The ship – the Miracle was clean, the food was good, I ate at the steak house the first night, and you are given a free bottle of wine when you make a reservation for the first night of the cruise. I was traveling by myself but based on CC reviews I took a stateroom with a small balcony, it was well worth the extra expense, to sit on the balcony with a thermos of hot chocolate my camera and enjoy the scenery. The ship was well laid-out, the Wi-Fi system extended throughout the ship so I could send and check my emails from my stateroom without going to a specific “hot-spot”. If you sign-up for an internet plan on the first day of the cruise, you get a discount - $29 for 45 minutes. The MDR – I was looking forward to seeing the grapes that decorated the MDR, many CC reviewers mentioned them, they were not that garish, but it was interesting looking at two foot acrylic grapes hanging from the walls of the MDR.
The ports – Seattle, Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Vancouver – Seattle and Vancouver were both beautiful cities. I arrived a day early in Seattle and stayed an extra day in Vancouver. Alaskan ports -They had a 19th century feel to them. They were all small towns that were ready to close up at the end of September. I purchased a small totem pole at a gallery in Ketchikan what was nicely carved and painted.
Scenery – Alaska is a in a rain forest, the green of the forests and brilliant white of the glaciers, incredible. I was able to see a glacier “calve” whilst we were anchored in Glacier Bay.
Politics – the number one industry in Alaska is tourism. There were quite a few Alaskans grumbling about Washington shutting down the timber industry for environmental reasons, and putting people out of work – they then became tour guides (LOL).