BACKGROUND INFO - 6th Carnival cruise for myself and wife , 54 & 50. Celebrating wife's birthday during cruise. Used past quest promotion to sail as " Platinum " status on this cruise.
PRE-TRIP - Plan was to fly from Tampa to Omaha and spend 3 days with wife's family in Nebraska , then fly on to Seattle for cruise. Weather forced us to change plans as connecting flights from St Louis to Omaha cancelled. We decided to scrap Nebraska and fly directly to Seattle for 3 days prior to cruise. We loved Seattle. Did all the " tourist " stuff , Space Needle area , Pikes Market, and an all day trip to Mt. Rainier. Stayed at the Hampton Inn Downtown. Very nice and great location central to most attractions
EMBARKATION - Best of any cruise. From arrival at port to In-room - 15 minutes
CABIN - Ocean suite # 6172 Midship.Port side. Great cabin. Large Bathroom w/ tub and shower , two sinks + separate dressing/makeup area. 2 large closets + plenty of drawer space. King bed + couch with roomy sitting area. Spacious balcony w/ 2 chairs and 2 loungers. Only drawback to cabin is that there is only one outlet for entire cabin , and that outlet is in the dressing area by bathroom , not in main cabin area.
SERVICE - Our cabin steward , Roy , was fantastic. always friendly , jumped on any request we made , and kept the cabin in great shape. For the most part , all crew encountered onboard very friendly and helpful.
FOOD / DINING - 1 night in Steakhouse - Fantastic , 1 night Chef's Table - Fantastic , 3 nights in MDR. Food was average , service was s-l-o-w. The servers themselves were very good , but it took forever for each course. Finally , 2 nights in Lido - Food was good for a buffet setting , but selections were limited. Staff kept tables and area's very clean. Breakfast in mornings and lunch on sea days in Lido was always a madhouse finding a table. People always seemed to be circling with plates of food looking for an open table.
ENTERTAINMENT - John Heald , the CD , was entertaining as always. Some hate him , most like him. We really enjoyed his shows. We went to two of the production shows and enjoyed both . Very well done. Went to the late night adult show at the comedy club twice and enjoyed both shows.
ACTIVITIES - Like most Carnival cruises , something always going on for all tastes. Do a liitle or a lot , it's up to you.
PORTS/EXCURSIONS - For an Alaskan cruise , we hit the weather jackpot at every port. Tracy Arm was beautiful weather and we did the Tracy Arm Explorer excursion . Would recommend for everybody. Takes you much closer to Glacier than the ship itself. Skagway was also perfect weather and we did the Whitepass Rail and Glacier Exploration Hike. Loved every minute of it. The company Carnival contracts with for the hike is Packer Expeditions and they are fantastic. Guides were great , beautiful scenery and you hike up to Laughton Glacier. Juneau was overcast , but that was perfect for taking pictures on the whale watching tour. Finally , our last port was Victoria , BC and again beautiful sunny weather. We toured Butchart Gardens and it was wonderful.
CASINO - spent one afternoon , walked away ahead $400.00 , enough said. Seriously , casino laid out very nice and smoke was not an issue.
SHOPS - walked through them a couple of times. Nice selection of just about anything you would want..
DISEMBARKATION - didn't think it could get much better than embarkation , but we walked out of room at 07:40 and was on transfer bus and rolling to airport at 08:00. The staff at this port really seem to have their act together.
LUGGAGE EXPRESS - If your flying home from Seattle , take advantage of this service. For 20.00/person , you place your luggage outside your door on last evening , and that's the last time you worry about it until you reach your final destination. also , you have all of your airport boarding passes before you leave the ship so at airport you dont have to do any type of check-in , you go right to security and to your gate. That $ 20 for this service eliminated a ton of hassle.
SUMMARY - We had a great time. No real complaints. Thought we got a great value for the price. Ship was very nice but as any Alaskan cruise , the scenery was the star of the show