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173 Alaska Fitness Cruise Reviews

I decided to take vacations the last moment (needed a break from a stressful work assignment) so once I decided on the destination, an Alaska cruise, I got what was still available so it wasn't really a thorough choice. Some other ... Read More
I decided to take vacations the last moment (needed a break from a stressful work assignment) so once I decided on the destination, an Alaska cruise, I got what was still available so it wasn't really a thorough choice. Some other lines were selling out fast, the Norwegian Bliss still had a mini-suite (better accommodations were sold out) so I took it. This was my first cruise so I didn't know what to expect, but I was overall pleasantly surprised, with many ups, but also, there were a few downs. The good: the Norwegian Bliss is a very new ship, and it is tastefully decorated, with everything in top shape and working order. The service is unbelievable, with extremely friendly and helpful staff everywhere. We didn't have a single negative experience with the staff. We were impressed with how they were always willing to help, with a smile, and were very efficient, knowledgeable, and professional. The Norwegian Cruise Line must have an excellent training center for the staff! We felt pampered! Some of the food was surprisingly good. The La Cucina restaurant served one of the best Italian meals I've ever had, and I'm half-Italian (I'm a dual citizen of Italy and the United States), I know Italian cuisine very well. Food Republic was delicious with original items, very well-presented. Los Lobos was very tasty too, with Mexican food that benefits from a modern touch. The one meal we had at the complimentary Manhattan was excellent and almost as good as what we had in the paid specialty venues above. Breakfast at The Local was tasty and peaceful. The swimming pool area and the hot tubs were clean and pleasant, and never too crowded. The Observation Lounge is a very cool and relaxing space, and they have tasty snacks and a nice piano bar. I really enjoyed the cast of the musical Six (the other musical, Jersey Boys, I didn't attend because I had seen it already), and the Beatles cover band at The Cavern. A duo of Phillipino male pianist and female singer were excellent. The silent disco with earphones at the Social was cool. The bar that specializes in Mojitos was good too. The wine bar The Cellar was excellent, with very good tasting events, including lectures by a very knowledgeable sommelier. I've been studying and tasting wine for decades and still, he surprised me with some information that I didn't know. The stand-up comedians were very, very funny! My wife very much enjoyed the Spa. She had several treatments there, and found the staff to be competent, and with prices similar to what she pays elsewhere. I didn't frequent it. She also liked the Gym with Yoga and Aerobic classes. Gift shops were good; my wife gave me a beautiful Scuderia Ferrari watch and I gave her a nice necklace. These were both well-priced. Other guests were friendly, polite, and we had some nice conversations. Embarkation was easy and fast. Disembarkation, however, was rather slow, with long lines and long waiting times. The bad: The Norwegian Bliss, together with the similar Norwegian Joy, are two of the biggest ships in the business, and the elevators, 16 in total, were overwhelmed. Often, the elevators were full when they reached our deck, and we had to wait and wait for an opportunity to get in. This ship should have the double of the number of elevators they offer. It's a pity that obviously, this can't be changed. The architects should have planned it better: for a ship this size, add more elevators! Some of the food was rather mediocre. The two restaurants with the best reputation, Ocean Blue and Le Bistro, were paradoxically very weak. For example, I had a steak with five peppers at Le Bistro, and I had to abundantly add more pepper to get any flavor at all, and the meat was overcooked although I asked for medium rare. Again, I lived in Paris, France, for 5 years and I know French cuisine very well. Everything we had at Le Bistro was bland and a pale imitation of good French cooking. Ocean Blue was also rather unremarkable. We had better seafood in the other venues, as compared to this one that specializes in seafood. Weird. Two of the three main complimentary restaurants, Taste and Savor, were also very mediocre. The Garden Cafe serves a buffet, and the food there was rather unappealing as well, not to forget, it was very crowded and chaotic. A particular breakfast at Savor was almost disgusting, with a croissant with scrambled eggs that looked like it was microwaved, so mushy the croissant was, and Eggs Benedict that were pretty dry and chewy. Some of the live music was atrocious. First of all, the selection is geared towards Country and Pop, two genres I don't care for. There was absolutely no venue that played jazz. For a cruise line that is registered in the United States (as well as the Bahamas) and sails to and from mostly American cities (with the exception of Victoria, BC) with most guests being American, it is weird that they don't present at all the most quintessential American genre, jazz. I also enjoy classical music and there was none to be found. The blonde female pianist was terrible, often botching the musical lines. The rock band Blue 4, oh my God, they must be the worst I've ever heard! Slow, low energy, poor playing, and mediocre voices. I can't believe the cruise line can't find better musicians. As a matter of fact, in the talent show featuring members of the crew, there were two waiters who sang much better than most singers who were hired for the live music! It would be nice to have an indoor swimming pool for the cold weather. Apparently they do have one in The Haven, the upscale section of the ship, but it's only for the guests of that section, which was sold out when I booked my cruise. The shore excursions in general were expensive and not a good value. Some were enjoyable but others were rushed and confusing, including, it was hard to find the correct buses outside. Maybe it's the luck of the draw since there are so many options, but unfortunately some of the ones we picked weren't that great. We bought them from the cruise line website and later realized that the same excursions are offered elsewhere for much cheaper prices. Oh well, I guess next cruise I'll be smarter. A couple of them were good, though. The art auctions weren't good. We found most of the art being sold, to be very tacky. Funny enough, the one piece we liked inside the art venue, wasn't for sale; it was part of the permanent ship decor. So, overall, I'm pleased with the Norwegian Bliss, but I do think they need to hire better musicians, be a bit more even in terms of food quality, and it would be lovely to have more elevators and an indoor swimming pool, although these structural issues are set in stone and can't be changed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is a newer ship with new technology and it has some of the best features with updated state rooms, or show rooms. Because it is a bigger ship with more passengers, they have better shows. The talent is the best I have seen on a ... Read More
This is a newer ship with new technology and it has some of the best features with updated state rooms, or show rooms. Because it is a bigger ship with more passengers, they have better shows. The talent is the best I have seen on a cruise ship. The showroom in the back of the ship has stages that go up and down and holes open in the ceiling where people come down on a wire to put on a great show. There are more lounge acts with more entertainment. But those are the good things. The bad part is the music is way too loud and they think that people like it that way. But I saw people leaving the show because they didn’t like it. I wore my ear plugs and was ok. The ship is set up for all ages and they do a good job at keeping young folks on deck 15 and gamblers in the casino on deck 3 that is away from everything else. But the folks that like to go on this ship are people that like bumper cars, rock climbing, the flow rider, etc.... I have never seen so many people with tattoos and people wearing old T-shirt’s on a cruise ship. Formal night is a joke. Only 20 percent of the people put on a jacket or wore a tie. The rest of the folks were comfortable in T-shirt’s or whatever they were wearing that day. Most of the people in the lounge or walking around the deck look like they just came from Walmart. Maybe this is what some folks like, but it is not for me. The food and service is much better on Celebrity and Princess. The people working on this ship do a great job or the best they can. But there are about 3 passengers for 1 crew member on this ship while Princess has 2.5 and Celebrity has 2 and Crystal might have 1.3. The difference can really be seen in the dining room with long delays and having to wait on your waiter. We have no regrets taking this cruise, but I think others ships in this price range are better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had been planning to take an Alaska Cruise for sometime. We heard good comments about Princess Cruise and got a good deal from them. Our family of 15 members consisting of my husband and I, our three children, their spouses and seven ... Read More
