1,852 Seattle Family Cruise Reviews

Very disappointed in the food. There are so many choices that it is hard to do them all well. Many nights we did not eat our entrees. Comedy was good and the bands were good but the huge production numbers were embarrassing- so bad ... Read More
Very disappointed in the food. There are so many choices that it is hard to do them all well. Many nights we did not eat our entrees. Comedy was good and the bands were good but the huge production numbers were embarrassing- so bad and poorly performed. Voices and dancers were off and the shows made no sense. The cruise is good fun if you just know how to have fun. There were no enrichment activities. The daily activities were lacking and seemed to be geared for children. Most troubling- Princess now allows guests in the dining room in jeans, shorts or flip flops and guests can be in the buffet in bathrobes or pajamas. Staff were friendly and helpful for the most part. Crooners Lounge is a lovely spot for evening drinks and music. This itinerary spent too much time in the ports and not enough time at sea. Coffee is bad even in the paid cafe. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was a great cruise overall. As most know, the PNW weather can be iffy in the Fall and we surprisingly had amazing weather for this trip for late September/early October 2019. I didn't know what to pack (even though I live in ... Read More
This was a great cruise overall. As most know, the PNW weather can be iffy in the Fall and we surprisingly had amazing weather for this trip for late September/early October 2019. I didn't know what to pack (even though I live in the PNW) and even with the weather being good, I still didn't pack enough warm clothes for enjoying the outdoor space at sea. We had a balcony room (L301) and many days we sat on our balcony as we sailed away and I could have used more layers. However, days in port I was perfectly fine with capris, long sleeve, and a vest. But on the ship I needed to dress warmer. Layers would be my advice for future cruisers on this with gloves, scarf, hat, vest, coat, and some lighter clothing layers for warmer weather in port. But the weather was so nice on our first at sea day that we even could lay out in swimsuits, by the pool, heading south on our at sea day! But on our at sea day going north I used the atrium pool area as it was cooler. Go figure! We stayed pre-cruise in downtown at our time share. We flew into Sea-Tac and took the light rail into the city (SO EASY if you've not used this before, and cheap!!!) (YouTube Seattle Light Rail system and it'll show you how easy)Then we walked to our resort and used Lyft to the port. Lyft dropped us right off at the ship where we boarded around 11:30am. Barely any lines, hardly any waiting, probably less than 30 minutes from drop off, to on the ship. Got on the ship and made our way to the Horizon Court for a buffet lunch. Seating was crowded indoors, so we sat on the back outside deck and had lunch. It was cooler, so needed our warm jackets & coffee during lunch. At 1pm it was announced that our rooms were ready and we made our way to our cabins where we were happy to see our luggage was waiting for us. Unpacked, and met up with the rest of our party to explore, do the muster drill, and then set sail. Princess has an app that you can download on the ship that you can leave messages for one another via this app. Instructions are on a card in your stateroom about this. It was a little tricky to find our friends on the app (had to enter their number on their stateroom card directly to make them come up) but you can use this feature with Princess' wifi and not be charged. I had my phone on airplane mode while onboard, but wifi was on and we used this app for free. This is not the internet package through the ship. We could also call each others room number and leave messages on their in room phone as well, to communicate. We also had a cabin nextdoor to our friends, and our room steward opened the door, per our request, so we could sit on the balcony and visit. Food on the ship was good. Buffet had the typical things, but for those who don't purchase a drink package and bring on your own hydro-flask or cup, you could get coffee, ice tea, and water in the buffet. They also had hot water and a huge variety of tea bags to choose from as well. I like flavored creamer, which isn't offered on the ship, so I just packed a small box of flavored creamer pods in my suitcase and took a couple to breakfast each day. I also brought on my own insulated coffee mug to keep my coffee warm and have a larger coffee cup to walk around the ship with my coffee in the mornings. My husband did purchase the soda package which was reasonable (under $10/per day) so he stayed hydrated via soda or other juices/mocktails, etc. We just purchased our own cocktails and drinks as needed as we couldn't justify the alcohol drink package for how little we drink. I did bring on the allowed 2 bottles of wine for my stateroom though (1 per person) & just asked my steward to bring me some wine glasses. There's a specialty coffee package that was $31 for 15 coffees, which is a good deal if you use all 15 coffees, which our friends bought one to share, but on a 7 day trip and quite a few days on shore, they left a few drinks un-punched on the card, so they didn't get all 15 drinks. I asked the person at the coffee stand if you could use the unused coffee punch card on a different Princess ship/sailing and he said no. So that didn't work in their favor. Now we did end up having lobster on our last formal night in the main dining room and Baked Alaska. That was very pleasant to know that Princess still has the lobster night, as many lines are doing away with lobster night. Some people don't care about this feature, we happen to book with the lines that still do this if the itinerary is what we want. Ship was in decent shape. You can tell it's been used quite a bit. For instance we had a bit of carpet coming up along the edges of our stateroom. No big deal, it has mass amounts of people coming and going, so it's going to look used. But over all the ship still was beautiful and clean. We did not have a mini suite, so no couch in our room and the shower seemed extra small compared to the Celebrity ship we were on last year. The Star shower had a shower curtain that you had to make sure was inside the shower so not to soak your bathroom floor, which I did a few times unexpectedly. The shower also had wall mounted shampoo/cond combo, and body wash, also a small body lotion was provided on the bathroom counter. But the room was well appointed & clean, with a large closet and ample shelving and storage for our 7days. The bathroom this cruise had an overall outhouse smell, so I had brought on a small bathroom spray, which I used to mask that odd smell. I would have liked a counter standing bathroom scent to keep it smelling fresh throughout. But didn't know that we'd need it as I've never had that constant smell in our bathroom on a ship before. My parents were in a mini suite on dolphin deck and they had a full size shower/tub combo and couch area and 2 TVs vs our 1. However their balcony had zero cover on that dolphin level, which left them exposed to above cabins and weather. We had a nice over hang cover on our Lido deck balcony which was nice when it did sprinkle a bit, we could still make use of our balcony. Entertainment was fine. Didn't go to all the shows and didn't make use of the lounges and all the entertainment going on around the ship as we visited with our party more on this trip than go to the shows. They had two comedians back to back, which was odd not to break those up a bit, one was much funnier than the other. The ships in house production show was ok, Celebrity did much better with this. But the Star isn't one of Princess top ships, so expected not to have the top entertainers, and that was just fine. It was worth our time to watch and we were entertained nicely. They did a fine job and we enjoyed going each night that we did. Walking around the ship we did hear other lounges having entertainment, which seemed fun. So there was lots to enjoy on the ship. Didn't do any of Princess' excursions. Did our own in port by renting cars and walking food tours, and finding local breweries. ASTORIA we had great weather, which doesn't always work out. Astoria is a lovely town with a fun river walk and lots of breweries. There was a $7 shuttle to go into the heart of town from the port that you could use as much as needed throughout the day. You aren't in town when you port and there's a good mile+ walk to get into town from port. Which is a nice walk on a clear day, but we opted for the shuttle. SAN FRANSISCO, our highlight was to go under the Golden Gate Bridge. We went under both times in the dark and the bridge isn't lit up on the underside, so our pictures don't do it justice. The ship will go under the bridge depending on tides so the ship will fit under the bridge, we set our alarm clocks for 5am, and we actually went under at 6am. But again, we heard this could vary due to tides and nobody could give me exact times we'd be going under when we asked the night prior. We left port at 10pm. Both were the same experience going under the bridge, less crowded on the top deck in the morning, and very windy both times, more so leaving than coming in. But it could have been foggy just the same, so it was just lucky we had such a good experience with this. Luckily we had no fog or rain, so it was fun. We did Alcatraz on our own (bought tickets a few months early) and ported almost next door to the Alcatraz pier. Walking distance to Pier 39 as well. We did a Little Italy walking food tour on our own, which was SO FUN!!! MONTEREY we rented a car to do the 17-mile drive and see Pebble beach, which was beautiful. We rented through Enterprise which had a shuttle van that picked you up in the pier parking lot. Had to call to find it, as it wasn't there and wasn't marked when we arrived, so we just had to wait. Some friends took an Uber to Carmel by the Sea, and am wondering if that would have been more time and cost efficient instead. But if you stay around the port area, you can easily walk and stay entertained close to the ship as well without going out of the area completely. VICTORIA didn't have Uber, so we walked into the harbor area, which was a bit over a mile I'd guess, and very lovely and an easy walk. We've been to Victoria so didn't need to sight see, just popped into pubs and looked around the harbor area. Now, we left Victoria in the evening so we got back on the ship later, which meant all the shops on the ship were closed and stayed closed until we disembarked. We forgot this tidbit and left about $70 unused OBC because we couldn't use our OBC (except for drinks) in the shops, as I was thinking about getting a sweatshirt or something with our OBC. So keep that in mind if you have any OBC, use it up before the things on board close down and if you depart your port later. Just a reminder, which I knew, but forgot about until it was too late. Disembarkation we opted to carry our own luggage off so we could keep our luggage with us the night before. They wanted us out of our rooms by 8am, so we quickly had breakfast in the buffet and then went and got our luggage and walked right off. Now, we opted to use the Lyft system to get back to the airport. They will not let Uber/Lyft drivers to come right up to the ship like they did dropping us off. You have to walk about 1/4 mile+ to get to the Uber/Lyft area. For my husband and I, that was no big deal. However for my parents who have mobility issues, that wasn't so great. They did it, but it was a struggle for them. Lyft will vary on cost, but it was about $30 for two of us to get to the airport, where the shuttles directly at the port were charging $30 per person to go to the airport. So for the short walk, it was worth it to us to use Lyft (which was consistently cheaper than Uber in Seattle this trip) Overall, this was a very nice cruise and being from the PNW, it was very accessible to us and I'd easily do it again for a fast, cheaper week get away. The seas were calm going south and a tad rougher heading north, but bearable. But that could vary from time to time. The ship was lovely, staff was nice, food was decent. Overall would book again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise was a cruise in memory of a good friend and a bucket list kind if thing. This was also my family's first cruise. We went on this cruise With a group of friends that have cruised before and told us this was the most ... Read More
