Because I found the reviews so helpful (and enjoyable) prior to my trip, I promised myself I would also share my experience.
Let me start with, this was our first cruise, we had a wonderful time and can't wait to go again!
I was traveling with my husband and teen daughter. So those wondering about teen activities, well my daughter did go to orientation and after that I only saw her during dinner, excursions, and ports... and also when she crawled into bed sometime after midnight each night. She met many friends and had a blast. I want to re- emphasize what others have said, make sure your teen goes to teen orientation the first night. It doesn't take long, they can still join you for a late seating (a bit late) dinner, but that orientation was all it took for the teens to be on a first name basis. They had their own activities schedule delivered every day to our state room. But from what I could see the most popular events were, round the world ping pong, and the hot tub!
Well enough about teens lets get on with the rest.
The ship: Was lovely! I really could not see what anyone was complaining about, were we on the same ship? Perhaps some feel she is old fashioned but I love all the wood! Mahogany, teak and brass gives the ship a lovely old world feel and made it a very special experience . Everything was polished and cleaned constantly. If you are planning to cruise on her, you don't need to worry (like I did, I was so worried I had made a mistake choosing this trip and I needn't have been).
My stateroom: We traveled Concierge, and felt it was worth it. We did get priority loading, we were led by a staff member passed all the lines to the very front and were on the ship within 15 minutes of arriving at the terminal! We also had fresh fruit every day, and it was different everyday. By the third day we asked for a whole bowl of fruit because we ate through the three pieces of fruit that were artistically arranged on a tray, well before dinner everyday. We had green apples, peaches, nectarines, pears, Asian pears, clementines, red apples. We also enjoyed the canapes. They were slightly different everyday, but always had olives, some sort of dip (humus, tzaziki, red bean dip etc), chip/crackers plus other nibbles. We also had the sparkling wine, sturdy tote bag, but no fresh flowers... Our Concierge, Yolanda, was fabulous and helped us many times (we were first time cruisers and frequently needed help...).
The staff: Great service and friendly staff just as promised by many previous reviewers. And yes they had the final "parade", the very last day in the Main dining room when the head chef, assistant chefs, Maitre d etc etc and all the wait staff were introduced to the diners, accompanied to music, when napkins twirling... what a hoot. Wish I had captured it on video!
The weather: We started out on a glorious hot and sunny day in Vancouver, and sailed into pea soup fog. The whole first day at sea was in the fog. In Icy strait we had sun and rain showers and then sailed back into the fog. I began to worry that we may not be able to see Hubbard Glacier. Thank-fully we sailed out of the fog when we began to near the Glacier, and we had perfect visibility. The weather then turned to beautiful sunny weather in Juneau and Ketchikan as well as for the return trip through the inside passage (so we could finally see what we missed the first time through).
Dining: The formal nights were the first sea day and the Juneau port day. We ate mostly in the main dining room for breakfast and dinner. Lunch was either Main Dining room or the Aqua spa cafe. We did not eat in the buffet until the last day when I discovered they had a "Tea" in the afternoons. I had the best scones, with clotted cream and strawberry jam. I wish I knew tea was served at the beginning of the week (or maybe I am glad I didn't know). We also had tea at the Cafe Cova a couple of afternoons so we could listen to the lovely string trio. The food in the main dining room was delicious. The steaks were tender, the fish was not dry but perfectly cooked, the eggs Benedict was hot and done just the way I like them.
We also had the Five senses menu in the Murano one evening. It was three hours of delicious food, and impeccable service. I am so glad we went to Muranos at least once. We had room service a couple of times, because we missed the main dining room hours, but it was used only as a last resort.
Entertainment: Our main entertainment was looking for whales (yes, I saw, one fin, a classic whale tale and a few spouts and hundreds of dolphins/porposes and seals) and enjoying the scenery. But we also went to see Milos, the naturalist... he was so entertaining! Both funny and informative. I will never be able to look at a yorkie or a sea otter in the same way again. We also saw the singers and dancers the first night and really enjoyed them. We missed the comedian (we were having a great time talking with fellow passengers) both nights and everyone said he was very good.
Excursions: We only did one, the Tracy Arm Fjord out of Juneau. It was a gorgeous day, the water the most beautiful glacial green/blue. The seal pups were so cute and we saw two black bears on shore. We also saw one humpback whale. The scenery was spectacular, sawyer glacier is so blue. And the margaritas made from the glacial ice and made to match the glacial water was the perfect way to toast a special place.
Ports: Icy strait point was nice, and I would have liked to have more time there, but the tendering process was chaotic! Because we waited for the open time we didn't get onto the tendering boat until 5:00pm (we docked at 2:00pm).
Juneau- we didn't spend much time here because of the long excursion to Tracy arm. And we wanted to get back on the ship for formal night.
Ketchikan- We loved it. What a beautiful town. We didn't do an excursion here and had the whole time to explore the town and shop.
Complaints? Just a few-1) I hated the tendering process at Icy strait. It was a zoo, all that waiting for our number to be called, what a waste of an afternoon. In retrospect, I would book an excursion (you then have priority tendering) or just stay on the ship.
2)In our room, when the sofa bed chair is made up we couldn't access the deck. And because my teen slept in till noon each day, my dream of having our morning coffee and perhaps breakfast on the deck was never realized.
3) That the hot tubs were not open at night.
4) There is no grand breakfast on the final sea day.