Just Back--Alaska from Seattle: Carnival Spirit Cruise Review by addicted2cruzin

Carnival Spirit 3
Member Since 2003
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Just Back--Alaska from Seattle

Sail Date: September 2011
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Seattle
We were a group of 7 adults consisting of family and friends. We decided to fly into Seattle on Sunday, visit Pikes Market on Monday and board the Spirit Tuesday. We stayed at Sleep Inn Sea-Tac located near the airport as it offered affordable prices, airport transfers and free limited shuttle service. We were not disappointed. I had pre-booked the rooms in advance online for the best price. We paid abt $60 per room which included a refrigerator and microwave. They have a IHOP in the parking lot, and we used their shuttle for our transportation to the light rail which takes you directly to downtown to the Pikes Market for about $3 pp. We also used the hotel shuttle to pick up a few things for the cruise ( bottles of water, soda, etc. )and to take us to local restaurants. You must sign up in advance for a time frame to use their shuttle, they will take you, drop you off and then you call for them to pick you back up. This worked very well for us and we never had any problems. More

I had also pre-reserved our pier transfers with Seattle Express. http://www.seattleexpress.com/ This can be down via email and you do receive a confirmation. Check their website for a list of hotels they service, they only offer certain times to pick up and the earlier ones are usually chosen first. The cost was $12pp one way, you pay at the time of service. Reservations are not required, however we saw others who had to wait until the later pick up times because they did not have reservations. I had researched numerous types of transportation and this was by far the best price and again, we we're not disappointed. Matt is the contact and he organizes all the transfers.

At Pikes Market we booked a food sampling tour with Savor Seattle. The price was $39 pp and you get a food sampling at abt 10 food vendors. All the food was wonderful, and having the tour provided a background and history. This was a great choice for us, the market on our own would have been very overwhelming.

We arrived at the cruise terminal about 11 am. there were crowds, we had four cabins, two of which with VIP boarding and thus eliminated any waiting in lines for check-in. Once we had our sail and sign accounts we were sent to the chairs to wait until boarding which began about 12:00.

All four of our cabins were located on Deck 4. Three of the cabins were aft. #4237, was a suite category with wrap around balcony that had a inside door connected to #4239. #4241 was a regular aft balcony and the fourth cabin was a french door obstructed balcony # 4193 ( this cabin was the same size and layout of balcony cabins, but the door only opens slightly and the lifeboat fully obstructs your view. The pro to this type of cabin is you have daylight verses an inside. None of the aft balconies allowed for the dividers to be opened. There was more vibration felt in the balcony cabins, but provided a better view of both sides of the shoreline while sailing through the inside passage.

I will start with Tracy Arm Fjord, while not an actual Port, it does offer an excursion through Carnival that we experienced. A catamaran picked us up on Day 2 shortly after we entered Tracy Arm. We sailed through the icebergs to make our way to Sawyer glacier. The Spirit only goes so far, and did not make it to the actual glacier. The glacier was spectacular, however after seeing the other glaciers in Juneau for nearly free it didn't seem quite worth the $179 pp I would have rather spent that money on maybe a whale watching tour in Juneau. Everything we experienced up to the glacier could have been seen from the Spirit. Less

Published 09/23/11

Cabin review: 8M4239 Aft-View Extended Balcony

Cabin 4237 awesome views, very large balcony, interior door that connects to #4239 #4239 & #4241 are aft balcony cabins with a complete overhang which allowed for a drier balcony due to all the mist and rain when sailing. The aft cabins do vibrate more and you notice the ship movement more, however you have the aft view of both sides of the ship which we felt was an advantage. $4193 French door obstruction. Same cabin layout as other balconies, however there is a lifeboat that fully obstructs any type of view and no access to step outside. You do get the daylight advantage and the ability to open the door slightly for fresh air.

Read All Aft-View Extended Balcony (8M) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Juneau- Some did the float-plane sightseeing tour of 4 glaciers, and others did the Mendenhall glacier on their own. Both were great.

Each glacier tour offers its own unique experience, if I had to choose just one it would be the float-plane because you see the entire glacier which is massive. The others only provide the face view, but very impressive as well. Right off the ship there are vendor booths selling tours. We bought the $16 pp round trip ticket to Mendenhall glacier. Bus runs every 30 minutes. We left to do some sight seeing and then returned to catch the bus to Mendenhall.

The float-plane was located near the Hanger restaurant. The cost was abt $200 pp but again, if you are going to splurge I highly recommend this tour.

Weather was pleasant, no jacket required. No Rain!

Read 1204 Juneau Reviews

Ketchikan- this is a short day. We didn't do any excursions here, only shopping, Be sure to walk past all the stores right in front of the ship to the back of town to Creek Street. The creek is beautiful and full of salmon with quaint little shops all around. We found the best prices on Creek Street rather than the stores up by the dock. I had read that this port was the best prices for shopping, I don't know that I agree. I wish I would have explored more stores in the other ports as I didn't feel Ketchikan had any better prices than the others.

Another great weather day. No Jacket. No Rain!

Read 1363 Ketchikan Reviews

Skagway- we did the White Pass and Yukon railway 3 1/2 hour tour, if you book through the ship you will have many options all doing the train ride round trip which means same sights both ways. We booked though Chilkoot tours, it was a only a $7 savings but the difference is the return to town via bus stopping for photos which is not possible on the return train ride through Carnival. We did have to prepay in advance with the reservation. The driver did a great job of providing interesting facts of the area along with several stops including the Welcome to Alaska sign. The ship tour picks you up at the dock right off the ship. The Chilkoot tour also picks you up at the dock and takes you 3 blocks to the train station where you board the train. This is truly a fantastic excursion and one of our highlights of the entire trip.

The weather started off fairly cold and windy, but by the end of the day had warmed up nicely. No rain!

Read 884 Skagway Reviews

Victoria- you are there such a limited time, but easy to get to. There are buses lined up a short walk from the dock area. The price was $7 per person round trip. It dropped you off downtown in the middle of the activity for that time of night. The return buses run back to the dock every 20 minutes. We only walked around on our own. There were not many stores open, maybe half a dozen or more. We did see carriage rides and trolley tours but not sure it would have been worth the price. The stores do not take us currency so be mindful if you plan to do shopping.

We were told we had unusually GOOD weather at all ports, no complaints from us other than I had over packed. On deck and balconies while sailing did require warm clothing and jackets. Overall this was a wonderful trip, amazing scenery and truly enjoyed by all.

Read 893 Victoria Reviews
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