This is my first time ever writing a review but we have gotten lots of useful info from reading others reviews, so here goes: This was our 7th cruise but first time with Celebrity and first time to Alaska. My husband & I have cruised with RC and Holland America previously. We are ages 59 & 60 and were traveling with another couple and my best girlfriend. We arrived by air in Vancouver late Thurs. night, 8/23/07. We found a Taxi to our hotel (approx 9 miles) for $36 which could accommodate the 2 couples (my girlfriend was already there). The meter said $29 but he charged a "luggage surcharge"?? We did have a lot of luggage! We all stayed at the Ramada Limited in downtown Vancouver on Pender St. which was an old hotel but in very nice condition. The rooms were small but clean and comfortable. We would stay there again ($170 per night US dollars). Next morn, we decided to take a ferry to Vancouver Island to see Victoria and Butchart Gardens. We found that the ferry terminal was approx 14 miles so we hopped a city bus just a few blocks away for just $4.50 pp Canadian which included free transfers. It did take 2 transfers to get to the ferry terminal but it was cheap transportation. We had a really nice ferry ride to Victoria (approx 1 ½ hours) with really beautiful scenery. We took a city bus from the ferry to Butchart Gardens which was really beautiful. Lots of flowers blooming!! We 3 girls had "High Tea" in the restaurant there and it was excellent!! Our husbands were great in letting us take 1 1/2 hrs to do this. We again hopped on the city bus in front of the gardens and went into Victoria. This is a beautiful city. The Empress Hotel and the Parliament building were impressive. This is an all day trip but very worth it if you have the time. The next morn we all took the Vancouver Trolley tour in which you could hop on and off ($30 pp Canadian). We felt we could see more of Vancouver in a day by doing this then trying to get around on our own. It was a nice tour but not sure if worth $30?
Embarkation: This was a breeze! We had joined the "Infinity Mates" on-line a few months before the cruise so we already had been "chatting" with others who would be on this cruise. We were informed we could board around 11 am so we arrived early enough to be 4th in line. The 3 couples in front of us were "Mates" we had already met on-line. It was great to meet them! At 11 am, they let us check in and because they had so many check-in counters, I noticed people who were really back in the line were already at their counters. It took about 10 minutes and we were on board and putting our carry-on in our room. It was already clean and ready but we could not stay in it until officially opened. We then proceeded to find lunch
Staterooms: We were impressed with our staterooms. They were clean, roomy, lots of storage and closet space. We were Concierge Class so we had champagne chilling in our rooms, fresh fruit, fresh flowers. (Did I forget to mention when we boarded they greeted us with champagne?) Our terry cloth robes were hanging in the closet & they had complimentary binoculars & umbrella to use while on the trip. We really liked Concierge Class! Our steward, Clifton, took very good care of us. Every afternoon at 4 pm, canapEs were delivered to our room. I am not a fish eater so we asked if we could have crackers & cheese instead and Clifton brought us both. The balcony was a little smaller than on Holland America but not a problem. We all were very disappointed that we could not open the balconies up between us as we did on Holland America but the partitions were one piece frosted glass. We found we could still see each other while leaning on the rail and usually partied in one room every afternoon during canapE hour.