came along as a group of 25. wish we had chosen either another ship or different time of year to sail. my least favorite of all cruises i have been on. second cruise to alaska. suffice it to say, i am not a megaship kind of cruiser. breakfast in the buffet? good luck finding a table. dinner at the buffet? good luck finding a table. oh...and reserve everything beforehand. everything. i am not that kind of planner...if you are, you are a good fit for this ship. while it is perhaps well suited for others, the layout of the ship with all activities taking place in the atrium is not my cup of tea. you cannot hear anything at the guest services or excursion desk if you are trying to get info. too loud from the game shows and other stuff going on. the plus side is everything you might want to do is very centralized on decks 6, 7 and 8. smallest mini suite cabin i have ever had and most expensive cruise i have ever taken. seriously not worth what i spent. the ports are beautiful, but owing to a medical emergency the night before, our time in ketchikan was cut to about 3 hrs . good thing we had been there before and knew exactly where we wanted to go. elevators had quite the wait. disembarkation was one of the worst experiences if not THE worst of any ship i have sailed. 1.5 hrs just off the thing, never mind the almost 1hr wait for our bus transfer to the airport. can't help that...the traffic in seattle is a cluster you know what on cruise days. choose another port to sail from...seriously...if you are not big on being patient. will i sail her again? nope. will i sail any megaship again? nope.
seriously...bring your earplugs. better yet, pick another room. this one is right below the bandstand/ dj place on the pool deck. no way you can nap or relax in the afternoons. could hear kids running, chair and carts moving all day/night. i have booked many cabins below the pool deck/ buffet and never had this problem. smallest mini suite i have ever had. hardly any room...maybe 12 inches between foot of bed and the wall at the foot of bed. drawer space? non existent. 2 cupboards with 2 shelves each and a few shelves in the closet. it is enough for 2 light packers, but you will have problems with space otherwise. balcony is about 6 ft by 10 ft by my measurements stepping it out. very tiny. for the money, i'd have just booked a regular balcony. only perk of this cabin is the double sink. no tub like i usually have in mini suites (i knew that when i booked, to be fair, but had no idea this cabin is this tiny.)
one of the best excursions we have ever done. cheaper as a latitudes member to book through ncl than independently and same excursion. by the time we were done, there were zero snacks left as promised and we were herded off to the bus. no time to purchase the photo that i would have liked. oh well. lol. we chose the trip with the guide doing the rowing. so beautiful out on the lake and the rapids were small but big enough for us and we did get wet. the river portion traverses through the city with houses on both sides, but still interesting excursion. not "remote alaska" if that is what you are looking for. guides are great. highly recommend.View All 48 Mendenhall Glacier Rafting Reviews
highlight of the cruise. sad to see it is declining from our last trip 5 years ago. i can only hope conservation efforts will be partially successful. are we cruisers in part to blame for this demise? hmmm...food for thought.
i only give this an excellent because we have been here before and it is our favorite stop. we had less than 4 hrs here due to a medical emergency the night before causing a 2.5 hr delay getting in to port. many excursions were cancelled. were able to see the salmon running by walking up the creek on our own. barely enough time, though. hope ncl revisits this and allows more time here.
love skagway but it was very crowded with 5, yes count em, 5 ships in port including both the joy and the bliss. getting a shuttle into town from the port was dicey and very crowded. walked to the creek and pond area and up the path to see a few salmon spawning. very few...perhaps 5...truly local artisans. luckily we were able to find one and bought some lovely things. highly recommend finding a tour up to the yukon on your own (dyea dave is #1 for this in my opinion) and skipping the train. not too many were thrilled with the train and in fact heard many complaints.
could have used maybe another hour at the gardens. lovely night time tour with great fireworks display (we are pyrotechnics afficionados). we knew there was a limited amount of time at the gardens. everything is lit and was very enjoyable.View All 308 Butchart Gardens Reviews