For our tenth or so cruise, we chose Seabourn Sojourn to Alaska. We are very happy with that decision. We had a balcony suite. I think all cabins are suites. Not a separate room, but a large cabin with separate sitting area and curtains separating the lounge area from the bed. There is a separate shower with glass door, a bit small, but good for a ship; and a tub. Double sink vanity which is a very nice touch. Large, good quality soaps that last and last. Upon arrival, your 'Seabourn Alaska jacket' is waiting for you in your suite. This is no throwaway rain poncho; but a high quality fleece-lined, multi zippered-pocket jacket with stowaway detachable hood. There is a table and large chairs you can really dine at! And when room service arrives, the table is set with white linen and the meal is served. As advertised, there is always champagne and anything else available, either in room or at the bars. We thought the food was very good. Even the 'buffet' (Colonnade) offers sit-down table service at all meals, so really, it is either buffet or full serve restaurant with daily specials and 'classic' (permanent) choices. We found this restaurant to be pretty well as good as the full Restaurant, and it is a bit more casual, with fewer courses. That can be a good thing! You can dine here either inside or out; with heaters on the outside patio. oh, and blankets, too. There is also pool/patio side dining; which was also very good. Maybe a bit lighter meals. You can be shielded by the side glass walls, or totally al fresco on the pool deck. Delightful, as were the tapenades etc served with the meals here. We are not connoisseurs of wine, so we were satisfied with the choices. If you don't care for the daily suggestions, just ask for something else. The service is very good. The specialty restaurant, known either as The Grill by Thomas Keller, or, more prosaically, as 'Restaurant 2', was not that special. The food was good, but the service was not particularly polished, and we found the small room surprisingly noisy.
Maintenance details in our suite were taken care of without our asking; the 'stewardess' (that's what the company calls them) did the reporting of items not quite right, and someone came to fix them. The F & B manager, a busy and gregarious guy named Antonio, made a point of stopping on a very busy day to wish me a happy birthday. That's the kind of attention to detail; not to mention the banner in the suite and a bottle of nice wine! There is a fairly large gym for such a small ship. We walked through it once ;)
There are quite a few lectures on various topics given during the cruise. These were very informative, and add to the appreciation of the cruise. Thankfully, these are recorded and available on the in-suite tv. It's hard to keep up! Many of the excursions are launched right off the boat on the Zodiacs/kayaks kept on the ship. The guides seem very knowledgeable. Most people we met liked the ship's excursions very much; although they can get pretty pricey. Minor, very minor, quibbles: the bar staff didn't always seem to know much about available beers; some of the staff in the Square didn't always seem to know what was going on. But answers would be gotten. We don't care that much what the entertainment is, because we'd rather admire the view; so I am not commenting on it as we saw little of it. The band was good. There were very few small children or teenagers on the ship, despite it being July. It will be an adjustment to go back to a 'lesser' standard of suite or service. Hard to believe that this is, after all, still a Carnival ship. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. We would very much like to go back with Seabourn.
A very large city. We had family there, so did our own touring. We very much liked the Sea to Sky Gondola, a walk through Gastown; drive through Stanley Park, boat cruise to Indian Arm. For a truly shocking and horrific view, take a drive down East Hastings Street, very near Gastown. You will appreciate your life much more.
Loved it. There is a lovely walk close to the ship through a fantastic old growth forest with many totems along the way. There is a totem interpretative centre at the start. Through the forest, you then walk across a bridge and are almost across the street from the Raptor Centre, a small rehab centre for flightless birds of prey. Quite small, but interesting. From there took a cab to the Fortress of the Bear; another rehab centre, with bears in large tanks from a former pulp mill company. They are in the process of building a nicer entrance and viewing area. It too is a small attraction; with bears in captivity. It is against the law to release them back into the wild . Had an excellent, if rapid fire, tour with a guide through the Russian bishop's house, and wandered the town a bit. By the time we got to the Russian Orthodox Church, it was closed.....at 3 pm on a cruise ship day!
This, by definition, is a Tourist Attraption. It is a largely manufactured experience; with a zipline, restaurants, huge souvenir store, admittedly with some very nice stuff; and cannery machinery relics interspersed. We liked seeing the few pieces of machinery and explanation signs of how the old cannery worked. We walked the mile and a bit into the town of Hoonah, although there is a shuttle available. It was a Sunday, and to say not much was open is a bit of an understatement. We did have a nice visit with JJ Pate, the lady in whose yard the eagle nest is. She was very nice and told us some interesting stories about the 9 year old nest. There is not much else to see in Hoonah, but a good walk followed by a nice Alaskan beer on the deck of the restaurant back in Icy Strait Point still made for an enjoyable outing.
I'm giving little PR 5 stars for the exquisite Museum of Northern British Columbia; a short walk from the dock. In fact, there are stairs from the dock leading right up to it. The building itself is built much of wood, which adds so much to the ambiance of the north and its' exhibits of First Nations art. Absolutely beautiful. Then down the street barely a block, there is the firehall and a small museum featuring a 1925 fully restored R.E.O. Speedwagon fire truck. What a neat little surprise. Continue for several minutes, and you will get to the small, quaint Kwinitsa (sp.) train station; a nice example of former prairie and further west train stations. Also worth seeing is the Sunken Gardens right beside the large red and white brick courthouse. A nice little town.