This is not what we were expecting. We wanted to experience the real life of living in Alaska. Would have like more information about the state, living conditions, education, local customs and more guest speakers.
3 out of 4 members of our party came home sick. We returned to home on June 27 and were sick for another 10 days.
4 out of 5
No problems, very organized.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
The main dining rooms the food quality was uneven. Tables were not cleaned quickly when there were people waiting for tables. However, our servers had too many tables to serve and were constantly rushed. I felt sorry for them. On several occasions it took OVER 1 hour to get our main entrée. We arrived at 5:30 but felt rushed out to get the next seating ready. We ended up eating more evening meals at the buffet where you could at least make yourself a decent salad. Our table in the dining room was situated right at the revolving door to the kitchen. The servers were constantly having the put their trays over our head to get out to their assigned tables. Our table was so small that the plates hung over the edge of the table. In addition, to the problem with the table location the serving station was situated directly to the left of our table – so we had the waiters coming out from the right and attempting to maneuver to the left around us to get to the serving station. We were like sardines in a can.
Breakfasts were hot and but seating was tight and difficult to find. Stood around looking for and waiting for a table or seats to open up. Last three days service dropped off and you could not find anyone to clean a table or bring you a beverage.
The only ice cream we found outside of the dining room was on deck 14 by the pool. It was soft serve vanilla and chocolate and at best it was ice 'milk'. No ice cream bar and make your own sundaes.
2 out of 5
Sea days and lack of interesting activities left for boring, wasteful time on the cruise. No movies showed during the day in the theaters. So activities like Marriage Games, Pool Deck Contests. Hasbro, The Game Show, Battle of the Sexes, Trivia. Sports Competitions. Gaming Contests, Mystery Game, Fill in the blank, Tic Tac Trivia, and Bingo without money involved. Thank God we brought cards to fill many hours.
2 out of 5
We only saw a few shows on the ship, the dance musicals being our favorites. The shows were nice as well as lounge performers. •
Service and Staff
4 out of 5
First I'd like to say the staff was great. Everyone went out of their way to make the trip enjoyable. However, the staff can only work with the resources they are given and someone at the corporate level seems to have taken costs savings to a new high. The captain was highly visible every day,
1 out of 5
This ship is a little tired now, with broken elevators, restrooms out of order, furniture a bit shabby. Hopefully that will all be replaced when the ship goes for refurbishment. Repair being done while out to sea. On the deck by the movie screen employee painting railings in the ceiling. Extreme toxic smell which permeated into the buffet area ( 2 days)
The paper towels in the public restrooms were coarse and brown like something you would find in a backwoods gas station. Several days public restrooms non operational. Spend considerable amount of time running around to find a restroom.. We never saw anyone cleaning the public areas, railing, windows, doors, vacuuming public hall ways or elevators.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
Instead of hotel style individual soaps and shampoo there were large pump bottles of body wash and shampoo in the shower – do you really want to share your shampoo and body wash with a stranger? We go on a cruise to feel pampered and 'special'. So many little things screamed 'cheap' that it really detracted from the cruise experience.
Another problem was not hearing announcement in your room or in the elevator. Well you might hear them on the TV, that if your listening to TV and to their channel as well.
The a/c was terrible. Hot in cabin, lounges, and showrooms. BRING A FAN
Prepare to have alot of free time which you will need to fill.
We did one excursion - traveled by tram and then did a hike in the mountains. It poured rain the whole time but they provided rain slickers and hiking sticking. Really enjoyed but would not recommend to anyone who is not in good shape. Had a 80 year old couple who had a lot of difficult and we kept having to stop and wait for them...not a problem for me. Concern about the couples well being.
Did city tour by bus just ok but the bus driver was excellent. Also did Salmon Bake which was a total waste of money not worth the cost. The best part of the Salmoon Bake was the location which had a trail which you could venture on to a beautiful waterfall.
We had our best experience in Skagway. We did the tour with the ladies from Red Onion which was quite extensive and very informative. We had the best tour guide, she had a thorough knowledge of the city and everything that had happened since the early 1800. She had a really understanding of human trafficking ( probably not thought of that way - back in the early days) and the horrific life women were subjected too. She brought you right into the life during the Gold Rush.
Took the train to the Princess Wilderness Lounge - very nice but limit off properties activities. Then were taken to McKinley Princess Lounge which was located out in no mans land - 100 miles from Talkeetna. It was like you are dumped off and left to fend for yourself. Only options were at the Princess Lounge...with very long lines and employees seemed clueless as to what their jobs entailed.Waited almost an hour in line for a cup of coffee. No civilization to speak of.
5 out of 5
Connections and instructions provided make disembarkment run smoothly.
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