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Nieuw Amsterdam vs Coral Princess

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Anyone out there who has cruised both of these ships? I have finally (I think) narrowed it down to these two for May 2019. They are both RT from Vancouver with same itineraries and almost identical port times and cost. I have seen many threads comparing different ships but not these two but please forgive me if it has come up before - I have searched this board and scrolled through many threads comparing both lines but haven't found much to help me choose which ship :)

 

We do not want a one-way cruise as it will require about 16 hours travel time between Alaska and Toronto and we aren't willing to do that yet lol. I have a brother and SIL in Vancouver who I don't see often so it is imperative that we cruise from there so we can spend a few days pre or post cruise visiting.

 

There are only a couple of difference that I have come across in my research of both ships/lines, the most pertinent to us being that HAL has a more relaxed dress code requiring pants and collars shirts for men even on the "gala" nights whereas Princess requires minimum of a suit coat for "gala" night and it seems that Princess has more activities on board for an early/mid 50s couple.

 

We would not be taking formal clothes so gala evenings on Princess would be out but we don't mind eating at the buffet. Does Princess have better than average buffet offerings? We aren't night owls by any means but do like to see the theatre shows and/or comedy shows. What about the food on HAL - we would be able to dine more in the MDR with their dress code? DH smokes and I have determined where the smoking areas are on the Coral but haven't been able to find definitive info regarding NA - anyone know? I like to book a cabin relatively close to a smoking area for convenience.

 

Any other thoughts/suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated too. Thanks :D

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I can't compare ships but can tell you that the dress code in Alaska on Princess is pretty casual on formal nights. If you dress similar to HAL on Princess on formal nights, you will not have a problem. Alaska seems to be a casual place to cruise. I think many have stopped bringing formal clothes. I wouldn't factor that into a decision.

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I agree with Coral. In fact, I've noticed quite a few men in collared shirt and possibly a tie but without a jacket on formal nights on Princess in the Caribbean as well.

 

The one HAL cruise I've done (Westerdam, ocean view cabin, many years ago) had a nicer sitting area with a loveseat and table and a bath tub in our cabin. I assume since it was not an expensive cabin that all cabins have this.

 

Overall, we are more comfortable on Princess, and have continued with them to elite status.

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I'm pretty sure the smoking area on the N.A. is aft on Lido deck on the starboard side. So if you stayed in an aft cabin you could walk up the aft stairs or take the aft elevator. We like both Princess and HAL, but have a slight preference for HAL. We have sailed on the N.A. several times and really like her. The food and service on her have always been very good. We also like the gala night attire - long pants and a collared shirt and tie is what my DH wears. It's nice not to have to pack a full suit now.

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I can't compare ships but can tell you that the dress code in Alaska on Princess is pretty casual on formal nights. If you dress similar to HAL on Princess on formal nights, you will not have a problem. Alaska seems to be a casual place to cruise. I think many have stopped bringing formal clothes. I wouldn't factor that into a decision.

 

I agree with Coral. In fact, I've noticed quite a few men in collared shirt and possibly a tie but without a jacket on formal nights on Princess in the Caribbean as well.

 

 

Very good to know. This is the main reason I was leaning against Princess.

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I've sailed both. I am elite on Princess so lean towards them, but I think HAL has the edge with better food (although it's been a few years since I've sailed on HAL). I wouldn't worry about the dress code too much, although I think HAL is a little more formal than Princess. When I was on Coral last summer, men would wear a shirt and tie or a nice shirt and sport jacket. Women a nice top with pants or a skirt. I don't think they'd turn you away unless you were in jeans and a tee shirt and then only on formal night.

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It occurred to me later that I failed to mention that the specialty restaurants are not governed by the attire for the evening, so you can book a specialty restaurant on 'formal nights' if you desire a meal other than the buffet.

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It occurred to me later that I failed to mention that the specialty restaurants are not governed by the attire for the evening, so you can book a specialty restaurant on 'formal nights' if you desire a meal other than the buffet.

 

Awesome! I meant to ask about that because I am planning to book with CAA and one of their benefits for members is 2 free speciality dinners :)

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What I liked about Neiu Amsterdam is our outside cabin had a sofa. That's so much better than just a bed. I also liked the interactive TV with on demand movies on it also. It's a beautiful ship and the glamorous ship interior was surprising to me. I also really liked the Tamarind restaurant , it's my favorite specialty dining. The entertainment wasn't as good as Princess and there was no International Cafe which the Coral has.

 

I think cabin and food favors NA slightly and entertainment and activities favors the Coral slightly. Either one will be a great ship to visit Alaska on!

 

I'm sailing the Coral next year through the Panama Canal and can't wait!

 

Happy cruising!:)

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Thanks everyone! I am still undecided but am leaning a bit towards Princess now that I know the dress code is a little more relaxed on Alaska itineraries only because it appears they may have more activities that we would like compared to HAL but I am going to think on it another week or so :)

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It's been a while since our last Alaska cruise, but one thing we liked was having an opportunity to eat 'real' Alaskan dishes. They were served outside the buffet on the pool deck during the glacier cruising, I think. Reindeer chili is one I remember. Do they still do this?

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