We had been planning to take an Alaska Cruise for sometime. We heard good comments about Princess Cruise and got a good deal from them. Our family of 15 members consisting of my husband and I, our three children, their spouses and seven grandsons ages 3 -13 were on this trip and we all loved the experience. The Medallion concept is great. Love the way the Medallion opened the cabin door and showed our picture. The Medallion was great when boarding and disembarking the ship. The staff on board the ship were excellent and very friendly. The service in the restaurants was very good. The sailing was smooth all the way, only one night there was a possibility of rough sailing. Liked the way Captain kept us informed about what to expect. Although we missed stopping in Juneau, I appreciated that the Captain made the right decision to sail through to avoid the bad weather. We spent seven nights on the ship and three nights on the land. There were enough activities for the children to be entertained. Overall, it was a very good experience. Hope to go in a cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was my 12th cruise. Fourth to Alaska. First on Holland. We chose this cruise because I love Alaska. The scenery is amazing; the excursions can be great, and, if you get great food, service, entertainment and accommodations, it ... Read More
This was my 12th cruise. Fourth to Alaska. First on Holland. We chose this cruise because I love Alaska. The scenery is amazing; the excursions can be great, and, if you get great food, service, entertainment and accommodations, it can be blissful. There were things I really like about this cruise that lift it to an overall rating of 3 stars. There were things that were poor, which brought the overall experience down. We stayed in a Neptune Suite -- 6109. There were 3 of us, and we needed the space. Let me begin by saying embarkation and disembarkation were flawless -- probably the best I ever experienced. Our Suite. The room and verandah are wonderful. The room was clean. We had space to roam and enjoy the sights from inside the suite or out on the balcony. Our room attendants, Heru and Tri were excellent. They represent HAL so well and did a great job for us all week. The suite, however, was tired. The carpet and couch were tattered and worn. The furniture was old and in need of replacement. . Some of the wood was chipped or scraped. At the price of a suite, I did not expect that.Despite that, Heru and Tri were great and keeping our room feeling fresh and tidy. One major complaint was the sofa bed. On the first night, after the bed was open, I sat on it. The mattress was completely worn and you felt springs on your bottom, on your back, every where. No one could reasonably be expected to sleep or even rest on that uncomfortable mess.If you are going to charge for a suite you should deliver a suite. Fortunately, that night I ran into Heru and asked for a mattress pad. fortunately, he installed it when we were at dinner. Meals. As suite customers we were able to eat breakfast at the Pinacle. The staff there was awesome and we had the best service there and the best dining experience there bar none. We ate there 6 mornings. They were fantastic. We felt special. Dining in the Main Dining Room and in the Lido Buffet are another story. The MDR is noisy, chaotic, rushed, and the food is not that great. They seemed under staffed.The portions are smaller than I would like. Salads were scarce. They rushed around. They some times rushed us. Every dinner we had there was not served hot. Every meal was warm or cool. They are disorganized and it should be better. Even though we purchased three drink packages, we struggled to get a wine steward to get us a glass of wine or even a drink from the bar before we were being hawked by the waiters to give our order -- and this was before we got to examine the menu. This happened every night. it made me feel they wanted us in and out of the MDR as fast as possible We took a shore excursion in Juneau that was outstanding. We got back late, dropped our belongings in the room, went to the rest room and got to the MDR at 9:05 pm. The maitre'd would not seat us. He said it was closed. There were plenty of diners still eating. We explained we just got back from the excursion (it was a HAL excursion) and could they please seat us. He told us they close at 9 PM We were denied and told to go to the Lido. The stations in the Lido were mostly closed. The one small portion that was still open had a line of about 50 people and it was moving slowly. Very frustrating. I noticed a few items in the Lido market. I put 4 pieces of cold poached salmon on my plate and went to the back deck to eat it. My wife joined me and our adult daughter went back to the room and went to bed with no dinner. When I sat to eat, I discovered that all 4 pieces of salmon were RAW, disgusting and inedible.I had no choice but to push them away. My wife and I then waited 45 minutes to be served a pizza. This was such a bad experience -- to be denied seating -- then to be directed to an over crowded understocked location that served RAW fish was just incredible on a premium cruise line. nothing like this ever happened on my other cruises where it seems the staff cannot do enough for you. One more note on the Lido. It is jammed packed all the time. The lines are long and the aisles are not clear. It is bumper cars with your fellow passengers. We never once found seating all week in the Lido. When chairs were empty, the tables were not been bussed and were messy and probably full of germs. we occasionally bussed and wiped our own table after 2 PM when things calmed a bit -- all while carrying our plates. One time they ran out of an item I wanted at that time. Lido is chaotic and messy. I felt like cattle Two nights after we were denied service in the MDR, the maitre'd in the Club Orange (not the one who would not seat us) just happened to ask us how the cruise was going. I told him how disappointing the night in Juneau was. He was great. Highly professional and apologetic. For me, dining is such a big part of a cruise and HAL fell way short of my expectations. The concierge in the Neptune room as great Glacier Bay was fantastic and the park ranger(s) were amazing. The comedian and magician were good too, I really liked the Lincoln Center and BB King rooms at night although there was very little variety -- same stuff every night -- but they were good. Dueling pianos were boring and the first dance show was disjointed so I walked out after 15 minutes. The gym was well equipped and clean. Used it 5 times. The kayak excursion in Ketchikan from the ship was good. I would have loved another hour in the water. I am not sure I would give HAL another try given the experience this time and the experiences I have had elsewhere Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
After reading reviews of all the lines serving Alaska, I chose Celebrity because I thought it would offer great service and dining, along with enough activities to keep my 10 year old grandson engaged. I also did not want a megaship ... Read More
After reading reviews of all the lines serving Alaska, I chose Celebrity because I thought it would offer great service and dining, along with enough activities to keep my 10 year old grandson engaged. I also did not want a megaship offering too many on-board activities as I wanted him to be interested in the excursions of the port cities and not want to stay on board. I also wanted to fly in/out of Seattle and wanted four ports. Embarkation and disembarkation were both smooth. Crew members were helpful. We booked Concierge class. It would have been helpful to receive a list of perks. We did not have robes or binoculars in the room when we arrived although our wonderful steward brought them to us when asked. We also had a welcome lunch on embarkation, a concierge dedicated to just this class and a couple of special events we were invited to. When we booked, our fare was not much different than a regular balcony room but I'm not sure how much this class was actually worth. My grandson enjoyed the Fun Factory. There were many children on board as this was summer and Alaska. He particularly liked being able to check in and out on his own. He made friends to pal around with and there were many activities that engaged the tweeners. The entertainment was great. We went to both musicals as well as the magician and comedian. The only one lacking was the impressionist. We also attended talks by the naturalist and historian that were quite interesting. We also enjoyed the live music which was in many locations on the ship. As for activities, we participated in many of the nightly games. My husband loved the gym and yoga classes. I did daily line dancing and meditation. We also took a swing dance class. We did excursions in all ports. The Skagway mushers' camp was a real highlight. We also enjoyed the White Pass train, the Wildlife Safari and Beach Bonfire, and the Lumberjack Show. We were a bit disappointed with the Mendenhall Glacier and Salmon Bake as you only see the glacier at a distance. In retrospect I wish we had explored Victoria on our own. The O Canada bus tour wasn't that great and was pricey for what it was. All these tours were booked on the website or on the ship. Note that the prices increase the closer to embarkation date. We did the Mt. Roberts Tram on our own. We usually had room service breakfast as the buffet gets quite crowded. We ate at both the buffet and main dining room for dinners, preferring the main dining room. Both venues offered a lot of choices. We had one meal in the Tuscan Grille that was excellent. My grandson loved the trip and did not want to come home. We all wished we had more days. I am already planning another trip. Interesting note--Capt. Tasos announced on our last day that it was his last day on the Solstice and that he would be moving to the Equinox. He is a captain who gets involved with the passengers, playing sports and games, and making the rounds. He has a great sense of humor and added to the enjoyment of this cruise. If this cruise is representative of Celebrity I cannot recommend it enough! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Alaska has been on our bucket list for years, and when Viking announced they would be sailing to Alaska we jumped at the opportunity, having experienced a Viking River Cruise in 2014, the Romantic Danube. The Viking Orion had not yet been ... Read More
