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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We have seen Alaska in depth, having RV'd there 3 times in 10 years. This cruise took us where we could not drive. Because the weather was persistently rainy/foggy, it was challenging to see what we would have wanted. Renting a car and ... Read More
We have seen Alaska in depth, having RV'd there 3 times in 10 years. This cruise took us where we could not drive. Because the weather was persistently rainy/foggy, it was challenging to see what we would have wanted. Renting a car and putzing around Juneau was our best day. Also loved the scenic Skagway trainride. Cruising was interesting, tho too chilly to use our balcony much. Enjoyed talking with others, and delighted with the diversity of passengers to meet. The food was beyond wonderful, and every moment in the dining room was great. It is hard to understand anyone complaining about the food. We found the ship to be clean and not in disrepair. We are seniors, so chose to schedule when kids would be in school. We didn't choose much nightlife, but heard good reviews from others. We consistently felt that there were good choices open to us. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The embarkation was actually painless...quick and easy. Of course it was head for the lido until our room was ready. Still can not understand why Carnival Corp. can not have a buffet set up in the dining room as well, on embarkation day. ... Read More
The embarkation was actually painless...quick and easy. Of course it was head for the lido until our room was ready. Still can not understand why Carnival Corp. can not have a buffet set up in the dining room as well, on embarkation day. Would make sense and get the people in and out! Our room was ready on time and luggage arrived in a timely manner. Carnival still does not understand that the muster could be done in the theater and people would pay more attention than standing outside on the deck forever. Princess does this as well as Holland...at least we're inside. Adam the cruise director was in awe of Alaska and I believe it made us appreciate it through new eyes....this was our 3rd Alaskan Cruise. He did get rather testy (actually angry) at a cruiser during an debarkation at a port of call. The first Port of call it took forever to get off the boat and after 3 days the natives were restless. The second port Icy Point Strait, we all lined up early and of course there was a long wait because of it. I've no idea what the cruiser said to him but Adam went off on him/her saying if they'd followed instructions they wouldn't be waiting in line so long. Only defense was that instructions came after we had gotten in line. Dining was haphazard at best...they need a new supplier of beef....toughest pieces of meat, I've ever eaten (or tried to) It was advertised 2 formal nights but they actually had 3...which was fine. The team doing the shows was down to 6 and a lot of lip synching was done...The team was better than the specialty acts...definitely not Carnival's usual quality. Service??? The only day on the lido that someone was actually in the buffet with coffee and juice on a cart was throwback Thursday.....next to the last day of the cruise. I've never had trouble understanding wait staff but several of these I had to ask questions over and over. Ivan and Chen were the absolute best waiters. The girl in the theater on the last day ask me for a tip and I ask her if the 15% didn't apply (we each got a free drink on the last day) and she said yes. I also saw handicapped people pushing their own walkers and wheelchairs up steep ramps.....no cruise staff trying to help. The ramps were very steep and hard to walk up and down.....they finally covered one because the rain was making it so slick. I understand the tide has a lot to do with the steepness but slick and steep don't equate. We only booked one excursion off the boat and it was ok a whole lot more expensive than other sites but I couldn't find any for Icy Point Strait. We saw a tribal dance made up of high school students....very good This also included a rain forest tram. Frankly the guide was boring......it was overbooked in my opinion. We had 4 cars if you were in 2-4 you couldn't ask questions and by the time you got to the item he was telling you about, he was on to another thing that was in his view. We loved Sitka and the Fortress of the Bear.....got a tour after we arrived in Sitka. Icy Point Strait was also where we saw the most Bald Eagles. Skagway we booked thru Viatar and did a glass blowing and Jewell Gardens tour....wonderful. We really liked the narrative of the Park Ranger during our excursion through Glacier Bay National Park and the narrative of the naturalist as we left Sitka. Ketchikan was where we did another Viator tour..Totem Bight. I've left feedback on the Viatar site for each of the tours. The ship itself....the theater was nice...none of those ridiculous steps...the wide ones where you walk 2 or 3 steps and then another step..this was a nice gradual ramp. The dining room had paths....no dodging or scooting around other dining patrons. We had anytime dining which we are usually loath to do but this time we only waited twice for a table and they had a very nice bar area where you could wait. We did specify that we would share or dine alone.....think that helped us to get seated easily. This was the initial 14-day Carnival Cruise out of Long Beach to Alaska and I think we were probably the lab rats.....I'm sure they'll improve as they continue to do these. