Great ship for merchandising ... and the inside passage
Review SummarySwift, efficient boarding a Canada Place with minimal lines; however the stations were quite spread out so this might be challenging for mobility challenged. Good to know: if you have US Global Entry, your processing is much faster as you bypass the longish US Customs check since you get precleared for entry into Alaska at Canada Place. I think there was just 1 customs location handling all ships. Room was tight, but well supplied and with good dressing area and large closet with plenty of hangers. Bathroom average. New mattress, a bit on the soft side. 1 tiny barrel chair and 1 desk chair. Linens and towel good quality. Partially Obstructed view window was about 4’x3’ with good views despite the metal ladders etc for accessing the tenders. No tender ports so no noise from them. Not a lot of storage in the sleeping area so maximize use of closet area. Emerald deck was quiet choice, no rocking. Food was good, mostly we stuck with MDR. We were on anytime dining and never had to wait for a table except formal nite, even then the wait was probably 10 minutes or less. Food was uniformly good with a few standouts. Excellent chocolate journey dessert one night. Had 2 meals in Crown Grill - the pub lunch (only offered 1 day) and one dinner. Both meals were okay, but the “prime steak” presented 2 of the most grisly versions. Tempted to send them back but we wanted to finish dinner so we could get on deck for spectacular glacier viewing. Ate 1 or 2 breakfast and 1 lunch in buffet. Buffet Food was well presented, lots of variety and good. Just prefer to be waited on and avoid potential germs in buffet due the many hands touching things and different hygiene standards. Went to one show - British Invasion, which was good with catchy music and visuals. Most of the other evening performances were centered on their Voice of the Seas passenger try outs for the finale on last sea-day. A lot of the other “entertainment” had a commercial hook - art auctions, jewelry sales, book sale, etc. Did 2 wine tasting -reasonable costs, interesting wines that of course were available in the diningrooms. Most of the “North to Alaska” programming was during port times but we attended the ”Wolf Named Romeo” presentation, which was very good. Google it - it’s a heartwarming story with a sad ending. Did our own shore excursions, the best was the Juneau floatplane trip with Ward Air to view bears at a Pack Creek and the post cruise day trip through Prince William Sound with Lazy Otter charters. Also had great talk in Skagway with 2 ladies running a yarn shop where you could by different qualities of musk ox yarn (Quivit); this was located on a side street. Did the train in Skagway - good scenery with useful narration but glad we had BOGO tickets from Alaska Toursaver Good to know: pre-plan and book independent tours ( or rent a car - not a lot of roads so you won’t get lost).. There were at least 3 ships in each IP port, so 6-9,000 tourists on towns vying for same things. The ship alone had 3 busses heading on the same totem tour. At least with a private tour you can get a jump on the crowds. Glacier Bay NP was super, we had great weather. But the main attraction was hard to see due to mass of people on for deck. It was better when Captain Tuvu turned the ship broadside ... however the life udest calving occurred when the prow was facing the glacier. And IMO the glaciers seen off starboard while cruising from Glacier Bay to Whittier via College Fjord were better viewing.
Food and Dining
Mainly ate in central MDRs. Food decent to good, portions average. Service good to excellent.
Somewhat disappointed with meal quality. Steaks were large well seasoned and grisly. At least 4-6 oz of my porterhouse was inedible. Not up to quality of Ruth’s Chris or Morton’s. Would have sent back but pressed for time. Decor was very good classic steakhouse, service was good. Sides and desserts ok.
Bright venue, excellent lemonade (need to ask). Service at the tables and behind the buffet was good. Food well presented, made in small batches and fresh. Lots of variety. Noticed somewhat long lines at times. Bakery products very good. All breads except English muffins and bagels are made on board.
The pizzas by the pool were very good
Visited during behind the scenes tour.very comprehensive suite. Doctor seemed knowledgeable. No patients visible ;) - a good thing!
British Invasion lively show. Recommend. Seating and sight lines were excellent. Went backstage during behind the scenes tour - amazing how much stuff they have and the whole process.
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Do the behind the scene ship tour - sign up early, it’s limited to 14 ppl