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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
Chosen for the conference on board. Pros Staff helpfulness Cleanliness Ease of shore excursions Cons I had read where although the Tracy Arm Fiord is the advertised route the ship almost never makes it in and sure ... Read More
Chosen for the conference on board. Pros Staff helpfulness Cleanliness Ease of shore excursions Cons I had read where although the Tracy Arm Fiord is the advertised route the ship almost never makes it in and sure enough we did not either. Many staff SAID that’s where we were but only AFTER we were sailing away was one SHORT announcement made we had actually been in the Endicoty Arm at Dawe’s glacier The glacier day in the Endicoty Arm was unimpressive in and out, and took one entire sailing day without being able to get off the ship. Shore excursions were overpriced and under delivered!!! Do NOT do gold panning!!!! Drives to excursions were long and monotonous. Butchart Gardens were beautiful but in a 4 hour excursion with tea we only had 1.5 hours to tour the gardens!!!! The guide was confused about the location of the tea and some missed it altogether He was too busy telling unfunny jokes to give us any real information. I heard the Celebrity Cruise following the same route was amazing Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Explorer of the Seas is a large, beautiful ship that has lots of amenities. The staterooms are a decent size (we had a basic balcony room that sleeps three including the pulldown upper bunk) and the beds are comfortable. Cabin steward ... Read More
Explorer of the Seas is a large, beautiful ship that has lots of amenities. The staterooms are a decent size (we had a basic balcony room that sleeps three including the pulldown upper bunk) and the beds are comfortable. Cabin steward was very pleasant and accommodating. The dining room food is good and the servers are very attentive. Photos are taken by RCI staff frequently, although after a week on the ship I still don’t know where the photo center is located. For me, there are just too many people on this ship (about 3800 passengers). The ship’s public areas didn’t seemed designed for such a large mass of humanity. The Windjammer cafeteria was always crowded and there were often long waits for food, and then for table space. I know there are those who like the large ships, but for me, I will take a “small” ship (since when do 2200 passengers constitute a small ship?) in the future. Another issue I have with Royal Caribbean (and possibly every cruise line) is that the ship is more a profit center rather than an all inclusive vacation experience. Everywhere you go you were invited to upgrade to an expensive meal (Johnny Rockets is an upgrade?), or to purchase soft drinks or to pay $2.50 or more for each arcade game. On top of that, about $100 per person was added to each stateroom for gratuities whether you like it or not. Another example -- regular water bottles were sold at the gym, in a vending machine, for $3.95!! Seriously? Finally, and perhaps most annoyingly, I chose Explorer of the Seas because RCI boasts great internet service (and it’s not cheap). After buying internet service, it rarely if ever worked. NEVER purchase wifi from Royal Caribbean, it is a total ripoff. When it worked, it was unbelievably slow and inefficient and usually crashed after a moment or two. The fact that RCI advertises the best Internet service on the high seas and then failed to provide service, made me question RCI’s credibility. I requested a refund because of the practically nonexistent Internet service, but was refused. To summarize, if you want the experience of a very large cruise ship with lots of things to do, and you don’t mind waiting in line for almost everything, and being disconnected from the world, from work, from friends, and from news because of the lack of Internet service, then Explorer of the Seas is the ship for you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
Always wanted to go to Alaska, so when our first cruise to Puerto Rico got cancelled due to hurricanes, we decided to go to Alaska instead. Now mind you, RCI was not too easy to get them to change our cruise even though our flights and ... Read More
Always wanted to go to Alaska, so when our first cruise to Puerto Rico got cancelled due to hurricanes, we decided to go to Alaska instead. Now mind you, RCI was not too easy to get them to change our cruise even though our flights and hotel were cancelled but eventually we managed to get them to see it was impossible to get to Puerto Rico in Oct 17. We went to Alaska for a few days early and traveled around and the sights are breathtaking. We boarded Radiance and were immediately treated like royalty. If you have been on a few cruises then you qualify differently (i.e. Gold, Platinum, etc). You then can skip the line on boarding and they get you right on the ship. The people complaining about the ship being old..... If I'm going to spend more than a couple hundred dollars I'm usually going to at minimum do a google search. Right there pops up ship was built in 2001 on Wikipedia. Ship is 17 years old, I also learned it was dry docked in 2016. We had an extended balcony oceanview. The views are amazing, the balcony was decent sized for two people and includes chairs and table. The inside of the room has been updated, with new TV's and some cabinetry but the bathroom, couches and