128 Seattle Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

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
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
The only thing that was hard to hold on to is self-discipline. The quarters, people, and facilities are stunning. I couldn't leave my cabin without finding it made up and snacks replaced with other snacks I couldn't walk ... Read More
The only thing that was hard to hold on to is self-discipline. The quarters, people, and facilities are stunning. I couldn't leave my cabin without finding it made up and snacks replaced with other snacks I couldn't walk around the Haven (ship within the ship for upscale cruisers) without someone asking if I needed them to get me anything. Haven restaurant served gourmet food every meal The off-shore excursions were easily arranged by the concierge. The 24-hour butler was just a phone call away. The scale of the scenery was grand and awe inspiring. The Jersey Boys show was magnificent. I almost had withdrawal symptoms when I got back home. Want to do it again. One of the things I really like is the opportunity to leave feedback on any crew members that stood out for superb customer service. I had to name quite a few. If you decide to go on a cruise, take this one and book a suite in the Haven if possible. I was very pleased. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The cabin (balcony stateroom) was roomy, bed was comfortable, tons of storage, clean, beautiful bathroom, and the steward was remarkable. And that just about sums up the pros. This was a humongous, obnoxious ship filled with way ... Read More
The cabin (balcony stateroom) was roomy, bed was comfortable, tons of storage, clean, beautiful bathroom, and the steward was remarkable. And that just about sums up the pros. This was a humongous, obnoxious ship filled with way WAY too many obnoxious people. It felt like a Cancun spring break for the middle-aged. I saw some really shocking behavior, and the cruise line didn't do anything to prevent it. In fact, some of the bartenders seemed intent on getting their guests as drunk and rowdy as possible. It was really difficult to find a quiet space to view the unbelievably beautiful scenery. The buffet dining room is actually scary. It's loud and pushy and, honestly, you get a little worried about your own safety, especially if you are blocking the pound of bacon someone is eyeballing for their breakfast. The crew doesn't enforce common codes of decency and health. People were sleeping like vagrants on the lounges and couches on the observation deck, even though that isn't permitted. I saw a guy puking into the public sink for pre-meal hand washing and it took me two tries--one with a crew member on duty and a later call to housekeeping--to get someone to promise to disinfect the area. (I didn't trust that enough to use those sinks again!). And forget about them keeping a tranquil atmosphere in spa. [ Do NOT pay for the spa pass. The people are noisy and obnoxious, partying like teenagers, yelling to each other and drinking booze--in glasses--in the therapeutic pools. The incident with the woman bleeding profusely who went back into the pool while the staff let us all continuing using it pushed me over the edge. After some, well, energetic complaining, they did refund my membership.] The food was pretty good, but I did send back several meals, either because the servers didn't understand my order and got it wrong or, on two occasions, because the pasta was undercooked. I'm not much for the theater so I can't comment on any of the shows. I did, however, come to view Deck 6--where the games and weird activities were held--as the 6th ring of hell. Pretty much every time you turn around someone is trying to up-sell you or get you to pay an enormous amount for services. I mean, a massage for $200?? Really? And you can't provide free WiFi? And, the NCL app doesn't work unless you pay for the WiFi ($15/day was the cheapest price I saw. $187 for the week was the highest!). Better prices for excursions can be found online from private companies. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
came along as a group of 25. wish we had chosen either another ship or different time of year to sail. my least favorite of all cruises i have been on. second cruise to alaska. suffice it to say, i am not a megaship kind of cruiser. ... Read More
came along as a group of 25. wish we had chosen either another ship or different time of year to sail. my least favorite of all cruises i have been on. second cruise to alaska. suffice it to say, i am not a megaship kind of cruiser. breakfast in the buffet? good luck finding a table. dinner at the buffet? good luck finding a table. oh...and reserve everything beforehand. everything. i am not that kind of planner...if you are, you are a good fit for this ship. while it is perhaps well suited for others, the layout of the ship with all activities taking place in the atrium is not my cup of tea. you cannot hear anything at the guest services or excursion desk if you are trying to get info. too loud from the game shows and other stuff going on. the plus side is everything you might want to do is very centralized on decks 6, 7 and 8. smallest mini suite cabin i have ever had and most expensive cruise i have ever taken. seriously not worth what i spent. the ports are beautiful, but owing to a medical emergency the night before, our time in ketchikan was cut to about 3 hrs . good thing we had been there before and knew exactly where we wanted to go. elevators had quite the wait. disembarkation was one of the worst experiences if not THE worst of any ship i have sailed. 1.5 hrs just off the thing, never mind the almost 1hr wait for our bus transfer to the airport. can't help that...the traffic in seattle is a cluster you know what on cruise days. choose another port to sail from...seriously...if you are not big on being patient. will i sail her again? nope. will i sail any megaship again? nope. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This cruise was picked as a VIP Park West Gallery art auction cruise. We did not directly pay for this cruise but we are glad we chose it. Park West Gallery paid in full for Cruise, drinks, gratuities, and special dinning. The only real ... Read More
