Coral vs. Dawn for Alaska?


Jane T

I'm thinking about Alaska for summer of 2003, and trying to decide between the Coral/Island or Dawn/Sun ships.

I know the Coral and Island are brand new and might offer more amenities. But I'm thinking about a mini-suite, and based on the diagrams, the mini-suites on these ships don't look anywhere near as nice as the Dawn/Sun's do. They look like just elongated regular rooms, with no window in the bedroom area. The mini's on the Dawn/Sun look like they have windows near the bed and the sitting room, and larger balconies.

I'd love to be able to swim on board, but I have a feeling swimming outdoors won't be an option. The Coral/Island says it has an indoor (retractible roof) pool. Do the Dawn/Sun have anywhere to swim in cool weather?

Last question about the best location for a mini-suite. On the Dawn/Sun, many of them seem to be in the aft. Do people like this location? Would it be better to try to get one on the Baha deck, more midship? Pros and cons?

Thanks for your help. I'm a first time cruiser / first time Alaska, and appreciate any advice.


I have heard great things about the size of the cabins on the Sun/Dawn but had an inside so I can't share much there. I don't recall an indoor swim area on the Sun.

I have extensive reviews posted on regarding my Sun Princess repo cruise and my Star Princess alaska cruise this year. Please feel free to read them and ask me any questions you have. If you would like to see my digital photo album from Alaska, please email me and I will forward it to you. :)


Hello Jane,

I have been in mini-suites on both the Dawn and the Sun. Both had two sliding glass doors, in the sleeping area and in the sitting area. The sleeping area is very separate from the sitting area as opposed to one long room. We loved the cabin on our Alaska cruise especially, spent most of the sea days out on the balcony watching the awesome scenery. We have always booked cabins in the middle of the ship (Baja), so can't comment on being aft. If you book either one of these ships, you will have a wonderful cruise! (But, have never been on a bad one!)