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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-30-2005, 03:38 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2
My first cruise and wife and I (along with 2 other couples) are planning a cruise to Alaska next summer. Our travel agent has steered us in the direction of either Royal Caribbean or Celebrity? So, now that we have narrowed the search - need some help deciding: Pros/Cons to each, recs from past cruisers, or any other info that might help us make up our minds.
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-30-2005, 05:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maryland
Posts: 3,904
Bob, prepare to get hooked on cruising!

Going on an Alaska cruise as your first cruise is an excellent idea. You'll have a great time on either Royal Caribbean or Celebrity, both of which are part of the same company.

In general, Celebrity is considered the more upscale sibling between those two cruise lines. Although summertime cruises attract families onto any cruise line, Celebrity tends to have a bit of a more mature average passenger. Celebrity is more upscale so that it may be a little pricier than Royal Caribbean. Ships on both lines are gorgeous. Food and service are excellent but Celebrity has the reputation of having amongst the best food of the mass market and premium cruise lines.

If one cruise line has an itinerary you prefer over the other, that's a good reason to go with one or the other. All things being equal, depending on your age, where you have enjoyed vacations in the past, and your feelings about a younger/family crowd vs a more upscale environment, your travel agent should be able to steer you in the right direction.

If you have already identified specific ships that you are considering, check the cruise reviews on http://www.cruisereviews.com for more information and opinions.

  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10-30-2005, 09:06 AM
Crown Prince's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ulm (Donau), Germany
Posts: 1,398
I can strongly recommend the two "Radiance- Class"- ships of RCCL in the Alaskan waters: "Radiance and Serenade of the Seas". This is why: Both ships are masterpieces of engineering and offer absolutely stunning views of the sea and the landscape from almost every public area, as they're built with so much glass like no other series of ships. My favourite places on the "Serenade" were the panoramic "Viking Crown Lounge" (Celebrity doesn't offer anything comparable), the Schooner Bar and the Champagne Bar: Watching the whales while sipping a glass of champagne is something unforgettable.

Plus, there are more Forward Viewing Areas than on the Celebrity ships.

Best regards, CP
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Old 10-31-2005, 09:30 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: East Meadow, NY
Posts: 259
I went through this same lenghty process debating which ship to sail. I wanted to leave out of Seattle therefore my choices were probably not as extensive as yours. I ended up selecting Th HA Oosterdam as I have sailed the sister ship in the Caribbean Twice. Happy sailing!
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 11-16-2005, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Hamburg
Posts: 216
Originally posted by Crown Prince:
My favourite places on the "Serenade" were the panoramic "Viking Crown Lounge" (Celebrity doesn't offer anything comparable)
Plus, there are more Forward Viewing Areas than on the Celebrity ships.
Sorry CP, I don´t agree.
Doubtless Viking Crown Lounge is great, but I prefer Cosmos Lounge on Celebrity´s Millie-Class ships on the upper deck forward towards the bow, great views forward and sideward.
I experienced also better service on Celebrity and if you decide to go on the Infinity you will have Sitka on your itinerary.
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 11-20-2005, 09:57 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Olathe, KS
Posts: 2
I am new to these cruise postings.They are fabulous and very informative.

I have been aboard the Galaxy in the Caribbean (1998) for an eclipse cruise that I helped host and will do another eclipse cruise tour in at out of Greece in 2006.

However in summer 2006 or 2007 I am looking for cruise to Alaska. While I like Celebrity, I am extremely annoyed with their advertizing on the TV. I have read the information about Galaxy and other ships but if I would go with Celebrity, the other ships as I have read offer more glass area etc. I am also considering Holland but not Royal Caribbean.
I am interested in what others people think about first timers for Alaska , what to look for , what are things to consider when deciding which ship for Alaska (I will continue to review the excellent reviews by others- thanks)
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 11-20-2005, 10:57 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 257
Dr. Flescher,

All of the cruise lines will provide a nice cruise experience but Celebrity's ships Infinity and the Mercury, seem to deliver more cruise for the money. A television advertisement should not be the basis for selecting a cruise. The Greeks who are in charge of Celebrity ships seem to better understand what a cruise should consist of. And Celebrity ships have a wonderful eastern Mediterrean ambiance that includes a respect for ships and the sea.

Please let me know if you need more information
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2005, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maryland
Posts: 3,904
Dr. Eric,

Choosing a ship for an Alaska cruise should start with the itinerary that you want, and then see which is the best ship for YOU that does that itinerary.

Alaska itineraries come in 3 general types: round trip from Vancouver or Seattle; northbound starting in one of those cities and ending in a place like Anchorage; or southbound, starting in Anchorage or similar and ending in Vancouver.

Within those starting and ending points, there are slight differences in the places visited, but typically the ship will visit Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, maybe Sitka, and perhaps sail through the Inside Passage or College Fjord with a stop at a glacier or two to watch it calve.

Many people start with an inland tour of Alaska, such as Denali Park, and end the tour in Anchorage where they start the cruise (after a scenic 3 hour bus ride to Seward, the actual port). Others like the northbound itinerary with a land tour after the cruise. If you have just 7 days or want to spend time before and/or after the cruise in Seattle or Vancouver, you may want to consider a round trip cruise.

There are several other factors that should go into your decision, and once your preference for itinerary is identified, you can match that to a ship doing what you want it to do.

If your travel agent is experienced in cruising, and Alaska cruising specifically, that's a good place to start gathering information and advice, as well as this chat board.

  #9 (permalink)  
Old 11-22-2005, 12:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Luxembourg
Posts: 70
we were on Summit in September for the Alska cruise. It was one of the best cruises we ever made. If you want to see pictures of the cruise, follow this link:
Bilder von unseren letzten Ferien unter:
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2005, 09:22 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Columbia
Posts: 5
My vote is for HAL!!!
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alaska, alaskan, caribbean, content, cruise, ending, itinerary, line, location, place, reviews, royal, ships, start, starting

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