This cruise was picked as a VIP Park West Gallery art auction cruise. We did not directly pay for this cruise but we are glad we chose it. Park West Gallery paid in full for Cruise, drinks, gratuities, and special dinning. The only real down side was the specialty dinning. It was not very good. Service was poor and the food was just ok. Got a backed potato at one dinning and did not even receive butter or sour cream, or anything other then the potato. We had charges on our bill that were not correct, the customer service desk had us back and forth several times for the same reason. Just seemed like they were not concerned. We were unable to use the go cart track as it was booked full the second day of the cruise. I would just think that they would have there act together if they were concerned about the customer. I did enjoy the cruise and most of our complaints are small, overall it was a nice cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was the best cruise ever! The staff was friendly and very helpful as well as cheerful. The food was delicious and plentiful.Every evening it was arranged with care and lovely.Our dining staff was wonderful, especially our wine girl ... Read More
This was the best cruise ever! The staff was friendly and very helpful as well as cheerful. The food was delicious and plentiful.Every evening it was arranged with care and lovely.Our dining staff was wonderful, especially our wine girl (Miraki(Sp?)-from Japan but living in Manilla). Our room was beautiful and the gentlemen that serviced it were quick and efficient. The ship was clean and everything was top notch. The entertainment was great! I can't rave about it enough. The spa package was awesome. Seaweed wrap a must. The girls in the spa were lovely and informative. Mary our morning dining room person was so nice and helpful. She helped us start our day with JOY! The BBKing review was great. We enjoyed the special music provided by WayFM every night. The wine tastings we attended were very informative. Everyone was fabulous! A TRIP FOR THE MEMORIES!!! I am recommending Holland-America to everyone I tell about our trip and I will book again.*** Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We had been looking forward to an Alaskan cruise for years. The overall trip (ports) were fantastic, but this ship is really old, in disrepair and smelled moldy. The decor and furnishings are out of date. The theater area had ripped ... Read More
We had been looking forward to an Alaskan cruise for years. The overall trip (ports) were fantastic, but this ship is really old, in disrepair and smelled moldy. The decor and furnishings are out of date. The theater area had ripped upholstery on the walls, and stained carpets. One of the main dining rooms has a musty smell. My traveling party of 4 would all get stuffy heads and headaches if we ate there. We avoided it after the second day. The spa waiting area and locker rooms smelled moldy and many of the lockers were broken. The spa had an overall feeling of not being clean. In the private pool area near the spa there were missing tiles around the pool and the safety handles to get into the pool were rusty! The crew were friendly, the cruise director was fun. This was my first cruise on Princess line - I have cruised on other cruise lines. They should either take this boat out of commission, or do a major renovation. If this boat is a representation of their brand and quality, I would rather use a different cruise line for future travels. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My husband and I are semi retired and enjoy traveling. This cruise was advertised with a local tour group and Alaska had always been on our list for travel. We booked the Veranda for the balcony. This was an older ship. The cabins were not ... Read More
My husband and I are semi retired and enjoy traveling. This cruise was advertised with a local tour group and Alaska had always been on our list for travel. We booked the Veranda for the balcony. This was an older ship. The cabins were not very clean. I had spilled some ice on the carpet and in retrieving it, brought up a glob of someone else's hair! The dinners were just ok. We spent an hour and a half waiting on courses to be served, and the coffee came 10 minutes after our dessert. We paid to eat in another dining room. Having been on other cruises that offered beautiful food sculptures and chocolate fountains this was a "nothing special cruise". The entertainment was trivia in the bar, or two guys singing at a piano. We could have gone to the digital workshop?#* What! I'm on vacation. I went to the spa/salon to have my hair done for a gala evening. I don't think these people ever worked in a real salon. They washed my hair, blow dried it and tried to sell me products. The positives of this trip were the staff, Alaska and the shore excursions. We went fishing and were fortunate to catch some and have it sent home. We also went to the dog mushing camp. If you like dogs, this is it! In spite of the bad, we did enjoy ourselves and made the best of it. My husband and I are not rich, and felt that we had "splurged" going on this trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We had a most wonderful cruise. Wonderful Entertainment all the time, everywhere on the ship! Food was delicious in all areas of ship! We went to Crown Grill and Curtis Stone's Share. Both were a little intimidating for us but ... Read More
