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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Just left Ovation on August 2. I cruised with my three teens in 2 balcony rooms connected at the balcony. This was our 9th cruise with Royal, and it was the best. Embarkation was a breeze. Got to the port at 10:30, boarding started at ... Read More
Just left Ovation on August 2. I cruised with my three teens in 2 balcony rooms connected at the balcony. This was our 9th cruise with Royal, and it was the best. Embarkation was a breeze. Got to the port at 10:30, boarding started at 11:03 and we were aboard by 11:15. It looked crowded, but staff moved us right along. The rooms had plenty of space and storage. Room attendant was fantastic. Itinerary was breathtaking. We did Mendenhall Glacier /whale watching / Orca Point Lodge in Juneau. Wish we had more time at Mendenhall to hike to Nugget Falls, but still saw salmon running and got close enough to falls and glacier for good photos. Saw plenty of whales, seals and sea lions. In Scagway we did the Liarsville gold rush camp, Red Onion Saloon and a drive into Canada and the train ride back. It was all incredible. The kids loved that they could tour a historic “house of ill repute” and really enjoyed the train ride. They stayed on the back balcony of the train 80% of the time! We “missed” Dawes Glacier due to excessive ice in the channel, but stayed in the Endicott Arm area longer, among the beautiful blue ice floes. Honestly, I didn’t mind, because we had already seen three glaciers and saw more wildlife, like whales and Dalls Porpoise, in the Arm. In Victoria, Butchart Gardens were nice, but a walk through town was actually more enjoyable for this non-flower guy. As far as the ship, it was wonderful. We have been spoiled on Oasis class, but Ovation was less crowded, so easier to get into shows. Yes, you trade in the broadway shows and diving shows for that, but a fair trade. Ifly and Northstar were easy to reserve when boarding early. We got Northstar at 1 pm on Dawes and Endicott day (well after the paid slots ended). I’d recommend that time, because you see whales at that point. The kids loved the teen club, and had a group of friends by day 1. I managed to get together with them every day at dinner and for excursions. Otherwise, the parent just isn’t cool enough I suppose. Food...I’ve never had an issue with main dining room food and I’d read here that many didn’t enjoy Ovation MDR. Apologies to the naysayers, but Ovation scored big for us at the MDR. We ate at Solarium day one, but the MDR was at its best every other night. Attentive and friendly staff. Food was awesome. I even asked the servers for spicy food and they came up with some incredible Indian chicken and fish dishes and were right on target. It wasn’t the Four Seasons, so no artsy displays of tiny food, but it was a great meal every time. Breakfast was best at Solarium Bistro. We tried Windjammer once, but way too crowded and nearly impossible to find a table. We did 270 on the last morning, and sad we waited! Good quick breakfast sandwiches and burritos. Lunch at the hot dog, fish&chips or Sorrentos pizza was good. I tried the deluxe beverage package for the first time and it was borderline worth it. Considering all the soda, mixed drinks and specialty coffee I “purchased”, the math tells me I about broke even each day, but only because I drank a bit more with the package. So I would get it again, simply for the convenience of having it all “covered” ahead of time. Was it perfect? Of course not. We could have waited more at the elevators, many did wait too long, but we took the stairs often. Sometimes even just going up or down one level meant a quicker elevator arrival. This could have been an issue if we had young children or someone who had difficulty with stairs. Also, it took a few hours the first day to connect to the WiFi. Signal was spotty and slow in certain spots on the ship, but not in our stateroom. This may be an issue with satellites and high latitudes, though. So our bottom line was stellar cruise, great ship and an amazing cruise line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This ship was just refinished and it appeared brand new with lovely decor and finishing. Our balcony room was just big enough and service there was terrific. Only complaint was a toilet seat that slammed. And we heard neighbors slam too. ... Read More
This ship was just refinished and it appeared brand new with lovely decor and finishing. Our balcony room was just big enough and service there was terrific. Only complaint was a toilet seat that slammed. And we heard neighbors slam too. Food on ship was somewhat disappointing as Celebrity reputation was much better. Specialty restaurants were excellent but main dining room and buffet were hit and miss. Some of the portions were tiny and food typically arrived like warm Drinks were good but inconsistent. Don’t order old fashioned as they couldn’t get it right. Bloody Mary was great Our stops were marred by poor weather with two most exciting spots the worst. Our helicopter ride to Glacier was cancelled and inside passage was foggy. We also did a pre cruise land cruise with celebrity to Denali to see wildlife. Strange as Celebrity doesn’t really run that part of tour. Information was lacking Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this ship for the destination and because our group of 13 had 3 children who we thought would enjoy the variety of activities. I was disappointed in the Ovation and will not likely use RCI again. This was our second cruise and ... Read More
We chose this ship for the destination and because our group of 13 had 3 children who we thought would enjoy the variety of activities. I was disappointed in the Ovation and will not likely use RCI again. This was our second cruise and if it had been our first, it likely would have been our last. Embarkation was a mess to put it bluntly, just throngs of people milling around with no clear direction. There wasn’t enough room on the decks/buffet to find 2 seats together while waiting for our cabins to be ready. Once we got to our cabin, it was very nice. It was spacious with lots of storage. Later that night, we discovered that the bed is awful! It was very hard and uncomfortable, the pillow were like rocks. We did ask for extra pillows the next day but found those just as uncomfortable. The amount of hooks in the bathroom was great! Disembarkation was no better. We were assigned to report to the Theater at 9:20, we headed that way at 9:00 only to be stopped by a crew member and yelled at ( yes voice was raised) that we had missed our number being called and to hurry and get off the ship! Dining in the dining room was great. The food was tasty and service impeccable. We ate breakfast and dinner in the dining room most days. The buffet seemed to have a wide variety of food but it was always difficult to find a table. In addition, being told over the PA to eat quickly so others can sit is not conducive to a pleasant meal. No lingering over a cup of tea and enjoying the view! Sorrentos pizza was very good and became a late night stop every night for our group for the yummy pizza. The availability of popular activities like bumper cars, iFly etc needs to be expanded. The wait times are ridiculous. I was extremely disappointed that I was only able to book Pixels online before the cruise. We never got to do iFly which I was really looking forward to. I’m not sure how a passenger is supposed to register online for these things by 11 as suggested when my boarding time is 12:30? AFTER the cruise, I learned that there is an escape room. There was nothing about this on the website; my group would have lived to do this. Clearly there is not a large enough activities staff to cover the amount of activities on board. I was very disappointed in the IQ app as a messaging tool. To use it I had to constantly reconnect to WiFi to send or check messages as did my entire group. This made communication and planning in a group difficult. It is ridiculous that they charge 7.95 for this. A trip to guest services and the answer was that’s the way it works and showing me how to connect to WiFi on my phone like I’m dumb. 270 is an amazing venue, but it is small especially for some of the activities that they literally cram in there. Loved the indoor pool and solarium; the kids in my group are too old for the kid section but I did wonder about it as it never seemed to be open. The constant up selling was ridiculous and aggravating. Despite our disappointment with the ship, an Alaskan Cruise is amazing and a wonderful way to see some of the majestic beauty of the United States. Juneau was spectacular, we did a whale watching tour and Mendenhall Glacier. Skagway also had stunning beauty, we took a ferry to Haines and did a walk through the state park. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Bottom line: I recommend strongly against sailing with Royal Caribbean unless you are "priority" to them. Getting off the boat was quite literally the worst process I have ever seen anywhere. I started the morning on deck 8 ... Read More
