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First Alaska cruise, previously with RCCL to Eastern, Western & Southern Caribbean.  Traveling with another couple, flew into Vancouver on Friday so we could do some site seeing on Friday.  Vancouver is a great city, glad we took the time to at least get a taste of its beauty.  Took a four hour guided bus tour around most of the major tourist sites via tour arranged by hotel. Stayed at the Marriott Pinnacle downtown, great location and close the water.  Great service and food at the hotel but also good eateries in the area.  We like to get on the ship as soon as possible and hotel was only ten minutes by taxi away from ship.  No issues getting on the ship, very smooth operation.  Got luggage within a couple of hours of getting on board.  Last sailing was on Adventure of the Seas so was not expecting as much from the Serenade of the Seas... but I was very much surprised.  I really liked the layout of the ship, the lounges and common areas were better than the Adventure of the Seas to me.  We frequented the Champagne Lounge most often as they offered the Chilean wine that my wife liked and the bartender was excellent.  Also would recommend the Schooner Bar and the Hollywood Odyssey/Cigar Bar. Lot of activities to do and would recommend the Production Show, as well the activities in the Safari Bar.  The casino is a reasonable size and I made my donation as usual.  As for the dining room, we found the food to be good.  We went to the Portofino Italian restaurant twice and would highly recommend it.  We did the Mystery Dinner one evening, which was a lot of fun and then one other evening.  You could not beat the food or service.  Well worth the extra money. As for ports and excursions, Icy Strait Point was as expected, purpose built RCCL layover.  We got off the ship and walked into town.. about 15 minutes plus.  Nothing of real interest there.  The most enjoyable part of that stop over was watching the whales from the ship.  They put on a real show for us, so glad we didn't pay for whale watching excursion. Going into Tracy Arm Fjord and seeing the glacier was amazing.  The ship was within 100 feet of glacier.  Cruise director and his staff were in the water and even brought up chunk of glacier onto deck.. I think it was craved into ice scripture that evening. At Skagway we took the White Pass Summit train excursion via RCCL and would recommend it.  Great way to see the scenery and learn some of the local history.  Train was comfortable and even got to see a bear off the side of the tracks.  Also, good little cafe just outside the port, first one as you go out, not the second.  Fish and chips was good as well as the chowder. Also a nice little downtown area within walking distance. Juneau is a good port, to bad we only had from 7 to 3 to see it.  Had previously booked via TEMSCO Helicopter Inc. a helicopter ride to Mendenhall Glacier.  First time in helicopter and first time walking on glacier, what a great time.  This group does a good job and has "experts" on the glacier to talk about it.  Got some amazing pictures. Took advantage of the time not in port and enjoyed the ship, even read a book.  We got back into Vancouver around 6:30 on Saturday morning.  Since we were staying over in Vancouver until Sunday morning, we hand carried off our luggage so were quick off the ship and were at the Marriott Pinnacle by 8:00. Spent the rest of the site seeing.  We rented a car and went to Lyon Canyon Park, then drove to Whistler Mountain.  This the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics, nice drive. Great vacation, good time had by all.

What a cruise- Good time had by all- Alaska Sawyer Glacier

Serenade of the Seas Cruise Review by ILiveinTN

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2009
  • Destination: Alaska
First Alaska cruise, previously with RCCL to Eastern, Western & Southern Caribbean.  Traveling with another couple, flew into Vancouver on Friday so we could do some site seeing on Friday.  Vancouver is a great city, glad we took the time to at least get a taste of its beauty.  Took a four hour guided bus tour around most of the major tourist sites via tour arranged by hotel.

Stayed at the Marriott Pinnacle downtown, great location and close the water.  Great service and food at the hotel but also good eateries in the area.  We like to get on the ship as soon as possible and hotel was only ten minutes by taxi away from ship.  No issues getting on the ship, very smooth operation.  Got luggage within a couple of hours of getting on board. 

Last sailing was on Adventure of the Seas so was not expecting as much from the Serenade of the Seas... but I was very much surprised.  I really liked the layout of the ship, the lounges and common areas were better than the Adventure of the Seas to me.  We frequented the Champagne Lounge most often as they offered the Chilean wine that my wife liked and the bartender was excellent.  Also would recommend the Schooner Bar and the Hollywood Odyssey/Cigar Bar.

Lot of activities to do and would recommend the Production Show, as well the activities in the Safari Bar.  The casino is a reasonable size and I made my donation as usual.  As for the dining room, we found the food to be good.  We went to the Portofino Italian restaurant twice and would highly recommend it.  We did the Mystery Dinner one evening, which was a lot of fun and then one other evening.  You could not beat the food or service.  Well worth the extra money.

As for ports and excursions, Icy Strait Point was as expected, purpose built RCCL layover.  We got off the ship and walked into town.. about 15 minutes plus.  Nothing of real interest there.  The most enjoyable part of that stop over was watching the whales from the ship.  They put on a real show for us, so glad we didn't pay for whale watching excursion.

Going into Tracy Arm Fjord and seeing the glacier was amazing.  The ship was within 100 feet of glacier.  Cruise director and his staff were in the water and even brought up chunk of glacier onto deck.. I think it was craved into ice scripture that evening.

At Skagway we took the White Pass Summit train excursion via RCCL and would recommend it.  Great way to see the scenery and learn some of the local history.  Train was comfortable and even got to see a bear off the side of the tracks.  Also, good little cafe just outside the port, first one as you go out, not the second.  Fish and chips was good as well as the chowder. Also a nice little downtown area within walking distance.

Juneau is a good port, to bad we only had from 7 to 3 to see it.  Had previously booked via TEMSCO Helicopter Inc. a helicopter ride to Mendenhall Glacier.  First time in helicopter and first time walking on glacier, what a great time.  This group does a good job and has "experts" on the glacier to talk about it.  Got some amazing pictures.

Took advantage of the time not in port and enjoyed the ship, even read a book.  We got back into Vancouver around 6:30 on Saturday morning.  Since we were staying over in Vancouver until Sunday morning, we hand carried off our luggage so were quick off the ship and were at the Marriott Pinnacle by 8:00.

Spent the rest of the site seeing.  We rented a car and went to Lyon Canyon Park, then drove to Whistler Mountain.  This the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics, nice drive.

Great vacation, good time had by all.
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