Paid for early embarkation, which I hear is now not necessary, they will allow it without additional payment. It was worth it to get on early, avoid crowds, get unpacked and organized early. Good service by crew helping us on board, showing us to suite, showing us around ship. First trip on Silver Seas and it was a good way to get acquainted with ship before everyone was on board.
Had the unfortunate experience of rain the entire trip. This caused rough seas, so Sitka, first stop had to be bypassed. It was a tender off, and this was impossible in rough seas. Second stop Juneau. Low clouds and rain. All flying excursions cancelled. I had a photo safari and hiking to Mendenhal glacier along with whale watching in Auke Bay planned. Got off ship for 9:30 a.m. Whale watching only to be told on pier, that maintainence on Whale Watching ship had to have repairs, our excursion was postponed until 2:30 p.m. No advance announcement to save us rushing to get eat breakfast early and get ready. Also meant afternoon private excursion had to be cancelled.
Skagway hiking was cancelled as well as all flying excursions due to weather.
That evening, announcement was made that captain was being removed from ship, he was not well and was being flown to Juneau for hospitalization. We had a temporary captain.
Next day scheduled to see Dawes Glacier, after great anticipation of seeing much talked about glacier and calving and waiting on deck in cold windy weather to get good viewing position for 2 hours, announcement told us, couldn't see glacier because of too much ice in fjord.
Next night announcement came over telling us good news and bad news. Good news, "Captain returning to ship in Wrangell. Bad news, leaving port 2 hours later than planned, one of ships engines needed repair.
Shore excursion in Victoria of City Tour, advertised as 2 1/2 hour tour turned out to be 1 hr. 15 minutes.
Many disappoints. Can't count on weather, but soooo many things on one cruise seems unusual.
Dining room service was not the best. Had to ask for things many times. Main course served, but acoompaniments served much later, i.e., potatoes, vegetables came 10-15 minutes. Had to ask many times for them. Or they were forgotten completely. Menu was a little too esoteric for my taste; i.e., squid, venison, etc. I would have enjoyed a little more recognizable main dishes. I do not eat red meat and there were many nights, where all 3 main courses were meat. Since there were about 3 main course items each night, and they almost always were unusual items, I ordered salmon almost every night. That was not on the menu, but they had it.
Breakfast, as an example, couldn't get eggs and toast and coffee at the same time, no matter how many days we asked for them to be served together. Seems the servers need a little more training
Naturalist on board, Ian Denten, was fabulous in preparing us for areas we were headed for, he was enthusiastic, knowledgable, loved his subject, and was a wealth of knowledge. Only problem: We got all hyped up for what we were going to see, and then couldn't see it due to cancellations.
Ship had many public areas for viewing the landscape, reading, etc.,
I do agree with others, the ship is tired and needs redecorting. Many stained carpets in common areas, not as luxerious as I had been led to believe.
Also, too many smoking areas, expecially near the Terraza restaurant on 7th floor. The smoke permeates the entire hall way around the dining room.
Also, Trivial pursuit, bingo, etc., are held in same room as smoking. They should be someone else as smoke clings to the areas where it is allowed. Smoking is a problem, because there are still smokers among us, however, for those of us who do not want to inhale someone else's smoke, we were faced with it in many common areas.
Those are my comments. In spight of the above, I had a good time, met some nice people, and enjoyed a relaxing 9 days. But the ship is not as luxerious as I was led to believe.