Bottom line: I recommend strongly against sailing with Royal Caribbean unless you are "priority" to them. Getting off the boat was quite literally the worst process I have ever seen anywhere. I started the morning on deck 8 trying to go down to deck 5 to get off the boat Due to priority service needed, I was kicked off the elevator I was on (originally going down), on deck 10. Almost 2 hours later and I'm finally able to get off the boat due to full elevators, other passengers not moving or respectful of lines. Furthermore, I ran into the assistant front desk manager who was unable to assist in anyway and kept saying they did not have the manpower to assist as they have now put me further away from the exit. His inability to assist with the problem the boat/company had created makes me wonder about the quality of their customer service. While the rest of the cruise was enjoyable to include the cabin being well kept (thanks to our great stateroom attendant), entertainment as expected on a cruise ship and dining on par, should the first place runner of a race trip before the finish line they would not win. As such, the experience at the end of this trip was absolutely terrible that as of now, I strongly recommend against Royal Caribbean and do not expect to sail with them again (even if given the free cruise offered by their survey where my sentiments were also noted). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I selected this cruise for my annual summer vacation with my two grandchildren (both 6 years old). My grandson has Autism and I was searching for a vacation that would be appropriate for us all. I read that Celebrity Cruise had a Autism ... Read More
I selected this cruise for my annual summer vacation with my two grandchildren (both 6 years old). My grandson has Autism and I was searching for a vacation that would be appropriate for us all. I read that Celebrity Cruise had a Autism friendly program. I was excited to find out the details, so I contacted Celebrity direct and got the details. I was impressed that they were including a much ignored traveler and I booked the cruise the same day. I paid for two cabins and my grandchild were billed at the same rate as an adult. I won’t go into everything that was so “not” friendly about this cruise. But it started at boarding. It continued through the Muster drill and meal times were pathetic. Not only is this ship not Autism friendly. It really isn’t kid friendly. I went to guest relations to try to find a solution to standing in line for 30 minutes or more to feed two hungry six year olds. I was told that I could take my meals back to my stateroom. That wasn’t exactly true. The specialty restaurants will not accommodate you in any way. You have to eat the meal in the restaurant (with the exception of Sushi on Five).So we ended up eating in the buffet or room service for all 7 Days. We were able to order non- hot food from Sushi on Five ( most of their food was hot!) I refused to eat in a fancy restaurant and my grandchildren’s only options were hot dogs, pizza and an occasional hamburger. So we all ate the same foods. This was their vacation and it should have been special for them. We attempt to use their kids club. And after questioning the staff I learned that they have a “general” knowledge of Autism. The staff member complained that the parents with children afflicted Autism expected their children to have one on one supervision. That certainly wasn’t the case for me. I was looking for a safe place that the children could interact with their fellow shipmates. Not feeling comfortable with the staffs lack of training, we passed on that amenity. So to sum it up, I spent over $8,000 to eat hamburgers, pizza and hot dogs mainly in my cabin. But the highlight was the Alaskan scenery. I can best sum up this vacation as upscale camping. Nothing luxurious or special. I wouldn’t have been disappointed had they not misled me about their Autism program. There was no Autism program. This is pure marketing. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We were first time cruisers looking forward to this cruise for many months - and it did not disappoint. We had an amazing time. We had The Key (which I recommend for those who don’t have loyalty perks) so embarkation was smooth. We loved ... Read More
We were first time cruisers looking forward to this cruise for many months - and it did not disappoint. We had an amazing time. We had The Key (which I recommend for those who don’t have loyalty perks) so embarkation was smooth. We loved the ship, the rooms, the staff and the activities. The scenery was stunning but we did not get close enough to see Dawes Glacier because there was too much ice, which was disappointing. Still Endicott Arm is spectacular. We saw lots of whales from the ship and tons of bald eagles in Juneau. Every single service person we encountered was friendly and professional. We were beyond thrilled with our room attendant Habibie. We heard a lot of experienced cruisers griping about the elevators and the food. But we loved the Windjammer service and food - in fact we ate most of our meals there. MDRs were hit or miss. The ports are fun - recommend excursions that get you out of the Main Street tangles of gift and jewelry shops. Overall we give the cruise an A grade and recommend it, especially for new cruisers and families. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We thought we would enjoy it because we had taken an Alaskan cruise 17 years ago on Princess - it was a wonderful experience. The ports/locations were almost the same as our ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We thought we would enjoy it because we had taken an Alaskan cruise 17 years ago on Princess - it was a wonderful experience. The ports/locations were almost the same as our previous cruise so we were confident that we would enjoy that part of the cruise. So our only "unknowns" had to do with sailing with Celebrity to Alaska. This was our 8th cruise and our second on Celebrity. Our first cruise on Celebrity was 20 years ago on a much smaller ship - The Galaxy. The ship is old and showing its age in some areas. The carpet, furnishings, and furniture needs to be upgraded and replaced. The worst are the seats in the Solstice theater. They are so worn that they are uncomfortable- especially those closest to the stage. It is my understanding that Solstice is scheduled for an refurbishment soon. It is time. Cabin: We had the Deluxe Veranda. Plenty of storage and space for the two of us. We were impressed with the size of the bathroom- it is the largest bathroom we have ever had in a ship cabin (even larger than on Disney). The veranda was large with two chairs and a table. We had breakfast (room service) on our veranda most mornings. Our only complaint is the lack of electrical outlets and no USB ports. I'm sure that will be addressed in a refurb. Dining: Let me first be clear - we are not picky eaters or food snobs. We have always used the MDR and buffets for cruises and most of the time have been happy and often impressed. We usually do not use the specialty restaurants because of the quality of the free options. However, we were gifted 3 visits to specialty restaurants on this cruise, so we ate at Murano twice and Silk Harvest once. Murano is superb! Silk Harvest was good but not any better than the MDR. We did not eat at Tuscan, so I cannot review it. MDR was excellent. Now for the buffet - IT WAS AWEFUL! The food was pretty good, but the design leads to such chaos I couldn't stand to eat there. We ate at the buffet three times, and all three experiences were terrible due to having to hunt for a table, stand in numerous lines, and then navigate through the crowds to locate foods. We quickly came to the conclusion that we would have room service for breakfast (on our veranda) and do lunch somewhere other than the buffet. Entertainment and Activities: Celebrity needs to let the singers and dancers go- they were mediocre at best. I've seen better at highschool talent shows. The best entertainment were the guest entertainers. The comedian and magician were excellent. Service: AMAZING! Everyone from our room attendant (Charley) to our waiter (Dipo) were wonderful and attentive. Embarkation and Debarkation: Easy and efficient! I had read on these reviews that it was a nightmare and embarkation could take as long as an hour. We arrived at the pier and 15 minutes later we were sitting on the deck having our first cocktail! No joke - 15 minutes! Debarkation was just as easy and smooth. And now..... the reason we are now Celebrity Loyal - We purchase our flights through Celebrity. It was easy and the cost was the same as us doing it on our own. I thought it was the best way to ensure we wouldn't be bumped off a flight and would be rebooked quickly if our flights were cancelled on our way to the start the cruise (a fear I have always had). I really didn't think it would be an advantage for our flights home - BOY, WAS I WRONG! We arrived in Seattle and debarked around 7:30 AM (self-assist walk off). Our flight was scheduled to leave Seattle that night at 10:00 PM so we scheduled a private day tour to Mt. Rainer. At 4:45 PM I got a text from American Airlines that our flight had been cancelled and we were rebooked for a flight on Sunday morning - that was 48 hours later! At that point I called the Celebrity to see if they could help me - WOW! They were awesome! I talked to a man named Aaron. He thought is was ridiculous that we had been rebooked for a flight leaving two days later. His words were "that is unacceptable, I am going to see how to change that". Aaron was then able to book us on a flight for the next morning on Delta. Next, he made a reservation for us at an excellent hotel near the airport and told me to be sure to keep any receipts for taxi/transportation to the airport so he could reimburse us for that expense. I WAS BLOWN AWAY! Aaron (Celebrity) took care of everything in about 30 minutes over the phone! Given that we were still on our tour of Mt. Rainier, we were able to finish our tour, our driver simply dropped us at our hotel, we had an easy check in, were given 2 coupons for the hotel breakfast, and spent the evening relaxing! We didn't have to spend hours on the phone arguing with the airline or stand in line at the airport hoping for a voucher for a hotel stay. With that experience, we became Celebrity Loyal! We are already looking at Celebrity itenararies for 2020. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our first Alaska cruise and we selected RCCL for the price and ship. Ovation is a beautiful ship, one of the most beautiful I have been on. (15+ cruises on different lines) It is huge but there was never a point that it felt too ... Read More
