1st time cruisers so not sure what to expect. Embarking was made easy by the friendly and helpful staff. Blown away by the ship it was far better than expected. It had shops and bars different restaurants, buffets and fast food counters as well as an ice cream bar. I was really impressed by the efforts to prevent cross infection hand sanitisers were available at all the buffet and fast food counters. We had traditional dining as part of our holiday is dressing for dinner. The food was excellent and there was a different menu every night with plenty of choices. The only down side to the dining was the selling at the table. Every night the waiter tried to sell us something and quite often stopped our conversation which I found very rude, this spoiled the dining experience.
We stayed in a stateroom with an ocean view, it was on the small side but as we didn't spend too much time in there this wasn't a problem. It was kept very clean and was comfortable. The stateroom was cleaned and tidied daily, and towels changed every time they were used. It had a mini fridge which was kept stocked up. A bowl of fruit was provided in the room on request, and every night the bed would be turned down on our return from dinner with chocolates on the pillow. We were going to upgrade to a balcony stateroom but for the amount they wanted I am glad we didn't.
Each evening we would receive a newsletter of the next days itinerary. There were lots of organised activities whether we were in port or not.
The ports on this cruise were within walking distance from the towns. However, if needed there were ample taxis and shuttles at the port.
I found Alaska quite cheap for gifts especially T shirts. There were lots of jewelry stores and lots of incentives were given on the ship to visit these stores. Vouchers for free collectible coins and charms. However, you were expected to try jewelry on before you could have them and if you didn't buy anything you would get a frosty response from the shop assistance and they would practically throw the charms and coins at you. I gave up and didn't finish the collection. I was later told some of the jewelry stores were owned by the cruise line.
We chose to do the excursions independently and found we saved a lot of money.
All in all we had a fantastic time and would definitely cruise again.