The balcony room was nice, and our steward was wonderful. Some of the other staff were not as friendly, and we were surprised at the lack of smiles and greetings from staff- particularly wait staff and those at the photo counter. The food wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great either. Desserts had zero flavor, Lido deck buffet uninspiring. Shows were good, comedians not so much. Getting on and off the ship at ports was quick and easy.
The staff and crew were all outstanding hosts and hostesses. They made me and my husband feel at home and very welcome. They were very friendly and pleasant and made the cruise even better. My cabin stewards, along with the dining personnel took our cruise experience to another level because of their professionalism, personal care and excellent work. They were very dedicated to making sure our every need was taken care of and took a personal interest in caring for us. Thank you to everyone!
My one recommendation is that either upon arrival or departure, we be given a list of names of everyone who assisted us during the cruise. This will help us to be able to properly recognize particular individuals that deserve recognition. Unfortunately, there are a few that I would have liked to recognize personally; however, I cannot remember their names or how to spell their names properly.
The ship was older than I expected, looked like it needed some TLC; the lido deck food good enough. Five Stars -- absolutely. Our cabin steward, Lester, was outstanding. I wanted to bring him home with me! Our dining room service team, Fernando, Roque, Nureemung and Jamal, were absolutely wonderful. (Thanks for the dancing entertainment - you were awesome!) All of them catered to us above and beyond. Our excursions were well organized and provided us with unbelievable views of nature in all forms. Already thinking of returning to experience other activities that were available.
The ship was fine. Not the latest and greatest ship in the fleet, but plenty good enough. The service was great, from cabin steward to food service and everything else. The food was good. I'd rate it a solid B. Our cabin was very good. We had a balcony room and there was plenty of space. We were told that if you can afford it, the balcony is well worth it. For us it was. The TV in the cabin was the old rectangle style with a bad picture. On board entertainment was good. The musical reviews were very well done. Two of the four comedians we saw were hysterical. The lounge acts were ok, nothing special. The cruise director and entertainment team worked their butts off.
Not so good; in one port of call, the ship sailed at 1:00 pm. That means that everybody who went off the ship came back around noon or 12:30. Plus the people who didn't leave the ship all were ready for lunch at the same time! The only place for lunch was the buffet, so that meant long food lines and not enough seating. Very frustrating and not the kind of experience I wanted.
The shore excursions were good (except 1). We booked through Carnival and a 3rd party. No difference in the quality of the tour provider. I would caution you on booking a combination tour, such as whale watching AND Mendenhall Glacier viewing. You can't do both adequately in a few hours. That was our worst excursion and WAY too expensive for the experience. The Mendenhall Glacier can be seen from the fantastic park and trails for chump change. Or, you can do a kayak tour to get up close. Better yet, you can take a helicopter tour to land ON the glacier. We talked to some people who said the helicopter tour was the best thing they ever did and didn't care if it was over their budget. We also took a post cruise tour of Seattle which was horrible. The city is worth seeing, we just had a very bad tour guide.
The bad; the itinerary was stupid. Whatever the reasons for making that schedule, somebody needs to rethink it. Juneau; ship sailed at 3pm. Ketchikan; ship sailed at 1 pm. After a tour, there was no time to see the towns! We were scheduled to stop in Victoria, BC from 7:30 PM to 11:59 PM. That's right, a very short visit IN THE DARK!! Our ship had mechanical problems and we got to Victoria 90 minutes late, so they canceled all shore excursions. Why couldn't they extend the time in Juneau and Ketchikan and eliminate the ridiculous night time, short stop in Victoria? We really felt cheated in our time in two ports.
More bad; The cruise ship is a sweat shop. The workers put in 70 hours a week minimum with no days off for months. Their pay is paltry and the customers tips are critical for their income. So basically, you're paying the employees salary for Carnival. Most workers are Asian or Eastern European. I read that the employees have to pay a recruiter fee and their airfare to the ship. That means they can be over $1000 in debt before they even start to work, making them modern day indentured servants. I also read that some rat bastard supervisors require kickbacks for servers to get prime sections in the dining room. If we had good service in the dining room, which we almost always did, we tipped the waiter a few bucks with a handshake on the way out. If you like a particular waiter, ask to be seated in his section every day. Slip him $5 or $10 after dinner (depending on the size of your party) and you'll be treated like royalty. I have mixed feelings about the way cruise lines treat their workers. They work the hell out of them for very low pay, but the workers know that going in. That's why the workers are almost all from countries with horrible economies. It bothered us a little, which is why we tipped our servers and cabin stewards extra cash, directly to them. Who knows how the shared tips get distributed and skimmed.
We liked Alaska a lot. There were several once in a lifetime sights. I'm not sure I would recommend this particular cruise, though. Check out other ships and compare itineraries. We would prefer more time in fewer ports, than short time in too many.