This was our first Alaska cruise and we selected RCCL for the price and ship. Ovation is a beautiful ship, one of the most beautiful I have been on. (15+ cruises on different lines) It is huge but there was never a point that it felt too crowded. Loved the three ports but wanted to see so much more. Here are some thoughts: 1)we did whale watching/Mendenhall glacier and it was great! So glad since we didn’t get to the other glacier. We also did White pass train, salmon camp and saloon. Great but didn’t care for the saloon. 2) Balcony cabin deck 10-perfect but crowded for 4 people-great room steward! 3) the teens with us did ifly and we all did Northstar twice! Reservations obtained on board with no problems. End of cruise, it is easy to get on Northstar 4)Teen club great! Great activities 5)Love Paul Shea on piano and Amber and oak guitar player. Also went to Marriage game, majority rules and R-rate comedian-all great. Pixels was confusing but great dancing. Casino only has 1$10 blackjack table-difficult to get on but an empty $500 table??? Stupid Loved two70-loved food and atmosphere! Hush dance party was super fun!! 6) Food was average and always the same. We did My time dining, had reservations and always had to wait while people were seated without reservations?? Service was slow but food was warm. They should try harder on the food creativity. Windjammers was not good at all especially breakfast. We ate at Jamie’s for lunch and it was just average 7) I thought the crew was good but random on enthusiasm. They weren’t as engaging as other cruises we have been on. Next time, we will select itinerary over ship next time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise because it fit our schedule. It was a 'last minute' decision to replace a postponed Japan trip. Neither my husband nor I have been to Alaska and this was also our very first cruise. My husband and I don't ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it fit our schedule. It was a 'last minute' decision to replace a postponed Japan trip. Neither my husband nor I have been to Alaska and this was also our very first cruise. My husband and I don't have kids and are looking for a quiet environment with the best food. Celebrity was the cruise line that I found (based on research) to best fit these categories that also had a price that we were willing to pay for. I opted for the AquaClass due to the feedback I've seen here at Cruise Critic and some other research I've done. Neither me nor my husband like going to a spa, but I was looking forward to Blu - its the only reason why I picked AquaClass. The SuiteClass was a bit too pricey so AquaClass was the best we could afford. I also booked kind of late - about 30 days before the ship date. TRANSPORTATION: We flew to Anchorage on Thursday afternoon and booked a bus to Seward Friday morning. There are other options such as taking the train (no more seats available when I looked 30 days prior to sail date, so if you want to take the train, book early). The ticket price I saw was $238 for the gold service for 1 person. The other option was to rent a car from Hertz (apparently its the only car rental place in Seward and they wanted ~$400 for a compact car for that 2.5 hours that it would take to drive from Anchorage to Seward). I read somewhere there's Uber and Lyft available but I did not explore that option. The bus ticket (with ACT) was $126 per person for a direct transfer and they still had seats available. The bus also had a touring option which would extend the trip to 4 hours, but I just wanted to get to the ship and start the cruising experience so I chose direct transfer from the Anchorage airport to the port in Seward. They also have the option to pick you up at your hotel but the pick up time was too early and so I opted to just go to the airport (11AM). We just took the hotel shuttle from the hotel back to the airport that Friday morning. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott. EMBARKATION DAY: The bus got to the port around 1:45PM. We did the expedited check-in and it was smoother than I thought. No lines whatsoever. The entry point lands at Deck 3, and we were welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine. Note this was our first cruise so we didn't know what's going on. We were not sure if there's a passengers gathering or whether we could go straight to our cabin, but then again we didn't know where to get our room keys. Since we were surrounded with cruise employees, we just asked and everyone was just so willing to help and answer questions. We were pointed to the nearest elevator and were told that our room keys will be at our door. OCEANVIEW CAFE: We went exploring and found the OceanView Cafe. Based on research I already knew this was the buffet with no additional charge - but my husband was floored when I told him everything he sees in there was free. The food at the cafe was okay. The only thing I did not like about the first day experience was almost everyone was really trying SO hard to sell the drink package. I was getting flustered in having to say no to so many people. But this selling was only on the first day, as I dont recall anyone asking again for the remainder of the cruise. Note: We did not purchase any drink package as we are not big on drinking. We thought about getting the non-alcoholic package but then again I was really only drinking 2 watermelon tropics a day, and 2 coffees in the morning between the two of us from Blu. We also brought two 1 litre of Aquafina with us onboard which lasted us a couple of days. After that we were happy with tap water from the cafe so we couldn't justify even the non-alcoholic package. Blu Restaurant: This was the reason why we ended up in AquaClass. For an entire month I have been looking forward to eating as much good food as I could. So when dinner time came, we headed up to Blu. The food definitely tasted so much better than the cafe. Also - nobody tried to sell us the drinking package at Blu. We ate here almost every morning and every night. Some dinner menu items changed daily (lobster, halibut, veil, ribeye steak) while some items are static (herb roasted chicken, new york strip, salmon). Breakfast menu is the same all week but our favorites were eggs benedict and berry-pecan pancakes. Note: Lunch is not served at Blu nor at Luminae (exclusive to suiteclass). We did not bother going to the Metropolitan (which is the main dining room) because the line starts building up 30 minutes prior to opening, when we could just walk-in at Blu and be seated right away (or at the cafe and find a seat somewhere). I also read somewhere here that the food at the cafe is just like the food served at the main dining, so I did not feel like we were missing anything. Qsine: We only had 1 lunch at the Qsine when they were having a King Crab feast. We paid the $45 for each of us and we got two king crab legs. I thought it was all you could eat king crabs so I was a bit disappointed that we only got 2 legs. It was good, but I havent decided whether it was worth the $45. We did not try Tuscan Grille (fully booked on embarkation day and did not bother for the rest of the week). We also did not get to try Sushi on Five - maybe next time. EXCURSIONS: We booked 3 excursions with Celebrity (as I did not want to stress about getting left behind). We went hiking in Juneau (4.45 hours hike) and got a good view of Mendenhall Glacier. We were fortunate enough that it did not rain too much (just small sprinkling, then again we were in a Rainforest). This was categorized as a strenuous activity and they did not lie. So please know that you're getting yourselves into before booking. We booked the White Pass trail (train ride) when we got to Skagway. This excursion requires passport as we crossed the Canadian border. Our favorite is the zip rider when we got to Icy Strait Point. It looked intimidating as its the worlds largest zipline but it's not scary at all! (Note that I'm the biggest chicken out there and I hate heights and roller coasters). The only reason why I got brave enough to do this ride is because of the videos I saw on youtube. The way they did this ride (with at seat that they buckle you in) really takes the scariness away. I felt really secure and I didn't feel the 60 MPH descent from the top of the mountain. Really, I would go back to Icy Strait Point, or do the whole cruise again just to do this zip rider again. We did not book anything in Ketchikan as I didnt find anything interesting. We heard the Lumberjack show was good. Activities on the ship: My husband enjoyed the gym and the basketball court