First Timers review of Oceania Alaska
I have cruised with Carnival, Celebrity, Century, Costa, Disney, Holland America, Norwegian, Paul Gauguin, Princess, Regent, Royal Caribbean & Scenic.
This was our 6th cruise to Alaska.
20 May – Arrived at Canada Place at 1 pm. We were herded upstairs to a big hall where we sat for 30-40 mins before
doing ship check-in. Then we went next door to another hall where we were given group # 10 to sit for 20
mins. They were up to # 79. Then they said “I have already called # 1-79”. Ok, so now we go back
downstairs to join the line for security screening. The line goes quickly but I got dizzy walking round & round
so fast. After security screening, we go to another hall: Canadians & Americans go to the right, International
guests go to the left ( to another hall to sit for another 30 mins ). Finally, we are called to the US immigration
line. This is when I see more than 20 self-serve passport kiosks & am perplexed why they are not being
used as they only have 6 agents for each line ( CAD/USD & International ). Finally we board the ship at 3:34
pm, rush to the Terrace Cafe for a quick lunch & back to our stateroom at 4 pm to bring our life-jackets to
Muster Drill at 4:15 pm in the Regatta lounge which lasts 45 mins.
Afterwards, we head to the outside deck for sail-away & the spectacular scenery as we sail under the Lion’s Gate bridge with Stanley Park on our port side. I was disappointed that there was no Sail-away party.
Dinner starts at 6:30 pm in all venues. Since this is a 10 day cruise, I’m pacing myself with the Canyon
Ranch Spa menu. It’s tasty. For dessert, they have homemade cookies & Petit Fours on request.
Out of curiosity, I order them. The homemade cookies are too large for dessert & they taste bland. I like the
acarons but they don’t have them everyday.
The evening show is at 9:30 pm. We attend the Welcome Aboard show which includes the singers & dancers performing 4 numbers. Their singing is quite good.
If you finish dinner around 8-8:30 pm, head up to Horizons Lounge on deck 10 for the beautiful scenery every night. You may even see something in the water !
21May – sea day
Breakfast starts at 6 am in Waves Grill, 6:30 am in the Buffet, 7 am in the Dining room.
Everyday for Breafast, there is a Smoothie Special, Egg Special & a Bakery Special.
Although not advertised, they also have soy/almond milk.
Afternoon TeaTime 4-5 pm daily.
Captain’s Cocktail Celebration – 5:45 pm in the Regatta Lounge
Complimentary cocktails 6-8 pm in Horizon Lounge & Martini Lounge
John Palmisano is the Enrichment Lecturer. He speaks on the history of Alaska today.
Everyday in the Grand Dining room for Lunch, they have the Taste of the World featuring a sampler plate of
International Cuisine. Today it’s Mexico.
Every evening, they have Happy Hour in the Horizons Lounge & Waves Bar from 5-6 pm & 10:30 -11:30 pm
Buy 1, Get 1 of the same drink.
Tonight the show is Good Lovin’ ( This is a must-see if you love Motown with a Twist ).
22May – Ketchikan
Comedian Lee Bayless
Taste of the World – Scandinavia
23May – Juneau
Free wifi at the library at Berth E. Library is on the top floor of the parking garage.
$ 2.00 City bus to Mendenhall takes 45 mins. You get off & walk another 1.5 miles.
This bus is best left to the locals as it gets quite busy with seniors & young families.
Go early in the morning & allow a minimum of 6 hours to see & do everything here.
Tours only spend 45 mins here.
I think the Blue Line express takes you directly to Mendenhall Glacier for $ 30 USD roundtrip.
Taste of the World - Greece
Entertainment – singer Joey Gian sings Rat Pack & Ray Charles
Alaskan Dinner Buffet in the Terrace Cafe.
24May – Haines
Population 2500 year round.
Other than Oceania, Holland America is the only cruise line to visit this port.
There are washrooms at the end of the pier.
There’s also a golf cart shuttle if you can’t walk the length of the pier.
Free shuttle around town.
Most shops open at 11 am or 12 noon.
Bald Eagle Foundation is $ 10.00 USD.
Quite expensive to see a diorama of animals & viewing a live eagle.
Only tours will also have a live presentation of an Eurasian owl.
Look up as you’re walking around the town as they’re many bald eagles here.
