Not having any cruise experience prior to this Alaskian Cruise, I was unsure of what to expect. We booked through a local TA so that we would not "forget" any of the things we needed to take care of for this trip. We began our vacation on August 17th in Denver, Colorado. We stayed at Country Inns and Suites, then flew out from Denver to Sacramento, then Sacramento to Seattle on the 18th. We stayed the night at the Holiday Inn Express (who by the way has the BEST cinnamon rolls that we have ever had!!) We had a transfer package so we were taken from the HIE directly to the peir and same on return to Seattle.
Check in and boarding on the peir and ship was fast and smooth, we were on ship in our room in about an hour, when we seen that they had placed all of our luggage into the main corridor, we retrieved ours and put all our clothing into the closet and dressers. I figured that 4 less suitcases was that much less that they were having to carry up and down the hallways. Our room was a ocean view on floor 2, perfect amount of space for just me and my hubby! We wanted to be close we were celebrating our 20th anniversary! Our room attendant was super friendly always greeting us anytime she seen us, no matter when or where. She even stepped up and helped me get out of my formal gown for the second formal night.
After getting settled into the room, we explored the ship and made our way up to the windjammer about 1:30pm for lunch. By the second day we had mastered our way around the ship and was able to find our favorite bars, balconies, etc. We ate 95% of our meals in the windjammer, we really only planned on eating 2 meals in the MDR (the 2 formal nights). We < ok I> was too sea sick to participate in the first formal night because of taking the sea sick medicine too late in the day; but we did have a wonderful, romantic night on the second formal night. We had a table for two but were close enough that we had a good conversation with the couple sitting beside us. The Prime Rib from the MDR was tender, and done exactly as we liked. The salads were crisp and fresh, and dessert all I can say is OHHHHHHH, I died and went to heaven! I tried the 3 sample plate for dessert and the cheesecake , delish!! Windjammer food was just as good, and we loved having all the new exotic dishes to try. My favorite still was the honey stung chicken though. And the icecream machine, my husband and I eat enough icecream over the week to feed all the children onboard. I would say that at least 3x a day he wanted to go get cones, LOL. The icecream was so good and creamy and hopefully we walked everything off we ate.
We LOVED Casey the cruise director, he made the cruise! You could tell without question that he loves his job, where ever he is he made time to visit, he made sure that everyone was involved. The shows were entertaining, we went to all but 1 night, (yet another victim of the sea sickness night), we went to the love and marriage, women vs men, and the quest. The Quest is by far the most entertaining "event" of the cruise. I laughed more that night than I have in years. And for those of you who were at Quest, yes my husband took the extra challenge for the 60pts, I laughed till I had tears coming out of my eyes.
Ports were ok to beautiful, Juneau and Skagway were too tourist trapish for me, but I had excursions booked so we did not spend a great deal of time in the towns themselves. We took about a 7 hour tour of Skagway, Carcross and Emerald Lake that took us into the Yukon. The weather was from drizzly wet to sun breaking through but we seen so much country that was breath taking. Enjoyed it so much. Victoria, British Columbia was my favorite stop. The town was amazing, we took a walking tour and really got to see up-close and personal all the buildings and ocean. The tour guide we had molded the tour to each group, if you really wanted to spend more time looking at the parks and historic homes he shortened the down town, he included funny blurbs about the people who made Victoria what it is today.
The only down side I seen to the cruise is that it ended way to quickly!