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July Cruise Seattle R/T - Royal Caribbean vs. Norwegian

Boston...
Level Contributor
111 posts
6 reviews
July Cruise Seattle R/T - Royal Caribbean vs. Norwegian

Dear TAs,

I am looking to book a cruise from seattle for R/T for Jul1 or 2nd (depending on the Cruise line).

RCI costs $250/pp more than NCL. Royal Caribbean is Explorer of Seas and Norwegian is Norwegian Jewel

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I am looking for recommendations on which one makes most sense based on following preferences in the order below:

1. Attractions at the ports

2. Quality of food (we prefer formal sit down dinners over buffett).

3. Quality of cabins/overall ship quality

Is Royal Carribean really worth the $250pp? Also NCL seems to be offering some "freebies"

Thanks much in advance!

KP

Ketchikan
Destination Expert
for Ketchikan
Level Contributor
2,295 posts
56 reviews
1. Re: July Cruise Seattle R/T - Royal Caribbean vs. Norwegian

The problem with asking a bunch of folks who live in Alaska about cruises is that most of us are not out cruising because we can't board the boat in our home ports making it an expensive vacation for us. A few folks who jump on here regularly have lots of cruise experience but may not know the exact boats you are comparing. You might do better on the Cruise Critic board. http://www.cruisecritic.com/

Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
6,733 posts
2. Re: July Cruise Seattle R/T - Royal Caribbean vs. Norwegian

First, thanks for providing links to the cruises you're looking at. So many people don't, and we're left guessing.

RBR gave you good advice to check over on our sister site Cruise Critic, because cruises are what they specialize in.

However, just a couple of general comments: we usually advise people to check out what is available at the ports of call, and figure out if the ship will be in port long enough to do the things they'd like to do. In this case:

Norwegian Jewel: 3 Alaska ports: Juneau (6.5 hrs), Skagway (10.5 hr) and Ketchikan (8 hrs).

RCI Explorer: 2 Alaska ports (Juneau 9 hrs) & Skagway (13.5 hrs). Also spends a lot more time in open seas (chance for rougher water and not much views).

So start by looking up things to do in Ketchikan. If nothing interests you, then choose the Explorer. If something does interest you, obviously you have to take Jewel. Alternately, if there are 2 or 3 things you'd like to do in Juneau, you won't have the time with the Jewel. whereas you would with Explorer.

These sites should get you started:

www.visit-ketchikan.com/en/Things-To-Do

http://www.traveljuneau.com/

http://skagway.com/

BTW, you don't have to do the ship's excursions. Often you can get better (more private and sometimes cheaper) excursions with local tours that aren't affiliated with cruise lines. When you decide what you'd like to do, post back and we can make suggestions.

SoCal
Level Contributor
5,660 posts
19 reviews
3. Re: July Cruise Seattle R/T - Royal Caribbean vs. Norwegian

You need to really look at the ports and decide what you want to do. Also, consider the times you are in port. You need to be back on board 30 minutes to 1 hour before sailing time so shave at least 1 hour off of those departure times. Also, you will usually not get right off the ship so start your port time later than stated.

I have been on RCI (not Alaska) and I found the food in the dining room to overall be good.

I have not been on NCL but in researching other cruises, I noticed that NCL seems to have a lot of up-charge restaurants.

Greater Sydney...
Level Contributor
21,289 posts
113 reviews
4. Re: July Cruise Seattle R/T - Royal Caribbean vs. Norwegian

IMO Explorer has the least attractive itinerary of all the Alaska sailings due to only two ports of call in Alaska. Maple has been good enough to take the time to set out a very good comparison of the offerings of two ships.

If I were restricted to sailing from Seattle, instead of a better option from Vancouver, I would seriously consider Crown Princess or Norwegian Pearl based on itinerary as both have permits for Glacier Bay National Park, and have good port times in all but Victoria BC for the compulsory 'foreign port' docking under US law.

Edited: 29 March 2016, 18:46
Boston...
Level Contributor
111 posts
6 reviews
5. Re: July Cruise Seattle R/T - Royal Caribbean vs. Norwegian

thanks all for the prompt responses! this is very helpful!

Arcata
2 posts
6. Re: July Cruise Seattle R/T - Royal Caribbean vs. Norwegian

Aloha!

Can I ask why Vancouver over Seattle?

Edited: 30 March 2016, 14:31
Greater Sydney...
Level Contributor
21,289 posts
113 reviews
7. Re: July Cruise Seattle R/T - Royal Caribbean vs. Norwegian

See your own thread where I have provided a link which explains.

8. Re: July Cruise Seattle R/T - Royal Caribbean vs. Norwegian

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