This was our first cruise, Alaska, what can I say. Fabulous. Our Seattle cruise on the NCL Spirit was the second of the current season for this ship; it had originally been named Superstar Leo and cruised out of Hong Kong. Lets start at the beginning.
Day one: Embarkation wasn't overly stressful. A couple of lines and about an hour and you were onboard. Since we were very hungry, we dropped off our carryon bags in our room and headed for Raffles buffet. Really pretty good food, as good as any cafeteria food. Spent the remainder of the day exploring the ship. Decided not to dress for dinner and went back to the buffet.
Day two: Woke to the most beautiful scenery as we cruised the inside passage. Grabbed a cup of coffee from the Blue Lagoon Café and went on deck for a quick peek. Several porpoises were playing in our wake. Had a very good breakfast in Windows Restaurant then went on deck. We had a beautiful sunny day and spent the entire day on the sun deck just enjoying the view and meeting new folks. Decided not to dress for dinner again and went again to the buffet.
Days three, four, five and six were good. Took our meals in Windows and The Garden Room Restaurants. Didn't eat in any of the specialty restaurants. Lunch was either a quick bite in the Blue Lagoon Café or Barbeque on the Raffles Terrace. Both quite good. We booked tours in Ketchikan (Lumberjack show was great), Juneau (Mendenhall Glacier), and Skagway (White Pass Railway). Wonderful to say the least. I don't even have words to describe Sawyer Glacier and the deep blue icebergs. You just have to be there. Didn't take a tour in Prince Rupert BC, just got off the ship and explored a little.
** All you veterans out there, just a little info. Right up the hill from the dock is a Canadian Legion Post. Figured it was like the American Legion so I stopped in looking for a cold beer and some good company. Found both. The folks were very friendly and treated me like they had known me all my life. If your cruise goes to Prince Rupert, stop in and say hello. You won't be disappointed.
Before I get to Disembarkation I should mention a couple of things. The food was, for the most part, really good and plentiful. Room service, though limited, was fast. The entertainment was outstanding. The stage shows were very good, the comedian Fred Klett and the magician Shawn Farquhar were a must see.
Now, just a couple of things not quite so good. Was really disappointed with our cabin stewards. Never saw them once. On at least three occasions we left our cabin, put out the make up cabin sign, came back and hour to hour and one half later and our cabin had not been touched. Some folks had really good stewards, just the luck of the draw I guess. Seemed as though some of the crew were going through growing pains, overall very nice though. The food in the main dining area, Windows, was good but always seemed a little too cool for my taste. I like my coffee and soup hot, just didn't happen. The Garden Room was smaller, and the food was a little warmer.
Day seven: Disembarkation was a snap. Since we were not leaving Seattle until the next day we went to a leisurely buffet breakfast then just hung out until our color was called. Went through customs and picked up our bags in a matter of minutes.
Now, just a quick review. 1- Food, overall very good. 2- Entertainment- very good. 3- Shore excursions, excellent. 4- Crew and staff- for the most part, very good. 5- Embarkation and Disembarkation- no problems. 6- Freestyle cruising- liked it a lot.
The only thing I regret is that with a cold weather cruise you can't spend as much time on deck, without bundling up a lot. I figured to give NCL another chance so we have booked a Western Caribbean cruise out of Houston for January 05. We'll just have to wait and see. If you have any specific questions please send me an email at email@example.com.