beds do not appear to be replaced. No matter, they were okay. The beds arent the most comfortable, which is my only gripe of this trip. My wife loved them as they were very supportive, however I want to sleep on a cloud. We did all sorts of different dining; Giovanni's italian which was absolutely amazing. We did Chops Steakhouse which was again off the charts. And our waiter told us about a package they do three of the restaurants for a deal. Normally its around $30 a person extra for this but they did three for $74/person. So our third we did a galley tour where we see everything behind the scenes and they feed you. Word of the wise, get the picture package. They have photgraphers EVERYWHERE. Take a bunch of pictures and spend the $225 on the package. Youll have well over 100 pictures if you spend 10 minutes a day taking them. It sure beats spending $15 per picture and having to decide on 2-3. Just figure out when the pictures are being taken and follow them for 10 minutes before dinner. Boom, done. Casino wasnt a big hit on this cruise, dont think anyone won. I was out a few hundred and started to look around and didnt see many people winning. But, thats whats it there for....to make money. The dining room staff was very good. They are polite, very well trained and can answer any question about your meal. My wife has an odd allergy and they were able to answer questions about everything and if they didnt know a head waiter would come over and make everything so easy. The ship appears to have the main public bathrooms redone, some of the public areas, etc. It really is a beautiful ship, some parts are older but its so well kept its insane. Every port you stop at before your even off the ship there are people already working on parts of it trying to keep up with upkeep. The cruise director was okay on this ship, he was fun and outgoing. Not the best for sure we've definitely had better on Enchantment of the seas but he was still good. I get the drink package and wasnt charged for anything, 15 year scotch, frozen drinks, beers, etc. Its worth it in my opinion. I tipped a bartender $5 on the first day (even though tipping is already included, this was extra) he couldnt do enough for me the rest of the cruise. And they move around (i.e. in the day he was at the pool at night hes in a bar). Was a great guy was nice to hear about his home and family. The ports are amazing. They get you right up to the glacier, there was one port that was boring but we just went back on the ship and had a blast. Its their rainy season, but in the two weeks we were there it rained once, Im told the weather we got was unheard of. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We cruised with our own 3 children plus 2 children of friends. We chose a round trip Seattle cruise because we are from the area and we wanted to see Alaska. Getting on was smooth and easy - lines moved very quickly. We had a stop in ... Read More
We cruised with our own 3 children plus 2 children of friends. We chose a round trip Seattle cruise because we are from the area and we wanted to see Alaska. Getting on was smooth and easy - lines moved very quickly. We had a stop in Canada so there was thorough scrutiny of passports and consent forms. One of the friends children under 16 was traveling with government issued photo ID instead passport and a birth certificate was requested. The friends parents quickly texted us a copy of the birth certificate and Royal Caribbean staff printed it out and had us onboard in no time. Cabins were comfortable and efficient. There were 4 boys 12-15 in the interior cabin and my wife and I with 9 year old in the balcony cabin across the hall. Room attendants Hendry A. and Terrence C. were incredible. They were friendly and kind (and patient with the room full of boys which may have approached a biohazard at times). Once we accidentally threw away an important receipt and I asked to go through the trash but Hendry quickly found and retrieved it himself from the trash! Talk about going the extra mile!!! There was a fair balance of ages on the cruise. It seemed the majority was 30s - 50s with families which included a larger number of kids/teens but also a fair number of grandparent aged folks. Due to the destination (Alaska) we also noticed a number of non-family groups (e.g., high school reunions) of middle-agers from out of town. The ship had plenty of variety in places to eat, drink and entertainment to accommodate this wide range of guests. My 9 year old daughter and I enjoyed, or was drug (I’ll let you guess who drug who), allbthe major attractions and a great deal of the entertainment and activities options. Flowrider (wave/surf simulator) was fun, and they had options for stand up surfing or bogeyboarding for less adventurous. Most days it was a bit nippy which kept the lines short and did not at all detract from the actual ride - just made the time outside the ride less pleasant. Rock climbing was fun and the equipment in great shape and felt extremely safe even for a novice (first timers) for both my daughter and me. The walls had several different options with varying difficulty levels. I am 40 and reasonably fit and I could ring the bell at the top of one route but not at another. Ice skating (as an activity) was probably the only disappointment on the cruise. The staff and venue for ice skating were great. I was very impressed with the thorough, polite and firm enforcement of the waiver policies by the staff (I had to walk back to the cabin for the written consent forms for the friends kids - but the staff was courteous and it gave me confidence that safety was a priority) and their management of the lines was efficient. BUT the let down was the skates themselves were awful. Quite old and worn and difficult to lace up tight enough. And it wasn’t just one rogue skate it was all of them.As dad I helped all five of the kids with me lace up and all of the skates (including mine and my wife’s) left a lot to be desired. We all did get on the ice and enjoy a little skating time but would give this activity a 3 out of 5 because of the skates (and because it would seem like an issue Royal Caribbean could easily fix with a relatively small investment). Entertainment was great. I know this is a more subjective assessment but I enjoyed each show I went to. The skating show was really well done - costumes were AMAZING! They had four shows and each cabin was assigned one of the four for priority seating and you could attend a different show if that time didn’t work for you but you might sit further back or if you had a large group you might have to split up. The ice skating venue is small enough though that all seats have fine views. There were two comedians - both were good although I liked one better than the other. Both comedians had a family friendly and adults only show and the kids enjoyed the family friendly one. The magic show was really outstanding - I don’t think I would ever go to a magic show just for fun at home, but this was an extremely entertaining 45 minute show (I think he did a different one later but I couldn’t make it). One thing I though Royal Caribbean did well was explaining the schedule and activity/entertainment options. My daughter thought Topi (cruise director) and Icy (activities manager) were the best people in the world and she looked forward to their introductions before and after each show and their daily morning show on TV. As an adult I thought it was overkill at first but,by the end of the trip their enthusiasm had become contagious and by gosh I found myself looking forward to what Topi or Icy had to say. The entire activities staff was really great. My daughter and I played lots of games with them and they were always energetic and authentic. The family karaoke was a blast and there was always a robust and supportive audience for all ranges of talent and experience levels. Dining was wonderful. We did Windjammer for breakfast every day and it was typical buffet fare, but there were some gems to be found. I always enjoyed the smoked salmon on toasted bagels for breakfast. On a port day I went up after the crowd had thinned down and got a great omelet without waiting in line. I only ate lunch one day and that was main dining room which was quick and satisfying. The salad bar with some other main dish options (e.g., BBQ pork ribs) in the main dining room for lunch actually was a nice option and not chaotic. We had “my time dining” for dinner in main dining room and Enjoyed it. We missed having the same waiter derby night but really did enjoy the flexibility of setting our dining time. With that being said, reservations for your “my time” should be made the night before or you will probably wait 15-30 minutes for a table if you have a party of more than 4. But the food was good and there was an opportunity for fillet mignon one night and lobster tail another. Presentation was average - all were pleasant but some waiters seemed tired and unenthused. One gentleman captured my daughters heart when he came by with a pet mouse made out of a folded and tightly twisted napkin. He did a few tricks with it and then left it for her to play with. Overall the main dining room was outstanding food and a generally pleasant experience. Dining in the specialty restaurants was truly suberb. My wife and I did these kid free. We went to Izumis twice (3 tines if you count the sushi making class I did on my own). We did Chops Grille once. Each one was amazing. It was quiet and peaceful every time andin each venue - and on a cruise it’s hard to get a quiet mealtime experience! The food was fabulous. I love sushi and I am a bit critical of it - the quality of this sushi gets 4 out of 5 stars. My wife was a bit reluctant to do Izumis again (our first trip was for Asian breakfast so we could have warm and pleasant birds eye view the Captain’s amazing up close 360* revolutions of Dawes glacier). But for diner she was quite pleasantly surprised by the flat rock table grill experience and food. Chops was approaching most any high end steakhouse. I would say the steak itself (I had the 9 ounce fillet with red wine reduction) was as good as could as any land-based, high-end steakhouse (e.g., Daniel’s broiler or Metropolitan Grill in Seattle). The sides, salad, appetizer and dessert were good, and definitely a large step above the main dining room, but were not the same as a world class land based steak house (to put this review in context the non-steak menu items were closer to Outback - which for me means good but not world class). For bring on a boat I would say the entire meal and experience were amazing. Upselling was a bit prevalent, but I guess I take a pragmatic view of that. For the most part thise ship was in great shape. Very few noticeable dings or cracks and no major maintenance issues. The only things that stood out to me were the aforementioned older and worn ice skates and one of the hot tubs looked like some paint was wearing off substantially. But otherwise to keep the ship looking so good and safe costs a lot - so I expect to pay for it. I did not get an alcoholic drink package and just limited drinking to one or two here or there. They had some opportunities for reduced price drinks. Twice mimosas were $2 in casino and they had Bloody Mary specials at least once. There were two reduced price Martino a as well. Some folks we know used and enjoyed the alcoholic drink package and liked it - but for caloric intake reasons I appreciated having an extra thought about cost before imbibing. All in all this was a two thumbs up cruise. For our price point, age group and accompanying family member ages, we would definitely go again and definitely consider Royal Caribbean among our options. