This was my first cruise. I won't go into details of the ship, as that has been beautifully detailed in other reviews. I loved the Vision. It was an awesome sight as the bus drove to her in Vancouver. I felt like a little kid at Christmas -- and that feeling stayed with me most of the cruise. I enjoyed the Centrum; the seating around the center was comfortable, and I enjoyed people watching and listening to the light classical music played. We went to the shows each night, and thought the comedians funny; Vision Singers and Dancers good & the shows excellent. The Quest had my eyes watering; the "horse race" was fun; played my first bingo game (no winnings), and "donated" to the casino; most other nites we spent around the ship. Didn't do any dancing. The staff was great!! Very friendly and accommodating -- my waiter was more than happy to bring me what I wanted and to make sure I was pleased with my selection. I returned and asked for another filet mignon, and he accommodated my request. Poor Emre -- he brought us Bananas Flambe one evening, and didn't realize at first that the banana was in the middle (small and curved to the left) with a scoop of ice cream on each side!! The table was in hysterics for about 10 minutes. I just had to have a picture of it!!
The food was great in my estimation. I wasn't expecting gourmet foods, and found the style and variety to be comparable to what I would pay in a good resturant. We usually ate breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer Buffet -- I liked the selections and found them mostly tasty.
We had a balcony on the Commodore Deck, cabin 7148. That was a little smaller than I expected! Two twin beds, shower, sofa, TV, adequate closet space & drawers. And we didn't need an over-the-door organizer, other than a small travel organizer bag for my cruisemates' bottles -- another thing she hardly used!!
Only take half of what you think you need!! Didn't need shorts this trip -- jeans, nylon running suit, t-shirts, rain slicker, hooded sweatshirt, formal wear & casual wear was all that I needed. Didn't use gloves, hat. Temps in 60s, mostly with scattered showers.
The Captain's Reception was held Monday evening, 8/20, formal. Debbie & I chose to have our picture taken. Then we met the Captain & had our picture taken with him.
It was shortly afterward that he announced that one of the engines overheated and had to be shut down. Since we were cruising only 17+ knots, we would not make Hubbard Glacier but continue on to Skagway. We were greatly disappointed, as that would have been a highlight! The engine was repaired and we were able to finish our cruise. The Captain announced a few days later that we would receive a stateroom credit of $400. I know there were some "Diamond" members that were insulted with this amount, but we were happy with it, $200 each paid for my facial & massage!
The spa area was very busy; so busy that when I had my massage, it always ended with "..oh I forgot to give you this..." But relaxing nevertheless. The inner pool was heated, but small. Had 2 jacuzzis or hot tubs by outside heated pool -- didn't use either, but weather played a large part of that. Didn't use the gym facilities, but they always looked busy with a fair balance of men and women.
Words could never describe the scenery of the Inner Passage and Alaska; green trees surrounded by light mists, with snow-topped mountains glaring in the distance. It took my breath away; so much so, that many times I forgot to take a picture!
Most of the time I spent on our balcony with my trusted binoculars and camera!! It came in handy to see the dolphins cavorting around the ship as we sailed; the eagles flying from one branch or another, or just at ease at the top of a branch. Saw pods of whales, but always at a distance; could see blowholes but they didn't show up in my pictures!
Took WhitePass train in Skagway; scenery was breathtaking! and enjoyed the narrative! Glacier Helicopter Tour in Juneau was AWESOME!!!!! Walking on the glacier; taking a sip of cold water; looking for rocks; crevasses were awesome. In Ketchikan, we walked alot. I toured Dolly's house and have pictures of the flowers on her shower curtain made from French condoms! Watched salmon swim upstream; spawn, or watched 2 males fighting over a female; spawn, and then die. Totem carvings were spectacular!
All in all I loved this cruise, and definitely plan on returning to Alaska for more!!