The Alaskan cruise was always one of my ambitions. This cruise was coupled with a pre-cruise three night stay in Seattle, which we very much enjoyed. I cannot fault the organisation of embarkation and disembarkation - very good considering the number of people involved. The ship staff were always very friendly and helpful and the ship was always spotless. The main downside for me was its sheer size and the number of passengers, especially at mealtimes in the self-service cafe. It was often difficult to find a table and get through the crowds without spilling anything. The food I found OK, nothing to write home about in any of the restaurants we tried. Also, no-one dresses for dinner! It seems that so long as you are fully clothed and your jeans are not torn or faded, anything goes! I feel that this should be made more clear to people prior to booking. We couldn't call into Ketchikan because of high winds, which meant that we had three days at sea in wet and windy weather and couldn't comfortably go on deck. We attended a few trivia quizzes, fruit and veg carving and origami lessons but gave the bingo, art auctions and karaoke a miss.
We had booked our shore excursions independently and everything went smoothly there.
The evening entertainment was very good - Jersey Boys and Six, plus the Liverpool Beatles.
I was pleasantly surprised at how roomy our cabin was with plenty of storage space - the suitcases slipped easily under the bed - and lots of coathangers in the wardrobe. The bathroom was very nice with a good shower and always plenty of hot water. The hairdryer could have done with a slightly longer flex We very much enjoyed the chocolate-dipped strawberries that were waiting for us when we arrived! Our cabin boy kept everything clean, tidy and well stocked.
We stayed in Seattle for three nights prior to our cruise. We bought a Seattle City Pass which gave much reduced entry to main attractions - Space Needle, Aquarium, Harbour Boat Ride, Zoo plus others. Well worth it. Lots to see and do in Seatle - Pike Place Market is very entertaining as is walking along the piers.