This cruise was a cruise in memory of a good friend and a bucket list kind if thing. This was also my family's first cruise. We went on this cruise With a group of friends that have cruised before and told us this was the most incredible ship that they have been on. The food was amazing in every restaurant we went to: The buffet was our favorite we also went to the Manhattan for an adult dinner and it was amazing. When joyed the local and Taste and Savory. The one restaurant we didnt enjoy was Los Lobos, The service was slow and the food was not that great. Other than that the water slides were open every day the race track was open every day as was laser tag. I can't say enough about the people that they have working on the ship always very friendly got to know us and made our trip feel like we were at home. I am already getting ready to book my 2nd cruise with Norwegian! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first Cruise, it was great to see Alaska. I would like to say that Jake the cruise director was lots of fun and did a great job in keeping everyone happy and laughing all the time. Being our first cruise I would like to say ... Read More
This was our first Cruise, it was great to see Alaska. I would like to say that Jake the cruise director was lots of fun and did a great job in keeping everyone happy and laughing all the time. Being our first cruise I would like to say that the food was fair, went to a few of the show and they were great. Some of the special dinning were fair to middle. The store were lots of fun to shop at. The service of the cabin was great. leaving the ship was nice but the trip to the towns were a little stuff in the trams. But I would like to say the over view of the total cruise was great. Great staff and Entertainment. The ports were lots of fun. Really enjoyed Skagway Alaska. I would recommend this cruise line to everyone who wants to take an cruise. The Bliss was very beautiful and very clean. Great crew and really enjoy the ships talent show and entertainment on board the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We left from Seattle, and arrived the day before ship departure. We stayed at Hotel Ändra, highly recommended and great location. We were pleasantly surprised and had a great time exploring Pike Market, Space Needle etc. We actually ... Read More
We left from Seattle, and arrived the day before ship departure. We stayed at Hotel Ändra, highly recommended and great location. We were pleasantly surprised and had a great time exploring Pike Market, Space Needle etc. We actually would have spent more time here! But we came for a cruise, and it sure delivered. This ship is absolutely fantastic, but what makes it even more of a spectacular experience is the multi cultural staff and the personality of the staff. ALL of the staff was amazing, smiling, pleasant, eager to help and just happy! Embarking was so smooth, came at allotted time and we were literally never waiting for more than a few minutes in a line. Very well organized. Same with disembarking, we never new they set up the paths or anything and it was smooth sailing. We used the shuttle service to the airport and had our bags shipped to our destination and that as well went without any problems. We had a stateroom with a balcony and it was roomy, clean and beautiful views at all time. I’m so happy we did this because I enjoyed sun out on that balcony more than once and enjoyed grabbing fresh air in privat. We chose 250 WIFI minutes and I have to say I checked in w my adult kids daily and never used up the minutes. We also had the beverage package and high end beer/wine and liquor was part of that so we could vacation “properly”. For us it was well worth it! We also chose to do the upgraded dining package for 4 days. We chose this because we wanted to try out some of the restaurants and wanted to be able to have reservation...we realized after you could still make reservation at the main dining room but we were blown away with the Mexican Los Lobos and Cagneys....food was to die for!!! Elizabeth at Los Lobos was the best waitress we’ve ever had!!! The food is so good everywhere though and you will never go hungry, never. For excursions we had chosen to do a whale watch in Juneau followed by a quick tour to the Mendenhall Glacier. We saw plenty of whales and the tour was awesome, they even provided binoculars! We saw the glacier right before it got dark so we were happy! The second excursion was in Skagway where we did the train ride, goldpanning and dog sledding. We learned so much this day we’re still in awe. The train ride was spectacular and our guide, Klondike Mike, was incredible at telling the history! We’ll definitely be following the Iditarod race in March! So overall, the excursions where absolutely worth the money. We did our own thing in Ketchikan, which worked out perfect for us. We travelled with another group of 3 other couples but had already decided we were doing our own thing. It was easy communicating with our company through the app so we could meet up whenever. There were always some activity going on if you were up for it. I ended up splurging and got the spa pass for the week and enjoyed the time in there immensely. If there was something I would “suggest” changing it would be the Beatles show, we never got to see that show because you had to stand in line for at least 45 min everyday, how about reservations for that? And the Observatory Lounge is such beautiful space to take in all the views,how about a child free section? There were times when groups of 10-15 people with their young children took over whole areas for a full day. We absolutely recommend this trip and are already thinking about where our next cruise will bring us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were on the last cruise of the Alaska season for the NCL Bliss. The people where excellent even for the last cruise. The food was great. The ship was beautiful with lots of activities. The race track was a lot of fun. We really ... Read More
We were on the last cruise of the Alaska season for the NCL Bliss. The people where excellent even for the last cruise. The food was great. The ship was beautiful with lots of activities. The race track was a lot of fun. We really enjoyed the comedians. Saving the best for last - the casino was non smoking. They have a glassed in Casino for the smokers. We ate dinner at 3 specialty places - Teppanyaki, Cagney steakhouse, and the Le Bistro. Teppanyaki was the best. We also ate in all three free restaurants and they was all good. The only issue that I had was the price of the shore excursion to the craft brewery and whiskey tasting. The price charged by the cruise line was $89. When we arrived they were advertising the tour for $24.95. So we paid the difference of $64 for a bus ride. Price was too much for excursion. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Let's start with the condition of the vessel. It needs some major repairs to it's plumbing systems as we had personal loss of our toilet multiple times this cruise and saw many leaking ceilings and buckets throughout the ship. ... Read More
Let's start with the condition of the vessel. It needs some major repairs to it's plumbing systems as we had personal loss of our toilet multiple times this cruise and saw many leaking ceilings and buckets throughout the ship. Heard stories of cabins flooded and carpet replaced, our friends were relocated along with their neighbors due to repairs to their cabins. However I cannot find fault with the crew of this vessel. Captain Tuvo has a very happy crew, we heard crew people tell of how nice it is to work on board the Star and it showed right to the customers as well. Dinner in Sabatini's was fantastic for both service and food. Anytime dining was great, never having any issues getting a table when we wanted. We tried to get Edwardo and Paul each night as they were so good with service and timing of our meals. The barrel chair was in our caribe cabin and we were thrilled to see it. Air conditioning did not work on our warmest day in San Francisco when jellyfish clogged the cooling system we heard, but in our cabin is was fine. Overall the ship does need some care and we heard it will be dry docked in April to upgrade to medallion. Not sure we would sail her again only due to ship condition but not the crew.....they were a joy. Also enjoyed the smoking lounge Shooters for a cigar and whiskey. I also thought the pools were heated somewhat.....on one day the rear pool was too warm for my taste. Oh yea....this cruise also was to pick their entertainer of the year 2019 so they had four on board to do shows and we voted. The singer Phillip Brown won and he was great. Also even with it's plumbing issues I have to say the public restrooms were some of the cleanest and well cared for we have experienced at sea. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise on the advise of relatives, whom we went on the cruise with. Mistake! So many negatives; bad food, leaking EVERYWHERE, boring shows, mildew smells, just worn out and gross! The carpet was stained and ripped in many ... Read More
We chose this cruise on the advise of relatives, whom we went on the cruise with. Mistake! So many negatives; bad food, leaking EVERYWHERE, boring shows, mildew smells, just worn out and gross! The carpet was stained and ripped in many areas. The waitstaff seemed kind of uninterested in getting to know us, except for one. Our headwaiter in the Capri dining room, Danje was very nice and knowledgeable. But, most everyone else was kind of rude, actually. I felt like everyone working on board was just going through the motions and trying to just get it over with. We didn't feel welcomed or special. It was more like cattle heading. After the cruise ended, we just wished we had never even gone, that's how bad it was. We couldn't wait to just go home. Next cruise we take, we will do more research. This ship was way past it's prime. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
