16 Seward Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

Alaska is always a great destination, even when it was cold and rainy. But my concern is that the food on NCL seems to have gone downhill rapidly since our last cruise on the Jade last September. It was bland. Buffet looked like they ... Read More
Alaska is always a great destination, even when it was cold and rainy. But my concern is that the food on NCL seems to have gone downhill rapidly since our last cruise on the Jade last September. It was bland. Buffet looked like they had thrown together and mashed the food together from the night before on several occasions. Even the meals in the dining room sub par. My daughter had to remind the waiter on 3 occasions about missed things and one night a waiter got the orders wrong 4 different times. He just wasn't listening. Nodding his head and off he went. That happened more often then usual from our past cruises. We were Mid ship 5067 and 5069. Inside. But don't ever book anything in that area because the bars are above you and all you get until 2 in the morning is banging, sliding of equipment and noises I never knew existed. Sleep was challenging to say the least. If you have any mobility problems don't do the Thermal Spa. Trying to get in and out of the hot tubs was difficult. I wasted $186 and could only go there once. I was terrified I'd fall trying to get in and out. I was not the only one who felt that way. Others had the same concerns. Unfortunately when they refurbished by the Jewel and the Jade they left the seats in the Stardust theatre with no upgrades. When you sit down it is almost like falling onto the floor and the seats are slanted downward so it is uncomfortable. Unless there is a destination only NCL does at a decent price, I am not sure I would cruise with them again. The specialty restaurants were okay but found the ones on the Jade better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose Alaska because my parents lived in Alaska before I was born and I have always wanted to go. We chose Viking because we had taken the Viking River Cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest -- and LOVED it! We loved the smallness, the ... Read More
We chose Alaska because my parents lived in Alaska before I was born and I have always wanted to go. We chose Viking because we had taken the Viking River Cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest -- and LOVED it! We loved the smallness, the service, the food, the sightseeing! Everything about it made us want to take an Ocean Cruise with Viking. And we found the same positives on the Orion. It was much larger--but small for an ocean liner. No negatives --all positive experiences. We have talked to people who have taken other cruises and find that Viking is the premier way to go. The cabins were large and well equipped. So many things that cost extra on other lines are standard on Viking. Once you are onboard nothing is extra unless you want to take one of the additional excursions. I loved not having to worry about paying for extras, because they were all included--including the gratuities! Now we have to save up for the next cruise. I have my eye on the "Tulips and Windmills" River Cruise, but there are many river and ocean cruises that I would be thrilled to take. I love visiting the food and culture of the countries we see. One thing I wish had been arranged was transportation (like golf carts) from the gangplank to the tour busses or trains. With limited mobility I chose not to attempt some of the included excursions. I now have an electric mobility cart that I hope will be allowed on my next cruise. Fortunately, there were places to sit along the way from our cabin to the dining room and theater. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We went on The N.C.L. Jewel The Cruise was from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver,British Columbia. This was a wonderful seven day Alaskan Cruise. We were located in the two bedroom family villa suite in The Haven and it was sufficient for the ... Read More
We went on The N.C.L. Jewel The Cruise was from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver,British Columbia. This was a wonderful seven day Alaskan Cruise. We were located in the two bedroom family villa suite in The Haven and it was sufficient for the four of us I believe it might not be should you have more than four people. The service in our suite was superior and give most of the credit for that to our concierge Dilip he made sure we were happy and brought everything we could wish for, he helped us get off the ship very easily at the different ports of call he escorted us off at each port of call.Dilip also helped us get to the entertainment we wanted to see. My only regret is that I purchased a spa pass I probably would not have purchased had I known that the roof of the Haven Center Spa was covered, on some other cruises sometimes the roof area of the Haven Pools have not been covered and it gets too cold. The food was excellent and the spa services were very good, however they did not have acupuncture on this cruise, which really disappointed me as that was one of things I was really looking forward to. I got a shave and tooth whitening from Lynda and she knew her stuff it was the best I have ever had, she is brilliant. The other spa treatments I had where three massages from Rumbi, Should you need a massage she is the best. ‘:The food was very good especially at the specialty restaurants.9 Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The itinerary was great. I enjoyed Alaska, but I was disappointed in RCI. Yes Radiance is old and small but I expected that. I didn't expect a poorly trained crew. Outside of food service, I had to ask for assistance twice. I ... Read More
The itinerary was great. I enjoyed Alaska, but I was disappointed in RCI. Yes Radiance is old and small but I expected that. I didn't expect a poorly trained crew. Outside of food service, I had to ask for assistance twice. I found it difficult to make someone understand because they were too busy arguing with me. There only excuse was that it was a small ship. It was not the ship it was the attitude of the crew. Entertainment was disappointing as well. People walked out of CITY OF DREAMS. I went to sleep. The cruise director staff was hard to find. I have been on smaller ships with many more activities. The compass was poorly edited. It referred to the northern route so it wasn't fully updated. Hallways were blocked with steward carts all day long so it was difficult to navigate the small hallways. Shore excursions staff were poorly trained and rude. The guest services were rude. My roommate and I had seperate sea pass cards but they put everything on hers. I asked them to reverse some of them and put them on mine, they gladly did that but they went ahead and put them right back on hers instead of mine. They said they did not understand. I just gave up and reimbursed my cabin mate. I was disappointed. When I asked about the arrangements and reservation that I made on the RCI website prior to departure, guest service said they did not see them and told me to speak with my travel agent. I told them they were my travel agent and they told me if I paid for things ahead of time I needed to prove it. I understand the need for the that. I showed them my receipt and they then told me they didn't see it so it must be a banking error. I had to call my bank and have them fight with them. This was my vacation that I paid a lot of money for. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