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Chose this cruise because we didn't have to fly to get on ship to Alaska. The reason for the 3star review was the food. I mean broccoli every night and we like broccoli. No choices on menu. The chef made mud pie everyone at table ordered ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we didn't have to fly to get on ship to Alaska. The reason for the 3star review was the food. I mean broccoli every night and we like broccoli. No choices on menu. The chef made mud pie everyone at table ordered it was CAKE??????? I could go on but why. The excursions offer for Alaska were great. Good variety Choices... The entertainment was ok but I feel Carnival could have done better this was a Journey cruise. One singer 2-3comedians and a guy doing roping and a comedian blowing balloons. We enjoyed the cruise but I really think it could have been a better 14day cruise. Some ports we arrived late and didn't have enough time to explore the town after excursion. The last port Vancouver we got in hour late our excursion was late leaving so missed things on it. It was a 5hour excursion $106 and didn't get to see all of Stanley Park (because L) So we saw little Stanley pk and Grouse Mountain and lots of traffic getting back to ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
LONG review, but if you want the 'bad' and 'ugly' skip to the bottom. Well, my wife and I FINALLY managed to take a cruise to Alaska! And the itinerary was perfect for us - 2 weeks and a round trip from Long Beach, CA. made it easy on ... Read More
LONG review, but if you want the 'bad' and 'ugly' skip to the bottom. Well, my wife and I FINALLY managed to take a cruise to Alaska! And the itinerary was perfect for us - 2 weeks and a round trip from Long Beach, CA. made it easy on us (we live just north of LA). After 3 days at sea, we were glad to hit some really great ports. Our favorite was Icy Strait Point - WOW! What a GREAT PLACE!! Not a jewelry store in site! That's right, no Diamonds International here! It's owned and run by the locals and they won't allow it. Nice, clean and new looking still. This was the first visit by ANY Carnival ship to this nice place. Our excursion choice was a Zipline and watching combo we found online and it was AWESOME! First a ride up to the top of Hoonah Mountain (1550 ft) and our driver narrated us with local info, GREAT jokes and stories and we saw deer as well! But THEN comes the zip line! WOW, 5,330 ft long - takes about 90 seconds at 60 MPH! Yes 60!! Mine seemed a LOT faster though as I was first at the end and had time to get out of my harness before my wife arrived! AWESOME!! But then the whale watching cruise. Because we didn't book the Carnival one, we didn't 'get' to go on the BIG boat with all the other people, ours was much smaller and only had about 10 people on it (thank goodness) though the boat could have held about 25. We didn't have a 'naturist' on board, just locals. But we got UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL with ORCAS when a pod of them swam right up to the starboard (right) side of the boat, came up for air and then went UNDER the boat! We also saw a humpback 'bubbling' for food, but those orca's were the highlight and I have the video to prove it! :) Glacier Bay was AWESOME! Even this late (Sept.) in the season there was plenty of ice floating in the water and the glaciers were spectacular! The only problem was the Rangers who were narrating everything. They sounded way to scripted and monotoned to be doing this. Perhaps they should record there presentation and play it back. NO (real) excitement in their voices at all. They did a good job of informing us though and had some good info you could pick up on the Lido deck. Other ports, they were okay... Nothing as spectacular as above though. That was the good.... Here's the bad and ugly... 1) Dining Room - OMG! The first thing I noticed was there were no table cloths on the tables!! Also, silverware consisted of only a knife and fork in your napkin (which they USED to place in your lap - elegantly, but no longer do). Food was okay, but you actually get more choices on the Lido deck and basically it's the same food, same quality! Service was pretty good and at least the wait staff knew/remembered your names and drink choices. Our assistant waiter also worked on the Lido at night and always recognized me by name and smiled and said hello. Heard from several people that ate in the steak house that it was about the same and NOISY?!? It's an 'open' format... But where we were in the MDR (far back starboard side next to window) we were so 'tucked in' that noise wasn't a problem. 