We had sailed on Norwegian cruise line before and enjoyed each time. This time was no exception. Before the cruise I had read that our cabin (8517) was one of the worst ones on the ship - near the anchor and over the showroom so I was expecting a disappointing cruise. We never heard the anchor and barely heard any noise from the showroom. Since the last show of the evening ends at 10 p.m., it was no problem.
The only disappointing thing about the cruise was the food in the main dining rooms and the French restaurant that had a $20/person upcharge. It was not worth the charge. The Blue Lagoon and the Great Outdoors were the best two places to eat. Neither of them seemed to get crowded and the choice of food was just fine, much better than fighting the crowds in the buffet lines. Our cruise was completely full with over 3000 people, so it would be hard for the buffets not to be crowded. The other areas of the ship always seemed to have plenty of room.
The outstanding plus on this cruise was the entertainment. It was some of the best we have enjoyed on a cruise. The Oh, What a Night tribute band was outstanding. We had been on a previous cruise that had Arvin and Emily as almost nightly performers. We were so glad to see them again on this cruise and they have only become better. Another great performer was a singer named Jana who relied on her acoustical guitar and her beautiful, clear voice. The hardest part was deciding where to go each evening.
The Alaskan ports were the usual - Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchican. We also spend some time in Glacier Bay and 6 short hours in Victoria. We did a ship's tour in Skagway, riding the narrow gauge railway up the White Mountain pass. Since we had perfect weather, it was a great ride. You might be able to walk a short distance into town and make your own arrangements for the ride, but we decided not to take a chance. There were bus tours being sold in town that promised the same views for less than half the money.
In Juneau we took a city bus to the Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure. You can ask in town for directions to the bus station. We each payed $4 roundtrip for the bus ride. Other people at the gardens had paid $26 for a one-way taxi ride. They rode the bus back to town with us. The gardens are worth the trip and the view from the top is great. We had thought of riding the tram in town, but after going to the gardens, it seemed as if it would be redundant.
We did not do anything special in Ketchikan or Victoria, but had a great time walking around. Creek Street in Ketchikan is a must see. We had gone to the salmon hatchery on a previous cruise and would recommend it, especially is the salmon are running.