20 cruises over 25 years and it certainly isn’t getting better. Every other activity on the daily schedule was either pay for it or they’re trying to sell something. Food quality is way down activities are almost nil unless you pay ... Read More
20 cruises over 25 years and it certainly isn’t getting better. Every other activity on the daily schedule was either pay for it or they’re trying to sell something. Food quality is way down activities are almost nil unless you pay for them. Norwegian joy to Alaska is booked as a one day at sea when it was actually three days. So much for truth in advertising. One stop in Victoria BC is from 8 PM to 12 midnight that’s one of the days at sea in my opinion. I would suggest buying the dining package because the food on deck is fair at best. No more 24 hour pizza at one end and burgers at the other no more midnight chocolate buffets. The ship was built in 2017 and was quite elegant but lacked in any sports activities. Race track for kids and adults but quite expensive huge arcade also very expensive. Service overall was very good especially in the dining room and cabin. Shore excursions when booked through the cruise line are outrageously priced although Alaska tends to be more expensive. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Alaska was a bucket list trip for my mother and father. Unfortunately, my mother passed away and my father is starting to lose mobility. So, this was a very important trip for my sister and I to take with my father, and Alaska did not ... Read More
Alaska was a bucket list trip for my mother and father. Unfortunately, my mother passed away and my father is starting to lose mobility. So, this was a very important trip for my sister and I to take with my father, and Alaska did not disappoint. The embarkation went smoothly, we were on the ship by 11:30 am which is a very impressive turnaround time. The ship is amazing as always. NCL ships tend to have a very similar layout, so I already knew my way around the 19 deck (20 if you include laser tag) floating luxury hotel. On the Joy they also have Galaxy Pavilion which is a virtual reality arcade. I walked around it with my sister and it seemed really interesting and an unique idea for a cruise ship. Spice H20 has a huge hot top much bigger than their other ships. Of course, I was most impressed by being able to sit in a hot top while staring at glaciers. The dinning I have mixed views on: Buffet: Convenient, easy to grab something quick, great for an easy breakfast, the omelette station is good for getting fresh eggs, but the food did not really stand out. Observation Lounge: Great place for getting a snack! The first day I had a spinach focaccia bread that was delicious, I kept going back hoping they would have more, but it was only there the first day. Surprisingly, the deserts they had there were different than the ones at the buffet and better! If you like carrot cake look for it at the observation lounge! Local: Their appetizers are great; they have a Greek watermelon feta salad that's good. Their burgers are burgers and a bit over-cooked to my taste (I was surprised that they did not ask me how I wanted it) Taste/Savor/Manhattan Room: Their main dinning is good. Their steak/beef menu options are nothing to write home about. (Granted I have to take into account that I may have been a bit spoiled by my first two nights at specialty restaurants) I was however impressed by their appetizers in fact one night I order 3 apps instead of getting an entree. Their deserts were fabulous! NCL knows how to do desserts across every restaurant that they have on board. Temppanyaki: Was spectacular! The show was good, the fried rice and vegetables were good, but most importantly the filet mignon melted in your mouth. This restaurant is a must! I love hibachi and NCL out does most if not all of the hibachi places I have been to. Cagney's: The service here was beyond compare. You can tell NCL takes pride in this restaurant! The steak was great and do not even get me started on how amazing the truffle mash potatoes were. La Cucina: This was my least favorite out of the specialty restaurants. It was good and better than main dinning (though the service was not anything special, and I had some great waiter in the main dining rooms that were more attentive) The burrata was my favorite part and the pesto gnocchi was also very good. Entertainment was pretty good. I really enjoyed elements it was different, engaging, and had amazing special effects, it is a must see! The performers were also friendly and fun! The game shows were always nice to stop and watch in the atrium, I love the shows that include guests, they are always funny, and a good time. There were some days that not much in the itinerary seemed interesting, but I grabbed some friends I met on board and started a game of cards in the observation lounge which was just as fun. Dan Dan the cruise director was great, and I really enjoyed him in late night entertainment. If you like dancing the social is the place to go however, I do have some mixed feelings there. For the most part the service was spectacular. However, I did have an unfortunate incident (which happened to be on my birthday) where a crew member yelled at me, then my sister and it caused my sister to get upset because she is shy and quiet. (Which made me more upset) The next day my sister ran the cruise critic and I met the officers. Martin Ivanov the general manager said to come with him to with any concerns, and without much detail I told him it was my Birthday and this crew member was a jerk and provided him with a picture of the crew members badge. I have to say both him and Ana Maria Malata really took care of me and helped make my birthday special, I was blown away. My cabin Steward was amazing I some how do not have a picture of his badge but I his name was Joevi (I probably misspelled that) He decorated my cabin and hand wrote a birthday card for me. I felt bad about making a compliant and was so impressed by the crew that I thought “whatever everyone has bad days.” Unfortunately, the second to last night at the 80’s party in the social. The crew member that I said was a “jerk” confronted me saying that I got him in trouble. (I am not using his name because I really do not want anyone to be in trouble) He might have meant well, but he was in no way apologizing and, even kind of threatened me, so awkward. I work in corporate management and it made me cringe to think of employee confronting a complaint/ threatening a client. It is a bit sad that I had to avoid a crew member on the ship, but at that point the cruise was almost over and I really did not want to be involved, I just wanted to enjoy my vacation. The rest of the crew was amazing, and I really hope if I go on another NCL cruise that I will not have to deal with an angry crew member, and that no other future passenger does either. Excursions: Juno: Canoeing/Glaciers Fun but there was no wildlife, they did provide rain gear which was a bonus Skagway: Kayaking Cold, but beautiful. I saw bald eagles, a bear, and tons of salmon! Ketchikan: Lumberjack Show/ Totem Park Lumberjack show was a bit cheesy but fun and learning the history of clans in Alaska through Totem stories was a cool experience. Glacier Bay: Not an excursion but still an amazing day on the boat. NCL opened the bow of the boat for close viewing, provided blankets, and even had an expert on board to talk about the glaciers. Disembarkation was well organized even though there was a line/wait to get off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First time cruising with Norwegian.. I would go again but I would not let them book my flights again. Getting off the airplane and to the ship was no problem for us. For our connecting flight in Atlanta we had to run so we wouldn’t miss ... Read More
First time cruising with Norwegian.. I would go again but I would not let them book my flights again. Getting off the airplane and to the ship was no problem for us. For our connecting flight in Atlanta we had to run so we wouldn’t miss our flight we literally got on board and they shut the door. My dad’s experience was not so great at 79 years old everyone at the airport for Norwegian was gone so he had to lug his own suitcase to the bus pick up area. He almost didn’t make it to the ship. He was so stressed. Going home our flights weren’t any better we had to sit in the airport for over 12 hours and having to stay awake for more than 24 hours not the best way to end the vacation. Onto food.. The buffet was good but in my opinion they could have switched up the food better and had more options. When we did get food from there it was cold. The free fancy restaurants were amazing and the food was great. While I liked the “freestyle” dining I did miss seeing everyone dressed up. They need better photographers on board most of our pictures were not taken well. While on board my card was de-activated this was due to the girl at the check in counter using my pass port to identify me which has my maiden name. This threw off all my information I had entered months ago when I booked the cruise. Then I had to prove who I was. The guest services lines were very long. My dad who is a smoker only had one place to go smoke all the way in the back of the ship on the 17th floor. Long walk for all the elderly smokers on board. Getting off the ship at each port was a breeze and each port was amazing… Our excursions was amazing as well. Getting off the ship was a nightmare a lot of mad people being told different things as to which line to be in. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I have done seven cruises and six of them with NCL. This was such a mixed cruise. One one hand, Alaska was amazing and the ship was great. It was nice, clean and the layout was great. The observation deck was really comfortable ... Read More
My wife and I have done seven cruises and six of them with NCL. This was such a mixed cruise. One one hand, Alaska was amazing and the ship was great. It was nice, clean and the layout was great. The observation deck was really comfortable and even the Garden Cafe seemed to be upgraded and comfortable. Glacier Bay (which is the primary reason for going) was well organized and the captain slowed the ship down to a crawl and spun the ship around so everyone can have time seeing the glaciers and get their photos at a comfortable pace. It created a very relaxing time in which we gathered in our families state room and spent the time together on the balcony. The reason for the 3 stars was because it felt disorganized and at times poor service and food. For example: Our checked wine took four requests and two trips to the service desk to get, laundry took three requests, Ice sometimes took multiple calls and food timing was way off (I was served beffore my wife several times). The food was probably the most disappointing aspect of the cruise. We are not foodies but I have always considered NCL as having above-average food and occasionally amazing food. This trip I had a couple good meals, many average meals and a couple poor meals (dry chicken, overcooked fish, tiny portions etc). Overall it was a good cruise because of the destination and the company we brought with us. However we may not do NCL, it seems like they lost many of the personal touches that we have had in past cruises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Princess makes you feel important the entire time your on board.You feel safe and secure knowing that they have your best interests in mind on and off the ship. 5 star service. Huge assortment of food and drink and it’s GOOD food made ... Read More
