August 2013 - Celebrity Millennium to Alaska - Gulf of Alaska
They use giant electric motors connected by wire to the Diesel Engine, presumably because they can rotate 360 degrees and obviate the need for tugboats. The trouble with these "Azipod" engines is that they tend to get water in them and Blow up! What makes this more unforgivable is that this same thing happened on the Southbound voyage, so what do they DO?? Herd us into the boat like Noah, and, traveling from the first destination, Ketchikan, to Icy Straight point, it happened AGAIN! The captain kept saying that "out of an abundance of caution, we are turning back." They lost one motor out of two, so, of course, this is what he did. Then, every twelve hours or so, on the PA system, while we were marooned on Ketchikan like Gilligan, he kept repeating that they were working to diagnose the problem. After three DAYS of this, the Other shoe dropped, and they announced that they were chartering us off by plane. Many of us asked to go to various destinations, such as Anchorage, in my case, and were promised this. But at midnight, our ticket itineraries ALL were to Vancouver $#!#@. that provoked near riots on board. They put us up at fancy places like the Fairmont in Vancouver for two nights, and said they would pay seventy five dollars per diem. Later, we found out that they needed the specific restaurant receipts, to prove we had not spent the money on liquor. Like-who CARES what we spent it on?!? They also refunded the money back on our credit cards and offered a "voucher for a cruise of equal value" but the voucher was only nine hundred bucks. It expires, and, since I care for an elderly parent, I could not use it. Furthermore, there were two hundred dollars in incidental charges on my Cruise Card, and this was NOT explained to me. I do not drink or gamble that much.
The Verdict?? AVOID them and their parent company, Royal Caribbean-or at Least, the Millenium. There is NOT that much to do in Ketchikan, just a forest ranger hike, and a lumberjack demonstration. I did not get Icy Straight, Hubbard Glacier, or Juneau off the ole Bucket List, although I DID finally get to Anchorage, and took the train to Denali Park, which was Awesome. This was booked independent of the Cruise Line.