We had a great time on this cruise. The weather was amazing for Alaska; so we feel lucky. Those looking to book in September should realize the weather can be constant rain this time of year; however the lack of crowds make this worthwhile. Plus a lot of the gift shops are having closing sales!
Now onto the review:
The Good: I've been on NCL before (the Dawn) and loved this ship. There is a lot of elevators; so the wait was not too bad. They layout was great too; plenty of public spaces to enjoy. We never really felt crowded except on the Lido at breakfast. You really did not feel like 1900 people were on board with you. The Crows nest is a great spot; and the Library on this deck is a nice bonus. I liked how the space flowed together. Also having a roof on the main pool that can close is a nice bonus; plus there's a lot of spaces for shade if you are getting too much sun.
The Bad: Note that the pictures featured are of the spa; I More
also kinda missed having a large atrium. That being said Id rather have more public spaces to gather in than open space in the center of the ship. Also the screening room where they show movies is really small.
The Good: The service was great; I never felt accosted by servers pushing drinks and camera people taking pictures. It was a great bonus to have DVD's available to borrow; and a large amount of books to be lent out of the library. The crew was friendly; and seemed willing to go the extra mile. We were both fighting colds we caught on the plane; and our cabin ninja keep us stocked up on tissues. I also noted they served food to you on the Lido on the first 2 days; in order to avoid spread of norovirus. Why doesnt everyone do this? It seemed like a great idea to me.
The captain seemed great. I especially liked his safety briefing and his overview on when to be back on the ship. He really drove the point home; to the point that everyone made the boat!
Nothing really came to mind. Note that meals are relaxed and take at least 1 1/2 hours; but we really didnt mind. We thought of it as an experience; and not a rushed meal. We tried open seating and never had a problem.
The Good: The comics were pretty good and the headline show called Stage and Screen was excellent.
The Bad: The first show was pretty hokey; and we felt the shows on NCL were better. Also some of the evening entertainment was pretty low key. So if you are looking to party this is not the ship for you. Less
Oosterdam Cruises to Alaska
Great excursion! Highly recommend even though it is not cheap. Awesome does not do this justice. This is where to spend your money if you can afford this.
The tour operator ran a tight ship; and had safety awards in the office.
Great; well maintained trail that is not too steep. Did the entire mountaintop trail and it was extremely well marked. Well worth the trip. Dont take the trail down to downtown Juneau; we heard of one couple that missed their float plane trip. It is a long trail; and slippery. The flyer warns you of this but its worth mentioning. Line was not too bad at 1pm; and left us plenty of time to make the ship.
This was ok. They did an decent job; but I think I just was not "that into it". Our bus driver did most of the tour; but he seemed knowledgeable and very familiar with the native stories. That being said we didnt have a lot of time in port; so after this we had maybe 2 hours. So if you book this and the Lumberjack show then you'll have no time to walk around; except for first thing in the morning.
This was our favorite day. They take you to the raptor center; spend about 30-40 minutes there; then take you for a walk thru the forest. Then after a bathroom break at the park visitor center we walked to town; and got to see the Russian Cathedral there. The guide met her husband in town; so we got a lot of local color and local stories. She did a excellent job. We spend over 3 hours on this tour; and never felt bored.
We had shuttle buses to take you downtown that was nice. However we had about 3 hours; so why did we stop here? And it was 8:30pm on the last day; so most places you would want to see are closed. Id rather spend more time in Ketchikan.