Help me choose between these two itineraries please!
I'm stuck between these two ships/itineraries:
7 night Alaska Sawyer Glacier on RCI Rhapsody of the Seas
Vancouver, Inside passage, Juneau, Skagway, Cruise Tracy Arm Fjord, Ketchikan, Seattle
7 Night Alaska and Glacier Bay on Norweigan Pearl
Vancouver, Inside passage, Juneau, Skagway, Cruise Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Victoria, Seattle
I have been on 5 cruises. My first was when I was 14 on Royal Caribbean and LOVED it! I've been trying to get back on Royal Caribbean for a long time, but itineraries and finances have forced us on NCL and Carnival. I have really enjoyed my two cruises on NCL. Carnival - well, you get what you pay for, so I can't complain - but truthfully, I'm done with Carnival.
While the ship and the food is very important to us; the itinerary will win out every time. I really want to see a Glacier and while the RCI itinerary is CALLED SAWYER GLACIER, how can I be sure that we will cruise all the way through Tracy Arm until we get to the glacier if the itinerary doesn't specifically state Sawyer Glacier. The NCL is slightly cheaper.
I really want to go on the RCI cruise, but from what I have read Glacier Bay is a sure win.
So, what do I do? Do you think that the RCI cruise will get to Sawyer Glacier?
Another thing that I think is leaning me towards RCI is that I really do enjoy being pampered with excellent service and the formality of the dining rooms with our own waiter and sharing tables with other guests. From what I'm reading and what I remember, you really do have to go to the pay restaurants if you want good service and food, and then you don't have your own waiter or opportunity to dine with other guests. I know that I should choose based on the itinerary; but the experience is just as important, no? Otherwise, why go on a cruise and just not fly to alaska for your own vacation if "how" you get there is not important? :-) See, I'm rationalizing aren't I?
It sounds like you've already made your decision. If you're looking for the traditional dining experience then RCI would be the better option to choose early or late dining. That being said; One of my best waiters ever is on the NCL Gem, and he works in the main dining room. NCL may have open dining but you can request the same waiter every night, and you can request to share a table with others. No need to eat in the reservation restaurants just to have good service.