A super nostalgic cruise and a very good one. It introduced us to up scale cruising as well. by KennicottSail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Seven Seas Navigator / Destination: Alaska
I say this cruise was "nostalgic" because that is exactly what it was for me, a 75 year Alaskan. More enjoyable than I imagined it would be. Born and raised in Alaska, when I was young my mother would take us out to visit kinfolks in the 48 states, Alaska was a territory then. We would always travel to Seattle, from Cordova, on Alaska Steamship Company. (That is until the airlines took over and Alaska Steam quit passenger service in 1954) When first getting on a cruise ship, the smells, odors and sounds harken me back to those early days of traveling to/from Alaska and of sailing throughout Alaska’s Panhandle.
On this cruise we began in San Francisco and ended in Vancouver B.C. got as far north as Valdez in Alaska's Prince William Sound (Note: we live in Anchorage now but I was born and raised at Cordova in Prince Willliam Sound), we visited 10 ports total, six in Alaska, two in Canada, one in Oregon, one in California. Plus, we did the Tracy Arm glacier and Hubbard Glacier on separate sea days only, where we stopped in front of the glaciers for hours.
At the time of the cruise we were just shy of one year total on the high seas. Many of our cruises have been one month or more. We prefer smaller ships and exotic ports. Throughout this we have almost exclusively sailed on Princess and HAL. This was our first trip on one of the more high scale lines. We did really enjoy it, but doubt if we could have afforded it at regular rates. Including insurance and most everything we paid, $10,000. Normally it would have ran about $35,000-$40,000. Most shore excursions were free although there was an extra charge for a few of them.
The big pluses were: (1) The “staterooms” were super. Best by far we have experienced. (I call them “staterooms” as that is what they were called when I was a kid, Berlitz says the correct term is “cabin”, I disagree). The patio wasn't all that big though, we experienced better patios on both Princess and HAL where the cabin prices were much less.
(2) Sure nice to be not nickel and dimed like on HAL and Princess. Booze was included, most excursions were free, hardly any extra charges for anything.
(3) A week before we departed they upgraded us, for another $800. to “Butler Service” and a stateroom on the upper most highest class in their regular suite category. On the trip, the butler was great, but so was the room stewardess. For almost a grand a week, I wouldn't go the butler route or the higher category cabin again and that was at the super discounted rate. The suites on the Navigator are pretty much all the same, in my opinion. And that is, they are excellent.
The downsides were few:We did the no extra charge specialty restaurant, Prime 7, one time, you couldn't really get in very often as it was so popular, probably due to no extra charge. Hard to believe they had waiting lists, as we really thought the meal was not very good at all, and honestly, I am not normally very picky in that regard. Also, we didn't often care for those extra charge specialty restaurants until we tried HAL’s "Pinnacle".