We had a most wonderful cruise. Wonderful Entertainment all the time, everywhere on the ship! Food was delicious in all areas of ship! We went to Crown Grill and Curtis Stone's Share. Both were a little intimidating for us but our waiters, Martin? At the Crown Grill and Nasri? At Share and all the rest of the staff made us feel so special and helped us make great choices! Great dinners! We also loved the lectures and live narratives by author, Michael Modzelewski! He was informative, humorous, passionate and helped light the fire of the Alaskan fire in us! The room was spacious and clean and with the balcony, a very special place to hangout with coffee and a delicious snack to watch the beautiful landscape and marine animals! Our cabin person was very nice and personable. He made sure we had everything we needed! And may I say, this was our first cruise and we were very anxious. We came from NY Our travel agent at Liberty travel set everything up through Ruby Princess. All transfers went smoothly getting us where we had to be! Greatest trip ever! Can't wait for our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The Amsterdam is a classy older ship. The staff were friendly and attentive through out. They appeared to really like working there. Lanai cabin was great for being able to access the deck and follow sights around the lower prominade. ... Read More
The Amsterdam is a classy older ship. The staff were friendly and attentive through out. They appeared to really like working there. Lanai cabin was great for being able to access the deck and follow sights around the lower prominade. The service in the main dining room was super, although the menu was sometimes not as good as the Lido. The Pinnacle was a lovely, special experience with well prepared food and service up another notch. The Lido had a good variety of food and service was friendly. The theater is beautiful with good sight lines throughout. This was a full ship charter and the crew were very welcoming of the diversity of the passengers. The views going up were astounding, retuning from skagway we were often further out and there wasn't much to see. Stewards were wonderful and the overall maintenance of the ship seemed impeccable. The atrium with it's massive clock brings this touch of class to focus. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
DH and I took 16 of our closest friends and family on the Norwegian Joy last week for our wedding ceremony. The itinerary was Seattle - Ketchikan - Juneau - Icy Strait Point - Victoria - Seattle. We had an absolutely wonderful time. ... Read More
DH and I took 16 of our closest friends and family on the Norwegian Joy last week for our wedding ceremony. The itinerary was Seattle - Ketchikan - Juneau - Icy Strait Point - Victoria - Seattle. We had an absolutely wonderful time. I'll preface this with the fact that I'm a first time cruiser, so I admittedly have nothing to compare it to. However, I felt that the ship was quite spectacular, the food options plentiful, and the staff really excellent. Food and Beverages: For specialty dining, we ate at Cagney's for our wedding reception dinner. Many in our group (quite a few of whom are foodies) said that their steaks were some of the best they have ever had. The portions at Q were enormous, and the meal was delicious. I think if one were from a state that had world renowned BBQ it might be old-hat, but for this Canadian it was fabulous. Between the group, we had most of the sides on offer and all were really well done. The meal at Ocean Blue was exceptional (the jumbo shrimp cocktail is a must, worth the upcharge imo), and the service was very attentive. I did not eat at La Cucina, but those in our group who did raved about it. Teppanyaki was amazing. The steak was absolutely mouth watering, and our chef was very entertaining. The Garden Cafe buffet is certainly a busy spot (if you're the kind of person that can eat at off peak times, you should consider that for the buffet), and at times it was difficult to find a table. However, as others have mentioned, it's very easy to grab a plate and head down to the Observation Lounge one floor down to find a spot to eat. Much more relaxing. The food is all adequate and satisfying, and what one would expect from buffet fare. And yes, there was a seafood buffet on night two, although we did not get to attend because we were at Cagney's. I thought the food in the main dining rooms was all very well prepared, and it was not difficult to get a seat without a reservation, even in peak times. We bought the Premium Plus Drinks Package, and for us it was good value (top shelf liquors, higher end wines, specialty beers as District Brew House, etc). However, if you are to get one of these packages, do keep an eye on your on board account. I had to have them reverse charges three times, and that was even with purchases where we had told our server we had the PPB. This requires a trip to guest services each time, which is a bit of an inconvenience to be sure. We found out later that the computer in the District Brew House wasn't registering PPB purchases properly, and I wonder if that wasn't the case with a couple of other places too. Also, not all servers were well versed in what was covered under the package, so it is worth ensuring each time that they know what should be keyed in. I'm not sure if I had the option that I would do it again, I'd probably stick with the regular drinks package. Entertainment I really enjoyed the production of Footloose. It was certainly not the apocalyptic marathon that it had previously been described as... The leads had amazing voices, and there was an enthusiastic cast. I ran into more than a few people who went to see it multiple times. I didn't get to Elements, so cannot offer an opinion there. My brother and I went to karaoke with Alvin a couple of times at the Cavern Club, always packed, and always a supportive crowd! Although I will note there was a fair bit of turnover, so not difficult to get a seat if one waited at the bar fro a bit. Our group did line dancing at Q one night, which was a bit of fun, and the country band was very good. We steered clear from the Atrium activities because that area can be quite loud and busy, not really our scene. But there is so much going on it is easy to find something outside of the Atrium, or a quiet spot if needed! I was impressed with the varied range of activities, though. Really something for everyone, from vegetable carving to trivia, to dancing lessons. Amenities The go-karts were closed for the majority of the week due to the rain and high winds. We did get on at the end of the week and it was a lot of fun. Do be aware to budget at least an hour for this activity. The "heats" are usually running a