First up, the good. Our room was nice...actually bigger than we thought. The daily service for the room was excellent too. We found the floor staff very courteous and attentive.
As for the bad, well, my wife and I found it very difficult to communicate with most of the staff on board. I will go out on a limb and say that english is not their first language and several times we just had to walk away and find someone else who we could acutally understand.
If you're going on a cruise, I highly advise you do it in the Caribbean or somewhere else where it's warm. Honestly, taking a cruise through Alaska is pretty boring. After you see a couple of glaciers and a few pieces of ice floating around you've pretty much seen it all. There is really NOTHING to do on board. It's too cool to swim or play games outside. The shows we saw on board were...uh, how do you say it politely...awful. They had a "rock show" on our trip and my wife and I were actually embarrassed for some of the performers. Almost comical. The word, "cheese" comes to mind.
*FAIR WARNING* I don't care how bored you get, DO NOT go into what they call a "Casino". It is not a casino. There are only about 50 slot machines (for all 1,400+ passengers) and while you can put cash into them, you cannot get cash out. It's all done electronically threw your cruise charge card...so they know EXACTLY how much you have put in and they know exactly how much you've won. You settle up at the end of your trip and trust me, you are not going to come out ahead. Promise you that. When you see the casino on the Volendam it's alway empty for a reason...even with 1,400 passengers on board. It's the worst one I've ever seen on a ship and I've been on a ton of them. Seriously, ridiculously bad.
Food? There is plenty of it. Overall, I give their food an 8. A lot of it was really good...especially breakfast. Be prepared to gain weight. Most of it isn't very healthy and well, as I mentioned before, there really isn't a lot to do on board so you wind up eating and planning on when and what to eat next.
Overall I give the cruise a 4.5 out of 10. Alaska is for hiking/driving and seeing all the beauty it has to offer. TRUST ME...that's best done on land, not on a cruise. Save yourself some money and do land tours and water/air excursions if you really want to see and appreicate Alaska. An "Alaskan Cruise" sounds wonderful until you take one.
Photo Safari???? Whatever. We took a walk through some woods that was about a mile long on a beaten trail. Honestly, it was like walking through a park in your local community. Wound up about 1/2 mile from a Glacier. The photographer who led the group had ZERO tips to offer. We took a"media equipped" bus to get to the trail and we were supposed to see example of his photography prowess. Only problem was he said he "forgot" his thumb drive that had all his pictures on it. What a scam. Do a different excursion other than this one.View All 51 Photo Safari Reviews
Ok...I thought this excursion might be a little cheesy, but we had an awesome time! It was a lot of fun. Wanted to do it again. Recommend.View All 69 Gold Panning Reviews