Our travel agent recommended this itinerary as it was our first cruise to Alaska. The scenery is awesome. Would not recommend for children, but was a relaxing cruise for adults.
Enjoyed the food from the dining room and the in room dining was wonderful. Pancakes, French toast and waffles at the buffet - not good though.
Limited beer choices but a good selection of wines.
Enjoyed the movies in our room and the entertainment options on the cruise.
Would have liked more times in the ports, but the ports offered a variety of experiences:
Juneau - did glacier tour which was nice and scenic.After walked around town and found Barnaby brewing, a local brewery, very small, not obvious and not Red Dog Saloon. But good beer! Then after came across Almaga Distillery and had some tasty concoctions made with their distilled gin.
Sitka - very pretty area and we did the Mosquito Cove Trail hike at the Starrigavan Recreation area on our own. Not a difficult hike, but lots of steps up and down. We decided to walk to it from the port - about 45 minute walk on the road and not pay the $85 per person fee for the cruise bus to take us. We figured we could use some exercise to burn off some calories. We spent about 1 1/2 hours on the trail, but that including time to stop and enjoy the eagles and scenery. We brought sandwiches snagged from the ship and enjoyed a lunch while on our hike. Many locals doing the trail too. Nice to get away from the touristy areas.
Ketchikan - colorful but loads of touristy shops around the port. We did the off road Karts. It was rainy and muddy but that made it even more fun. Would have liked to have gone faster in the cart, but we were part of a caravan on old logging roads. It would be easy to get lost, so we understood the reasons for the limitations. Enjoyed experiencing some of the back country and a waterfall. Got to learn more about living in Ketchikan and the fishing industry from the young guys running the tour.
Victoria - Definitely needed more time at Butchart Gardens in Victoria. We got a little less than 2 hours there, so felt rushed, making it hard to enjoy the gardens. Also, the time we were there was not optimal for photos - twilight - too dark for photos, but not dark enough to enjoy the colored lights.
We did have 2 long days of just sailing, but had to expect that with this destination.
Service was wonderful and both embarkation and disembarkation were easy.
Overall enjoyed our experience. In general is was relaxing like we wanted, but with a little adventure thrown in. I would recommend this itinerary, but do not plan to do it again since I want to experience other places too.
The cabin was lovely. It was large. Had room between bed and wall for bathroom and enough room to fit a sofa, although there was only a love seat in the spot. Balcony was large, private and we could use even when raining, since it was on the stern.
No outlets in bathroom, so had to dry and fix hair by the desk in room. Problem with that, is the mirror is dark and the light is pretty useless.
Luckily, brought a flashlight to see clothes in closet - that area is really dark too.
But we had to change cabins due to noise. They did move us to another similar cabin (6166) but it was smaller, had dirty carpet and windows. Smaller balcony and only 2 chairs - no loveseat. But we needed to get sleep.
We chose 7143 bases on recommendations from our travel agent and a relative (the relative had same room (same location) but on different ship). It was a location that was supposed to be quiet. We did our research too.
The noise was random, short in duration, but extremely loud. The first time we heard it, we thought a large cart had tipped over in the hall. The noise would rattle our floor and awake us from deep sleep. Even earplugs did not help. After being kept awake until after 1 am and then awakened by 5:00 am on two nights and two mornings, we had to call. We logged that the sound occurred about 12 times in the 2-3 days. It happened at sea, in port, in smooth waters, and rough.
Of course, the sound never happened when a worker was around. They could not tell us what it was. Finally, after I attempted to make contact with neighbor to find out if they heard the noise (can't imagine they did not). Guest services contacted us to let us know they had another room available.
After about 3 hours of our time dealing with this issue - calls, re-packing, waiting for help with luggage, and then unpacking - plus the lack of sleep we did get a quiet room.
I was surprised that after all of this that the cruise did not offer us some type of compensation. I don't mean much, but a bottle of wine or a dinner at their specialty restaurant. An expensive gesture on their part to say "sorry for the inconvenience" would have been appreciated. I suppose I should have asked for something, but really did not think I should have to.
Basically your are paying for the bus to take you there and the entry to the park, otherwise you are own your own. Not sure if there is a less costly way to get there.
Worth seeing and can get close to the waterfall.
Back in Junea, we skipped the Red Dog and found a small brewery and a small distillery while walking in town. Good beer and good gin.View All 971 Mendenhall Glacier Reviews
No off ship options, ship takes up pretty close to glaciers. Interesting to see calving. Ship stops near glacier and then begins to rotate around. We thought we would be able to see glacier from our aft cabin, but ship did not rotate around for us to see, so had to go up to outer deck.View All 20 Glacier Bay National Park Reviews
Beautiful island. We hiked the Mosquito Cove Trail in the Starrigavan Park. We walked from port to park on main road - 45 minutes one-way, flat walk. Hike in park was fairly easy but has lots of steps up and down. Very pretty and lots of locals out hiking on trail too. Not touristy. Cruise offered bus ride to park, but found $85 each a steep price. So we got our exercise for the day, but after being on ship the whole day before, we enjoyed the walking.
It was rainy and muddy, but they do give you gear. We enjoyed it but would have like to have gone faster, but understood that we have to stay in a caravan, otherwise could get lost. Tour guides were nice guys and informative. Preferred this to staying in town, which is very touristy.View All 33 Adventure Kart Expedition Reviews
Beautiful gardens and needed more time here. We had to visit about 7 pm, not good time for photos - twilight. Too dark for good shots but not dark enough to enjoy lights.
I would not think kids would like this one much.View All 308 Butchart Gardens Reviews