We(my mom and I) took my father on an Alaskan cruise for his 70th Birthday! We have had no previous sailing experience on a cruise ship so we decided to take it as it comes.
We were helped at the airport by a friendly lady from HAL and soon we were on our way via a bus to the port. Once there it was easy to get "registered" and then onto the ship....As per the reviews I was a bit apprehensive but I think within a half hour we were on board!.
Went to a buffet restaurant as we were starved and had a great lunch!
Onto our cabin and what ever we expected...it was better....us 3 were sharing a cabin and as we are tall and biggish people, I was afraid that we were not going to have enough space to pack(as we each had 2 suitcases) bit there was ample space to store our luggage and to move around and to be on the balcony.
Night time dinner was amazing! We had a set dinner time as well as the same table every night but we still enjoyed it. Whenever we returned to our cabin after dinner our beds were turned down....nice.
A person has this idea of the food when you see the plates of food with so little on it( that it would be "a taste of paper and wind) oh but it was delightful and tasted very good!!! We could choose whatever we wanted and as many times as we wanted and this was amazing! Coffee and water was free with every meal.
We had to cut Sitka out of our trip due to bad seas, but it did not matter to us. Seeing the beauty of the earth was compensation enough....we were also the last cruise for the season to Alaska so we picked up MANY Bargains and we came back with suitcases bulging! We only had the one night of bad weather that shook the ship a bit but not enough to wake us up.
We rented a tux for my father for the Captian's dinner, but very many people dressed casually that night so I would not recommend this to anyone unless you want to spent those dollars for looking good....I would rather buy a bottle of wine for dinner and have a glass full every night ( the staff cork the wine for you and bring it to your table every night if you want a glass).
We did not get too involved with the things onboard as we just wanted to enjoy the sights and the cruise, but there was a lot going on!
Apparently there was 60+ kids onboard but we only saw a few during dinner every night so the must have had a kids section where they entertained them during the day.
We did not book any excursions but rather just looked at what was to do in Juneau and Ketchikan and did our own thing.
Breakfast every morning was aft and at a different table with different people so this was nice to meet new people. Back in the cabin the beds were made so this was super nice that we did not have to do this...
Victoria(Canada) was a beautiful sight and we had an awesome day there....
Overall We had an amazing time on board and the only thing that was VERY Expensive for us was the photos that their photographers took, but we still bought them as they were special in another way...