We are just back from a 7-day Alaska cruise aboard the Celebrity Eclipse – our twelve or thirteenth cruise throughout the world. It was mostly good but things have changed in the cruise industry – the good ‘ol pre-pandemic days are naught but a pleasant memory.
Here were the things about the cruise that tainted the overall pleasure of it.
1. We embarked at the cruise ship terminal in Vancouver’s Pan Pacific along with two other cruise ships, also Alaska bound. The resulting process of going through security and US customs was brutal as approximately 7,000 to 8,000 passengers shuffled slowly through the kilometers-long human-cattle lanes. The process took us a full two hours. At the end of the line were twenty or so customs machines that electronically read your passport, instead of a customs agent. The agents are much faster than the machines. I watched an elderly couple struggle for five minutes, trying to understand how they work. I don’t recall clearing US customs for previous cruises to US destinations out of Vancouver -- this was the first and last time for us. We'll never do it again.
We had a veranda cabin on Deck 10. While smaller than many cabins we've had on other ships, it was clean, bright, and in good condition. The TV seemed to be a 20 year old vintage with a terrible picture -- this didn't matter much to us, but if you plan to watch movies in your room, it was really bad.