This was supposed to be a "trip of a life time" but we fell in love with Alaska and British Columbia. We now see why so many people continue to go back. There's so much to see and do. Also, as we discovered, you are at the mercy of the weather. We wish the cruise line offered some type of a "Do Over Discount" I don't think they would necessarily lose money since people would return to their cruise line. We spent A LOT of money on this cruise and excursions and had a Great time for the most part but due to weather and 2 medical emergencies we were delayed and missed some ports and excursions. We realize the cruise line can't control this but it's a big disappointment when you plan and prepare for almost 2 years and it's just cancelled and over - no compensation other than the refund for the excursion. The gesture of a "Do Over Discount" would be appreciated and would encourage people to return to experience what they missed. Otherwise, We Had an Awesome Cruise and Loved Alaska. Thanks, We'll Be Back Soon!!
4 out of 5
Moved along but multiple check ins. Agent who checked us in didn't take our credit card info and said he couldn't link my husband and mine account. Service desk later apologized and shared that isn't true. Not a huge inconvenience but inconsistent info causes confusion.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
Lots of choices. Food was good. Some things better than others. Buffet was fast with lots of choices but very crowded and loud at times (unless you arrived at 6am). We enjoyed The Local very much as a medium of fast service, good food and environment. Taste and Savor were very good also but a longer/sit down wait. Only ate at the Manhattan/Main Dining Room once but it was beautiful, food was good and service was good. I would get the Dining upgrade if I sailed again just because I heard very good things about those options. The only huge disappointment for me was the iced tea. I know that sounds nit picky but I drink a lot of iced tea and in all of the dining areas it was an instant, brown yucky excuse for tea. I ended up brewing my own hot tea and pouring it over ice. I found this somewhat odd. Just thought I should mention for my iced tea lovers out there.
4 out of 5
There were lots of activities going on always. Not necessarily things we were interested in participating in. Pools, hot tubs were crowded on the days we wanted to use them. The spa was booked up also (if you didn't already have a pass). We had a port cancelled so I guess everyone else had the same idea as me to enjoy the spa. It was fun to watch some of the games and activities in the main lobby/service area.
5 out of 5
We totally enjoyed the shows, Havana and Jersey Boys. The Liverpool Beatles at the Cavern Club and also the band, Siglo. They were Awesome!
Service and Staff
4 out of 5
Staff and Service were good. Always friendly and helpful. A little different than previous cruises on other cruise lines where your room steward and dining staff get to know you and anticipate your needs. We did get to know some of the bartenders at the bars we went to frequently. Overall good service though.
4 out of 5
The ship was very clean but there were often carts in the hallways throughout the day but I guess that's hard to avoid with multiple cleanings at different times. It took us a couple of days of getting lost trying to find our room to get used to the signage to staterooms. The numbers and arrows were confusing but we figured it out around day 3 or so ;-) Elevators were, at times, a long wait. We took the stairs when we could. Especially around meal times and show times. We also figured out that the mid elevators were the busiest. However, we were on vacation so waiting a few minutes was not a big deal, for me anyway.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
We were in Balcony 10254. We were pleasantly surprised at the roominess and storage areas (large closet, shelves, under the bed for suitcases) It was more than enough room for 2 of us. Anything over 2 might have gotten tight. Balcony was Wonderful. I'll never book a cruise without a balcony again. It was Amazing for Glacier Bay, especially. We just turned the TV on to listen to the Rangers and thoroughly enjoyed the view and photo ops from our balcony. Oh, and we were lucky enough to be next door to our friends. Unfortunately we were not able to move the partition to see each other without peering around. It was still very nice though.
This is a BIG, beautiful ship. Be prepared for some crowds, at times. Carry your ship map with you at least for the first few days. There are also maps by the elevators that are very helpful. The daily itinerary is also very helpful to keep with you for locations and times. Be sure to bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Even on the ship there is a lot of walking. I pretty much ate what I wanted for a week (including lots of bacon and desserts) and my weight stayed exactly the same. I'm sure it was all the walking on the ship and excursions.
We enjoyed Seattle very much. Had a group excursion planned by our travel agent thru Shore Excursions. We had a late flight scheduled after disembarking so the shuttle carried our bags and gave us a full day of shopping, eating and touring Seattle (including the Space Needle, Pike Place Market and Snoqualmie Falls). Our tour guide, Spencer, was very knowledgeable and fun.
We loved Juneau's town and Mendenhall Glacier even though this was a fairly short stop. We were very disappointed that our Whale Watch was cancelled due to high winds and waves. Our travel agent, Alesia, quickly got us a refund and set up a group to tour the city of Juneau and take us to Mendenhall Glacier. We definitely need to go back when we have more time and, hopefully, better weather.
Skagway was AMAZING. We did the White Pass and Yukon train and bus tour which was totally Awesome. We had lots of opportunity to stop and take pictures, our guide, Brian, was super knowledgeable and fun. Lunch at Caribou Crossing was included and delicious. We totally enjoyed the petting zoo area with husky pups and sled dogs, horses, ponies, goats and alpaca. The weather was beautiful this day and we were absolutely overwhelmed with the beauty and vastness of this area. We highly recommend this excursion. It was scheduled for 7.5 hours but, since there was a minor rail delay (approx. 15 minutes) we got an additional 1.5 hours added to our excursion which was Awesome !!
Glacier Bay was Amazing. We had a cold, foggy, misty rain that day but it was still one of our favorite parts of the cruise. Since we had a balcony we were able to enjoy the view from our room and balcony and just turned our TV on to tune in on what the Rangers were sharing. We saw some seals, lots of birds, some whales (surfacing and blowing). The ship does a turn around so you are able to see everything from your room. We saw (and recorded) a calving of one of the glaciers, Marjorie. It was so Awesome. I've seen others pictures and videos on clear days and they are great but I wouldn't trade our experience for anything. Truly Awesome !!
Sadly, our Ketchikan port was cancelled due to high winds and waves. We had an extra sea day that was kind of rocky but not horrible. We were super disappointed especially since our whale watch was cancelled in Juneau and we had scheduled a boat excursion in Ketchikan for Eagles, Totems and Lighthouses with the hopes of seeing some more whales and wildlife up close. Hoping to get back some day to check out Ketchikan.
British Columbia was another quick port (only 4 hours but we got another 1.5 hours added since our Ketchikan port was cancelled). We didn't book an excursion but, instead, got a taxi at the dock (which was super easy - they're lined up) Cost was less than the shuttle. 4 of us shared a taxi and split $60 including tip. Went to Butchart Gardens which was beautiful. Took a ton of pictures and the weather was beautiful. The same taxi driver came back to pick us up and on the way back to the ship gave us a little tour of the city which was very cool and worth another visit to explore and hang out also.
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