Washrooms at the Visitors Center, Library & Fort Seward.
Entertainment – Gatsby’s ( pretty good )
Taste of the World – The Caribbean
25May – Hubbard Glacier
We were at the Glacier from 12 – 2 pm.
The Captain turns the port-side of the ship towards the glacier for 30 mins & then the starboard side for 30 mins.
We were so close & there was so much calving...it was breath-taking.
Disappointed there was no commentary while we were at the Glacier like other cruise lines: Disney, HAL, Princess
Entertainment – Cruise Director David Bradshawe “ With a Song in my Heart” ( a tribute to Rodgers & Hart )
Taste of the World – Italy
26May – Hoonah ( Icy Strait Point )
They have a new 400 ft dock & a golf cart shuttle if you can’t walk it.
$ 5 USD per person roundtrip to Hoonah cruiseline shuttle
I think there is a Red Trolley that parks a little further from the shuttle stop that costs $ 3 USD operated by the City of Hoonah with free wifi.
We took the shuttle to Hoonah & walked down to the Community Trail where there are mudflats for bird-watching. We spotted a kingfisher.
Taste of the World - Provence
Entertainment – Tuxedo ( quite good )
27May – Sitka
Free shuttle to town.
Free wifi at the library. Also, a water bottle refill station here.
We walked to the Sitka Heritage Park, then onto the Alaska Raptor Center $ 12 USD.
Very pretty here. We loved it.
Taste of the World – Morocco
Entertainment – Lee Bayless ( this show is a hoot, must watch )
28May – Cruising the Outside Passage
Taste of the World – Asia
Entertainment – Get on the Floor & Dance ( I thought the 1st part was too much like the Good Lovin’ show )
Most activities onboard earn you O points which can be redeemed for merchandise today:
20 points – logo visor or purse hook
40 points – blue/while athletic t-shirts
45 points – baseball cap
50 points – blue/white long sleeve t-shirts
29May – Victoria
Shuttle to town $ 10 USD/$ 12 CAD per person roundtrip
You can walk the scenic 1.5 mile route.
We walked along the David Foster Harbour Pathway to Fisherman’s Wharf where there are quaint floating homes & seafood to sample.
Then we walked along Heron Cove where there was a Great Blue Heron & further on, an Oystercatcher.
Then past the Empress hotel to Chinatown onto Beacon Hill Park to admire the lovely gardens & ponds.
Then back along the Ocean path back to the ship.
All this in 4.5 hours without stopping in a single shop !
Taste of the World – India
Entertainment – Joey Gian sings more Rat Pack
Luggage outside your room by 10 pm.
30May – Everyone out of their stateroom by 8 am & off the ship by 9 am.
US immigration only collects the customs form, nothing else to do.
Internet - $ 27.99 per person per day for Unlimited Internet
$ 160 for 200 minutes
$ 0.99 per minute
There are 4 computers that have MS WORD for you to type documents before pasting it to your email.
Printing is free.
Coffee from the Coffee Bar is better than anywhere else on the ship.
24 hr beverage machine in the Terrace Cafe.
Daily ice-creams & sorbets are different in the Waves Grill, Terrace Cafe & Dining room
At the Waves Grill, try the Surf & Turf & the Kobe Burger.
I asked if they had Sweet Potato Fries.
‘No, we don’t”
They have it on Regent.
“That’s why you pay more on Regent, I know I was there.”
Might be true but I don’t think that’s an appropriate response.
Same bread basket nightly just like Regent.
Only Toscana had a different bread basket.
Dinner in the Polo Grill ( steak & seafood ) is really good.
Toscana is not for those with dairy allergies.
This is a very low key cruise.
Good for people who like to create their own amusement.
The dinner menus have a bit more variety in that not everything had dairy in it.
But after 5 days, the menu started to repeat.
Captain Meinhardt Hansen is very personable & his English is good.
He has captained the Regatta for 3 years now.
We enjoyed the ease of getting on & off a ship with only 648 passengers.
However, for destination immersion; Princess still does it best with Alaskan Seafood in several venues daily, bringing on local talent, Alaskan-themed onboard activities & an Alaskan Park Ranger for commentary onboard.
We enjoyed our stateroom 4009 for being close to the water but everytime we were docking or un-docking, the whole room shook ( a good natural alarm clock )