Alaska has been on our bucket list for years, and when Viking announced they would be sailing to Alaska we jumped at the opportunity, having experienced a Viking River Cruise in 2014, the Romantic Danube. The Viking Orion had not yet been completed when we made our reservations, so watching her development was exciting. Viking truly has transported the finest of their river cruise ships into their ocean cruise ships, and it felt like coming home when we boarded at Seward. One aspect of the cruise that was attractive to us was the specific itinerary that included more of Alaska than just the fabled Inside Passage. We did the pre-cruise extension in Anchorage, where Viking picked us up at the Anchorage airport and transported us to the Anchorage Hilton for 2 nights, then onward from Anchorage to Seward to join the ship. The weather was not always cooperative and in Seward it was raining and chilly outside, but warm and welcoming onboard. Embarkation was smooth and fast, and the primary downside was the distance we had to walk from the point where we cleared security to the ship itself mostly in the rain. From then on the weather was either cloudy and cool or clouds and sun. Valdez was beautiful, sunny and clear; overcast at Hubbard Glacier and Icy Strait Point and Skagway, sunny and warm at Juneau, mostly sunny at Sitka, cloudy at Ketchikan, and gloriously sunny on arrival at Vancouver. Of the many attributes offered by Viking, having all outside cabins with balconies was a definite plus, the small size was wonderful with just 930 passengers, and perhaps the one consistent comment we heard was how thankful our shipmates were that there were no children (us included). Folks, this is not a party ship, yet it packs in more entertainment options than are possible to sample in the 11 days we had available. We would definitely cruise again with Viking Ocean and River Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My wife and I in our 70s, moderately fit, had a terrific time on this new ship. This adventure expedition fully met my expectations from advertising and reviews. Venture was nearly brand new and well designed for conveniently and safely ... Read More
My wife and I in our 70s, moderately fit, had a terrific time on this new ship. This adventure expedition fully met my expectations from advertising and reviews. Venture was nearly brand new and well designed for conveniently and safely getting us off the ship in zodiacs and small groups nearly every day. The food was tasty and plentiful, always with healthy options. Hotel service was excellent. The other 93 guests were all agreeable fellow adventurers. They included some grandparents, parents, and grandkids. The staff devoted lots of thought and attention to keeping-safe, educating, and amusing the kids, who bonded with new friends and eventually ate meals together. Expedition leader Sheri Bluestein and Captain Johnson did a great job. She announced her "Plan A" for the next day every evening, making the point that they would adapt plans as nature required and opportunities presented themselves. This happened several times and I had no complaints. We got to hike in near-wilderness conditions, to observe wildlife fairly closely. They turned the ship around and followed humpbacks backwards for an hour one evening to give us another look. Each excursion offered activities ranging from mild to strenuous. A team of some 10 Lindblad naturalists was always on deck spotting for wildlife, they led each zodiac cruise and hike, and were friendly and full of interesting information. I learned so much, they were easily available to me individually many times, and I miss Celso, Linda, and the others now. The emphasis on photography was a main draw for me. Five or so naturalists were certified by NatGeo. David Spiegel gave two briefings on board, one aimed more at DSLR users and one aimed at smartphone users. I learned useful stuff from both. On two photo hikes he gave us photographers an assignment to concentrate on. He loaned me an expensive zoom lens and set of binoculars, which I used the rest of the voyage. At the end of the cruise he showed a slide show of photos captured by guests, some of them stunning. Carlos Navarro is also a diver and one evening showed video he had shot underwater to show us what we were missing. James Biscardi produced a professional customized video chronicle of us on this particular voyage and we are glad I bought a copy. We saw humpback whales breaching, blowing, and even bubble-net feeding. A talk by the engaging Dr. Chris Szabo, who lives in the wilderness to study humpbacks and joined the ship for a day, was a fascinating major highlight for me. I also enjoyed author, storyteller, and folksinger Kim Heacox and Kari Ames, Tlingit cultural interpreter. She told me all the others are mispronouncing the tribal name as CLINK-IT. They say TH-LING-GIT. We got close to Stellar sea lions and sea otters by zodiac. They found brown bears feeding on a distant shore but I did not get a good look at any bears this time. Seabirds but not many land birds besides eagles. My top objective was to see tidewater Alaskan glaciers in person before they all melt. I'm glad we didn't wait another year. We saw several from a quarter-mile away. In Glacier Bay the National Park ranger pointed out that Margerie Glacier now ends on land on its right side, and that in a couple of years it might not be a tidewater glacier any more. The ranger and the entire team managed subtly to remind us what our carbon pollution is destroying without stirring up any arguments from climate change skeptics (if there were any). We were told that Lindblad is buying offsets to compensate for the ship's own emissions. On our last day, South Sawyer Glacier produced a dramatic large calving event for us, which was both exciting and a bit sad. Two guests with disabilities paid to come along with friends knowing they would not be able to board the zodiacs and participate in the most engaging parts of the voyage. Yet to their great credit, on the last day Sheri and her team noticed, reserved a zodiac just for these two, and went to extra trouble to help them get off the ship to visit South Sawyer Glacier from the water like everyone else. This year Alaska has been extremely dry and warm. We got drizzle on only one day in Petersburg. We did not need all the duplicate garments we brought in case of soaking, but we had followed their packing advice and would do so in the future. We used insect repellant and were never bothered by mosquitos. This expedition was expensive but fully worth the cost to me. I also admire Lindblad and NatGeo for respecting nature as they go. I'd love to go again with this warm, expert team. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We are elite cruisers with Princess (have sailed on many ships) and booked two 7 day Alaska cruises from July 3 - July 17, 2019 on the Island Princess. This ship is sadly lacking in public amenities and the cabin was so small you ... Read More
We are elite cruisers with Princess (have sailed on many ships) and booked two 7 day Alaska cruises from July 3 - July 17, 2019 on the Island Princess. This ship is sadly lacking in public amenities and the cabin was so small you couldn't escape to it either. There is no International Cafe, which on other Princess ships serves a menu of very fresh food for 24 hours a day. After 11 pm the only snack available is from Room Service with a limited menu of food which you have to eat in bed as the stateroom has no chairs to relax in. There is no Skywalkers Lounge for a panoramic view of the scenery. There is no Vista Lounge as Princess took lovely lounge space and converted it to revenue producing cabins. There is no Adagio Lounge for relaxing. All that is left is the Wheelhouse and Explorers which are just bars meant to sell liquor and are not convivial day venues. The atrium has no appeal since it is constantly noisy with martini shaking and various music programs and no International Cafe to give you a nice cup of tea and a sandwich. The fitness room and gym are stuck inside with no windows to enjoy the view. The fitness room is so small you cannot stretch because of the number of people on the floor. Stretch classes have been cut from 30 minutes to 20 minutes and 10 minutes of that is taking foot impressions to sell orthotics. You cannot walk all the way around the Promenade Deck as it is always blocked off. There is no jogging track. There is extremely limited deck space since the Horizon Court is at the bow of the ship and most ships have it aft with nice outside tables to enjoy the view out the rear of the ship. There is no aft pool which also affords a view on most ships. The Sanctuary is aft instead of amidship which cuts off the last opportunity to access the rear of the ship. We felt like prisoners on this ship, Stuck in limited public lounges with the Alaskan views only slightly visible through exceedingly dirty windows in the Horizon Court, the dining rooms and whatever few public areas remain. A fleet wide Princess problem is the lack of fresh food on their ships. Frozen fish is unacceptable on an expensive holiday with easy access to port reprovisioning. The only saving graces on this cruise were the entertainment and the staff. The entertainers were very good and on the second cruise we had 3 excellent production shows. The staff (other than Customer Service) were excellent. They are the biggest strength of Princess. Although we often cruise 2 or 3 times a year we are not in a hurry to book another cruise with Princess and will probably give Celebrity or RCCL another try. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We heard about UnCruise from a couple who wanted to take an Alaska adventure cruise with other couples. We collectively decided that we wanted to “experience” Alaska, rather than just “see” Alaska. We are all 60+ men and women who ... Read More