2) Cabin - well, again, some disappointments - stewards have had lots more rooms added to them meaning less time 'detailing' things. Oh, and those nice little chocolates on your pillows at night? GONE! yep, guess they want to save another $1 per cabin per cruise, right Carnival? Just sad. We used to brag to those that never went on a cruise about things like this (and dining room elegance), but no more. 3) Entertainment - just okay. The comedians were pretty decent, the dancer/singers not so much. Here comes the UGLY ---- The hypnotist! Let me preface by saying that I too am a hypnotist and normally very forgiving of boring shows and patter, but this guy took the cake, cut it up, force fed it to us until we threw up! Seriously! His first show was just 'eh' (wife even went up on stage, she goes under EASY). His patter was boring with a lot of SHOUTING of ONE TWO THREE and such. I mean REALLY LOUD. Worst part was the second show - same patter, mostly same boring show completely except this time he had two people have what we call 'abreactions' - Actually in there cases they were TOO DEEP to participate in the 'show' (wouldn't follow commands) and ended up sitting in chairs off to the side of the stage. What's wrong with that? Well, imagine sitting with your head tilted back (one of them) or forward to your chest (the other) FOR OVER 20 MINUTES! Not to mention they kept sliding down from their chairs only to have him put them back in them! NO! He SHOULD have just gently took them to the floor, laid them on their backs and let them relax. He could have even made fun of them, but instead he didn't take the proper care of them he should have. AND he had a VERY hard time bringing one of them out as well, but once partially 'awake' he sent him down the steps to the audience?!?! Instead, he should have had him sit in the chair AFTER waking him up until he could make sure he was fully back again. Well, that's entertainment for ya! 4) POWER IS OUT!! POWER IS OUT!! - So, wife and I decided we would take the 'behind the scenes' tour of the ship - get pics of us in the Galley with the Chef, Engineering with the Engineer and Bridge with the Captain. Well, we got ONE pic (Galley), but while we were on deck A (way down) on what they call the I-95 corridor (runs the length of the ship) we were listening to the nice Italian Engineer explain things about how the ship operates and such - he had just explained the part about how they have 5 generators (one being off for maintenance) and then asked "any questions?" Suddenly I notice the lights of two generators go from green to yellow, then to red. Another then goes to yellow and alarms start going off in the room and we're ushered out into the hallway (I-95) where we are almost run over by a group of engineers running INTO the room we just left. About 20 seconds later, the lights go out on the entire ship! Emergency lighting is up though and I can tell by the lack of noise and vibration that we're not moving anymore. We were taken down to the crew's 'lounge/bar' to sit in mostly darkness for about 15 minutes before being told our tour would not continue and we were taken up to Deck 2 (by stairs of course!) and that was it. No more pics, no visit to the bridge and couldn't even get up to the Lido without climbing 7 more flights of stairs in dim lighting. Lasted for about 30 minutes, then came on, went off, came back on again. Luckily we were about 50 miles offshore of Santa Cruz at the time so nothing to hit or run aground on. Oh, and they gave us half off our tour when we complained about it. 5) Ship itself - I still hate that they close the hot tubs around midnight! At home I usually hop in ours about 12-12:30am. Also, the ship is looking pretty old. Lots of rusty spots. Lifeboat outside and to the right of our balcony had a ripped up canvas top and one of the hand rungs on the outside was literally rusted away and broken. So, my wife and I (who are Platinum with Carnival and just shy of Diamond) are now considering finding a new line that still has the service, taste and elegance that cruise ships have provided us for the last 15 years. I WANT MY TABLE CLOTHS BACK DANG IT!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
more ports than usual 7 day alaska cruise. fantastic views. saw bears. icy strait all day great views of glaciers, animals. better than even tracy fjord from a previous cruise. because of schedule change early morning skagway lots of ... Read More
more ports than usual 7 day alaska cruise. fantastic views. saw bears. icy strait all day great views of glaciers, animals. better than even tracy fjord from a previous cruise. because of schedule change early morning skagway lots of stuff closed on sunday. but when they opened skagway great deals end of season( previous times we were here we took a train ride(spectacular views), a tour up into canada to see sleddogs, played with puppies. ketchikan love walking around, the duck boat tour, the lumberjacks. juneau rained like normal(been here 3 times). the tram is always fun to watch. before we did a gold panning tour. I forgot name of port(hoo??) only port owned by native americans(less shops more real alaska) great cruise director (adam) captain, engineer, matride vancouver-- shore excursion hop on hop off bus.. disaster.. bad directions, waited hours, missed half the day, great looking city. poor organization and planning. we did back to back, carnival really needs to work on their planning. we done back to back several times. once went smoothly, most of time they act like they have never done it before. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
My girlfriend and I chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary. Unlike all of the other ships to Alaska from Seattle, this one did not swing wide into the pacific on the return trip. Remaining closer to Alaska provided great views ... Read More