CABIN 10019 -- Small balcony (room for two angled chairs and a miniature cocktail table). Room itself was very small, but there was plenty of storage space for two people, including two spacious drawers under the bed we didn't even ... Read More
CABIN 10019 -- Small balcony (room for two angled chairs and a miniature cocktail table). Room itself was very small, but there was plenty of storage space for two people, including two spacious drawers under the bed we didn't even need to use. Likewise, all of our luggage fit neatly under the bed after we unpacked. In spite of the cozy room, I didn't feel closed in. I have serious claustrophobia and had no problem with the room or the bathroom facility at all. Noordam is a beautiful ship that is showing some signs of wear (it was commissioned in 2006), but is well maintained by an attentive and friendly staff. At meals and in passageways, crew members smiled and greeted passengers without fail. Only complaint about staff is that many do not speak English well and there was some culture/language communication problems at times. Food was above average in the dining room and beyond description in the Pinnacle Grill (more on that later). Only one dining room evening meal was below expectations of your neighborhood Denney's. Most were far better with a variety of gourmet offerings for each course. Salmon was on menu every night but final night, which was trout. Second gala night we had "surf and turf" which was a very generous sized fillet Mignon and a lobster tail, perfectly prepared and well presented. Although drink orders were offered, we stuck with the complimentary water and iced tea at meals and had our own beverages in the room or during "happy hours" where beverages were $2.00 for second drink. We discovered that you have to buy the same drink as your second one AT THE SAME TIME, meaning be sure to ask for no ice (or a canned beverage) if you don't want Coke flavored water for your $2.00 drink. Bar service was excellent in the Crow's Nest, not so much in the Northern Lights lounge where we went for a music trivia contest. The Explorer's Cafe service is very slow during some parts of the day, prompt during others. It's worth a try. While not as good as Starbucks, Pete's or SBC, the drinks are yummy and hot. Very hot. We considered a beverage package, but opted to visit the Safeway Store in Seward to bring our own soda, cream and a small bottle of wine on-board. No problems getting through security with that. Hard liquor is not allowed, but reasonable amounts of soda, juices and wine (750 ml) are permitted. For our next cruise, we may do some math on the beverage plan. It may be worth the extra money to save a trip to the supermarket to bring our own beverages onto the ship. Pinnacle Grill is $35 per person extra and well worth the cost. I made a reservation before the cruise to be at Pinnacle when we were cruising through Glacier Bay on our anniversary. From the opening "shot" of mushroom latte to the amazing surf and turf dinner (four serving size choices included and a jaw dropping 32 oz fillet available for an extra fee), every food item was prepared to standards way above anything we have experienced before. The area is very quiet, in spite of a very large family with several kids at a table nearby. Waiters were not bothersome, but were on hand right away to refill drinks or bring the next course. If you've been thinking about cruising, choose HAL if only for the opportunity to dine at this amazing restaurant. Choose your cabin wisely. We were on the Starboard side of a south bound cruise. In other words, when the Captain came on to announce some cool feature or landmark, we had to find an open space on the other side of the ship or in the Crow's Nest. While we're on the subject of choosing a cabin, we found our 10th deck forward cabin to be one of the best kept secrets. Tucked out of the way, just steps away from the Crows nest and a short elevator ride to the Greenhouse Spa on the Lido deck, this quiet area truly was a retreat from the hustle and bustle of port day passageway traffic. Although as far forward as one can be berthed on a ship, there was relatively little motion until the last night. That made up for the week of restfulness. Sleep is hard to find on a ship, but the bed and bedding are among the best we've slept on. Two full beds joined together to make a queen bed on a stable foundation meant motion from the other person almost un-noticeable. Unfortunately, the pillows were either to "foam rubbery" or too "squishy". If you have room to pack your favorite pillow, it might make this the best night sleep you've had in a long time. ----------- Enrichment activities included among other things, the Windows Workshop. Of little interest to us since we have Macs. But descriptions seemed interesting, particularly those that are platform independent like using OneDrive. Also available were several presentations from America's Test Kitchens, one of my favorite foodie magazines/programs. The demonstrations were great and came with recipe cards and handouts featuring various techniques. They are not interactive as you might expect in a live performance. That may be the way they're done, or it might be because there was an outbreak of Norovirus during this cruise. ----------- Entertainment is HAL's Achilles Heel. What little entertainment they have is poorly done in venues that were not designed for unobstructed viewing or for musical performance. The GOOD: An excellent mashup between the ship's band performing and BBC Earth's wildlife shows was the entertainment highlight for us. Alexander Great's magic show was a close second. I also enjoyed Adagio's performances in the Exploration's Cafe, though I only heard them as I was passing through. Noordam's musicians are top notch. Take the time to enjoy their performances while you're aboard. The BAD: The signature auditorium on the Noordam is the Vista Lounge. At least a third of the auditorium (and almost all of the upper deck 