We enjoyed our first cruise and would recommend seeing Alaska with NCL. The destination was the most important element of our trip and it's unlikely we would cruise again. however we would recommend this NCL Sun cruise itinerary to ... Read More
We enjoyed our first cruise and would recommend seeing Alaska with NCL. The destination was the most important element of our trip and it's unlikely we would cruise again. however we would recommend this NCL Sun cruise itinerary to Alaska.
Check in was chaotic to say the least. Luckily we had priority check in so avoided a lot of the queues, but the guy checking us in did not have a clue, and a 5 minute task took nearly half an hour. The VIP waiting area was a nice touch, and being escorted onboard was also a plus, and avoided the queues and the crowds. Even though our luggage was tagged as priority, it took a long time to arrive.
The ship itself seems to be in a good condition, with no noticeable problems. It's a small ship and fairly easy to get from one place to another. On the whole the staff are helpful and friendly, although some of the bar staff we encountered were not!
During the day there are staff doing ongoing maintenance such as painting and varnishing.
There is an unlimited WIFI deal of $24.99 per day, and although slow, it worked ok. This was the most cost effective package for us, the 'pay as you go' option was 95c per minute, so would work out exceptionally expensive. We found the WIFI worked best in the Sports Bar at the back of the ship.
We did not participate in any of the onboard activities nor did we watch any of the shows.
We did do the 'Behind The Seas' tour which was very interesting and informative.
The dress code is very relaxed with one main dining room and one speciality restaurant per evening stating 'We ask that you wear jeans or slacks. For men, collared shirts & closed toe shoes. For women a dress/skirt and top'. For the other main dining room and speciality restaurants it's casual attire so 'For women, casual dresses/skirts, dress shorts or jeans and for men, khakis, jeans, dress shorts and casual shirts'
We opted to book the Ultimate Dining Package for our cruise, so never ate in either of the main dining rooms.
We visited Cagney's 3 times over the course of the week. The service was good. The food was very good and there was a varied choice of menu. They cooked my steak to perfection, and the ribs were so tender they just fell off the bone. The lobster was not worth the additional 'premium item' fee. Service seemed to drop off as the week progressed.
Situated in a small room in the Sushi restaurant, it can seat a maximum of 12 diners who sit in around the cooking area. The chefs are very friendly and talk throughout the experience. You are offered a set starter, and a choice of 2 desserts. There were about 8 different choices for the main course which is cooked in front of you and served with vegetables and rice. The food was very good, and it was a fun way to dine. The whole experience lasts approximately 75 minutes. As seating is limited to 12 it's worth making a reservation.
This Brazilian restaurant sounded very good, but in reality it wasn't. Staff were indifferent, or dithering about making everything take twice as long. The food was ok, but nothing special. The worst part, is that during the day the restaurant is used as a shortcut, and despite a few warning signs, there were lots of people still using it as a short cut, with the staff doing nothing about it. I do not recommend this restaurant.
Breakfast is very good with a good selection of hot dishes and a cold/cereal buffet. The lunch menu also has a good variety of dishes. In the evening La Cucina is an Italian restaurant with a varied choice of pastas, pizzas, and other entrees. The restaurant is nicely decorated with both tables and semi-circle booths, and large picture windows. Service is very good.
Service was either too much or not enough, there was no happy medium. The decor was good. The food was ok, although it was trying a little too hard to be a fine dining restaurant. There's nothing really wrong with it, but it's not one we'd return to.
Ports of Call
We did not go into Juneau so I do not know what the town is like, however we were told that a good percentage of the shops on the main road leading from the dock are owned by the cruise companies (selling jewellery, t-shirts, and 'tourist tat'
We booked our whale watching excursion independently through Harv & Marv's. The were waiting for us on the dock when we disembarked and drove us to Auke Bay, which is about 30 minutes from Juneau. We were lucky that we were the only 2 guests on our tour. The boat is small and only takes 6 guests. We headed north and saw humpbacks, and Orca's, which was amazing! On the drive back we stopped at Mendenhall Glacier for a short while. The staff were very good, and we really enjoyed this trip, just a shame it rained the entire time!
The town is full of jewellery shops, t-shirt shops and tourist shops. It was difficult to find a shop selling authentic Alaskan goods.
We booked the White Pass & Yukon Railway trip through NCL. The train pulled up right next to our ship, so boarding was very convenient. We sat on the left travelling up, and the right travelling back for the best views. The commentary was very informative, and it was good that you could stand on the platform at the front/back of the carriage, which is ideal for photographers. The scenery is amazing, we ended up travelling through the low clouds, but our views weren't overly obscured. We travelled over trestle bridges, through tunnels, passed waterfalls, and landmarks from the gold rush era. We enjoyed this tour, and would recommend it.
An awesome trip with some amazing scenery. As we cruised up the bay, the sun was shining, the clouds lifted, and the captain said it was the best day for 2 seasons. As our suite was directly at the front of the ship we viewed the bay from our balcony, and listened to the commentary through our TV. The National Park rangers that came on board were very informative. We stopped at Marjory Glacier, where the captain did 2 complete turns so all angles were covered, & at John Hopkins Glacier, which also involved 1 whole revolution. Apparently the Rangers were on hand for questions, and gift sales.
There are a lot of the standard tourist, jewellery & t-shirt shops, in amongst a few local shops. Creek Street was good for a walk through, luckily we beat the crowds and the rain!
We booked our tour independently with Island Wings, and did the Misty Fjords National Monument Flightseeing Tour. Our pilot was very informative, and every seat in her aircraft was a window seat. The tour included landing at a mountain lake for about 20 minutes. The scenery was amazing, and we saw areas that would be inaccessible by boat. Read Less