June 2015 - Celebrity Solstice to Alaska - Inside Passage
To rate or even understand this cruise experience, it needs to be broken down to what is good, what is bad, and what is down right misleading.
The Good or Excellent: the Staff & their 1st class service, the onboard entertainment to include educational presentations, the sheer beauty of Alaska.
The Bad or Horrible: the food in the Dining Room (It bordered on inedible). This does not come from a couple that is hard to please. We have been on 6 previous cruises (but not one in the last 5-6 years). The food on every one of the previous was "to die for" delicious.
The Downright misleading: When you budget or price your cruise prior to purchase, add to the base price ... (1) A "Specialty" restaurant package that will "relieve" you of the need to set foot in the main dining room. On average this will "clip" you for about $35 -$50 a person per night. Packages vary .. but conservatively figure another $500-$600. (2) A basic alcoholic beverage package ... ours was about $450 a head.. $900 for the 2 of us. Unless you are Billy Graham ... paying "by the drink" is outrageously expensive. (3) Purchase a few excursions. These are all over the map as to cost.. but figure $600-$800 for the trip. You will experience part of the beauty and grandeur of Alaska from the cruise ship .. but viewing any wildlife at other than a great distance is a remote possibility. To wrap up ... take the base price of your trip and multiply by probably 2 1/2 times.. at a minimum. If that's OK, it's a wonderful experience!