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Chadster

Alaska showdown: X vs RC?

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Has anyone done an Alaska itinerary with Celebrity? With the costs being almost neck-and-neck between RCCL and X thanks to Celebrity's current sale and with me being a solo cruiser (I may pay twice the cost, but I also get twice the OBC! 🙂 ), I'm trying to decide between Radiance and Eclipse. I've read that Radiance apparently has the most glass of any RC ship, making it great for Alaska, but I'm having trouble finding out a ton about the views from public areas on Eclipse -- I won't be springing for a balcony.

As a side note, Eclipse will be fresh off its Revolution redo at the time of the cruise in question.

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Here is a review of Millie in Alaska a couple of years ago:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/5211-alaska-recap-celebrity-millennium-june-2017/

and Radiance:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/9160-not-so-live-blog-radiance-of-the-seas-alaska-southbound-83118/

How do the itineraries on Radiance and Eclipse compare?   The two cruises above were both of the one-way variety, Southbound starting in Seward.

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Thanks for the links! The 9-day itineraries I'm looking at are Vancouver round-trips that go to (in varying order) Sitka, Ketchikan, Skagway, Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Juneau, and Hubbard Glacier. The one big difference between the two is that Eclipse stays in the Inside Passage both directions, while Radiance swings out west of Vancouver Island on the northward leg -- something that actually docks a few points for Radiance in my mind. There are 7-day versions round-tripping out of Vancouver as well, with one going cutting out Skagway and Icy Strait Point, and the other removing Sitka and Skagway.

I'm contemplating a 7-day cruise to save a little cash that I can put toward excursions like flightseeing in Ketchikan/Misty Fjords or whale watching/Mendenhall Glacier touring in Juneau. Plus, that gives me other things to look forward to on future Alaska journeys. Though 9 days cruising Alaska and the Inside Passage sounds heavenly, too. 🙂 I'll be taking my first 9-day cruise in May when I take Grandeur to New England and Canada, so I'll see how that many days of sea life suits me; my longest cruise previously was 5 days.

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The 9 day with Sitka, Hubbard, ISP and the more common Alaskan ports is a great itinerary.  Hubbard is an awesome glacier. 

On Radiance I had an inside cabin and still managed to have a great experience.   Balconies are great but you don't have to have a balcony to have a great Alaska cruise. If its a few hundred more for a balcony that's one thing.  A few thousand more is a different story and that's a great way to pay for awesome excursions.  

When Ovation first went to Alaska she went to all those ports (except Ketchikan).  That was a great cruise:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/12630-ovation-goes-north-way-north-to-alaska-11-nights-may-13-2019/

 

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Millenium has some great rates right now to Alaska this coming April and May.  They just added some early season cruises since they had to get the ship out of Asia early.

https://www.celebritycruises.com/itinerary-search?ship=ML&cid=ps_mest_goog_rtlgnr_1702_ship_albr_us_8029&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIqsyFj5bV5wIVUPDACh3wywKwEAAYASAAEgLWffD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

 

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That 11-day Ultimate Alaska itinerary would be fantastic! Alas, my only real free time in May of this year is spoken for by an early-season Canada/New England cruise on Grandeur from out of Baltimore, which means not having to spring for airfare!

If I do pull the trigger on Alaska next year, it'll definitely be in May. And as of now, I'm leaning heavily toward spending the extra money and taking the 9-day cruise on Eclipse, simply because X's prices seem really filled with value right now.

I saw Ovation when I originally started looking at Alaska cruises before I decided I wanted to sail out of Vancouver. That "virtual balcony" they include with most interior cabins looks fascinating, and an interesting money-saving alternative to an actual balcony!

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The other thing to consider when looking at X vs RC is that with X, your booking will include at least one perk with a baseline non-refundable deposit, and three perks with a non-refundable deposit. If the cruise fare is roughly equal between the two lines, or X is only a few hundred more for the same class of cabin, that can be a huge value savings as you can get a Classic Beverage Package, Unlimited Internet, and Prepaid Gratuities as your perks.