My girlfriend and I chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary. Unlike all of the other ships to Alaska from Seattle, this one did not swing wide into the pacific on the return trip. Remaining closer to Alaska provided great views throughout the cruise, lots of humpback whales swimming within view, and smoother sailing. We chose the end of August/ first of September as it looked like a great time of year to visit Alaska, and most children (including mine) were back in school. I've sailed on a few other Carnival and Royal Caribbean ships in the Caribbean Sea, and on those trips the excursions didn't seem too important to me, but on this trip we realized we wanted to seize the opportunity to get out and experience as much of Alaska as we could in seven days, so we researched and booked excursions for all three port days (Skagway, Juneau & Ketchikan) in advance directly with the excursion companies. I will add more info on them at the end. Once we were on the ship, we discovered that there was also an opportunity to get off the ship onto a smaller catamaran in order to get closer to the Sawyer Glaciers in the Tracy Arm Fjord, and we jumped on it too. We couldn't have been luckier with the weather! It was cold and rainy the first two days of the cruise, including the Tracy Arm Fjord, however I'm glad it was because the rest of the cruise was sunny and warm, so these days made bringing all the warm rain gear worth it! They also helped bring out the wildlife. We watched a black bear hanging out right by the water in Tracy Arm, as well as many sea lions floating on icebergs near the glacier. The Cruise ship did make it quite far into the fjord, but the $200/person was worth it on the excursion just to get so close to the glacier and wildlife. After this excursion we warmed up in the outdoor hot tub on the Lido deck, were there was still some light rain, but we could see the walls of the fjord moving along outside the ship. Throughout the cruise, we enjoyed getting updates from Nancy, the naturalist on board, who kept an eye on the view from the bridge. She alerted the ship every time she saw some whales, porpoises, or orcas passing the ship, as well as chiming in with information on the scenery and towns. The announcements did not come through in our stateroom (aft balcony 7351), and It did take us a few days to figure out that if we kept the TV on the live camera view from the bridge (channel 19) that we could hear her over the TV. We saw groups of humpback whales almost every day of the cruise, groups of porpoises a couple of times, and orcas once near the end of the cruise. We selected the aft balcony for this cruise based on some other reviews here on Cruisecritic, which pointed out that they have a 180 degree view where you can see both sides of the ship. It was well worth it! I will elaborate on the room and balcony in the cabin review. We're from Chicago, where we can eat authentic cuisine from around the globe, so we didn't book this cruise for the food, and we kept our expectations low. This helped in the main dining room. We enjoyed our dinner all four nights we chose to eat there. Some of the fish dishes were a little bit overcooked (to be expected), and some of the dishes were not so hot. The lobster was pretty good, and the salmon on the last formal night was quite good. The deserts we chose (creme brule, taramisu, and key lime in a glass) were all great. The one and only time we chose to eat breakfast in the Truffles dining room, we were not impressed and it took far too long. The buffets were all predictably mediocre, however the pizza did hit the spot, especially as a late night snack. We did enjoy dinner in the Sushi restaurant one night as well. We paid $22 for the dinner for two, and $12 for a large bottle of saki. Not only was the food good, but we sat at the bar, and the two guys who made it were very friendly and we had a lot of fun chatting with them. The last night of the cruise had a 4 hour stop in Victoria, British Columbia, starting at 7:30pm. It's an incredibly quaint little harbor town that I wish we had more time to see during daylight. I did my homework though, and found a fantastic restaurant on Yelp called Fishhook. It's a small place that features a delicious and unique combination of Indian and French cuisine. It was well worth the cab ride! I've enjoyed the raunchy comedians on previous Carnival cruises, and really prefer comedians over theatrical productions. However, on this Cruise the theater was barely half full on both nights we showed up for the comedy. The comedians got some laughs out of us, but I think there was just less energy in the room for them to feed off of while entertaining us. Back to the excursions: In Skagway, we passed on the train and booked the Chilkoot Trail Hike, Float & Summit Drive with Skagway & Haines Excursions. Turns out we were the only ones who booked it, so we got a private tour, and our guide, Robert, was wonderful! He was just as excited as we were to be out in nature, and to be with people that really enjoyed it. He was very knowledgeable about the history of the gold rush, as well as all of the trees, berries, fungus, and lichen. He spotted fresh bear tracks in the mud on the Chilkoot trail by the river, and we could even smell the ripe odor in the air, but thankfully he didn't need to use the bear spray! On