I boarded the ship with a great deal of trepidation in view of the many previous negative reviews. I would advise fellow travelers to ignore the whiners and chronic complainers. One reviewer even commented that it was disappointing that it was a small ship! Any internet research would reveal that the ship carries about 2100 passengers - those wanting a bigger ship should book one!
Embarkation took all of ten minutes from the time we arrived at the dock until we were on the ship. Received a glass of champagne before heading to the stateroom. Pretty typical veranda room - the shower is a little larger than most. Yes, there were a few minor rust spots on the veranda, and there were a couple of scratches on the walls, but I would have guessed the ship were seven or eight years old rather than eighteen. A little wear and tear is expected. Room was immediately next to the elevators, but never had a problem with excess noise. Closet provided a good amount of storage so we could completely unpack.
Shower was excellent, good water pressure. The towels are just fine, despite one writer's complaint that they were thin and threadbare. I've never had better on any other ship.
Food was generally excellent - pretty standard breakfast fare, muffins lacked variety, but otherwise no complaints. Lunch was quite good, on some days really excellent - very nice variety - only complaint is that there is no burger/hot dog station and no station with deli meats and cheeses to make sandwiches, as exist on the Solstice class ships. Oceanview Cafe is a bit undersized for the number of passengers - it occasionally took some doing to get a table. One day there were four people at a table playing Scrabble at the height of the lunch hour!! Celebrity needs to take steps to encourage people to show more courtesy to fellow passengers.
Went to the main dining room only once - food was fairly good and the service excellent, but I dislike having the adjacent table only three or four inches away. Ate dinner two nights in the Oceanview Cafe - really nice selection of excellent food. Only real complaint, and heard this from numerous passengers, is that the desserts looked far better than they tasted. Celebrity can and should do better. Thank goodness for the ice cream station! Had two nights in Qsine and two nights in the Tuscan Grill. If one buys a package of multiple nights, the cost comes down quite a bit. I thought the specialty nights were a bargain - the food was fantastic as was the service all four nights. Highly recommended.
Entertainment in the theater ranged from good to outstanding, most of it outstanding. The singer one night was excellent, the two comedians OK but not wonderful, the three nights of productions by the ship's singers and dancers were really well done.
As for onboard activities, there are the usual casino and shopping venues, art auctions, wine tastings, etc. Had no interest in these.
In Juneau we rented a car to drive around so we could be independent - Avis is a fifteen minute hike from the ship. In Skagway, we took the train up into the mountains, then a small bus on to the Yukon. In Ketchikan, we did the Crab Fisherman's Tour. We booked everything independently, which provides a small savings. It's Alaska, they have only four months a year to make their money, so things are generally priced about 100% more than they would be elsewhere. We did enjoy the tours. Icy Strait Point is essentially a waste of time except to connect to the internet inexpensively and catch up on one's emails.
The cruise by Hubbard Glacier was fantastic - we had great weather and were able to get within a mile, the legal limit. Able to see and hear the calving process. Cruise of the Inside Passage was OK, saw a few whales.
We had a standard drink package with our cruise fare and spent the money to upgrade to the premium drink package. If you drink alcohol and have a few drinks every day, it's a good deal, because you get fresh-squeezed OJ at breakfast with the package as well as bottled water when you leave the ship, in addition to virtually any cocktail or glass of wine you care to order. It eliminates the constant signing of tickets if you have a package. Some reviewers have complained about poor service at the bars, but we had no problem, in fact service from Avanish in the Rendezvous Lounge was exceptional!! After one day, he knew what drinks we wanted when we sat down at the bar. Only complaint was that at 3 pm one day when we returned to the ship, we could find no open bar for a drink other than the Sunset bar which, of course, was outdoors and it was cold! Made no sense!
I always get off the ship at 7:30 and manage my own luggage - saves an immense amount of time and hassle. Canadian customs took all of ten seconds. We used the train to the airport, but I would caution you that it is a very long hike with stairs, escalators, and elevators to negotiate. The fare for two was less than $9 Canadian, but if I had it to do over again, I would have used a taxi. Uber not yet in business due to British Columbia politics, apparently.
Good layout, good storage. Larger shower than average. Excellent service by our steward.
The door is literally only 10-12 feet from an elevator - some people might be bothered by the noise, but it was never a problem except on embarkation day, but that settled down once we sailed.
Took the A.C.T. bus from Anchorage to Seward. OK experience - unfortunately, instead of just a bus ride, we had endless commentary from a "tour guide" on the bus. Would have preferred peace and quiet.
Rented a car to have flexibility - Avis is a 3 minute cab ride or a 15 minute hike from the ship. Drove to the salmon hatchery - fun experience for $5 fee. Drove to the Mendenall Glacier, then on to the Shrine of St. Terese. Nice drive out into the countryside.
See aboveView All 1212 White Pass Scenic Railway Reviews
Met at the dock by the representative, boarded a small bus which took us to the White Pass train - nice scenic two hour ride - met at the end by our bus driver who then drove us on to the Yukon. Jamison, our driver and guide, was superb! Had BBQ lunch at Carcross (adequate, not great) then on to Emerald Lake, where we turned around and headed back to Skagway. Nice scenery on the train and on the bus. Even though it was a fairly long day, would do it again.View All 137 Yukon Van Tour Reviews
Waste of time port - got off the ship to get an hour of free internet, bought a couple of souvenirs, then back to the ship
Lots of information about commercial fishing. Best part of the tour was seeing 10-20 bald eagles at very close range, watching them fish. Very nice people on the boat, lots of interaction with the customers.View All 125 Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour Reviews
Got off the ship and headed to the train to go to the airport. Cheap transportation - less than $9 Canadian for two of us, but the hike is long, esp. if you have a lot of luggage. Would probably take a taxi next time.