cruises and last year was the best. Cruise Lines all offer wonderful food, entertainment, etc. And the scenery is spectacular. I was on Princess last year and am going with Princess again this year. I am sure all the other lines are just as good, but Princess offered all that I wanted with Ports, pricing, service, etc. You won't go wrong with any line because Alaska is the real show. Make sure you get to see glaciers and if you are in Anchorage on a Saturday do not miss Saturday Market downtown. It is a lot of fun. Just relax and enjoy.

lovetotravel7 Jan 21st, 2005 09:34 AM

June 2004 Celebrity Summit from Seward to Vancouver was EXCELLENT!!! Simon Weir, the cruise director, was outstanding. Celebrity does cater to a more upscale older crowd and less kids, the on board kids program is still very good, so I miss out on tatoos and body piercings and see more suits at dinner! Your kids won't know the difference because how many KIDS can you play with at one time anyways. Shows were very good, food and service a 10. Excursions very good. Ship quality a 10 on the Summit! You get what you pay for. Just did the CostaMediterranea, lots more kids, but my kids spend most of their vacation with us and on the excursions and give them a 3 out of a 10 since their service and food was LOUSY! I had 4 kids with us on the ship from 10-16 years of age and between your excursions, dinner, shows, etc, there isn't a lot of free time. Other people who have cruised Holland America, NCL, and Carnival told us once we tried Celebrity we would be spoiled forever...and so it goes...we are doing the Mediterranean for 12 days this summer with Celebrity!

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