on decks 11 and 12. We both went to a couple of wine tasting at the Cellar Master and enjoyed both. My husband discovered a his new favorite whiskey and I had the best Old Fashioned I've ever had. DEBARKATION: We opted for the Self-assist and carried our luggage down the gangway ourselves. This also went smoother than I had thought, so kudos to the people who planned the logistics. Service: I cannot say enough good things at the service we got at both Blu and the room service from Gusti and his team. They were all very accommodating and very friendly. The only other thing I did not like is the way they had setup the exit and entry at the ports (after the embarkation day). Seems the porters (?) had no problems keeping the lines long by waiting on unprepared passengers to look for their Seapass cards and keep the rest of us waiting in line despite having our SeaPass cards on hand. Our first port was Juneau and there was this family who couldn't wait to get out of the ship and actually CUT IN LINE only to find that they didn't know they needed their Seapass cards to get out and so everybody waited for them to finally find it in their jacket pockets and purses. The entire family was clueless! You would think the porters would have told them to step aside so the rest of us could scan our cards and leave the ship - but no! Everyone ended up waiting! It was even more irritating when we were getting back from our almost 5 hour hike and it was cold and started to rain and we were being held up right outside of the ship because a couple of the passengers could not find their Seapass cards that they have tucked away somewhere in their thick layered jackets. I would think the porters have done this multiple times before and they would know its more efficient to just let the people who are READY and had the cards on hand to board/deboard the ship while the unprepared passengers are set aside until they get their act together. This is the only thing that could be improved, and the only reason why I am leaving 4 stars out of 5 on this review. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We Carefully Choose viking Orion for our Alaska cruise when first available in 2016 because of ships open vista views and as a small ship also very importantly the itinerary and full package details . As our first Viking voyage we have ... Read More
We Carefully Choose viking Orion for our Alaska cruise when first available in 2016 because of ships open vista views and as a small ship also very importantly the itinerary and full package details . As our first Viking voyage we have been very satisfied and loved the ship it’s ambience decor space and lovely staff. With the amazing Alaskan scenery and fantastic wildlife and wilderness al around us we had one of our best ever holidays thank you viking, We started with a pre cruise in Vancouver lovely city, wonderful hotel by the bay , the pre cruise tour and lunch alfresco after boarding and sail out was lovely with seaplanes landing and taking off around us , and boats of all descriptions paddle steamers , sailing and small pleasure cruising craft to other ships then the cruise up the inside passage humpbacks sighting wonderful scenery sunsets and all enhanced by the ship! Really very good food right through the voyage onboard Orion majority of our meals we ate seafood,. Enjoyed all of the restaurants onboard, open seating only waited the once for a table but seated in restaurant reception with offers of drinks! There’s also a bar in the restaurant where you can have a pre dinner drinks . We enjoyed all our ports of calls and trips with only one complaint about the lunch on our Haines bear search and wildlife tour which was dealt with with a small refund to compensate however no bears seen but then that’s wildlife although we were probably not going to see any as Haines had hosted the state fair a few days earlier, trip highlights amazing Juneau glacier helicopter and dogsledding and glacier and whales trips , Valdez sail out amazing beautiful weather swimming in the infinity pool and hot tub and escorted out by high speed coast guard rigid inflatable with machine gun mounted and manned past all the Valdez salmon fishing fleets which were laying nets ! A James Bond moment! Dinner that evening a favourite with to start soft shell crab , lobster Thermidor and desert a lovely soufflé , with lovely wines and all made exceptional by Alaska delivering with beautiful scenery and Orca’s seen alongside during dinner !!! A Most memorable evening I must also thank the staff on Orion Nearly all were fantastic except for the future cruise lady? The shows on board such a small ship were all delivered by the Orion team and were excellent thank you to Jade And Karine and speedy and the viking band also bar waiters stewards Ivan and Corrinia ? Overall a fantastic holiday experience one of our very best highly recommend this voyage and ship if viking can keep price correct Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Have sailed on Princess many times. This will for sure be the last one. From the embarkation, to debarkation, the entire experience was miserable, rude, and a complete joke. By second day you could only shake your head and laugh at ... Read More
Have sailed on Princess many times. This will for sure be the last one. From the embarkation, to debarkation, the entire experience was miserable, rude, and a complete joke. By second day you could only shake your head and laugh at Princess and how bad they are operating today versus where they were 23 years ago when we first sailed their line. The ship was dirty. The hallways were filthy. The carpeting was filthy. There was debris and dirt, with plenty of dust in our room. The ship was understaffed. Lines everywhere for everything. Several times not able to accommodate any time diners. Waited up to an hour for seating. Children attending the wine tasting events and screaming babies during the wine tasting events...Children running up and down the hallways all hours of the night banging on doors and screaming. The spa not honoring reservation times confirmed in writing by Princess 90 days in advance. Double booking of event locations for different events at the same time. Captains party and Trivia booked at the same location for the same time...Do they not have a calendar they use for scheduling events? Waited in line for 2 plus hours to get disembarkation tickets in Juneau. Princess had one person work the disembarkation table. Never saw many pissed off people and never experienced so much open sarcasm and criticism of Princess staff by customers like we did on this cruise. And the casino is a complete rip off too...never saw a single jackpot paid to anyone in the casino for 10 days. Many people complaining about that too. Complete waste of money, time and a completely miserable experience. Will never sail another Princess Cruise again... Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
A TRAVEL OF REST AND RELAXATION FORGETTING ABOUT DAY TO DAY ISSUES Meeting great people and exploring alaska. Seeing the ocean and being her guest. All successes brought by this glorious ship. Not focusing in on negatives or ... Read More
A TRAVEL OF REST AND RELAXATION FORGETTING ABOUT DAY TO DAY ISSUES Meeting great people and exploring alaska. Seeing the ocean and being her guest. All successes brought by this glorious ship. Not focusing in on negatives or gotchas that can happen anywhere to anyone. Buckets of beer: groups of beer drinkers can save by ordering buckets of beer. You get four or five beers in a souvenir bucket at a per-beer cost slightly cheaper than ordering individual bottles. Despite the staterooms' slightly aged appearance, princess has kept up with necessary improvements, including the addition of flat-screen tvs and the line's signature luxury beds, which are (not) insanely comfortable and will have you sleeping like a baby gorrilla. Best Tour: https://www.myalaskatours.com Tour itinerary varies depending on the location of your ship! Each tour will include at least 3 stops in some of these famous establishments: The world famous arctic bar, home of the happy bears! The creek street cabaret, home of ketchikans amazing music scene. Bawden street brewing, utilizing local flavors to bring you amazing beers. Sourdough bar, featuring dozens of historic ketchikan photos on display. Fat stans lounge, built on the site of the old spruce mill. Thank you! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Overall we enjoyed the cruise. Some solid entertainment, however timing was off based on your dinner seating. The food bland and unexciting. The lounge, bar and restaurant staff could not produce drinks that were not on the menu; and ... Read More
Overall we enjoyed the cruise. Some solid entertainment, however timing was off based on your dinner seating. The food bland and unexciting. The lounge, bar and restaurant staff could not produce drinks that were not on the menu; and the drinks were also not good. All fruity with no punch. The staff (wait, buffet, bar) seemed unpersonable and disinterested. Our room (mini-suite) was a good size and so was the bathroom and clothing storage. Our room steward was the only truly personable staff on the ship. Getting on/off easy. Tours coordination was ok for the most part. Alaska is a seasonal worker paradise, but it seems the land workers are also overworked. The ship is older, even though it went through a major renovation in 2017. The cruise director, though the right personality--upbeat and helpful seemed like a winded up doll, saying the same questions and speech along with and "my name is Natalie" was overkill. Kristoff, cruise director staff was pretenious and rude at times. Other cruise lines offer a better overall experience. Many guests were repeat passengers, however I would not choose again. Alaska though was great! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I added this trip on to an inland photography workshop we attended up north (Lake Clarke Park). We hadn't seen the inland passage and wanted to enjoy a bit of luxury on the way home vs simply jumping on an airplane in ... Read More
