Great cruise featuring Alaskan glaciers
Sail Date: May 01, 2008
Reviewed: 6 years ago
Traveled As: Family (older children)
Room Type: Inside
After transfer from airport arrived at the pier we took our own walking tour of Pikes Market (a 15 minute walk from the pier). The flowers, fresh produce and fish were beautifully displayed. The entire huge multi-floor semi-open market was totally packed with tourists and shoppers. Took a few pictures and made it back to the ship. Next time I would purchase flowers for the stateroom. Embarkation went smoothly as did disembarkation on the last day.
DAY AT SEA
Its nice having a day at sea without feeling you need to get off the ship and see something. I actually read a book on this cruise. I reviewed Celebrity Today carefully everyday and found activities I normally wouldnt attend such as an art auction and a diamond seminar.
Tendered to Sitka. Its a nice small town with beautiful flowers blooming everywhere. It had standard tourist shops, but there was a good bookstore and a shoe store. We didnt take any excursions, but walked around town and to the Raptor sanctuary. It was an enjoyable 30 minute walk. We didnt end up going into the sanctuary, but the walk was nice.
This was an amazing experience and sight. Going there alone made the trip worth it. In talking to other passengers and crew, we found out the captain had taken us closer to the glacier than anyone said they had ever been. We were within a third of mile and could clearing see, hear and take pictures of the calfing process. We stayed there for about two hours. Hint: Bow becomes very crowded. The stern of the ship is less crowded and you will eventually see just as much. Another good spot was the walkway next to the basketball court. You can go back and forth through the court to go from port side to starboard and back to get the best view. On the way to Juneau we experience relative rough seas. Many passengers wore patches. Aqua Spa acupuncture was guaranteed to cure seasickness. We did not try it.
Made on-board reservation for the glacier and salmon hatchery excursion ($46 pp). I think only the helicopter ride excursion sold out. Bus tour was good. No rain in Juneau or any stop. Mendenhall Glacier was also impressive (200 feet tall, 3 miles wide, 12 miles long). Walked to the waterfall. The trail there was not obvious and was blocked by a rock slide. Small children and people with limited mobility should stick to visitor center. Keep an eye on the time. The bus driver will leave without you, if you are late. Learned about the five species of salmon and their life cycle at the working fish hatchery.
We did not get off the ship. Took pictures of soaring eagles, seaplanes and the town from the ship. Went to well equipped gym then the complementary sauna. Had the place to myself, great view.
Short stop over in Victoria (7:30 PM 12:15 AM). Many passengers chose one of numerous forms of transportation to downtown area (limo, bus, cab, pedicab, horse draw carriage). We walked and it took 25 minutes to Empress Hotel. Wish I had picked up a AAA map and tour book of our destinations prior to leaving. The coolest place on our entire trip (due to wind chill) was Victoria.
Pros: Hubbard Glacier views and fine dining in USS United States, Ocean View Bistro and Aqua Spa Cafe.
Cons: Trellis Resturant food & average headliner entertainment. Food and entainment was much better during our 2006 Celebrity cruise on the Mercury