Alaska can be cold & rainy end of season!: Carnival Spirit Cruise Review by luvaqua

Carnival Spirit 5
Member Since 2009

Overall Member Rating

Alaska can be cold & rainy end of season!

Sail Date: September 2009
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Vancouver
Vancouver: My adult daughter lives in Olympia, WA so my husband & I flew from Colorado to meet her and then we drove to Vancouver, B.C. The drive was nice until we got to Vancouver - a lot of traffic, but they are gearing up for the Olympics. We parked right at the pier which ended up costing $200! We later learned we could have taken the train from Seattle but, you cannot always count on the train. Check in very fast and efficient and all bags made it to room by sailing time. We chose a cabin with a window near mid-ship on the Rivera deck. We always chose low and midshid as it rides the best, i.e. not much movement. And, a window cabin has a couch/twin bed (a bit hard) for 3rd person rather than a bunk. Fun to watch all of the float planes, barges and other ship coming and going while leaving the port.

Food/Entertainment: We opted for the "Your Time" dining - which was great! We found head waiter, Romeldo - not to be confused with Romualdo - to be the best - More lots of personality and service was always faster than any of the other areas where we were seated in. Sometimes we chose to sit with other groups, sometimes alone - never going back to assigned seating if I can help it! My daughter & I enjoyed trying out new fancy foods and deserts every day so we ate in the dining room most of the time while my husband stuck to the buffet. Casual dress, including jeans and tennis shoes was OK, but it was nice to dress up a little or a lot on the 2 formal nights. We also took tea at 3:30 on the days at sea. The shows in Pharoah's lounge were always fun and professional and my daughter went to Karaoke a couple of nights and enjoyed that, too. My husband could be found in the casino most of the time, but the machines were really tight!

Room Stewards: Although there were 3 of us coming and going at all times, they managed to sneak in and make up the room or turn down the beds along with leaving cute towel animals every day. Nice people - we always take time to say hi and see what countries all of these folks are from as we pass in the hallways - they are the backbone of the ship!

Tips: Since there were 3 of us in the cabin, I usually got up early, worked out in the gym, then showered in the larger facilies of the locker room. I loved the thick terry cloth robes that are provided in the cabins and found many other guests running around in them, too - even for breakfast at the buffet!

Also, remember there are laudramats on most of the decks - so to save on luggage, pack for only 4-5 days and do your laundry on one of the days at sea. Cost is $3 for washer and $3 for dryer, bring your own detergent & softener or pay $1 for that, too. Get your quarters from the casino or service desk.

There is a minifridge in the room, along with a table, so you can always load up at the buffet and take your dinner back to the room, or stash a dessert in the fridge for late night snack without leaving the room.

Return: We all enjoyed a nice breakfast in the dining room (you get a larger choice of fruit juices, made to order eggs, etc. than at the buffet) then our turn came to leave at about 8:30 and were on our way out of Vancouver by 9. We were driving back to SEA-TAC for a 5pm flight - we thought we'd have a lot of time to spare, but U.S. customs took a full hour, so we only had time to stop in Ana Cortes for a late lunch - it's a very pretty town on Hidalgo Island - right outside of Mt. Vernon.

Summary: 7 day cruise with only 3 ports was about 1 day too long, especially since it was too cold, windy and/or rainy to do anything top deck. But, Alaska is really beautiful - especially for those who haven't been to the Rocky Mountains and/or lived by seaports. Less

Published 09/16/09

Cabin review: 6A1225 Ocean View

Window view was good - close to water - Pilot boats and ramps for debarkation were really close to this room. Room was pretty large with couch/twin bed - which was harder than the regular beds. 3 large closets - one with shelves. A dressing table with 4 drawers - mainly for underwear/socks, etc. (there is a bible and hairdryer in the top drawer.) Several other small built-in cabinets & night stands had room for keeping cameras or whatever, just remember to check them before leaving. Safe and minibar/fridge came in handy, too. Room also had table and small stool - which was always in the way so we kept that under the dressing table. Only one outlet on the dressing table, so bring an extension cord for cell & cameral chargers and curling irons. Plenty of space in bathroom for toiletries, but bring your own conditioner and hand cream. Although cleaning supply room was just across from our room and staff gathered there often, we never heard any noise from them with the door closed.

Read All Ocean View (6A) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Juneau: We went on the combination Whale & wildlife cruise and Mendenhall Glacier Park trip. It was cold and rainy - so we didn't enjoy the boat ride that much although we did see several humpback whales, sea lions, and a bald eagle in it's nest. Visiting the glacier is a must when in Juneau - we only had an hour - but, that was enough to veiw it and the waterfall from across the glacier's lake. Spent so much time on the boat that we only had an hour to shop. Lots of shops near the pier and down the main street - so no problem finding a trinkets before we left.
Read 1207 Juneau Reviews

Ketchikan: This was our favorite port - big and lots of things to do. We did the semi-sub - got to tough several sea creatures and watch thru the side glass the sea floor. Also, got a nice tour of the harbour and spotted more eagles nests. Took the Duck tour of the town, also and got another tour of the harbour - kind of a duplication. Four ships were docked and it was awesome seeing all of them lined up in a row. Watched kayakers paddle around the harbour, float planes were taking off and landing in the harbour constantly, and the salmon were swimming right up from the harbour into a creek running thru town. Too many things to do and not enough time! Wished we could have spent a couple of days there! Town and shops all over so nothing was very far to walk to.
Read 1370 Ketchikan Reviews

Skagway: Tiny town with not much to do - so we rented a car from Avis and drove to Carcross in the Yucon territory in Canada (just up the road). The ride was beatiful along a string of lakes, mountains with glaciers and waterfalls. Carcross was just as small but it's by the gorgeous Emerald lake. Roundtrip only took a few hours so we had plenty of time to shop back in Skagway. (Crossing border both ways was pretty fast - just remember your passports)
Read 887 Skagway Reviews
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