Was recommended to RCL by our travel agent, was looking for 'fun, active, family friendly' trip for our first cruise. My husband is 47, myself 45, daughter 26 and son 10. We booked an inside quad stateroom (I tend to suffer ... Read More
Was recommended to RCL by our travel agent, was looking for 'fun, active, family friendly' trip for our first cruise. My husband is 47, myself 45, daughter 26 and son 10. We booked an inside quad stateroom (I tend to suffer from motion sickness) and it was quite cozy. nothing luxurious, but bedding and pillows were comfortable. There was not a lot of unpacking room for 4, plus then there was no place to put large suitcases. But we made do, and didn't spend a lot of time in our cabin. Yes, bathroom is small. but close to what we expected for the money.
We stayed near SEA/TAC airport Thursday night due to late night flight arrival, and took a shuttle Friday morning to the pier (about $50 total, 30 minute drive) check in was busy, but if you are prepared and checked in online as RCL suggests, you should be done in about 15-20 minutes. We were on board ship by about 11am and ushered up to windjammer café for lunch.
the four of us could not believe the amount of food offered pretty much around the clock. windjammer had many options, salad bar, hot entrees, sandwiches, soups. Not award winning food, but edible nonetheless. we found ourselves running there often for a 'bite to eat' there were times when the windjammer was packed, but if you walk back outside there were usually tables open. OR, sit down at tables with empty chairs and get to know your fellow cruisers! met some wonderful people from all over. breakfast was your typical eggs, waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, fruit, cereals. cooked to order omelets. again, nothing spectacular but certainly edible.
we had reserved a dining time through my time dining each night. you sit at the same table each night, with the same servers. we thought it was weird at first, but by the third night we looked forward to seeing them. they called us by name, knew our favorite things to eat/drink, and made great recommendations. the service could not have been better in the dining room. (shout out to Neermal and Michael!!) food was better than average.
same goes for some of the bars. you meet your 'favorite' bartenders, strike up conversation, and they take care of you. they know your name, your favorite drinks, etc. We visited all of the bars and enjoyed each one for different reasons. (be sure to hit the karaoke bar most nights, hilarious!!)
Our son spent some time up at kids club. he enjoyed the activities there. he liked the 'late night' activities that were planned, movie night, video game tournaments, etc. We let him choose whether he wanted to go or not, and most days/nights he chose to go.
did not do a lot of swimming, the weather heading up to Alaska was cold, windy, misty most days. rock climbing was not open very much. movie theater, get there early or you won't get a seat. our casino was crowded most nights after 9pm.
4th floor centrum bar had entertainment each night that was worth staying up for. band played, people danced, 70's night was a blast. had a lot of laughs there. great bartenders.
we only did one show in the coral theater, and it was pretty good. two guys. jugglers. entertaining.
the ship itself, well we have nothing to compare it to. Yes, it is older I suppose but still looks nice. there was ALWAYS someone around cleaning. I did not feel like it was dirty. There was never trash around and plates/glasses were cleaned quickly. We did not find it hard to look out the windows due to them being dirty, they washed them three times while we were on the ship, however we had a lot of rain. it's to be expected. But yes, I agree the ship can use refurbishment. That is an observance, not a complaint.
Alaska was great, wake up early and don't miss the tracy arm fjords. bring layers of clothes, but also some shorts/tshirts. the weather changes often. day one was 80 and sunny, day three was misty rain and 58.
went hiking in Juneau, went to a salmon bake. both very good. hike was more strenuous than I thought it would be, but a great workout. scenic. beautiful.
did a private salmon fishing boat in Skagway. adventurous. didn't catch salmon. but it was still fun. did the white hall pass train trip in the afternoon. it was a long train ride, so bring a snack/beverage. the scenery was beautiful.
didn't have a thing planned for our day off the ship in Victoria, B.C. we left the ship and walked downtown and looked around. it's a very pretty town, lots of shops and eating options and beautiful architecture. we had sunny and warm weather so the day was great. check out the little 'town' down by the fisherman's wharf pier. so cute with more food options!
overall we had a great first cruise. the staff was exceptional (yes most are from other countries than the USA but we found that interesting) there is plenty to do both on and off the ship. when we disembarked back in Seattle, we carried our own luggage off and because the Celebrity Solstice was docking at the same time, there was a huge crowd at the pier so it took a bit of time to get through that and catch a cab. A little disorganized, but i'm not sure about how much RCL has control over that. Read Less