Another thing I'll note is that the inside cabins on Radiance are 165 sq ft, and ocean view are 170 sq ft; whereas Eclipse inside cabins are 183 to 200 sq ft, and ocean view (oddly) are a bit smaller than the insides at 177 sq ft. In an inside cabin, that 20-35 sq ft additional is a lot more than you might realize; the room really will feel more spacious, and it should also have some some extra storage space (especially with Eclipse getting her Revolution upgrade, as that's completely gutting all cabins and replacing the cabinets, closets, furniture, etc.).

With all else apparently being equal for you, I'd say to go with Celebrity.

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10 hours ago, Chadster said:

If I do pull the trigger on Alaska next year, it'll definitely be in May. And as of now, I'm leaning heavily toward spending the extra money and taking the 9-day cruise on Eclipse, simply because X's prices seem really filled with value right now.

I saw Ovation when I originally started looking at Alaska cruises before I decided I wanted to sail out of Vancouver. That "virtual balcony" they include with most interior cabins looks fascinating, and an interesting money-saving alternative to an actual balcony!

That's kind of why I went with X in 2017 to Alaska.  I had always wanted to try Celebrity and it presented itself as better value over Royal even back in 2017.

Ovation does change the equation for balcony cabins.  Quantum class ships are mostly balcony cabins with fewer interior or OV.  Often the difference to step up to a balcony isn't as large on this ship.  Having said that they do seem to have adjusted pricing on Ovation upwards in 2021 making X look even better.

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2 hours ago, JLMoran said:

The other thing to consider when looking at X vs RC is that with X, your booking will include at least one perk with a baseline non-refundable deposit, and three perks with a non-refundable deposit. If the cruise fare is roughly equal between the two lines, or X is only a few hundred more for the same class of cabin, that can be a huge value savings as you can get a Classic Beverage Package, Unlimited Internet, and Prepaid Gratuities as your perks.

The awesome thing I discovered while comparing the cruise value (not just the price) was that if I pick the right 3 perks (classic beverage package, $300 OBC, and prepaid gratuities), I actually come out ahead, since as a solo cruiser, I'd get the entire OBC amount added to my account. I can do the upgrade to the premium beverage package and still have plenty left to put toward excursions or a specialty dining experience or something! 😃 I'm not sold on unlimited internet, simply because Alaska is port-intensive, and I'd have at least some semblance of mobile data and the ability to make calls in port. I honestly like the idea of "disconnecting" while I'm on the cruise, and just doing brief check-ins in ports. The one school-related thing I'd need connectivity for, I can simply do offline aboard ship, and then send it when we get into port using either my mobile data or wifi.

And I may book the refundable fare just because it's a bit further out than I want to chance, and then change to the nonrefundable fare later, like shortly before final payment.

So, I'm settled on X for sure. Now, to just decide between a 9-day journey or a 7-day journey (using the extra savings from the 7-day toward excursions or my airfare/hotel for one night each before and after the cruise).

I really appreciate your answers and insights! 🙂

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I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the 7-day itinerary aboard Eclipse (Sitka, Hubbard Glacier, Juneau, and Ketchikan) round-trip from Vancouver. I'm going to keep an eye on the price of the 9-day cruise, but for now, a 7-day introduction to Alaska works great for me and my budget. To say I'm beyond excited is putting it mildly -- especially because it'll be interesting to experience yet another cruise line and get a unique experience (though I must admit, by the time I take this cruise in May 2021, I'll feel like I'm cheating on RCCL, since I'll have been on two cruises with them by then! 🤫🤭

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On 2/20/2020 at 3:53 PM, Chadster said:

I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the 7-day itinerary aboard Eclipse (Sitka, Hubbard Glacier, Juneau, and Ketchikan) round-trip from Vancouver. I'm going to keep an eye on the price of the 9-day cruise, but for now, a 7-day introduction to Alaska works great for me and my budget. To say I'm beyond excited is putting it mildly -- especially because it'll be interesting to experience yet another cruise line and get a unique experience (though I must admit, by the time I take this cruise in May 2021, I'll feel like I'm cheating on RCCL, since I'll have been on two cruises with them by then! 🤫🤭

We love the Celebrity S-class ships. And the casino is non-smoking!

 

mac

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