the float down the river we passed right under a bald eagle near it's nest, and we watched another young eagle eating a salmon it had just caught. After the float, he drove us just across the border into Canada across the valley from the Skagway train, where he know of a wild blueberry patch & we picked lots of fresh berries! They were especially tasty in the blueberry shake I made back on the ship with the soft serve. At the end of the the excursion we saw a huge rainbow, and then drove back into Skagway. In Skagway, we enjoyed a few beers at Skagway Brewing. The in-house brewed Spruce Tip Blonde ale was my favorite. We walked through town and discovered that there is a recreational dispensary in Skagway, and while it was quite expensive, it was nice to pick up a couple of extra treats. With even more time to kill on this 13 hour stop, we also stopped in the Skagway Fish Co. right on the wharf. Turns out the owner is from Chicago, and we had a blast chatting with him as soon as he noticed my Blackhawks sweatshirt. The next stop was Juno, where we booked the zip line excursion through Alaska Canopy Adventures. The water taxi and huge four-wheel jeep ride were part of the fun, and it was the first sunny day they had seen in Juno for three weeks. The guides said they don't look out the window to see if it's raining in the morning, they look out the window to see what kind of rain it is - so they we're particularly excited. We had a small group in this excursion as well, and we learned that they are the most busy on rainy days when the sea planes and helicopters get cancelled. In hindsight, I would pay the extra money to have gone up in the air that day, but it was still fun. We found a food truck with fish tacos super close to the ship, and the salmon tots were delicious! Our third excursion in Ketchikan was Kayaking in Orcas Cove with Southeast Sea Kayaks. It was another beautiful, sunny and calm day. Our guide was Natasha, who was born and raised in Ketchikan. She clearly loved her town, and enjoyed sharing it with us. She mentioned that she did like rainy days, as you're more likely to see wildlife, but she was able to pull a huge purple starfish out of the water that we all got to pass around. She also pointed out a dugeness crab and jellyfish to us under the water, and we saw a few bald eagles as well. The excursion ended with a delicious smoked salmon snack, and when we got back to the wharf, we had just enough time to eat at the Alaska Fish House. It was great! The best salmon chowder we had on the trip! All in all, an amazing vacation. Non-stop beauty all around. The ship wasn't as impressive, but it was perfectly fine, and met our expectations. The crew was very cheerful and friendly, and I'm sure it will be a little better once the ship gets the upgrades next year. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We booked a category 8K extended balcony cabin, 8156, about a year prior to the cruise through USAA travel. This is a 7 day round trip cruise out of Seattle stopping in Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Victoria BC. My wife, daughter (23), ... Read More
We booked a category 8K extended balcony cabin, 8156, about a year prior to the cruise through USAA travel. This is a 7 day round trip cruise out of Seattle stopping in Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Victoria BC. My wife, daughter (23), and I were booked in one cabin. We flew non-stop out of Atlanta into Seatac Airport, the day prior to the cruise. We used Shuttle Express to pre-book a towncar from the airport to our hotel ($52). This was very nice. The driver met us in baggage claim and helped us carry our luggage to the car. We rode in a Lincoln SUV. We stayed at the Thompson Hotel in downtown Seattle. This is a new hotel that was built in 2016. The costs was around $300 with tax. It’s a nice boutique hotel, with plenty of room, and nice amenities. It’s one block from Pike Place Market, so that was a bonus. We took an Uber XL from the hotel to Pier 91 the next morning around 11. Our check-in time with Carnival was 11:30am, but to be honest, I don’t think anyone really even looked, as we were there a few minutes early. I have to say the check-in process super easy. Drop off at the port is very close to the terminal. You go in and drop off your checked bags that have the Carnival tags. You then get in another line, where they check your passport or other travel documents. After that you go up an escalator, and are put in another line where you present your ticket and receive your sail and sign cards. You are then given a number and have a seat in a waiting area. We were in the waiting area maybe 15 minutes before being called to get on the boat. I’m pretty sure we were onboard before noon. Once on board we went up to the Lido deck and had lunch. It was very crowded. At 1:30pm, we went to our room and settled in. All of our luggage was delivered by 2pm. The extended balcony was nice with three people in the room, and we could all sit there comfortably. I had preordered a case of water, which had been delivered. We met our cabin steward, Pepe, and signed up to have evening cleaning service. Our room steward was okay. He did the traditional towel animals every night and kept the room clean. Nothing extraordinary, but what you would expect from good service. We had early dining at 5:30pm, and were