We compared lots of Alaska cruise offerings and decided on Celebrity. We are so glad we did! DO NOT WAIT to book, book early and now. The reason? If you wait too long to book, they'll assign you to a room. I don't recommend letting someone else pick your room EVER because we were given an obstructed balcony. Nowhere in the booking process did it say, "There's a chance you'll receive an obstructed view when we pick your room". And then once the room was picked for us and we were sent an email, the email did not say, "We picked room _____ and you have an obstructed view". It's like they wanted to keep it a secret. So two lessons here: 1. Do not let someone else pick your room and 2. GOOGLE THE ROOM NUMBER they tell you in the email, regardless. You can never be to careful. Don't assume because you got AQUA class that you won't have an obstruction. (* I think * deck 11 is the only floor that as 2 rooms with obstructed views and yes, we were the poor souls out of the whole ship with the obstructed view).
We felt like the Solstice ship was very nice, updated and didn't feel too crowded. (The only time you really see the crowds are lunch at the buffet). We also chose to be the AQUA class and the best part of that was the private restaurant. We ate breakfast in the BLU restaurant (only for Aqua) everyday. We liked that it felt less crowded, the food was good too! The other things AQUA class gets was not a big seller for us. You get fruit in your room daily and a carafe of tea . You get access to the sauna and some other area, but we didn't use that for a second. There's a little spa cafe near the indoor pool area that we recommend once you get tired of the buffet. The grill above the pool is also a good option, but the line will get long so be prepared to wait. And Captain Tasos is the best, you should always try to be on his ship. Besides the email communication from Celebrity that I mentioned above, OUR SHIP EXPERIENCE and the CREW WERE MAGNIFICENT.
* FINAL NOTE, if you are traveling with a large family (6 or more people) they may or may not tell you on excursions if you'll be able to stay together. I.e. : salmon fishing in Ketchikan. There were two large families on this excursion and when it came time to find out who their fishing captain was, they were also told (and surprised to find out) they would have to be split up.
Obstructed view, be advised.
I say "Average" because I feel like we lucked out with our fishing captain. It was obvious he could care less about us or our experience with him. I might consider booking without the cruise or just not having fishing captain Kevin.View All 100 Fishing Reviews
We liked seeing this glacier. My boyfriend's dad calls this the "disappointing glacier". There are tons of people here, the most you'll see in Alaska.View All 971 Mendenhall Glacier Reviews
It was so fun going on this excursion to get closer to the Glacier. You can get closer to it if you go at the beginning of the season. Take the earliest cruise you can, say May or early June.View All 45 Glacier Point Wilderness Safari Reviews
The bus tour is a good one if you just want to get off the ship and have someone drive you around. You can easily walk off the ship and find things to do though. I think everyone goes to the Butchart Gardens though.View All 76 City Tour Reviews