I planned this cruise last October (2016) as an 80th Birthday Surprise Gift to my Mom. I specifically chose this cruise because of the roundtrip in/out of Seattle and the itinerary. As I had booked a suite, I knew my Mom would appreciate the beautiful balcony as she likes to rest and the extra time At Sea and Cruising the Fjords and Inside Passage would give her a great cabin experience! I picked 2 excursions specifically for her, the White pass Railroad in Skagway and the Buchart Gardens in Victoria. Unfortunately, our Skagway stop was cancelled due to a mud/rockslide the morning we were to arrive. The diversion to Icy Strait Point was nice, but my mom, husband and I were all greatly disappointed, as the train ride was what she was most looking forward to during the entire planning. Hoonah is not very wheelchair-friendly, and the Tendering is extra difficult.
The beautiful weather in Ketchikan was a huge plus, and we enjoyed the tram up the hill and the shopping there. We were also happy that our Victoria Butchart Gardens tour went as planned, although it would have been nice to have more time in the Gardens. We also missed the Tracy Arm Fjord and Sawyer's Glacier due to weather, but the alternative was breathtaking, and a bonus for my husband and I, as we had already cruised the Tracy Arm.
Having sailed on the Solstice last December for the New Zealand/Australia 14-day, my husband and I noticed a huge difference with this Captain and Officers. We did not see them as much as we did last year--Capt. Tazos was Fantastic, and he and his Officers were constantly interacting with the passengers! I also noticed that the Solstice had some odor problems, specifically in the Casino Bar area and other public areas...perhaps due to the high humidity of Alaska VS New Zealand??
The Hot Glass Show was fascinating, as always! Seeing that artist Cat Burns was again on this ship was a Huge Bonus!! Her infectious laughter and dynamic personality is what drew us to the Hot Glass Show last December, and the Show again became our favorite entertainment onboard!
This was our first time in a Suite and it was very nice. My favorite? A Bubble Bath at Sea!! The larger balcony and receiving all 4 "Perks" is a definite Plus! As I mentioned before, this cruise was all planned for my 80 year old Mom. While Dominic, our Room Steward, always made the room nice, I was disappointed that he did not change a dirty sheet on Mom's sofa bed that occured the first night. (It took 2 days until a clean one appeared.) I had also specifically requested that we have the ice bucket filled every morning and evening, and that was only done twice. Jose, our Butler, very nicely provided bottles of water for us, which meant we did not have to bring our own from a Bar with our Beverage Package. Overall, however, the suite was a nice change from our normal Concierge Balcony cabin, and we may consider booking it again, if the price is right.
We give this cruise an 8 out of 10 because of the unexpected (and we do understand, unavoidable) port changes, the presence of odors on more than one occasion and general lack of good entertainment (other than the Glass Show!) The Positives of this cruise, as always, are your Staff and Crewmembers... Specifically Alex in the Cafe Bacio and Michael's Club, Vi in the Luminae Dining Room and Cat with the Corning Glass Show! These folks are what keep us coming back!
Excellent location, with large balcony and nice living room/separate bedroom (great when traveling with 80-year-old Mom!) Very close to central elevators, but no noise problem due to wall in between. Loved the Bulgari Amenities in the bathroom, which is a nice size and LOVED the huge shower/bathtub combo!
Always love this quirky town!
A SUNNY day!! Quaint little town, great for walking and shopping. Would have been a beautiful day for the Misty Fjords...sorry we missed it.
Horrible docking location...rained all day and with Mom in wheelchair, not a great place to walk. Stayed on ship.
Cancelled last minute due to Mother Nature. Very disappointed---was my Mom's most anticipated excursion.
SO happy to have an excursion! Mom surprised and loved every minute! Wish we had more time there...beautiful Port!View All 308 Butchart Gardens Reviews