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our second trip on this same ship and route, this time we brought the family. We decided on this ship because we had such a wonderful experience the first time. I read the reviews previous to our departure and was a bit worried as ... Read More
This was our second trip on this same ship and route, this time we brought the family. We decided on this ship because we had such a wonderful experience the first time. I read the reviews previous to our departure and was a bit worried as the negative reviews listed the age of the ship and rude staff. However, my wife convinced me to just focus on the great time we had in 2016 and the pure joy our kids (13/17) would have going on their first cruise. We were pleasantly surprised when we boarded and our room was no disappointment. We also enjoyed the many staff who made sure we had everything we needed. The problem primarily focused on the lack of security or rules enforcement throughout the week. There are designated smoking areas at various locals about the ship but it seemed those patrons that chose to smoke took liberty as where they smoked...which was about anywhere. Every single night we smelled smoke from the staircases and when I did finally complain, I was told the wind was at fault for carrying the smoke. We did not have this issue in 2016 and I'm pretty sure the wind blew then too! While the itinerary sheet reflects a $250 fine for those breaking the smoking rule, no one seemed to have concern for that regulation being enforced. One morning later in the week we even smelled marijuana from our balcony. I'm an easy going redneck and enjoying the break from our Oklahoma allergies was a welcomed thought if not for the nasty cigarette smoke. You couldn't leave the main dining hall without getting blasted by the smoke. Another issue was the change in dining experience. We had no issues during our 2016 cruise but they evidently changed the format. We were faced with long lines at each meal and DO NOT expect very many diners actually dressing up during the established formal nights. While signs list no flip flops, tank tops or ball caps, we had just that very thing seated next to us. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a big fan of the dressy lifestyle nor was my 13 year old, but we did just that for my wife and it was more than annoying that I had to suffer through a dinner jacket and tie next to bubba in a glorified wife beater! The Windjammer cafe was also habitually crowded as well and we always had to take our plates to a different dining ara just to get a place to sit. Another sign that was liberally ignored was the use of the billiards tables. My eldest and I wished to play and walked to the tables several times each day, not one time did we find them available because there were small children camped out with no adults in sight. The one time we decided to wait, we leaned up next to the "Adults Only" signage and waited for their 45 minute game to end. The issue with unsupervised kids did not end there, we felt we were on a Disney Cruise due to the number of unsupervised kids running about. While some were well behaved, there were plenty that raced down halls, knocked on doors and just created havoc for some people. And lastly, the daily itinerary lists "Saving of seats is strictly prohibited and will be enforced" in reference to the theater, but this was absolutely not enforced and staff regularly walked by rows that were covered by various jackets, shoes, and other personal effects that cruisers placed ahead of time to secure their spot. This was ultimately disappointing to me though by boys had a wonderful experience. I can appreciate the reference to being a "Crown and Anchor Society club" member but I am not sure of the benefits other than a little quicker check in process. I found out that while there are a few perks (less so than in 2016), one has to actually notify the staff upon making a purchase to receive the benefit. You'd think maybe the sea pass card would be colored or possibly reflect that the holder was a C&A Society member so we wouldn't have to beg for the limited perk. One such perk change was the fact that we used to get a $5 credit in the casino but that was changed to one spin! Whew! Game changer! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our 6th Alaska cruise, 2nd on ROTS last being in 2014. I will start with the good and then the not so good. First of all, there isn't too much that can be better than the scenery and wildlife between Vancouver BC and Denali ... Read More
