This was our 7th cruise, previously we have cruised on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian - it was also our most expensive cruise.
We did the 4 day on-land tour prior to the cruise and overall our experiences with the Fairbanks and Denali Lodges were fine. There were long lines for dinner on the first night in Denali as it seemed they were not prepared for all the guests that were arriving. We took a train ride from Denali to Anchorage and really enjoyed that trip.
Embarkation was OK, but our luggage did not arrive until around 9 pm - so we had to go to dinner in 'comfort' clothes and received a few looks.
I found our room very small - even though it was a balcony room comparing to other cruises. I did not find the food to be anything special as a matter of fact rather non-descript. The coffee bar staff seemed more interested in talking to each other and other ship staff than providing great service. Bar service was almost impossible to find in the Vista Lounge, casino or the Princess theatre. I was very disappointed that the shopping specialist was not at each debarkation to hand out information and be available for questions, neither was the spa staff. On all my other cruises those folks were always at debark and embark to give you information - tell you about their specials - etc but NOTHING on this ship.
Then it happened - 2nd day into the cruise I did not feel well, I called the medical center and they quarantined me for 24hrs - which I was fine with. They even reimbursed my excursion that I had to miss. What we didn't realize was there was a NORO Virus outbreak of which I was a lucky participant. I started to feel better on Thursday at which point my husband became ill. It was that night that they announced that there was a issue and that folks should be continually washing your hands and watch what you touch as there were many people sick at that point.
I finally made it up to the spa (something I enjoy on every cruise) and was given a robe and pointed to the change room. The robe had a huge tear in it and I had to ask for a new one. The service was good - but they were unable to offer water at the end due to the 'red' status of the ship.
I also found the disembarkation process extremely messy and had to continually find someone with a name tag where to go to get luggage and get on the transfer to the airport.
This was supposed to be a celebration for my sister's 50th birthday and neither she nor my husband (birthday on the same day) were even able to come to dinner on their birthday :(
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