Left Vancouver on a Saturday with two other ships at the dock. Loading was very easy and quick and our bags arrived at our cabins in a timely fashion. Our Cabin Steward was "Hamdi" and he did a good job for us. Hardly ever saw him but seemed to be around when we needed him. Our inside cabin was large and well appointed. Not a lot of drawers but lots of closet space. Comfortable couch and the chair and small table came in very handy. Bed very comfortable. A lot of kids (even babies) on this cruise for some reason and they seemed to run around the ship all day instead of being in programs. Not a big deal but unusual for HAL. Did not bother with specialty restaurant as we have been ripped off by others. Had poor steak in main restaurant several times but other choices seemed to be good. Waiters and restaurant staff were excellent.
Came back to cabin late and my key card would not work. My wife let me in and in the morning the same thing happened. Hamdi tried and then called to have the battery changed in the lock. We came back later and he said he had called again but no response. I eventually tracked down an Officer and complained and after 4 1/2 hours, the battery was changed. Desk called to apologize and they send a not and a plate of what they must have considered treats as they must have been expecting a complaint. If you start to have a problem with your lock, don't wait, get right on it.
This is our 4th cruise in 4 yrs., second on HAL, one on Celebrity and one on Norwegian. HAL have the cleanest ships by far. Hand cleaner everywhere and they are always cleaning the ship. Real towels in the washrooms are a nice touch. Excellent Officers and crew on this ship although Cruise Director Parker was a little hard to take after awhile. This ship got very close to the glacier in Glacier Bay and gave everyone a good look. Also went past another that I had not seen before. We docked in all our stops and although every dock was occupied when we arrived at Ketchikan, the Golden Princess suddenly pulled out and let us in even though it was only 1pm. We lucked out on the weather with the only day of rain being for Glacier Bay. Saw lots of whales, porpoise, seals, eagles etc. Calm seas every day which was why we picked this time of year along with the long days of daylight.
Very nice ship although they only have a small atrium. Had the impression that the ceilings were lower but that was just a feeling I had. Very nice furniture and well maintained. Great show lounge and observation deck. The shops were very crowded with merchandise and we bought our duty free in Ketchikan because it was cheaper than on the ship. They deliver it to your cabin anyway.
We booked this trip last fall through a Travel Agent but would not likely do it again. No obvious benefit but more expensive than many deals I saw on the internet. Many last minute deals appear to be better than booking early if you are flexible enough to go.
Overall a nice cruise on a nice ship. If I go again, I would like to try the 7 days up and 7 down which we could have booked for about the same price as this one.