43 Seattle Singles Cruise Reviews

This is a newer ship with new technology and it has some of the best features with updated state rooms, or show rooms. Because it is a bigger ship with more passengers, they have better shows. The talent is the best I have seen on a ... Read More
This is a newer ship with new technology and it has some of the best features with updated state rooms, or show rooms. Because it is a bigger ship with more passengers, they have better shows. The talent is the best I have seen on a cruise ship. The showroom in the back of the ship has stages that go up and down and holes open in the ceiling where people come down on a wire to put on a great show. There are more lounge acts with more entertainment. But those are the good things. The bad part is the music is way too loud and they think that people like it that way. But I saw people leaving the show because they didn’t like it. I wore my ear plugs and was ok. The ship is set up for all ages and they do a good job at keeping young folks on deck 15 and gamblers in the casino on deck 3 that is away from everything else. But the folks that like to go on this ship are people that like bumper cars, rock climbing, the flow rider, etc.... I have never seen so many people with tattoos and people wearing old T-shirt’s on a cruise ship. Formal night is a joke. Only 20 percent of the people put on a jacket or wore a tie. The rest of the folks were comfortable in T-shirt’s or whatever they were wearing that day. Most of the people in the lounge or walking around the deck look like they just came from Walmart. Maybe this is what some folks like, but it is not for me. The food and service is much better on Celebrity and Princess. The people working on this ship do a great job or the best they can. But there are about 3 passengers for 1 crew member on this ship while Princess has 2.5 and Celebrity has 2 and Crystal might have 1.3. The difference can really be seen in the dining room with long delays and having to wait on your waiter. We have no regrets taking this cruise, but I think others ships in this price range are better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Perfect all-weather ship, and therefore perfect for Alaska. Excellent range of options for both indoor and outdoor viewing, sports, entertainment, food, drinks, ... Embarkation and disembarkation went extremely fast (also thanks to ... Read More
Perfect all-weather ship, and therefore perfect for Alaska. Excellent range of options for both indoor and outdoor viewing, sports, entertainment, food, drinks, ... Embarkation and disembarkation went extremely fast (also thanks to "The Key" :-) ...). Upon arrival at the pier around 10:30 a.m., there were zero (0) passengers before me in line. (At least as a solo traveller, I can only recommend "The Key" programme!) Dining in the MDR was rather disappointing, but truly great food in the Windjammer, and plenty of (always different) options. Never a problem to find an empty table. Entertainment was of the usual high RCI quality. The perks of the Quantum class are obviously great, the Solarium is truly the highlight of the ship for an adult, particularly in Alaska, as is North Star (with premium viewing at an extra fee in some key locations, also going to the side of the ship). The fitness center was surprisingly small and rather oddly equipped (only a handful of bikes!). Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Alaska has always been a must see for me. This was my first cruise and my first solo trip. It was fantastic! Norwegian has everything down to a science, from embarkation to disembarkation. The ship itself is beautiful with so many ... Read More
Alaska has always been a must see for me. This was my first cruise and my first solo trip. It was fantastic! Norwegian has everything down to a science, from embarkation to disembarkation. The ship itself is beautiful with so many places for entertainment, socializing or whatever your heart desires! The dining options are great and will please any palette, young and old. I loved the entertainment. I saw the Jersey Boys, Havana and Prohibition. This ship is so big with so many activities like mini race car driving, mini golf, water slides, walking/running path, full gym. You won't be bored on this ship! All of the staff are profession and so very nice. All you have to do is ask and they will do their very best to accommodate you. I booked all of my excursions through the NCL website. My experience was top notch. My favorite was the 5 Glacier Float Plane Flight to Taku Lodge. The landscape was stunning! And, the salmon bake at the lodge was delicious! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Overall, was very disappointed with the cruise. Would not recommend Princess Cruises. Thought that the quality of the ship’s food would be much better. The seafood was terrible; salmon over cooked, lobster tail salty, mushy and ... Read More
Overall, was very disappointed with the cruise. Would not recommend Princess Cruises. Thought that the quality of the ship’s food would be much better. The seafood was terrible; salmon over cooked, lobster tail salty, mushy and inedible. Poor selection of desserts. Staff in dining area not very attentive. Buffet very good with a nice selection. The Piazza entertainment was very enjoyable. The ice cream bar was poor, soft ice cream and few toppings. Dated furnishings but in good repair. Water leakage on some decks. Cabin very comfortable and larger than expected. Temperature control excellent. Housekeeping staff very good. On ship daily activities varied and very good. A good variety of excursions. Length of stay in some ports very limited. The shops were not very exciting, poor selection. Some items highly overpriced. Bargain sales poor. Personal items very limited. Internet service very poor and expensive. Entertainers on the whole good. Laundry room efficient. A nice addition. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this cruise because I had never been to Alaska and since I’m an NCL Latitudes member I was excited to experience the newest ship in the fleet that was built especially for Alaska. I persuaded a friend who lives in Seattle to go ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had never been to Alaska and since I’m an NCL Latitudes member I was excited to experience the newest ship in the fleet that was built especially for Alaska. I persuaded a friend who lives in Seattle to go with me although she was reluctant as she had only cruised once before, years ago before the stabilizers, and had gotten seasick. I’m not sure she believed me when I told her how smooth it would likely be. Embarkation and disembarkation were an unbelievable breeze….the best I’ve every experienced….NCL has this people moving thing down pat. When we embarked we immediately went to The Local and had lunch. By the time we were done, our bags were at our stateroom door. I very carefully chose our cabin because I knew that the size of the ship and the number of passengers would irritate my friend. It couldn’t have turned out better for us. I chose a Spa Balcony cabin that was directly under the spa so it was not noisy. We were on the same deck as the Observation Lounge and also had our own private balcony. Up one flight of steps and we were in the spa (passes were included in our category) or we could go to the buffet for a quick bite to eat. The Observation Deck also had light breakfast and lunch and an awesome bar. All those venues had great ocean views and with the exception of the buffet, a good amount of privacy. I love the spa and because a limited number of passes are sold, I never had to wait for a heated lounger. Even the Observation Lounge was pretty uncrowded when we were there….usually early in the morning or late at night. We did go to activities in other areas of the ship but the point is, we wouldn’t have had to…..everything we needed and wanted was right on those 2 decks. So for those who don’t like the big ship experience (and I see a lot of those complaints in these reviews) this is what I would recommend. Also, book everything you want to do as soon as NCL will let you….you can always cancel and other cruisers will be happy to fill your slot