Princess makes you feel important the entire time your on board.You feel safe and secure knowing that they have your best interests in mind on and off the ship. 5 star service. Huge assortment of food and drink and it’s GOOD food made from someone who cares not from a frozen box. Lobster, great steaks, seafood galore something for everyone guaranteed. Cleanliness is impeccable!! The staterooms were amazing the beds and pillows are straight from heaven you don’t want to leave them in the mornings. You come home rested and feel good, no other accommodation or vacation does that. You feel your money spent on the cruise was a fair trade and and of full value for your experience. I guess the most important vacation for us is knowing your money was well spent.The embarking and disembarking at every stop was smooth and speedy no standing and waiting, ones with children went well and enjoyed all the options available for them on board. Princess covers all the bases, it has the entertainment choices food choices drink choices and they cater to all different age groups and personalities. All the Alaska port of calls were unique and had tons of options for excursions and shopping so everyone had something to do.What’s really special is when the Captain mingles with the passengers throughout the cruise. Great job princess! I always say go Princess or don’t go!!! Thanks again for an amazing cruise... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The ship was very clean and the staff were very friendly and helpful overall. The food in the buffet was usually cold and bland, sometimes inedible. It was incredibly busy up there and difficult to find seating. Other complementary dining ... Read More
The ship was very clean and the staff were very friendly and helpful overall. The food in the buffet was usually cold and bland, sometimes inedible. It was incredibly busy up there and difficult to find seating. Other complementary dining was fairly bland as well. The speciality restaurants were much better and if I cruised with NCL again I would only dine there. However, I don’t think that you should be forced to pay extra for a decent meal, the food that is included should be edible as well. The temperature on-board was too warm. Entertainment was very good. Jersey Boys was high quality and the female comedian was excellent. I avoided most of the “activities” on-board because they were just an excuse for staff to try to sell things. I often felt that I was on a week long timeshare info session being bombarded with up selling. Nothing is free on NCL. The spa was the worst and I knew what to expect going in but I was even surprised. I went to a “hair show” where they were supposed to talk about hair health, the best cut for your face shape, etc., and give away a free cut and style to one of the attendees. They jammed 8 of us into a corner and a very rude salon worker came out and said he specialized in hair loss and they scheduled the wrong time for the hair show so he’d be talking about that instead. We were trapped in the corner for 40 minutes as he tried to sell his special $3600 hat to us. None of us struggled with hair loss. He said he would give us a free consultation but told us repeatedly not to waste his time. He was rude to one 17 year old girl who seemed disinterested during his lengthy presentation and asked her to repeat what he had said and clapped in front of her face. I was so mad when we were finished because he wasted 40 minutes of my time. I felt that I couldn’t leave because I was physically squished into the corner and because I find confrontation uncomfortable. Also, there was no giveaway for the cut and style and I wanted to see a hair show. It was a complete scam. I complained to the manager on the phone afterward and she said there was confusion about scheduling. I explained that the employee was aware that wasn’t what we were there for but he went on with his high pressure sales pitch anyway. She said she could offer me a consultation for my hair but after that experience and having now complained I was not comfortable going back. Also, someone who went to the session was entitled to a free cut and no one got one. I wouldn’t have even cared if I didn’t get it, but if you promise something like that you should follow through. Other activities like bingo were extremely overpriced for the amount of prizes given away. One package was $60 and the bingo jackpot was just over $100. That’s outrageous. You have at least 200 people buying tickets between $30 and $60, that’s a minimum of $6000-$12000 and your total prizes are $600? Not to mention that the cruise staff took forever calling the numbers so that they could sell you more stuff in between. It was painful, not fun. The atrium being where most activities were held seemed like a poor design to me. There wasn’t enough seating there and it was very loud. Again, most of the “activities” were cheesy or a way to sell stuff, but even if it was something I was interested in I would avoid it because the space was uncomfortable. Also, the service counter and other desks were in the same area and it was impossible to hear them when you needed help. Overall the cruise was good. The new ship was still in very good condition which was a huge plus and it seemed clean and well maintained. I just wish that I didn’t feel like I was being nickelled and dimed every step of the way. I knew that about NCL going in but I was worse than I anticipated. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had never done a cruise to Alaska before and this one seemed to fit the bill for our needs. As we had been to Seattle before, we elected to arrive and sail in the same day. We had a party of 4 so we ubered fro the airport to the ... Read More
We had never done a cruise to Alaska before and this one seemed to fit the bill for our needs. As we had been to Seattle before, we elected to arrive and sail in the same day. We had a party of 4 so we ubered fro the airport to the harbor but the NCL staff were all over the terminal to help those who took the NCL transfer. We arrived at the cruise ship terminal about 30 minutes later and walked about 10 steps to the baggage drop off. Very smooth and efficient. We were in the Haven for this cruise, so we then proceeded to the Haven checkin desk and within 10 minutes we were on the ship and in the Haven Bar for a drink. Our rooms were then ready so we went to the rooms and dropped our carryons. We then ate lunch in the Haven restaurant and explored the ship before sailing. The rooms were outstanding and our butler and stewards knew our names by 1700! We wondered the ship and then watched sail away from the Horizon lounge on 17 forward reserved for Haven guests only. We spent a lot of time here. They had coffee and snacks all day long and continental breakfast stuff early in the AM. My only comment here is the drink service was slow and spotty but we walked 50 meters/150 feet aft to the Haven bar for drinks if we couldn’t wait. Awesome ship, super clean and fresh, outstanding staff and awesome service. The dining in all areas was impeccable with the one caveat that bars are slow to make drinks, the restaurants are slow to fill water and get you alcoholic beverages. Slow but impeccable drink service. I would say the restaurants need more drink runners and busboys to keep the servers free to serve. We did not have a bad dish or meal. This crew has it down. The shows were really good and interesting with talented performers and decide to show topics/material. As Haven guests you are escorted to private reserved seating in a private elevator so no crowds. Same for excursions and leaving the ship. The shore excursions were really good, well priced for value and well run. We are definitely going again on another NCL cruise and have 2 future ones booked. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
On board: the room, balcony, was adequate; food also adequate, however, if pastry is your thing you will not find a decent croissant on Princess; flour to fat ratio all wrong. The room attendant was very friendly and helpful. In fact the ... Read More
On board: the room, balcony, was adequate; food also adequate, however, if pastry is your thing you will not find a decent croissant on Princess; flour to fat ratio all wrong. The room attendant was very friendly and helpful. In fact the entire staff was very well trained, helpful and friendly, with the exclusion of one surly female at the spa reception desk. On board lectures limited. Entertainment was enjoyable. Cruise entertainment director energetic, personable, funny and enthusiastic. Ports of Call: time spent in each port was sufficient. However, the ports of call were all geared towards retail sales with tee shirt shops and jewelry stores three to a block. Excursions offered were what one would expect. We choose a rafting trip. However, the waterproof gear given to us was wet and dirty on the INSIDE, even the boots were wet with sand and pebbles inside Not a pleasant experience. This was our second Princess cruise and probably our last. Not because of one bad excursion experience, rather a culmination of the entire Princess Cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose to cruise Alaska on this ship to experience a 'big' ship with all it had to offer: go carts, laser tag, water slides, broadway style shows. We are all experienced cruisers but had never sailed on a ship this size. ... Read More
