May 2016 - Norwegian Jewel to Alaska - Inside Passage
This was our first cruise and trip to Alaska and we found some pros and cons, mostly pros tho.
- Decent weather and only drizzles 3-4 days of the trip.
- Do the Gold Rush Sled Dog excursion in Skagway, so much fun learning about the Iditarod from a man that has done 5+ himself, play with dogs and puppies too!
- Alaskan Brewery tour in Juneau was great fun.
- Good main dining option besides the buffet
-3 decks/promenades to walk on and get nice views when going from one end to the other
-So many smiling and happy employees everywhere you turned
-Alaska's view and wildlife was beautiful
-Ultimate Drink package with 4 specialty dinning days
-Specialty dining was a fantastic way to try food we never had before, Bison steak, escargot, sword fish, duck breast, duck leg, wagyu beef and an abundance of desserts. With specialty dinning we could choose multiple appetizers or starters and not worry if we didn't like an option.
- We didn't get to see the Tracey Arms glacier due to ice, so they did a bit further to another glacier and we got so many great shots along the way and at the glacier as well.
- Plenty of shopping to do in Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. (Didn't get off in Victoria, see cons)
- Jewelry and native art galore!
- Easy on and off at excursion ports and the last day of sailing.
- Easy off options where great, we got off quickly by carrying our own luggage off the ship.
- We found a new hobby, art auctions! They are fun, we learned a lot, found some wonderful artist and bought a couple pieces for ourselves.
- Other shows and entertainment was not bad, played silly gold one day, watched the magician another.
- Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan were basically the same for shopping, so we hit up local old saloons for something different.
- Unless you are tight on time getting back to the ship, do not buy excursions directly thru Norwegian. Instead buy it once you get off the ship from a local seller at much cheaper for the same thing. Gold Rush Sled Dogs with 40 below was only $45 each instead for us.
- The beds and pillows are horrible, extra extra firm bed with absolutely no support pillows.
- I gained 3 pounds, my husband gained 10 because of all the good food! Walking a lot helped, so did using the stairs or it would have been more.
- 7 days was too much time for us, by day 4.5 we were ready to be back.
- We didn't get off at Victoria, $12 each for shuttles. You can walk 1 mile round trip to the nearby warf easily tho, any true downtown attractions are several miles away tho. Plus the gardens and castle attraction would still require a taxi to do on our own, or an expensive excursion.
- We were not aware of the daily fee for the ship ( $189 total when we went) until a couple weeks before. Makes budgeting easier if you know this when signing up.
-Emarking took forever! Stand in line for 20 minutes to go thru security. Then stand in line for 40+ minutes to check in before even boarding the ship.
An experience and cost I wouldn't take back. Th likely hood of another cruise for us is pretty low, unless it is a short 2-3 day cruise ending with a land trip.