My wife and I were not the typical cruisers on our recent sailing. We’re both in our late 30s, have traveled the world independently, and are interested in really getting to know a place and its people. I was really disappointed in both the vibe onboard the ship in tandem with the extreme tourist-ification of our ports of call. We did not partake in any of the shore excursions, instead planning our days independently which is why this cruise gets 2/5 stars instead of 0/5. We did a 9 mile hike in Ketchikan, which I would heartily recommend to escape the throngs, if you’re very physically fit, we rented a Jeep in Skagway and drove into the Yukon Territory to see some of the most stunning nature with fall leaves changing, and in Juneau, we visited the Alaska State Museum, which is very well-done.
Onboard, the experience was mediocre at best. The food was better in my college cafeteria. Out of 5 nights of sit down dinners, 1 had items that were appropriately seasoned/prepared. We chose a Celebrity Cruise hoping that the offerings would be a bit more upscale but it was terribly disappointing. Most of the fish was Overcooked, sauces were lacking in flavor and execution, and the ocean view cafe served food at room temperature more often than not.
Perhaps the most egregious error, however, was the “scientist” onboard. This so-called expert pushed an anti-climate change agenda during his talks about glaciology, attributing the catastrophic changes we are seeing to “normal patterns…currently we’re in a warming pattern called the Holocene”. It’s mind-blowing to see the extent of glacial retreat with your own eyes and to hear someone employed by the cruise line act as if this is business as usual. I was terribly disappointed by this.