Embarcation was a breeze at San Francisco, helpful crew and no difficulties. We had a Penthouse B cabin which was excellent and quite roomy, our Butler Chris was absolutely perfect, probably the best we have ever had, and we had a delightful cabin attendant who kept our cabin spotless. Anything we requested for our cabin was immediately actioned and the room service breakfasts were beautifully served by Chris and always hot.
The crew were very obliging and dedicated to doing all they could to make our cruise enjoyable and trouble free. The excursion team were extraordinarily good and worthy of mention, they changed tours with a minimum of fuss and a smile and really knew about the various excursions.
The block party, held on our second evening in the corridors was a brilliant concept enabling us to get to know the other passengers on our deck and also meeting the Captain and Officers. Great idea that other lines should consider.
The food was mostly up to the expected standard but the service was not so great. In the buffet restaurant staff frequently seemed more interested in resetting tables than attending to the tables in use, particularly at breakfast. Sometimes it was necessary to get up and ask for a coffee, or a refill - not really acceptable. The wine waiters in the main restaurant were often very slow and sometimes their wine knowledge was not all it should be. We found it easier to keep a bottle on our table and refill our glasses ourselves.
The steak restaurant was fantastic. Great food and service, we thoroughly enjoyed our meals there.
The biggest disappointment of the trip was the on board lecturer. He had a massive amount of knowledge to impart to us about this very special area but sadly he also had a wonderful ability to put us to sleep with his monotone. Normally we never miss the opportunity to learn about the region we are travelling in but just gave up. Other guests had the same comment. We felt it was a shame we did not have a Marine Biologist on board to keep us in touch with what was happening in and on the water. Travelled the Amazon on Silverseas last year and had a variety of lecturers, one of whom, Chris Croxon a Marine Biologist kept us informed and enthralled for most of the month we were aboard. Another great annoyance was when the lecturer was speaking from the bridge at scenic places, every time he drew breath the music on the TV channel cut in.
The itinerary was absolutely fantastic and our revered Captain (and didn't he look great in his kilt) made sure we got the very best of views in all the important areas. He gave us some great experiences navigating up the fiords to the glaciers, just stunning and even the weather cooperated.
Overall - a wonderful trip. The ship was in pretty good condition, the crew were extremely helpful, the service left a little bit to be desired in the public areas but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. In our view not quite up there with the other 5 star ships, but they appear to be working on it.