Since I read so many reviews before sailing, I thought I would try and give details from our cruise to help other cruisers. We were on a Quilting Cruise through Travel Connections in Illinois. My business partner and I were teaching on the cruise while the ship was at sea. It is a great way to go if you are a quilter! In case you are wondering, you don't have to bring a machine. Bunny has a dealer on board with all of the machines. Also, bring your husbands. This is the third quilting cruise and our husbands have gone every time. There is plenty for them to do on the ship while you are quilting.
We flew into Seattle the day before our cruise. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Sea-Tac near the airport. We purchased the package that included all of the transfers. They picked us up at the airport, took us to the dock, picked us up at the dock and returned us to the airport. It was wonderful! The rooms were very nice and the transfers were great. All for around $160. Some of our group went to the Space Needle and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Getting on the ship was very easy. No problems. We found that each person could take on a 12 pack of soda and 1 bottle of wine.
The Spirit is a BEAUTIFUL ship. We have taken two other Carnival cruises and felt this ship was the best. The cruise director was everywhere and did a fantastic job. Our wait staff was also excellent as was our steward.
We took the "To The Summitt" excursion in Skagway. It was really nice. We liked that we could get off of the small bus and take pictures all of the way up. Our guide was very knowledgeable. We had beautiful weather the whole time we were in Alaska; however, I was prepared with rain gear and umbrellas. As they say in other reviews, dress in layers! After the tour, we had lunch at The Red Onion Saloon. Delicious! There is a quilt shop near the Saloon called The Rushin Tailor. Don't miss it! Lots of kits and Alaskan fabric. A delight to the quilter's eye! I am a shop owner and thought it was wonderful! In the afternoon we took the Skagway Streetcar tour. Once again, the guide was very good. The info on these excursions overlapped a little, but we really enjoyed them. We did lots of shopping in this town since we had the most time here.
In Juneau, we took the Mendenhall Glacier and Wildlife Quest. We were able to see many humpback whales. If you think you are going to see the whales jump out of the water, you will be disappointed. You just see the tops of them and their fins. The Mendenhall Glacier was really cool. There just isn't enough time. We only had 1 hour at the glacier and it took 51 minutes to walk to the farthest point. We only had about 45 minutes in the town. My business partner was able to make it to the quilt shop and really enjoyed it. You must be back on ship 30 minutes before it leaves.
In Ketchikan, we went to The Lumberjack show. It was very entertaining. The town is so quaint! Don't miss The Silver Thimble Quilt Shop. The owner is great and opened at 7 AM for our group! It is on the second floor of a shopping center and very close to the Lumberjack show. LOTS of Alaskan fabric and kits. We got to meet the owner and thought she was very, very accommodating. You can even have the quilt stores ship things home for you! This town is a great place to buy salmon to take home with you.
We did not choose an excursion in Victoria. Kind of wish we had, but we thought we would just walk around. Make sure you get off of the ship. The town is beautiful and so well kept. Flowers everywhere. We took the bus into town and our kids walked. What a wonderful vacation!