Celebrity and Alaska provided my family with an amazing, once in a lifetime experience. 7 people traveled to celebrate my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary. This was a gift from my parents to my sister and me and our families. Traveling in a group can sometimes prove to be hard with everyone wanting to do something different, but with the list of events on the boat, there is truly something for everyone, no matter what age. There are so many pluses to mention, so I will bullet what we loved:
1. Cruise Director Allan King-(very talented and entertaining, makes each cruiser feel special)
2. Bingo Queen, and Asst. Cruise Manager-Esperanza (so enthusiastic and energetic, makes any activity fun and exciting)
3. SS United States-Alternative Restaurant was incredible. Food and service were exceptional, and we are used to eating in some very fine restaurants in LA and NY.
4. Brent Nixon-Naturalist, presented several lectures about Alaska and wildlife, in a very entertaining and informative manner. He must not be missed.
5. Everything was perfectly timed and orchestrated from airport transfers to embarkation, port visits, and disembarkation and transfer back to airport.
6. Spa-Great list of services and the ship ran special rates mid week
7. Food was fair to good in Buffet and Ocean Grill, with an excellent assortment to please anyone.
8. Hubbard Glacier-Amazing!
9. Room Attendant tended to rooms twice a day, which is important to keep the tiny rooms fresh with towels, etc. Rooms could have been a bit cleaner though.
10. ALASKA provided us with beautiful scenery, fabulous memories and a great experience.
11. Celebrity maintains the boat ongoing, keeping common areas fresh
Areas of Opportunity: 1. Balcony rooms are quite small 170 sq. feet and in need of updating.
2. Trellis Restaurant, the main dining room, experience was a bit disappointing. Quality of food was average, often cold and the service was not orchestrated. Meals were not delivered simultaneously, so some of us were waiting for others. Food would arrive and drinks would come later, Sommelier, became disinterested in us the first night, since we did not order a bottle of wine. There was a person to order food from, a person to order drinks from and a person to order wine from. Too many people created this disjointed service. We sat upstairs at a lovely round table, but opted to eat in the Buffet or Ocean Grill a couple of nights, due to our dissatisfaction. I would recommend eating in The SS United States more often if you are looking for a great dining experience.
3. Shopping Arcade-Needs more stores with more of an assortment.
4. Evening Shows were average, although the dancers and singers were very talented, but there is a need for more variety. Don Sherman is a great comic! We thoroughly enjoyed his show!
1. There are many shore excursions available off the boat that are far less money than those offered on the boat.
2. There are midweek specials in the Spa. It pays to wait.
3. If you like to drink wine, bring your own. Each stateroom is allowed to bring onboard two bottles, although, if they are in your luggage, I do not think they check too carefully. The wine list is limited in most areas of the boat, with the exception of the SS United States. You can buy wine in ports, too, to bring back on board. Hard Liquor and beer cannot be brought on board.
4. If you are torn between an Oceanview or Balcony, opt for Balcony on an Alaskan cruise, since the scenery is spectacular and weather is quite cool; plus the room is so small, it gives you a place to go.
5. If you are there to have fun, participate in as many activities as possible.