'balcony" area) is obstructed by columns or the ceiling of the upper deck. Two nights, we could see the bottom two thirds of the backdrop. The third night, we sat in the floor area in chairs that must have been reupholstered leftovers from GITMO. Uncomfortable, these chairs had cushions that did not stay put. The UGLY: The cast's performance of "Ever After" is anything but what the title implies... A collection of popular music from the 80s and 90s played as the singers and dancers re-enacted several fairy tales... most at one time. Imagine Snow White and Alice in Wonderland on stage at the same time in full volume. Choreography was large stage performed on a small stage. "Ever After" is only a little worse than a high school musical. I'll give them an A+ for the multimedia backdrop. As far as performance that was poor goes (as described above), the problem was not so much a lack of skill and talent of the cast. Done in a theater designed for such a performance, and with only one -- at the most two closely related concepts, it might be an award winning show. For the seemingly thrown together quality, it gets the "UGLY" award for this cruise. -------------- The Greenhouse Spa is very expensive. However, we splurged and spent money that might have gone to an excursion or two to get their hydrotherapy and thermal lounge package. It is $249 for two people for the full cruise. Normally, it's a great place to "spa away" the muscle tension and stress in a relaxing and quiet space. Quiet, relaxing Earth music plays sometimes (volume and presence is controlled from the women's changing room for some reason). Only one day did we have disruptive people -- a pair of young ladies who were asked to be quiet by an elderly lady who stepped up to enforce the rules that the staff didn't seem interested in monitoring. The thermal loungers are very hot (hotter than water in your friendly neighborhood hot tub). They're not for everyone, but I found them helpful after putting the "luxurious bathrobe" and a large towel down. Signage asks people to limit their use to 20 minutes (in both pool and thermoloungers) and that should be more than enough. Don't be surprised if you find people sleeping on the loungers. They're not breaking the rules on purpose... these things are just that relaxing. The Greenhouse also offers a wide range of spa treatments for both men and women, from cleansing facials to mani-pedi's. TIP: Get your mani-pedi and facial before the cruise. You'll still have money left over for your kid's college education. But if you can afford it, these folks seem to know how to pamper with style. ---------- Public rooms, except for Northern Lights and the Vista Lounge are very nice. Some include prints of famous Dutch Masters' work, statuary and my favorite, wooden carvings at the main dining room. Not only are public rooms well appointed, the staff works tirelessly to keep them clean. This is especially true should your cruise face an outbreak of Norovirus as occurred this time. Crew members -- even the Cruise Director himself -- took on the task of "super-sanitizing" the ship's public spaces and passageways in addition to their normal duties. Other than the Lido, where a careless plate grab from an infected passenger could spread the virus, I felt very safe on board. I've seen little mention on Cruise Critic of the "secret" places one can go for peace and quiet. There are many of those on the Noordam. My favorites were the Explorations Cafe, library and the Crow's Nest. Yes, they can get busy at certain times of the day, but for the most part it's relaxing and quiet... and a nice seat with a great view can almost always be found. ---------- Embarkation and disembarkation were both well organized on the ship end. However, disembarkation took a long time and once through the HAL portion, customs became very crowded, confusing and disorganized. They do not sanitize those spaces like they do the ship itself, and one of us got sick as a result. It's a good idea to wait in your stateroom until your disembarkation group is called. While they let people gather in public rooms to wait for their call, you're bound to find a lot of people anxious to get on to their next destination and with that comes impatience. I was concerned about a tight connection to the airport, but following HAL's process, we got there in plenty of time. TIPS: 1. If you are a U.S. citizen, you'll actually clear customs twice. Once for Canada and again at the airport before boarding. 2. Try to have as little carry on luggage as possible as you'll be asked for your passport, boarding pass and a customs receipt several times throughout. 3. If you have a medical device (such as a CPAP, H-Wave or similar "large electronic device"), remove it from your carryon and run it through the scanner separately. Canada's TSA will make you do that anyway :-) 4. When clearing U.S. customs in Vancouver, have a traveling companion who can watch your luggage while you go through the process. A "convenient" kiosk setup is not convenient when you're trying to manage so much luggage and "ability" gear that you don't have a free hand to tinker with the machines, which can be stubborn if the pages on your passport are a little curled. Which reminds me... The "Handicapped" signs show a wheelchair, which is a universal symbol for mobility impaired. People with a cane, braces or a walker can also use the "Handicapped" line. Which may have made item #4 above a moot point for me. --------- Value for money? Tough call. We booked through a popular online booking engine that offered discounts only to MasterCard holders and was not cooperative in resolving problems. They would refer us to HAL to deal with an issue and HAL would insist that they could not help because we booked with a Travel Agent. The months leading up to the cruise were a hassle, mostly because of this "go ask your mom -- go ask your dad" challenge. It was worth the hassle in the end. But is it worth it economically? Here's a way to compare if you've never taken a cruise: A decent hotel was about $285 per night while we were in transit. Most included Tom Bodett's clean comfortable room with NO amenities. One included the free breakfast that's worth every penny. Add to that meals at around $50 per day while we were in transit -- just average chain restaurant meals not including breakfast. That puts us up to $2,345 if we did that for seven days. That's half what you'd typically pay for the Alaska cruise for two people plus the Pinnacle Grill and views of the Alaska wilderness you can't get any other way. I'd be reluctant to spend that much for the room we had. But if a human travel agent can monitor my booking and get us a good deal on a suite, it would be tempting. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Alaska is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The people are wonderful and their is always something interesting to do (definitely go to Icy Straight (it was my personal favorite. The beach there is gorgeous and they ... Read More
