We booked a 7 day cruise to Alaska last minute. We had cabin class 7A which is a partially obstructed balcony. The obstruction was at the bottom of the balcony and was the top of a life boat. This did not bother us at all and we were happy to have the savings.
Embarkation was not super quick, but we were traveling with a 3 year old and they put us in the expedited line, which was fantastic. I think we were on board in an hour, it wasn't horrible.
The food was better than I expected and we ate mostly at the buffet. Made to order omelets in the morning, etc. great salad bar, lots of fresh fruit and good variety in the evening. Hot food was hot, cold food was cold, veges were not overcooked. Room was clean and spacious. I wouldn't say the staff on this ship is overly attentive, but it was fine, and I didn't feel ignored.
My 3 y/o daughter LOVED camp carnival, to the point where I could hardly get her off the ship. She made lots of friends and was happy with the activities and staff.
My favorite thing was the ship. It never felt crowded, there were lots of neat places to explore. We did not go to any shows, or participate in any activities. Our goal was to read, nap, relax, and recharge. Great bed, quiet room.
This was the first ship to Alaska for the season and we saw Glacier Bay, which was excellent. Lots of eagles and whales seen during the cruise. The spirit class is now my favorite ship and I would definitely go on one again. I liked it WAY better than Emerald Princess, and somewhat better than RCCL Mariner of the Seas. Stu the cruise director was fantastic, good information, but not annoyingly intrusive like some cruise directors.
Getting off the ship was the best EVER. We got up, went to breakfast and literally were in the middle of breakfast when they called our group to get off. No lines, no waiting in a theater with nothing to do. Dreamy. Very relaxing vacation.