but there are many things that fill up fast and then you’re probably out of luck. The cabin itself was well laid out (beds by the balcony rather than the closet) and was plenty of room for 2 people, although no one could call it spacious. I can’t imagine having 3 in a room like this although it is advertised to accommodate 3, maybe a couple and a small child. We really enjoyed the beverage package. It was fun to try drinks we’d never had before and I discovered I like White Russians. The first time I ordered it the bartender made it with cream (as it is supposed to be) and it was wonderful but every subsequent bartender told me they only had milk. So I’d go to the coffee bar and get half and half and hand it to them. I don’t think I was very popular with the bartenders…lol. Anyway I would suggest that NCL make cream available behind all the bars. Never had a problem getting a bartenders attention or a drink in a timely manner. The dining package was fabulous too. We did Cagney’s, Teppanyaki, and La Cucina. The food was fantastic in all of them. One small complaint about Teppanyaki is I think they sit too many people at a table. We were the last to arrive for our table and I was seated on the end by a woman who was left handed. I didn’t notice until we were well into the meal or I would have requested a change of seating because her elbow was in my space the entire meal. We only did 2 shore excursions, the rail trip in Skagway and the Lumberjack Show in Ketchikan. They were OK. I wished I had done something where we could see wildlife. I had thought we would see some in Glacier Bay but we didn’t. My fault for not doing more research. We did see a lot of humpback whales though and I was surprised that they came so close to the ship. They would breach and blow through their blowholes….quite an experience….I had only ever seen orcas before. The only difficulty we had on this cruise was when we were in Glacier Bay. They had park rangers come on the boat and talk about the glaciers. They said if you go outside you can hear the glaciers, especially if they are calving. We went out on the balcony to listen and enjoy the serenity only to find that one of the ship’s photographers was 3 decks below us, taking pictures and yelling at his subjects to get them in certain poses and reactions. I called guest services to complain and have him stop. Unfortunately I had to make 3 calls before it stopped and then we think they only moved him to the other side of the ship but we were glad to no longer have him disrupting our enjoyment. Management sent us some sweet treats to apologize and we were happy again. All in all a great cruise and I am doing this ship again in October on the Mexican Riviera. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
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
I am the basic economy cruiser. When I cruise solo, I choose Norwegian for a number of reasons. First, they have an excellent solo program, with an assigned solo cruise director. Second, their single supplement is generally less than 100%, ... Read More
I am the basic economy cruiser. When I cruise solo, I choose Norwegian for a number of reasons. First, they have an excellent solo program, with an assigned solo cruise director. Second, their single supplement is generally less than 100%, especially if you are able to book at the last minute. Third, they let me take a bicycle on board, keep it in my room, and use it in every port if I wish. For this cruise, I flew economy with a carry-on and a backpack. From the Seattle airport, I took the light rail ($1.00 for seniors) to downtown and walked to Port 66, about 30 minutes. I arrived at the port at my scheduled arrival time and experienced no difficulty in embarkation. My room was almost ready, I dropped off backpack, and set off to explore Seattle. I seemed to be going in the wrong direction in leaving the ship, but there was no problem. Pike Market was really crowded (it was Saturday), but I found a wine shop there and was able to sample a flight of Washington wines. I found the production quality of the two main shows, Footloose and Elements, to be excellent and enjoyed both of them. I took most of my meals at Taste and Savour, because I enjoy being waited on and sitting at a table with a tablecloth and I eat less when ordering from a menu. When my dining partners had a scheduled excursion, the breakfast staff was accommodating and they made it to their point of departure on time. The food was good, pretty much as expected from previous cruises, and the deserts were generally exceptional. I avoided the Café as much as possible, finding it difficult to find a seat and with people everywhere. However, the crepes and ice cream at the Café were a major draw after the shows. Being an economy cruiser, I didn’t have any additional expenses on board except for the bundled laundry service and tips. I don’t gamble (the expected value is less than zero), drink alcohol on board, take ship excursions, or partake of any other add-ons. I find the value of Norwegian cruises to be exceptional. The work-out facilities on Norwegian ships are fairly small and tucked away in an upper corner of the ship. When I wanted, I was able to find machines and space for a work-out, however. I must admit that I greatly enjoyed the ropes course on the Breakaway and wished it had been duplicated on the Joy. Disembarkation wasn’t a problem. Customs just waved me through. I rented a bicycle from a shop in Seattle rather than using one of the many sitting around. I was able to store my suitcase for a couple of hours and got good advice on where to bike in the two hours I had available before I had to catch my flight back. Personally, I find the bike trails and weather in Denver to be preferable to those in Seattle, but the rental agency assured me that if I had more time, they could direct me to a better path. I took the light rail from downtown back to the Seattle airport with no problem. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I chose this cruise because of the chance to see the Inner Passageway up close, and because it sailed round-trip from Seattle. Visits (and excursions) in both Juneau and Sitka were beautiful and worthwhile; Ketchikan is just one big ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the chance to see the Inner Passageway up close, and because it sailed round-trip from Seattle. Visits (and excursions) in both Juneau and Sitka were beautiful and worthwhile; Ketchikan is just one big souvenir shop and hardly worth the stop. This was only my 2nd ocean cruise (the first was on Viking; all others were various river cruises) and I admit to having been spoiled by smaller ship size and ambience. In my opinion, this ship does not deserve a 4.5/5 rating. We ate at the Lido, in the Dining Room and in Pinnacle Grille and, at best, the food deserves a 4 (in the Lido, a 3 would be all I would give it). Service in the Dining Room and Pinnacle was good and efficient. Lido was hit or miss service (usually ended up filling and refilling all drinks ourselves), and food was cafeteria quality (except for omelet station, which was good tho' lines were usually quite long). Food stations were not organized well for crowd flow and table bussing was often slow. Onboard entertainment was not very exciting: America's Test Kitchen was just watching from a distance as someone else prepared a meal, and the Billboard OnLine performers were just OK. Best entertainment was the movie "Alaska in Concert," which was excellent (shown two times on one night of the cruise). I had paid for a spa pass and was sorry I had. The 6 lounge chairs in the spa were usually full and there was a separate aqua pool but no hot tub. Sauna's were nice but how long can you stay in one of those? WiFi was awful: slow and sporadic and you can only connect it to one device at a time. Very expensive for what you get. The worst thing about this cruise was the constant "upselling" that went on. We were interrupted several times during lunch conversations with waitresses telling us about specials in Pinnacle and Tamarind (the additional cost restaurants). Every fitness and spa experience was an infomercial and the absolute worst were the ship photographers who were in your face at meals, on the deck and as you were heading off for shore excursions. If I heard "let's see those smiles!" from the male photographer once I heard it 24 times during the 7 days of the cruise. Finally, I would not recommend going on the Eurodam as a single traveler. Fortunately, I had family travelling in another cabin, but the large ship size makes it more difficult to meet and connect with new people. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I booked a Sailaway inside cabin for this Alaska Inside Passage cruise out of Seattle. The ship is absolutely beautiful and well suited to Alaska and any other location, for that matter. The Observation Lounge was wonderful with snacks, ... Read More