This was our 6th Alaska cruise, 2nd on ROTS last being in 2014. I will start with the good and then the not so good. First of all, there isn't too much that can be better than the scenery and wildlife between Vancouver BC and Denali National Park. We couldn't have asked for better weather. The seas were calm. In Ketchikan and Icy Srtait we just walked around, having done a number of excursions on past cruises. Ketchikan was extremely busy with 4 ships in port. However we did enjoy walking around and enjoying the shops. We took the bus into the town of Hoonah, not much to see there. We saw a Totem carver and enjoyed his story about his carving. Juneau is probably our favorite Alaskan port. We always do the whale watching, Orca lodge salmon bake and on occassion Mendenhall Glacier. We are never disappointed with this excursion. We saw a number of humpback whales and eaglees soaring near our boats. In Skagway, we took the train up to Fraser BC and then boarded the bus for a trip to the beginning of the Yukon, on the way back we stopped for a lunch consisting of bison chili and then walked the suspension bridge. We did encounter some fog and rain on the way to Fraser but the weather cleared before arriving. We opted for a two night land tour folling the cruise and it was teriffic. We left Seward for Denali National Park, with a short stop in Anchorge. Our tour director Lori was amazing, she kept us entertained the entire two days. Lori was extremely patient with all of the questions that anyone had. W were overnight at the Denali Park Village. The loaction was amazing, our room looked out a river behind the lodge. There were several dining venues available, gift shops and outside entertainment. Next morning we got on a bus for the Denali History Tour. We made three stops throughout the park for some short lectures and then at the parks visitor center for lunch. We were very lucky to have great weather because we got to see MT. Denali two days in a row, something Lori said didn't happen very often. Next we rode to Talkeetna where we boarded the Wilderness train to Anchorage. That was a wonderful ride in a domed railcar.Our last night was at the Marriot, it was within walking distance of quite a few sites. Now for the not so good. The ROTS is in need of a physical makeover, it showed a lot of wear and tear. The food in both the Windjammer and MDR were just fair, but we weren't there for the food. The music in the atruim was too loud, you couldn't have a conversation with anyone in guest services. The entertainment was mediocre. Any of the ships crew we interacted with were great, especially our cabin attendant and MDR waiters. If we were to visit Alaska again via a cruise, we might try a Celebrity ship.One last note, on other Alaska cruises, we did not remember all of the small out of control childern running amok on the ship or on excursions. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
This was a family cruise--my mom took myself and my husband along with my brother, his wife, and my niece(13) and nephew(18). We all had been on one other cruise before. The draw for us was Alaska. Overall we had an outstanding ... Read More
This was a family cruise--my mom took myself and my husband along with my brother, his wife, and my niece(13) and nephew(18). We all had been on one other cruise before. The draw for us was Alaska. Overall we had an outstanding experience. Alaska is AMAZING, and getting there on a cruise is just perfect. My mom is 70 with two bionic knees--she can only do so much schlepping before she tires out. This trip enabled her to see beautiful places while staying comfortable. (And yes, you can do super-active things too, but I appreciated that my mom had such an effortlessly good time.) Dining-- Chops was great (the meat in particular--the sides were just ok). Desserts were solid too. The sushi restaurant was fantastic. Top-notch meal, fun decor. Giovanni's Table. Great service, food was ok. We live in the NYC area so we have access to some great Italian food. We're spoiled. But the cannoli were a standout. And the antipasta was lovely. Also, good steak. The main dining room food was nice, but the service was sooooo slow we only ate there once. It was like a 2.5 hour meal and lots of confusion. Not a great experience. The Windjammer was fantastic for breakfast. A nice mix of foods, fresh and decadent. Good cut fruit, great fresh donuts. Lines for omlettes could be a little long. Lunch was ok. I didn't love it for dinner. Too many misses, not enough hits. As for the bars. . . well, drinking is expensive. And the package was just too much for us (we figured out the cost and it was just more than we needed). Paying $12 for a drink? Fine. But I'd like the drink to be good. It was, instead, really hit or miss at every bar we visited. Standout drinks were the beer cocktails at the British pub style bar ( the beer's knees--YUM)--those bartenders were the best of the bunch. Activities-- We did two wine tastings and had a lot of fun (so much depends on your tablemates). Herman was lovely, and we learned a lot (the blind tasting was the most fun and interesting, if you're trying to choose between one or the other). I loved the piano player/ singer at Schooner's in the evening. He was fun. Again, a lot depended on the crowd. Casino was low key and fun. Great place to try something new, the pressure is low. I skipped the ice show, but the rest of the family loved it. We did the mystery dinner. It's incredibly cheesy and unpolished, but it was FUN. Just keep the expectations low and have fun. It's a great