This was only my second cruise, and I thought the cruise itself was fine. I took it more for convenient transportation than for the cruise experience. We stayed at the Pan Pacific in Vancouver, and they took care of transporting our luggage to the ship. We did the Kenai Fjords Cruise with Airport Drop Off at the end of the cruise in Seward, and they took care of delivering our luggage to the airport in Anchorage. Perfect!
I read quite a bit about the history and geography of Alaska before the cruise so I had an idea of what interested me at each port. I'd get off the ship, head in the direction I was interested in, and let the day unfold. I had a great time exploring! The only port besides Seward where we did an excursion was in Juneau, the Mendenhall Glacier Paddle and Trek.
The onboard activities that interested me were extremely limited. They did have enrichment talks which I attended - whales, glaciers, the northern lights. All these talks interested me and all the information was interesting, but I fell asleep at every one of these talks. I think it was the tone of the lecturer's voice. It was irritating because I wanted to hear what he had to say but could not keep my eyes open. There were also talks by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police which were interesting, and I was able to stay awake during these. I was not impressed with the shows that I attended although others seemed to be. There wasn't much offered in the way of night life for me. I don't gamble, don't drink much, don't care to be around people who do drink much, and can't stay awake for a movie.
I enjoyed the My Time Dining in the main dining room. The dress code was not strictly enforced. The only thing about the ship that actually bothered me was the constant attempt to sell me something or upgrade some experience. The amount of time and effort the ship put into shopping was amazing. They had all kinds of shopping programs and would hand out shopping guides when getting off the ship in a port. I didn't go all the way to Alaska to shop! The other thing that bothered me was the way they handled tips. It's probably the same on all cruise lines, but I'm not sure I like being forced to leave an 18% tip and also being expected to leave more. There was only one person that I dealt with who truly deserved an additional tip for her service.
We arrived a day early and took the hop on hop off bus tour. It's fine if you don't have anything else you know you want to do. We also went to the Chinese garden. Definitely take the tour if you go there. If I was going to Vancouver again, I'd plan to spend my time in Stanley Park.
We took a city bus to Totem Bight and then explored the town on our own. Enjoyed the day.
Paddle and Trek. We were in eight-person canoes and paddled three miles to the glacier, spent about an hour and a half on the glacier, and paddled the three miles back. It's a great experience!View All 971 Mendenhall Glacier Reviews