I booked a Sailaway inside cabin for this Alaska Inside Passage cruise out of Seattle. The ship is absolutely beautiful and well suited to Alaska and any other location, for that matter. The Observation Lounge was wonderful with snacks, a bar, gorgeous views, music in the evenings, and lots of seating (except when people decided to take up an entire couch to sleep on with feet on the upholstery, etc. - there were many chaise lounges for this, but for some reason people were pretty rude hogging the regular couches for sleeping). My cabin #5715 was in a great location on deck 5 near much of the indoor entertainment. It was below the Q restaurant, which did have a band playing at night. I could hear very faint noise from this at times, but it was usually quiet after 11:00 p.m. Speaking of the Q, I ate there the last night of the cruise and it is another new favorite with wonderful upscale southern food (BBQ, cornbread, pecan pie, etc.). Great entertainment, great fun on this ship. Although the food was excellent, I didn't give it a full excellent rating, as I was really looking forward to my meal in Lobos Cantina, but the guacamole was made with unripe avocados, and I was served the wrong entree (it had ingredients I can't eat and the entree I'd ordered was served to another person at the table, who thought it was his). When I mentioned this to the waitress, she said no, that was what I'd ordered. My table mates had just about finished their meal by the time the waitress came back to check. Anyway, it was a big mess and left me wanting to cry, and the overall experience took hours! Everything else on the ship in terms of food and service was fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I liked their website, they were nice to deal with. The ship is new and beautiful. The specialty restaurants excellent, and the Mandara spa outstanding. The room was very nice, and the rain shower and jets were great. Had a wonderful ... Read More
I liked their website, they were nice to deal with. The ship is new and beautiful. The specialty restaurants excellent, and the Mandara spa outstanding. The room was very nice, and the rain shower and jets were great. Had a wonderful time. Very smooth waters for the whole trip. Loved Coco's for crepes and cappachino. Only compaint is the Internet did not work most of the time. Took the ships shutlle to and from airport and the baggage handling on last day was so helpful, sponsered by the port of Seattle. They take your bag check it in at airport, deliver boarding passes to cabin and luggage fee is added to your ship bill. Could not have been more convenient. The garden cafe buffet was not to my liking. All the other eateries were really top notch. The coffee pot in the cabin was much appreciated for that morning get go. Lots of outlets in cabin also. Looking forward to next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Having done quite a few princess cruises, the Ruby is one of our favorite ships. The size is perfect; the large theatre can hold everyone if they do two shows ( which they typically do). The shows were spectacular-from the dancers and ... Read More
Having done quite a few princess cruises, the Ruby is one of our favorite ships. The size is perfect; the large theatre can hold everyone if they do two shows ( which they typically do). The shows were spectacular-from the dancers and singer to the comedian and Magician. Amazing employees that act like they really like their jobs. The food was excellent in the dining room. We never felt rushed. There are spots all over the ship that you can be alone outside your cabin. We love the grill topside. We run thru the buffet at lunch a load up greens; then have them grill a chicken breast for on top (resisting the fries of course). International cafe was a little crowded this cruise ( I think it was because of their new coffee card system). There seemed to be a line often and I don’t do lines! Love love love this ship. We already have booked another in February. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We started this amazing trip in Seattle with a friend. We spent 4 days tour the town and seeing the sites such as: The Space Needle, The Chihuly Museum, the Pop Culture museum, the Troll under the bridge, the Z Park, the water front, the ... Read More
We started this amazing trip in Seattle with a friend. We spent 4 days tour the town and seeing the sites such as: The Space Needle, The Chihuly Museum, the Pop Culture museum, the Troll under the bridge, the Z Park, the water front, the Pike Place Market, Kerry Park, the Argosy boat cruise and much more. It really started us off fo an adventure we were so excited to get started on. We entered the Legend on pier 91 at 11:45 AM with no issues or delays. The check in was smooth and the welcome was tremendous. Our rooms weren't ready until 1:30 PM but that was known from the beginning. They had the buffet all setup and we enjoyed the scenery of the Seattle harbor. The first day was a sea day but we needed the downtime after running all over Seattle. The only downfall of the entire trip was the commercialized cities we visited, but we are veteran cruises and knew what to stay away from. Juneau was our first stop and the only port where we did not use Carnival for our tour. We used Harv and Marv's whale watching and what a great decision that was. We saw 14-15 whales, dolphins, seals, walruses and a glacier that was stunning in the sunlight during the evening hours. Skagway was next and it was an old looking western town full of plenty of shopping. We took the excursion on the Ultimate Yukon and White Pass Railway Adventure. This trip bused you into the Yukon to a small tourist trap village with lunch but yet fun to be there and afterwards there is a petting zoo and sled dogs to see. Then they took you to Carcrossing for a little more local shopping and then to the train which is the highlight of the tour. It took 1 1/2 hours to go back down the hill but it was worth every second. This is a must do.... Third stop was Glacier Bay. BEAUTIFUL. And during this time of year you get to see bothe Glaciers in the area. Highly suggest the presentations by the park rangers that board the ship and the Naturalist that was part of the crew. Fantastic information and very helpful. Next stop was Sitka, small town but a lot of culture. We took the Carnival City Historical Tour. No history spoken about at all. But the stop at the Raptor Center made it all worth while. Only wish we could have gotten more history on the Historical Tour. LOL Then the last port was Ketchikan, this was really commercialized and I felt as if I was in the Caribbean. But again walk on pass these to get to Creek Crossing. This was a fantastic little street with history to meander through. We also took the Duck Boat ride from Carnival and it was funny and entertaining, and also very safe. The last day was at sea. We landed and disembarked in Vancouver, BC. We spent 2 days there and used Vancouver Lands Sea Tours and Adventures. Fantastic tours. The historical city tour and the Sea to Sky tour with the Deep Fjord Tour. GREAT, GREAT, GREAT!!!!!! The day before flying out of Seattle we took the Amtrak from Vancouver to Seattle. Again the ride was perfect and the scenery was fabulous. This is a must do. Business Class and ask for seat 3 or 5 for best views. Also have your US declaration card filled out before getting there, it will save you time. Our cabin stewart was Haru and he was great. Restaurant servers were Kamong, Heri and Made They were better than great. Crews director Jen was fun. And captain Giuseppe was fantastic. The Entertainment. WOW, Wow, Wow, Wow.....The best I've seen yet. I hope if anyone takes this cruise in the future look for the 1st or 2nd week in September so you can see both glaciers. They close off the John Hopkins Glacier after May for the wildlife breeding. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was a repeat of the same cruise my wife took with her sister a year ago. She enjoyed it so much that we went together this year. I don't think you can appreciate HAL unless you've been on other lines. My most recent ... Read More
