My wife & I, along w/2 other couples, planned this trip for over a year! A couple of things, Dieter w/ was wonderful, always quick to answer questions, adjust pricing, whatever we needed, if he didn't know he would find out and get back to us. Our vacation was great mainly because of him! So, thanks Dieter!Now to embarkation. The 6 of us had decided to spend the night before in Vancouver (at the Ramada Metrotown-it was inexpensive and thats about all I can say nice about it. Not in a good part of town - we saw ladies of the evening, heard sirens, etc. & warned to not leave anything visible in our rental car, as there are a lot of break-ins in the area). We headed to the pier about noon & were on the ship by about 2:00 p.m. It was really smooth - with no problems at all. Everyone, both staff and fellow passengers, were pleasant and friendly. Our room, an outside w/a balcony, room 6263, was wonderful. It was very nice to have the balcony because every time the ships naturalist would say, 'on the right side of the ship you can see - all we had to do was step out on to our balcony & we were right there. If we didn't do this, we would have had to run to a floor w/a deck, this would have been a pain. Do yourself a favor, get the balcony. It is well worth it and, ask yourself, when are you ever going to go back to Alaska?!The room steward, Patrick, left a lot to be desired. While he turned down the bed & made the cute towel animals, he didn't do anything extra. It took him a good long time to return our pages, if he bothered returning them at all. He just didn't seem to do anything special is all.The food was incredible! We didn't go hungry, that's for sure! We ate both at the La Playa Grill (cafeteria style) and the main dining room, the Empire Grill. Our waiter, Robin, went out of his way to make sure we had a good dining experience. He was very good to us, taking time to explain everything, our choices, what he thought was good, not so good, etc. He was an asset to the trip and to making our cruise a good one. The Nouveau Supper Club got mixed reviews from our crowd, all agreeing that the service was nothing special & certainly not worth the $25 cover fee per person. The food, including the 24 oz. Porterhouse, was especially good. Dessert turned the nay sayers around however and most of us would have returned given the opportunity. Take this piece of advice - don't do the Supper Club on the night of the Grand Gala Buffet, as you simply are not hungry for the buffet! The entertainment was good, high quality shows, the cruise director Todd was personable. A shout out to Steve in the casino, who was hysterically funny & made losing money fun, ok not really, but he did make the tournaments a lot of fun to play in & be a part of.The ship was beautiful with a lot of places to go to either be with people and a lot of places to find yourself curled up with a good book if you wanted to be alone. Couple of tips. Take the bungee cord. It holds the door open on the balcony & it is a must. We didn't find any use for the duct tape that people said to take, so skip that. We packed way too many clothes. We were 1 of the last ships of the season & the sales in the towns were remarkable, with people practically giving things away, at least that's what my wife tells me. Don't buy the pictures taken on formal nights until the last night, they go on sale, otherwise, they are $20 for an 8 x 10 shot. The weather was good the entire time we were gone, w/rain just 1 time but nothing to panic about. The scenery is breathtaking. Glacier Bay should be required for all humans to see before they die. It is just awe inspiring. The naturalist, Amy, was fine, but did relate a story of a ship sinking and everyone drowning that probably could have been skipped! Everything was great on this ship. We had a great time. I would highly recommend Carn
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