Great Alaska Cruise: Carnival Spirit Cruise Review by moebruin
Overall Member Rating
Great Alaska Cruise
Going to Alaska: For me this was the first non-warm weather cruise I went on and wasn't sure how that would impact the cruise experience. A couple of negatives (minor to me) but worth noting. If your kids see the 3 story water slide, forget it. Yes it is on the boat but with the weather, it did not operate at all on our cruise. Also because of high wind and its location the Sports Court (including the miniature golf) was closed many days during our cruise. The main pool however had a dome top which made the area very usable all the time and I personally was able to enjoy the outside Jacuzzi's even in the cool weather during the night. There are two indoor Jacuzzi's (one under the dome and one in the health club) if you don't want to deal with the cool weather.
Teen Club: My two boys More when they were younger loved our two Disney Cruises however, they never had much of an interest in hanging in the kid club. I started to worry a bit when my oldest kid showed pre-cruise that he wanted to hit the Teen Club and had noticed other reviews mentioning a less children on board then other (non-Alaska cruises). Well at least for the teen-age set there were plenty of teenagers on our cruise and both my boys loved the O2 club. Spending most of the nights at the club until it closed. A number of the teenagers exchanged facebook user names and I believe one of them has set up a group for all of them to be part of so that was a VERY POSITIVE plus for me.
Food: Did not go to the Steak House. I personally considered the food to be standard cruise food. Good with some very good dishes and plenty of it but not sure if not at sea it would have made a favorite restaurant list. I did like a lot how the food was located on the ship with one big restaurant for your restaurant type meals and then a big area on the 9th deck for all your quick food. So if you wanted food you just went to the 9th deck and found what happened to open at that time. No searching around for the snack or buffet area that is open.
Entertainment: Lot of people talked about the two comics on their cruise. We had 4 comics (with the first two switching out with the second two at Juneau). I personally liked 3 of the 4. The stage productions weren't bad although I thought the themes they had chosing Big Band and New Orleans could have been better. One night they had a hypnotist on board and his show was fantastic.
Tracy Arms: Tracy Arms with beautiful. The pre-cruise debate was do you take the boat excursions for the closer view or stay on the ship. We took the late sailing of the boat excursion, I was glad we did. There are two glaciers to see in Tracy Arms and the Cruise Ship itself never got very close to the first and never went to a visible place for the second. The second was the most interesting because that is where we caught the falling ice coming off the glacier into the water. When we were in Tracy Arms the Disney Wonder was also and I was surprised to see that the Wonder came much closer (almost as close as our excursion boat) to the first glacier but it also didn't go to the second glacier. I also got my best view of a whale (a killer whale) on the excursion and you also get close to seals as well.
Room and Service: For a cruise ship the room was spacious with three regular beds (couch is also a bed). Service was very good which I consider cruise normal.
Bottom Line: Loved Cruising Alaska Less
Cabin review: 8K7203 Extended Balcony
Loved the cabin. Big for cruise ship standards. Loved having a balcony with the views you get when in the inside passage. No issues with noise, etc.Read All Extended Balcony (8K) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
For me this was easily the highlight the trip. They suit you up with all the equipment give you a nice helicopter tour of the area and then you set foot on the glacier. There was more on the glacier then I could have ever guessed: rivers of water, holes in the ice, canyons, a humongous hole water goes down, etc. If you are into nature and glaciers I highly recommend this.
In the morning we did the Yukon railroad with the bike ride excursion. I personally loved the whole thing. I found the scenery on the train to be fantastic. The teen-age boys found the train ride a little boring but they loved the bike ride back. It is an easy bike ride all downhill but you don't go very fast and there were two guides for like 16 people. We made some beautiful stops on the way back and got a little bike tour of the city of Skagway before concluding our tour.
In the afternoon, we did the Ziplining. For us it was the first time we ever ziplined and for it was some experience. The area the ziplining was in was in a forest area up a little way on the road we had biked down in the morning. We had a fantastic time. The people running were very good and helpful especially when needing a little courage. If you are an experienced zipliner I am not sure you would have had as great a time as we did as it seemed more geared to people who hadn't done this type of thing before and there was nothing particularly special about the location of the Ziplining.
The weather that morning was miserable but the crew did everything they could for comfort. Seating was outdoors but covered with heat lamps and they gave each of us two extra jackets one to wear and one to cover our feat.
The tour itself was interesting because they showed you not only how they catch crab but also how they catch other types of fish. There was picture opportunities with the crabs, and the crew was happy to help you and take as many pictures with you as you would like.
The stories were interesting and luckily the weather got better as the day went on.