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Hello Everyone!

 

My wife and I are Royal Caribbean vets but we are strongly considering a Princess for an Alaska cruise in 2022. From my research it seems like Princess is the way to go in Alaska with access to Glacier Bay and the North to Alaska program. 
 

I do have a few questions for the experts here, I tried to limit them as I have already found a bunch of info here. 
 

1.  Anytime vs. Traditional dinning. My wife really enjoys having the same wait staff the whole cruise. If we do traditional we can request a table for 2 at time of booking/on the personalize page, correct? 
 

2.  I see that you can call the dine line each morning and make a reservation if you are doing Anytime. Are you able to make a reservation for the whole week with the same wait staff with anytime? Royal Caribbean does this. 
 

3.  We are probably going to go with a balcony cabin and the ships for the 2021 season are the Coral, Star, and Royal (I realize 2022 may have different ships) but from looking at pictures are there some balcony cabins that are open to those above you who can look down into your balcony? Any suggestions on decks that are best for balconies/which ones to avoid for privacy? 
 

4. Any other tips/advice/info that is specific to Princess that I should know?
 

Thank you in advance for helping this Princess Newbie!

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NOONE  repeat NOONE will rec Royal … so eliminate that now

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8 minutes ago, BigHouseFootball said:

Hello Everyone!

 

My wife and I are Royal Caribbean vets but we are strongly considering a Princess for an Alaska cruise in 2022. From my research it seems like Princess is the way to go in Alaska with access to Glacier Bay and the North to Alaska program. 
 

I do have a few questions for the experts here, I tried to limit them as I have already found a bunch of info here. 
 

1.  Anytime vs. Traditional dinning. My wife really enjoys having the same wait staff the whole cruise. If we do traditional we can request a table for 2 at time of booking/on the personalize page, correct? YES
 

2.  I see that you can call the dine line each morning and make a reservation if you are doing Anytime. Are you able to make a reservation for the whole week with the same wait staff with anytime? Royal Caribbean does this. You can meet with the Head Maitre D  embarkation day (usually 1-2:30) to request this 
 

3.  We are probably going to go with a balcony cabin and the ships for the 2021 season are the Coral, Star, and Royal (I realize 2022 may have different ships) but from looking at pictures are there some balcony cabins that are open to those above you who can look down into your balcony? Any suggestions on decks that are best for balconies/which ones to avoid for privacy?  balconies are normally larger on the Caribe deck 
 

4. Any other tips/advice/info that is specific to Princess that I should know? taking on 1st 750 ml bottle of wine is NC, bottles after that have a $15 corkage fee each. I usually bring 1 bottle for every 4 days and drastically cut my bar tab. Still owe but a lot less
 

Thank you in advance for helping this Princess Newbie!

 

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34 minutes ago, voljeep said:

NOONE  repeat NOONE will rec Royal … so eliminate that now

I’m assuming you are just talking about Alaska, and after looking into it I would agree. But curious as to why you say this? Is it just that Princess is the best in Alaska? Or is Royal that bad in the area-why?

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2 minutes ago, BigHouseFootball said:

Thank you so much for the info. How will I know which deck is Caribe?

Princess dot com - deck plans for all ships

 

something about viewing areas on Royal for Alaska - and too big to go some places

 

we enjoyed Royal in the Caribbean 

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Posted (edited)

Each deck is assigned a letter. Caribe = 'C' so the stateroom would be, for instance, C444

 

Added: Personally if I can't get midship Caribe (10th deck) I go for Baja (11th deck) as I like it quiet at night. Others will have a different preference. I also give the Maitre D my dietary restrictions onboard. Works better

 

Edited by Ombud

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, BigHouseFootball said:

Hello Everyone!

 

My wife and I are Royal Caribbean vets but we are strongly considering a Princess for an Alaska cruise in 2022. From my research it seems like Princess is the way to go in Alaska with access to Glacier Bay and the North to Alaska program. 
 

I do have a few questions for the experts here, I tried to limit them as I have already found a bunch of info here. 
 

1.  Anytime vs. Traditional dinning. My wife really enjoys having the same wait staff the whole cruise. If we do traditional we can request a table for 2 at time of booking/on the personalize page, correct?

Same menu, so don't worry about that. You can request a table for two in both traditional and anytime. If you have special food requirements traditional is the way to go. Realize many of these tables can be close to other tables for two in a line, maybe 12 inches apart. You can select your dining preference in the cruise personlizer. One other consideration. In Alaska your itinerary may have late evening departures. Many times in these situations traditional dining turns to open seating. Note if you are booked in a club class mini suite or full suite you dine in the club class area of the DR. This is anytime dining and mostly two/table unless you request to dine with other that are with you.
 

2.  I see that you can call the dine line each morning and make a reservation if you are doing Anytime. Are you able to make a reservation for the whole week with the same wait staff with anytime? Royal Caribbean does this.

