Alaska not DCL?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by disneymomto5, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. disneymomto5

    disneymomto5 Mouseketeer

    Jun 24, 2006
    Hope someone can help me. We are interested in an Alaskan cruise but want to leave out of Seattle (it's cheaper and easier). Having only sailed DCL, can anyone recommend a good cruiseline to Alaska? We have a 14 and 10 year old traveling with us.
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  3. bmer1rick

    bmer1rick DIS Veteran

    Aug 5, 2011
    Actually, for Alaska, I would recommend not taking DCL. This recommendation does not come easily having taken 28 DCL cruises, but DCL has one big disadvantage--they don't go into Glacier Bay.

    I have cruised Alaska 3 times (twice with Glacier Bay and once without) and while Hubbard Glacier is nice... It is not near the same.

    So, saying that and wanting to go out of Seattle, I would look at Princess cruises that go into Glacier Bay. There are only a couple of ships a day allowed into Glacier Bay and HAL and Princess have most of them.

  4. outahere

    outahere DIS Veteran

    Aug 12, 2002
    We did an Alaskan cruise on NCL's Norwegian Pearl (from Seattle) and had a GREAT cruise! Our DS was 13 at the time and had a blast. We really enjoyed everything about the ship. The different dining venues were very good, the entertainment was good (not DCL quality, but still good), the shore excursions were great, and the day in Glacier Bay was very interesting. The ship even has a bowling alley, which was a lot of fun and interesting when we were at sea. We wouldn't hesitate to go again.
  5. tajz90

    tajz90 Mama D

    May 6, 2012
    We have sailed Alaska twice. Once with Disney and it was great. Tracy Arm was beautiful ;)

    The other time was with RCCL and we visited Glacier Bay. Of course, someone will point out that they no longer sail Glacier Bay. Don't let the absence of Glacier Bay stop you from cruising the line of your choice. The beauty all over will amaze you.

    Disney was our favorite, but RCCL wasn't a bad choice :)

    I'd choose a ship that might have a younger demographic. We feel more comfortable cruising with people around our age or with the same interests.

    Have fun!!!!!
  6. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2007
    Our honeymoon cruise was on Radiance of the Seas to Alaska. It was lovely. Though we left out of BC, and Radiance only rarely is up there anymore, we would do RCCL again to Alaska, definitely.
  7. codex57

    codex57 Earning My Ears

    Nov 6, 2012
    Alaska has been my favorite destination out of all the cruises I've been on. Accordingly, it's pretty easy to recommend a line for Alaska. Princess or Holland. The best stops in Alaska have limited numbers of access and Princess and Holland have the great majority of those slots. They're the 800 lb gorilla of Alaska cruising.

    So, while Disney has been my favorite line to sail with, for Alaska, I'd recommend Princess or Holland. I've done Alaska twice with Princess. Great, great cruises.
  8. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

    Dec 4, 2003
    We did Alaska on Celebrity. The cruise itself was amazing. The food was better than DCL. Guest Services was GREAT. The stateroom host system was a little odd, but worked well (one person cleaned the room, a different person cleaned the bathroom????) Tips were handled the same as DCL--billed to stateroom account.

    The entertainment was lacking. There were a couple of good musical groups and they had a live orchestra for their "shows," but the show quality was high school. For a very port intensive cruise, it wasn't a big deal; for a cruise with lots of sea days, it would have been!

    OH, one nice touch--an enclosed pool/hot tub area. It seems it is normally an adult area, but because it was Alaska, there were signs up indicating that children with parental supervision were welcome in this area during the following hours..and listed a couple of hours each day.
  9. dato63

    dato63 DIS Veteran

    May 7, 2008
    We have done Alaska twice with NCL. Once with the Pearl and once with Jewel.

    The Pearl had Glacier Bay, which we found amazing. The Pearl also has the bowling alley.

    The Jewel has Nickolean theme activites & characters (Spongebob, Patrick, Dora and Diego). They do not have a bowling alley, however they do have private karoeke rooms that my DDs though were really fun.

    My DDs were 7 & 8 on these cruises. They did enjoy the kids club on DCL better. However, they loved the shows and dining options better on NCL.

    The one thing I try to point out to friends when they think about cruising NCL is that it is a little differnet. There is no formal night, no assigned dining times, etc. So if you like/are use to having the same servers every night - it may not be the right fit. We did bond with some servers and requested them each evening, and most times did get them . . so if it is possible, but not set like other cruises lines tend to be.
  10. Meriweather

    Meriweather Aria's Nana

    Mar 31, 2002
    I agree completely. I have also taken 3 Alaska Cruises, 2 Glacier Bay and one without.
    We made sure the 3rd included it because it is so much better.
    I liked HAL better than Princess, but it could have just been our one cruise that wasn't so great.
  11. jdb in AZ

    jdb in AZ <font color=green>It could end up curdled<br><font

    Feb 11, 2011
    One other consideration -- a land/sea trip. I know you can do the land portion on your own, but we really enjoyed staying at the Princess lodge at the base of Mt. McKinley for three days. We also went through Denali, and up to Fairbanks.
  12. jiminyC_fan

    jiminyC_fan <font color=FF00CC>Missing Captain Mickey!<br><fon

    Jul 24, 2001
    I recommend HAL or Princess. I second the advice to do a land/cruise tour. Alaska has so much to offer both on the water and the land. Denali was just as spectacular as was Glacier Bay. Staying at the lodge was a highlight.
  13. MillauFr

