I am an avid photographer so my expectations for the chance to capture great images was high and I was not disappointed. By far our best trip and vacation memories ever! We sailed out of Seattle in September with a group of 8 family members with just the husbands and wives. We had no issues getting through customs, where the personnel were friendly and got us onboard as soon as possible. Recommend early boarding, it goes faster and less lines to wait in. Took some beautiful images of the Seattle coast as we set sail out of the harbor. September was a great month for the cruise, mild weather 45-65 during the day and not a single insect to be found. Quite a change from Louisiana weather where it was 90 when we left and a million bugs. The other nice thing was that the foliage change was in progress. We have cruised several times on Carnival in the Gulf down to Mexico. So we knew what to expect aboard ship. We selected a balcony cabin which is highly recommended because you are along the coast much of the cruise and always something to see. Try to book on the "right/starboard" side of the ship on a higher deck level. Another plus about cruising in Alaska in September is that much of the crowd is gone, excursions are not overbooked with excited tourist and a lot of on shore items are being discounted because it is at the end of the cruising season. Serious cold weather is not far off. One more thing was that since it was an Alaskan cruise, which is on the upper end of expensive, there were more middle to older age cruisers which made for nice time aboard. We traveled as the "Cajun Cruisin' Tigers", wearing our purple and gold about ship, and had a great time trading barbs with the Alabama cruisers with exchanges of "Roll Tide" and "Geaux Tigers". (The LSU tigers rolled over the Tide and everyone else this season :>) Back to the cruise. The food was good, different than home but cruising is about getting out of your comfort zone and doing/trying something different. We had a great time in the dining room with our wait staff. They took great care of us, keeping our glasses full, bringing extra portions, making us laugh and bringing a drink when asked. The dining table was a good place to unwind and reminisce about the days adventures, plan for the next day and what were we doing after supper. Highly recommend eating breakfast in the main dining room also. Can't beat the service and breakfast was always delicious.
The Legend was clean and looked in good condition though being is service for a few years. Our cabin was well tended by the our steward. The room was a step up from some of our previous cabins on cruise which was a nice step up for the 7 day trip. The room and bathroom was always clean and never cluttered, which can happen easily on a cruise. The bed was comfortable and we slept well every night. Each night we were greeted with a towel animal sitting on our bed which is a Carnival tradition. We opted for 4 excursions. The second day of the cruise we traveled into the Tracy Arm Fjord. Every turn of the ship entering into the Fjord was spectacular. I set up at the front of the boat, it was cold, about 45 degrees with a stiff wind, but I shot some great shots of the blue green water, mountains, snow covered slopes and of course the glacier. The guys booked the small boat tour of the glacier. Highly recommend this trip. We got within 50 yards of the glacier with its glistening blue ice. Sea Lions and seals were on the ice floats. I even captured a beautiful rainbow that developed while we were back in the Fjord. I shot about 2000 images on the overall cruise. Bring the "good" camera and lenses , don't "wish" you had brought it. I carried 2 cameras plus my Iphone and used all three. (I am a former pro wedding photographer for 33 years) . The day we took the train ride from Skagway up to British Columbia. While I was still remembering my images for the Fjord, I was totally not expecting the gorgeous scenery I captured on this excursion. The train ride up to Fraser, where we got on a bus, was just stunning. We had our own rail car with plenty of room. i was able to shoot from the platform between the cars and got some great shots of mountains, streams and tall spruce trees. Never even had to share the space with another photographer and I stayed out on the platform for the one hour of the ride. There was point on the ride that the air was so crisp and clean, filled with aroma of spruce and pine, it was like being at Christmas tree farm except all the trees were huge and a multiple shade of green to gold. The trip into the Yukon, was even more spectacular. The colors of the foliage in Canada was phenomenal. The beauty that God created was present everywhere. The water along the lake was perfectly flat. I took images that still astound me for their sheer beauty. Even our bus driver said he had been making these trips for 12 years and he had never seen the water so still and colors so vibrate. I took reflective shots where you can hardly tell water from sky. So many shades of orange, red, yellow, green, gold the color spectrum was indescribable of the water, trees and mountains. The following day we booked the Whale watching tour in Juneau. We saw eagles and at least 3 humpback whales. Watching them blow mist into the air as they exhaled and saw the massive tale as they dived deep. We were also able to get a fantastic view of the Mendenhall Glacier while on the boat. I even saw a humpback breech but of course as luck would have it,I had just turned my camera off when the whale made its leap from the water. But it was memorable! The final excursion we made was the Crab boat experience in Ketchican. Being fans of the Deadlist Catch I thought this might be a fun excursion. The Aleutian Ballard was a boat on the show that was hit and flipped by a 60 foot Rouge wave. The boat was recovered and has been repurposed for the crab fishing experience. The trip is easy to get to and easy to access on and off the boat. Tip, sit on the lower deck toward the right side. It is too cold on the top deck in September with the boat moving and you cannot see as well from the top deck. You get up and close with the sea life, holding crabs and prawns. The crew is very affable and picture opportunities abound. I got great images of the crabs, octopus and some good shots of eagles being fed off the boat against the beautiful coastline. The entire excursion is in protected waters so no worries of rough seas. Two restrooms aboard are very clean and easy to access. We really enjoyed this excursion and again, more great picture taking. I do hope everyone gets to visit Alaska in their lifetime. We saw so much yet so little of Alaska on this trip. I do hope to go back and get deeper inland to see more. If you go recognize that you have to push yourself to take advantage of what this cruise offers. Sure there is great entertainment onboard with a good onboard band, drinks and some good looking young people in the stage shows. But to see Alaska get outside, watch the water and coastline. Get off the boat and take the excursions, you may never get the chance again to see so much beauty and wildlife in your lifetime. Bring your camera and capture the Alaskan Memories of a lifetime. Take in the beauty and breathe in the clean fresh air that is Alaska.
Cabin was well decorated and the tv worked. The bed was comfortable and our view from our balcony while traveling was well worth the expense. We slept well each night. The room was always clean and kept neat,free of clutter by our Steward. it was bit larger than some of the other rooms we have had on cruises and the extra room and a couch was well appreciated. Highly recommend a balcony on the Alaskan cruise. Much time is spent cruising along the coast. Try to get a room on the Starboard/Right side of the ship. The bathroom while small was always clean with fresh towels.
We had a smooth flight into Seattle. After making arrangements with an Uber driver we made it to our hotel for the night before the cruise. This was our first trip to Seattle and one of our group said we should visit the Farmers Market along the bay. So glad we made that trip; the sights, sounds and people were just a joy. Coming from Louisiana, we were astounded to not see a fly, a mosquito or a moth even with all that seafood in the open market. We ate at a restaurant overlooking the market and were able to open a window and enjoy the cool air with no bugs flying in. (We were battling Love Bugs and biting gnats back in Louisiana when we left)
We took a van to the ship dock the following morning and made it through customs without a hitch. Wish we had more time to visit in Seattle. The view of the harbor and the Seattle coast line was simply beautiful from the deck of the ship.
Added a few more images to give you a feel for this Alaska Cruise and its possibilities.