This was a repeat of the same cruise my wife took with her sister a year ago. She enjoyed it so much that we went together this year. I don't think you can appreciate HAL unless you've been on other lines. My most recent experience was a repositioning cruise last year on RCI. It wasn't bad, but the experience was so uneven in quality it left me unwilling to ever take another RCI cruise! The only poor experience we had was the Dive Inn burger lunch bar. Someone raved about how wonderful it was, so we put up with a 40 minute wait for cold food that was entirely tasteless. Wendy's makes a better burger! I was incredulous that such a screwed-up operation could exist on such a good shop. We also had some of the signature cocktails in the bar that were strange, and just tasted bad, which were graciously withdrawn. Otherwise, it was simply wonderful. I was very happy with the food. The concept of service on their Lido Market deck was very good. Small batch prep on some items and to-order on others was very well executed. We routinely ate breakfast there. Coffee was decent too. In comparison, the brown sludge served on RCI had us routinely paying for good coffee. The whole RCI strategy is to get you somewhere and provide what you really want and expect for additional money at every turn. Not so on HAL. I'm looking forward to another trip on the Eurodam. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose the Bliss because of all the amazing videos we saw and everything we heard from our travel agent. I will start with the positives: - If you're a single or older couple with no kids, this cruise MAY be for you - Good ... Read More
We chose the Bliss because of all the amazing videos we saw and everything we heard from our travel agent. I will start with the positives: - If you're a single or older couple with no kids, this cruise MAY be for you - Good options for entertainment - Paid/ upcharge restaurants were definitely better than included ones - Alaska ports made the trip worthwhile Now, for the things we do not like and why we will never choose Norweigan again: - Maybe because the Bliss is so new, this could explain the utter lack of organization of the staff - Food at Buffet, Taste/Savor (same food) and Manhattan was very mediocre (at best) with no place to sit in the buffet restaurant - Our room (10-154) had a horrible banging/knocking in the walls and for 3 straight nights I go ZERO sleep, for a vacation it was unbearable - The spa passes were pointless and way over priced (again with kids, it's very difficult to coordinate since the kids clubs closes for 2 hours chucks all through the day) - The arcade and bowling machines will charge you repeatedly whether you used/ played the machine or not (and the way we were treated when we brought up an extra $6 charge was atrocious...) -Staff on cruise aren't empowered to do anything. So, if you have issues you have to write a complaint post cruise and they say it takes up to 15 business days to get a response - The app is trash and they charge you $9.95 per person to use it - Most things were constantly closed down (laser tag, mini golf and race track) which attracted us in the first place - Most things on ship are an extra cost so it's a constant nickel and diming vacation - Not a lot of family friendly activities - Havanah was just awful (as you will see in every other review) but there was really no need for the actors to light up real cigarettes in Jersey Boys (it was disgusting and made the whole theater smell) - The common spaces like the observation area are ALWAYS packed and people put their gross feet on the furniture and no rules are enforced. NOTE: We had a balcony but if you get an inside cabin it will be very hard for you to find a "common space" to relax and enjoy when there is anything to see outside - No drawers/ clothing space for fmaily with kids (if you're just 2 people, I imagine the closet space would be fine - The worst traffic flow I've ever seen on a ship. Elevators are always packed and no one wants to make space for new people (so you will be climbing 5-10 flights of stairs all the time to get where you need to go) - Captain decided to not go to the glacier which was a huge selling point for us. Given all the equipment they have on board it was more of an issues of not “wanting” to rather that not being able to. Why not save their gas and effort, right? We literally turned around. Overall, this is a cruise where the food is bad, few options for families, the staff is not empowered to make anything right which means absolute HORRIBLE or non-existent customer service, over-crowded ship with poorly planned traffic flow, this was not a vacation this was a total disappointment. As with anything, we have each other so spending time together was the best part but I would not waste money with Norweigan (they appear economical but after being charged for EVERY SINGLE THING) they are way more pricey. I will be booking with Disney Cruise from now on until kids are older (they have exquisite food, service and pretty much everything is outstanding). Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I have read a few of the most recent reviews and I feel the need to defend NCL because I am hearing a lot of the same complaints I heard on the ship. Yes, there were multiple medical emergencies, that's what happens when the average ... Read More
I have read a few of the most recent reviews and I feel the need to defend NCL because I am hearing a lot of the same complaints I heard on the ship. Yes, there were multiple medical emergencies, that's what happens when the average demographic is 74 years old. There were a couple medical evacuations people never even knew about, that is called HIPPA and a person's right to privacy. The Captain had to make a tough call when the coast guard did not answer distress calls, nor was a medical evacuation possible for a young woman who walked on the boat healthy and fell deathly ill from an infection that later took her life. If that was my loved one, I pray they would make the same choice and I am comforted that they chose trying to save a human life over make a popular decision. I realize there were a lot of disappointed passengers, but please take comfort in knowing that collectively we did everything possible to help save a human life. Now, for my review... Getting to the ship from the airpot in Seattle, the $20 NCL shuttle was easy. They took my luggage right from the baggage claim and the next time I saw it was outside my stateroom door at 6:30pm. An Uber would have been about $40 for a solo traveler, so it saved me money. Check in was easy and I was early, so I enjoyed the Seattle Pike Place Market before returning to the ship for embarkation at 11:30am. I would recommend going straight to the observation lounge if you're like me and need to charge your phone. There are hidden charging ports in the lamps. Comfortable seating and really good food (salmon chowder) were calling my name on day one while the Garden Cafe was over run with people. You are allowed in your rooms after 1:30. I booked my room last minute, no solo supplement for a really great price ($499) with an inside guarantee and was assigned a handicapped accessible inside state room. The room was really spacious and would be great for a person in a wheelchair. I am guessing it to be 200 square feet, the only problem for me was that I confused the lights with the automatic door opener and would accidentally open the door while standing in my underwear. I'm guessing I would have figured it out eventually, but