I didn't pick this cruise, my bride did. One day out of the blue, she asked me "Can we go on an Alaska cruise?" We'd already been on one in 2017, but I didn't argue with her. It's a good enough cruise to do a repeat.
We flew to Seattle the day before the cruise and stayed at the Waterfront Marriott. It's pricey, but across the street from the cruise port. It's close enough that the bell man even offered to take our luggage to the ship.
As we boarded a crew member announced that lunch was available in the buffet and The Local. She failed to mention that one of the main dining rooms was open too. When you board, check out the Freestyle Daily (the daily newsletter on the ship, you'll get the first one when you board) to see what is open for lunch in order to miss the feeding frenzy at the embarkation day lunch.
We chose an aft facing balcony cabin because the views are one of the main attractions on an Alaska cruise. The balcony was large enough to have two chairs and two lounge chairs and a small table. The cabin was spotlessly clean, and our room steward was always cheery and helpful. There was plenty of storage space, we probably used less than half of it.
Our cabin was on the ninth deck, directly above Los Lobos, but we never heard any noise from it.
Glacier Bay was worth the price of the cruise by itself. Views of the glaciers, mountains and wildlife are amazing. The Bliss was made for Alaska cruises, and the observation lounge offered the best views. Of course, it was crowded, which I expected and was the reason I booked an aft facing balcony cabin. Rangers from the National Park Service are on board to narrate what you're seeing, and it is broadcast through the PA system, and can be heard in the stateroom TV. They also sell products from the Park Service in the observation lounge.
We did the Salmon Bake in Juneau and had a good time.
We did the White Pass-Yukon Railroad, which we also did on our first Alaska cruise. It's worth a repeat. In order to get a feel for what it's about, read Call of the Wild by Jack London.
The ship docks at Ward Cove and uses a shuttle bus to get to Ketchikan. This is about a 20-minute ride. The tram into the mountains is right at the dock. We went to the Lumberjack Show. The shuttle bus drop-off point is close to the Lumberjack Show. I believe only NCL uses the Ward Cove terminal, other cruise lines dock close to town.
The Lumberjack Show was entertaining with lots of audience participation.
Victoria is a beautiful city, but we were only there from 8:00 pm to midnight, I guess it was just the obligatory foreign port. We did the horse drawn carriage tour, which was fun. There is a gift shop right next to the dock.
There is plenty to do near the cruise port, shopping, dining, the Pike Place Market and more are in walking distance, and the Space Needle and more are a short distance away. Taxis to or from the airport to the waterfront area are a flat rate of $45.