deal because the meal from Chops was outstanding and they served lots of wine. (Note -- the woman who played the wife was hysterical. The guys were all a little. . . broad. Let's say that.) Excursions-- In Juneau, we did a whale watching excursion. It was pure magic. We saw so many whales--including a pod of 4 or 5 whales. So beautiful. Great, fun guides, and an overall gorgeous day. We even had snacks! They had donut holes and then canned salmon on crackers and kelp salsa and chips. All added to the fun. My absolute favorite excursion was the Musher's Camp in Skagway. Not only did we get to ride (on dirt) on a sled pulled by 16 dogs, we met puppies! My niece (who at 13 really doesn't like most things) LOVED this. Especially the puppies. This was a wonderful, peaceful fun activity that I highly recommend. Well worth the money. In Skagway, my mom really wanted to do the trolley tour. I was a little meh on that, but it ended up being quite wonderful. It's a city with lovely history, and I loved also hearing about the current state of things in Skagway. Our guide was fantastic, fun, and so enthusiastic you couldn't help but have a good time. And while it's not an excursion, we had a kick-ass dinner at the Skagway Fish Company. Oooooooh those crab legs, and beer, and the view. And the awesome staff. Go there. In Victoria, we did a bus tour that stopped at Tim Hortons (which CRACKS ME UP--also, let's be honest, Tim Bits are better than munchkins. I'm sorry, it's true.) The travel guide, Jon, was terrific, especially since I tumbled down a rock at a scenic viewpoint and landed on my face. I was fine (sore and bleeding, but I deserved it for wearing dumb shoes) but it was quite the scene. He kept calm and was professional--and I'm pretty sure I almost scared him to death. He made sure to report my fall, and the ship's doctor checked on my later that night. (Note to self--stop wearing clogs). A Few Downsides: The arcade was terrible. Broken machines, buggy machines, racing games that didn't race together. We love arcades and it was a bummer that this was in such terrible shape. Also, very hard to find a staffer in the area. The soft serve is sort of sad. It's like ice milk. I think they should consider an upgrade. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Traveled with children, 8 and 12 years old. Have cruised with Royal Caribbean before, but not with little ones. Heard great things about their programs, and Adventure Ocean kept our 8-year-old nicely entertained. He opted to skip dinner ... Read More
Traveled with children, 8 and 12 years old. Have cruised with Royal Caribbean before, but not with little ones. Heard great things about their programs, and Adventure Ocean kept our 8-year-old nicely entertained. He opted to skip dinner when his favorite games were scheduled :) The set up of the space looked simple, but kids always appeared engaged in activities. The 12-year old was too old for the Adventure Ocean groups (3-5, 6-8, and 9-11). She struggled a bit, being too intimidated by older teens (up to 17) to participate in planned activities, although she did like the Optix space. I feel like the cruise was a great value. We opted for an inside cabin and were really happy with the choice. It was quiet and dark, and the price was right! We fit all four of us in there. It was a great adventure. We found plenty of storage space in all the right places. Suitcases fit under the bed, hooks for coats were behind the door. Dining was a highlight for me. Loved dinners in the main dining room. We had the late seating, but might recommend the earlier seating or flexible dining times (My Time?) if you are traveling with children. We didn't do any specialty dining, and don't drink enough to make the beverage packages worthwhile, but ordered a few drinks and found bar staff to be quick and pleasant, with bars available everywhere and staff roaming to take drink orders. Available wines were hit or miss, but I'm sure you could find one you like. We brought our allotted two bottles and enjoyed them over the week with dinner. Our waiters set unfinished bottles aside and brought them back for the next dinner. We were able to drink great wines for a small corkage fee. It was very cold during the Alaskan cruise, although we heard the week before was very warm. We still enjoyed several long soaks in the hot tub, watching soccer games and outdoor movies. Blankets were also available poolside. As others have said, the ice show was surprisingly good for such a small space. Shows were entertaining, if perhaps a bit cheesy (as expected). The entertainers were talented, one comic much better than the other, and the cruise director was very engaging. Whale watching in Juneau was great. We went with Alaska Tales and were very happy. Purchasing through the cruise ship is probably the most expensive option, but has its perks (cruise staff help you locate the tour, and if the worst happens and you return late, you don't have to worry). We booked through Alaska Shore Excursions, online in advance, and a trip to Mendenhal Glacier was paired with the whale watching. Lots of hiking options and wildlife. Eagles galore and a bear sighting. The cheapest option may be to buy an excursion on the pier, but this looked a bit overwhelming, with several competing salespeople in little booths. Others expressed displeasure at being mislead about what they were buying. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
