My wife and Myself just returned from our 6th cruise and do enjoy the convenience of many different cities on a single vacation. This is our 2nd time aboard the Carnival Spirit and First visit to Alaska. Let me say that Alaska is a beautiful place and the views are amazing, the cities we visited are very cute and each has is own history that dates back for hundreds of years. Carnival did a good job of providing History Channel programing the was Alaska specific. We did not eat a the buffet,Only in the main dinning room and the Steak House. The buffet just did not seem attractive to us and the lines were pretty long. We had late seating for dinner, No need to arrive on time as every night the doors were opened at least 15 minutes late and from there the line went all the way back, past 2 bars and almost to the casino, No problem as we just adjusted our arrival time to 20 minutes later. The ports were fantastic, great seafood mostly halibut, Crab and Salmon but all very good, a little expensive but worth it overall. They do try to serve some seafood dishes at dinner billed as fresh Alaskan, but just not the same. Don't get too excited about the food on Board. Alaska beer is fresh and good, We like the Alaskan Brewery beers the best, I the White, My wife the amber. Much better than the same beer on the ship as I think it must sit for a while in a war warehouse before Carnival brings it on board,(the Dos XX was the same, a little stale). No problem though as we just confined our beer drinking to the time in port.
Pre-cruise and Embarkation- They asked us 3 times what time our Flight home from Anchorage was, Once on the "fun pass registration", once again when I purchased transfers directly from Carnival. and once again on the ship on a form that they leave in your Cabin. I had a flight time Change due to the Airlines from 2:00PM to 11:20 AM, I called my trusty Sales Rep and he did not return my call. I called Customer Service, the first time The lady was of no help and could give me no information about transfers in anchorage, she said that it was handled through a vendor and did not know what time they start embarkation. So I called again, The Rep. this time was very nice and looked up my cruise and told me that they could accommodate airport transfers as early as 11:00 AM, no problem so I booked the Carnival Transfer from Whittier to Anchorage. Sure enough when it came time to Dis-embark that Had us assigned in one of the last groups to get off the ship. They started at 7:00 AM at 8:40, they still had not called my group So I took it upon myself to get off the ship not waiting for them to call our "ZONE#", At the bottom of the ramp the Carnival agent began to question me and I said "look if I don't get on the next shuttle I will miss my flight", She was kind enough to let us board. When the buss arrived at the Airport, We walked strait from the bus and boarded the plane, Not 1 minute to spare. Carnival has gone down hill from the last few times we cruised with them. Service,Food guest relations, just the overall experiance
Next year, we are already planning another cruise, This Time we are going to try another cruise line, probably spend a little more but we will see, maybe free style cruising is more our cup of tea.