We stayed in 9067 in Aqua Class. A quiet, well-appointed veranda cabin. Our room attendant was friendly and helpful. We had enough storage space and our balcony was a dream to escape the crowds on the decks. We enjoyed breakfast and wine out there most days. The overhang was helpful to keep the slight drizzle off but you do need to learn how to position your camera so as to avoid seeing the overhang in any photos. All Aqua Class and Concierge amenities were provided including sparkling wine, bowl of fruit, ice tea, daily appies, ....etc.
We dined in Blu most nights and absolutely loved it. The staff was attentive and the intimate setting was a real plus. We thoroughly enjoyed every meal and wine pairing. We also dined in Qsine on the evening leaving Skagway. It is a ideal place with its large windows to sail through the Inside Passage. The food was interesting but not fantastic. We would definitely recommend trying the crepes in Bistro on 5 and the burgers by the pool. We attended the fancy brunch in the main dining room on the one sea day and were pleasantly surprised. We found the Ocean View Cafe to be standard at best and we tried to avoid it. Breakfast was usually ordered from room service and was always prompt, hot and enjoyed on our balcony.
We thoroughly enjoyed the talks by Brent Nixon. He is passionate about his topics and presents his material in an engaging and entertaining way. We also enjoyed performances by "These Guys" and the Orchestra Band playing jazz music. We attended three of the evening performances and would rate them as ok.
We tried our best to escape the masses at each port and were very successful. Do not be worried about going off on your own and seeing the real Alaska as opposed to the tacky shops in each of the downtowns. We kayaked in Ketchikan with 2 other couples, rented a car and hiked in Juneau and had the trail to ourselves, ocean rafted in Skagway and strolled to downtown in Victoria. It was all amazing. Tendering in Juneau does require you to be prepared. Be sure to get an early tender ticket which will prevent you from waiting in long lines.
Both went very smoothly. We arrived at the pier at 12:30 and were efficiently guided through lines that led us to drop off our luggage, go through security and check-in. We had a 9:00 am debarkation time and found that most of the other passengers had already left. We quickly found our car rental pick-up and were on our way.
We truly felt relaxed sitting in the thalassotherapy pool and going to the Persian Gardens. There were seldom many people in either. We used the Wi-Fi in our cabin on a daily basis and had no issues connecting although it was quite slow.
We stayed at the Westin downtown Seattle on the night prior to cruise and found it to be an ideal spot. We took the train from the airport and found it very convenient.
We had a fabulous cruise with very friendly staff, scrumptious food and superb scenery. We can't wait to go again.