Maybe. That would be a special request once onboard by speaking with the maitre'd. But if you are going this way just select traditional dining. 
 

3.  We are probably going to go with a balcony cabin and the ships for the 2021 season are the Coral, Star, and Royal (I realize 2022 may have different ships) but from looking at pictures are there some balcony cabins that are open to those above you who can look down into your balcony? Any suggestions on decks that are best for balconies/which ones to avoid for privacy?

For many reasons I would try to avoid the Royal for Alaska. The Star is scheduled to be transferred to P&O Australia in the fall of 2021, probably will not be in Alaska in 2022. The Coral is a great ship for Alaska. Around 2,000 passengers. Lots of public space. Large promenade. Some balcony cat. cabins on the Coral have large balconies, 9'x9' and half covered. Other balcony cat. cabins have covered 9'x5' balconies. here is a neat tour of the empty Coral. 

 

4. Any other tips/advice/info that is specific to Princess that I should know?
Keep an eye out for other ships.  Princess allows you to stack OBC, it's not one or the other. If you own 100 shares of Carnival stock you can receive OBC. Princess has an OBC military benefit. If you are ex military look up Princess military benefit on the Princess web site.

Thank you in advance for helping this Princess Newbie!

see above. All comments are based on what was pre shutdown. Things could change.

Edited by skynight

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Actually I am allergic to pepper and do ATD because I'm not sure what time I'll be hungry.  Each evening the head waiter brings me the next day's menu. He also facilitates my specialty restaurant choice. (aka Alfredo on Royal class ships which is just Sabatinis lite). We will state that we do not want to 'share' because of the 6 yr old

 

Yes, the Royal has an Sea Walk and Sea View Bar and lower deck balconies can be visible there 

 

I've been on the Star -- love Skywalkers!! 

 

I booked C753 on the Ruby so I can watch off the back of the ship. I'm a little concerned because it states 3080 pax. Seems a lot 

 

 

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2 hours ago, skynight said:

see above. All comments are based on what was pre shutdown. Things could change.

Wonderful! 

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The balcony's are waaaay too small on the Royal, so scrap that. The Coral is the way to go. She's the favorite of many of us.

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11 hours ago, BigHouseFootball said:

I’m assuming you are just talking about Alaska, and after looking into it I would agree. But curious as to why you say this? Is it just that Princess is the best in Alaska? Or is Royal that bad in the area-why?

 

Poster was referring to the Royal Princess ship, not Royal Caribbean cruise line.

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11 hours ago, BigHouseFootball said:

Hello Everyone!

 

My wife and I are Royal Caribbean vets but we are strongly considering a Princess for an Alaska cruise in 2022. From my research it seems like Princess is the way to go in Alaska with access to Glacier Bay and the North to Alaska program. 
 

I do have a few questions for the experts here, I tried to limit them as I have already found a bunch of info here.


2.  I see that you can call the dine line each morning and make a reservation if you are doing Anytime. Are you able to make a reservation for the whole week with the same wait staff with anytime? Royal Caribbean does this. 
 

 

How it works is up to the Maitre d'. On some ships it is what you state, calling each morning. On some others you can request it at the dining room and depending on the ship, it can be just for the next day, the next several days or the entire cruise.

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I took my first Princess cruise in 2017.  It was to Alaska.  They are so good.  They are experts in Alaska; they bring Alaskan puppies on board the ship. They will have a naturalist onboard the entire trip. During the cruise the Naturalist will have several briefings in the theater and they will be on ship pa system telling you about wildlife as you pass by. Prior to doing Princess in Alaska we had cruised mostly with Royal Caribbean. We chose Princess mainly because of on board accomodations.  They offer the best two bedroom family suites.  Better than Royal or Norwegian.  Since we took two of our grandkids we booked the 2bdr family suite.  Hope this helps.  If you have any more questions let me know.  Cheers and have a great day

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    Royal Princess has very small balconies.Instead of sitting looking straight out at the sea, my DH and I had to sit parallel to the balcony ‘s railing,facing each other.

 We found the balcony to be  essential on our cruise to Alaska as scenery abounds there.

    I agree with other posters that the best balcony location is mid-ship,Caribe or Baja decks. The balconies on Dolphin deck are fully open to other passengers and to sun or rain.

      Princess does a wonderful job with Alaskan cruises. They have been doing them for years !

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3 hours ago, AF-1 said:

I took my first Princess cruise in 2017.  It was to Alaska.  They are so good.  They are experts in Alaska; they bring Alaskan puppies on board the ship. They will have a naturalist onboard the entire trip. During the cruise the Naturalist will have several briefings in the theater and they will be on ship pa system telling you about wildlife as you pass by. Prior to doing Princess in Alaska we had cruised mostly with Royal Caribbean. We chose Princess mainly because of on board accomodations.  They offer the best two bedroom family suites.  Better than Royal or Norwegian.  Since we took two of our grandkids we booked the 2bdr family suite.  Hope this helps.  If you have any more questions let me know.  Cheers and have a great day

Thank you for the info. I had read about these programs on the Princess site but it’s even better to hear it from actual cruisers. I love Royal but it seems like Princess has Alaska down to an art. 