We heard about UnCruise from a couple who wanted to take an Alaska adventure cruise with other couples. We collectively decided that we wanted to “experience” Alaska, rather than just “see” Alaska. We are all 60+ men and women who enjoy moderate outdoor activities. This cruise exceeded our expectations in every way! We arrived a couple of days early to adjust to time change and see Sitka. Departure was smooth as silk. The expedition guides were extremely helpful and knowledgeable, not to mention just plain friendly. They really love what they do. A variety of outings each day allowed us to choose the level of activity we wanted. Want to kayak? Done. How about hiking? Done. Want to ride in a skiff to see some sea lions? Done. Go see a glacier up close and personal? Done. Whale watching? Done. The meals were outstanding and the ingredients fresh. Our bartender could create whatever your palate desired. Cabins are small, yet comfortable. Showers are tiny, so don’t drop your soap! (Note: we didn’t take this cruise to hang out in our rooms!) Our 2 days in port gave us enough time to sample local cuisine and see some sights. This adventure cruise is not for luxury seekers, but if you want to get out and experience Alaska’s natural beauty, then this is the ticket! Would we travel UnCruise again? You betcha! Karla K Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I had not been interested in seeing Alaska since I live in the Seattle area. I believed the climate and scenery would be similar, so I typically travel away from the rain and cold toward sunshine and warmth. However, our friends (two ... Read More
I had not been interested in seeing Alaska since I live in the Seattle area. I believed the climate and scenery would be similar, so I typically travel away from the rain and cold toward sunshine and warmth. However, our friends (two couples we had traveled with previously) invited us to join them on this cruise, and I am so happy we did. I would happily go on another Alaskan cruise, and I hope I get to one day. The scenery is so beautiful, and must be experienced in person. Words and pictures do not capture it. I have only been on one other cruise ship, RCI Symphony of the Seas, so in comparison the Solstice is much smaller. I definitely felt the ship movement more on this ship, but it did not affect me. I did, however, wear sea bands as a preventative measure. The ship is very clean and very pretty. We had an Aqua Class cabin on deck 11 and enjoyed the privileges of unlimited Persian Garden use in the Spa, and eating in the Blu restaurant. The captain was very engaged with the passengers, and his sense of humor was a delight. We were very lucky to have a gorgeous sunrise over Mendenhall Glacier, and the captain spun the ship 540 degrees so all could view the majestic glacier up close. The crew were all very friendly, work very hard, and are all eager to provide a great experience to every guest. We thoroughly enjoyed the educational talks offered on the ship about the wildlife, history of the port towns, and gold rush history. And the captain's powerpoint of the building of Solstice. If you can take time to hear these talks you won't be disappointed. We went to one show called Broken Strings. They did a great job dancing, but it was not easy to follow the story line through the songs. I could not hear the lyrics of the songs at all. I only knew what was going on by the dancing and acting (in love, cheating, breakup, make up). We saw both comedians, and they were just ok. I'd pass next time. My friends did the glass blowing, and enjoyed it. A bit pricey, but ended up with cool souvenirs. Canyon Ranch Spa: I had a deep tissue massage and also a paraffin wax treatment, and both were great. Beware of the emphasis by all the spa staff to upsell everything. They were very insistent that I buy a small tube of hand lotion for $33 (I declined). As aqua class, we were allowed to use the Persian Garden anytime. It has heated tile loungers with a floor to ceiling widow view of the ocean. I used this frequently, and it really warmed me up after the Juneau tour in the rain. DINING: We ate at Blu most of the time, which was the best option for Aqua Class. It is not crowded, you do not need reservations, they remember your name, and there is a great view from most tables. Blu is open for breakfast and dinner, which was fine since we were off the ship on port days. I ate at Grand Epernay (main dining room) three times. The dining room is very pretty, but the food was just ok. Nothing spectacular. The service was friendly and fast. The Oceanview Cafe is the buffet, and typically very crowded at meal times. Some dishes were very good, and others were very cafeteria bland. I did like that the cafe attendants were very attentive and offered to bring drinks from the bar to your table (if you could find a table!) Specialty Restaurants: We ate at Murano and at Silk Harvest. Murano was just ok. I had the lasagna that was oddly all meat and noodles, with very little cheese; not my favorite. Silk Harvest was the best experience. We had family style meal with all 3 couples and tried most of the menu items. I did not care for the shrimp pad tai but all the rest was really good. Drinks package: We had the premium package, and while it was nice to have the option to drink anything, we did not drink enough to make it worth the cost. It came with our package on this cruise, but I would not pay for it as an add on. Our friends had the classic package. Initially, it was not explained that there is a charge for drinks that cost over $9, and figuring out what drinks were part of their plan was confusing. I really liked getting specialty coffee or tea at Cafe al Bacio. It was comfortable seating with a view and treats. KETCHIKAN: We toured the town and Creek Street on our own, and went to the Great Alaskan Lumberjack show. It was cheesy show - but was also entertaining and showed off the amazing skills of the lumberjacks. In town, my husband ate a reindeer chili dog. Not my thing, but he liked it. JUNEAU: Mt Roberts Tramway: We docked at 1:30 and went on the tram before our 3:00 pm excursion. There were many cruisers in line for the tram, with long lines both ways. Be sure to allow enough time to do this if you have an excursion. The view would have been amazing, but was obstructed by fog. I did not think it was worth the price of $29 each. We did not plan to do a hike at the top, the resident eagle was not there, and we only spent about 20 minutes at the top because we had to return to the dock for our excursion tour at 3:00. Photo Safari Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier: This is a misnomer. No one on the tour was interested in photography, and the focus of the tour guide's information was on glacier conservation efforts, not cameras or photo opportunities. The nature trail to the glacier was through a dense forest, and it rained the entire time. The guide stopped frequently to talk about plants and glaciers, and the scenery lacked any real photo ops and only one viewpoint. Just before we finally got to the glacier visitor center and view, he told us that he had run out of time and we had to run to the bus to make it to the whale watching part of the tour. We basically missed the main destination! We were not allowed to go into the glacier visitor center. I snapped two pictures and ran to the bus. The next part of the tour was on a small boat guaranteed to see whales or we get $100 back. We did see whales, and photo ops were in abundance on the boat, but we were so cold from walking in the rain for two hours, the wind chill on the boat ride added more discomfort to our cold and wet bodies. They really should do the tour in the opposite direction. Boat tour first, then glacier visitor center, and then nature walk for those interested while allowing others to roam free in the glacier area. SKAGWAY: White Pass Summit and Beyond: (booked off cruise - Frontier Excursions and Adventures). This was a bus tour to White Pass and the Yukon Suspension Bridge. The tour guide, Brooke, was very funny and knowledgeable, and she stopped the bus frequently for photo ops when wildlife was spotted. She even backed up the bus and did u turns to allow us to view the animals, which would not be possible if we had taken the more popular White Pass train ride. We stopped to observe three different bears, and a mama moose and her calf. This was the best tour of the trip, and I got some spectacular photos. The scenery of the tundra-like arctic landscape and majestic mountains and glacial lakes was like nothing I'd ever seen before. Going to the Yukon is a must do for sure! VICTORIA: Buchart Gardens tour. We docked at 5:30, and took a bus to Buchart Gardens. This was barely enough time to see the garden. It is an amazingly beautiful place, and to really enjoy it you need time to just sit and experience the beauty. This tour was expensive and way too fast. I am glad I live in Seattle and can go again at a more leisurely pace. The tour guide on the bus talked non-stop about uninteresting random things. I would have preferred a quiet ride to his personal jabber, "beyond those trees is a lake, and I have memories of taking the children there when they were small", which did not add to my experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We loved this cruise. It was a 50th wedding anniversary celebration with our family. The food was excellent and the waiters were very friendly and made the experience very fun. We liked most of the evening entertainment, but the magic ... Read More