We chose to cruise Alaska on this ship to experience a 'big' ship with all it had to offer: go carts, laser tag, water slides, broadway style shows. We are all experienced cruisers but had never sailed on a ship this size. There are positives about this ship but more negatives. First and foremost, there are not enough public spaces. As there were six of us, we were always looking for a place to have drinks before dinner or, just to get together somewhere during the day for a a visit. This was a most difficult task on this ship. All the lounges were full before dinner and often during the day as well. The Observation Deck is spectacular but you have to get there early in the day to secure a spot as so many people stake their spot for the entire day! This becomes very obvious when you see staff bringing in hundreds of folding chairs into the Observation Deck. The lounges are mostly full. And, even if you do find a lounge with seating for six, it's nothing to write home about. The lounges on this ship rarely offer an outside view and are mostly very noisy. Nothing like the quiet spacious lounges with views that we're used to. Additionally, the Maltings Whiskey Bar on Deck 8 has a cigar smoking lounge beside it but because of inadequate ventilation you can often smell the smoke from this lounge. The same with the Casino on Deck 7. Smoke smells from their smoke room permeate throughout most of the public areas of Deck 7. We weren't always looking for room for six as often there were just two or four of us looking for a lounge. There was space in the outside lounges like Margaritaville, and the Pool bars and the Waterfront (which is lovely when the weather is nice) but it's cold up there in Alaska and, like the Waterfront spaces, these are weather dependent. In a nutshell, there just aren't enough nice quiet lounges or public spaces. Now for the food. We did not like the food on this ship. It's not a bad thing, but it's probably the only cruise we have ever been on that we either didn't gain and probably lost weight on! The food was plentiful, but not tasty. We ate in the specialty restaurants and were disappointed. We were also disappointed with the Garden Cafe buffet. To be fair to the ship, we never experienced breakfast and maybe that was their best offering! Overall, however, we would have to say it was the worst tasting food we have ever had on a cruise ship. By the end of our week we were looking forward to Q Smokehouse thinking that they couldn't really mess up ribs! Right? Wrong! The ribs themselves were OK (if you put enough sauce on them) but the sides were actually inedible. Why would any restaurant present you with four ribs on a huge platter and then place four tiny little sides in tiny little metal dishes on this huge platter? The platter looked absolutely bare! But worse, the sides were so bad! The coleslaw was flavourless, the beans so bland, the pickles awful and I can't remember the last side because I couldn't bear to try it! It seems the Executive Chef does not oversee the food or taste it. There is absolutely no food quality control on this ship! And if there is, they need a new taster! The best meal we had on this trip was at the Seattle airport! The internet. We took the internet package but should have received a refund. It didn't work for a day or two because of bad weather (we think) and when it did work it was soooooooo slow! It took an hour to download our (small) local newspaper. We had to buy more internet time just to have a paper to read. No game playing, no responding to emails (just reading them) and still we were out of time on our package. The ship did offer a Superior Package with a quicker download speed but having spent what we had already, we felt it should be more than enough for just simple email and newspaper downloads. We've never run out of Internet minutes before, even on much longer cruises from just as remote places. This ship stands alone! Guest Services was not really a service, and NCL should be well aware of this given the lines in front of Guest Services snaked down the corridor! Once you got to Guest Services, you were lucky if you got someone who actually understood what you were saying or cared about what you were there to discuss. We didn't get lucky! The Spa area floor is extremely slippery in spite of the fact that a staff member is constantly 'squeeging' it! This is around the Thermal Pool and Sauna area so beware. Also the Sauna is coed, you may prefer it, but we didn't. We did like our cabin, which surprised us as it was the smallest cabin we have ever cruised in but it was so well planned that there was room for everything, plenty of storage, nice vanity/desk layout, great washroom, and the TV was well situated and one was able to swivel it. Also, the ventilation was good and the bed was comfortable. We had a Mini Suite on Deck 8 and it was nice. The Lectures by the Park Rangers while cruising Glacier Bay were excellent. We appreciated the decisions the Captain had to make in regards to missing a port because of bad weather however, when we missed our port stop in Ketchikan, we fully expected to either sail into Victoria early (as there was a berth open at 2PM) or at the every least, be right on time. As it was, we were allowed off the ship at 8:30 PM and asked to be back on the ship by 11:30! Three hours in the nicest port of the cruise! All the other ships that we saw were there for at least 5 hours and often more. This ship spends far too little time in Victoria! Even their original schedule of arriving at 7:30 (which was adjusted to 8:00 PM prior to sailing) is too little time in this port. One should look closely at their port stop schedule, particularly in Victoria before choosing this ship. We were very disappointed. As a group, we enjoyed our time together and it was interesting to discover what a mega ship offers as we have always sailed on smaller ships but, having tried it once, we will not be trying it again as there was nothing that would entice us back such as good food or nice public spaces or an Observation Deck we could actually find a seat in. Having said this, if the weather is good so that you can enjoy the pool areas, waterslides, go carts and other outdoor areas and you have young children, it's probably a good ship for you! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I truly chose this cruise for my parents, myself & sister because of the great deal. We were able to stay in a beautiful suite at a great discount. But we loved the huge balcony and appreciated the size of the suite and would have paid ... Read More
I truly chose this cruise for my parents, myself & sister because of the great deal. We were able to stay in a beautiful suite at a great discount. But we loved the huge balcony and appreciated the size of the suite and would have paid more for the wonderful week we experienced. Our only complaint was the lack of seating at the Horizons buffet (Dad is a buffet fan, but the crowd was a nightmare, so we only ate 2 lunches there) We appreciated the special attention received at the Da Vinci Dining room. The service was wonderful! We enjoyed two nights at the Crown Grill (our first night there was complimentary) Great steaks, as expected. We also enjoyed SHARE. And the Salty Dog Gastropub was a fun lunch (normally only open for dinner, but opened at noon the last day since we were in Victoria during dinner hours) I was told on the cruise that I would not have to sign for a bar bill under $50. I wish I did. The prices of wine seemed to vary from night to night. ??? Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is a gorgeous ship! The layout is very unlike most of the other RCCL ships because it was made for a different type of itinerary. We did Alaska in mid-September. The outdoor pool was heated, and we had no issue swimming in it. But ... Read More
This is a gorgeous ship! The layout is very unlike most of the other RCCL ships because it was made for a different type of itinerary. We did Alaska in mid-September. The outdoor pool was heated, and we had no issue swimming in it. But there is also a covered pool and an adults-only solarium with some smaller soaking-type pools. It's all very comfortable with plenty of space to watch the scenery go by. If the sun is shining, don't hesitate to try the walking/jogging track above the pool level. We saw so many whales, and all we needed was a light jacket and/or sweatshirt and we were perfectly comfortable. The food was excellent and pretty much on par with food on most RCCL ships; so if you generally like the food on RCCL cruises, the Ovation will be mostly the same. The cafe@Two70 was a welcome addition with some nice sandwiches. Pixels is the one show you need reservations for. It's an impressive show with talented performers, but it wasn't really our taste (kind of modern and weird). Plus, we sat toward the back, which made it near impossible to see anything. If you go to the show, get there early so you can find a seat up close to the action. The rest of the entertainment (production shows, singers, a magician, etc.) all seemed to be a notch above what I've seen on other cruises. The Music Hall, Boleros, and the Schooner Bar also always had wonderful musicians. The casino has the nicest layout I've seen on any cruise ship. It is very spacious, and you can walk around without bumping into a bunch of people. I would sail the Ovation of the Seas again in a heartbeat. The staff of course was wonderful, but more than that, the ship is simply spectacular. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Just came back from final Alaska run before it re-positioned to Australia and pretty much loved it all. Our group booked the ultimate drinks and dining packages before the cruise to have freedom on board and we're all glad we did. ... Read More
Just came back from final Alaska run before it re-positioned to Australia and pretty much loved it all. Our group booked the ultimate drinks and dining packages before the cruise to have freedom on board and we're all glad we did. Drink package was definitely a deal if you drink water, coffee, juice, soda and 4+ drinks over the course of a day. All the restaurants very good but standouts were Wonderland and Chopt. Absolutely delicious. Tip: when you get on the ship, book all your dinners for the week with Guest Services or Restaurant Services. Lunches are pretty easy to nab there when you want to. Windjammer buffet is fine but pretty crazy, so we opted for sit down breakfast in dining room after day 3. We never ate in dining room but hear it was good. Overall, thumbs up on food and drinks, with lots of options. Our cabin with large balcony (11690) was very clean and well organized for storage. More than enough for two people and plenty of hangars. Glad we brought a power strip and our own shampoo/conditioner, lotion etc., since that wasn't supplied (although someone said you could ask for it). The bathroom is really small but not surprising and always clean. Lots to do on the ship or lots of places to chill and do nothing. We loved the adult solarium and used the warm pools and hot tubs several times. We enjoyed Bingo, which was fun and very popular. The Disco dance party was a lot of fun, thanks to the Cruise Director and team kicking it off, and the bar trivia and musicians kept us all entertained. Of special note is the Spa. We all gave it five stars. Our massages and facials were absolutely terrific and the staff backed off quickly after their obligatory product sell. Highly recommend. Since we had our cards on file, we never had to "check out," and all tips were handled for us. For disembarking, we opted to carry the bags off ourselves and were completely off the ship and in a taxi in 20 minutes. DO THIS. Finally, every staff member we met was friendly and professional and helped make the trip extra special. We had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Prior to sailing: We purchased "The Key" which was a very good investment for us both. I also pre-scheduled our excursions (2 directly from Royal Caribbean International and 2 from other vendors) and activities such as IFly and ... Read More
