Embarkation and debarkation at Seattle are hassle-free. I'm not kidding. The set-up is perfect. By far the easiest processing we have ever experienced. We did spend the extra money for a junior suite but it did not affect the embarkation or debarkation at all. Do spend the extra money if you can. The views from the balcony were spectacular.
There is a new program to send you baggage directly to the airline (they take care of the check-in). It is worth it if you are flying home the same day. You have to sign-up within the first few days aboard so don't delay. We don't normally use the carnival transfers from airport to ship/ship to airport but chose to use it this time because we were unfamiliar with Seattle. It was really effortless and convenient. It is a long ride about 15-20 minutes but you get to see a bit of the city too. You could easily get a cab or limo if you wanted. I cannot say enough about how convenient More
and easy embarkation and debarkation was. If you want to carry your own bag off (or if you have sent it ahead), you can disembark at 7:30 and still have lots of time to tour Seattle.
We had an unusual week weather-wise. No rain; only sunshine and a little morning fog now and then. Even the crew kept remaking about how good the weather was.
The tours sponsored by the ship were just too expensive for us. We went ashore and booked at the pier. Got the same tours for half the price in some cases. Don't hesitate to wait or book online with someone other than Carnival. In Ketchikan the tour operator was very mindful of our early departure time and got us back with plenty of time to spare.
Consider a train ride in Skagway, the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, and the totem village in Ketchikan. All were reasonably priced and provided a great overview of Alaska. Our time is Victoria was too short 7:30-11:30 PM so we stayed aboard ship that night.
Food was similar to all carnival ships. However portion in the dining room have increased. They used to "right size" the meals. Now they are hearty portions. I wish they had a petit portion option.
This was the first cruise that had a naturalist on board. She made the experience exceptional. Since the whales were migrating we saw lots of whales.
The entertainment was not very good. the comedians were just awful. The musicians and dancers were good, but it gets old after awhile. Carnival needs to step it up in this department.
Regarding the decor of Spirit, some of it is a bit risque. The painting in our room had an angel stroking the breast of a naked woman. Might be a problem if you have young kids.