August 2016 - Carnival Legend to Alaska - Inside Passage
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.