    MillauFr Buzz & Woody

    Aug 5, 2011
    We did a cruise on the NCL Pearl in 2007. Glacier Bay was great, but I also liked Tracy Arm on the Wonder this summer as well. The food was better on the Pearl but the shows and service were better on the Wonder.
  14. NancyIL

    NancyIL DIS Veteran

    Aug 19, 1999
    Radiance of the Seas is still doing one-way Alaska cruises between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska. It's true that Royal Caribbean and Celebrity don't go to Glacier Bay.

    I have sailed to Alaska twice on Princess and twice on Holland America. Two were one-way cruises and two were roundtrip from Seattle. If you have the time I would strongly suggest a one-way cruise plus a land trip. We arranged our own land trip with a rental car, because I am not a fan of the cruise lines' "cruise tours".
  15. wifey1220

    wifey1220 DIS Veteran

    Mar 4, 2008
    My dh wants an Alaska cruise. So I have been looking at other lines as well. Ncl sails out of Seattle and they seem to be very nice. If I was to book I would pick them and I have 3 boys 12,8,4. But that is just my opinion from research I have never been.
  16. kaseyC

    kaseyC Mom to 3 lovely Princesses

    Mar 25, 2002
    We are planning to take our 3rd Alaska cruise (first with our DDs) in 2014. We are looking to sail HAL or Princess because we want a one way North or South with a land portion. Haven't decided if we will DIY on the land portion or do a package through the cruise line. Glacier Bay is a must.
  17. Dawn414

    Dawn414 DIS Veteran

    Jun 26, 2006
    I agree...Disney to Alaska just didn't do it for us...the cost alone was crazy. We ended up booking a Verandah room on Royal for the same price we would have had an Inside Cabin on Disney.

    We don't take the cruise until June 2013, but we are doing the Vancouver to Seward. Believe it or not, the airfare pricing wasn't all that much different than Seattle/Round trip (for us leaving out of Philly) and the one way (versus cruising in a circle) was a better itinerary.

    Happy planning!
  18. Dis_Grk Grl

    Dis_Grk Grl Earning My Ears

    Aug 14, 2005
    I've heard good things about Princess's Alaskan cruises :)
    However we are going to Alaska this spring with Carnival because we won a free cruise with Carnival, lol. Hopefully it will be a good experience :)
  19. algae

    algae Mouseketeer

    Jan 29, 2011
    We've been on the Emerald Princess sailing to Alaska. They do a great job in terms of the trip itself. That ship has an indoor pool, which is nice for Alaska, that Disney ships do not have. Not sure if all captains do this, but we sailed wayyyy into Tracy Arm to get a close look at Sawyer Glacier. We hear we were much closer than other large ships dare to go. Our sailing also had a naturist on-board to narrate and point out wildlife and stuff as we went. Not sure if DCL does this.

    The shows on Princess are definitely targetted at an older audience, though. Nice productions, but the music was before my time and I'm not exactly young either :) Hated the smoke-filled casino, though. :sad2:

    Even though we missed being on a DCL ship when it passed us one day, I still think Princess is the way to go up in Alaska.
  20. hbg4

    hbg4 Ask me where I'm going on my next vacation ? Disne

    Jun 1, 2005
    I've cruise 3 times to Alaska with Holland America.
    This summer we'll be going round trip from Seattle. We've also done the one way from Vancouver to Anchorage, the last one in 2010 was a 7 night cruise plus 6 day land tour with the HAL package. That was the best vacation ever. My DD13 at the time made friends with a lot of other kids in the clubs and so had familiar faces during the land portion, since we all stayed in the same Lodges and took the same trains and buses.
    Princess and Holland are the 2 biggest names in the Alaska cruise/tour industry. I believe that Holland now has the bigger monopoly in Alaska, since a couple years ago some of the cruise lines had pulled out some of their ships from Alaska. Holland has the better and newer rail road cars,with the clear domes on the upper cars. Touring with the cruise line gives you a few additional perks and priority for tours. Since Princess and Holland own most of the rail road cars, alot of the reservations have to be done using their trains or buses. If this is not done in time, you may be left stranded.
    My DD cruised to Alaska at 6, 9 and 13yrs old and she loved all the Holland America cruises we've been on.
  21. NancyIL

    NancyIL DIS Veteran

    Aug 19, 1999
    When was your Princess Alaska cruise? Princess recycles ship names, but the current Emerald Princess was in Europe in 2011 and 2012 when DCL was in Alaska. Perhaps you were on the Diamond or Sapphire (other gem names)?

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