The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly . . . We sailed out of Seattle on August 12, 2007. We stayed at the Silver Cloud Stadium. It's a beautiful hotel and a wonderful place if you're going to catch a game. They have a free shuttle that will take you to the sights nearby; however, it was a short 10 minute walk to historical Pioneer Square. This hotel has a pool and flat screen TV. It was decorated beautifully. Some people complained about the train sounds but it did not bother us at all. We stayed in Seattle for 4 days and my highlights were Pike's Market, the Duck Tour, and Underground Seattle. The view from the Space Needle was nice but not worth the price. The Experience Music Project was just o.k.
The Good - Norwegian has a wonderful children's program. We sailed with two teens and the ship's program was outstanding. The counselor's were fun and made my kids feel comfortable and part of the group. My oldest daughter (15) did not want to join the teens and thought the idea was "lame". My husband told one of the counselors what my daughter said and she said not for us to worry, she would take care of it. She did! Both my daughters had a wonderful experience and made some really good friends. They are still e-mailing and texting each other. The counselor's name was Misty and she was amazing. I felt very comfortable leaving my kids in their hands. My kids are still bragging to their friends. My husband and I also enjoyed the shows. They had great entertainment including the Geisha, magician, and comedians. I liked that they had "G" rated shows for the kids during the day and then more mature shows in the evening. We also enjoyed the "Not So Newlywed Game", too darn funny! We signed up for the Murder Mystery dinner and I asked for 4 tickets. Later on we met a nice newlywed couple on the ship and invited them to go along with us. That was great because we were all compatible and we also got grouped up with another couple. There were six of us in total. The game was really confusing and I think it could be explained better. If you don't like games, don't sign up for this event. We just laughed off our confusion. The Chocoholic buffet on Friday night was outstanding. Mmmm, chocolate cheesecake and beautifully displayed desserts. I also really liked the BBQ that they had for us on deck the BBQ sauce was really flavorful. We used the free/washer and dryers on the ship, no problem. I brought along some dryer sheets in a Ziploc bag and the detergent was $1 per load. We took the Ultimate Yukon Route train ride. OUTSTANDING! We went to the dog musher's camp, had a homemade lunch, saw the Alaskan desert. If you're sitting on the train, sit on the right hand side. The left hand side follows the mountainside and you don't get as good a view. Also, don't sit in the first car after the engine because the diesel fuel will make your eyes tear. Also, when you go around the bend, you can take a picture with the train curving behind you, which was a great shot. We also did the Whale Watching and Wildlife Quest along with Mendenhall Glacier. Great tour, we saw several whales, 3 eagles, seals, fish, and 4 bears. The kids really liked these excursions.
In Victoria, we did our own excursion which was the 4-person bike tour. Ryan was our tour guide and he really went all out. I really think this is a good way to see Victoria. He took us past the Victorian homes, the historical district, the gardens, Blood Alley, the street performers, and into an amazing chocolate store that gave us free samples. I highly recommend this tour. The Bad - The freestyle restaurant schedule was confusing. It was hard to get dinner reservations at the time you want. It was either really early or really late. If you have your heart set on a particular restaurant, make it the night before at 5PM.
The Ugly - The food was not good. Even in the steakhouse, my filet mignon was horrible. My husband ordered a T-bone, which was o.k. I've been on other cruises and every bite was amazing. The Garden Cafe buffet was not good. This was my biggest disappointment. There were no juices available for lunch and dinner. The orange juice for breakfast was obviously not fresh. The only thing I liked at La Cuchina was the pizza. I really can't recommend this cruise line because I felt the food was not up to par in my opinion.