Took our third cruise so far and first to Alaska on Sapphire Princess departing the 7th of September. Not to downgrade Princess but Alaska would at least be a 10 on a tug boat. We ran out of adjectives to describe the awesomeness and beauty of the entire trip.
However, we really liked the Sapphire. We haven't taken a ship as big as this one and wondered if we'd feel crowded. Never once did this happen. We even enjoyed the food, though I shouldn't have tried the steak. Everything else was great.
The service was terrific. The ship seemed to have plenty of employees and they actually all seemed happy to be there. I love to people watch and after awhile you can catch glimpses of how people are feeling. They actually seemed to be enjoying interracting with the passengers and fellow employees. They are a long ways from home and family so if you take a minute and talk with them you'll learn a lot!
The only down side was the entertainment. The shows weren't very well done and the acts they had were actually lousy! Was very surprised. However, some of the musicians in the bars were very good, especially Tempo Quatro. I really enjoyed them! Enjoyed watching some NFL football on Sunday on the BIG SCREEN outside even though it was chilly and damp. Just go dwon to deck 5 and get a vanilla bean latte and you'll warm up quickly!
The room was small as usual but you spend very little time there. Why they put a stupid little table in there I don't know. There is NO room for it. I also asked for an egg crate for the mattress which was put on the first day and it worked great to alleviate the hard mattress.
My little secret, if you go to Alaska on the Sapphire or one of her sister ships, go up to Skywalkers Lounge on the top aft portion of the boat early and get the seats next to the side windows. We did this both days and the views were amazing. We didn't have to fight the crowds along the railings but could go out on the back of the boat to take pics now and then.
I'd definitely take the Sapphire on another cruise without quesiton. AND I'd take another cruise to Alaska tomorrow!!!
After Ketchikan Juneau was terrific. Even though there were four boats in it didn't seem that crowded.
We took a whale watching tour with Harv and Marv's and it was the highlight of our trip. The boats are small and their employees are fantastic. Can't remeber the guys name that drove the shuttle but he was terrific. Then we had Captain Steve and I can't imagine ever having a better man or captain to be around. He way exceeded any expectations we ever had! Wouldn't even consider going out again in Juneau with any other tour and especially would request Captain Steve!
We were the first of four ships to arrive in Ketchikan. The first couple hours were nice but then there were WAY too many people in this little town. We went back to the ship because everything was packed!
Took the White Pass Railway on a pretty nice day. The scenery was amazing. After 3 hours or so I was ready to get off though. Especially since on the way back the wind blew the diesel smoke thru the cabin.