bit behind, and it take a while to get everyone kitted out. Don't do what we did and wedge it next to a dinner reservation that we were then worried about missing... Laser tag was similarly closed for a lot of the time, as it's open air. We managed to get in on the last night, and while it is only 10 mins, that was enough for us! I imagine smaller, more energetic children would find it not enough time and want to have several goes on it. It was fun for all ages, though, and they do make safety a priority so little ones are (hopefully) not being bowled over by larger kids (or adults living out a Stormship Troopers fantasy). I did not go to the Galaxy Pavilion, but DH took his niece. He described it as a place designed to separate parents from their money at an alarming pace. The Virtual Reality games are $10 a go, so it adds up quickly. The other games are about $1.60 a play. Our group really enjoyed the hot tub at Spice H20. The first evening it was a little lukewarm, but they had turned up the temperature by the following day. I appreciated that the staff enforced the "adults-only" rule, not because I dislike children, but because it meant that the hot tub was never packed, whereas the hot tubs in the main swimming area got quite busy with young ones. Port Stops Ketchikan is a fabulous, quirky, frontier town. I highly recommend strolling down Creek Street. I would say that if you are looking for Alaska souvenirs, this is the place to get them (for this itinerary). Sam McGees had by far the best and most interesting selection (that wasn't just a sea of similar looking tchotchkes). The Totem Pole museum is worth a visit, and if you're interested in doing some hiking, I recommend grabbing a cab and asking to go to the head of the Rainbird Trail at the University of Alaska parking lot. It's a 45 min hike of moderate intensity with a couple of stunning vistas, and huge old growth trees. Well worth it. You can arrange for a cab to come and grab you at the other end. About $8 each way and a 5 minute drive. The Joy's itinerary has it in Juneau from 7:00am - 12:30pm or so. Most things in Juneau don't open before 9:00am or 10:00am, be forewarned. There is a free shuttle into town, or you can walk it in about 20 mins. If you want to skip the excursion costs, it is possible to arrange a taxi cab to the Mendenhall Glacier to walk around on your own (more economical if you're in a group). There's a great interpretive centre and a number of short walking trails. There is a $17 per person park fee to get in which will be collected by your taxi driver, so don't think it's a scam. The afternoon that we left Juneau, the ship traveled up Endicott Arm to Dawes Glacier. This is absolutely a time to be near a window. We were in the observation deck for much of the afternoon because of the high winds and the rain (along with most of the ship), but the visibility was still good and the views were spectacular. There were also a number of small icebergs and a few whale sightings. Once we were near the glacier, we went out onto the "Waterfront" on Deck 8 to get a better look. There was staff there with bonebroth and ginger to warm us up, which was a lovely touch! The captain turned the ship around 360 degrees so everyone could take in the views. It was really something. It's also no small task for a ship the size of the Joy to navigate those waters, the crew really should be commended. Icy Strait Point is a privately owned cruise ship port owned and operated by a native Alaskan owned company. There is a small museum about the history of the area interspersed between the gift shops on the main boardwalk, which I found quite informative, along with the exhibits of fish canning machinery. Most of the excursions at this port will sell out beforehand because there is no competition, and the costs will be at a premium. It is home to the longest zipline in the world, which looked terrifying to me, but may be other's cup of tea. Bring your binoculars because there are many bald eagles flying around. There is a nice beach walk along the shore for those who want a leisurely pace. The Jewel is docked here at the same time, albeit with tenders, which means that it gets VERY busy. We disembarked first thing in the morning and had a nice, leisurely walk around, with a reasonable amount of space between bodies, but by the time we were headed back to the ship at around noon, it was unbearably busy. There is a shuttle into Hoonah, a town about 1.5 miles away, for $5 per person. Unfortunately, when we were there they were only running two school buses back and forth, which was not enough to keep up with demand, and there was at least an hour wait. If you're mobile, it's worth either walking into Hoonah (along a very nice trail), or renting a bike for $15 for the hour and heading in that way. Both DH and I have lived in Victoria before, so we chose that day to stay on the ship. High tea at the Empress Hotel is always lovely, and Victoria is home to some great craft breweries near the downtown, if that's your thing. There are also many whale watching tours about. As others have mentioned, when in Victoria the rule is only one bar per deck can be open, so be aware of that for planning purposes if you're planning to stay on the ship. Overall, I really enjoyed our time on the Joy. The front line staff were all more than eager to assist, and bend over backwards to be friendly and kind. The ship was kept very clean, the food was amazing and plentiful (too plentiful, says my jeans...), there were definitely parts of the ship that were busier than others, but always a place to get a drink, and to get away from the crowds if necessary. And the views of the Alaskan landscape could not be beat. A fabulous cruise to be sure! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
To put it mildly.....We really need a vacation after this Cruise! We ~hesitantly booked this Alaskan Glacier cruise with 7 other family members from around the US. This was to be a true "Bucket-List Cruise". There were 3 ... Read More
