August 2016 - Carnival Legend to Alaska - Inside Passage
We really enjoyed our first cruise. I do wish there was a bit more to do related to the area that we were cruising. Michelle, the naturalist on our ship, did a fantastic job with her two or three talks she gave about Alaska, but I wish there had been more stuff like that and less things like hairy chest contests and karaoke. I don't think it needs to be either/or, just more stuff to do that's more intellectual would be nice. They don't even need to be done "live" to be effective. I would gladly have watched some pre-recorded talks on the Carnival TV channel. That channel had a lot of repeated content as it was, most of it uninteresting to us (the port of call shopping ads least of all) and it could benefit from some additional information about the history, culture and locale of the area we cruised. I don't know if I missed it when we booked, but my wife and I were surprised when our table at dinner (a booth) was shared with another couple. The couple turned out to be really nice, but we didn't really have any warning that that would happen. It would be nice if we could specify that we would like to eat alone. It takes a lot of effort to make three hours of conversation with strangers every night. If we had been at a table of 8-10 it would have been easier, but forcing us to sit with people we didn't know and the politics of socializing requiring us to talk to them the entire time was a bit much. I know now we can do the "anytime dining" to alleviate this problem, but we didn't know it beforehand. It turned out to not be a big deal, but we both were surprised and if we cruise again, we will keep in mind that we'd prefer to eat alone.
We did have a great time on the cruise. Our excursions were all fantastic and we enjoyed them all very much. It is obvious that Carnival puts a lot of effort into making things run as smoothly as possible. I hope that all the crew and staff are well rewarded for making the cruise experience as easy as it all was. Our cruise director, Jamie Dee, did a great job keeping us informed about the ship's activities; I'm not sure she ever sleeps. Our waiters at dining were really fun and hospitable (I Nengah, Francis and Gunawan), and our housekeeper(s) (Ramon) were funny and thorough.