Alaska is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The people are wonderful and their is always something interesting to do (definitely go to Icy Straight (it was my personal favorite. The beach there is gorgeous and they have fresh crab and wonderful little hot donuts made to order. If you have a chance eat king crab and shop local art in Ketchikan). The staff of the Norwegian Sun were exceptional in their customer service. The food was good but the scenery outside always stole the show. The Tepan bar was the most fun we had with the exception of the 50th anniversary dinner for my parents (John and Doris) and the other 50th anniversary dinner for my cousins at the Seven Seas dinning room. They even made a special cake for each night. The Splash Academy was amazing! If you have an active child this is fantastic. "Tiny" was a great director and all the staff in there did a wonderful job entertaining the kids. My son and my little cousins couldn't wait to go everyday and in the evenings they have lots of fun things for them to do as well. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This is our 4th cruise with Celebrity. And we have also traveled with NCL & RCL. Having been on the Celebrity Equinox 2x and Reflection 1 time. Then reading all the reviews I was very hesitant about this older ship. But overall she ... Read More
This is our 4th cruise with Celebrity. And we have also traveled with NCL & RCL. Having been on the Celebrity Equinox 2x and Reflection 1 time. Then reading all the reviews I was very hesitant about this older ship. But overall she doesn't look old and is kept very clean. We had a great time!! Embarkation was a breeze, as well as disembarking. This was our first time at a Cruise Critic Meet & Greet. Great turn out of the ships upper management team to answer questions. And then get to meet fellow travelers. I have to admit we have been spoiled and We do like to get a Celebrity Suite. This time we were offered an up grade to a Royal Suite at the last minute. We have always wanted to try it and thoroughly enjoyed the extra room. So much storage space, we didn't use it all. (Probably will not get a Royal Suite again, just not necessary) Our Stateroom Attendant, August was a jewel, with a constant smile on his face. Ram, was our Butler, also helpful and sweet. One of the great perks of Suite life is Michael's Club and the restaurants, Luminae & Blu. We never went to the main dining room because these restaurants plus The Tuscan Grill & Quisin are excellent. Service was wonderful in all of these restaurants. We did eat in the Oceanview Cafe a couple of times and really liked the variety. But it is always crowded. I found the staff all over the ship always with a ready smile and offer to help. I can't say enough about the outgoing, energetic personalities of Hotel Manager, Nina & her assistant, Andrea. We were fortunate to have dinner with both of these ladies one night. The on board entertainment was pretty standard and really didn't disappoint. Saw a great magician. On the last sea day they had a Cirque du Solie video on the outdoor screen and they have cabanas you can lie in and watch. Fun! On the nights when they have the Silent Disco - Don't Miss it! Fun, Fun, Fun! The big negative was the Internet. Slow as can be, waiting to the point of frustration. So we just waited till port to handle business. We handled most of our shore excursions through an outside source. Overall, I would say don't hesitate to book the Millennium! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Before my father passed away last year he told my sister and I to take a cruise after he was gone. My brother in law has been to every state in the USA except Alaska. We chose the land and sea Alaskan package through Holland America. ... Read More
Before my father passed away last year he told my sister and I to take a cruise after he was gone. My brother in law has been to every state in the USA except Alaska. We chose the land and sea Alaskan package through Holland America. Everything was very good through Holland America. They provided details about cruise excursions, as an example how long the excursion would be and what level of activity. The only thing we didn't know is on the land portion, there was a lot of walking, bus rides, going up and down steps. We didn't have problems with this, but someone older with limitations, it would be nice to know ahead of time. We arrived at Seward, AK by train. Holland America gave us our sea pass on the train, all we had to do was wait in line to go through security. They only had 1 lane opened, which took about 45 minutes to get through. Expect to wait in line for a while. We had a suite and it was a great size. We have traveled on Royal Caribbean and their junior suite was smaller than Holland America. We had a double sink, separate shower and bathtub/shower in the bathroom. We found accommodations on Holland America very nice. We had open seating for dining and we never had to wait to be seated. We did notice however, it was difficult to get cocktails in a timely manner, so we learned to bring one in with us to the dining room. As activities go, they were okay. With the open seating we were able to be at the earlier shows. Every excursion we went on was great, we did whale watching and saw several whales with their babies, we were able to go places on our own to find the history of Alaska and we went on the Crab fishing boat, which was the best. If you do any excursions this is the one that was worth the money. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, but the crew had a personal touch and showed us more than how they crab fished. Just a side note, Holland America had a generator go down in their sports bar, so the ship had to get into Vancouver early to repair for their next cruise. We also felt that once you are going through the disembarkation process the crew were not very friendly, they left you an impression of "get your stuff and get off". We traveled with 4 adults and no children. We are scheduled to take another cruise in February on Holland America, because I won a free cruise playing Bingo onboard, so yes, because of the free cruise we are traveling on Holland America. Would I choose Holland America again if I didn't win the cruise, the answer is yes. Room was bigger, food was very good. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Visited son who lives in Anchorage, then took the cruise from June 5 - 12 from Seward to Vancouver. It was nice time of year - light long and mild weather. We had no rain on the entire trip, unusual we were told. It even close to 80 on ... Read More
