Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
bubbapuck

Alaska 2021

Recommended Posts

On 11/23/2019 at 12:38 AM, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

I think Alaska 2021 is going to look something like this (based on current last sailings in their system for the entire fleet):

7nt One way N/S Vancouver Whittier - Royal, Star, Coral, Sun, possibly Regal if they do a 5 ship season from Vancouver.  If so one ship could do a full season of 7, 10  or 14nt Vancouver Roundtrips , though Princess usually focuses more on the North/South runs.

7nt R/T Seattle -  Discovery, Emerald

10nt R/T San Fransisco - Ruby

Possibly no ship in LA for summer 2021 UNLESS Discovery stays there or they bring Regal in - both unlikely 

 

Pacific appears to stay in Japan SE Asia for summer 2021, and Regal may stay in Aus/NZ or SE Asia for the summer 2021 season.

 

Princess is now the last of the "Big 6" (Carnival, NCL, Royal, Celebrity, Holland, Princess) to release Alaska 2021.  All the others have their full 2021 schedule, including cruisetours available (NCL being the exception and has not released cruisetours, just cruises).

 

Usually Princess put out a deployment notice on their travel agent website about a week before new crusies are bookable.  To date nothing is listed for Alaska 2021.  I check daily and will repost back if/when I see something

The Star is going to Australia in the spring of 2021 . She was sold to P&O Australia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Kamloops50 said:

The Star is going to Australia in the spring of 2021 . She was sold to P&O Australia.

I did some looking into this because I was also confused about the timeline, but turns out P&O Australia just released a press release earlier today. So I've deduced that the Golden Princess is only in dry dock from September 24th-October 11th (the date of her first cruise with P&O Australia), so Star Princess needn't have a significantly more dry dock time if that's all they're taking to transform the Golden. In P&O's announcement, the "new" Pacific Encounter (Star) will be joining in November 2021, so it seems that Star would still have time to be in Alaska for 2021.

image.thumb.png.ef651d6f07cda04554d5c707a0be5230.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Kamloops50 said:

The Star is going to Australia in the spring of 2021 . She was sold to P&O Australia.


Star does a 7 day Los Angeles to Vancouver repositioning on May 3rd 2021 putting her in position to sail Alaska for Princess in summer 2021 before being transferred to P&O Australia in the fall. Similar to Golden in 2020

Edited by AtlantaCruiser72

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might be in service in November 2021 . The ship still requires a dry dock before it goes into service. The dry dock is an inspect and repair before it is official handed over. P&O will require a full inspection of the Star before taking over ownership .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SO since there is a chance, the 14 day trip in LA may go away, I was looking at back to back one ways up to Anchorage out of Vancouver. I noticed they have a 14 day trip that goes round trip from Vancouver up to Anchorage and back. It seems to hit the same ports on the way back. Not sure the advantages of hitting the exact same ports up and back. However, unlike the LA cruise it does go all the way up to Anchorage. 

 

Has anyone done this cruise or have any input on it. Pros and cons?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, bubbapuck said:

Has anyone done this cruise or have any input on it. Pros and cons?

 

The 14-day Van-Van is basically just 2 identical 7-day cruises back-to-back.  They will have the same ports only in reverse order.  The possible benefit is if the weather is poor at a port on the way North, you might get better weather at that port going South (or vice versa).  The negative is that you will not see as many unique ports as you would usually see on a single 14-day cruise.

In my opinion there are at least 2 good choices of things to do at each of the ports so you could definitely cover all of your "Alaska cruise bucket list" in a single 14-day sailing.

 

I'll add one more thing for you:  I've done 2 Alaska cruises and had an inside cabin both times and I didn't feel that I missed anything by not having a balcony.  We just spent a lot of time on the Promenade deck instead of in our room which was just fine with us for the money saved.  On the Promenade you can quickly walk to any side of the ship to see different views/wildlife as they appear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, bubbapuck said:

I noticed they have a 14 day trip that goes round trip from Vancouver up to Anchorage and back. It seems to hit the same ports on the way back. Not sure the advantages of hitting the exact same ports up and back. However, unlike the LA cruise it does go all the way up to Anchorage. 

 

Has anyone done this cruise or have any input on it. Pros and cons?

We did the HAL 14-day Great Alaskan Explorer out of Seattle (it now sails out of Vancouver). It did not have same ports up and back. We rented a van (there were 9 of us) in Anchorage and drove south to the alaska-wildlife-conservation-center  near Girdwood. It was the best day, even in the August drizzle. This was to give the family members who will probably never get to Denali, a chance to see some of the larger animals; it served that purpose admirably!

 

Sitka is also a great port; we did a triple tour of otters (saw more whales than on our Juneau whale watching excursion), Fortress of the Bears, and the Raptor Rescue center.

 

Sorry this is not directly about the Princess itinerary, but thought those observations might apply to any cruiseline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, crystalspin said:

We did the HAL 14-day Great Alaskan Explorer out of Seattle (it now sails out of Vancouver). It did not have same ports up and back. We rented a van (there were 9 of us) in Anchorage and drove south to the alaska-wildlife-conservation-center  near Girdwood. It was the best day, even in the August drizzle. This was to give the family members who will probably never get to Denali, a chance to see some of the larger animals; it served that purpose admirably!

