My husband & I began cruising two to three times a year for about the last 5 years. This was our first Celebrity cruise and we were less than impressed.
To begin, the new port terminal in San Francisco was very nice, and drop off much simpler than getting off on a busy street outside the aging terminal down the street. But the wait was the longest of any cruise yet. We were in line for what seemed like hours, on our feet, so tiring.
At first blush, the ship is beautifully appointed and decorated in tasteful, modern themes, although some of the art work seemed peculiar (a crushed motorcycle sculpture, and tiny 3-D printer figurines in glass cases...no pieces had that ooo-ahhh factor we've seen on other ships). Our cabin was the best design yet ~ rounded bed, lots of mirrors to give a spacious feel, glass panel-illuminated nightlight in the bathroom - excellent idea.
Beautifully designed & appointed cabin. Comfortable bed. Quality soap/shampoo/lotion. Nicely designed night lite in the bathroom. Dirty phone though. Large, hazardous divot in the floor at the end of our bed covered over by carpeting. Rusty areas, & peeling paint on the balcony floor - looking shabby overall. Poor selections on the cabin TV, intermittently "no reception". Premium movies were $12+
We have friends who live in Juneau, so we usually spend our time visiting them. We did go out to the Mendenhall Glacier and walked to the waterfall. Spectacular! *Take one of the buses near the tram - only about $8 each way, much less than the ship excursion out. Again, the town is charming to walk around on your own and everything is right there when you dock.
Ketchikan and Juneau are all about the shopping - as soon as one disembarks - it's Diamond's International and the Tanzanite place right in your face. It's built up like Disneyland for tourists. I do recommend taking the funicular up the hill above Creek Street and enjoy a good snack & drink at the restaurant up there that has a panoramic view of the harbor and city below.
Again, we've been to Victoria on every cruise to Alaska. It's a wonderful "European" flavor city. Everyone goes to The Empress, but $50+ for tea and cucumber sandwiches X 2, is a bit much. You can get the experience by just walking around which they let you do quite liberally. The government buildings are almost across the street, impressive. You can book the Buchart Gardens transport & admission online before you sail or from the ship (if you've signed up for wi-fi), if you're unsure of weather conditions, and save some $$ off the ship excursion price, which is always bumped up significantly. The walk to/from the ship through the quaint neighborhoods is fun. I recommend stopping at the eclectic Fisherman's Wharf, a collection of brightly painted houseboats, some of which have been turned into shops and eateries. Just before boarding, stroll out on the long pier. We met some charming locals and chatted for almost an hour there. That's what traveling is all about.
This time, the ship docked way out in the boonies, and we had to wait and wait for shuttle buses to take us into town. Not pleasant. Easier to tender in, but another ship was already in that space. Sitka is magical sailing in among the little islands in the mist. It's fun to just walk around there. Sample the local fare, take some scenic pictures. This was our second time to Sitka so we didn't take any excursions.
We loved Haines! It's like stepping back in time. This place hasn't been ruined by big business coming in and building up the port for tourist shopping. The friendly people there run a well-coordinated, free bus shuttle from the point of disembarkation. Our driver doubled as a special ed teacher and her narration while driving us around town was fascinating. She allowed cruisers to get off at various points of interest, promising to come back at regular intervals for pick up, which she & other drivers did. Two interesting places we visited here was the remnants of "Dawson City" left by film crews after making "White Fang" years ago. There's a special home town brewery established there that has the most amazing "spruce tip beer" (and I'm not usually a beer drinker). On the walk back (gorgeous wild flowers were everywhere!), we found a raptor rescue facility where they had two eagles that could be viewed from close up. Since we really weren't interested in museum's taxidermy display, they allowed us to just view the eagles for free. We made a donation after, however. College interns serve as eagle caregivers & docents. Loved the "real hometown Alaska" feeling of Haines