Visited son who lives in Anchorage, then took the cruise from June 5 - 12 from Seward to Vancouver. It was nice time of year - light long and mild weather. We had no rain on the entire trip, unusual we were told. It even close to 80 on shore in :Haines & Juneau. There were optional trips to Skagway, but we enjoyed Haines, since we had visited Skagway on other trips. The town was welcoming and a complimentary bus to several of the sites was helpful. The entertainment was tops; we especially enjoyed the magician, comedian Garry Carson. Also, the films shown each day were an added benefit, since we hardly ever go to films at home. In Glacier Bay, several National Park rangers came on board and gave 2 talks before we got near the glaciers, then had a continuing narative while we were near the glaciers. One also did something special with the children on board. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I can't say that I ever thought much about going to Alaska as a destination before the cruise. Now that I've gotten home I realize that I really feel like I've been to a foreign country. The landscape, weather, wildlife, ... Read More
I can't say that I ever thought much about going to Alaska as a destination before the cruise. Now that I've gotten home I realize that I really feel like I've been to a foreign country. The landscape, weather, wildlife, etc. is like nothing I've ever seen. I feel like I learned so much! It really is the final frontier! I would revise the proverbial, "It's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there" to "How fabulous that I got to experience Alaska on a visit, even though I have no reason to live there." All of the aspects of the ship were pleasant and comfortable. The excursions were excellent and even though I have mobility issues, I was able to join in the fun with activities suited to my needs. My husband and I are seniors and we had a romantic time together. We were glad we did the road trip first and then had friends on the ship right from the start! Also, our guide, Tall Paul, really was a kick and we enjoyed him and our fellow passengers. It's like being a kid on a field trip. Someone else takes care of everything and you get to just have fun. Now I am reliving memories as I prepare scrapbooks with the help of a scrapbooking kit I bought on the ship, and I enjoy sharing the experience with friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Once again, Norwegian Cruiseline and its entire staff did a tremendous job in making the Alaskan Cruise from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver, Canada a vacation of a lifetime. The hospitality, food and entertainment was wonderful. The games, ... Read More
Once again, Norwegian Cruiseline and its entire staff did a tremendous job in making the Alaskan Cruise from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver, Canada a vacation of a lifetime. The hospitality, food and entertainment was wonderful. The games, shows and seminars were fun and informative. Our cabin with a balcony enhanced our cruising experience and was just what we needed to fully enjoy the sights and sounds of the vacation. The food in the dining rooms and buffets was yummy and service was very good with a delicious selection of foods for everyone's taste Dining in the specialty cafes was fabulous. Certain staff members that I loved are: Vishi from South Africa; Mandisa, Natasha and Renata in the spa; Marcus from Baltimore, Md; and Ben our cruise host from Australia. For the special attention and care they delivered to me and my guest, I will return to Norwegian again and again for my vacations at sea. Thank you all for your dedicated efforts to deliver a vacation of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We started our tour on land in Fairbanks. Met Annette our tour guide and given itinerary for the next day. First night in a sweet little single cabin with in walking distance to restaurant. Food was great. Up and out early to ... Read More
We started our tour on land in Fairbanks. Met Annette our tour guide and given itinerary for the next day. First night in a sweet little single cabin with in walking distance to restaurant. Food was great. Up and out early to begin our southward journey to meet up with the ship in 6 days. Boarded the River Discovery 2 and journeyed down river to the village mock up of how alaskans live off the land. You moved in groups between stations showing caribou, fishing wheel and small cabins. It did start raining and the workers passed out plastic coverups to all in need, free of charge. We did see a demonstration of a float plane taking off and landing. Back on the bus to lunch in Fairbanks then onward to the Grande Denali Lodge which rests 2, 400 feet up a steep winding road. Funny sign posts greeted you and helped pass the 9 minute trek up. The views from the lodge's outside porch were breath taking! The restaurant was top knotch with wonderful decorations and interesting servers. They were mostly exchange students from the middle east. Next morning we walked down that 1 1/2mile road to the stores along a small board walk. Took shuttle bus back up in time to go to the 8 hour Tundra Wilderness tour. It was on an old school bus only saw caribou, but lucked out to see Mount Mckinley in a cloudless sky! Small snack included and only three stops but worth the effort to see the peak of Denali. Next up and out early to do the dome train ride to Anchorage. This was awesome! Great pictures of MT McKinley again and the ride was really nice, Lunch in groups down stairs food was good. Overnight in Anchorage Sheraton dinner and breakfast was ok. Up early again and onward to Homer. Made some stops along the way and landed in Ocean shores cabins with wonderful views of Ketchmak Bay and an active eagle nest along the shore lines. Dinner on the spit was good. Next day out early for breakfast with group since no restaurant in Ocean shores. On ward to Seward to board the ship. Boarding was quick and easy 10-15 minutes to get the 3 of us booked in. We did have to wait for s wheelchair but understandable ok since the tour group of 40 people arrived at the same time. The week on the ship was as expected. The Sun is an old ship but kept clean. Our balcony room was kept clean and our steward Joann did a good job keeping the three old ladies happy with extra pillows, towels etc. The food in the buffet was ok and not plentiful as in the past, but I always found enough to eat. It was nice to have lox and cream cheese on a crossiant every morning. I found that at the out door cafe there were no lines and could get my omelets made there without waiting. We mostly had dinner at the Four Seasons and enjoyed the pampering from the staff. Yes the menu did not change except for two new entrees each day, but again I didnot go hungry and enjoyed my meals. The excursions we went on were ziplining in icy straits (Hoonah) which was extremely excillerating and I felt accomplished for taking my 65 year old body to that line. We did the Yukon Pass train ride which was ok. Our helicopter ride to the glacier was cancelled due to weather and we were very disappointed. The final excursion was the Misty Fords float plane which was awesome, We booked with NCL and we were bumped to another plane tour which turned out to be longer and we got certificates for our flight. As a whole it was a great trip. If you want more bells and whistles. then do not do ncl. If your easy going and want to relax with out getting dressed up to eat, and want to go on a budget then NCL is your ticket! PS Take a good camera or two. The pictures are breath taking and life affirming that you have been somewhere wonderful and took the pictures of a life time! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our first cruise and seemingly will probably be the last. Upon embarkation in Seward everything seemed fine. Walked the entire ship to become familiar with where things were. The first 2 days of the cruise were spectacular - sea ... Read More
This was our first cruise and seemingly will probably be the last. Upon embarkation in Seward everything seemed fine. Walked the entire ship to become familiar with where things were. The first 2 days of the cruise were spectacular - sea voyage on day one and Glacier Bay National park on day 2. The scenery was incredible. Beginning on day 3 the quality of the food on the Lido deck started to deterioriate. Dry fish, mac & cheese that was dry and tasteless. Seems as though they were recycling everything from day to day but after you burn something or its dried out from reheating numerous times you should dispose of it and not try to continually serve it. The main dining room - The Rotterdam was very nice, plesant surroundings. Food again was sub par and this was supposed to be something that was prepared fresh. Very disappointing. The week ended up being religated to going to the burger and hot dog bar on the Lido deck by the pool or getting something to eat in town when in port. The entertainment left something to be desired. Felt that it should have been better based on the reviews of Holland America. Everything we had heard touted Holland America as the best of the best of the cruise lines. After this experience and a ship with a very outdated decor i would beg to differ. The staff on board was for the most part very accomodating and helpful. The staff in the Lido buffett was less so. everything was rush, ruch, rush to get folks through the lines and trying to hand you your plate before you are done making selections - every sentence ended with "you done?" or "anything else?" If we ever take another crusie it will most definitely not be with Holland America and will also definitely not go on that small of a ship again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We took the train from July 13th thru the 19th. Our Tour Director, Kate, was amazing and so was our Coach driver, Elizabeth. There is a lot to see and learn on the train. The food is excellent and slightly higher than expected, but learned ... Read More
We took the train from July 13th thru the 19th. Our Tour Director, Kate, was amazing and so was our Coach driver, Elizabeth. There is a lot to see and learn on the train. The food is excellent and slightly higher than expected, but learned quickly, that is the way it is in Alaska. Each Lodge or Hotel we spent the night in were excellent. I will give one piece of advice, pack all you need for the train in one suitcase per person and keep it that way. I started putting things in my husband's that were mine, and vise versa, then next night had to search, so learned not to do that. My husband is handicapped, uses forearm crutches and a scooter, each stop was completely accommodating. We were traveling with two of my husband's cousins, so we did have lots of fun. I will suggest one thing, if you want to do a Flight seeing tour of Mt. McKinley, wait until you are at Talkeetna and choose Talkeetna Air Taxi. We had a flight scheduled for 8:00am pick-up on the second day in Talkeetna. Our Tour Director called them and due to weather changes on the day we scheduled, they were able to take us at 6:00 the day we arrived. We had an excellent young man for a Pilot, a husband, wife, two daughters and a Grandfather, me, our cousin and a young couple. We went over Mt. McKinley, got beautiful pictures, even wearing our oxygen masks, since we went up to 20,000 ft. Landed on a glacier, after our Pilot explained "If I say load up, do it safely, but quickly". It started to cloud in after a little over 10 minutes, loaded up and took off. When the young couple got in I noticed she was crying, I asked her if she was ok, and she held out her left hand and said "I just got engaged". So we had excitement on the glacier! Since we were not on the glacier very long, our pilot felt her short changed us. Another pilot talked to him and suggested landing where he was on the Ruth Glacier. So, we got to land on another glacier, next to a Sheldon flight seeing little plane, it was really little. Later in the Lounge we were talking to everyone who we knew booked flights with KS and Sheldon and all said they were cancelled. I mentioned that there was a Sheldon plane on the Glacier and the couple was surprised. We had a terrific flight tour, great pictures of Mt. McKinley, don't know why the others cancelled, but glad we went with TAT, excellent company, friendly and very professional. Believe me, I do not do little planes, was not thrilled with the idea of oxygen masks and going over the highest mountain, but I was completely at ease and SO glad I went. The Radiance of the Seas was excellent, the food and all the service was terrific! Entertainment on was not as good as the other cruise, I would call it good, but not fantastic, except for the Texas Tenors, they were excellent. The ports were interesting and lots to see. Every one should see Alaska, such beauty and natural wonders everywhere. We booked our next cruise for March 1, 2015 on the new ship Quantum. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We missed our airline connection in Chicago and therfore missed the boat in Anchorage. If we had travelled to Alaska a day in advance, we still would have missed the boat because most of the flights were full. So the lesson we learned is: ... Read More