 

Sitka is also a great port; we did a triple tour of otters (saw more whales than on our Juneau whale watching excursion), Fortress of the Bears, and the Raptor Rescue center.

 

Sorry this is not directly about the Princess itinerary, but thought those observations might apply to any cruiseline.

You had better luck with the Sitka excursion than we did.  We took this one and only saw one whale. 

Edited by Italy52

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, BrennerM said:

 

The 14-day Van-Van is basically just 2 identical 7-day cruises back-to-back.  They will have the same ports only in reverse order.  The possible benefit is if the weather is poor at a port on the way North, you might get better weather at that port going South (or vice versa).  The negative is that you will not see as many unique ports as you would usually see on a single 14-day cruise.

In my opinion there are at least 2 good choices of things to do at each of the ports so you could definitely cover all of your "Alaska cruise bucket list" in a single 14-day sailing.

 

I'll add one more thing for you:  I've done 2 Alaska cruises and had an inside cabin both times and I didn't feel that I missed anything by not having a balcony.  We just spent a lot of time on the Promenade deck instead of in our room which was just fine with us for the money saved.  On the Promenade you can quickly walk to any side of the ship to see different views/wildlife as they appear.

 

Thanks for the advice Brenner!  

 

The reason I asked this question was to hopefully get some thoughts from experienced cruisers on this. I never thought about the weather and think that is a very valid reason to take this. I would do all of the ports on the way up but on the way back I can either skip or take it easy depending on the weather. 

 

My household is a single income household. I completely understand what everyone says about the balcony but it just is not in our budget. I am so glad to hear from cruisers like you that say the balcony is not a must. My wife has a very hard time sleeping with any light in the room. I drop of sunlight and she tosses and turns all night. Tough situation going to a place that has so much daylight. We will always get an inside cabin for that reason but am so glad it isnt as dire as some people have said it is. I can hang out on the other decks all the time... my wife and I love just relaxing on the various decks and gazing out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I am interested in a 10-12 day R/T from Vancouver for 2021.  I notice in 2020 they only have two sailings one in May and one in September.  Should I expect the same for 2021 most likely just wondering if that is normal ? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, crystalspin said:

We did the HAL 14-day Great Alaskan Explorer out of Seattle (it now sails out of Vancouver). It did not have same ports up and back. We rented a van (there were 9 of us) in Anchorage and drove south to the alaska-wildlife-conservation-center  near Girdwood. It was the best day, even in the August drizzle. This was to give the family members who will probably never get to Denali, a chance to see some of the larger animals; it served that purpose admirably!

 

Sitka is also a great port; we did a triple tour of otters (saw more whales than on our Juneau whale watching excursion), Fortress of the Bears, and the Raptor Rescue center.

 

Sorry this is not directly about the Princess itinerary, but thought those observations might apply to any cruiseline.

Thanks so much for the advice Crystal! I am looking for great ideas to make our trip great... don't really care about the cruise line per se. I am not tied to Princess really. I have heard they are one of the best for Alaska and they go to Alaska from LA so I was looking at them a lot. As I ask more questions and learn more  on these boards, there is a lot of different ways to go about Alaska. I am excited for all of the possibilities!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, BrennerM said:

 

The 14-day Van-Van is basically just 2 identical 7-day cruises back-to-back.  They will have the same ports only in reverse order.  The possible benefit is if the weather is poor at a port on the way North, you might get better weather at that port going South (or vice versa).  The negative is that you will not see as many unique ports as you would usually see on a single 14-day cruise.

In my opinion there are at least 2 good choices of things to do at each of the ports so you could definitely cover all of your "Alaska cruise bucket list" in a single 14-day sailing.

 

I'll add one more thing for you:  I've done 2 Alaska cruises and had an inside cabin both times and I didn't feel that I missed anything by not having a balcony.  We just spent a lot of time on the Promenade deck instead of in our room which was just fine with us for the money saved.  On the Promenade you can quickly walk to any side of the ship to see different views/wildlife as they appear.

For 2020, our 14-day Van-Van cruise is different from 2 identical 7-day cruises back-to-back.  The Coral offers Icy Strait as one of their ports and this particular place is not offered on the 7-day cruises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Italy52 said:

For 2020, our 14-day Van-Van cruise is different from 2 identical 7-day cruises back-to-back.  The Coral offers Icy Strait as one of their ports and this particular place is not offered on the 7-day cruises.


You’re quite mistaken about that. The coral visits Icy Strait on their northbound segments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, bubbapuck said:

 

Thanks for the advice Brenner!  

 

The reason I asked this question was to hopefully get some thoughts from experienced cruisers on this. I never thought about the weather and think that is a very valid reason to take this. I would do all of the ports on the way up but on the way back I can either skip or take it easy depending on the weather. 

