The embarkation process was quick and painless. The transfer staff was courteous and efficient. The Spirit is a beautiful ship, and is very easy to navigate. Since I love Egyptian art, I really enjoyed the decor in the Pharoah's Lounge. The ship is very well maintained and very clean. My cabin had a picture sized window. It was spacious with plenty of storage space. The bathroom was well thought out with nice amenities. The shower pressure was great. The service was outstanding. The crew was pleasant, helpful, and efficient. Lots of food choices, and the food was fresh and delicious. The Supper Club was outstanding. It is a great value and the service is perfect. Over the years, I have definitely noticed a big improvement in Carnival's food and service. It's really first rate. The Elegant Tea is a nice touch and has been done by many other cruise lines for years. Congrats to Carnival for getting onboard with this.
Tour excursion suggestions. In Ketchikan, take the Bering Sea Crab Boat Tour (especially if you are a fan of the television show, Deadliest Catch). The tour is splendid, and they actually take you out in the channel for a mile or two and the crew launches crab pots and share their experiences on the Bering Sea with the visitors. It was one of the most enjoyable experiences in my life, and well worth the price. In Juneau, I was there three years ago and did the helicopter tour, which was fabulous. This time, I did a whale watch with Orca Enterprises. I booked this tour independently as it was less expensive to do it this way. It was a spectacular whale watch in Auke Bay and the Stevens Channel. We saw lots of humpback whales, eagles, sealions, otters, etc. Again, well worth the money. In Skagway, I did the train ride on the White Pass which goes up into the Yukon. Again, this tour was well worth the money. The view was breathtaking and we were 3,000 feet up in the mountains and actually were passing into the clouds. I was amazed to see the number of flat lakes (gorgeous color of blue) at such a high altitude. In Sitka, I walked around. It's a charming little fishing village.
Negatives: Carnival no longer prints matchbooks with it's logo. The onboard shops did not have a good variety of sizes regarding clothing. The prices onboard were not really bargains. A string quartet would have added a nice touch during dinner. There was only one orchestra on board, and the musicians were split up to perform jazz and other venues. Unfortunately, they would not take song requests even when performing in smaller venues. Carnival no longer has the grand buffet at midnight. Maybe they feel it wastes too much food?
1110 is a port side cabin on the Carnival Spirit with a picture sized window. It was large with lots of storage space. Although the cabin is forward, I was very comfortable, and it is located near an elevator. The cabin was very clean, and lots of amenities in the bathroom along with great shower pressure.
Sitka is a charming little fishing village. Not much to do, but very pretty.
I loved Juneau, and have been there once before. Do the helicopter tour or a whale watch.
When going to Skagway, do the White Pass Railway tour. It's well worth the money and breathtaking. Otherwise, there's not much to do in Skagway.
Ketchikan is so pretty and quaint. Do the Bering Sea Crab Boat Tour. This tour is outstanding. It was one of the best experiences in my life. They actually take you out on the Alleutian Ballad and launch crab pots. The crew shares their experiences on the Bering Sea. I just loved this tour, and would highly recommend it.