I had a request to change rooms due to a handicapped passenger needing the room. I was asked very graciously and politely, since I'd already shown the neighbors more of me than I cared to, I voluntarily gave it up. Linda, the accessibility coordinator told me that at 24 into the cruise, there were no longer any larger rooms available for an upgrade, but she offered me either a studio or inside cabin plus a $200 on board credit. I happily accepted the studio cabin since I was solo and wanted to have access to the solo lounge. I had a really hard time finding my interior room on deck 13, I felt like I was in a maize, once I switched to room 12517 in the Solo Studio, I never had trouble finding my room again. This brings me to NCL's Solo Cruiser Program. I am so impressed with this program. The Solo Host, Jose Jaramilla, went above and beyond in assisting every solo cruiser whether you were in the solo studios, or not. I met him the at the first meet and greet in the Mojito Bar on the first day and he brought everyone back to the solo lounge and explained the program. An itinerary with show dates and times was provided where selected seating had been reserved for the solo cruisers to sit as a group. It was in the far lower right corner, but at least you weren't sitting by yourself. You could sign up for one or all of the activities and there were daily meetings followed by dinner for those that wished to eat with the group. What a wide variety of ages, 22-75, ethnicities, and personality types. From the introvert to the extrovert, there is something for everyone. Jose did a great job ensuring everyone had a great time. For solo cruising, NCL has my vote 100%. Jose is also seen during many of the game shows and theme parties, which were pretty low key with the generally older demographic, but he is hilarious. The solo cabin itself it small, 99 square feet with less than a full size bed, but it's well designed. The shower and the toilet feel more like you are in a rocket or coffin, so I was really wishing I'd shaved my legs in that handicapped accessible bathroom. There is a virtual window and you do have access to the solo lounge where there is an espresso machine, ice water, fruit, orange juice, and pastries always available. It was very easy to meet other solo cruisers in the lounge which was a huge perk. It was like a little ship in the ship. I did not get in on a free at sea with the super low rate, so instead I brought on two bottles of wine and paid the $15/bottle corking fee. This was enough alcohol for me and the bar tenders were quite pleasant and entertaining even though I wasn't ordering a bunch of alcohol. They seem to keep up with demand and for those that couldn't get drinks fast enough, I would recommend some of the quieter bars like the whiskey bar, wine bar, mojito bar (love Black Cowboy), or the bar in the observation lounge. The atrium bar was always busy, but I thought the guys were great. I loved the adults only Spice H2O for the hot tub to watch the sunset, although it could have been a bit hotter. It was a chilly sprint out and to the heated hallway. It was too chilly for the pool for me, but I did lay out one day and watch festivities. Freestyle dining was made easy, I was always seated quickly with my group and ate in the complementary restaurants except for Cagney's one night and Sushi at Food Republic. I enjoyed the lighter lunch food in the observation lounge, it seemed a little more on the gourmet side. The Garden Cafe was OK, I always seemed to catch the half hour between breakfast and lunch when there was really no food. Kids and adults who love ice cream will be happy, there were numerous Ice Cream Stations, both hard and soft serve, although I'm not positive about the hours. The food in the Main Dining Rooms was good, but not great. If I didn't know any better, I would be more impressed. There was no lobster, not even at Cagney's, salmon the first night and that was fabulous, but I did not catch it on the menu again. I was a little disappointed being it was an Alaskan Cruise. It seems NCL has taken money out of fine cuisine and put it into entertainment as the meals consisted of less expensive cuts of meat, fish and pasta. They were all well prepared and presentation was beautiful, but budget cuts were noticeable for an experienced cruiser. I heard the Q really stands out, but who wants to pay $25 extra for what you used to get for free? The sushi at The Food Republic is amazing and well worth it for about $8/roll. Nolan, the head chef is fantastic and ensures his customers are satisfied with his creations. The Local had Pub-Style food and a nice made-to-order omelet for breakfast with a very friendly staff. Shows and Entertainment...The Jersey Boys is a must see production, as good as a Broadway Show. Havana was very well choreographed. I had hoped to see a comedy show, but lines we long and there was standing room only. The game shows were entertaining as usual, the night life was pretty mild due to the advanced age demographic. I had a great time and feel the crew was vey friendly and courteous. The Social was open late for dancing and as a solo lady, it was an added benefit that not only one, but a male and female security guard would walk you back to your cabin upon request. I felt very safe on and off the ship at all times. Juneau...For those that like to save money, you can take the city bus to the Mendenhall Glacier for $2 instead of $45 for the express bus. It drops you off 1.5 miles away, but it is a beautiful paved trail and I saw a Momma bear and two cubs along the way (escorted by park rangers). I will be going again at least once, if not more. I need to bring my kids to show them the beauty on this side of the country, I am awe struck. Getting off the Bliss proves to be the biggest challenge. If you are in a rush to get off the boat to catch a flight, do the express walk off as early as you can. Otherwise, plan on it taking 1-2 hours to get off the boat from the time you get off the elevator. If you are traveling with anyone that may need any medical assistance or not tolerate standing in a circulating line for that period of time, get them a wheelchair assisted disembarkation. I hope they work the kinks out of disembarkation before they get to Miami for my next venture on the Bliss. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I'm a seasoned world traveler and booked , first time on a cruise. I made my own reservations for port excursions. The port stops are wonderful, with much to see, but often not enough time before you have to return to the ship. The ... Read More
I'm a seasoned world traveler and booked , first time on a cruise. I made my own reservations for port excursions. The port stops are wonderful, with much to see, but often not enough time before you have to return to the ship. The Bliss is new, very beautiful, but packed with 4000 or so noisy people going every which way all the time. Embarkation and disembarkation were faster and easier than I expected with so many people aboard; many families, elderly, people in wheelchairs, even with assistance dogs. Happy to see they are all made welcome and comfortable. I liked my cozy single studio (99 compact sq feet) on deck 12, the ship's service in general (although some employees, like my groups' waitress in the Manhattan room every night seemed tired and was impatient), overwhelming choice of dining, entertainment (the musical plays Havana and Jersey Boys were outstanding) and the spa (I had an expensive massage)... but I grew weary of the crowds, confusion and noise, waiting at the elevators, then giving up and usually walking up and down the stairs. This fatigue added to my getting vertigo from the movement of the ship, which bordered on seasickness, which I've never had. I couldn't wait to get into each port and walk on solid ground, but the vertigo dizziness/balance issue didn't cease, even several days after the cruise ended. I'm very glad my one and only cruise was on this magnificent ship and that I got to see some of Alaska. But I learned that I'm not a big-ship or motion-of-the-ocean fan and would not cruise again even if it was free. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We cruised on Ruby Princess a few months ago to Mexico and were very impressed with the line so we booked our AK trip with Princess too. Entertainment were great. Staff members were amazing. Food was fresh and elegantly prepared and ... Read More
