We spent three days pre-cruise in Vancouver, BC which we thoroughly enjoyed. Our hotel was across the street from the Yaletown Sky Train station which was only two stops from the Waterfront station.
Embarkation was very easy with many employees there to direct us. We arrived at 12:15pm and were in the guest relations area by 12:40pm. We did arrive a little earlier than the stated time on our cruise documents which had stated 1:00pm so maybe that's why we breezed through. Friends we were traveling with arrived at the 1:00pm stated time and they had a much longer wait.
Service - The stateroom service was very good and the service in the main dining room was exceptional. We were very pleased with our head waiter who was efficient, knowledgeable, but yet,personable and made us feel very at ease the entire week. Room service was only average or a little below. We had breakfast delivered three times. Only once did they get everything right. Once the meal was delivered at the incorrect time and another time the cereal and milk were left off the order even though they brought the cereal bowl and spoon. One evening we were brought dinner which we didn't order. The meal was supposed to be delivered to another room.
Food - The food in the main dining room was mostly average for what would be considered an upscale restaurant. The presentation was lovely but overall the food, itself, was average. There were a few exceptional dishes such as the the Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon, Home Style Pork Chops, Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna, the Chilled Shrimp Louis and the Apple Tart Tartin and the Crab Stuffed Mushrooms. The Ocean View Cafe Buffet which served breakfast, lunch and dinner was very good for that kind of setting - especially for breakfast and lunch. There were several different stations plus a free ice cream station with cookies. Free cookies and small finger desserts and appetizers could also be found in Cafe al Bacio. I found the finger desserts in the buffet and the Cafe al Bacio, while very pretty to look at, were rather bland and all seemed to taste the same. We did not eat in a specialty restaurant.
Entertainment in the Celebrity Theater - a variety of song and dance presentations, a ventriloquist who was very good and funny, a magician. I have nothing to compare this with since it was our first cruise. It was what I would rate as good but not excellent. There were several groups which performed throughout the day and throughout the group in the different lounges which I thought were better than the big state productions - an a cappella singing foursome, a threesome on strings and a classical guitarist. There was also a piano player and singer who was only average.
Stateroom - very good. Clean. Pleasant. Quiet. The bedding was wonderfully comfortable. We loved the balcony even though it was small.
There were very few children on board, I would say less than twenty from infant through teens.
The ship was quiet, relaxing, no loud music or announcements. There were many activities which could be taken part in but we mostly relaxed and spent all the time we could in port since Alaska is so port intensive. -
Public rooms are beautiful from all the different lounges, to the main dining room, specialty restaurant, foyers and dining rooms. There are windows everywhere to see the views. The only issue we had was a faint smell in the hallway leading up to our stateroom. The smell was there the entire cruise. It didn't permeate our room.
Disembarkation was very smooth. We chose the latest time we could to disembark which was 9:45am so we had time to go down for breakfast in the Oceanview Cafe.