To put it mildly.....We really need a vacation after this Cruise! We ~hesitantly booked this Alaskan Glacier cruise with 7 other family members from around the US. This was to be a true "Bucket-List Cruise". There were 3 Seniors with our party..one of them a "Diamond RC" member. We aren't typically cruise people, but we wanted to participate with this one for the aging members of the family. We are Luxury Vacationers and Platinum Marriott Members. We enjoy fine food, fine wine and luxury amenities. Yes, the Ovation is a sparkly new ship. The balcony stateroom was adequate, the staff were quite nice. That's all the positive energy I can put into this review. The biggest disappointment..BY FAR...was that THIS Alaskan Cruise did not get to see the glacier we had on the itinerary...This ship is TOO BIG to get to the glacier!! So I'll bet no one will ever see the glacier if you take this ship! The 3 other ships that sailed with us all went to the glacier. Also, the same cruise the week ahead of us didn't go to the glacier either. Safety aside..this was THE hallmark of the trip. If they couldn't do it, they should've told us ahead of time. Right off the bat, they want your individual picture! Not because it's " A time to Remember" ...it's all about facial recognition. Don't believe it's true? Think again! For beginners, the embarkation was total chaos, stress and disorganization from Seattle. The seniors were exhausted and so were we. The dining experience.... Some of our family were staying in Junior Suites...They ate at a separate dining room every night. We were not allowed to attend that dining room. So unless we wanted to pay the upcharge for a specialty dining venue we never ate dinner together....NOT ONCE! So we did lunch together instead. Here is where we ate our meals and our thoughts on the experience.... Where ARE the fantastic Buffets? The ice sculptures? The shrimp towers? The chocolate fountains? Not on this ship! None of it.... We ordered coffee/Juice & danish from room service each morning..free with a tip. OK Windjammer is like a hospital cafeteria. Food was Eh... Cafe Two70 another hospital cafeteria. Food was Eh... Cafe Promenade 24hr coffee/ stale pastry & Sandwich shop is the size of a kiosk at the mall. Nothing special here. Chic MDR dining where we ate dinner was ok, staff was very attentive. Average food, nothing special, didn't leave hungry. Solarium Bistro Breakfast to order was a hidden gem in the mornings and decent. Solarium Bistro Dinner...not that great. Eh... Lunch in the The Grand was ok, good place to gather if you are with a group. The smoking/vaping sections of the ship. If you are a smoker, vaper or enjoy a cigar...Beware! There are only 3 places on ship to indulge in your stress-reducing cigarette. #1 The 5th Floor patio near Vintages Wine bar- the quietest place and most difficult place to find (but closed many times for cleaning?, without any cleaning going on?) #2 The 14th Floor open air hallway between the Solarium and Splashaway Bay. This is quite a hike from most staterooms. Not a favorite place to go. #3 The back left section of Casino Royale if you want to be out of the weather & wind. Another not-so-favorite place to go, but nice at 6:30 am if you'd like a little peace & quiet. Night time activities were mediocre at best. We usually ended up in the Music Hall for a silly game or two and some music...not as good as my local bar. Schooners had some nice piano music. We never did see any of the shows. They were booked up from day #1. We did the Skagway train excursion, which was nice. We booked that several months in advance. The " Refreshment package" was expensive, but covered all of our bottled water & Virgin Mary drinks & Mocktails. We also used it for other mixers because we purchased a few "Royal Gift" packages of Absolute Vodka for our room so we could mix our own drinks. We also brought on 2 bottles of wine from port on embarkation day. The others with us hardly got their money's worth from the alcohol packages they spent almost $1,000 on. Most of the bars were closed during days in port. FYI... The PUSH to SPEND MORE ! OMG!!! The constant push to spend more money blew my mind! As if you haven't spent ENOUGH already!!!! Every activity is put in place to help you spend more money. From the "Smokey-Eye" Demo (to purchase Urban Decay Makeup Pallets) to the Seminars. They want you spending..spending...spending! Even the TV stations...non-existent so you are out spending instead of watching tv. VOOM Experience..=...DOOM Experience...need I say more...totally NOT worth it. Even in an emergency. Formal nights....FWIW what is the point? Nothing special...No fancy dinners here or reduced drink prices...Just more opportunity for pictures to sell you later. The Captains Reception....Hahahaha....reception? I though most receptions came with a drink and a small bite? My mistake. Ports..Interesting tourist traps...bought a few things, saw a few things, drank a beer, ate a lunch....maybe did an excursion....got back on ship This is just the tip of the iceburg...haha..But you've got the idea. Perspective...If you're a cruiser, you'll always be a cruiser...it's your thing. No offense, but I just don't see how this is a relaxing or pampering way to vacation. I would not classify this as a Luxury Cruise. When the bills roll in and begin to hover near the $8,000 mark and we have nothing special to say about this vacation, that's just sad. I can put a much better vacation together with 1/4 of the money we spent and say.."I have had a vacation"...Ahhhhh. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had beautiful weather. No rain at all. In Juneau it was about 78 and Skagway about 72. The ride through Glacier Bay was beautiful. You don’t stop. Book your tours ahead of time through Viatour. So much cheaper than ship prices!! In ... Read More