My wife and I added this trip on to an inland photography workshop we attended up north (Lake Clarke Park). We hadn't seen the inland passage and wanted to enjoy a bit of luxury on the way home vs simply jumping on an airplane in Anchorage and fly back to Phoenix. The Island Princess is smaller than some of the larger ships and included views of Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier, where other ships didn't go into these areas. So the timing and itinerary worked for us. The embarkation was painless even having to take a coach from Anchorage to Whittier. Interesting driver/guide made the ride worthwhile. Very easy and quick to get into the room. For perspective (and fairness) this was our 7th cruise but the first on a Princess ship. Our daughter worked on Celebrity for several years so we obviously chose her cruises. We have no other Princess ships with which to compare the Island. But compared to the other ships we've spent time on, the Island was older and it showed. There was no issue with it's cleanliness however. Older fixtures outside were painted over and our outside balcony light was hanging from a broken bracket. Also, on the third day, the device which ensured our cabin door shut fell off and was never fixed. The humidity on this trip was difficult to keep up with and there were blowers going in the passage ways constantly. There also was slight musky smell-probably due to the humidity. The floor of the cabin had raised areas which compressed when you walked on them. Sounds worse than it was. Just old but clean. The service in the dining area was not close to what we were used to in terms of warm welcomes and friendly attitudes. Two servers were great (exceptional) but the others and the managers were dour. Just seemed unhappy being there. Bar servers were very good. The food was what we expected and the buffet area servers were much more accommodating than their dining room counterparts. The one experience we had with the Princess tour support people was not good at all. We had signed up for a train ride in Skagway (turned out to be outstanding) and the 2 hour kayaking which went with it. There was rain and strong winds projected and we wanted to know if there were options if we felt it would be either unsafe or miserable to kayak. We were not asking to cancel or any concession. The individual either didn't speak English well or wasn't interested in getting involved in the complexity we were bringing to the table, because he merely repeated "must go rain or shine". We tried a couple of different ways to ask the question of what if we decide to forgo the kayak-can we just stay on the small bus or in a shelter or on the train. "must go rain or shine". Not an ambassador I would want representing my company. The production entertainment was disappointing (but remember our daughter-she was a dancer and aerialist on Celebrity-so we are very likely biased). The talent was very good but the productions varied from mediocre to poor. Now the good parts-the ports (and scenic cruising). Just outstanding! We loved the naturalist and guests who gave inland passage related information and stories. Saw whales, otters, seals, dolphins, puffins, etc. The ports were quaint and interesting. The history of Skagway is fascinating, Juneau, the only landlocked and foreign boardering Capital in the United States, has an incredible glacier view minutes from town, and thought Ketchikan was exactly what it should be-quaint and historic. Even the goofy lumberjack show was fun and memorable. As mentioned the excursion was exceptional (yup some rain and wind but not dangerous) so we paddled like crazy-great guides. We would definitely recommend the inside passage cruise but are hesitant to recommend the Island Princess for the reasons above. Just average. If it's your only choice then you would likely find the ship would be ok. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Wow. Horrible. Bad food, bad service as a simple summary. Lots of whales sighted though (both at sea and at the buffet). Comically bad waiters sticking our menus into our food. Several meals in the dining room were not really edible ... Read More
Wow. Horrible. Bad food, bad service as a simple summary. Lots of whales sighted though (both at sea and at the buffet). Comically bad waiters sticking our menus into our food. Several meals in the dining room were not really edible so had to chase that meal with a visit to the buffet in the hopes of something better than “hot dog pineapple salad”. (No, I didn’t make that up). The on-board naturalist also stated (amongst many other oddities) that Canada doesn’t have any glaciers. That was said while we were actually looking at a glacier in Canada. The beds were very saggy due to the many “girthy” guests that preceded us. The mini putt and kids’ centres were closed each of the 5+ times we tried to go into them. The list goes on but I’m out of room. Scenery was great but with 5 cruise ships in port simultaneously the small towns were overrun and it was horrible on shore. Won’t be back. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Recently completed a 7 day Alaske cruise on Regent's Seven Seas Mariner. My wife and I had planned this trip for several years and finally decided to travel this past July (2019). We chose Regent at the suggestion of our Agent. On ... Read More
Recently completed a 7 day Alaske cruise on Regent's Seven Seas Mariner. My wife and I had planned this trip for several years and finally decided to travel this past July (2019). We chose Regent at the suggestion of our Agent. On receipt of their sales brochure we "poured" over the information and decided it was time to "treat" ourselves to a high end cruise. We purchase the cruise for $17,000.00 dollars for a balcony room on the 9th level. NOT A SUITE. We have cruised many times in the past with our children and our friends. We have booked on Royal Caribbean and Carnival ships with travel throughout the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas. What sold us on the Regent cruise was the "promise" of a "top of the line" all inclusive experience. Boy were we disappointed. As I will enumerate below. 1) The embarkation process in Vancouver was rudimentary at best. We arrived with plenty of time to spare and recieved our documents in a timely fashion. After a very long walk with carry on luggage we boarded the ship to a glass of sparkling wine. 2). Our room was ready to occupy. It was clean with a bowl of "aging" fruit available for consumption. The small refridgerator was stocked with 4 cans of soda pop and one water. I asked the room attendant about wine and spirits availablity (which we thought would in the refridgerator) and was told that individual servings were available through "room service". Who wants to wait 45 minutes for a glass of wine? My wife odered a bottle of wine (California Chardonnay). 25 bucks at Costco and was charge $60.00 on the cruise. Premium Wine and Spirits were to be included onboard as part of the "package". At the lounges we were offerd mixed drinks....mostly of a lower quality range of spirits. You had to request "top shelf" spirits. I'm not a big drinker but for $17,000.00 bucks I would expect top quality. 3) We met our room steward ONCE during the cruise. Never once were we asked if anything additional was needed to improve our cruise experience....BY ANYBODY.... Our friends who stayed down the hall had money stolen from a wallet during the day, they spoke to Guest Relations and recieved an inadequate response. Lesson learned.... lock your stuff in the safe. 3). The ship was in "good condition" and the maintenence crew kept it clean. It was quite clear that the Cruise Ship Operators" poured a great deal of their resources to its upkeep. 4) The entertainment was ok. Some good, some not so good. The Cruise director "Andy" was slightly overbearing constantly trying to "shill" the products both on the ship and at each port. I overheard several guests stating that the shops at the ports paid for this service. If I want to buy something I really don't need a strangers input. 5) There were plenty of "shore excursions" available at no charge, but.....If you wanted to partcipate in "upscale" excursions there was a charge We purchased 4 days of excursions for 2 people at a additional cost of $1900.00. Getting near $20 grand now. 6) The FOOD. Very disappointed. We were ALLOWED to dine at the upscale restaraunt only once during our cruise. We were told at the main reservation desk on deck 5 to inquire daily about cancellations then were told there that we needed to go to the individual resaurants and inquire. How embarassing, that we receievd poor treatment from ALL the maitre d's at the specialty restaurants. We dined a Prime 7 and had a wonderful dinner the crab legs served were what you expect from Alaska. Other than that evening the food and the service was subpar in the main dining room. My wife order lobster one evening and got somthing that resembled several large shrimp. I had Dover sole and had to remove pinbones fron the filets. Being that we were on an Alaskan cruise I would assume that Shrimp, Salmon and Crab Legs would be highlighted. Not on this cruise. The shrimp cocktails contained shrimp that were meally/old and the crab legs when available in the main dining room were that of "Red Lobster" quality. 7) Disembarkation. Now here is where Regent gets 2 stars. Smooth transition. I thought that this process was the only thing that Regent did properly. Probably to get the passengers off the ship and get the next "goats" onboard. All in all, quite a disappointing experience for what was billed as the cruise of a lifetime. Never again with Regent! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Having cruised on some of the bigger ships with RCL, Princess and others, we were not expecting much from Holland America and just thought the itinerary would make up for the ship, but what a surprise! It turned out to be a fantastic ... Read More
