I have read a few of the most recent reviews and I feel the need to defend NCL because I am hearing a lot of the same complaints I heard on the ship. Yes, there were multiple medical emergencies, that's what happens when the average demographic is 74 years old. There were a couple medical evacuations people never even knew about, that is called HIPPA and a person's right to privacy. The Captain had to make a tough call when the coast guard did not answer distress calls, nor was a medical evacuation possible for a young woman who walked on the boat healthy and fell deathly ill from an infection that later took her life. If that was my loved one, I pray they would make the same choice and I am comforted that they chose trying to save a human life over make a popular decision. I realize there were a lot of disappointed passengers, but please take comfort in knowing that collectively we did everything possible to help save a human life.
Now, for my review...
Getting to the ship from the airpot in Seattle, the $20 NCL shuttle was easy. They took my luggage right from the baggage claim and the next time I saw it was outside my stateroom door at 6:30pm. An Uber would have been about $40 for a solo traveler, so it saved me money. Check in was easy and I was early, so I enjoyed the Seattle Pike Place Market before returning to the ship for embarkation at 11:30am. I would recommend going straight to the observation lounge if you're like me and need to charge your phone. There are hidden charging ports in the lamps. Comfortable seating and really good food (salmon chowder) were calling my name on day one while the Garden Cafe was over run with people. You are allowed in your rooms after 1:30. I booked my room last minute, no solo supplement for a really great price ($499) with an inside guarantee and was assigned a handicapped accessible inside state room. The room was really spacious and would be great for a person in a wheelchair. I am guessing it to be 200 square feet, the only problem for me was that I confused the lights with the automatic door opener and would accidentally open the door while standing in my underwear. I'm guessing I would have figured it out eventually, but I had a request to change rooms due to a handicapped passenger needing the room. I was asked very graciously and politely, since I'd already shown the neighbors more of me than I cared to, I voluntarily gave it up. Linda, the accessibility coordinator told me that at 24 into the cruise, there were no longer any larger rooms available for an upgrade, but she offered me either a studio or inside cabin plus a $200 on board credit. I happily accepted the studio cabin since I was solo and wanted to have access to the solo lounge. I had a really hard time finding my interior room on deck 13, I felt like I was in a maize, once I switched to room 12517 in the Solo Studio, I never had trouble finding my room again.
The solo cabin itself is small, 99 square feet with less than a full size bed, but it's well designed. The shower and the toilet feel more like you are tiny, so beware if you are a larger person or claustrophobic. There is a virtual window and you do have access to the solo lounge where there is an espresso machine, ice water, fruit, orange juice, and pastries always available. It was very easy to meet other solo cruisers in the lounge which was a huge perk. It was like a little ship in the ship.
Super quaint town, lots of shopping right off the boat, the lumberjack show is quite amusing. You can catch seals feeding on salmon right in the middle of town.
I would highly recommend Mendenhall Glacier. If you want to save some money, take the city bus for $2 and then you will take a paved trail 1.5 miles into the national park. An Uber runs about $40 each way.
I would suggest the bus tour over the train tour based on comments from fellow passengers.
It was the only day it rained and things seemed very expensive, so I chose to stay on the boat. Had the weather been better, I would have gone to the gardens.