As first time cruisers we weren't sure what to expect. We so enjoyed all the different parts of crusing. Entertainment, bars/restaurants, casino, ports of call... we loved it all!
5 out of 5
We had an early arrival time, which I prefer. We checked in and registered our card for onboard spending. Then, we had to wait about an hour before they opened boarding. It went quickly once they opened the doors.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
We ate at the buffet, sit down main dining room, and a few speciality restaurants. We found the staff in all to be friendly and helpful when we had questions. When eating at the sit down dining, staff asked if we had any shows after dinner in case they needed to expedite our food order. They also asked about allergies. The buffet had a great variety and also had a special each night.
4 out of 5
We signed up for the galaxy pavilion and laser tag. My husband is a large, former football player and he was too large for galaxy pavilion but they quickly refunded our money. We had a blast at laser tag. We only did this one time, but I could see that families would really get a lot of use if they invested in the unlimited pass (I know this is an option for the Galaxy Pavilion but cant remember if it was offered for laser tag).
5 out of 5
We were able to see both shows, Footloose and Elements. Footloose was my favorite as I loved the 80s movie. There is some sexual innuendo and may be more of a PG-13 content. I found the dancers and singers enthusiastic with quality voices. Elements was a shorter show with a bit of magic and dance but the fast pace made for great entertainment.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Liechel was our room steward. Each time we saw her she greeted us by name and was so friendly. She did a great job maintaining our room. We found all the staff to be friendly and helpful. At times you would have to be patient if waiting at a bar or to be seated, but they were quick to go from one customer to another.
5 out of 5
We found the ship design to be easy to learn and if I happened to get turned around (after getting off a different elevator) found the signage to be clear and helpful. Staff was constantly cleaning. There was often a restroom attendant cleaning in the many bathrooms and I saw vacuuming and cleaning of handrails by the stairs during non busy times so as not to interfere with the traffic.
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
We found the space to be clean and enough storage for 2 people. The space between the closet and bed was definitely tight and made it a bit awkward when trying to pick clothes for the day. We found the balcony to be a comfortable space and perfect for glacier viewing.
The forward elevators can get busy! If you dont like waiting, we found walking to the aft elevators was worth it and we often got the elevator to ourselves!
We did the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show and loved it! It is cheesy fun good for the whole family. We found them to be entertaining and a bit in awe of the tasks they do! We enjoyed stopping in at Bawden Street Brewing for flight of beer tasters. We strolled Creek Street but didnt see the salmon running. If you are wanting to stop by Burger Queen but dont want to wait in line, head next door to Asylum bar where you can order food there and they will deliver! Be patient as a lot of cruisers have the same idea, ha!
We love Victoria and have visited many times. Since we had already done the main tourist attractions we did a self guided brewery tour (a theme this cruise). I found the locals to be helpful and willing to make recommendations. We also had great weather that made strolling Victoria great. The ship does dock quite a ways from downtown so I would recommend grabbing a taxi, shuttle, or pedicab.
Like many people have said before, we would have loved more time here. Knowing we had a small window, we grabbed a private taxi to head to the glacier 1st thing, even before the visitor center opened. We only had 1 other couple on the trail with us! It was lovely. We had arranged a pickup time with our cabbie, O.J., and he arrived when he said he would. We also visited Alaskan Brewing Co. And took a short stroll through the downtown area. The scenery was beautiful and we saw one tree with 10 eagles just hanging out!
Icy Strait is the name the local tribe selected for the cruise port. The town itself is called Hoonah and is home to 750 people. This is definitely a place to do an outdoor excursion. They offer zipline, jeep tours, native education tours, whale watching, fishing and more. We did a self booked whale tour with Glacier Wind Charters and it was amazing. We saw three different groups of whales, and 1 even breached for us! While the whales weren't super active, it was lovely to be on the boat with only 6 people and learn about Hoonah and the local life from our Captain, Casey. The walk between to the ship and town can be long but there is a shuttle that is offered both ways. The port had a nice restaurant with gorgeous water views if you just want to hang near the ship.
We were very fortunate that weather and ice flow conditions worked in our favor! We were able to make it all the way to the glacier. The journey itself was gorgeous and we saw lots of wildlife hanging out on the ice flows.
5 out of 5
I'm not sure leaving a fun cruise is ever easy. We chose self disembarkation. There was a bit of a line up while we waited for the ship to clear. Once they opened the doors we were off the ship and in our cab headed home within 30 minutes!
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