The ship itself is great if you like smaller passenger numbers (1800+), a good place to sit and relax while at sea and cabins with as much storage as you could wish for to store all that extra stuff you just won't use. Yes, the ship is a bit tired looking, even with their recent rehab but really we didn't care about that. What mattered was that there weren't so many people that we always felt like herded animals going either on or off the ship or to dinner.
We were in stateroom 8119. One can hear the neighbor's TV, there seemed to be an odd noise in the wall at night every once in a while, and although the room was kept immaculate there did seem to be a smell coming from the bathroom every now and then. Our room steward and assistant were fabulous and fun to talk with.
As for the food it was good when you think how many people are being served however, if you want a special meal, the Murano (special restaurant and extra fee applies) is the way to go. They do an More
amazing job with presentation and our meals were delicious beyond belief. The main dining staff we had, Eko & Jeffrey, were very nice and knew their menu. Only once did we return a dish and there was no problem doing that whatsoever.
Of course, the excursions are way too expensive and we were told that getting them off-ship is cheaper but we did take the ship excursion off of Icy Strait Point (easier) for whale watching and it was well worth the price just because of the time of year. We saw at least 17 whales and it was amazing. Also, with time constraints going with the ship excursion helped us to know that we'd get back on time for departure.
Hubbard Glacier -- wow! The Captain got us through the ice and only 1 mile from the Glacier itself. The Glacier is 30 stories high so getting a mile off made this visit even more special. We saw it all (ice calving) and were astonished with the beauty yet saddened by how much ice has melted. Can't say enough about the beauty of Alaska on this day at sea so we won't try. You've got to yourself.
On board there was a gentleman by the name of Milos Radakovich. He gave lectures onboard about the whales, the sky, the world and we found him always to be funny and knowledgeble. If you're lucky enough to have him on your cruse we highly recommend that you take advantage of his lectures.
Ports were Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska. ISP is a small town and fun to walk around but go see the whales. Juneau was a bigger town. You can go see Mendenhall Glacier either by a tour ($45) or catch a local bus and walk a mile or so and see the Glacier that way. Well worth the visit as the area is beautiful and very easy to get to either way. Ketchikan was the biggest town and we again utilized the local transportation and found things to see. Most passengers looked like they shopped a lot at this port.
Onboard entertainment was good but not fantastic; more like Branson than Vegas.
Final stop, and our beginning port, was Vancouver. We would advise you to spend some time in this great city. Lots to see, fantastic food and yes, the sushi was amazing, and easy to get around with the hop-on/hop-off Big Bus.
You've got to go. REALLY. Go by yourself, with a mate, a spouse, a family but GO to Alaska !!! Less