Having cruised on some of the bigger ships with RCL, Princess and others, we were not expecting much from Holland America and just thought the itinerary would make up for the ship, but what a surprise! It turned out to be a fantastic cruise. The staff were some of the friendliest we have ever met, the food was fabulous, and the fact that they served it to you in the buffet was a much better idea than the free for all on most ships, which encourages greed and mess. The one thing they need to address though, is that there is no insistence of hand washing before dining etc, we hardly saw anyone using the hand sanitizers, then they wonder why people get ill. It isn't the ships fault, its the people being unhygienic! We were on the same cruise as the lady who said people were coughing all over the ship, well we didn't encounter one of them. There was no illness on that cruise that we saw. The balcony cabin was very adequate with a few issues, like broken shower curtain, but nothing to complain about. 24 hour room service was amazing. So much choice, and beautifully presented. All in all it was a really great cruise, and we were lucky with the weather. I don't think I would sail on this ship to the Caribbean as the pool is so small and there isn't much entertainment, but for Alaska it was perfect! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My husband and I have gone on 4 cruises; HAL was the worst. First of all, we embarked in Seward at 6:30 pm. After going through the muster drill, we came back to our room to unpack. The steward knocked on the door and introduced ... Read More
My husband and I have gone on 4 cruises; HAL was the worst. First of all, we embarked in Seward at 6:30 pm. After going through the muster drill, we came back to our room to unpack. The steward knocked on the door and introduced himself. My husband told him that the safe did not work. He said someone would get in touch with us. No one ever did. We wanted to close the drapes to go to bed and they were on a motorized track. We were not shown by the steward how to work anything in our cabin. When I opened our cabin door to look for him, he was NOWHERE to be found and that is how it was the WHOLE week. Our bed was made everyday with replacement bathroom towels as well as turned down service every night; however, he never ONCE knocked on our door to see if we needed anything. It just so happened that I found a crew member on our floor and asked him to come in and show us how to close the drapes. The next morning (1st full day of the cruise), I called Guest Services. I was on hold for ten minutes! And that is how it was the entire week. I was on a Celebrity Cruise with 3,500 people and when I called Guest Services, they answered in a couple of minutes. HAL had 1,980 people. I had to go in person to Guest Services and told them about the problem with the safe and that the steward told us that someone would be calling us and never did. She came with me to the room and said a locksmith would have to fix it and it was fixed by mid-afternoon. We stayed in a signature suite with a veranda on the Upper Veranda deck. The room was very nice EXCEPT the tub was way too high to get in or out of. Thank G-d for the bars or I would have fallen. The food was average. We ate in the dining room for breakfast as well as dinner everyday. We ate at the Lido market for lunch and one breakfast and were disappointed. Could never find a seat and the food was fair at best. My husband and I had to order room service because we were not feeling well. We both ordered soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. We could not believe that the "grilled cheese sandwich" was actually two slices of toasted bread with a piece of cheese in between, not melted cheese. HORRIBLE. The trays and dishes were too heavy for us to put outside the cabin door. Again, where was our steward?? The nightly entertainment was very good. BB King's was fantastic. Great singers and musicians. Fitness center was adequate; enough machines for use. I did ALOT of research on which cruise line to go with regarding Alaska. The two cruise lines that were always mentioned in my research were HAL and Princess. I decided to go with HAL since they have been going to Alaska for years. We did a land/sea tour, the land tour being first, starting in Fairbanks and catching the ship in Seward. I give HAL a 10+ on their land portion EXCEPT we had to pay for ALL meals EXCEPT one lunch in a 7 day period which was not totally spelled out on the booking. The tours, the organization, everything was seamless. It was wonderful. However, I will not cruise with HAL again. I did complain to the head of Housekeeping Services regarding the steward. The last day they sent a bottle of wine with their apologies and asked if we wanted another steward. Our cruise was over and the damage had been done. I give bad marks for the crew overall. Service was fair at best. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our second cruise, but it took us over 20 years to try again because our first one wasn't a pleasant experience. So I'll start with why we selected this particular cruise and why it was so much fun for us overall! We ... Read More
This was our second cruise, but it took us over 20 years to try again because our first one wasn't a pleasant experience. So I'll start with why we selected this particular cruise and why it was so much fun for us overall! We love surprises, but some are even better than expected! The backstory: Bill and I planned an August RV trip to Washington to visit family members who are no longer traveling long distance in their RV. Our 25th anniversary is August 20, so we thought, since we'd be nearby around that time, maybe an Alaskan inside passage passage cruise would be a nice way to celebrate. As we were narrowing in on a particular ship from another cruise line and deciding on which 7 days, the Mickey Utley Band, a favorite that plays in Laughlin, Nevada when touring, announced that they had signed on to entertain for 2 months on the Norwegian Bliss, with their last week being July 21-28. So I started asking questions on their Facebook page, and we decided that it was worth moving our trip up by a month to know we'd enjoy dancing during the cruise. I continued to correspond occasionally after we booked the trip, including sending a message on the morning of the 21st saying we were headed their way. We enjoyed our first day, had an early dinner, and headed for "Q", the BBQ restaurant. The band had just taken the stage, and I waved as we walked in, but nobody waved back. I just figured they were busy, and when they started their first song, Bill and I immediately headed for the dance floor. The looks on their faces surprised us as much as we surprised them! It turned out I had been corresponding all along with their photographer/media person, and the band didn't have a clue we would be here until they saw us start dancing! We had a wonderful time dancing to this excellent band almost every night, and are so very glad we made this choice! We didn't make reservations for any other entertainment or shows, nor did we book any shore excursions. We attended several lounge-type performances by Duo Rika. Siglo, and Suzanne Jade, all of whom were excellent. We had local friends who gave us an incredible tour of Juneau, and booked the White Pass & Yukon Train trip at the dock. We wandered around Skagway and Ketchikan on our own. We didn't disembark at Victoria because of the short stay at that port. We bought the "Romance Package", which was wonderful in every detail. The roses looked almost as fresh as we left our room for the last time as they did when we arrived, and our dinner in Le Bistro was perfect in every way. We ate most of our meals in the Garden Café, which had a great variety of choices as well as special theme nights. The local was great for late-night gatherings with new friends and entertainers. Because we don't drink a lot of alcohol, we didn't buy either of the beverage packages, and found that we had made the right decision for us. We enjoyed the Sugar Cane Mojito Bar's creative options, had our usual 2-beer nights in Q while dancing, and enjoyed other adult beverages "a la carte" wherever we happened to be. Overall, we kept this cruise as simple as possible to allow ourselves to figure out whether we would enjoy cruising again in the future. We're glad we did it our way, we had a great time, and next time, we'll be more adventurous with our planning and reservations. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise because I had never been to Alaska and since I’m an NCL Latitudes member I was excited to experience the newest ship in the fleet that was built especially for Alaska. I persuaded a friend who lives in Seattle to go ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had never been to Alaska and since I’m an NCL Latitudes member I was excited to experience the newest ship in the fleet that was built especially for Alaska. I persuaded a friend who lives in Seattle to go with me although she was reluctant as she had only cruised once before, years ago before the stabilizers, and had gotten seasick. I’m not sure she believed me when I told her how smooth it would likely be. Embarkation and disembarkation were an unbelievable breeze….the best I’ve every experienced….NCL has this people moving thing down pat. When we embarked we immediately went to The Local and had lunch. By the time we were done, our bags were at our stateroom door. I very carefully chose our cabin because I knew that the size of the ship and the number of passengers would irritate my friend. It couldn’t have turned out better for us. I chose a Spa Balcony cabin that was directly under the spa so it was not noisy. We were on the same deck as the Observation Lounge and also had our own private balcony. Up one flight of steps and we were in the spa (passes were included in our category) or we could go to the buffet for a quick bite to eat. The Observation Deck also had light breakfast and lunch and an awesome bar. All those venues had great ocean views and with the exception of the buffet, a good amount of privacy. I love the spa and because a limited number of passes are sold, I never had to wait for a heated lounger. Even the Observation Lounge was pretty uncrowded when we were there….usually early in the morning or late at night. We did go to activities in other areas of the ship but the point is, we wouldn’t have had to…..everything we needed and wanted was right on those 2 decks. So for those who don’t like the big ship experience (and I see a lot of those complaints in these reviews) this is what I would recommend. Also, book everything you want to do as soon as NCL will let you….you can always cancel and other cruisers will be happy to fill your slot but there are many things that fill up fast and then you’re probably out of luck. The cabin itself was well laid out (beds by the balcony rather than the closet) and was plenty of room for 2 people, although no one could call it spacious. I can’t imagine having 3 in a room like this although it is advertised to accommodate 3, maybe a couple and a small child. We really enjoyed the beverage package. It was fun to try drinks we’d never had before and I discovered I like White Russians. The first time I ordered it the bartender made it with cream (as it is supposed to be) and it was wonderful but every subsequent bartender told me they only had milk. So I’d go to the coffee bar and get half and half and hand it to them. I don’t think I was very popular with the bartenders…lol. Anyway I would suggest that NCL make cream available behind all the bars. Never had a problem getting a bartenders attention or a drink in a timely manner. The dining package was fabulous too. We did Cagney’s, Teppanyaki, and La Cucina. The food was fantastic in all of them. One small complaint about Teppanyaki is I think they sit too many people at a table. We were the last to arrive for our table and I was seated on the end by a woman who was left handed. I didn’t notice until we were well into the meal or I would have requested a change of seating because her elbow was in my space the entire meal. We only did 2 shore excursions, the rail trip in Skagway and the Lumberjack Show in Ketchikan. They were OK. I wished I had done something where we could see wildlife. I had thought we would see some in Glacier Bay but we didn’t. My fault for not doing more research. We did see a lot of humpback whales though and I was surprised that they came so close to the ship. They would breach and blow through their blowholes….quite an experience….I had only ever seen orcas before. The only difficulty we had on this cruise was when we were in Glacier Bay. They had park rangers come on the boat and talk about the glaciers. They said if you go outside you can hear the glaciers, especially if they are calving. We went out on the balcony to listen and enjoy the serenity only to find that one of the ship’s photographers was 3 decks below us, taking pictures and yelling at his subjects to get them in certain poses and reactions. I called guest services to complain and have him stop. Unfortunately I had to make 3 calls before it stopped and then we think they only moved him to the other side of the ship but we were glad to no longer have him disrupting our enjoyment. Management sent us some sweet treats to apologize and we were happy again. All in all a great cruise and I am doing this ship again in October on the Mexican Riviera. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My parents treated all the kids/grandkids to an Alaskan cruise for their 50th anniversary. They had done one years ago and loved it so much they wanted us all to enjoy it with them this time. Last time it was on a different cruise line. I ... Read More
My parents treated all the kids/grandkids to an Alaskan cruise for their 50th anniversary. They had done one years ago and loved it so much they wanted us all to enjoy it with them this time. Last time it was on a different cruise line. I booked the Bliss because of all the amenities it listed I thought it’d be fun for all ages going: water slides, racetrack, laser tag, etc. I’ll start with that, unless you book a day/time on first day for racetrack/laser tag you won’t get to do it. One of the slides wasn’t operating and the other is run in a way that you have to wait in long line until a certain size tube is returned. Shows were NOT appropriate for kids which was disappointing, even though they say family friendly online. Food: it was ‘meh’. The few times we chose the dining room it was edible but not good by any means and we are NOT picky eaters. The desserts on board were flavorless. A few were ok but I was prepared to be wow’d by the food on the cruise. My husband and I have cruised before and I’ve always wanted 2nd’s even when I was stuffed because it was so good! Not this time... The room. It was nice, and plenty of storage. Our bathroom smelled like a urinal the entire trip but appeared to be clean so I didn’t complain. One of the lights in the vanity was out and never replaced even though I told our cabin guy. We did the laundry service and also a pair of shorts that was never to be seen again. Overall we had a good trip and enjoyed the family time. Our favorite place to eat was The Local, and loved the mojito bar. I think the Bliss is too big to be able to give over 4000 guests a 5 star experience and dining experience. Something to be said for the little guys, they don’t disappoint! The Bliss wins for smooth ride but that’s about it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We were a group of 3 couples & a travel agent recommended this cruise & itinerary. In addition to the cruise we also booked a 3 day land tour. Our trip didn’t start very well, as we all flew out of Chicago O’hare Airport for ... Read More
We were a group of 3 couples & a travel agent recommended this cruise & itinerary. In addition to the cruise we also booked a 3 day land tour. Our trip didn’t start very well, as we all flew out of Chicago O’hare Airport for the land portion to Anchorage. Our initial departure of 9:35am turned out to be 10:20pm, due to a brief storm early that morning. The delay was awful. We finally arrived at our hotel in Anchorage about 3:30-4am. We had to have our luggage out at 6am with a full day Glass Dome Train Ride to Denali. We were obviously exhausted. The train ride was really nice with dining facilities on the 1st level of each car & reserved seating on the 2nd floor with all Glass Dome to view the beautiful landscape. Unfortunately there was a family of 21 people in our car with about 6 of them children 6-12 years old. They were understandably noisy as kids would be, but it made for a very disturbing ride, especially with how tired we all were. We had breakfast in the dining level which was very good & peaceful. Our waiter suggested taking a walk to the last car where we could be outside looking at the scenery. It was a great suggestion, although we were in the first car & there were 9 cars. We had to traverse up and down two sets of stairways in each car to get back to the 9th car caboose. The reason was each car had their own kitchen so we couldn’t walk straight through. It was interesting to see how peaceful all of the other cars were without the young kids. In hindsight we should have asked if there were 6 seats available in a different car. We finally arrived in Denali where we checked into our room at the Chalet Lodge, which is owned by Holland America. Our luggage was already in our room. I will say Holland America is unbelievably well organized & ALL of their staff on land & sea were outstanding. Always had a welcoming smile even when just passing by. The next day we did the included Denali Tundra Wilderness Tour through Denali National Park in a somewhat modified school bus. Not real comfortable. The