 

My household is a single income household. I completely understand what everyone says about the balcony but it just is not in our budget. I am so glad to hear from cruisers like you that say the balcony is not a must. My wife has a very hard time sleeping with any light in the room. I drop of sunlight and she tosses and turns all night. Tough situation going to a place that has so much daylight. We will always get an inside cabin for that reason but am so glad it isnt as dire as some people have said it is. I can hang out on the other decks all the time... my wife and I love just relaxing on the various decks and gazing out.

We have taken 27 cruises to Alaska and have had mini-suites, balcony, ocean view and inside cabins.  For us, one cabin was just as good as the other.  Cabin choice is just a matter of personal preference.  We are retired now and prefer to get inside cabins and save our money for our excursions.  We have never regretted our choices.  In Alaska, we spend most of our time up on deck walking around, taking in the beautiful sights and using our cameras to make memories.  This is YOUR trip and you should experience it the way you want. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, bemis12 said:


You’re quite mistaken about that. The coral visits Icy Strait on their northbound segments.

Yes, the Coral does go to Icy Strait on their northbound as that is part of my 14-day cruise.  My reference is that not all ships doing 7 days goes to Icy Strait.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True, but your 14 day cruise is just combining two Coral seven day cruises, one northbound and one southbound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bubbapuck said:

Thanks so much for the advice Crystal! I am looking for great ideas to make our trip great... don't really care about the cruise line per se. I am not tied to Princess really. I have heard they are one of the best for Alaska and they go to Alaska from LA so I was looking at them a lot.

HAL is the other "one of the best for Alaska". HAL has published their AK schedule for 2021; Princess has not (I booked the 14-day RT/LA for 2020 on 15  November 2019 on the opening non-Elite day). 

 

Our second, 7-day RT/Vanc, included six additional family members, two of whom I added later than the rest. There were no OV cabins left contiguous with the others, so I put my brother and SIL in a nearby inside. After the trip they said the dark cabin was a benefit! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, bubbapuck said:

My wife has a very hard time sleeping with any light in the room.


My wife is similar, we did Alaska twice and Norway Fjords once and all 3 were inside cabins.  Pitch black inside, perfect for a great sleep even when there are only a few hours of darkness outside!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, BrennerM said:


My wife is similar, we did Alaska twice and Norway Fjords once and all 3 were inside cabins.  Pitch black inside, perfect for a great sleep even when there are only a few hours of darkness outside!

Hi, we were on a Norway Fjords in May and are looking at Alaska for 2021.  Wondering how you thought they compared alike and different? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, gogiantsfan29 said:

Hi, we were on a Norway Fjords in May and are looking at Alaska for 2021.  Wondering how you thought they compared alike and different? 


They are quite different but it is tough for me to compare because we had a lot of rain and low cloud for our Norway cruise so we couldn’t see as much scenery.  Alaska has more wildlife plus the glaciers, but Norway has more history to go with the fjord views.  On one of our Alaska cruises we saw a pod of about 30 dolphins swim and jump past the ship in the Inside Passage and that is probably the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen from a cruise ship. I’ve attempted to attach a pic I took of some of the leaping dolphins but I’m on mobile so we’ll see if it works.

5159DCF7-67C2-4962-BBCD-E231062B7B21.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For people who have done both Princess and Holland America, what is the difference between the two lines for Alaska cruises. Does anyone have any advice or preference on which is better for my wife and I?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, bubbapuck said:

For people who have done both Princess and Holland America, what is the difference between the two lines for Alaska cruises. Does anyone have any advice or preference on which is better for my wife and I?

Hi Bubba!

Having sailed HAL 3 times to Alaska (and 7 times in all), while having to cancel two or three Princess cruises, and finally having one I do not foresee cancelling (Golden Princess to Alaska next June)... The difference I see mostly in the floorplans is -- HAL ships have the Crows Nest, on a high Observation Deck. This is a large space at the front of the ship with bench-to-ceiling outleaning windows, and espresso+alcohol service from early morning to 10-12 in the evening.

 

For dr'spin and I, what this means is -- we can take a lowly room and still have a protected space to enjoy the ocean!

 

Near as I can figure the nearest thing Princess has is Skywalkers Nightclub, at the top of the aft of the ship. I can't figure out if someone is at that bar during the day, and I have determined that at least on some (if not all) cruises, the venue is restricted to Elite level passengers for sailaway.

 

Depending on the ship, HAL's OceanView cabins and even some insides will have a sofa. On Princess you have to book Minisuite or higher to get even a second chair, and you will then have two chairs and a sofa!

 

What Princess has, at least in 2020, is a roundtrip Alaska out of LA-San Pedro. Taking the cost and bother of flying (with a night's stayover pre-cruise) out of the picture. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So Regal wasn't on the 2021 Europe schedule, any rumour of her doing Alaska?  Wondering if she'll be doing a Transpacific.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cruise Junky said:

So Regal wasn't on the 2021 Europe schedule, any rumour of her doing Alaska?  Wondering if she'll be doing a Transpacific.

Yep, that's the rumored plan, according to Captain Nick Nash (he's the Royal's captain); I cited the source earlier in this thread. Of course, anything's subject to change until something is announced, but to me, personally, this rumor makes sense. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...