Spent two days in Seattle doing Space Needle and riding the ducks and of course watching the fish be thrown. It was fun
Got to cruise ship at 1100. No lines no waiting. Got zone three for boarding. Could have easily got there at 10 and waited but not with four kids.
On ship, gorgeous sunny day out by the aft bar while kids explored.
Rooms were ready by 130 and cleaned nicely. Carnival does a great job with cleanliness
THINGS TO KNOW
A balcony is almost essential. The cruising experience is so important in Alaska while leaving ports and Tracey Arm Fjord. You don't realize how much you can see especially amazing views. We saw icebergs rolling, bald eagles, harbor seals, breaching orcas, humpbacks, and gorgeous vies all from our room.
the day in Tracy Arm is NOT another day at sea. Its amazing sights. Our kids are 10, 12, 13, and 14 and were all interested in the sights. we ate lunch on our balcony and the kids ran up and down to get pizza so they wouldn't "miss" anything. These are normal iPod/abercrombie kids and they were genuinely interested
The naturalist is a little annoying but very knowledgeable. She gives you information throughout the cruise and everyone loved it. We knew when humpbacks were approaching, where we were, birds, etc. Again we are not huge outdoor wildlife people but it sparked our interest and let us prepare our binoculars to know what we are going to see. Others have said they couldn't hear it but it's osn the tv in your room
A small ship is not a bad ship. We sailed the dream last year by carnival and it was awesome and big. The spirit has similar qualities but less passengers. We thought it was accessible and easy to maneuver. Same amazing elevators, beautiful wide decks although highly opulent decor. Lots of nude baroque women everywhere. Disco was fun, live band club was great, piano bar fun, etc. Enough to do and places to sit still got kinda lost because it's the difference between a little village with corners to discover like the two story waterfall that leads you from the chapel and piano bar to the sushi. Whereas the dream was more like a city with a wide boulevard leading you around. Both great but different. I will not steer away from a cruise because of a smaller ship ever again
Food was great and service was great. Deli, pizza, chinese food, meditteranean bar, sushi, two daily menu buffets, and of course the nugget,nacho and burger bar pleased everyone for lunch. A sundae bar was available a couple of days but of course 24 hour ice cream was loved by all
SHORE EXCURSIONS ARE A MUST
We almost spent as much on shore excursions as the cruise and it killed me but after do them I am sooooo glad. The husky dogs were awesome and included a scenic bus trip and a SUV open air truck ride to the top of the mountain which was unmentioned but loved by all 8 of us. Vertical ascent and great! Spent extra to play with the puppies totally worth it
Two excursions in Skagway since we were there all day. The second was Glacier Point wilderness safari. 1.5 hour catamaran with a great box lunch. Saw bald eagles, humpbacks, sea lions, etc. Hike from beach to a bus to their camp. Then hike to canoes. All sizes did fine. Very close to glacier. Picked ice chunks out of lake. Back on bus and spotted a brown bear about 10 feet away. Highlight of that trip. Upon return to Skagway sidewalks were pretty much rolled up at 7pm but not slot to see besides souvenir shops
Juneau was Mendenhall Glacier Float trip which included class 2 white water. Exciting enough but not soaking wet. Gorgeous views and bald eagles right overhead. Great guides and little snack at the end. Back to Juneau for tram on our own. Literally right outside boat easy to get to and a little cheaper. Up to top for short stay. Could have hiked but wanted to shop. All aboard 230 was very early. A little hint hang around near boat in shops and watch line. It is long. When you see it dwindle get on line. But don't wait and ignore just be careful. Two people were left behind
Awesome sights on way out even though it felt early to leave. Lots of whales. Caught them breaching in photo and video.
Ketchikan was the most expensive since we chose the Misty fjords floatplane. But totally worth it. The sights were amazing and the dramatic water landing in a private glacier lake in the mountains Was a colossal Alaska moment. Quiet besides some birds we stepped out onto the float in a turquoise lake high in the Alaska mountains, pilot took our picture. Just beautiful. Our kids 10 and 13 were equally as amazed and loved it. A quick jaunt back and we had bought tickets at 7 am at the lumberjack show for the kids. Only two blocks from boat purchased on our own. Walked fast and made it on time it Wasserstein one hour of hilarity and hoakiness. Kids loved it. Ended at 1215 and all aboard was 1230 but line was long roamed some closeby shops and ended up on boat at 115 with people behind us.
Victoria was nighttime and included a 7 dollar taxi to city. Stroll on waterfront, live shows, souvenir shops, and an outside bistro for gelato and coffee. Back on ship for 11.
Was predicted for rain and 55 every day. Had mist on Tracy Arm Day. Had 15 minutes of rain inSkagway. 60s sun and gorgeous all other days. Wind in skagway and some in Juneau made it a little chilly chilly. Forgot to pack pants wore capris with knee socks and was fine (but goofy). Light polar fleece with tee shirts hubby carried raincoats for four around every day and we never unrolled Them. Last four days we sat on deck in sun in our tee shirts. Not shorts or bathing suits for adults, but the kids swam. The dome pool is great and allows kids to swim. Lots of kids. The adult pool is outside but heated warmer than others including hot tub. Indoor hot tub in spa is open to all!! Water slide was working and used. So weather predictions are unpredictable
Wish I packed pants, wish I didn't pack so much dress clothes (two dress up nights and wide range of dressiness). Other nights dress jeans and tops would have been fine. No adventure sandals needed. Socks needed for weather and if a water excursion they provide wet boots
Wish I didn't go to new Orleans show on board. Over the top. Loved comedy both family and R rated. Wish I didn't sing karaoke with live band although entertaining for others and an awesome experience. Wish i didn't think Alaska cruise was going to be less interesting or fun because it wasn't warm weather. It was a trip of a lifetime and this is coming from a hot weather girl!!!