We cruised on Ruby Princess a few months ago to Mexico and were very impressed with the line so we booked our AK trip with Princess too. Entertainment were great. Staff members were amazing. Food was fresh and elegantly prepared and served. Formal meals were not just for eating---but events to be experienced. There were 10 adults + 1child (4 yo) and we would split up to go to trivia challenges or tour backstage and do a Q&A with the dancers/singers or play a table game we found in the library and then all meet up for dinner or watched a comedian or magician together. So--there was plenty of togetherness with enough opportunities for down time to decompress. The people that made this cruise ship stand out are Alex (cruise director), Yessy and Ampolo (asst cruise directors), Juliet (hostess in Horizon and DaVinci restaurants) and Jose Luis (waiter in Curtis Stone's Share restaurant). They're all so freaking adorable that I wanted to take them home with me!! The excursions at the ports of call were fun and interesting but I could have stayed on the ship for the entire week and taken line dancing classes or played Family Feud or Who's The Cuckoo? and don't think I ever would have tired of it. My brother and sister-in-law were both finalists in VOICE of the Ocean and that was fun to cheer them on to the finale. Bring nice clothes to dress up a bit for dinner. It's not mandatory (except on formal nights) but it will make you feel special. It was hard to go home after having an entire fleet of crew members there to pamper and spoil us. This is the life!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I had determined after taking a bus tour in 2016 and a rail tour in 2017 that this year I'd take a cruise. I'd been hesitant because I'm a solo traveler and didn't want to pay the single supplement or stick out like a ... Read More
I had determined after taking a bus tour in 2016 and a rail tour in 2017 that this year I'd take a cruise. I'd been hesitant because I'm a solo traveler and didn't want to pay the single supplement or stick out like a sore thumb. But my preferred destination was Alaska and Norwegian Cruise Line's new ship, Norwegian Bliss, offered solo cabins with only a minor supplement, so I went for it. I flew to Seattle a day early and enjoyed a sightseeing day, boarding the ship on Saturday 8/4. Embarkation was very efficient even for a newbie. Once I was on board I was fortunate enough to meet a couple who asked me about my dining plans. When I told them I had purchased the prepaid dining package they asked if I had booked dining reservations. I was surprised as I had assumed that NCL's Freestyle Cruising was all about dining when and where you wanted-just walk in. They said "Make reservations right now or you won't be able to use your dining plan!". Thankfully I had an app on my device that allowed me to do just that. The Teppanyaki restaurant was already sold out but I was able to book the barbecue, steak house and Italian joint. Sorry to run on but the point is: Make your dining reservations as soon as you board if not sooner-they go fast! The Bliss was huge, the largest cruiser ever on the West Coast. There were 4,000 passengers aboard, but the ship never seemed crowded, except perhaps at the buffet. A lot of the outdoor activities, like the water slides and "party decks", seemed designed more for the winter Caribbean season. I was too cold in Alaska to use them. But even on a cold, rainy sea day with everyone inside there was sufficient room for all. The public decks were modern & spacious and I don't recall seeing any dirt at all. Dining ranged from good to excellent. The buffet was sufficient and filling, though I would have liked more day-to-day variety. The complimentary sit down restaurants were good but not gourmet. The best food was found at the specialty restaurants. The barbecue & steak house were A+. The service at the Italian restaurant was slow, but it was fun to dine outside on the "Waterfront". On s ship as big as the Bliss there was plenty of entertainment. The gambling was like setting your money on fire, so I avoided it. I didn't see the show "Havana" but most people said it was meh anyway. The headliner show "Jersey Boys", about the Four Seasons, was lots of fun. Some people complained about too many "F-bombs" and yes there were a lot. So be warned. But the best entertainment was The Beatles cover band that performed in both the main theater and The Cavern Club. Everyone including myself was raving about them. I should also point out that the Bliss really caters to singles. We had our own exclusive, key-access area and a private lounge, making us feel like VIP's. We even had our own cruise director, Tiana, who organized a meet-up each day and left each of us four complimentary chocolate strawberries on the next to last day of our cruise! Service overall was exemplary; I didn't encounter one rude crew member. "Happy happy, washy washy!!" Given the number of people on the Norwegian Bliss, and inclement weather in Juneau & Skagway, the shore excursion off-loading and re-loading process was extremely efficient. Some of us almost got left behind in Juneau because our driver didn't show up for the return trip! But all's well that ends well and we made it back with a half hour to spare. Juneau was the only port where I felt rushed because we only had six hours. Disembarkation morning on 8/11 had the feel of "Get the heck outta here!" but I suppose that's pretty standard on any cruise. Gotta clear & clean the ship for the next flock of sheep lol. I was off by 7:45 so it was all good. I have to give a shout out to The Port Valet service offered by The Port of Seattle. You leave your luggage outside your stateroom on the last night & you don't see it again until your final destination. All for no extra charge above the airline's baggage fee! That was such a blessing to me as I was planning to walk around Seattle for a few hours and the forecast called for rain. All in all it was a great trip and a learning experience. I'll know what I'm doing next time-whenever that may be. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I chose this cruise because I had always wanted to go to Alaska and since I am a solo traveler, I thought this would be the easiest way to see Alaska. A little bit about me - I am a woman in her 30s who lives in NYC, travels solo, and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had always wanted to go to Alaska and since I am a solo traveler, I thought this would be the easiest way to see Alaska. A little bit about me - I am a woman in her 30s who lives in NYC, travels solo, and usually takes land trips to Europe. I am not a bigger cruiser but have been on two other cruises before with Carnival. Pre-Cruise On the advice of my co-worker, who loves to cruise, I booked dinners and shows in advance. I was only able to get the 10:30 show reservations because apparently booking two months before is not early enough. I never ended up going to the shows because I was still on NYC time and it was just too late for me. Seattle I flew to Seattle a day early because I had never been to Seattle before and wanted to leave enough time before my cruise. I stayed at a hotel near the Space Needle. This area looks like it was probably a seedy area at one time that is now being gentrified by Amazon. However, you feel about it, Amazon has brought in hip restaurants and shops so there is a lot of places to eat around here. I had good ramen across the street from Amazon's The Spheres. Of course Pike Place market was a tourist trap and worried about pickpockets, I didn't spend much time there. Embarkation The next day, I took the hotel shuttle to the pier. We left the hotel at 12 noon and I was on the ship probably by 12:30. Embarkation was very easy and fast. The rooms were not ready until about 2 p.m. and bags were delivered shortly thereafter. Room I stayed in a studio room intended for a single person. I would say most of the people who stayed in these rooms