We loved this cruise. It was a 50th wedding anniversary celebration with our family. The food was excellent and the waiters were very friendly and made the experience very fun. We liked most of the evening entertainment, but the magic act was not up to par. Their act was lacking in variety and seemed juvenile. The comedian was fun, but he needs to improve his vocabulary - all the swear words were crude and offensive. The swearing distracted from the fun. I also don't think making fun or people and embarrassing them is very funny. I don't like the disembarkation process. The questionnaire we had to complete for the disembarkation was vey confusing and should be revised. We wanted to take our luggage off ourselves and but were not ready to leave the ship at 7:30 AM. There was not an option to take our own luggage off ourselves and leave a little latter. This was confusing and needs to be improved. Getting on the ship in Vancouver was one of the worst experiences I have had in a long time. The cruise terminal was very disorganized. We have to stand in several lines and it weened we went around in several circles. Then we went up stairs and got in more lines and then we went down stairs and stood in more lines. Someone needs to improve this process. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
For our 50th anniversary, we took a 12-day Princess cruise to Alaska originating in Los Angeles. From the moment we stepped aboard the 5-star Ruby Princess, we were surrounded by helpful, smiling faces of staff. Our balcony room gave us a ... Read More
For our 50th anniversary, we took a 12-day Princess cruise to Alaska originating in Los Angeles. From the moment we stepped aboard the 5-star Ruby Princess, we were surrounded by helpful, smiling faces of staff. Our balcony room gave us a wonderful view and fresh air throughout our cruise. The bed was SO comfortable with cozy Egyptian linens. Our cabin Steward, Christopher, was so helpful and attentive. The ship holds about 3500 guests and about 1500 very service oriented staff- which is a nice size and ratio. The restaurant meals were fresh and fabulous with very attentive waiters.There were fresh food options 24- hours a day! We enjoyed the flexibility of "anytime" dining. The entertainment was nonstop. We especially enjoyed the nightly musical shows in the Princess Theater. They have very talented performers- bands, singers and dancers.The different lounges also had good entertainment and often dancing. The casino is spacious and has lots of variety, including blackjack tournaments which are really fun! The gym provides nice machines with an amazing view! We especially enjoyed the tram excursion in Juneau and the train in Scagway. We plan to fly to Anchorage on our next Alaskan trip to explore the more northern regions and to do a land tour to Denali. We highly recommend Princess cruises without reservation! We look forward to our next Princess cruise!! The 12 days flew by!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Terrible slow service in the restaurant and a bad waiter. We had a pre-paid reservation for the same restaurant for another night but canceled due to our bad experience. Princess also needs to make sure that the beautiful pictures on the ... Read More
Terrible slow service in the restaurant and a bad waiter. We had a pre-paid reservation for the same restaurant for another night but canceled due to our bad experience. Princess also needs to make sure that the beautiful pictures on the boat that shows the pictures of the food dishes should match what Is served to you. It is almost like night and day difference (have some look at the picture on display of the short ribs pasta dish and then go order it in the restaurant). You will be shocked. Also, our bathroom in our suite was dirty as there was mold on the shower grout walls. The shower curtain was stained yellow across the bottom. Also, the fitness center was truly the most disappointing fitness center I have ever seen on any cruise ship that we have been on. Stuck in a room with no windows and just staring at walls is unreal. How could you ever enjoy working out? Many comments from passengers on board said they would not work out because of the fitness center location. We have been on many cruises and will most likely not go on Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Alaska was on our bucket list so we did one week land tour and one week ship cruise. Princess did not disappoint! The staff onboard was professional and courteous. Our cabin and all public areas were always clean and neat. We started ... Read More
Alaska was on our bucket list so we did one week land tour and one week ship cruise. Princess did not disappoint! The staff onboard was professional and courteous. Our cabin and all public areas were always clean and neat. We started in Anchorage for the land portion of our tour. The hotel we were in, Hotel Captain Cook was located within easy walking distance to shopping, eating, and park/waterfront trail. -The Star Princess was very nice. The cabins are plain, but are in good repair with plenty of storage space (closet and under bed for suitcases). Plenty of hangers in the closet and a separat area of shelves with a safe. Our steward was very efficient, friendly, and professional (Albert Garcia). He kept our cabin clean and neat, assisted us in timely pressing of our formal night clothes, and he was always mindful of our coming and going in order to take care of our daily cabin cleaning and nightly turndown service. -The cabin was just the right size. We were in L206 and had a balcony (I think a must for an Alaskan cruise). We were on the port side, which is good for a southbound cruise. Our cabin had the basic furniture and was in good repair The A/C could have been colder for us. We slept with the balcony door open and still was not cool enough for us. The bathroom is fine so long as only one person is in it at a time. Above our room was the aerobics room, but we never heard any noise or music from it. -Dining was great. Our service was always efficient and professional (food and drinks served timely). The menu options each night were great (king crab legs, lobster, always a fish dish, vegan dish, etc.). In addition to the dinner option each night, there were the Princess standbys offered every night (i.e. shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad, salmon, fettuccini, cheesecake). -Horizon Court is the buffet option offered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was open 0600-2300 each night. It had great variety and quality food options. I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful service here too. Tables were quick turned over (so no long trolling for a table), beverage service was professional and timely. The buffet areas were always clean, which is not easy task with 3000+ guests coming through at least once, if not two, three, or four times a day. There was also the International Café (paninis, sandwiches, desserts), pizza café (pretty good pizza it was), and the burger grill (more than burgers (veggie burger, chicken, hotdogs, brauts). If you can't find food you like onboard...it's YOU, not the ship. Also, on sea days there is afternoon tea, and if you don't like the time of the tea (3:30-4:15), you can get very similar sandwiches, scones, sweets in the Horizon Court. -We did not partake in any of the entertainment (except the married couple game show, always a great laugh on any cruise line). I particularaly enjoyed the Naturalist onboard. She was a wealth of information on the wildlife and environment in Alaska. She would take times to point out wildlife over the loudspeaker (public places only, not your cabin). In your cabin you could tune in on TV to hear her. You could be anywhere on the ship and know whether to look port or starhboard for whales, sea otters, Bald eagles, etc. -Anywhere we interacted staff, (dining, guest services, bars) we encountered friendly and professional staff. They even offered a Breast Cancer 5K walk onboard during one of the at sea days. A $15 minimum donation, which Princess matches. The gym looked great. We looked at it the first day with the best of intentions, but never got around to using it :) Ports/Excursions: Lots of great options, but overpriced as any cruise line. All the ports we pulled into were an easy walk into town. No need for a bus or taxi if you are just walking around town. -WHITTIER, AK- This was a transfer, train to ship. We did not visit Whittier and that was fine with us. Not much to see there. HUBBARD GLACIER, AK - Absolutely wonderful. We had a balcony cabin so the Capatain turning the ship from port to starboard and allowing time to view the glacier was wonderful! We kicked back on our balcony with a beer and enjoyed glacier calving and beauty. GLACIER BAY, AK- Great! So many glaciers and wild life to see. The scenery and time spent here was perfect. Appreciated the time spent facing glaciers on port and starboard sides. SKAGWAY, AK- Our zipline shuttle tour guide was great. Zipling was okay (11 lines, not that long). We did one in Cabo years ago that we liked better. It said there was a snack included which equated to marshmellows and water. The town of Skagway was cute with self guided walking tours. Most of the shopping (as in all the towns, was owned by the cruise lines. I prefer the local shops). Loved the Skagway Brewery. We also had time to hike a bit in Skagway...good uphill hike! JUNEAU, AK - We spent most of our time at Mendenhall Glacier (Tongass Nation Park). Great time hiking the trails, visiting the Visitor Center. We also had a beer at The Hangar in town. It was nice to look over the water and watch the bush planes take off and land. KETCHIKAN, AK- My favorite port! We kayaked, walked the town, Creek St. is quaint, and the salmon spawning trail was interesting. We had a beer at the local Fraternity Order of Eagles (FOE) and sat out on their deck on Creek St....watched seals playing with each other. The beers were only $3.50 each and I thought it was very nice of this private club to let us hang out there. VANCOUVER, CA - Did not see, just a transfer. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We arrived in Seattle the night before embarkation to allow stress-free checking in. It took less than an hour from arrival at the pier to on boarding. We chose to keep our carry-on luggage as recommended which we shouldn't have to. ... Read More
