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Alaska: Grand Princess vs. Coral

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At the moment the price on Grand Princess is about 20% less than Coral for the same itinerary (Whittier to Vancouver) and same room class that I would book.

 

I am thinking that Coral is probably a little nicer however is it worth 20%???

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I believe in Alaska smaller is better (Coral) . As to the 20% you will have to decide that based on your personal finances.  I most likely would take the Grand only because of the 20% if everything else was equal. 

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Personally we like the Coral much better than the Grand which is probably my least favorite ship.  But only you can decide whether it is worth the additional 20% increase in price.

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⁸Having sailed on both I like the Coral the best. However even a 5% savings would make me choose the Grand. The Grand is a great ship with a great crew. 

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Have sailed both multiple times and would (and am booked to) sail either again in the future.  Personally I'd let the price make my decision.  A few distinct characteristics you might want to consider in your decision:

 

Grand:  Pro's:  Has a large forward Sanctuary which can be great for sightseeing in Alaska, especially on glacier day.  Has Crown Grill.  Has those 7 very special window suites if you like that class of cabin.  Has Alfredo's pizzeria which can be a nice getaway on a cool day.  Following her April DD is the most ADA accessible Princess ship I've ever sailed, chair lifts to nearly every deck and location!  Con's:  Less numerous outdoor viewing spaces.  Elimination of Skywalkers took away a great former warm/dry space.  

 

Coral:  Pro's:  Arguably has the better outside viewing decks including much written about 'secret' decks.  Has her own unique show "By the Bayou" which you won't see on any other ship - fun.  Horizon Court is forward which make's for a great protected viewing space (some however do camp out at the window tables).  

Con's:  Has Bayou Cafe instead of CG (a negative in my opinion, some may think a positive).  Has her Sanctuary aft and largely uncovered which can be a problem in less than perfect weather.  Has a small version of IC, worked fine for me, some comment smoke from the adjacent casino is a factor at times - I've never experienced this.

 

For a 20% savings I'd choose Grand every day of the week.  Coral is a great ship, perhaps my favorite, but I don't like any ship enough to pay a premium of that magnitude for the same category of cabin.

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I can't speak to the Grand but we had a similar dilemma of Coral vs Royal earlier this year, we went with the Coral which was ~20% more. We had a really nice time and enjoyed the ship's unique features but if it had been any other ship that sailed east of Vancouver Island, I would have gone with the savings. 

 

If you do the Coral, they didn't announce it but the hour or so before approaching College Fjord was gorgeous sightseeing from the front decks. 🙂

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For the 20% price difference I'd take Grand in a heartbeat. In addition to the comments made above regarding the differences Grand has a covered pool. Yes, you may not want to use the pool on a cruise to Alasks but we often use the Conservatory - the deck above the covered pool area but under the cover - to sit out of the weather and read. Coral has no such area.

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I thought the Coral Princess had the Lotus Pool area covered.See the source image

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1 hour ago, Thrak said:

For the 20% price difference I'd take Grand in a heartbeat. In addition to the comments made above regarding the differences Grand has a covered pool. Yes, you may not want to use the pool on a cruise to Alasks but we often use the Conservatory - the deck above the covered pool area but under the cover - to sit out of the weather and read. Coral has no such area.

Coral most definitely has a covered pool area. Very similar to the Grand.  

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I've been on Grand Princess 2X to Alaska - once 4 years ago and then we just returned home yesterday from a 10 night RT from San Francisco - it was our 5th cruise to Alaska.

4 years ago we had a balcony on Caribe deck the last week in June and the weather was great.  This time we had a premium OV on Lido deck.  There are 6 of these cabins on the ship and they are wonderful and extra large with the balcony space inside the cabin with floor to ceiling windows.  I loved this cabin and would book one again in a heartbeat.  The weather is never certain in Alaska and I generally spend most of my time outside when possible for a 360 view.  We had great views from our cabin and stayed warm and dry when the weather was really dicey.

So my advice is save money on the ship and cabin and spend it on shore excursions.

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