Prior to sailing: We purchased "The Key" which was a very good investment for us both. I also pre-scheduled our excursions (2 directly from Royal Caribbean International and 2 from other vendors) and activities such as IFly and the North Star along with pre-booking our night to see Pixels and the Escape Room. I drafted a calendar of events, activities, and dinner times and places we wanted to do from prior cruise compasses with lots of time to add more while on the ship. Months prior to cruising, I signed us up for the Meet and Mingle Roll Call, and participated on the review boards for our particular cruise and met many nice and funny people. This is a great way to meet others prior to sailing. Thursday: Seattle, Washington - We flew into Seattle a day before the cruise and arrived early and dropped our bags off at "The State Hotel" just steps away from Pike Place Market. It was our first stop and we watched the fishing sailing through the air. The booths are endless - we saw crab legs as long as our arms, an abundance of flowers and many local crafts. Prior to returning to our hotel, we enjoyed dinner at "Pike Place Bar & Grill." The Steamed Manilla Clams and the Cod Fish and Chips dinner were delicious. Best fresh cod ever! Embarkation and Day of Sailing - Seattle, Washington: Due to the time change and going to bed early, my husband and I had morning coffee at the "The State Hotel" and explore more of the area. Our Lyft picked us up at the hotel and we arrived at the ship minutes later at the Port terminal (before 10:00 a.m.). As I was a disabled veteran he made sure we were dropped off close to the entry doors - the cost $16. Upon showing our Sea Passes - we were quickly ushered in the line for "Key" members and sat in the area to await a wheelchair for me. Time quickly flew and before we knew it - the activity director took us aboard the largest ship we have ever seen. This was the fastest and easiest embarkation we have ever experienced. Ovation of the Seas - She is a very beautiful ship with plenty to do and see. It would take weeks to accomplish all on her. Our balcony cabin was mid-ship on the 11th floor - 11180. Knowing it would not be ready until 1:00 p.m.; we went to Guest Relations and purchased the Wow Bands for $4.99. These bands are surely worth it as I used it often for unlocking our cabin door throughout the cruise saving time for searching for my Sea Pass which I left often in the light switch. Not only did Glen, our room attendant, kept our cabin neat and clean each day, he left multiple towel animals for us to enjoy. I took Traveler's Ginger Candy (Gin Gin Company) with me and only had to savor two of them during the cruise. I share most of the bag with others who were experiencing seasickness even wearing the patch. Friday: Day 1 - At noon, we went to the Main Dining to eat with other Key Members and enjoyed a Chops Grille luncheon. Hubby had the Colossal Shrimp Cocktail, Everything Crusted Tuna and the New York Cheesecake. I had the Caesars Salad with their signature dressing, Petite Filet Mignon with three dipping sauces and the New York Cheesecake. This meal was scrumptious! After eating lunch, we explore the ship unto our way to the cabin. The large towel I pre-purchased was in the room, but the Polar Bear Alaska Blanket for two was missing. I spoke to the attendant and he did not know if one could be found. This was distressing for me, as I had purchased it months ago. A few days later the Deck Supervisor found a brand new blanket and gave it to me - it surely made my day that the personnel on the ship took extra lengths to ensure our cruise would be delightful. We saw our Key envelopes and entered our passwords for the VOOM and notice that we had a letter stating our special departure times for each port. Our next stop was at the Sky Bar where we met our Cruisers from our Roll Call. It was great seeing who I had been conversing with online prior to sailing. Muster was at 3:15 and we made our way down to the Schooner Bar. Go a tad bit early for Muster to obtain a seat. Muster went flawlessly. At 6:00 p.m. while hubby was relaxing and watching out our balcony, I went to see and purchase the Alaska Survival Kit. Many store vendors had their selections out and I was able to purchase gifts for our kids. I preselected our "My Time Dining" for 7:00 p.m. and we went to eat at the Silk. This dinner was disappointing after having a fantastic luncheon with Chops Grille. Although we were seated quickly, it took a while to take our orders. Hubby and I ordered the Escargot that was swimming in butter and parsley. I love eating escargot but the Silk's mostly tasted like butter and was bland. Maybe Silk could try cooking the escargot with less butter, add garlic and mushrooms to it like they used to do in the early 2000s. The rest of the meal was neither remarkable nor memorable as the prime rib was overcooked. The service was sporadic and we miss the old days of the traditional MDR days with the greeting from the Head Waiter, Waiter and Assistant Waiter all of whom worked together. I believe the seating arrangement made it more difficult and all of these restaurant venues with "My Time Dining" made it more difficult for the wait staff and guests. I highly suggest two of the venues return to the traditional MDR. After dinner, we went to Comedy Night on Decks 4/5. The show was average and was disrupted many times by guests leaving. We sat in the handicap area and the attendant was a tad bit annoyed with us sitting there. I guess she did not see my cane nor my leg brace. Her sour demeanor was quickly forgotten. After the show, we stopped in the Royal Casino and the host gave us our gold coins to try our luck at the special slot machine. While hubby played Blackjack, I tried my hand at Roulette. We both had a good night and won some. We strolled Deck 5 and found the smoking area. We made friends there that we would see often throughout the cruise. By the time we got to our room our luggage had arrived and morning came fast. Thanks to other cruise reviews, I had most of our important items in our carry-on. Saturday: Day 2 - Cruising: After having morning coffee, hubby and I went up to Deck 16 and were excited to experience the North Star. Even though I do not like heights, this was an awesome experience. Hubby took many pictures and we were able to see far off in the distance including the entire ship. Upon standing in line, the attendant escorted to the elevator to take me to the doors of the North Star so I can experience it without struggling the stairs. Just a FYI there are many times in which the North Star does not cost the guest any extra monies and as a "Key" guest we were able to experience it without lines a 2nd time. Port Shopping Show - I went to the Port Shopping Show and learned the best places to visit for shopping form multiple beautiful gems to see and possibly buy. Bingo and Blackjack Qualifying Round - Oh my - had so much fun playing bingo and won an extra bingo shirt. I came so close to winning cash. Hubby went to the Blackjack Qualifying Round and placed for the tournament. Balcony and Deck 5: - Spent the afternoon relaxing and watching for whales and Orcas and saw many. It truly was an awesome experience. Formal Night - Hubby and I dressed to the max and it was such a delight. We went to the second seating at Silk. If we thought the first dinner was disappointing, this dinner was worse. I decided to try the Seafood with Linguini. It was terrible, the shrimp tasted old, clams cold and the bay scallops were still frozen. I pushed my plate aside and the waiter came and was told I was done. Another waiter stopped and asked if I wanted to try something else. Once again I stated I was no longer hungry and this time described the meal quietly as to not disturb the other guests. We saw him walk quickly to the Supervisor as we were leaving. Hubby told me to keep going as the Chef was now running behind us. We left the area, went to Sorrento's and ate pizza. Needlessly to say we miss MDR dining. After dinner, we went to the Comedy Show and it was great! So glad to try to see another comedy show. Afterwards we strolled the deck in the moonlight then changed clothes for the Casino and played a few rounds. Sunday: Day 3 - Alaska Inside Passage/Juneau - Once again we enjoyed a light breakfast at Two70 (Deck 5) of coffee, juice and Panini. We went to our Meet and Mingle in Vintages and were greeted by others who posted prior to cruising. Tony and his wife were experienced cruisers and were very friendly. Tony gave each us beautiful bracelets. Thanks Tony! We met families with children who were bored and suggested the Adventure Ocean program. Two families sought us out later and told us they had a hard time getting their children to leave. Juneau, Alaska - Due to the Key, we went to the Music Hall (Deck 3) at noon to await our departure for Juneau. Within minutes, we were off the ship and going down the gangway. Upon hitting the boardwalk, a Pedicab took us to the Mount Roberts Tramway in which we purchased our tickets to the Tram and to AJ Mine/Gastineau Mining Tour. We took the tram to the top and we were able to see Eagles and view the authentic Alaska Native Arts and purchased items in their gift shop. We took the Tram down and were met by our guide for our mining excursion. This was a quaint excursion as it was shared with one other couple. We saw this same mining company on the Discovery Channel. Our guide was a retired miner and kept us entertain while exploring the inside of the mine. We learned the history of the mine and it was quite an experience. Once outside the mine, two young guides taught us how to pan for gold and garnets of which we each found almost entire vial worth of both. This is a must see excursion which I found online. Upon returning to Port, hubby and I went shopping and I was able to collect my charms to add to my bracelet while looking at Gold Quartz jewelry, Korite (Ammolite), Tanzanite, an array of Northern Lights jewelry the rare Alexandrite collection and the Crown of Lite jewelry collection. If you are a coffee lover like us - visit the Heritage Coffee Roasting Company. The aromas are intoxicating. While most people were eating at Tracy's Crabshack and eating arm length crab legs, hubby and I had a delicious dinner at the Twisted Fish Company. Their clams in wine sauce, crab cakes and calamari were scrumptious! We went back to the ship by 8:00 p.m. and took our purchases to our room. Upon leaving our cabin, we saw the telephone message light blinking and quickly learned how our Klukwan Native Culture Excursion was canceled due to "lack of participation." Although the Shore Excursion Desk stated for us to come by and book another excursion I took time to look at the Royal IQ app and saw there were none that interest us. I searched Google and learned this excursion had closed for the season the week prior. This left a bad taste as you would think the Shore Excursion would verify all excursion to ensure none closed early for the season prior to the sailing. Needless to say, we