My family ranging from ages 11 to 78 (7 of us) started off in Vancouver, Canada one day early stayed at the Sylvia Hotel. Beautiful right on the Bay and next to Stanley park very close to the port. We Boarded the ship customs was a little unorganized because we had my mom in a wheel chair who they wouldn't let any of us go with as they took her to the head of the line and we got separated at check in which was very confusing. Once we got to check in we had a celebrity suite so we got a guide to take us right to Michael's club where we had free drinks and some lovely food and we got to meet our concierge Maritza.
The suite was great very roomy and great balcony!
The concierge service well worth the price if you can afford the suite celebrity class and above. Maritza booked all of our excursions, made our dining reservations and we never had to stand in one line. We got priority passes for getting off the ship and getting on. The Michael's club was a private lounge where you could relax and get all your questions taken care of while have a drink and snack open in the mornings and evenings all cruise long. Our "Butler " that came with the suite really didn't do much the website said he packs and unpacks brings afternoon tea. He was hard to find, always seemed put out when I asked him to help with things, had to ask a few times for the same things everyday. Room service was slow usually took an hour to get. So instead of using the butler I would go down to Michael's club and Maritza took care of everything. The $8 a day in extra gratuity I paid a day for the suit should have went to the concierge.
The food in the buffet was terrible and the same every night, and the dining room not much better. Dining room times were confusing. The outside hamburger and hotdog bar was cold fries and freezer burned hamburgers. Everyone was in a rush to close up their cooking station usually ran out of things 15 minutes before closing time so if you want whipped cream on your waffles you better get there early! On the last day while we were eating breakfast in the buffet dining room they were ripping up tiles from the floor making a huge racket and dust everywhere right where we were eating. Very strange.
service in dining room was terrible the waiter refuse to sing happy birthday to my husband
again we had to ask for the same things every night like lemon for the water. The food was barely edible and very understaffed. If took forever to get the food. I almost think they do that on purpose so you will pay extra for the specialty restaurants.
Quizine specialty restaurant($50) is not to be missed great food but it takes some time to go through all the courses, so it is an event in it self.
The fitness classes were great but you had to pay for Yoga (bummer)
The computer classes they offered for Iphones and I pads were awesome I learned great stuff
Bingo was terrible, very boring (which is one of our Favs on a ship) We got there 5 minutes after the time and they wouldn't sell us cards for any of the games the lady in charge was very rude and in a hurry to close up shop.
The indoor pool is great so nice and warm. We did the polar plunge when they filled the outside pool with icy Alaskan water.
The shows were ok very low budget but entertaining but if you have the 8:30 seating you have to go to the 7:00 show which I thought was odd to go to the show before dinner. since the last show is at 9pm.
We were very lucky to get super close to the Hubbard Glacier skies were clear and we got to go on the helicopter landing pad for a close look. Also the captain made a few 360 turns so we could see it perfectly from our balcony as well.
After a great day a sea we disembarked for a land tour with the best tour guides Sheri and Kevin. They took care of every little detail to a tee!
Alyeska Resort- is where we stayed the 1st night this is an amazing upscale hotel lots of amenities. Our stay included a ride to the top of the mountain on the tram which there is a yummy restaurant and bar at top.
Next day we went to the Saturday Market in Anchorage and Ulu factory (Alaskan knife) This was great lots of local food and crafts we bought hand made zipper pulls.
Denali national park was our next stop Cabins were great our tour included a 5 hour tour into the park you could pay extra to do the 8 hour tour which many people from our bus did and they saw bears, moose, hairs, we did not see any of those animals just a few caribou. The food at the Denali park village Roadhouse was terrible and way overpriced even for Alaska.
we ate dinner at the Prospectors Pizza the next night and it was amazing food!
We did do the Jeff Kind Iditarod excursion this was amazing you got to hold the puppies and he tells great stories of his adventures of being a 4 time winner.
We went to Talkeetna and the hotel was beautiful and we are now members of the 30% club who got to see Mt. McKinley. The views are amazing.
The same day we did the Mahay's jet boat tour into devils canyon which I thought was way over priced at $165 a person we did go near some rapids but one of our engines went out and because of that I don't think we got the whole experience. They serve you lunch while on the boat which was ok. not great. It was an ok tour but very over priced and could be skipped.
The last day we spent in Anchorage Marriott very nice hotel great service. We went to the zoo to finally see a moose and some brown bears you can take a free shuttle from the visitors center. We ate at Humpy's which was great!
Icy Straight/ Hoonah- We took a $5 a person shuttle to town but it was raining hard so we came back to the salmon canning museum and then walked around until it was time for the ATV excursion. It was great! You drive your own two seat ATV through the rain forest and it is lead by a native who shares their culture and lots of information about the island. Worth the price for sure!
Juneau- we booked through the ship the helicopter ride to the Mendenhall Glacier This is not to be missed ! expensive but worth every penny! The Pilots make you feels so at ease it was a smooth ride there and back. 6 people in each helicopter plus the pilot. They give you boot covers with spikes to put over your shoes. Dress warm.
Ketchikan- We did a sourdough trolley tour that was $50 for adults and $25 for kids not through the cruise line. We went to see the Saxman totem poles and stopped and got out varies places to look at nature and then to the Dolly house tour. The tour guide was ok but not amazing it was raining really hard and he left us at the Dolly house to walk back which I was unaware of when we signed up we assumed it would take us back to ship. It was raining and cold Dress in layers!
Seward- we went to the Alaska Sea Life Center (great place everyone loved seeing wild life) and then to lunch at the Bakery Café at the Harbor yummy lunch soup and sandwiches and baked goods are unbelievable
Skagway- We booked through the ship the jet boat tour through the Fjord where you suit up in these orange heavy suits you look like an astronaut but it keeps you warm! the guides are unbelievable fun and knowledgeable. Worth the price!