We had beautiful weather. No rain at all. In Juneau it was about 78 and Skagway about 72. The ride through Glacier Bay was beautiful. You don’t stop. Book your tours ahead of time through Viatour. So much cheaper than ship prices!! In Ketchikan we walked to Creek Street and did all our shopping there and very good prices for all souvenirs. You must do the Yukon tour in Skagway. Don’t do the train. Everyone was disappointed since you can’t really get pictures, do the Yukon bus tour instead. Lots of stops and so beautiful. In Juneau we did whale watching (not great) and Mendenhall Glacier. Go to Nugget Falls there! So worth the hike!! The smoking area is only on Floor 17 in a small area but we had so much fun up there and made great friends! Food is all pretty good. We did Cagneys, Italian and Ocean Blue. Didn’t love the Italian but at Ocean Blue you can get lobster for a $10 upcharge. The Beatles and Jersey Boys were great. Didn’t make it to Havana. Beautiful ship, very clean. We had a great time!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Each day was an adventure to experience the culture, wildlife and nature of the area. The naturalists and expedition guides were extremely knowledgeable and gifted teachers. The day was packed with activities. The ship was comfortable, ... Read More
Each day was an adventure to experience the culture, wildlife and nature of the area. The naturalists and expedition guides were extremely knowledgeable and gifted teachers. The day was packed with activities. The ship was comfortable, staff could not have been better and the food was so tasty. The morning stretch yoga was the perfect way to start the day. Especially enjoyed our Yale professor's film discussion at night! The trip was the Inside Passage from Seattle to Sitka, Alaska. I always refer to trips with Lindblad and National Geographic as "expeditions" not cruises. We discover the area with our expeditions leaders and guides and based on conditions, the path can be altered. We experienced very close encountered with breaching humpback whales, breaching minke whales, sea otters, snow geese, tufted puffins, calving glaciers, and much more. The ship's captain was very approachable and addressed our group often. The crew truly operated as a team and we always felt safe and in excellent hands!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I like cruising in North America; no loooong overnight flights to your destination; no mega ships to overwhelm your cruise stops; and lots and lots of things to do. The Puget Sound and San Juans, our last cruise, was a normal ACL ... Read More
I like cruising in North America; no loooong overnight flights to your destination; no mega ships to overwhelm your cruise stops; and lots and lots of things to do. The Puget Sound and San Juans, our last cruise, was a normal ACL cruise. The ship, American Constellation, was clean and tidy, the crew was just great and extremely helpful when asked anything. Our cabin, on the second level, was, like everything on the ship, neat and tidy. The included balcony made the cabin seem larger and on sunny days, was great place to be. ACL has an open dining policy: you sit at any table you want along as there is space. Unfortunately the weather was not always good and some of the excursions were a bit wet. Otherwise they were fascinating and enjoyable; Butchart Gardens is something for a bucket list; the flower arrangements were almost beyond belief! Obviously I enjoyed this cruise; you saw places most Americans never see,and generally had plenty of time for sight seeing and shopping. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We made the mistake of Carnival twice (first and last) then we took a cruise on the Spirit. We were amazed and had the greatest experience. Next cruise ~ Alaska. Only obvious we would try the Norwegian experience once again, aboard the ... Read More
We made the mistake of Carnival twice (first and last) then we took a cruise on the Spirit. We were amazed and had the greatest experience. Next cruise ~ Alaska. Only obvious we would try the Norwegian experience once again, aboard the Pearl. From the moment we entered until we left, the ship, the staff and the ports made for one dynamic vacation. There was a medical emergency that hindered our duration in Victoria but the way that the Captain and crew handled the situation made me feel even more confident that passengers come first. What a team they had aboard the ship. The care they gave to the individual and the response to the guests thereafter made me realize the professional, personal care they give to each and every one. The Captain could not apologize enough for the inconvenience he did not create nor anyone else on the ship could be accountable. So many were so reassured that if something should ever happen, Norwegian would take care of you, good or bad! The food, the ports, the activities and the consideration make this ship, Captain and crew one experience that should not be missed! THANK YOU NORWEGIAN - SEE YOU NEXT TRIP! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We always wanted to cruise Alaska! We chose this cruise since it was sponsored by Boscov's and WQIC/WLBR. Ship was gorgeous! Our room was much larger than anticipated. Food was great and we enjoyed all of the specialty restaurants. We ... Read More
We always wanted to cruise Alaska! We chose this cruise since it was sponsored by Boscov's and WQIC/WLBR. Ship was gorgeous! Our room was much larger than anticipated. Food was great and we enjoyed all of the specialty restaurants. We LOVED Teppanyaki and our chef was so talented! We had the honor of meeting the captain and that was really nice. My husband won a set of sheets at one of your shopping talks and they have already arrived at our home. Thank you so much! We really enjoyed the White Pass Railroad - so scenic and relaxing to travel and see the mountains. On the trip, we saw whales, seals and a bald eagle - all pretty close. We would definitely do this again in a heartbeat. Next time we hope to see even more. We were very pleased with Norwegian Cruise lines and the service was terrific! Wish it had been warm enough to use the pool! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
THIS WAS OUR FIRST CRUISE AND TRAVELLED WITH ABOUT 300 PEOPLE , They kept us well informed of travels changes and what to pack and what to expected. A wondeful crew, activites, and food . Every thing was ... Read More