appeared to be traveling with other people but just wanted their own rooms. They did not appear to be solo travelers. The room was not bad during the day but at night when I turned the light off, I felt like I was sleeping in a coffin. I would wake up on the verge of having a panic attack so I had to sleep with the tv on and the shade of the faux window open so it wasn't so dark and oppressive. The first night it got hot in the room and I had to call someone to come and fix the air conditioning because the warmth combined with the coffin feel was making me feel claustrophobic. Needless to say, I did not sleep well during the cruise and would not stay in one of these rooms again. In addition, people kept slamming the doors at night - clearly they aren't used to living in apartments - and since I went to bed early as I was on NYC time, I kept being woken up by slamming doors. Gym On sea days, the gym was mobbed. You have to sign up for spin, yoga or other classes as soon as you get on the ship as they book up right away. I found this annoying because how do I know if I want to go to spin class five days from now at 9 a.m.? There was also an additional charge for the classes. I managed to book a boot camp class that was allegedly $20 for one hour. However, when the instructor came, he said it was only half an hour. There were also about four Cuban people in the class who insisted on talking really loudly in Spanish to each other the entire class. It was really odd. Observation Lounge Since my room was basically a coffin, I spent most of my time in the observation lounge. On sea days in the morning it was virtually impossible to find a seat and I would sit outside on the deck. But after lunch it usually emptied out. Yes, there were people napping on the couches or lounge chairs but it didn't bother me. Those cabins are so small that there is really nowhere for people to go. However, I did not appreciate people taking their socks off and lounging with their bare feet. No one wants to see a person's gnarly feet! I also found that there were constantly hordes of pre-teens running around the observation lounge screaming on the tops of their lungs. The observation lounge was a place people were using to read or nap and so the screaming was obnoxious. The pre-teens and kids were also constantly running up and down the cruise ship stairs. Food I thought the food was good. I ate in the dinning rooms for the most part and enjoyed the food. I ate at the buffet a few times but it was always so loud and crowded that I preferred dining in the dining rooms, which were quieter and more relaxing. Excursions In Ketchikan, I did a sea kayaking tour. I enjoyed the tour - we got to see whales and sea lions. The company would not let us go out in our own kayaks so I had to share a kayak with a stranger but it worked out OK. I only had a little bit of time after sea kayaking to explore the town before I had to get back on the ship. In Juneau I did a hiking excursion, which was a my favorite. There was even less time in Juneau and had to go back to the ship immediately after. Skagway was probably my favorite stop. So pretty. It reminded me of being in Yosemite. I did the Klondike biking excursion, which was least favorite excursion. They drove us up a highway and then we biked down this highway on mountain bikes. The road was so steep and we were going so fast that I was was just concentrating on not losing control of my bike. There was no opportunity to look around at the scenery so what was the point? Note that I am an experienced biker and this was probably the scariest bike ride I have ever been on. In Victoria I paid to take the shuttle into town and then walked around for a bit. There was not a lot of time. I did have a chance to walk along the water when I came back to the ship and that was really nice. Things to Do on the Ship Basically, there was nothing to do on the ship. All the activities were activities in which Norwegian is trying to sell you something - ugly art, crappy jewelry, etc. Most people seemed to spend sea days hanging out drinking all day. Some started their drinking as early as 10 a.m. On sea days, I spent the entire day reading. There was far too much down time on the ship for me. I was starting to go stir crazy and at the end, was desperate to get off the ship. In Victoria, I got panicky when I thought about having to get back on the ship again. In Seattle, I was one of the first people off the ship and was grateful to be back on land. Overall Overall, I am glad I got to see some of Alaska and Seattle because I had always wanted to go to these places. However, if I was going to do it again, I would fly to Alaska and then sale on Princess south so I can stop more places in Alaska and spend less time on the ship. I would not sail Norwegian again because they nickle and dime you for everything and I don't like that I have to book every detail of my trip months in advance. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This is the best boat I have ever been on. I have always traveled in luxary in Celebruty cruises but this beat all of them. There sanitary in the is boat is ten times best. The do not let you eat unless u put hand sanitizer or was your ... Read More
This is the best boat I have ever been on. I have always traveled in luxary in Celebruty cruises but this beat all of them. There sanitary in the is boat is ten times best. The do not let you eat unless u put hand sanitizer or was your hands. The staff is very kind and is the best. They are very kind. This cruise also have a lot of kids things to go cart racing and laser tag. This boat also is very nice. The only thing is the boat does not have great entertainment in the theater but the game shows are first class. All of the game shows are all in the atrium and I reccomend all of you that are interested on this cruise to look at one of the game shows. Best cruise ever!!! Everbody come join the happy family here in the norwegian bliss. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I've wanted to cruise Alaska since I saw a commercial showing Glacier Bay and featuring the same booming, echoing voice used by MONSTER monstermonster truck ads not so long ago. Recently, I came into a decent sum of money allowing me ... Read More
I've wanted to cruise Alaska since I saw a commercial showing Glacier Bay and featuring the same booming, echoing voice used by MONSTER monstermonster truck ads not so long ago. Recently, I came into a decent sum of money allowing me to sail. I chose Celebrity Solstice due to its September prices in Alaska as opposed to its itinerary. Next time I hit Alaska, I'll likely go via an M class ship and take a round-trip Hubbard at least as much for the glacier as for the extra sea day (assuming I take Celebrity). We flew into Seattle, and I wish I remembered the name of our hotel. Embarkation was uncomplicated and we didn't get there until around 12:30. I was as awed and impressed with the Solstice (still am) as I was the tray of mimosas and champagne offered by the crew when we entered the ship. We went on a tour and hit Luminae for lunch. EVERYTHING I tasted on the Solstice bordered on sublime or surpassed it. I hesitated to try the Crispy Pork Belly the first night, and I'm terrifically pleased that I did. It was perfectly cooked (and I know since, during my last cruise, it was not). I shopped in Juneau for a short time after going on a whale watching trip, coming away with the utter conviction that every single person who exists needs to go. Orcas have been my favorite sea dweller almost forever, having impressed me on documentary after documentary and thereby kicking out their competition, seahorses. Seeing tham skim the water, leap out right next to our catamaran had me feeling like a fangirl at a concert. I hope I behaved somewhat better than that. In any case, the shops seemed stripped of the bulk of their merchandise. I got what I came for, though. We asked to tour the bridge. Our butler told us to meet the others going on the tour at the ship's forward, I forget which floor. We waited awhile and followed a young man who had us wait awhile. As we stepped into the room, I noticed at least a dozen plumes on the water in front of