put with three other guests, who we enjoyed talking with throughout the trip. We ate dinner in the main dining room every night, except the one night we ate in the Noveau Steakhouse. The service was very good. It was slow a few nights, with us coming close to missing the shows. They brought out a cake for my wife’s birthday one night, which was nice. We all thought the food in the MDR was good. There was always a good variety, and new things you wanted to try. The only real issue I had was on the lobster tail night, the lobster was overcooked and rubbery. We ate at the sushi bar a few times and thought the food was very good. We ate at the Seafood Shack on the Lido deck one time. We had the lobster roll, which was freshly made and tasted great. The fries were very good. We went to all the main production shows in the Follies lounge. I thought they were all done very well, however the night they did British music, it was not as good because the songs were not very familiar. The first day was at sea, so nothing really to report. We did shipboard activities and enjoyed ourselves. We did eat the brunch in the MDR. I thought the food was very good, and couldn’t eat lunch afterwards. The second day was Tracy Arm Fjord. It was about 11am before we entered the fjord. It was rainy all day and cold. There were tons of icebergs floating around. We did see a black bear and whale spouts. We did get to see the glacier, but did not get to get up close because of all the icebergs in the water. They really didn’t tell us anything about it or explain, they just stopped for a period of time and then turned around and left. The third day was in Skagway. We booked the dog mushing camp through Carnival for this day. We were picked up at the dock in a nice bus and took a twenty minute ride into the mountains above town. We arrived at camp and got to see salmon spawning in the river near camp. At the camp, they put us in these large diesel Mog vehicles with seats in the back. It’s a fun ride up the side of a mountain. Once at the top, they put you in a dogsled with a guide and dogs. You take a few laps around an outdoor track area, and then you get to pet the dogs and take pictures. After you get back down to the camp, they give you a talk about the dogs and how they are trained. We then got to hold 9 week old puppies. It was loads of fun, and we all enjoyed it. There was a light rain most of the time we were there, but most everything is covered. They have a gift shop with drinks and snacks if needed. The van dropped us off in town on the way back. We at lunch at the Skagway Brewery, which was excellent. I love this town most of all, just because it’s small and quaint. After some shopping we walked back to the ship. I will say there is a bus that you can ride back for $2. It is a bit of a walk, depending on your level of fitness. The fourth day we were in Juneau, and had great weather. We had prebooked a whale watching tour with Harv & Marv. We were picked up at the dock and taken to the boat, which was about 20 minutes away. We had 10 people on our tour, and the boat had ample space, and was nicely equipped. We saw so many whales. It was amazing. I got great shots on my camera. They also took us to see seals and sea lions. I highly recommend this tour and company. They offer snacks and drinks It was the highlight of our trip. We got back to the pier about 12:30pm. We went to Tracy’s King Crab Shack and ate lunch. Great food, and atmosphere, and the prices really weren’t that bad. We shared a combo, and one extra king crab leg. The fifth day was Ketchikan. I wish we had time to do more here, but due to the fact we had to be back on the boat by 12:30pm, we just mainly walked around and shopped. We went to Creek Street and downtown. I will say that if you buy from any of the Tonga Trading Company stores, they will ship your purchases home US Priority Mail for $20. And if you buy anything from their other stores, you simply show you have purchased shipping. They hold all your items that you buy from all stores and ship them together. I thought it was a great deal, and saved us from having to put more stuff in our luggage. Our items arrived home three days after we got back. The sixth day was Victoria, BC, but it was really a sea day. You don’t arrive until 7:30pm at night and have to be back in about 4 hours. We didn’t get off the ship. We used the time to go back and pack everything. There’s no show the last night and very little to do otherwise. Day seven was disembarkation. We were off the ship by 8:30am. We decided to leave our luggage at the Pier 91 concierge while we went into Seattle for some sight seeing. It costs $3 a bag, and you have to pick it up by 3:30pm that afternoon. It’s very easy to find. After you pick up your luggage and walk through customs (very easy), and head toward the exit, but concierge is on the left near the exit door. They give you a tag for your luggage and even give you some tips on places to go see. We came back and got our luggage around 2pm. The cruise staff was excellent, and we had a very good time overall. We had excellent weather in Juneau and Ketchikan, which was a big plus. The entertainment was very good. I would probably pick a cruise with a better port schedule next time, but it all worked out well. I’ll say the main dining room had cloth table cloths every night (this is a big deal to