OK, please bear in mind that this was our first cruise ever. It was a birthday/anniversary gift to ourselves so we were open to paying a bit more.
We were looking for a trip with a smaller number of passengers (Ocean Victory has a max of around 180) and a ship that could go to areas the big ships cannot. We also wanted to focus on seeing and learning about Alaska: scenery, wildlife, history, etc. Ocean Victory's itinerary seemed to fit the bill. Though we did go to Ketchikan, other ports were Petersberg, Wrangell and tiny Kake, which are not able to accommodate the big cruise ships. One of our fellow passengers called our trip "expedition lite", with several days where we could get out on kayaks and zodiacs and actually see the wilderness up close and personal with a guide who knew where to go and what to look for.
We feel we got good value from this cruise! The crew really took good care of us, and everything was well organized. The ship is pretty new, everything is clean and in good condition. Staff was friendly, attentive and seemed to be adequate in number. There were plenty of common areas both inside and outside and great views were easily obtained. The hot tubs were great, especially after our "glacier day" in Endicott Arm.
Response from BriannaH, Guest Relations @American Queen Voyages
Clean, lots of storage room, good sized bathroom with a decent sized shower! The french balcony was basically a huge picture window and gave us great views especially when cruising the Canadian Inside Passage with banks close to the ship. One night my husband saw orcas right next to the ship right outside our window! The window opened with a motor to lower it and let the fresh air in.
They will do a load of laundry for you for free during the cruise.
The window does have blackout curtains, which are helpful when the sun sets at 10:30PM and rises at 4:30AM.