We missed our airline connection in Chicago and therfore missed the boat in Anchorage. If we had travelled to Alaska a day in advance, we still would have missed the boat because most of the flights were full. So the lesson we learned is: If you are travelling to Alaska from the midwest or east coast--go 2 days in advance. The other piece of advice I have is: buy travel insurance--which we had! Hotel rooms and meals were covered until we were able to reconnect with the cruise ship in Juneau. There were 42 passengers who missed the boat in Anchorage--so apparently this is not a rare thing to happen. Make sure you have a charged up cell phone with you because I spent incredible amounts of time on the phone talking to the airline (very rude and unhelpful), talking to the emergency travel contacts at Celebrity (more helpful) and trying to figure out where our luggage was (it got flown to Anchorage.) Kudos to Celebrity for hiring the nicest travel agency in Juneau to pick us up at the airport, deliver us to our hotel, orient us to the city, help us find our luggage, and deliver us to the pier the next day! So, bright and early on day 3 of the cruise--we were at the front of the crowd joining the ship in Juneau and were expecting tons of paperwork and were also expecting to probably miss our early shore excursion. Celebrity got us checked in in 5 minutes and made sure that we were able to meet up with the shore excursion scheduled to start at 9:30AM. We had booked inside cabins--they were small. Next time I do an Alaskan cruise, I will get a balcony cabin--totally worth it for the scenery. The room steward was incredible--very attentive and helpful--what a refreshing change from other cruise lines! No--towel animals, but great service instead. The main dining room and food in general on the cruise was excellent. We felt no need to even think about going to the specialty restaurant--because the food was so good in the regular dining room. The service was also excellent--reminded me more of the caliber of service that we used to get 15 years ago on cruise lines that is so hard to find these days on other lines. The only minor complaint about the food was that I didn't think the desserts were as lavish as on other lines. The shows were OK. Nothing outstanding. Enjoyed the naturalist, would have liked to have had more exposure to him--more lectures, etc. There were more opportunities for dance lessions, which we love. The other observation that I had was that nothing seemed overly crowded--was always able to participate in dance class and always was able to easily find a table for breakfast or lunch in the buffet area. Unfortunately, missed the cruise critic party because it took place before we got on the boat, and missed the invitation to tour the bridge because I was on a shore excursion. Kareoke was only offered twice, heard lots of complaints about not enough kareoke. Didn't find the casino dealers or pit bosses as friendly as on other cruise lines. We spend several hours every evening gambling and are usually on first name basis with the dealers and are offered free drinks--none of that on this cruise. Probably better that way, because I ended up gambling less. Ship decor--modern, not glitzy. I liked it. Overall--we were very happy with the service and had a very relaxing time. Wide range of shore excursions offered. Will definitely sail with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
The first days (Aug. 3-7) are with the cruisetour. It is optional but I highly recommend it if time permits in your schedule and your budget allows. It was about as amazing as the cruise time itself. Our cruisetour guide, Matt was great. ... Read More
The first days (Aug. 3-7) are with the cruisetour. It is optional but I highly recommend it if time permits in your schedule and your budget allows. It was about as amazing as the cruise time itself. Our cruisetour guide, Matt was great. As was Bill, our bus driver. They both were very knowledgeable about Alaska. My husband and I are both in a wheelchair and were toting a service dog as well. All the employees in the cruisetour, our fellow passengers on the tour as well as the ship, and the ship employees were all very good at accommodating us as well as the service dog. I was a bit apprehensive about this portion of the trip since little information is provided to us by the cruiseline as to how it all works. But it went very smoothly. Once you get to the lodge where everyone meets, your cruisetour director will greet you and give you papers with an itinerary for each leg of the trip. He/She will answer questions and from that point on, we were a part of a group that will travel together for the next four days. Aug 3 Arrived in Fairbanks and our cruisetour bunch stayed at Sophie Station. Aug 4 Fairbanks City Tour, Cruise on the Riverboat Discovery and to El Dorado Gold mine. We missed the first half of day one due to airline issues causing us to miss our flights. But they were booked through the cruiseline, so the transfer still picked us up at the airport. Our motorcoach first made a stop to view a portion of the Alaska pipeline. We were able to get off, take pictures and back onto the road. The El Dorado gold mine was kind of interesting. They show you how to pan for gold and then everyone gets to pan for gold. They try to make it where everyone finds some gold. If not, they will give u another bag of dirt to pan through. We missed the first part of the morning due to airline issues caused us to miss our flights. The lodge is typical lodge type place. It was nice but meals were pricey. The bed was a major issue for me. It was a high pillow top mattress. Being in a wheelchair, I was unable to get in bed by myself. Aug 5 Traveled thru Denali on a glass domed train. HIGHLY recommend if possible. We stayed overnight at Denali Lodge. We saw a moose within just a few minutes of being on the road. We also saw a grizzly bear, tons of caribou, sheep, and Golden Eagles. This one trip made the whole cruisetour worthwhile. Kept having to remind myself we still had a whole week of the cruise to look forward to after this. The drivers are good about stopping when people spot wildlife. The train is very comfortable. The windows are awesome for seeing out. They started out the ride by everyone going into the dining area to eat breakfast. It was about $8-$12 from what I remember to eat there. Not much on the menu but the food was ok. There was a restroom on the train and it is wheelchair accessible. The crew was all very pleasant and helpful. Aug 6. The bus left for Talkeetna. We planned a flightseeing tour with Talkeetna Air Taxi, but had to cancel due to weather. They were very nice about giving us a refund and I would go with them again if I ever get the chance. I saw several signs talking about the "30% club" Only 30% of visitors ever get to see Mt. McKinley due to the weather. I guess we can count ourselves in the ""70% club" Talkeetna was a small town and unfortunately was pretty much shutting down for the