GETTING THERE - We took a cab from the Travelodge Space Needle. The fare was $10.00... We got to the pier about 11:00, got our luggage checked, checked in, and boarded by noon. I clocked my first DOD at 12:15. Cabin was ready before 1:30.
EMBARKATION - Very smooth and quick. I made a mistake entering one of the passport numbers and we got a trainee checking us in which held us up for about 20 minutes but other than that it was very easy.
THE SHIP - The Spirit is beautiful. She is very clean and I did not see a lot of wear and tear. I think she is very tastefully decorated. I did have a difficult time navigating around though. It is a little bit confusing. I guess I got spoiled with the layout of the RCCL Radiance OTS. (Flame suit on).
CONTRABAND - No booze this time but my power strip made it to my cabin with no problem. I put it in the front pocket of one of my checked bags. I ordered a bottle of Bombay Sapphire through Bon Voyage and it was waiting patiently for me when I arrived in the cabin.
CABIN - We were in Aft extended balcony 4232. It was fine. Plenty of room for the three of us to move around (2 adults and 1 child). The balcony was great, but even having the extended overhand on deck 4 the rain still infringed on half of it. It was nice to be able to sit there and relax when it rained though. I asked Conrado (our steward) for an extra chair... no go. You get what you got... 2 chairs and a small table, but no problem bringing the desk "chair" out. They were not able to open the partition between 4230 and 4232... This is not because they don't allow it any more (like so many people keep saying). It is because it opens into a window and they don't want it banging around and breaking the window. Conrado opened it for us whenever we were in port though, and while we were cruising Tracy Fjord. The bed was VERY comfortable.
DINING - The food was fantastic. We ate in the MDR, the buffet, room service, and the steakhouse and everything was great. I really liked the MDR BBQ ribs which we had on the first and last nights. The steakhouse Porterhouse was phenomenal and cooked to perfection. Room service was always fast (the BLT was delicious). Breakfast was delivered every morning right on time (cold cereal, coffee, OJ, danishes, etc.) Oh, and dress is very casual... sorry to those who are offended but that is the way things are going. I wore jeans and button up shirts on cruise casual nights, slacks a button up and tie on elegant nights... fit in just fine. Did not see many suits, tuxes, or dresses at all.
ENTERTAINMENT - We saw one of the comedians for the late adult show (cant remember his name)... he was very funny though. The hypnotism show was just like every other hypnotism show (if you have ever seen one you know, lame). The New Orleans show that Stu touted as the best show on any cruise ship... was.... Fantastic! I really enjoyed it and would love to see it again. The music was great; it was about an hour long and was a great way to spend an evening. WOW!
CAMP CARNIVAL - RCCL was better by far in this category. Even the kids agree.
TRACY FJORD - AMAZING! Well worth the trip. We saw whales, waterfalls, icebergs, glaciers, and some of the most awesome scenery I have ever seen in my life. We did not do the excursion but hear from others that it is nowhere near worth the price. I cannot speak for that though as we just sat on our aft balcony and enjoyed the sights with a bucket of Coronas.
SKAGWAY - A lot of fun. We rented a car with our friends we cruised with and drove to Emerald Lake. We stopped when we wanted to and took a lot of pictures. Went to Carcross (blech), played with the husky puppies, saw a lot of awesome sights, and had a great time over all. Spent the afternoon exploring Skagway... went to the Red Onion but could not get a place to sit down , so we went down the street to Bonanza Bar and Grill for a beer. Skagway is a fun little town with a lot to do.
JUNEAU - Very similar to Skagway in my opinion. We just shopping and sight-seeing, had drinks in the Red Dog Saloon (?), and clam/halibut chowder at the end of the pier (the blue building where the float planes are). I cannot remember the name. The chowder was some of the best I have ever had. It really was delicious.
KETCHIKAN - We had a lot of rain in Ketchikan and from what I hear it really does rain there all the time. We just shopped, took pictures, ate, enjoyed some mimosas and went back to the ship. Didn't spend much time there... it was cold, windy, and wet.
VICTORIA B.C. - Lame. The cheapest mode of travel to town was $35 per person. There were 8 of us... uhhhh... NO! We got there late anyway, so... a little shopping at the pier and then... back on the ship to pack.
DEBARKATION - The smoothest I have ever seen. We did self debark, were off the ship by 8:30, took a bus to the airport (8 of us for $108). I was a little worried before we left because of my 11:30 flight but we were at the airport, waiting with plenty of time to spare.