This was my 18th cruise and my husband's 14th. We had previously sailed on the Sapphire Princess on a similar itinerary but that didn't stop us from booking this cruise on a last minute deal. We had an obstructed ocean view stateroom. We could see out the window directly in front of us but the lifeboats obscured any lateral view. We missed the wildlife that one sees from a balcony as one is just sitting there enjoying the scenery but we did enjoy fantastic scenic cruising from the open decks.
Our sailaway was the worst we have ever experienced due to fog and rain. Oh well! We frequently experienced fog and rain on this cruise but it magically cleared up when we had scenic cruising scheduled and we felt we were very lucky.
The glacier viewing at Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay was astounding. We saw a large number of calvings including a spectacular large one, and by Hubbard Glacier we saw many harbor seals resting on icebergs. Whale sightings were common as were sea otters, bald eagles and occasional brown bears. All of this was, as usual, a function of where one happened to be on the ship at any moment.
Our excursions were on the train into the Yukon from Skagway and the Glacial View Sea Kayaking in Juneau. These are wonderful excursions for the scenery and the experiences. We didn't know in advance that we would be able to get a dog sled ride at the Michelle Phillips sled dog training facility near Carcross, Yukon Territory. The ride was on a trail rather than on snow so we did eat a fair amount of dust from the sled in front of us but we would do it again. We had a chance to pet and feed the dogs and the other animals such as goats here and we had a blast. This 15 minute ride cost us an additional $30 per person and gave us the experience we wanted without costing us an arm and a leg. During the sea kayaking we saw harbor seals come to the surface and watch us float by. Terrific! The title of glacier viewing is misleading however in that the glacier is miles away across the inlet.
Our final tour was the Vancouver city tour which then took us to the airport. Again, well worth it for a quick overview of the city and Stanley Park.
The production shows aboard this ship were lacking in quality. The best show was the comic Sarge--absolutely hilarious but watch out! He does make fun of just about everything and everybody.