We arrived in Seattle the night before embarkation to allow stress-free checking in. It took less than an hour from arrival at the pier to on boarding. We chose to keep our carry-on luggage as recommended which we shouldn't have to. Our luggage arrived by 1:30 pm at the same time that stateroom was ready! 5 Stars - Cruise amenities, activities, public area, Aqua class experience, Stateroom, Cabin Steward, Food quality, Spa experience, Fitness classes Blu restaurant - very good dining experience each night. 4 Stars - Excursions - We selected all of our excursions directly from Celebrity pre-cruise which is a lot cheaper than purchasing on board. All the tours arranged smoothly. Minus one star because one of our excursion was cancelled without any offer for replacement. Oceanview Cafe - Good variety of food and dessert! Minus one start because of overcrowded and competitively seating by the window! They should break up more tables into two so that all the seats are occupied. Most of the time table for 4-6 would have been occupied by two people. We really enjoy daily dessert selection, Lavazza coffee, indian food, stir-fry bar, ice-cream station, and daily fair. Breakfast is good, you can come and leave quickly without hassle. Should have more lunch spots and "grab & go" or quick lunch for people that don't eat much and want to do something else while on cruise. Oceanview is always busy at lunch time, you will have to spend at least 1 hour for lunch. It felt a bit uncomfortable to bring plate to your room, so many people at the entrance of the restaurant. Entertainments and Lectures - Every nights and on the sea day, it is packed with several things to do. We purchased fitness class package ($55/5 classes + $50 spa credit). We took zumba, yoga, spinning, and pilates classes. The spa credit is a joke since it can only be used on sea day and cannot be combined with other sea day discount. So, you end up paying almost the same price for already reduced price for sea day spa service (e.g. massage = $150/$115 on sea day, if using $50 credit, you will pay $150-50 = $100). 3 Stars - Itinerary, we arrived at Tracy Arm Fjords very early in the morning, followed by another port of call, Juneau which you barely spend half-day at most in the capital city of Alaska. There are many things to see and we were not able to fit all into our calendar. We almost missed Sawyer's Glacier, they only stopped for less than 15 min and left quickly. We were at the restaurant and did not know that we have arrived! Ketchikan - nothing much to see at this port, would rather spend only half day and preserve more times at Tracy Arm Fjords or Juneau. Victoria - arrived late, nothing much to see as our excursion was cancelled (whale watching tour). Almost three-day at sea (Day 2, Day 6 and Day 7 as we arrived late in Victoria) which could have been improved compared to other cruiseline itinerary. The Solstice did not visit Hubbard Glaciers, which should have been included in the itinerary, unlike the Millennium. 2 Stars - Service at Blu restaurant. On one night, we have to wait for > 30 min until someone can take our order. Constantly, we have to ask to refill water on our empty glasses. They were either disappeared or busy chit-chat with other tables. Constantly, they keep asking us to give them 10/10 on post-cruise surveys. The quality of food and daily selection deserved 5 start, but minus 3 stars for the very poor service. The hostess did not do well in fitting people on the table. At one point, we have to wait for more than 15 min to seat despite several empty tables. In my opinion, the set up, service type and resource management at Blu cannot accommodate too many large group dining. We have one table of 15, several tables of 8+ people every night. They need to allocate enough waitress to allow for this type of service and not shared with other "small" tables. In-room dining. No paper menu, limited selection on smart TV. Breakfast was poor but delivered on time. No water, again? 1 Stars On board payment and up selling. We paid over $1K despite some $250 credit we received from the travel agency. No coffee, no water without buying a package. They do not allow you to refill water from oceanview cafe to your individual container. We ended up paying in-room minibar daily for water (which is also not included in basic drinking package). A 1L bottle of Evian costs $6.50. We don't need Evian, just to be fair, spring water is good enough but that is $2/500 mL bottle and you have to walk to the cafe to purchase one (plus tax + service charge). To promote healthy and prevent certain compromised infection, they shouldn't have been so difficult about water. We don't want to purchase a package because we have to walk to cafe to get bottle water daily or multiple times a day. We ended up asking our cabin steward to bring two Evian bottles daily to our room and pay for the mini-bar service. Overall, despite some "flaws", I almost gave 5 stars to our wonderful travel with Celebrity Solstice on Aqua class. We will definitely book our next cruise with Celebrity, but may upgrade to suite class for better service overall. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I enjoyed the cruise, but the Effy jewelry personell conducted a raffle for those buying jewelry. I bought my wife a ring that cost almost 3 grand. There were 3 prizes. The same person won all of the prizes. This is almost certainly ... Read More
I enjoyed the cruise, but the Effy jewelry personell conducted a raffle for those buying jewelry. I bought my wife a ring that cost almost 3 grand. There were 3 prizes. The same person won all of the prizes. This is almost certainly impossible to happen if done randomly, i DID NOT EXPECT TO WIN BUT I DID NOT EXPECT THE SAME PERSON TO WIN ALL PRIZES. Also no drink container delivered to my room even though we ordered drink package for soda and virgin drinks. I was therefore unsure where these could be obtained until after third day, I finally took my own container and asked the person behind the drink counter in casual dinning room, who told me. I would go again but please correct these problems for a perfect score. Disney has drinnk stations free throughout ship. It would be nice to have an onboard movie theatre with current movies. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our first ever cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed the ship, the itinerary, the crew and the meals. After reading the somewhat mixed reviews of the ship and trip, I was slightly concerned about our booking. While there were some ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed the ship, the itinerary, the crew and the meals. After reading the somewhat mixed reviews of the ship and trip, I was slightly concerned about our booking. While there were some small items that could be improved, it was a really great trip. As others have noted, it’s a large ship and thus you need to plan ahead to carve out the optimal vacation. Service was consistently friendly and thoughtful. The room steward was fantastic and the dining staff great. (For context, we dine out often and typically stay at 4 and 5-star hotels so have a high expectation for service). Below are some more specific thoughts to help plan your trip: • We were in a mid-ship mini-suite – 12824. Cabin was very nice, bed was super comfortable (billed as a queen but felt more spacious). Sheets were so-so soft and the pillows we’re ok (I brought one of my own). Plenty of storage, spacious bath room. Balcony was perfectly fine/spacious. Given how much there was to do and the fact that you’re in Alaska, we didn’t use it a ton but left the slider door open every night to get a fresh breeze while sleeping. • Plan ahead. This is perhaps the most important thing to do. We book all our specialty restaurants and entertainment the day it became available to do so (120 days prior to sailing, I believe). This allowed us to ensure we got in the restaurants we wanted at the time we wanted. We also booked the Thermal Spa Pass ahead of time. Also, we planned to board early so that we’d be able to secure passes to the Vibe Beach Club, which is super important. We didn’t have any issues booking excursions but did plan these a few weeks in advance. • Thermal Spa Pass: For a fee ($129?), you can get a full week pass to the spa which was important for us. I provided a great place to get away from crowds and offered a beautiful viewing area. I’d highly recommend this. • Vibe Beach Club. I’d also highly recommend this. This area provided a sanctuary from the crowds as well. For ~$139/week, you get access to a “private” deck with its own bar, cabanas, loungers and hot tub. Was amongst the best part of the ship. The crew here (Ruby and Randy) were soooo friendly and helpful, ensuring our every need was met. Again, we’re in Alaska so it can get cold up there; however, there are blankets to use to keep warm. While I believe they sell ~75 passes (not certain about the number, but limited), we never saw more than 10 people at a time on the deck. Run to the guest services to get these passes. • Spa services: This was the one area where service was not great - - there was constant upsell throughout the process to book a massage; and post massage, also an attempt to sell you products. The massage itself was great – I asked for deep tissue and was almost crying because of the pressure - - a good thing for me. • Restaurants: Our favorite was La Cucina – dined there twice. Delicious food, tasty wines and great service. Ocean Blue was also great - - both food and service. Cagney’s food was very good – service was perfunctory at best. Teppanyaki was really fun – with good food/service. Q was so-so, food was OK as was the service. We ate at Taste/Savor for lunch and both of these were perfectly good – busy but the staff is accommodating. Coco’s for crepes was delicious. • Cellars Wine Bar: Would highly recommend. Great wine selection and very helpful staff. Throughout the cruise, they have wine-classes you can take (for a fee). Was really fun and informative. • Common Areas: The Observation Lounge and the Garden Café can get crowded. The Café was often a zoo – with so many people for breakfast. We grabbed breakfast there but then took it to the Observation Lounge which worked must better. Also, some of the crown can be a challenge – e.g. kids running around, bare feet on loungers, poor manners. Overall not an issue, but at times a distraction. • The overall ship furnishings and décor are really beautiful – first rate and very nicely done. In sum, would highly recommend this ship and the Alaska trip. We’d definitely do it again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this boat because it is a brand new ship, started sailing just two months prior, and we loved the itinerary. The stops were great, we loved the excursions chosen, food was good, service was great, and we took full advantage of ... Read More
