Choosing a ship and cabin

edited September 2019 in Grand Alaska

We are going to book the Grand Alaska tour In 2021 but we have never been on a large cruise ship, this time we have no choice
We have been on the Isabella 2 to the Galapagos, the two new Ponant ships, Le Champlain and Le Laperouse and the River boat Inspire. From these we know we don’t need much storage space but would like a larger bathroom than the very small ones on the Ponant ships we had. Is there an advantage to having a balcony? Or would we regret not having one to see passing scenery?
The Alaska ships seem to range from over 3000 people to 600 people. When we last looked there were only dates showing as yet for 2021 but we would like to book early as we usually do.
We don’t see the need to book the most expensive cabins, am I right about this?.
As we obviously don’t fancy large ships, which ship and Rooms do you think would suit us?
Would we miss out on any worthwhile entertainment by choosing a small ship? We don’t gamble.
Thanks everyone.


  • I can't speak to the specific ships on this tour, but I highly recommend getting a balcony. If I hadn't gotten a balcony on my first cruise (to Alaska 'way back in the 90s), I don't think my husband would have taken another cruise. As it turned out, he loved cruises and sitting on the balconies. There are times that you just want to sit alone and relax.

  • Hi British,
    I would go for a cabin with a balcony. Be sure to book the port (landward) side. There are good views of the Wrangle St Elias range on the first cruise day. Also Glacier Bay, of course. Bear in mind that you have a couple of cruising days, so a little extra room to relax is nice. We weren't crazy about the larger ship (Golden Princess about 2600), but I don't recall smaller ships being an option. Entertainment is OK, but not outstanding.

  • Thank you both of you, you are already giving me plenty to consider.

  • We have done Alaska twice - both times on the Coral Princess. We booked a mini-suite which had a balcony. We appreciated the extra space and I really enjoyed the balcony - tea in the morning as we looked at glaciers was very nice. Even if you don't go with a mini-suite, I would definitely do the balcony.

  • This is great. Thanks. Mr B is not into the forum but very impressed that I got three replies already and I think he is reaching deeper into his pockets for this one now.

  • Hi British. We just returned from Alaska and Vancover. Alaska is truly the last frontier. I recommend a cabin with a balcony or a mini suite. It provides you with the opportunity to sit and relax while taking in the splendor of Alaska. We LOVED Alaska. The ports aren't great. However, that's not why we went. We wanted to see the glaciers while they are still here. You are able to see the effects of global warming~you are clearly able to see the glaciers receeding. We were on a Princess ship. About 2500 people. Food was OK~entainment OK.. Beds were fabulous!!! I don't think it's necessary to go on a smaller ship to this location.

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