us. The poor kid who was attempting to corral our group around his station was ignored by the lot of us as we immediately realized that the source of the plumes was a pod of some sort of whale, some said blue and others humpback -- I never found out. We watched them; hypnotized by their presence and numbers. When they swam past us, our bridge kid had what little part of our attention that we could provide. I can't tell you anything about what he said (although I tried to appear attentive throughout). As soon as we left, we all broke out in excited chatting about those whales and their startling numbers. I neglected to mention that the second dinner I had on the Solstice was in the Silk Harvest and there is where we experienced our first marine creature encounter and was, in this case, a dolphin. S/he rode the ship's waves in order to snatch fish thrown out there by our passing. You never grow jaded by encoutering wildlife. The final sea animal we saw was close to Victoria. That I actually saw a sea otter should have ticked this state off of my bucket list. TBH, I'm that much more interested and can't wait to go again. Alas, Alaska will have to wait until after we pass beyond the arctic circle and hopefully experience a few good midnight sunsets and see even more orcas, etc.. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
In August 2017 my wife suffered a fully-detached retina. If you don't know, rehab from surgery requires no change in air pressure for at least 90 days. Well, that meant no flying and our Mediterranean Cruise in September 2017 had to ... Read More
In August 2017 my wife suffered a fully-detached retina. If you don't know, rehab from surgery requires no change in air pressure for at least 90 days. Well, that meant no flying and our Mediterranean Cruise in September 2017 had to be cancelled. Thankfully we had trip insurance so all non-refundable expenses were reimbursed. Six weeks later, we were in the doctor's office for another check-up. Since the eye was healing on schedule, we asked, "Can we take a vacation on a ship?" We live in Seattle so the doctor said, "Absolutely, yes"". A quick call to our AAA travel agent and, 9 days later, we left on a 7 day round-trip to Alaska on HA's Oosterdam. We selected this cruise because we'd previously been to Skagway and the Oosterdam's itinerary included Sitka (instead of Skagway) plus Hubbard Glacier (instead of Tracy Arm). We were so happy with our substitute cruise...while it wasn't Venice and the Adriatic, we had a wonderful time on the Oosterdam, with its emphasis on European Art and Holland America's partnerhsip with America's Test Kitchen. Sitka is a great city to visit...so much Russian and Native Northwest Indian history; we'd love to go back for a few days! If you every get to book a cruise that visits Hubbard Glacier, you'll be very impressed with the immensity of this glacier. Sailing up Tracy Arm provides spectacular scenary but Hubbard Glacier is so huge. Our ship's naturalist said our sunny, 45 degree day was the best weather of the entire 2017 cruising season to Alaska. What's not to love about that? We'd heard a few stories that HA caters to an older cruise clientele. From our first experience, this is probably true, at least compared to our other cruise experiences with Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. There were families with small kids and grandparents with grandchildren, just not as many as on other cruise lines. (Our cruise was in late September, well after the school year started, so that was probably a contributing factor.) We're nearly 70 and had a great time. We really loved the emphasis on classical art and music. Once again, the best part was meeting interesting travelers, which is true on every cruise anywhere. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We cruised to Alaska and it really is a once in a lifetime trip! The scenery is amazing and with all the wildlife, glaciers, and mountains around it is something you will never forget! The Explorer was very well maintained and has a lot of ... Read More
We cruised to Alaska and it really is a once in a lifetime trip! The scenery is amazing and with all the wildlife, glaciers, and mountains around it is something you will never forget! The Explorer was very well maintained and has a lot of options for things to do. Unfortunately our cruise was rainy, windy, and cold so the pool deck was barely used so we got to know the inside of the ship very well. The casino is small, but doable. The dining experiences are fantastic, as I highly recommend the Sapphire dining room every night. It is just as good as the specialty dining experiences and changes every night. My daughter LOVES the kid's zone, Adventure Ocean. She came "home" (to our stateroom) every night with some fun story and fun theme nights. The shows were okay, as many were geared towards the older crowd, but the comedy was great. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The location and size of the ship where correct for my family given I have two boys ages 13 and 16. We wanted small enough to not be overwhelmed but largest enough to give them enough to do while onboard. The other issues I found was a ... Read More
The location and size of the ship where correct for my family given I have two boys ages 13 and 16. We wanted small enough to not be overwhelmed but largest enough to give them enough to do while onboard. The other issues I found was a huge problem while aboard was that I had booked speciality restaurants on line prior to traveling as was recommended by the cruise line NCL. But, upon my arrival they could not find my bookings. Nor did they have space available to make reservations once I was on board. This was most frustrating. The food on board was below par. The fish selection was inadequate to say the least. Especially given the fact that we were on an Alaskan trip I would have expected king crab, lobster, Scow cram and fish that was from that area. Not even once was it offered. The only fish that was offered was in the specialty restaurants that was extra money. This was far below what was expected. It was the only huge disappointment while aboard. I must also say that the staff had some language barriers with the passengers at the front desk and were unable to assist in getting my problems solved as well as others. such as the above reservation issues. Overall I would suggest finding another cruise line to travel on other then Norwegian in the future for the majority of the passengers. I personally felt as though this was a downer when I went to the main dining rooms or the buffets and the passengers belonged on Carnival ships and not this more expensive ship. It was like going to a water hole with a bunch of pigs. I am very sorry to report how I feel but I have to report the truth. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
It was advertised as a Singles Cruise through match.com. There were 3-5 women for every man. The women were fighting over the men. That was the main reason I took this trip. The staff tried to sell us items 24/7..Not a day went by that I ... Read More
It was advertised as a Singles Cruise through match.com. There were 3-5 women for every man. The women were fighting over the men. That was the main reason I took this trip. The staff tried to sell us items 24/7..Not a day went by that I was not bombarded with a sales person. The entertainment was lacking. The food in the dining room was inedible....hard frozen and tasteless fish. The preparation of food was handled without gloves. Men making pizza wiping hands on face and apron barehanded kneading the dough. Food handlers in the buffet were not wearing gloves when handling food. The elevators were also difficult in deciding when to open and close the doors.. (Timer??) The TV was not user friendly. The staff not helpful. I have been on over 20 cruises and have nothing nice to say about this one. I traveled on Ruby Princess 2 years ago and it was head and shoulders over the Emerald. It was my birthday and the service was so slow that we missed my cake in order to see the next show on board. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017

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