went to Deck 5, met up with friends and were invited to join them for the Jeep excursion to the Yukon. Shortly there afterwards we went up to the top deck to take photos of the ever changing sculptures on the pier and watched the sail away at 9:00 p.m. A while later we stopped in at Schooners and listen to piano music, visit the Casino, ate late night pizza at Sorrento's, met more friends on Deck 5 and had an enjoyable night. Monday: Day 4 - Skagway, Alaska - Morning came quickly and we picked up breakfast at Two70 and sat in the Deck 5 lounge. Shortly thereafter, the four of us left the ship (with our passports) and we walked to town (take the tram and ride it as it is 1/2 mile hike). Before you know it, we were in the jeep driving towards the Yukon. Our GPS (jokingly our landmark book) did not take us directly to the Yukon, as it did not account for the road closure and detour. Before we knew it, we arrived at the Yukon Suspension Bridge. We took our time, crossed the bridge and saw its beauty. Afterwards we had lunch at their cafe of bison chili that was mouthwatering. I purchase bison chips, crackers and cheese to enjoy later. After an hour out we turned around and the road was already paved, and we were on our way to Carcass and saw the smallest desert. We stopped in Carcross for drinks, snacks, and some shopping (a nice small town with plenty to see and buy including readers). The ice cream was delicious. Within minutes, we saw a bear by the side of the road and took pictures. We saw so much wildlife on our way to Emerald Lake. So cool to see and many photo ops there too. Soon we arrived at Emerald Lake and the view was spectacular. We took our time traveling back to Skagway and came upon another bear - this one was very large standing in the middle of the road. After taking a few pictures, the bear retreated into the woods nearby. The four of us went shopping and picked up trinkets, postcards and the train charms for our bracelets. We were back on the ship by 5:00 p.m. in time to relax for dinner. Tonight we had reservations for the Solarium. This is a quaint dinner spot that is included in your cruise to partake if one so desired. Many people just ate from their buffet, but Hubby and I chose from their menu and their buffet. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was very relaxing. The tables were nicely spaced and the wait staff made sure each guest was enjoying oneself. After dinner, I went to the Rossalite Gems show - these gems are beautiful!! Hubby and I watch the sunset and off to play at the Casino. Tuesday: Day 5 - Endicott Arm/Dawes Glacier - hubby and woke up early and went to Two70 for coffee and carried our breakfast to the Deck 5 lounge where we could Glacier Watch. This did not occur ,as the Captain of the Ship was wise to turn us around when he saw how big the icebergs under the water were and was smart enough to put our safety first. Many understood but there were others who were angry until other guests explain that small iceberg on top of the water is much smaller than what is not seen under the water. The Captain took his time and the entire ship went whale watching with many to see. Prior to lunch, I went to the room to pick up my bingo shirts and daubers and purchase my bingo cards. I was awarded extra free bingo cards for each shirt and dauber and was given the B3 Blue Bingo Fish (which gave me an extra bingo card on day 3 - win a cruise bingo). No wins for me but came close and had an enjoyable time. After bingo, we went and saw the Love and Marriage Show - this show is a must to see and everyone seem to enjoy themselves. Afterwards I dropped off my bingo gear and was met by the 11th Deck Supervisor who surprised me with the Polar Bear Winter Blanket! Yeah!! Escape Room - this activity was pre-booked prior to cruising. Hubby and I never experienced and it was quite intriguing. There were 12 of us working together in which you collect clues, solve puzzles to escape and only had 1 hour to do so. Hubby found most of the locked boxes and we helped solved many of the puzzles to collect clues and were able to escape. This was a very fun activity and everyone should try it. I do know not all the ships have this activity but they should as it is a very enjoyable experience and does not take up much room to play it. Windjammer - Hubby and I went exploring another part of the ship and dropped our Custom Form off at Guest Relations. Unbelievable as there is still so much to see and experienced. Dinner was upon us and we decided to try the Windjammer. We were met with "Washy Washy" which sounded delightful in her singsong manner. A table was easily found and we went to look at the array of foods. Chad made me a delicious plate of my own ingredients for Lo Mein. I thought I was full until the dumped a fresh batch of French fries at a station nearby and off I went to get a small plate of them with Malt Vinegar. Oh my - I was in heaven!! The array of desserts will make your mouth water once again. Another familiar feature was seen in the Windjammer was see fruit carvings - the fish in the watermelon was totally spectacular! After dinner, we strolled the deck to walk off dinner prior to an evening out with hubby. I missed out as I fell asleep while waiting for hubby taking a shower. He went to the Casino with friends. So nice that I was able to catch up on my sleep which is hard to do on such a fun cruise. Wednesday: Day 6 - Cruising - Yep we had coffee from Two70 and taking breakfast away to Deck 5 lounge and relaxed watching the waves. Fab Abs class - OH MY! That was surely a work out! Off to the room to shower so I can enjoy the day. It was not long until it was our time to experience the IFly on Deck 16. IFly - The crew here are very safety conscious and thoroughly enjoys assisting guests with having a fun experience. First, you are asked if you have had any neck and upper back injuries as one cannot safely participate. Next, you are weighed in - thank goodness, they do not say one's weight aloud. Hubby could not participate, as he was a few pounds too heavy for his height, which he was fine with as I think he was more excited to see if I would go through with it. Lol. We watch a short safety video, learned our four hand signals and then suited up. Soon it was our turn to go to the gravity chamber. Since all of us listened and followed their instructions, we were able to fly higher with our instructor in which we spun upward. Such an exhilarating experience!! Bingo for a free cruise - Went to the room, picked up all my bingo gear and given 21 cards to play. So close with 1 number but did not win - maybe next time. It was so nice to see the young gentleman jump up, yell bingo, and win a cruise for 2 while on his honeymoon. Dog House - even with all the variety of food - a good beef hot dog and/or bratwurst with sauerkraut fits the lunch bill easily. Relaxing afternoon - hubby took a much needed nap and I went exploring the shops (be wise and leave your sea pass in the light switch like me - it saves you money - lol). I purchase a few small items and went to relax with friends. I woke hubby for dinner and dressed for our second formal dinner. American Icon Grill - this was chosen as Hubby refused to go back to Silk and he knew I wanted to eat lobster. Dinner service was extraordinary and so unlike what we experienced in the Silk. The Wait Staff were friendly and interactive with the guests. The waiter made dinner suggestions and knew the ingredients for the dishes. Our appetizers were delicious (hubby had the Caesar Salad and I tried the Escargot again - their style of cooking grows on you). Hubby selected the beef tenderloins and asked for rare and was super shocked it was cooked the way he wanted AND very tender. He was enjoying this dinner outing. The Waiter brought me two lobster tails and brought heated butter to the table. Oh my! The lobster melted in your mouth. After dinner, the Waiter cleared the table and knife scraped the tablecloth prior to dessert (an old MDR table method this was the only time seen done). Since this was the 50th year, a special cake with swirled lollipop stick came out with the desserts we selected. Hubby had apple pie ala mode nicely heated with a side of vanilla ice cream. I had the Molten Chocolate Cake that was quite delicious. Hubby and I had another stroll on deck and met up with our friends who had a very enjoyable experience too while dining in Wonderland. We share our dining experiences and discussed what we were going to do in Victoria. We all went to the Casino and knew bed was early as the time change went forward 1 hour - morning would arrive sooner. Thursday: Day 7 - Victoria, British Columbia including the Hop On Hop Off Tour - Hubby and I took the double decker bus to Victoria ($15 roundtrip per person) and saw many sights on our way and was dropped off at the Empress Hotel in time to purchase our tickets for the Hop On Hop Off bus which had a 90 minute tour if you stayed on it. My leg was sore so we chose the tour. The tour guide, Norm was very interesting and we learned about the Gold Rush, the history of Victoria, saw the tiniest through way that Mel Gibson took for Bird on the Wire, Craigdarroch Castle, Christ Church Cathedral, etc. We even saw peacocks and many deer throughout the tour. Once back to the Empress Hotel, we walk towards Irish Pub called the "Irish Times" for lunch. I advise you to be extra hungry as we ordered the O'Hagan's Platter. This platter is huge and contained Chicken wings, loaded fries, sweet potato fries and dry ribs. Hubby and I barely put a dent into it. This platter covered almost the entire table with barely any room for our drinks. We explored some of the shops and purchased a few items to take home. We took the Double Decker bus back to the cruise ship by 4:00 p.m. Both of us took showers and went to meet up with friends to share our Victoria experiences. Later that evening we ate dinner at Windjammer which was quite filling. We took our nightly stroll, headed back to our rooms to pack our luggage, and left it in the hallway for pick up. We went to the Casino, played a few rounds and turned in our remaining Chips and Tokens. Our last stop for the evening was a quick late night pizza at Sorrento's and I went to the library and printed out our plane tickets home. Friday - Day 8 - Vancouver, British Columbia - it is a sad day that this fantastic cruise was coming to an end. Since we had the "Key," hubby and I were treated to breakfast in the American Icon on Deck 4 prior to leaving on Deck 5 near Wonderland. We disembarked in easy and quick manner and our luggage was quickly secured. Our porter took our luggage throughout the terminal and escorted us outside the terminal by the Pacific Hotel where we would meet for the Sear to Air Post Tour Excursion with Landsea Tours. This is a 6-hour tour that included a drop off to the airport. Our tour guide was very interesting and we knew it had changes to it as the Gondola to the Suspension Bridge had been sabotaged a few weeks prior to the tour. Landsea Tours emailed us 2 days after the sabotaged to verify whether we want to continue with the tour as the Suspension Bridge