Which Alaskan Cruise Line Is Right For You?

We’re big fans of small ship cruising. But if you’re focused on a conventional cruise, know that each cruise line has its own policies, perks—and, truly, its own personality. Here’s the skinny on each major cruise line, so you can see which one might be the best fit for your personality.

Carnival Alaskan Cruises

ProsCons
Fun, upbeat atmosphereMight be too much of a party atmosphere for some travelers, with lots announcements about activities
Good ValueCrowds, long lines for disembarking
Plenty of onboard activities, from pools to casinos and Vegas-style shows and kids programsCabins may be a little basic

Celebrity Alaskan Cruises

ProsCons
Elegant, colorful atmosphere without being stuffyThe nightlife scene is a little too quiet for some people
Plentiful verandas for Alaskan views and wildlifeBig ships still means long lines
Known for excellent food, great serviceThere is a kids program, but line generally less family-oriented

Crystal Alaskan Cruises

ProsCons
Luxury feel leaves guests feeling pampered and relaxedLimited Alaska cruise option
On-board activities include gold clinics, music lessons, yogaCan be pricey--from $6,300 to $34,000 per person
Most amenities included in overall priceMight be too quiet for some people

Disney Alaskan Cruises

ProsCons
Super family-friendly atmosphere, with lots to age-specific activitiesNo Casino
Great for multi-generation trips, with nice grown-up diversions, such as a good fitness center and spaCan be crowded and noisy
Known for solid, friendly serviceMight be too theme-park-like for some folk

Holland America

ProsCons
Fewer guests than other "big ship" lines, giving a more intimate feelFewer verandas than larger ships, book early
Largest variety of cruise ship itineraries, including stops in less frequent visited ports of call: Anchorage, Homer, and Kodiak.Generally attracts an older crowd, so nightlife is more sedate
Very kid-friendly, with age-specific activitiesDress code: No jeans or t-shirts in public areas after 6 p.m.

Norwegian Alaskan Cruise

ProsCons
Its "freestyle" policies mean relaxing price, without so many rules about when you eatLong lines for dining, disembarking
Good food, including the late-night Chocoholic buffetHave to pay extra for some dining options
Lots of sports activities, Vegas-style entertainmentCan be a little loud for some folk

Oceania Alaskan Cruises

ProsCons
Luxury atmosphere with emphasis on dining, service, cultural enrichment, and great librariesNo Cross-Gulf itineraries, difficult to add a land tour pre or post-cruise
Less than 700 passengers allows for a more intimate experience, and it's easier to disembark in portNightlife a little limited
Alaska Explorer Youth Program for kids aged 5-12

Princess Alaskan Cruises

ProsCons
Floating resort offers Broadway shows, wide dining options, casinos, movie theatersBig crowds, and long lines for disembarking
Great views: Lots of affordable balcony cabinsThe food is fine, but tends not to get rave reviews
Has increased flexibility for dining seating options

Regent Seven Seas Alaskan Cruises

ProsCons
Elegant, upscale atmosphere with high level of serviceThere are no "formal nights," but vibe can still be a little too formal for some folk
Lots of onboard lectures and experts for enrichmentSubdued nightlife
Rates include alcoholPricey compared to other major lines

Royal Caribbean Alaska

ProsCons
Known for a wide array of onboard recreation, from water parks to trampolines and climbing wallsLots of the fun activities carry extra costs
Vegas-level showsCrowds and long lines
Casual atmosphereLoud, ongoing announcements

Silversea Alaskan Cruise

ProsCons
Luxury atmosphere with an emphasis on cultural enrichmentCan be too dressy for some folks, though ties are no longer required on formal night
Lots of fine diningNo activities just for kids
Lots of cabins with private verandasNot much nightlife

Seattle Alaskan Cruises

ProsCons
Easy airport hub from most U.S. citiesMore time spent at sea, and not in Alaska
Lots of sea time for ship loversSome bumpy rides in open water

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