THIS WAS OUR FIRST CRUISE AND TRAVELLED WITH ABOUT 300 PEOPLE , They kept us well informed of travels changes and what to pack and what to expected. A wondeful crew, activites, and food . Every thing was clean and kept clean at all times . The guest services was great in answereing question about the ports and shore excursions. The entertainment was awasome … every night that we attended and was nice to know we could add more to our package at any time . Our cabin met all our needs . Only complaint--------go cart track needs to be longer lol just kidding it was great !!!! The shore excurations were well planned and all the ports were excieting to see and visit loved the coupons for free stuff and all the free trinkets . ALL EMBARKATIONS ANDDISEMBARKATIONS WENT SMOOTHLY, Loved that all port activities were close and easy to walk to. OHPOOH AND SALLYJO Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My first cruise. Great adventures, great scenery, great food, great service with great friends. We were given adjoining room. Think epic slumber party, Best trip ever! Danced with Nartive Americans, rode tram, hiked trails, train ... Read More
My first cruise. Great adventures, great scenery, great food, great service with great friends. We were given adjoining room. Think epic slumber party, Best trip ever! Danced with Nartive Americans, rode tram, hiked trails, train excursion, sailed to glacier, petted sled dog pups. Views so beautiful that pictures don’t do them justice. Couple we met said this was their 4th a Princess Cruise to Alaska. I can certainly see why. We were able to get on the ship even before our time which was much appreciated. The ship is beautifully decorated as well. Only downside was movies mostly outside which does not make sense for Alaskan Cruise in September. Not much variety of activity on last sea day. So very happy we were able to take this trip together as friends to beautiful Alaska with Princess. Rex, our singing waiter, made each dinner a truly special evening. And if you like fresh seafood, this is THE cruise for you. An unexpected highlight was chef’s cooking demonstration and a tour of the galley Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We went on a friends 50th anniversary party, with 81 people. We loved the small boat excursion through fiords, and we loved the train ride the time before we cruised, and we loved the gardens in Victoria the time before we cruised. We ... Read More
We went on a friends 50th anniversary party, with 81 people. We loved the small boat excursion through fiords, and we loved the train ride the time before we cruised, and we loved the gardens in Victoria the time before we cruised. We loved our Botticelli waiters Joseph and Alexandro. I loved Reena, and Xanisha in the spa. The spa shoes were never available but always in the dirty hamper. The spa equipment and products seemed cutting edge. I wish the bands and entertainment would have started at 7:30 after our early dinner instead of at 9:30 PM or so. I wish we had more speakers and naturalists. I liked the dueling chefs. The arrival and the departure was very efficient. I wish they would have had scrolling print outs of the captains announcement on channel 44, because we couldn't alway hear the hall announcements, and a scrolling text on that ship channel would convey all the information missed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was my first cruise, and also my first trip to Alaska. I was part of a group for the Kailua High School class of 73 reunion festivities. There were about 20 of us including family & friends and the trip was organized by a ... Read More
This was my first cruise, and also my first trip to Alaska. I was part of a group for the Kailua High School class of 73 reunion festivities. There were about 20 of us including family & friends and the trip was organized by a classmate with help from a travel agent. What was really great is that we could spend time together enjoying the hospitality aboard the ship, meetups in the lounge or casino or for dinner or a show, and have plenty of opportunity to go our separate ways on excursions and visiting the ports of call. Alaska was magnificent. The beauty of Glacier Bay was a religious experience. We saw whales, seals and wildlife and experienced a taste of Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. Overall this was the trip of a lifetime. Our cabin was super clean, we had a balcony and the weather was particularly nice to enjoy cruising on the days at sea and viewing the wild Alaska shoreline with our binoculars. We were also impressed with the variety of dining options. The buffet always had an excellent assortment of choices. I liked the noodle bar at the aft buffet, the pasta bar, as well as the sit-down restaurants. The Summer Palace has a wonderful breakfast, and the best meal was the lamb shank at indigo. A highlight of the on-board experience was dinner at the Teppanyaki-style restaurant. Our chef was a comedian with steak knives and made us sing for our supper. What fun! We went to a couple of shows, the most memorable was Elvis! The only problem we encountered was some confusion on the part of Jefferson Mayo and the Perspectives photography studio. One of our classmates had visited the photo gallery to inquire about a group shot and Jefferson had led her to believe he was part of the photo gallery service and not a separate portrait studio. Either it was a misunderstanding or a misrepresentation - what the classmates wanted was a group shot and the ability to buy prints. It was only after the photos were taken that we understood Perspectives did not offer prints, only a USB with photos that could be sold to and printed by the classmates. We came away disappointed because this was not what we expected. Except for the miscommunication about the photography, the crew and service were exceptional and amazing. Everyone was friendly, helpful, knowledgeable as well as happy and upbeat. I especially enjoyed the fact that the Pearl is relatively smaller than many cruise ships, that made it easier to get acquainted with a few of our fellow passengers from around the world. I would definitely want to go back to Alaska aboard the Pearl. Seven days was just not enough time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had the best time on The Bliss in Alaska! Can’t wait to go again! From embarkation to disembarking it went so smoothly. The port valet in Seattle was so nice. Everything on the ship was beautiful and clean. Staff was attentive and ... Read More