was exchanged for a visit to Grouse Mountain Resort. We first crossed the Lions Gate Bridge and saw the massive entry lions. We took a brief trip to Shannon Falls and it was a breathtaking sight. Next, we went to the Britannia Mine Museum and this was exciting as we had the opportunity to learn how the rocks were broken down until fine sand and then sent to San Francisco to cultivate it for gold, silver, copper. We toured the underground mine and then toured the ground floor of the building learning about the different stages, how hard mining was, and the harsh life of the miners. We panned for a bit and found more gold and copper nuggets. We then took a brief trip to Horseshoe Bay for lunch and saw Howe Sound fjord. People were so friendly throughout the tour. Lastly, we traveled to Grouse Mountain. We took the Skyride Gondola up the mountain and arrived in time to witness the Lumberjack Show that was quite funny and impressive showcasing their skills. The lumberjacks interacted with the audience throughout the show. Vancouver Airport - Once the tour was complete we were dropped at the Airport doors for Westjet and assisted with our luggage. Our flight home late that evening was uneventful except how the Canadians can teach Americans a thing or two about the ease of flying international while disabled. As I was seen struggling trying to obtain luggage tags, a gentleman with Westjet quickly assisted us. Upon seeing me struggling with walking, he secured a wheelchair with a Westjet attendant for me. She took us through security. The Canadians operation for going through security is easily done as is how one travels throughout their airport. First, they swapped out my cane for one of theirs so I can go through scanner without the fear of falling. Next, security was already ready to scan my knee brace quickly and I was whisked away by the Westjet attendant to the appropriate gate. She made sure we reached our gate in a timely manner with time to spare. Unknowingly she reserved future wheel chairs for me for the remaining two connecting flights. Our first flight went from Vancouver to Toronto. Upon arrival, a Westjet attendant whisked me away in a wheelchair and took all the shortcuts to customs. We were there within minutes and a few questions later on our way to our next flight. We were quickly through security and once again, the cane swapping occurs. This was so cool as the disabled were treated with respect and not a hindrance as what I had incurred on the flights with American Air to Seattle. Each airline took care of their own passengers while the airport staff drove the trams to the multiple terminals. Upon our arrival at La Guardia airport, the wheelchair was there and we were quickly taken to the terminal for our last flight with Delta Air. We quickly obtained our luggage and hubby had us on our way home. We had an awesome time celebrating our 34th anniversary on the Ovation of the Seas (such a romantic setting for 2) and now must go back to the real world, but already planning our next cruise for 2. Or maybe with all our adult children to enjoy too OR just plan 2 more cruises??. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I am a Royal only cruiser and this cruise was a huge disappointment for many reasons. I booked a balcony room on the 13th floor. Most of this floor has an obstructed view with support beams and a roof overhang that blocks most of the sky. ... Read More
I am a Royal only cruiser and this cruise was a huge disappointment for many reasons. I booked a balcony room on the 13th floor. Most of this floor has an obstructed view with support beams and a roof overhang that blocks most of the sky. It is NOT sold as "obstructed" I spent the first day of the cruise unpacking, packing ,moving to better view room and unpacking again. This could have been avoided had the room description included obstructed! Secondly, there is a giant smoking area that is not outside and has no ventilation along with the casino that is offensively smoke filled. Thirdly-the MDR's food was inedible...we attempted it the first night and never went back. We opted for the Solarium Bistro which was much better. The crowd control was chaotic on sea days of which there were 3 full days. The stops of Juneau and Skagway were great with great shore excursions. Victoria day was just too short although we did the wine tasting and it was great. All in all....a smaller ship is needed to navigate the Endicott arm. This ship is misrepresenting the term "glacier" cruise. Unless you take an excursion you will not see one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Reviews are all about expectations. I read many of these reviews and it is like they were not on the Ovation. Wife and I been on over 160 separate cruises and many on RCI sailings. The ship is beautiful and the staff and crew were ... Read More
Reviews are all about expectations. I read many of these reviews and it is like they were not on the Ovation. Wife and I been on over 160 separate cruises and many on RCI sailings. The ship is beautiful and the staff and crew were very nice and very happy. In my experience a happy crew, equal a happy ship. Embarkation: My family arrived at the Port of Seattle at 1:30 pm. We actually read our documents and came when we requested. NO wait, No problems, and we were in our cabins in 30 minutes. Any immigration situations are not Royals responsibility. We are very high up in our status, but don't take or expect any special treatment. Never arrive early. You will have to wait in lines and fight for a seat in the buffet until they release the cabins. Disembarkation: Very organized and quick. Again, go when you are called. They have a system, use it. The food was as expected. Not Ruth Chris's. We found Jaimes to have the best food for our tastes. If you are a critical person, then cruising is just not for you. Did this cruise go perfect. Of course not. We had three balcony cabins together and brought our 2 year old. She had a great time, but even better, we all had a great time. Pixels is one of the best shows we have seen. The ship is so large, that during sea days, we never felt crowded. I just cannot believe some people who seem to be so critical and think because this is a " Critic " forum, they feel necessary to write that way. I do my homework in regards to the Ports of Call. No surprises there. Reviewing the ship for your bad experience in Juneau, is your fault. Not the ships. Really people. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It has been on my bucket list for years to cruise, we decided my 60th was a good reason to go. What a great vacation. I felt so relaxed and could want for nothing my whole trip. When we started out it was just going to be me and my wife. I ... Read More
It has been on my bucket list for years to cruise, we decided my 60th was a good reason to go. What a great vacation. I felt so relaxed and could want for nothing my whole trip. When we started out it was just going to be me and my wife. I said the more the merrier so we reached out to our kids their friends, our friends. We ended up with 14 takers so it was so enjoyable to do this together. We upgraded to a balcony king suite and I think it was really worth it. WE had the Spa package also.....I think its a must !!!! We had the ultimate drink package....so worth it. The food was good at all the free eateries. The buffet is good, lottsa choices, nice staff. We also were allowed to eat at Manhattan and Taste both of which are step up white linen dining and both were fabulous. The casino was fun when its open too. We liked Juneau as our first stop we walked the town, many of our group did the glacier tour. The Red dog saloon is crowded but fun. Skagway is a really cute stop we toured town and just walked around and shopped and ate a little. Had such a nice day there. Wind caused us to bypass Ketchikan but we all made new plans on the boat. Darn I had to spa twice that day !!! We saw 2 shows on the boat Six and Jersey boys. Both were fabulous and we highly recommend them to anyone. I can just say this was an amazing, relaxing most pampered trip I have ever gone on Their service crew is totally top notch, bartenders are flawless, room crews are really good and just so nice. The views are amazing all day long. Don't wait to book yours, I would spend a little more and everything will be included that you will need. I want to give a quick shout out to our entry to the buffet girl that I am sad to say I lost her name.....She had a great entry line......." Hello, Happy Happy, Washy Washy !!" as she sprayed some hand sanitize into your hands before entering the buffet. She had the whole boat saying it by the end of the trip and she made everyone smile !!! It is my new line forever before I do dinner now !! Awesome boat, great great staff. I will go again for sure. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have been planning and reviewing this cruise for a year! I have read so many reviews and now that I have been on the ship I have to say that whomever doesnt enjoy themselves on a trip like this will never be happy !!!! We had the best ... Read More
I have been planning and reviewing this cruise for a year! I have read so many reviews and now that I have been on the ship I have to say that whomever doesnt enjoy themselves on a trip like this will never be happy !!!! We had the best time ever. The crew and service were AMAZING. The ship was AMAZING. The excursions were AMAZING. The ship was perfect to see Alaska. We just couldnt have had a better time. We have sailed NCL many times and we splurged and booked the HAVEN because it was my 50th birthday, all I can say is wow, double wow, wow wow...... It will hard to ever go back to "regular rooms" again. Our personal staff were remarkable. We didnt want for a single thing on this ship. We felt like royalty. Worth every penny!!! I did notice that there were a few minutes of traffic jams at the elevators right after the shows were over but that is to be expected. It is just like when going to a concert or sporting event. When you leave you have to be patient to get out of the parking lot.....I really didnt notice anyone having a real problem with it. As I said prior, it would be really hard to get upset about much when you are on a ship like this. The ship itself was beautiful. We saw both our private observation deck and the one for the rest of the ship and they were both aimed to please!!! And did!! Entertainment was very good. We only saw female entertainers other than the comedian which is a first on any ship we have been on. We just saw Jersey Boys at the Theatre in town so we did not see it on the ship. We saw SIX, and Prohibition, which was definitely worth the upcharge. LIke I said the comedian was top notch. We played the games, and really kept busy. We did not try the lazer tag or the go carts, mainly because it was just cold and there were a few "rocky" moments with the waters and my mom didnt want to be outside. Again, the staff were just the icing on the cake and we couldnt be happier. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

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