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2 hours ago, MJSailors said:

    Royal Princess has very small balconies.Instead of sitting looking straight out at the sea, my DH and I had to sit parallel to the balcony ‘s railing,facing each other.

 We found the balcony to be  essential on our cruise to Alaska as scenery abounds there.

    I agree with other posters that the best balcony location is mid-ship,Caribe or Baja decks. The balconies on Dolphin deck are fully open to other passengers and to sun or rain.

      Princess does a wonderful job with Alaskan cruises. They have been doing them for years !

This is exactly what I was looking for! I’m not too concerned about location midship or not, but I really don’t want people to be able to look down on us/be exposed to the elements. I’ll look at the Baja and Caribe decks now 🙂

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Princess is a fantastic cruise line and they do a fabulous job cruising Alaska.   I think you will really enjoy your cruise.   Alaska is amazing and Glacier Bay is stunningly beautiful.    The Royal Princess is a great ship, I have been on her 4 times but not in Alaska.    I was on the Star Princess when we did Alaska last year and it was wonderful.    I do believe and as others have mentioned, Star Princess is scheduled to leave the Princess fleet I think next year.   Given the pandemic, things could change so if Star happens to be an option, I thought it was a great ship.   We sailed in April 2019 to Alaska and December 2020 to Hawaii on the Star and both cruises were fantastic.    I hope you have a fabulous cruise.    

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55 minutes ago, BigHouseFootball said:

This is exactly what I was looking for! I’m not too concerned about location midship or not, but I really don’t want people to be able to look down on us/be exposed to the elements. I’ll look at the Baja and Caribe decks now 🙂

Dolphin deck mini suites on grand class ships, Grand, Ruby, Emerald, Crown, Caribbean have 9'x6' balconies that are not covered. Caribe deck balconies on these ships are 9'x9' of which 5' is covered, 4' uncovered. The Coral does not have the same structure and I believe that most deck 9 balconies on this ship are covered. Royal Class ships, Royal, Regal and Sky have a different design with balconies covered on all decks, but small balconies. 

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OP I'm also asking about the Royal Princess to Alaska. I live the Royal Class ships but:

 

I've heard that the Royal Princess  cannot sail between Victoria and Vancouver or the Inside Passage in Alaska. I believe it doesn't do an Inside Passage but does anyone know if this is true?

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10 hours ago, Ombud said:

OP I'm also asking about the Royal Princess to Alaska. I live the Royal Class ships but:

 

I've heard that the Royal Princess  cannot sail between Victoria and Vancouver or the Inside Passage in Alaska. I believe it doesn't do an Inside Passage but does anyone know if this is true?

Clearly I am not a Princess vet, but from looking at the Princess website it is my understanding that Royal Princess does not sail between Victoria and Vancouver. Just from looking at the map they post. 
 

Hopefully someone who has been on the ship can confirm. 

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Because of its size and traditional prop and rudder the Royal Princess swings south around the southern end of Vancouver Island and into the Pacific Ocean. Other ships in the fleet sail the inland passage route between Vancouver Island and the B.C. mainland even though they have the same prop rudder combination. This is shown on the Princess web page itinerary maps.

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Posted (edited)

Another thing about balcony cabins on Princess, where they differ from RCCL.  In a standard Princess balcony there is only one chair in the cabin.  If you both want a place to chair to sit on, than you need to go up a category.

Edited by geocruiser

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8 hours ago, skynight said:

Because of its size and traditional prop and rudder the Royal Princess swings south around the southern end of Vancouver Island and into the Pacific Ocean. Other ships in the fleet sail the inland passage route between Vancouver Island and the B.C. mainland even though they have the same prop rudder combination. This is shown on the Princess web page itinerary maps.

We were on the Star to Alaska a few years ago and that's the route we took out of SF.  I don't know why it took this route, but I did enjoy it.  We were quite far out to sea (couldn't see mainland) but there was an island to the west.  Saw sea birds and seals or something like that.  We had done the Inside Passage on previous cruises so this was a nice change of pace.  On the way south (this was a RT out of SF), we stopped at Victoria but since we arrived in the morning I don't know the route we took vis a vis Vancouver Island.

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10 hours ago, skynight said:

Because of its size and traditional prop and rudder the Royal Princess swings south around the southern end of Vancouver Island and into the Pacific Ocean. Other ships in the fleet sail the inland passage route between Vancouver Island and the B.C. mainland even though they have the same prop rudder combination. This is shown on the Princess web page itinerary maps.

I know I saw that but thank you for explaining why

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