Since I am the guy that is always reading these reviews to get an idea of what to expect on certain cruises, I will take the time to give the low down on the Carnival Spirit Alaskan Cruise out of Seattle.
My group arrived 3 days early to take in the Seattle Area. If you are flying in from the east like us, it makes sense to get the most out of the expensive airfare if you have the time off work. There are many things to do in Seattle, I recommend these- go to the fish market, it is very interesting and entertaining. Check out the GUM wall while you are there, your kids will thinks its awesome. There are guys throwing fish, plenty of food, and lots of people watching. Take the DUCK tour of Seattle, dollar for dollar it was the best tour we took our whole vacation. $26 for 2 hours of corny jokes and sight seeing, plus the vehicle is amphibious! The monorail to the shopping district is very nice, and if you like to shop it is all there. Seattle Center is a nice area with lots to do, I will warn you that the Space Needle is going to really disappoint you. I have seen it for years on TV and movies and my first thought was "that's it"!! It was probably amazing when it was built 50 years ago.
OK on to the cruise, we left out of pier 91. The city is beautiful from the water. Getting on the ship went very smooth and lunch was being served when we got on. Our room was ready by 1pm, luggage arrived by 230 pm and we set sail at 4pm. All things went very smooth. The Spirit is a beautiful ship. The decor is fresh, it does not show signs of wear, and all public areas are well keep. The Cabins are typical, we had a balcony with an extended balcony, although it did not really seem that extended, but it was fine for us. Beds were comfortable, the room was always clean, and of course the kids love the towel animals.
Lets talk about the food. I can eat just about anything and I don't really complain. The food at the buffet, which we only used at breakfast and lunch was your typical buffet food. They did grill hamburgs and hot dogs out by the pool which was good. You could get omelettes made to order. The pizza was not very good, but the pasta bar was yummy. We ate dinner in the restaurant every night. The food again was average, but there was nothing that was horrible. The service was excellent and that helped. Remember you can order any and as much as you want off the menu, so get what you want and try something new.
The Entertainment was up and down. The production shows were again typical for a cruise. If you enjoy signing and dancing then you will enjoy these shows. There was a hypnotist one night and I am not buying it one bit, but it was still funny to watch. The best part were the comedians. There were a total of 4. 2 for the first part of the cruise, then in Juneau we dropped them off and picked up 2 different comedians. They do family comedy in the evening, then they have late-night adult only comedy, which is for 18 and over only.
The scenery on this cruise was amazing. The mountains, waterfalls, glaciers and ice bergs will dazzle you. Wildlife for us was pretty rare. We saw one brown bear about 300 yards away, one mountain goat maybe further away, a few whale tails but never the whole whale, some dolphin fins and a few sea birds. Not what I expected, but maybe we had a bad cruise. I did see lots of bald eagles, which completely excited us tourist but seems pretty common to locals.
Overall this was a great experience for my family. I thought I would only go once, but I may be back someday. If you are like me and all your cruises have been warm weather cruises, this is completely different so be prepared. Our warmest day was a balmy 60 degrees and it is almost certain to rain during your trip. Don't let that stop what you want to do. I did miss my palm trees, white sand beaches and warm blue water! I didn't even have one pina colada on this trip!!