some people). The Noveau Steakhouse was outstanding, and one of the best meals of our trip. The best service, and wonderful views of the ocean and sunset for our dining experience. We also did the Dr. Seuss breakfast. It was very fun, but the food was average. Well worth the $5. We used the carnival internet (value) on the ship. Book it prior leaving to get a discount. It was kind of like using a slow DSL internet service. You can access most websites that doesn’t having streaming media. Some times it was faster than others. My wife and I shared it. We just took turns when we wanted to check Facebook or something else. We used the Carnival Hub app for almost everything. You just connect to their wifi and access their app. You can look at schedules, dinner menus, bookmark favorites. If you add a favorite it will notify you 15 minutes prior to the event. We really liked the app and hardly ever looked at the Funtimes paper. It also lets you see all your purchases made on the cruise, which is nice. We did a similar cruise to this 9 years prior. On that cruise we flew into Anchorage and took the cruise out of Whittier Alaska. We then cruised south, hitting four ports and ending in Canada. I felt like I was on an Alaskan cruise the first day that time. This time going round trip out of Seattle, it was 85 degrees when we left, and really didn’t get cold until the third day. I guess it just took longer to get the feel of the cruise this way. If I ever come back, I might cruise out of Alaska again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our first cruise in life and we had multiple issues. The Carnival Cruise had poor selection of food, service was terrible and we wished we had never gone on this cruise line. The excursions were a rip off, by the time we got off ... Read More
This was our first cruise in life and we had multiple issues. The Carnival Cruise had poor selection of food, service was terrible and we wished we had never gone on this cruise line. The excursions were a rip off, by the time we got off the excursions, we had no time to explore the city. The kids activities only had a few variety as well. We did not enjoy Carnival cruise!!! My child was bored on this cruise. We took a train excursion in Skagway, I think we waisted our time in going on that trip. You can only see bushes and trees most of the time. The higher the train goes up the mountain, the worse your sight will be, you can see nothing but fog. Also on the ship they will ask you to buy a coupon book for $25.00, it is a waste of money, so make sure you don't buy it! The server that comes around with drinks will ask for your sign card, make sure you don't give him your card, he will charge double without you knowing it for his benefits. Most waiters will fool you for your money. Also any excursions that you may take that serves Salmon bake, do not take it, The salmon was served cold and had no taste in it.I can write more but I will let you decide and experience the cruise yourself. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Embarkation was easy, albeit a bit different compared to other cruises with us having to carry our luggage inside the terminal building ourselves. It wasn't much of a distance, so we didn't mind. The ship decor is a bit over the top ... Read More
Embarkation was easy, albeit a bit different compared to other cruises with us having to carry our luggage inside the terminal building ourselves. It wasn't much of a distance, so we didn't mind. The ship decor is a bit over the top compared to the newer Carnival ships. The layout of this class of ship makes it easier to navigate, because you can walk the entire length of the ship on any deck. Word of warning: guests will flock on Lido deck and occupy tables and chairs for hours on end during scenic parts of the cruise. This will make finding a table difficult, most notably at lunch time. We liked having a naturalist on board. Her lectures were informative and fun. Announcements over the PA were frequent, but sometimes a bit low in volume. The crew is great and goes out of their way to provide a great cruise to the guests. From dining room staff to the entertainment hosts, all the way up to the Hotel director and Cruise director (Lee). One major event was the death of a crew member, shortly after leaving Juneau. It was announced by both Captain and Cruise director, with subsequent announcements on the following days regarding donations and condolences. All in all this was handled very professionally and respectfully. We did one excursion thru Carnival (Juneau whale watching) and the other ports we booked excursions on our own (rental car in Skagway, bear watching in Ketchikan). We had no plans to go ashore in Victoria, as the timing of this stop (7:00PM-11:59PM) is utterly ridiculous. Everything is closed and after 7:30PM it's already too dark for sightseeing. We saw three of the four playlist shows, with the highlight being the Epic Rock. This performance was absolutely stunning, both vocally and in production value. Disembarkation was smooth, we were group 1 and one of the firsts to disembark and there were hardly any lines. We did find that one of the wheels of our Samsonite was damaged. Alaska is stunningly beautiful and we'd gladly revisit, possibly on another itinerary with longer port times. Read Less
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