Excellent Value & Great Itinerary!!!: Carnival Spirit Cruise Review by coastalkate

Carnival Spirit 5
Member Since 2012
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Overall Member Rating

Excellent Value & Great Itinerary!!!

Sail Date: June 2012
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Seattle
Our group of four ranged in ages from 40-65 and had both seasoned and newbie cruisers. We all had a fantastic time on the Spirit and are sad to see her travel south in the fall! Embarkation and debarkation in Seattle were painless.

We chose "Your Time Dining" and found it worked great for us! Only once did we have to wait about 10 minutes for a dinner table - but that's less than the local steakhouse and we were waiting in the piano bar with Alaska floating by so who's complaining? Our dinners were delicious and the wait staff always friendly. Our other meals we ate on the Lido deck - YUM! If you can't find something there that suits you, I just don't know what would!!!

We loved taking our coffee out to the Serenity (21 and over) deck where it was nice and quiet most days. The new "clam shells" and hammocks are fabulous! Even in Alaska we had warm and sunny days we could enjoy them. Being on the aft deck also meant less wind - so bonus!

The More entertainment was okay. It seemed to be going through some growing pains, but they carried on and put on two really good shows near the end of the week. Jazz Hot and then a New Orleans tribute that included a Mardis Gras celebration! The onboard naturalist - Michelle - was FANTASTIC! She was always alerting us to potential wildlife sightings in a calm and very knowledgeable way. Her shipboard lectures were also great!

Our cabin was adequate and always had clean towels and ice in the ice bucket. We had a variety of towel creations and yummy chocolates! Our obstructed view meant we looked mostly at lifeboat #5, but we could see daylight, breath fresh air, and see the current weather without leaving the room. Worth the "inside" price IMHO.

We enjoyed each port for what it offered, but would have liked to have traded a few of the Skagway hours for a few more in Victoria, BC. Otherwise - an excellent trip! We were lucky with weather on our trip, but this would be a beautiful ship and trip even without 80 degrees!!!

HIGHLIGHTS of the trip:
*Tracy Arm small boat excursion booked through Carnival for the day before Skagway. Up close to BOTH Sawyer Glaciers and saw Harbor Seals and pups!

*Photo Safari by Land & Sea excursion booked through Carnival for Juneau. Mendenhall Glacier/Tongass National Forest hike and then whale watching - got to see humpbacks bubble net feeding! Less

Published 07/08/12

Cabin review: 4K4125 Interior with Window (obstructed views)

Our obstructed view meant we looked mostly at lifeboat #5, but we could see daylight, breath fresh air, and see the current weather without leaving the room. Bathroom was adequate size and had a clothes drying line. We had three closets. Two for hanging and one with shelves. We had four small drawers and a small shallow cabinet and a room safe. The minibar fridge remained locked. There were two mirrored areas in the cabin but only one outlet for charging electronics.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Photo Safari

Picked up right at the dock. Knowledgeable guide assisted with camera settings and information during short (not strenuous) Tongass National Forest hike. Saw a beautiful waterfall and then the Mendenhall Glacier. Shuttled to Auke Bay with 11 others and taken out on a safe and specially designed small boat for whale watching. They offer a $ back guarantee, but we were happy to leave our money when we got to see humpbacks bubble net feeding! We also saw Steller sea lions and Bald Eagles. Back to the ship on time. Fantastic choice!

We took the $1 blue bus from the blue building on the corner near the tunnel - yes, that's how the lady gave us the directions - out to Totem Bight State Park. It's a bit further out from town than Saxman at about a 10 minute bus ride, but it's FREE and a state park with a park ranger and a free brochure. We walked around on a self-guided tour and an hour later rode the $1 bus back to town! Excellent value! The bus driver even made a detour to show us an eagle nest when he heard us talking about looking for them in town! (By the way - bus fare is only .50 for seniors but they expect exact change.)
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White Pass Scenic Railway

We took the train back to Skagway as a return following a day trip into the Yukon. It is a wonderful way to experience some beautiful scenery! The pace of the train allows for photography, although it also makes the ride a bit long and small children may not find it as engaging as the adults in our group. The narrative over the speakers is helpful, but is not played for those outside on the viewing platforms taking pictures. Therefore, we had "listeners" and "clickers" in our group who worked together to get the good shots. We even had a black bear sighting - which was very exciting! There are bathroom facilities.

We were a little disappointed in this as a port. Victoria is a beautiful and vibrant city - however 8:00 on a Monday night isn't the most "happening" time. It's unfortunate Spirit isn't there on a weekend night. Then the downtown harbor area would be filled with entertainers and vendors. We were pretty much limited to bars, chocolates and gelato. I've got nothing against those things - but Victoria didn't really get to strut her stuff. Tours to Buchart Gardens were available but we felt we would have been rushed and it was very cold the evening we were there. Oh well. Reason for a return trip.
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Member Since 2012
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