My husband and I are in our early 50's and were first time cruisers. We booked our cruise online and received a $200.00 room credit and a really great deal on the stateroom price. We flew to Seattle the day before the cruise and stayed at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Seattle. The flights to Seattle were long, so the bed in our room at the Crowne Plaza was wonderful. We took a taxi to the pier around 11:00 on Friday, dropped our luggage off downstairs and went directly upstairs to get our sea pass and other paperwork. There was no line at all and we were in and out in about ten minutes. We didn't board the ship because we wanted to shop at Pike Street Market, which is a few blocks down from the pier. You can board if you want to, but you can't go to your stateroom until around 1:00 p.m. We walked back to the pier a little before 1:00 p.m. The check-in line at the pier was very long at that time, and luckily for us, we went straight past the line and boarded the ship. As you board the ship, the photographer is there and takes your picture. The crew was very pleasant and welcomed us with a glass of champagne. We were allowed to go to our room, and crew members were very helpful in pointing us in the right direction. The room was bigger than we expected. We had plenty of closet space for all of our hanging clothes and suitcases. We also had a single closet with plenty of drawer space and a safe. Our luggage didn't arrive in our room until a little later, which gave us time to roam around the ship. The sail off party was very entertaining. The Ocean View Cafe was up and running and most everyone who boarded early ate lunch in there. The service and the food in the Ocean View Cafe was great. The service in The Trellis Restaurant was superb. We asked for early seating (6:15 pm) and we were seated at table 451, which was a table for eight people. We were traveling with friends, so we requested through our travel agent to be seated with them, which we were. Two other couples were seated at our table, and our dinners turned out to be the highlights of our days. Vinnie and Dragan were our waiters and they both did an excellent job serving all of us. Vinnie was very entertaining and as the week flew by, he would bring us more and more food (if we ordered shrimp cocktails, he would bring several more plates for the table, etc.). Needless to say, I gained five pounds in one week from all of the good food served on the ship. Our stateroom attendant was Michael. We ordered room service twice (breakfast once and lunch once) and Michael was very prompt with our food. I loved ordering room service on the TV (press MENU and arrow to Room Service). The shows in the Celebrity Theater were wonderful. The shore excursions at each port were super. The weather was unbelievable. Rain was predicted everywhere we went, but we had beautiful, sunny weather, although we did wear fleece pullovers during several excursions. We didn't get sea sick at all and rarely ever knew when the ship pulled away from port. Disembarkation was remarkable. We signed up for valet luggage service. We paid $20.00 for the service plus $15.00 per bag (which is the airline fee), and put our luggage outside of our stateroom door before 11:00 pm the night before disembarkation. We were given luggage tags for our luggage that had bar codes on them and our bags were taken to the airport, checked in at our carrier and we didn't have to do a thing, which was great. The morning of disembarkation, we had breakfast in the Oceanview Cafe and then disembarked. We showed our passports to someone as we got off the ship, handed our Customs form to someone else, and walked out to the taxi stand. I have traveled overseas a lot and I've never gone through Customs so quickly. We were off the ship in less than five minutes. We took the Express Van ($27.00 for both of us) to the airport. The most inconvenient part of the whole trip was going through security at the airport. On the trip to Seattle, I didn't realize that makeup is considered a liquid. The TSA employee wasn't happy with me. While in Juneau, I bought seven bars of Glacier Silt Soap and the TSA employee thought he saw explosives or something else in our carry-on bag. If you've flown a lot, you already know the ins and outs of dealing with TSA. We don't fly often and it was a little bothersome. All in all, this was the best vacation we've ever had and we plan on cruising again soon.
Our cabin was 6063. It was a great room. We had a double closet for our hangup clothes and suitcases. We also had a single closet with drawers and a safe. We had a large, overstuffed chair in our room and a vanity. The balcony was great. Our room was on the port side of the ship, which was a disadvantage at the Hubbard Glacier. The Captain turned the aft side of the boat towards the Glacier. My husband went up on the 11th floor to view the Glacier, but I stayed in the room thinking it would be warmer. We loved our room. We rarely heard any noise in the hall. Michael was our room attendant. He was great!
My husband did the zip line excursion in Ketchikan, which he loved. We booked that excursion through Celebrity. My friend, her husband, and I shopped. You will walk your legs off in Ketchikan because places to shop are endless. There are lots of jewelry stores and they all want your business. The weather was beautiful no rain and about 68 degrees.
We did the Mount Roberts tram to the top of the mountain. The ship docks right at the tram. Once at the top of Mount Roberts, my husband hiked up on top of the mountain, which he loved. The scenery is beautiful. We did the whale watching expedition in the afternoon. We saw numerous whales, eagles, and sea lions. It is a great expedition. Make sure you wear warm clothes. We didn't experience any rain, but it was a little chilly on the boat to see the whales. Our bus driver stopped and let people take pictures of the Mendenhall Glacier on our way to get on the boat to see the whales. He was a great bus driver. We booked both expeditions through Celebrity.
Book your excursions early for Victoria. We thought we could book the horse and buggy ride after getting off the ship, but it was completely booked. We ended up doing the hop-on, hop-off bus tour. We had a great bus driver. The taxi drivers at the port want to take you to Butchart Gardens because it is a 50-minute drive (one way), which means more money for them. We had to be insistent with our taxi driver because we only wanted to go downtown. If you do the hop-on, hop-off bus tour, make sure you bring a jacket. The back of the bus is open (no top) and it gets cold when the bus gets going. The bus does a 90-minute loop through Victoria and there is a narration throughout most of the loop. We really enjoyed the tour, but a few of us ended up with head colds from sitting in the cool wind.