Captain Taso Kafetzis is the best captain ever – very involved with his guests. He kept us informed and narrated highlights of scenery points, etc. I overheard that he actually drove a tender to/from the port. I saw him at the pier socializing amongst guests. He participated in an evening show and did an excellent presentation on the construction of the Solstice – well worth attending to appreciate the magnitude in planning and building.
The ship is well maintained throughout. Decorating is towards contemporary design.
The library had complimentary books for loan and plenty of areas for reading or engaging in card games.
We had flexible dining which is convenient for us. There were the core selections and daily specials featured. Food was good, but nothing was exceptional. Steak was ordered, but it was very thin . Only one time did we ask for a table for two that was available near the glass railing overlooking the lower dining area did the serve appear miffed, but did get ‘approval’ for the change. There were plenty of surrounding tables for two available and this requested one was only one row over from where we were to be seated.
Buffet café had a good assortment of food and it was constantly replenished. Plenty of tables although at peak times, it could get filled and the serving areas congested.
I only attended two shows and the entertainment was okay. Captain Kafetzis did participate in one evening event and from what I heard, it was excellent. Showroom is massive with two levels and balcony. Seats are comfortable and there was adequate space between the seat and the back of the seat in front for walking down its aisle. Handicapped area available near the entrances.
Staff throughout the ship were friendly and accommodating.
Too cool to enjoy the grassy area on the top deck. Glass blowing event was interesting with scheduled times for demos. Glass pieces are auctioned at the end of the week.
Onboard activities were not as varied as I have experienced on other ships. Many informative presentations - super presentations on the animals and Alaska by Brent Nixon – a naturalist.
Gift shop had limited selections leaning towards jewelry and some clothing– not much ‘touristy’ souvenirs and limited toiletry items. Jewelry promos were available throughout the week. There were upscale clothing and fine jewelry shops.
Account information via the TV was accurate and timely posts for any purchases, etc.
Wi-Fi area was comfortable with speedy internet connection. I was told it was being upgraded. Complimentary printer and supplies were available. There was a technician available during the day for any support.
Organization of excursions and the embarking /disembarking at the ports was efficient. Initial embarkation of the ship was efficient and quick, but we had gotten there around noon. The stateroom was ready although that may not be the rule. At the port itself, area was quite congested with vehicles, but they were all in an area immediately in front of the ship so walking was very short distance to the cruise terminal.
Photographers were available, but were not ‘in your face’ at every turn as experienced on other ships.
We did the Lumberjack, Mendenhall/Sallmon Bake, Klondike/Sled Dogs, Victoria British Columbia city excursions. The guides were all personable and knowledgeable. All the buses were well maintained and speakers in good working condition so the guide could be easily heard. In consideration of the limited time, they offered a taste of the area. The salmon bake is located in woods so be sure to take bug spray. The salmon was grilled on an open fire pit and served from there --- very good and decent selection of side dishes and dessert plus beverage. Panning for gold available up on the trail near a waterfalls. The lumberjack show demonstrates the skills in a fun and entertaining way as there are two teams competing. The scenery going to/from the sites is spectacular. Guide did stop two times for photo shooting at select scenery points on the way to the Klondike Summit. The sled dogs were very interesting as Matt (Iditarod competitor) told about the race, equipment, dogs, etc. Dogs were there so we were able to pet the adults as well as 2 different litters of puppies. Victoria is a a beautiful area, but a long ride to the market place which was actually a street arts/craft fair type versus permanent type market stalls.
The stateroom (balcony) was very roomy- long enough that it had a full size sofa vs loveseat size. Plenty of storage in the main stateroom and bath area. The faucet over the basin was a bit annoying as it extended into the bowl which made it awkward to use when washing face, etc. Drapes were heavy enough to make the room dark, but sheers available also.
King-size bed had curved corners which made it easier to walk around since space is limited. Bed was comfortable.
Only one evening was there a folded animal towel. Later in the week though folded animal towels by the different attendants were on display on the deck.
Fun and entertaining while demonstrating skills - audience involvement as 'cheerleaders' for the two teams (American and Canadian0. Excellent narration by young woman who grew up in the area and knowledgeable -- and I believe has mastered these skills.View All 333 Lumberjack Show Reviews
Brief tour of the city and long ride to the market place which was an arts/craft fair versus permanent market stalls.View All 76 City Tour Reviews
Excellent presentation on dog sledding with opportunity to meet dogsView All 163 Dog Sledding Reviews
Excellent scenery and photography opportunities enrouteView All undefined undefined Reviews
Fantastic view of Mendenhall Glacier and area.View All 971 Mendenhall Glacier Reviews
Grilled salmon served from an open fire pit. Plenty of side dishes, beverages and desserts --- generous portions. Open seating area in woods.View All undefined undefined Reviews