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Old 08-17-2008, 02:59 PM
DVK DVK is offline
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I am planning a cruise to the big A for 2010. What is the major difference in the different cruise lines? Is Holland better than Royal Carribean etc???
Which port has the best Zip line? Do you think it best to book excursions online, through our travel agent or through the cruise ship itself?
Do you have any recommendations for cruise oriented travel agents? Please share. Also, which lines offer the best food? I don't care about the ambiance as much as the food quality. I am so looking forward to King Crab and Lobster. Do the Alaskan cruises offer these? We will be getting a balcony room for sure. Are there large differences in rooms between the different ships? I know there are alot of questions, but I've read so much on the internet I am now officially confused. I have ordered the book "Alaska By Cruise Ship" so hopefully that will help. I've read that the whale watching tour out of Juneau was dissappointing to allot of folks, so we'll probably skip that.
Which is the best mushing tour?
Thanks in advance!
DVK

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Old 08-17-2008, 03:38 PM
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Welcome to cruise-chat.

It is really not possible to simply say one line is better than another when discussing the major cruise lines. What I like may not be what you like. Thus if I tell you to go with Holland America and you don't like their product, you'll think I'm an idiot. Picking a good cruise usually has to do with your likes and dislikes and what you like to do. Holland America, for example, normally has an older clientele although younger people cruise with them all the time. They are a more sedate cruise line as compared to Carnival, NCL, and to a certain extent Royal Caribbean where there is more nightlife and excitement.

I'm afraid you won't find king crab legs and lobster in abundance on any mainstream cruise line. Most cruises offer small lobster tails on one night during a 7-night cruise. I've not seen king crab legs offered although I guess they can be found on premium lines or in the extra-fee specialty restaurants on some ships. Those old TV images of Love Boat waiters parading into the dining room with huge platters of lobster just don't happen. Food is just as subjective as picking a cruise line. Celebrity usually gets the nod for having the best of the mainstream lines, but personally I think they've gone downhill over the past few years.

Our forum policy doesn't allow for recommending agents, agencies, or other on-line cruise booking services. It is considered soliciting and the advertisers don't like it.

Booking tours for an Alaskan cruise can safely be done on-line with private tour companies in the various ports. They will be cheaper than the ship's tours. I normally recommend buying ship's tours for first time cruisers, but Alaska is an exception since it is a state and the tour operators are quite reliable and extremely competent.

If your cruise goes to Skagway you MUST do one of the train excursions. Breathtaking scenery. Doing the dog mushing on top of a glacier is superior to going to the dog sled camp in Juneau, where the dogs pull you around in a wheeled cart.

Cabins are pretty much the same from line to line as far as what they have in them, unless you go to suites.
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Old 08-17-2008, 03:53 PM
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I will tell you that when we took our first cruise I went to Barnes & Noble and purchased a book on Crusie Lines and how they were rated, priceless. It also tells you what to expect as far as food, style etc. It help us pick the right line for us and we were not disappointed. Conde Nast Aug 08 magazine has a special section "Choose the right cruise" how to pick the perfect ship for you. Are you traviling with kids, do you want a line that keeps you busy around the clock, do you want more casual or old world elegant? I like to do everything myself on the web, you may like the help of a TA. I like to have all my excursions way in advance, so I book them all online. I haven't been on any cruise where one night wasn't LOBSTER, my favorite, along with King Crab! Researching and planning for us is half the fun!
I might feel Holland is better than Royal Carribean but Royal to me is more family and Holland is an older crowd so it really depends on what is important to you. Happy planning, it really if fun to start early !
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Old 08-17-2008, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
I haven't been on any cruise where one night wasn't LOBSTER, my favorite, along with King Crab!
I've been cruising frequently since 1992 and I've yet to see King Crab on the menu. Can you provide examples of where you saw it?
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:36 PM
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We had King Crab on Celebrity Galaxy going to Alaska the year 1998. It was de-lish !
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
We had King Crab on Celebrity Galaxy going to Alaska the year 1998.
I just wanted to clarify things. Your initial comments were that every cruise you've been on had crab legs. So instead it has been 10 years.

I've never thought much of cruise ship lobster. It is normally frozen tails, and small ones at that. I usually order something else.
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:24 AM
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Hi DVK, and welcome to cruise-chat.com.

I returned last night from our first cruise to Alaska. We found the book you ordered, "Alaska by Cruise Ship," to be an excellent resource on the ports we'd be visiting... and the enclosed maps were great. So, when you go, be sure to bring the book with you.

janfred, thanks for the heads-up on the Conde Nast issue. I may have to peruse it to determine how accurate it is in my situation.
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