We sailed on 9/11 to Alaska. We arrived early and got on board fairly quickly. After a tasty lunch we waited for the room to be ready. At about 2 we were given the all clear. The first thing I noticed was the refrigerator was locked. This was a bad omen. I could not locate the room steward so I called the reception desk. They told me it would be awhile before my steward would unlock it. The steward finally unlocked it about 6pm after I found him in the hallway. Unacceptable in my opinion. I also asked for some ice but did not receive any until after the evening turn-down service. Also unacceptable. Fortunately these were the only issues we had with the steward. He did his job efficiently the remainder of the cruise and I have no other complaints about him.
I made my way to the spa and purchased a spa pass for the week from Arnold. Great guy. This was about 3pm and a few minutes later I had to use the restroom so I asked Arnold where I could find a bathroom. He pointed into the spa area and told me to go to the men's locker room. I was making my way thru the maze to the locker room when a very testy female spa employee stopped me and asked me where I was going. I told her to the bathroom. She said in a very rude tone the spa didn't open til 4 and I should leave immediately. I told her Arnold just gave me permission to use the restroom and she became even more testy demanding I leave. I said ok and went back out and asked Arnold where the next closest restroom was. He looked puzzled then told me to follow him while he escorted me to the locker room. The rude lady saw us and started to protest when Arnold told her I am a member and I will be using the restroom. She meekly protested but I got the sense Arnold had a bit more horsepower than she did. Not a fun way to start your cruise at the spa.
I was eager to use the spa but made a rookie mistake. I packed my spa attire in my checked luggage and it didn't show up to the room til almost 7pm. All our other bags arrived from 3-4 but the one bag I needed was late. Figures.
Ate dinner in Cagneys and it was great. Dollarage was our waiter and he is great. A bit dark but the food and service were excellent.
We enjoyed all the speciality restaurants during the week since we loathe the MDR and buffet for dinner. I was a bit let down by Le Bistro and pleasantly surprised by Mambos. Dollar for dollar I rated Mambos the best restaurant on the ship. We really enjoyed the outdoor buffet for lunch and the indoor buffet had a very nice feel, but we didn't eat any meals there, just walked thru.
Blue Lagoon was just ok. Service was slow and the servers acted a bit put out when serving us. Only stopped there twice due to the bad vibe from the crew.
Had many room service orders delivered and they screwed up the order about 25% of the time. Got a $5 pizza pie once and it was just bad.
The ports were fine. Weather was misty and cool but have been to Alaska many times.
Didn't attend the shows as they seemed geared for the 70+ crowd. Our bar bill was enormous but we knew it would be, so no surprise.
The ship is in pretty good shape and was kept very clean. The tv service was very spotty even when in port. Watching ESPN was torture sometimes.
Overall the crew was almost always polite but several seemed to be inconvenienced by some of my simple requests or questions. I found the crew on the Star during my 3/11 cruise to be much more friendly and sincere. Good cruise but could have been great with a bit more effort from the crew.