Our stateroom with balcony was very nice. Clean, with lots of room to store everything from our 2 large suitcases, one carry on, 1 overstuffed suit-bag and sundries. The bed was a little uneven. We kept the two together. Attendant was good and kept us well supplied in towels and even found me a sewing kit when I ripped one of my formal dresses. The ship is obviously older but in great shape and well kept. I understand it was re-outfitted and it looks very nice. Someone was always cleaning something and the crew is very friendly. We had fun and will probably go back in about 4 years for the same cruise again with different excursion choices.
Food: Windjammer Cafe - the Buffet Haven! Breakfast and Lunch for us! Breakfast was very extensive. Lots of choices. Lunch had the flair of the night before's dinner in some dishes and definitely in the desserts. Never ate dinner there. Food was fine and what you'd expect from a buffet. Dress is casual at all times.
Edelweiss - Main dining room. Assigned dinner time unless you get my time dining reservations. We scheduled it online well in advance. You dress well every evening - which means more clothes. 2 formal nights. Some go all out. You can rent a tux on-board. Never any tank-tops or shorts allowed. Food was good. Service was good. Ate lunch there one day. The food was fine. The seating was as you came in you got the next open space till the table was full - and then they started the next table. This is fine if you like meeting people. The people they sat us with were rather rude. The food was good but we stuck to the windjammer after that. We didn't have to dress there and it was fine for a quick bite on sailing days.
Chops Grille - We had to try their 'Signature Restaurant'. Very nice food. Very good presentation. Lovely. Glad we spent the extra money.
Entertainment - nice production shows. This is not Broadway. I don't know what some people were expecting but it was very enjoyable. Even the adult comedy night was mature topics but not filthy. Parties in the Centrium (main area) were great and very enjoyable. Games and activities during the day were well attended and fun.
Pools - Outdoor - 4 hot tubs - kids mostly in the pool. Indoor - Solarium - Egyptian themed room. Bar opens at 9am. No kids most of the time but they do come in in the early afternoon and if it's bad weather. Hot tubs are usually crowded. But a great room for reading. Also - has the Park Cafe here. Supposed to be more healthy choices. It was never open when I was there so I can't vouch for the food. We did see whales and dolphins from the ship in the Solarium.
Spa - We went for the couples massage the first night of the cruise. It was a nice way to begin the vacation. Not the best or worst massage I've ever had.
Photographers - I expected this but didn't expect them to be as annoying as they were. I felt like I was accosted every time I got out of the elevator on the main deck on some days. They even came into the dining room which I found annoying. And there wasn't one picture that came out fabulous.
Suggestion: Take a notebook and keep track of what you spend on your sea-pass card. Since it's a 'no cash' environment, it adds up quickly and you may not notice. Wine package - Not worth it in my opinion. The wines are not all good and you are better off picking one off the list and re-corking what you don't drink and saving it for dinner the next night. If you drink the whole bottle, it's probably better than what was a choice in the package and you don't feel you have to drink one every night. If you don't drink all the bottles in the package, they don't give you the money back so it's a win-win for them. Soda package- probably a good idea if you drink a lot of soda.
I suggest you bring some sort of antacids. About day 3 most people were feeling a bit acidy from indulging as could be told by the evidence in the public washrooms.
Specialty Items: A friend sent Champagne and a fruit and cheese platter to the stateroom at the start of the cruise as a 'bon voyage' present for my first cruise. The fruit was in so-so condition. The cheese (brie) was fine but there were no crackers. The champagne was fine. A nice gesture - probably not worth the money she spent.
The casino - Only operates in international waters. Lots of people on slots and a few on the tables. They offer to 'teach you' any game - while you pay of course. We had fun though. Nice area. And the bar is not free in the casino either.
Tracy Arms Fjord - I didn't want to get up at 5am but I'm so glad I did. This is a really wonderful part of the cruise. You said up the fjord - though you don't think you can get any further in - right up to the glacier - where the captain does a u turn. You don't think that is possible either but he does it! The guests all show up early for photos so get up there and grab a spot early! It's the coldest part of the trip so make sure you have layers and a jacket and your camera!
We used the luggage valet program. It was an extra $20 each but well worth it. They got our luggage to the airport and we didn't have to deal with carrying it. It was at the airport when we got off the plane (a 2 flight process to get home). Very convenient so we could leave at any time on the day to disembark.
One thing was that the big 'last night' party was actually the night before the last night. We didn't expect that. A bit disappointing there but overall a great cruise. Nice people, good food, fun entertainment.
Absolutely breathtaking. A bit of walking around involved. A very 'structured' access to the glacier. Nice photo ops here. An educational film and a museum like atmosphere and gift shop. Cold wet and raining while we were there in mid August.
This is an entirely 'created' venue that was still interesting and quite a nice tour! Upside down trees - created not natural and a 'bus' ride up a path to the top of the hill which has a breathtaking view. Lots of nature info on the local flora and fauna as well as the temperate rain forest. Lovely little gift shop at the end.
This tour was on the 'yellow' bus. It was fun. A year round local lady was the guide. She took us up to the cemetery and gave a very good accounting of the 'Soapy' Smith murder. She also gave us some great info on what life was like the rest of the year when the cruise ships aren't coming in. Nice tour and I'm glad we took it.
This was a 3-in-1 tour. We took a ride up the Railway to Fraser, where we stamped our own passports! Lovely ride - sit on the left side of the train for better views and pics. You can hear the guide inside but not when you're outside on the train. Then it was a bus ride back down to Liarsville for a show and salmon bake. The food was better than we expected it to be. Walked around a recreation of a camp from the goldrush days. The show a bit hokey but fun and then we panned for some gold! Found my few flecks and then made my way to the gift shop which was very nicely stocked. Then back onto the bus to Skagway proper and the Red Onion Saloon. 20 minute tour with a glass of wine or madam's punch (lemondade). Then we chose to get off in town to do some shopping. This left at 740 am and lasted till about 2pm. Nice rounded tour.
This is a lovely garden and once you get there on the bus it is a self guided tour. Our bus guide was nice and we went to the gardens and then to Craigdarroch castle. He gave us lots of info before we got to the gardens on the drive there so we had a lot of background prior to walking around them. It was hotter than we had thought it would be. Mid august and it was about 80 degrees. We had to buy water and I wish I had worn lighter clothes. But the gardens are lovely and I'm glad we went. We got some beautiful pictures. The gift shop has a lot of expensive items and some cheaper ones.
This mansion is lovely but is still in progress with the restoration. Lovely to visit though and I don't regret it at all. I do wish that they mentioned the walk up hill to get to it from the bus. They do mention the 87 steps in the house but neglect to mention the 2 blocks uphill. It's a self guided tour once you get off the bus so you have a lot of reading to do. There are people in the 'castle' that can answer questions. No gift shop at this venue.