To preface my review so you will understand my experience: I took the cruise with my younger sister and my parents. I am 14 years old, and I've only been on one cruise before this one - on the Carnival Miracle, which went to Mexico. Thanks ... Read More
To preface my review so you will understand my experience: I took the cruise with my younger sister and my parents. I am 14 years old, and I've only been on one cruise before this one - on the Carnival Miracle, which went to Mexico. Thanks for reading my review and I hope you take my thoughts into account when choosing your next cruise! :) The embarkation process went quite well and it was not long before we were able to explore the ship - however, the staterooms did not open until 1pm (we boarded at 11am). The ship itself is quite nice. It has various venues for trivia/entertainment/activities, etc, and they are all used to the fullest extent they can be. Dining was not fantastic. The service in the Sapphire Dining Room was very slow and the food was essentially the same as that which was served in the Windjammer Cafe - not bad, but also not stunning. My dad requested and consequently received a wine menu, but nobody ever came back to ask what he wanted from the menu. The second time we went there, we asked to sit somewhere else and the service did not improve. The third time, we asked to be seated elsewhere again and instead were seated in the same place as the first night. We then left and went to the buffet. We did not visit the steakhouse so unfortunately I do not know if it was good or not. The Promenade Cafe is a good place to grab a quick bite or a coffee, but the pizza isn't very good. I definitely recommend purchasing the drinks package beforehand - being able to get soda as often as you want is great and the cups they give you for the soda make a nice souvenir. My parents really enjoyed being able to get lots of different cocktails and other drinks as well. As for the ports: Juneau - We went on a Historic Gold Panning Adventure. It was pretty fun to find gold flakes, and our guide, "Tundra Tom", seemed to be having just as much fun as we were. There are a few interesting stores to visit in town, but it's a rather long walk through a rather industrial area back to the dock. Skagway - My mom and my sister and I took the Street Car Tour, which was very informative and engaging. My dad went on a Dogsled Flightseeing Tour, which was apparently great. We ate lunch in town and then took a shuttle back - the shuttle is only $2 a person and it was a bit of a ways to the ship (as far as it can be in Skagway, at least), so that was worth it. Victoria - Definitely very different than the other two ports. I didn't enjoy it much and I really would rather have just spent the last day on the ship with unlimited soft serve. Red Fish Blue Fish is a great seafood place so definitely check it out. There can be a long line but the food is good, especially the deepfried pickles. In terms of activities on the ship: there was a wide variety of trivia, games, and bingo which were all hosted by the excellent Cruise Director Staff (Not to be confused with the Cruise Director himself, Topi, who didn't seem to do much that had to do with the passengers other than introduce shows and do the announcements). The music trivia was a lot of fun and I would definitely recommend it. Overall, I really enjoyed the cruise. Given the chance, I would take the same cruise again. It was a great experience and I had a lot of fun! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We’ve sailed with RCI many times before and have never been so disappointed.The land portion of our package was awesome. Unfortunately the moment we got to our room on the ship the dissapointments started. The beds were falling apart ... Read More
We’ve sailed with RCI many times before and have never been so disappointed.The land portion of our package was awesome. Unfortunately the moment we got to our room on the ship the dissapointments started. The beds were falling apart (you couldn’t even close the sleeper chair..it had to stay open all the time because the sides were barely hanging on. We were constantly tripping over it), the bathroom floor felt like it was going to collapse into the floor below, one of the balcony glass walls had a side that was not attached to anything (not good for our grandkids!!), the intercom in the room did not work (the stateroom person verified it did not work), the list goes on and on. The “my time dining” staff was unorganized to say the least. We were told to call but they did not answer the phone. We went to the restaurant and We were told to sign up for our dining time and table but when we tried we were told we couldn’t. That’s ok because we walked out the first night because the waiters were condescending and didn’t take our orders. Too bad, we’re usually really great tippers!! The entertainment was what I would expect on a less expensive trip. We didn’t stay for the first performance in the theater as it was boring and the kids didn’t like it at all. We didn’t bother going to any others. The singers in the main lobby were off key. Bless their hearts they tried but it sounded like bad kareoke (not that there’s anything wrong with that but the main lobby performers are usually fantastic singers). Love you RCI but you need to treat your Alaska cruisers like you treat your Caribbean cruisers! Next time we’ll take another cruise line. Read Less
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