We chose this boat because it is a brand new ship, started sailing just two months prior, and we loved the itinerary. The stops were great, we loved the excursions chosen, food was good, service was great, and we took full advantage of the drink package. We enjoyed the shows, bands, live music, trivia, and hot tubs. I was surprised there was no lobster served in the dining room - first cruise I have been on where this was not on the menu. However, the food was food, and we would sail on this boat again. Our first stop was Ketchikan where we did off road vehicles through the woods. This was a great tour. We wish it would have been longer. It was about twenty minutes out and twenty minutes back, but it was so nice to be outside. We spotted a mother bear and two cubs which is a rarity. We felt really blessed to have seen them out in the woods. The tour guides were kind, and informative. Our second stop was Juneau where we decided to go whale watching. We chose Alaska Galore Tours because they had small boats. We were on a boat that held 15 or so along with a boat captain and tour guide. We learned so much, and saw 5-6 whales turning in the water about 15-20 times. Unfortunately, it was raining, but we still would have chosen this tour again. We were supposed to go by Sawyer Glacier, but the weather was too bad as it was very cloudy and icy. We still saw some beautiful scenery from the boat, and it was a lovely evening on the balcony. Finally, our last day was in Skagway. My husband and father-in-law went on a helicopter to walk around on the glacier. it was short, 20 minute ride out and 20 minutes back with about half an hours walking around and learning about the glacier. We would recommend. We also did the train ride up the mountain. It was informative, beautiful, and again, we would do this same tour all over again. The bands at night were great, especially the guy in the piano bar. He was funny and incredibly entertaining. My in-laws loved Jersey Boys, the broadway show. We would absolutely sail on Norwegian and on this same boat again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We left August 10th on Radiance of the Seas. Our plane was late but we booked our travel through RC so they waited for us, several were on our particular plane. Embarkation was great as we were rushed onto the ship. We researched the ship ... Read More
We left August 10th on Radiance of the Seas. Our plane was late but we booked our travel through RC so they waited for us, several were on our particular plane. Embarkation was great as we were rushed onto the ship. We researched the ship prior to our cruise and saw quite a few negative comments. We were pleasantly surprised by the ship and the crew. From our room stewart to the wait staff in the main dining room to most all the crew we encountered, everyone was pleasant and very helpful. The ship is older, yes, but it is not falling apart. It was clean everywhere. We booked a junior suite and had plenty of room. The closet was large and the room was big. The food in the MDR was good as well as, of course, Chops Grill. We were not impressed with Giovanni's or the brazilian steakhouse, Samba. That might just be our personal taste. There was not too much in the way of entertainment but we usually do not attend to many shows. We did go one night to a comedian which he was very good. Most people on the ship were 40-50-60ish but there were also a lot of kids and younger adults. We had booked all our excursions prior to boarding the ship so we did get them at a discount. One excursion, dog mushing, was cancelled due to weather and no snow on the glacier but we rebooked at the dock to another helicopter onto a glacier which was awesome. All our other excursions were great too. In Ketchican, we went on a boat ride and after had a delicious lunch of all you can eat dungeonous crabs. We definitely recommend this excursion. Next stop was Icy Straight Point where we went out on a boat for whale watching. We did see whales and orcas. Then Juneau where we went up on the glacier. Next was Skagway where we enjoyed a wonderful salmon bake. We ended in Seward and continued on to the land tour. Starting in Anchorage we boarded the Wilderness Express train to Talkeetna for one night, then onto Danali by train for two nights and finally by a third train to Fairbanks for two nights. Although we thoroughly enjoyed all the sights, we wish we had had the itenerary for this land tour ahead of time. No food or extra excursions along the way were included in the cruise price. And food is VERY expensive in Alaska. Plus in some of the places you are very limited on places to eat. You are also very busy everyday especially if you went on the extra excursions that were not included in the price and were also expensive. Plan on spending about another $2000 on food and excursions. That doesn't include any souveniers you may want to buy. The three train rides were fabulous and most all of the excursions included in the price were great except for the salmon bake in Fairbanks. Of note, the bus ride into Danali National Park was long, about 8 hours, and was on a remodeled school bus. The only time you could get out of the bus was on bathroom breaks. You could only take pictures from the bus windows and on the bathroom breaks. We did see some wildlife but mostly from very far away and you really needed a long range camera len to get close up pictures. We absolutely enjoyed our cruise and land tour and would recommend it to anyone wishing to go to Alaska. It is a bucket list place. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose the Coral Princess for it's passenger size (2000), the itinerary, timing for our 37 family members, the land tour option, accessibility and wide variety of shore excursion choices. The Coral Princess looks good, she's ... Read More
We chose the Coral Princess for it's passenger size (2000), the itinerary, timing for our 37 family members, the land tour option, accessibility and wide variety of shore excursion choices. The Coral Princess looks good, she's clean and the cabins are comfortable. The entertainment was fun, especially the trivia for my family members. Our service in the cabins was great, but the dining service for the early dining in Bordeaux was very, very slow and disorganized. The staff was changed on the 3rd night of our cruise because the wait staff wasn't managing our 5 tables well. Five well behaved children were part of our group; they loved the experience in the kid zone as well as the on board activities. Their favorite activity was looking for wildlife from the promenade deck. We saw whales, orcas, porpoises, seals, puffins, eagles, sea otters and salmon from the deck! We would do this trip all over again, it was so much fun! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
NCL surely had the best entertainment on board. Thats the best part of the cruise other than of course the shore excursions which we have to book at additional cost (so not really part of cruise experience). However there were a few ... Read More
NCL surely had the best entertainment on board. Thats the best part of the cruise other than of course the shore excursions which we have to book at additional cost (so not really part of cruise experience). However there were a few negatives. Sports facilities are not good. There were just broken tennis rackets, no tennis balls available to play other than some rain drenched old balls that were left on the court and there was no one to help even when they advertise open play hours. For other Indian vegetarians out there planning a cruise this is probably not the right food option. Rice used is jasmine rice and other sticky rice instead of basmati which is non sticky and goes well with indian palate. Also in general the veg options were not the best dishes of the chefs on board. Desserts section however was excellent. Also none of the other restaurants (other than garden cafe) had an selection of veg options which was really disappointing as we could not visit any onboard restaurant like azura or tsars palace even though we tried booking a table. This was disappointing as we travelled with parents who are a bit aged. The other cruise line we did before had much better food selection for Indian vegetarians. Lastly, one of the other things we observed was that none of the ships crew other than some specific location we had to go to had any idea as to where any place on the ship was. Simple questions like where is "tradewinds" which is the shopping store would get blank stares when that crew member was literally a few feet away from the tradewinds location. That was really funny and i think they can do a better job of training all crew members of every available facility on board. This tradewinds was not an isolated incident, crew members regularly failed to point out where things were when asked although tradewinds was very funny because of how close this crew member was to the actual location we were looking for. I won the ping pong competition on board but did not have any option to select my prize. Only available option was an XXL T shirt which i cant use. Could have been better managed. However it is also nice to point out some nice things. We enjoyed the dance classes they offered, the movie shows, the music (fire and ice, onboard musician crew and on and on) and MOST SPECIAL was the daily Broadway type shows they did in star dust theatre which were beyond fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We just returned from our cruise on the Bliss for my parents 50th wedding anniversary. This trip had been planned for almost a year and all of us were looking forward to the cruise but were getting nervous after reading numerous reviews ... Read More
