We are a family group of five ranging from early 70's down to 17. Travelling from England we arrived in Seattle four days prior to embarkation and thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
Mum is in a wheelchair, and we couldn't have been better looked after at embarkation which was quick and painless. We were sipping sparkling wine on board about 30 mins after arriving at the docks. Unfortunately whilst we completed check in with her and boarded the ship as usual it wasn't until some hours later when our sea passes wouldn't work that it came to light that we hadn't been checked in at all! All sorted out by guest relations but we did have a long wait for it to be resolved.
Our cabins were well maintained and our attendant Rachel very efficient.
We enjoyed all that Alaska had to offer, this trip was a retirement gift to me as I've always wanted to go, it didn't disappoint. The scenery and wildlife were fabulous. We did a couple of excursions through celebrity, the white rail pass and the Tracy arm fjord trip. Both were excellent & I would highly recommend.
Brent Nixon' talks were a highlight, I would urge anyone not to miss them. We didn't make too many shows, a combination of jet lag, lots of fresh air and long days saw us missing more shows than we attended. Suffice to say they were the usual fare. Cruise Director Patti was very professional. Mum really enjoyed the trivia.
Well that's the positives, so why wasn't the cruise great?
As regular cruisers, the last few being with celebrity I think we noticed the cutting back on sone of the small things that make a cruise great.
Food is very subjective, we found the buffet to be just as good as usual, same with Bistro on 5 and Cafe el Bacio, the major disappointment was with the main dining room. We had some good meals, some just OK and sone outright bad ones. The quality seems to have declined in the ingredients, certainly in the beef and fish departments. They were also inflexible, if you wanted say the meat but with a plain jacket potato instead of rice they said it wasn't possible? I have never encountered this before, I don't know if this was down to our individual waiter (he did have a very large, loud and demanding party on the next table) or a change in policy.
We all had drink packages of one type or another but the sommelier was useless. Couldn't be bothered to recommend anything, never once actually gave us a wine list to choose from, he basically just gave you the option of one red or white even though Dad had a premium alcohol package. Once you had had one glass you couldn't flag him down to get a refill.
Elsewhere on the ship we found bar service to be very good. We ended up getting wine from cellar masters, where the staff couldn't have been more helpful, and taking it in to the dining room.
I had fully intended booking on board our next cruise for later in the year, but have hesitated, and for the first time in eight years do not have another cruise booked.
Overall we enjoyed the cruise, but it falls short of our last celebrity experience.