I have always enjoyed reading all the reviews on CC, so I decided to finally write my own.
ABOUT US: There are 8 of us ranging in ages from 15 months to 75. Me (Stacy), my DH, DD, my parents, my in laws and my MIL's friend. My DH, parents and myself are all elite cruisers. This is the first cruise for my DD and my inlaws. A month before we were leaving, we discovered my FIL would be bringing oxygen and traveling in a wheelchair. This brought a new aspect to our planning. This is actually the first time my FIL has been on a trip in 50 years! Needless to say, he was very excited!
PRE CRUISE: I had pre reserved Zippy Shuttle (CC recommendation) to pick us up at 5:45AM for our 8:30AM flight from LAX-SEA. (They also provided a car seat for my daughter) The driver was there early and we were on our way a few minutes before 6:00AM. Luckily the security lines at LAX weren't too bad, because it took us quite a while to get through with the wheelchair, oxygen, extra More
batteries, stroller and baby. By the time we finally got to the gate, they were paging us to board early. The flight to Seattle was uneventful and I am happy to say my 15 month old did great on her first flight! ?
SEATTLE: We had reservations with Shuttle Express ( They also provided a car seat) The driver was there for us and we were on our way to the Grand Hyatt within minutes. The Grand Hyatt was very accommodating for our daughter. They provided a clean pack n play, new blanket and travel size bath products for her. (Of course I searched and searched for this before the trip, but it was nice to have extra). We spent the day relaxing and went to the Space Needle.
SHIP: I had reservations with Shuttle Express to take us to the ship at noon. We were at the terminal by 12:30PM and on the ship at 1:00PM. Since we had a wheelchair, we were directed to a separate line. Once onboard we immediately went to check out our cabins and drop off our carryon's. My DD, DH and I were in the coveted mini suite E731 with the extended balcony. My in laws were next door. My parents were in a balcony on the Baja deck. I never heard any noise at all. This was a great cabin!
DINING: We had anytime dining since we were unsure how many dinners my daughter would make it to. We usually eat at the late sitting, but my in laws and DD would probably fall asleep ½ way through dinner and early dining was too early, so anytime it was. I am not a fan of anytime, but I knew going in that this would be a different cruising experience. We ended up making reservations for 7PM every night in the Santa Fe dining room. I enjoyed having the same waiters every night. They were great with my daughter. I was determined to eat in the dining room every night and we did with the exception of Victoria, since we were on a tour. Our waiter Marco had fresh fruit for our daughter as soon as we sat down and her meal was there with in minutes. We did take her for a few walks in between courses, but she usually was fine in the high chair looking around. (They provide Rubbermaid high chair's with trays) Our waiters even did row-your-boat a few different times with her. They were GREAT!
PORTS: Ketchikan we did the Lumberjack show and it was a lot of fun. Juneau we went to Mendenhall Glacier which was amazing.Skagway was a mommy and daddy day and my DH and I did the Dog Sled and Musher's Camp. Those puppies are so cute! Victoria we did the double decker bus tour. It was freezing, but fun!
ENTERTAIMENT: Unfortunately, we never made it to any shows. At night we usually sat just outside trivia or in the very back and played amongst ourselves so we could leave quickly if my DD got loud. It was also nice that we could take my DD to the children's center so she could play. We could not leave her there since she is not old enough, but it was nice that she could run around there and play with the toys. She LOVED the slide there.
POST CRUISE: Once again I arranged Shuttle Express to pick us up at 9:00AM. We were off the ship at 8:15AM and in the shuttle by 8:45AM to the Sheraton. Luckily 2 of the rooms were ready, so we relaxed for a bit and then headed to Pike's Place and then rode the Duck Tour. Both were great! Shuttle Express then picked us up one final time at Noon for our 3:00PM flight at Sea-Tac. The flight home was quick. Zippy Shuttle was there within minutes to take us home and we walked in about 6:00PM.
OVERALL IMPRESSIONS: I was really happy with this cruise. I knew this would be a totally different experience then any other cruise we had done. The Sapphire is still a great ship. Yes, there was some wear and tear, but nothing too bad. Thank you to everyone to helped me plan and answered all my questions about wheelchairs, oxygen and anything else. I hope you enjoyed reading this. I am already planning our next cruise with just my DH and DD this time. Stacy ? Less