Our group of four ranged in ages from 40-65 and had both seasoned and newbie cruisers. We all had a fantastic time on the Spirit and are sad to see her travel south in the fall! Embarkation and debarkation in Seattle were painless.
We chose "Your Time Dining" and found it worked great for us! Only once did we have to wait about 10 minutes for a dinner table - but that's less than the local steakhouse and we were waiting in the piano bar with Alaska floating by so who's complaining? Our dinners were delicious and the wait staff always friendly. Our other meals we ate on the Lido deck - YUM! If you can't find something there that suits you, I just don't know what would!!!
We loved taking our coffee out to the Serenity (21 and over) deck where it was nice and quiet most days. The new "clam shells" and hammocks are fabulous! Even in Alaska we had warm and sunny days we could enjoy them. Being on the aft deck also meant less wind - so bonus!
The entertainment was okay. It seemed to be going through some growing pains, but they carried on and put on two really good shows near the end of the week. Jazz Hot and then a New Orleans tribute that included a Mardis Gras celebration! The onboard naturalist - Michelle - was FANTASTIC! She was always alerting us to potential wildlife sightings in a calm and very knowledgeable way. Her shipboard lectures were also great!
Our cabin was adequate and always had clean towels and ice in the ice bucket. We had a variety of towel creations and yummy chocolates! Our obstructed view meant we looked mostly at lifeboat #5, but we could see daylight, breath fresh air, and see the current weather without leaving the room. Worth the "inside" price IMHO.
We enjoyed each port for what it offered, but would have liked to have traded a few of the Skagway hours for a few more in Victoria, BC. Otherwise - an excellent trip! We were lucky with weather on our trip, but this would be a beautiful ship and trip even without 80 degrees!!!
HIGHLIGHTS of the trip:
*Tracy Arm small boat excursion booked through Carnival for the day before Skagway. Up close to BOTH Sawyer Glaciers and saw Harbor Seals and pups!
*Photo Safari by Land & Sea excursion booked through Carnival for Juneau. Mendenhall Glacier/Tongass National Forest hike and then whale watching - got to see humpbacks bubble net feeding!