by Kathryn Dailey
July 17, 1999
We enjoyed this trip! The Galaxy is a beautiful ship. We sailed with a full ship, but never felt crowded. All our cruises have previously been in the Caribbean, so the Alaska trip was very different.
Our main negative comment was the air/sea package. We flew out of Atlanta airport, which is a major international airport. We felt certain that we would be flown into Vancouver, but were flown into Seattle and were taken to Vancouver by bus. After a 5+ hour flight to Seattle, we were greeted by Celebrity staff and taken to baggage claim where we claimed our luggage and turned it over to Celebrity. We were given a box lunch and told that our bus would be there 'shortly'. After about 45 minutes, we were finally loaded on our bus. This delay made us get into Vancouver at rush hour. Our '3 1/2 hour' bus trip took us 4 1/2 hours. The life boat drill had already occurred and we sailed within 15 minutes of boarding the ship.
Our cabin was great. The butler service was a real plus. We had the option of ordering from the dining room menus in our cabin with the butler serving the meal. He also delivered tea every afternoon. The suites included complimentary use of the thalassotherapy pool in the spa. Any passenger can use this huge salt water whirlpool for $10 per person per day. I would definitely recommend it.
The food in the dining room was always excellent. The service was great. The waiters and busboys learned your names and preferences in the first 5 minutes and never forgot them. We asked for iced tea on the first night, and always had it at every meal after that. The busboy remembered that I wanted decaf every night with dessert, and I never had to ask. The fish was always fresh. The beef cuts were excellent and huge. Lobster tails and crab legs were not only on the dinner menu, but also on the midnight buffet.
There were many people on the ship that were unhappy because it was cool and wet in Alaska. I'm not sure what they expected. The Stratosphere Lounge, which is on the front of the ship on deck 12, was a great place for watching the scenery go by while staying warm and dry. There were wool blankets available on all the outside decks. Umbrellas were handed out as passengers were leaving for shore excursions.
We're not big on ship entertainment, but did go to the Cirque de Galaxy show on this ship. We enjoyed it. The bands that were playing in the lounges were great.
Announcements were kept to a minimum and never invaded the privacy of your room. If you wanted to hear them, you could listen on channel 69 on the TV.
Embarkation went smoothly since everyone else was on the ship ahead of us. There were no lines. Disembarkation went very well. We were off the ship at about 8:15 AM.
Our first cruise was on Carnival (never again). Our next cruise was on Dawn Princess. We enjoyed that cruise and would not hesitate to go with Princess in the future, but Celebrity would be our cruise line of choice.Kathryn Dailey