We flew into Seattle a day ahead of boarding and stayed at Hampton Inn on Fifth Ave. North. A wonderful place to stay and simple transfer by van to pier on Sunday. Boarding went very well and we were pleased with our cabin. Our room steward, Jesus, took very good care of us all week. It took us a bit to figure out "anytime dining". As we were 4 couples, you really needed a reservation to be sure you got a table. That reservation had to be made early in the day too. One night we ended up in Amalfi with set dining times and felt rushed to finish as we arrived "late" for their seating. The food was good but I never felt that it was outstanding. The coffee you purchased was better than coffee served in Horizon Court for breakfast.
I was disappointed in Ketchikan. As we had no excursion booked, we planned to walk about the town. That did not take long. I will advise to buy while in this port. You will find same items in later ports but prices are much higher. It seems they sell all the same things...it will just cost you more if you wait. With excursion in Juneau, we never did get to see the town. Perhaps a longer time in Juneau would have been better. Skagway was good and we took the train ride. While costly, we did see beautiful scenery and we had gorgeous sunny day to enjoy the ride. But know, this train does not stop!!! You only get to see and take pictures on the move. Victoria was lovely. Again, too short a stop as we arrived at 7 pm and were on the way by 11:30.
The entertainment on the ship was very good and there was always some activity to occupy your time. There are quiet nooks to seek out for reading or day dreaming and there is a fitness center and pools to keep you trim while enjoying food at about any time of the day. With dance classes and photography lectures, and trips through the galley and towel folding demonstrations, you will need a planner to keep track of where to go and what to see. Beware, they have some wonderful photographers and we ended up buying some wonderful portraits taken on formal night. There is one young lady who is OUTSTANDING and has a way of making you look like that couple who married 46 years ago!!! Her photos were actually better than our wedding photos!
Be prepared with different weight clothing as temps can change in a moment and rain turns off and on like a faucet. We had a bit of everything and were told we had the best weather of the season. We did have some wonderful sunshine...the liquid kind in Ketchikan!!
Leaving the ship went very well back in Seattle...no problems. If you are planning on taking wine aboard, do not worry as they do not even look at your "stash". We went by the rule of one bottle per person but no one counted.
Enjoy your cruise...relax and get into the spirit and sail away with a smile!