tour was about 8 hours. Our driver & tour guide, Steve, was a great driver, especially when going along the edge of the narrow roads way up high. He was very knowledgeable but unfortunately he had no personality. His narrations throughout the tour came across monotonous which made for a very boring day. Others on the bus had the same sentiment. We did stop along the way several times & saw some bears, moose & bald eagles that made the trip somewhat interesting. But it didn’t make up for Steve’s demeanor. He seems like a really nice guy, but he doesn’t have the ability to make a tour like this interesting. It made for a very long day. That night we went to The Music of Denali, combination dinner & show. The all you can eat food was very good but we were rushed & it felt like the food was being thrown at us. The waitstaff also were the actors in the sophomoric music show that followed. It was a fun time & was at extra cost, not included in the land package. In the Denali Chalet Resort there is a small square area that had a restaurant & some shops. There also was outside seating with a guy playing guitar & singing popular songs. It was very relaxing & entertaining to sit outside & listen to his music each night while in Denali.The next day was a full day motor coach ride to Seward where we started the cruise. Our driver/narrator, Mike, was just the opposite of Steve. He kept us engaged with his enthusiasm, knowledge & humor. He made the drive very interesting with several stops along the way. We were fortunate to be in the 30% that were able to see Mt. Denali/McKinley. When we arrived in Seward at the port our embarkation was amazingly smooth & fast. We soon were in our cabin. Our luggage was in our cabin too. We didn’t have to wait for it which was very nice. We soon met our two cabin stewards who were very nice & did a great job always keeping our cabin fresh. We opted for a cabin with a balcony & the other two couples did an ocean view without a balcony We were very glad we did the balcony. It gave us a little extra room to chill out with beautiful views. Unfortunately for our friends their cabins were just below the dining room kitchen which every morning had loud noises of carts rolling above them & often could hear loud banging noise starting at 5-6 every morning. When they complained to Guest Services they were each provided a bottle of wine, hardly reasonable compensation. The next two days we were at Sea, one of which was cruising around Glacier Bay. It was beautiful & relaxing. It was nice having a vantage point from the bow of the ship, which is normally closed to the public. They served pea soup & hot chocolate was also available. We had open seating for the evening dining which did work out & gave us lots of flexibility for our evening dinners. The cuisine overall on the ship I would rate a strong 7, it was very good. One night we ate in the Pinnacle Grill, one of the specialty restaurants. It was excellent. I had a huge order of king crab legs & my wife had a steak. The service & staff on the entire cruise were extremely friendly & welcoming, always with a smile! The entertainment was excellent as well. The band in the BB King Lounge were fantastic as well as the piano players/singers playing dueling pianos. The Lincoln Center had a nice orchestra too. Also every night there was a show in the Main Showroom with a nice variety of talent, singers, comedian, illusionist & more. Very entertaining. We took some excursions, in Haines we went on a Jet-boat Tour. The driver/narrator was egotistical & there wasn’t much wildlife that we saw. Not a great tour. In Juneau we went on a Whale Watching Cruise on a smaller not crowded boat that was excellent. We saw Killer Whales & lots of Pods of Orcas. Great excursion. Afterwards we did a Helicopter to Mendenhall Glacier with Dog Sledding. That was the highlight of the trip. Worth every penny & an amazing experience. Next stop was Ketchikan where we did The Misty Fjords Wilderness Cruise. It was 4.5 hours & unfortunately very boring. The staff was excellent & very safety conscious although the naturist speaking throughout the tour, very nice, was too monotonous sounding & not very interesting to listen to. She had no enthusiasm or engagement with us passengers. Half way out we did see quite a few beautiful waterfalls that were running due to the recent rain. Other than that the tour was really boring. Our last day on the ship was at sea. Our wives all had massages that they seemed to enjoy. Although they were all over pitched on buying their products. Which they didn’t! The next day we arrived in Vancouver & the disembarkation was extremely well organized as was the entire HAL experience, with a very quick exit from the ship as well as through customs. My brother & his wife live in Seattle. They drove up to Vancouver & we spent one night there & then drove back to Seattle with them for two days followed by our flight back to Milwaukee. We had a very memorable trip with lots of laughs, good cuisine & unforgettable excursions. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Seven days on the Round trip Seattle to Alaska , inside passage! numerous activities for grandchildren, They loved the Go Karts, waterslides, variety of food options. The Haven for us. We loved unlimited bar, 24 hour butler, Private ... Read More
Seven days on the Round trip Seattle to Alaska , inside passage! numerous activities for grandchildren, They loved the Go Karts, waterslides, variety of food options. The Haven for us. We loved unlimited bar, 24 hour butler, Private escort to excursions, embarkation and disembarking. Food.was amazing! Haven restaurant had beautiful presentation and service was impeccable. The kids loved the waffles. We enjoyed eggs Benedict and the smoked salmon frittata. The filet and prawns and lamb at dinner we favorites. Our butler delivered coffee and juice each morning and afternoon tapas. Each day we had a complimentary bottle of champagne. The excursion were well organized and lots of variety. We loved the Skagway Railway, Sled Dog and puppies! Ketchikan we saw a Lumberjack Show outside but undercover with heat lamps. The Saxman Native Village had a dance presentation as well as Totem Pole Craving demonstration. The village have many Totom Poles and our guide explained the history and meaning. In Juneau we went on the Mendenhall Glacier Explorer. Enjoyed the visitor center and great hike with views of the glacier and waterfall.Cruising Glacier Bay for the day was amazing. The ship circled the bay so so everyone had up close views. Glacier Bay Ranger came aboard for informative narrative as well as Junior Ranger Program. In Ketchikan our son and daughter went Ziplining. Challenging with expert instruction.In Victoria my son and I did city sunset tour and Escape Room. The Haven was beyond, beyond! Private dining, pool, bar, lounge,observation deck. Beyond pampering! Loved the spa thermal suite with wave tub and waterfall, snow grotto and steam and salt room. The heated lounges were so relaxing!The men’s facial and shave was excellent! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We had an awful experience with laser tag staff and game. Guns were nonfunctional. And when requested to change we got a very bad attitude from staff members. All of them get together and argued with children. Unfortunately this was ... Read More
We had an awful experience with laser tag staff and game. Guns were nonfunctional. And when requested to change we got a very bad attitude from staff members. All of them get together and argued with children. Unfortunately this was last day of our trip.And ruined all 7 days. Also we had drinks and specialty meals packages included in our trip. It was very difficult to book the restaurant and finally when we got a place we were treated as beggars said we are eating free. Otherwise excursion were excellent. Manager at Savor restaurant is our vacation hero his name is Ryan Mortef. He made us feel better and help us get our food of choice. I would also request that garden buffet staff should be more cheerful. They all look very depressed. Chef at taste of India didn’t give right info on food. Overall ship is beautiful and very clean. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
The Negative...Bottled Water should be added to the Premium beverage package. At over $100/day its ridiculous that simple bottled water isn't included. Room Service charge of $7.95 should be abolished. No other cruise line charges ... Read More
The Negative...Bottled Water should be added to the Premium beverage package. At over $100/day its ridiculous that simple bottled water isn't included. Room Service charge of $7.95 should be abolished. No other cruise line charges this fee. Some cruise lines do charge for Room Service, but only after 11:00pm at a rate of $3.95. The show Havana, should be looked at. The whole story line, including the vocals(The singers simply don't make the grade), need to be Redone. Sorry, but its a horrible production. If they auditioned for me, I'd send them all home and say....Next... The Positive.....GREAT Ship. So many activities, its impossible to be bored. Service was Excellent. The Band Siglo, was the best band I've ever listened to, on any cruise ship in my 40 plus cruises. Comedians were very good. Simply amazing. No complaints on the Food. Everything we had was excellent. Boarding and disembarking in Seattle was very good.....Thank You Read Less

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