We just returned from our cruise on the Bliss for my parents 50th wedding anniversary. This trip had been planned for almost a year and all of us were looking forward to the cruise but were getting nervous after reading numerous reviews before going. We had 7 adults and 4 children with us (ages 6-10). The boarding process went very smooth I think we were on the ship within less than 30 minutes, but once we boarded that's when the chaos started. Once on the ship we went straight to reservations for the go carts and the lazer tag, four of us were in different lines trying to make reservations. This took about an hour and half to get tot the front just to be told that everything was booked. We did actually get reservations for both by complaining throughout the cruise but both attractions weren't even really worth it. But, if you or your kids really want to take advantage of the go carts my sister heard someone talking about a week long unlimited pass for $99, not sure it you would just wait standby to use the pass. I felt like you could probably just wait by the line whenever you want and get on. If you like the idea of waterslides think again. The slides are only open a few hours of the day and they only have two of them. One of the slides is a drop slide that they won't even let you go on unless you are over 100lb, which left our kids to only be able to use the one slide. The hours of the slide are a joke, I think it was open from 11:30 - 2;30 and again for another hour or so. It was hard to see them close the slide on a beautiful day with nothing else to really do on the ship. If you are taking kids I would really think twice there is very little for kids to do on this ship. They do have an arcade but the games are anywhere from $2 - $5 each. This ship is constantly trying to nickel and dime you for everything. As for the food it was pretty lousy even the bigger restaurants. We did go to the Manhattan Room, Savor, and Taste and they all have the same menu, I guess they just try to make them look different. The buffet is not very good just okay. We finally broke down and went to the steak house on the last night and they told us they were full but would squeeze us in, the place was empty. The food was okay nothing crazy, but not worth the $300 we had to spend. LIke I said earlier there really isn't a lot to do on the ship. The highlight of the trip was the "Jersey Boys" show, Havannah wasn't very good. But really, only two shows for a seven night cruise! Also, the drinks were excellent! I highly recommend the drink package, pretty much all we did was drink since there wasn't much else to do. And yes the elevators are horrible, stick to the stairs. I hope this helps some of you guys I could write all night about this cruise but I'm tired. And just remember this cruise is a good chunk of change for most of us that is why I took the time to right this, there are many other ships out there with a lot more to do than the Bliss. Unless you don't want to do anything but sleep and eat, and spend as little time in the ports as possible this is the cruise for you. Good Luck Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I have always wanted to go to Alaska and loved our cruise. In Haines we were lucky enough to see a bear in the wild. We got up close and personal with a couple of glaciers. The ship was lovely and the crew so friendly. Our cabin was a ... Read More
I have always wanted to go to Alaska and loved our cruise. In Haines we were lucky enough to see a bear in the wild. We got up close and personal with a couple of glaciers. The ship was lovely and the crew so friendly. Our cabin was a little small but then we didn't spend a huge amount of time in it.. We thoroughly enjoyed every port but did need more time in Victoria BC. Our 16 year old daughter loved the Beach Hut and made friends. Service was excellent, loved Nino and Alex in the Da Vinci Dining Room. Super service. We would happily cruise with them again. Top service in every bar. There were a lot of activities on the ship, only a few that we enjoy. The tablet based bingo was a bit odd and took the fun out of the game itself. You could however buy just paper tickets but the tablets allowed many more winning opportunities so you really had to be part of that. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We went with the Grand Princess from SFO to Alaska, 10days Roundtrip. The cruise and ports were great. First time in Alaska, Weather was between 40-80 degrees. We packed layers, T-shirts, long sleeves shirts and rain jacket. Don't ... Read More
We went with the Grand Princess from SFO to Alaska, 10days Roundtrip. The cruise and ports were great. First time in Alaska, Weather was between 40-80 degrees. We packed layers, T-shirts, long sleeves shirts and rain jacket. Don't worry about the clothes. If you haven't packed the right clothing, you can buy jackets, hats, sweaters and t-shirts in the stores at the port. Don't forget your binocular (or buy in ship store). We've chosen OV cabin with obstructed view, cabin E619, mid ship on Deck 8- Emerald Deck. Right across from the Laundry- but no noises. Location was great, just go down 1 floor and you have restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment. The cabin interior a little bit outdated and small, bathroom was smelling urine. I guess the steward didn't had much time to clean properly. One thing throughout the ship: all windows were really really dirty, hard to see through- no matter which floor. The grand princess is an older, smaller ship. Needs a deep clean thoughout. The staff very friendly, the food was ok. We had anytime dining, sometimes you needed to wait 30 minutes to get a table (mostly between 6-7pm), but we didn't seen that as an issue, the food in the dining rooms was good, nothing really exciting- lot of fish. Pizza at Alfredo and the International Cafe are great alternative for dinner or snack and is complimentary. Awesome! Recommendation for this area: have stationary water, coffee and tea complimentary as well. The Horizon buffet on the other hand is very small and the food selection very limited, I didn't like it very much. Breakfast alright, Lunch not so much. Entertainment: a lot of singing shows. First day 4 singers and dancers, after that- each of those singers have their own show and then final show all singers together again. I wished, they would offer a bit more variety of show acts, comedy and maybe magic to balance it out. Great option to the shows were Karaoke and The Voice, very entertaining and of course "Movies under the Stars:. So our rating is average, we will give princess another try- with royal princess in December. Casino: small, 1 side smoking, the other side non- smoking, on formal nights non-smoking after 6pm. For our smokers: you can purchase duty-free cartons of cigarettes, you can pick them up by the end of the cruise. ( MSC allows you take it with you) Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We sent out laundry and it came back missing several pieces. Tried to get reimbursed at guest services but were told nothing they could do and gave me a card to contact ncl insurance claims. Called them to find out they couldn't see ... Read More
We sent out laundry and it came back missing several pieces. Tried to get reimbursed at guest services but were told nothing they could do and gave me a card to contact ncl insurance claims. Called them to find out they couldn't see my booking because the number I got through travelocity wasn't in their system. Not sure what to do about it now, $300 worth of clothes are gone. The room we paid for cost twice as much as a single because we had 2 small kids with us, all we got was a fold down bunk bed. Ports of call were a joke, only shopping to do if we didn't want to pay extravagant prices for an excursion. Felt like a tourist trap everywhere we went. We were told when we booked the trip that the price included $300 of onboard credit. When our final bill was presented, no credit was shown. Guest services knew nothing about it. When I checked my confirmation email at the very bottom of a long paragraph of fine print I see a link to fill out a form for the credit that must be submitted 21 days in advance. Why??? Nobody said a thing about this while booking and why would that be necessary anyway? We paid the price assuming we would have that credit, we were told we would have the credit, we got no credit whatsoever. Overall very unsatisfied with the trip and feel like we were scammed. The food was good. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018

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