The embarkation was actually painless...quick and easy. Of course it was head for the lido until our room was ready. Still can not understand why Carnival Corp. can not have a buffet set up in the dining room as well, on embarkation day. Would make sense and get the people in and out! Our room was ready on time and luggage arrived in a timely manner. Carnival still does not understand that the muster could be done in the theater and people would pay more attention than standing outside on the deck forever. Princess does this as well as Holland...at least we're inside. Adam the cruise director was in awe of Alaska and I believe it made us appreciate it through new eyes....this was our 3rd Alaskan Cruise. He did get rather testy (actually angry) at a cruiser during an debarkation at a port of call. The first Port of call it took forever to get off the boat and after 3 days the natives were restless. The second port Icy Point Strait, we all lined up early and of course there was a long wait because of it. I've no idea what the cruiser said to him but Adam went off on him/her saying if they'd followed instructions they wouldn't be waiting in line so long. Only defense was that instructions came after we had gotten in line. Dining was haphazard at best...they need a new supplier of beef....toughest pieces of meat, I've ever eaten (or tried to) It was advertised 2 formal nights but they actually had 3...which was fine. The team doing the shows was down to 6 and a lot of lip synching was done...The team was better than the specialty acts...definitely not Carnival's usual quality. Service??? The only day on the lido that someone was actually in the buffet with coffee and juice on a cart was throwback Thursday.....next to the last day of the cruise. I've never had trouble understanding wait staff but several of these I had to ask questions over and over. Ivan and Chen were the absolute best waiters. The girl in the theater on the last day ask me for a tip and I ask her if the 15% didn't apply (we each got a free drink on the last day) and she said yes. I also saw handicapped people pushing their own walkers and wheelchairs up steep ramps.....no cruise staff trying to help. The ramps were very steep and hard to walk up and down.....they finally covered one because the rain was making it so slick. I understand the tide has a lot to do with the steepness but slick and steep don't equate. We only booked one excursion off the boat and it was ok a whole lot more expensive than other sites but I couldn't find any for Icy Point Strait. We saw a tribal dance made up of high school students....very good This also included a rain forest tram. Frankly the guide was boring......it was overbooked in my opinion. We had 4 cars if you were in 2-4 you couldn't ask questions and by the time you got to the item he was telling you about, he was on to another thing that was in his view. We loved Sitka and the Fortress of the Bear.....got a tour after we arrived in Sitka. Icy Point Strait was also where we saw the most Bald Eagles. Skagway we booked thru Viatar and did a glass blowing and Jewell Gardens tour....wonderful. We really liked the narrative of the Park Ranger during our excursion through Glacier Bay National Park and the narrative of the naturalist as we left Sitka. Ketchikan was where we did another Viator tour..Totem Bight. I've left feedback on the Viatar site for each of the tours. The ship itself....the theater was nice...none of those ridiculous steps...the wide ones where you walk 2 or 3 steps and then another step..this was a nice gradual ramp. The dining room had paths....no dodging or scooting around other dining patrons. We had anytime dining which we are usually loath to do but this time we only waited twice for a table and they had a very nice bar area where you could wait. We did specify that we would share or dine alone.....think that helped us to get seated easily.
This was the initial 14-day Carnival Cruise out of Long Beach to Alaska and I think we were probably the lab rats.....I'm sure they'll improve as they continue to do these.
This is an old ship in need of updating. The room steward did a very good job of keeping it clean. The location was great.....would recommend this to anyone. It was quiet and within a few feet of the elevator. It's mid-ship and a small ship so it's within close walking distance to the theater and the dining facility
Park Ranger did a really super job thru the entire day.....loved her wording "controlled collision" Her description of how they got on board.
We did a typical WiFi and walk around...