We have cruised a lot and generally always have a good time. However, this was a very disappointing cruise. Let's start out with a positive: The kids had a GREAT TIME at Camp Carnival. They wanted to be there all the time. However, was it because the camp was really fun or because it was too cold to swim in the salt water pool (even though it had a cover) and there was nothing else for them to do outside of hte camp? Don't know. The time at each port was very limited. Cruising through the Tracy Arm fjord was kind of like being on Lake Champlain in Vermont which is beautiful but is not the classic Alaska one is hoping for. No major glaciers. No major sightings. Lots of time standing in the rain with binoculars. We spent just as much time at sea as we did in each port in total. Going to Ketchikan was kind of pointless as we had only a few hours there. Not enough time to actually leave area to explore Alaska. We did do a great shore excurion in Juneau for whale watch (definitely recommend the Gastineau Tours!) but because our shore time was so short and we had to be back on board at 12.30pm, we almost missed boat (yes, they couldn't leave without us but it tells you how short a shore stop it was). Victoria was only going to be a few hours as well and the Victoria hours were scheduled to be evening hours anyway which is when everything is closed and the city is dark. What's the point? On top of that we had propeller issues just outside of Victoria which caused the ship to tip dangerously (did you see it on the news?), delayed our entry into Victoria which meant we had time to get off the ship, have a quick bite to eat at a late night restaurant near dock and then be back on ship within about 90 minutes. Totally pointless. I would have rather skipped Ketchikan and had an entire day in Victoria or vice versa. Basically this cruise is great if you like to shop at sea, drink, be in the casino or eating/drinking 24/7. Not much else for those of us who are actually on a cruise to go to the destinations. The onboard activities were really limited. On a Caribbean cruise, one can lie out on deck in the sunshine for all of the time one is at sea. That isn't possible on this cruise because Alaska is so rainy during hte summer. There was very little planned for people to do on the cruise while at sea that didn't involve a jewelry sale or alcohol sale or being in spa with terribly rude ladies (one actually told me I was "chubby" in order to sell me some cellulite body oil. Yes, I am chubby but did she really need to make that observation in front of everyone?). I hate to say it but we were actually bored and wishing we could just get off a day early. That has never happened in all of our years of cruising. However, we got a lot of naps in our cabin. The food was OK. Had a few good dishes in the dining room but the buffet food was as one would expect. Drinks were OK but at some of the bars, the bartenders didn't know how to make some of the mixed drinks offered on the menu such as a Sidecar. It really seemed like a lot of the staff were just "phoning it in" as it was the last Alaska cruise of the season and the ship was on its way to Hawaii. The room service staff were great, though, and our cabin steward was wonderful, especially when there was panic and water everywhere when the ship tipped dangerously and the pool overflowed to lower decks. He was the only one who offered information initially and calmed us. So....will I take a Carnival cruise again? I doubt it. I think we're done with the whole "big ship" cruise experience for now. This was definitely not worth the cost. Next time I want to go to Alaska, I'm just going to go to one of hte cities/towns and explore from there. This is not the way to see Alaska.
Enjoyed the cruise overall, until the ship had a malfunction that caused the ship to tilt extremely. It was a very scary and chaotic moment. It took a long moment before the captain to explain what happened on the speaker. There was not a plan of action explained to us. There was no apologies and no reassurance on the safety of the passengers. This was my first cruise and this incident left me very uneasy to ever take another. If I ever decide to take another, it probably will not be through carnival, because of the lack in reassuring the passengers after the event.
Cruise was excellent! Enjoyed the ports of call and entertainment on the cruise. The only problem was on the final day before getting to Victoria was when the cruise listed. That was the scariest experience I have ever had on a cruise ship and hope to never experience again.
I LOVE CRUISING,, VERY RELAXING, EVERY NEED IS TAKEN CARE OF AND THE STAFF IS ALWAYS FRIENDLY AND HELPFUL..EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT UP UNTIL OUR LAST DAY WHILE HEADING INTO VICTORIA, BC. AFTER OUR DINNER WE SUDDENLY STOPPED, LIKE WE RAN INTO SOMETHING, BOAT VIBRATED THEN STARTED TO LIST.. NEEDLESS TO SAY, DISHES AND COFFEE POTS WENT CRASHING ONTO THE FLOOR AND THE WAITERS WERE TRYING TO KEEP THAT FROM HAPPENING, NO ONE WAS LETTING US KNOW WHAT HAD JUST HAPPENED AND WHAT TO DO.. NEEDLESS TO SAY THERE WAS PANIC AS WE WANTED TO GET UP TO THE DECK.. THERE WAS ABOUT 10-15 MINUTES BEFORE THE CAPTAIN, WITH A VERY THICK ITALIAN ACCENT ASSURED US THAT IT WAS AN AUTOPILOT PROBLEM AND WOULD SOON BE FIXED, WHICH IT WAS.. ANOTHER 10 TO 15 MINUTES OF LISTING, ALL WE CULD THINK OF IS THAT THE SHIP WAS GOING TO KEEP LISTING FURTHER AND POSSIBLY OVER TURN.. THEN THE CRUISE DIRECTOR , JAMIE CAME ON THE INTERCOM AND REAFFIRMED WHAT THE CAPTAIN HAD SAID.. WE HAD NO INSTRUCTIONS AND NO HELP FROM ANY CREW MEMBER.. MANY OF US WERE VERY SHAKEN AND WERE AFRAID FOR MANY HOURS AFTER THE INCIDENT .. THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAME TO CHECK ON US WAS OUR CABIN STEWARD..EVEN THO THERE WERE NO INJURIES , OUR CONFIDENCE WAS SHAKEN BY NOT BEING GIVEN THE REASSURANCE THAT ALL WAS FINE AND WE WERE IN NO DANGER OF TIPPING OVER..MANY PEOPLE FOR SURE DID NOT SLEEP WELL THE LAST LEG OF OUR JOURNEY... I'M SURE EVERYONE WOULD LIKE A BETTER EXPLANATION SO THAT WE WOULD FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE IF WE EVER WOULD LIKE TO CRUISE AGAIN. WHICH MIGHT BE THE CASE FOR OUR FAMILY WHO WERE HAVING A GREAT TIME UNTIL THIS HAPPENED AND ARE NOT SURE IF THEY WOULD WANT TO GO AGAIN
*Cruiseline.com is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. Cruiseline.com does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. Cruiseline.com is not responsible for content on external web sites.