evening by the time we got there. We ate at a little pizza place (Painted bright purple) recommended by our tour guide. It was ok, not great but the cheapest place we could find to eat there. The next morning we had cinnamon rolls from the bakery across the street from the pizza place. They were VERY good. Aug 7 Left early morning. We headed to Anchorage for a few hours to check out the town. Then it was on to Seward to get on the Radiance. Our motorcoach arrived at Seward mid afternoon and we all proceeded to check in. It all went fairly smooth. The Radiance is a beautiful ship, although it is showing its age to some degree. It does have tons of glass windows and hardly anywhere on the ship are you unable to see outside. The staff was very helpful and pleasant during our entire stay. Our cabin steward surprised us each evening with a different towel animal. He attended to everything we needed throughout the week. We ate at the Windjammer most of the week because my husband does not like to take the time to go change clothes to go into the dining room. I am not a big fan of the Windjammer but could always find something to eat. Loved the fries. The Seaside Grill had great Nathans Hot Dogs. We went to the dining room on the formal nights. The food was good as usual. The staff was all very accommodating. We even caught a glimpse of whales from the windows in sight from our table. The first full day was spent at Hubbard Glacier. Capt. Claus did an awesome job of getting us just a few hundred feet from the glacier. Everyone was congratulating him on such an awesome job. The glacier is absolutely amazing! Words cannot describe how beautiful it is. That was about the only day it was actually cold. We wore coats and gloves while milling about the outside at the ship that day. They do serve hot chocolate and specialty drinks out on the decks while at the glacier. The next day we arrived in Juneau early morning. We did the Whale Quest and Orca Point Lodge excursion. I expected to be bored. It was nothing of the like. We had tons of whales greeting us from the minute we got onto the the water. We were taken to Orca Lodge where a huge salmon feast was waiting for us. It was grilled salmon, cole slaw, corn on the cob. Very good. In fact, that is where I learned I did like salmon after all. They even offer to give you the marinade recipe. It has a small gift shop. During the whale watch time, we were in a very comfortable catamaran with huge windows. We were able to move about in our wheelchairs with ease. It also has an accessible bathroom. The next morning we arrived in Skagway. There we did the White Pass Scenic Railway tour. Another highlight and must do on this cruise. We boarded the train and were placed next to huge windows which are great for viewing. We did the roundtrip and at the turn around point, everyone switches seats to give everyone a fair chance for good viewing. Everyone is right when they tell you to sit on the left side of the train. The scenery is amazing. There is nothing you CAN'T take a picture of. I took probably a 100 pictures on this excursion alone. They take you up to the Canadian border and back. The next day was spent at Icy Strait Point. This is my one regret we had spent more time in this town. It was a tender port but there was a wheelchair lift on the tender boat. It took literally minutes to get on and get whisked across to the port. We did not get into the town but just toured the little museum there and watched whales from the area. I have heard it's a great place for whale watching as well as eagles. I will keep that in mind for next time. The next day we arrived in Ketchikan. We spent the morning fishing with Tony at Aurora Sportfishing. I would highly recommend him. We caught our limit of Salmon within a couple hours and after some cruising around, we were taken back to the port. We did see a beautiful bald eagle. It was the first I had seen on the cruise so I was happy about that. I got some great pictures of it. We spent the rest of the day milling about the town. It is a small town with lots of shops. Much the same shops are in each port. My favorite meal in the entire cruise probably was eaten here. It was called the "Crab Cracker Seafood Bar. I had a "Appetizer" of Crab Cocktail. It was a huge plate of 1 lb. crab meat. It was already prepared and ready to eat. No cracking or mess to eat. It was only $14.99. It was all I could do to finish the plate of meat. SOOO delicious. The next morning we arrived at Vancouver to conclude our cruise. The weather was typical to the area for the week we were there. One day at Talkeetna it was drizzly and yucky. For the most part, it was just foggy a portion of each of the remaining days. Weather does change quickly. The only time we were actually cold was at Hubbard Glacier. The rest of the time we just wore hoodies over our clothes. Much of the time we ended up taking the hoodies off and keeping them in our backpacks. We did not spend as much time doing activities on the ship as we normally do. We went to one show in the Aurora Theater. It was a comedian who was mediocre at best. Then we returned to the theater for the Farewell show. It was nice and as usual had a parade of all the crew ranging from Capt. Claus to the waitstaff to the room stewards. We went into the casino one night but did not stay long. We went into the Schooner bar once for one man's very cheesey tribute to Elton John and Billy Joel. Shopping in most all ports is about the same from what we experienced. Much of the same merchandise appears in every town. I was surprised to find scrapbooking sections in almost every store we went to. As a scrapbooker, I loved being able to purchase stuff specific to this trip and each town. Hoodies, fleece vests and gloves are everywhere and at very reasonable prices. I would recommend not packing one if you think you might buy one as a souvenir for yourself. Being first timers to Alaska, we definitely see things we would do next time we did not know to do this time. Such as spending more time in Icy Strait Point. Also, trying to do more activities in the towns. Being disabled, it is hard to figure out just what is accessible and working with the cruiseline can be frustrating. However, once we were there and could see just how it operated, I think we could have done more on our own picking out land excursions. My advice would be to: Talk to the locals about places to eat, things to do and see. Take lots of memory cards and batteries for your digital camera (or film). Don't miss the train ride through Denali if possible. Don't miss the White Pass Summit Excursion. Go Whale Watching even if it sounds boring, you won't regret it. Go fishing. Take a flightseeing tour around Mt. McKinley. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click