- This was my 7th cruise with Carnival, but I don't think I'd do Alaska with them again. I'd been to Alaska previously on Celebrity, Holland America, and NCL, and the one thing their ships have that Carnival's don't is a forward facing lounge, with wrap around windows. Doesn't sound like a big deal until you're in Glacier Bay in the pouring rain and there's nowhere for great viewing but outside. On previous cruises I spent a LOT of time in the Navigator Lounge (Celebrity), or the Spinnaker Lounge (NCL), reading and watching the gorgeous scenery go by. I really missed that on this cruise.
- It was great to be the only ship in port, but the disadvantage to being so early in the season is that were things I really wanted to do that I couldn't because they weren't in operation yet, i.e. the ferry from Skagway to Haines and a boat trip out of Juneau to Tracy Arm Fjord. Also, I drove up to the Yukon out of Skagway, and Carcross was totally boarded up for the winter, which was disappointing.
- Weather can never be predicted; this year SE Alaska got hit with snow particularly hard, right up through April. It was great to see so much of it on one hand, but on the other, it did impact tours, etc. Some of the helicopter glacier viewing trips had to deviate from the norm because of the amount of snow on Mendenhall Glacier, one of the White Pass trains up to the Yukon had to sit for hours with passengers aboard while snow from a small avalanche was removed from the tracks, etc. I'm glad I went up this early, because I really wanted a lot of ice and snow, but when I go again next year or the year after, I'll go in August again.
Again, I'll post a full review on the Carnival board, but if you have any questions feel free to ask; I'll pop on back over here later...