We had the best time on The Bliss in Alaska! Can’t wait to go again! From embarkation to disembarking it went so smoothly. The port valet in Seattle was so nice. Everything on the ship was beautiful and clean. Staff was attentive and always helpful. Food and entertainment was wonderful! Our stateroom had plenary of room and storage space for everything. There were 16 in our party. I arranged through email for our large group for dinning reservations through NCL so we could all set together. The representative that corresponded with me was so helpful. This was my first cruise so I did a lot of research. Which helped in so many ways so I was totally prepared. There’s just not enough time to do everything. We just made sure we picked our favorites, so we could also relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Our highlight was the helicopter glacier walk tour! It was so unbelievable! The weather was perfect and the scenery was breathtaking. We brought 4 little bottles with us to collect some “high quality H2O” for our kids. We had the best time!! We just had such a great time we can’t wait to go again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We were invited by friends to join this cruise! It was a small group from Big Springs Texas and several folks from Arizona. Me and my wife have never been on a cruise before. So this being our first time, I can’t imagine any better ... Read More
We were invited by friends to join this cruise! It was a small group from Big Springs Texas and several folks from Arizona. Me and my wife have never been on a cruise before. So this being our first time, I can’t imagine any better experience than we had on the Norwegian Bliss! The Restaurants and food were excellent and the service, our room, the drinks, everything was totally awesome! Best vacation we’ve had in years! Our room Stewardt, Marlin, was awesome! We did not see him a lot but he always took care of our needs and always left a little surprise every day for us! Great Employee! The only inconvenience that I saw were the elevators! There were not enough to handle the large amount of people on that ship. I don’t know if anything can be done to improve that service but if there was, that would really be the only improvement I can imagine! Thanks for a Great Trip! JB Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I wanted to see Alaska but I'm not a big fan of cold weather. I chose Princess because I'd heard they were the best for Alaska cruise. I'd never cruised on Princess before. I was NOT disappointed. From embarkation till ... Read More
I wanted to see Alaska but I'm not a big fan of cold weather. I chose Princess because I'd heard they were the best for Alaska cruise. I'd never cruised on Princess before. I was NOT disappointed. From embarkation till debarkation, everything was much more than I expected! We traveled this time with a group of 14 (10 of which I had not met before). We did travel Club Class and this was a first. Club Class Dining and priority boarding and deboarding made it well worth it. We had a Jr. Suite and the bathroom was bigger than I'd ever seen on a cruise ship. The extra seating area and larger balcony were great perks. I'd highly suggest having a balcony - you see some of the most majestic sights right from your own balcony. We saw humpback whales, orcas, bear, otters, seals and eagles right from our balcony. The day spent in Glacier Bay alone made the cruise worth it. We saw the magnificent glaciers, went through floating ice to get in to the Bay and were lucky enough to see pieces of ice break off (called calving). They spent plenty of time right in front of the glacier and then turned the boat around for the other side of the ship to have the same view. We chose a seaplane excursion (don't miss this one - went to Taku Lodge, landed for lunch and a hike and back to the port) , an ATV excursion and a fishing excursion for our 3 Alaskan ports. They were perfect! A few of our friends did the helicopter excursion and actually walked on a glacier - looked spectacular too! The ports - Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan were breathtaking by themselves. We did not have enough time in Ketchikan and I hope to go back one day to explore further. We didn't get off the ship in Victoria simply because it was the last night, we were tired and it seemed like a lot of trouble to deal with our passports to get on and off the ship. The service on board was impeccable. We did one thing we've never done on a cruise ship - we arranged for a Chef's Table dinner. At $95 per person this is the single most incredible thing I've done ON a cruise ship! The Maitre'D and Chef served us unlimited champagne and 3 appetizers IN the kitchen before seating us in the center of the dining room and serving us white and red wine and a fabulous 4 course dinner. At the end we were each given a picture of our group, a picture of our couple with the chef and the signature cookbook. We were all blown away by the entire evening. They had never done a group our size and it was quite an endeavor. I'll do this again - whether it is just my husband and me or a group. Just spectacular! All the entertainment we participated in was fun - comedian, magic, stage show, Voice of the Ocean, bingo and trivia. We fit in as much as we could and could not make it to everything available. We opted not to do spa treatments but many in our group did and loved them. The spa itself was beautiful. The Ruby Princess was a very well appointed ship and quite beautiful. I never felt crowded on board and the service was never slow or compromised at all. Room service was better than I'd ever experienced on other lines too. The beds are exactly as comfortable as they advertise - the Princess bed. So although I wasn't overly enthusiastic about going, I can not WAIT to go back! In one word - SPECTACULAR! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018

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