We flew in a day before hand, on Delta Airlines, which was an excellent flight; we stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites, which again was excellent, we toured the Space Needle, and the Pike Market Place. *Note* If you plan on seeing the needle, plan well as the line can be long, it moves quick, but the wait can take up to an hour. We didn't spend too much time at the market, but they sell some great food in some of the stores. We had an inside cabin, so I won't be touching on that.
We got to the pier at 12:00-12:30ish, and we onboard, very quick; no waiting. After boarding we headed for some lunch at the Trident Grill; and after we were able to get to our stateroom, with our luggage their. By 3:30ish, it was time for muster, which was very organized; they scan everyone, including the crew's keycards to make sure you attend. (Whether or not they come find you, is a mystery). By 4:00pm, we were sailing away, Westerdam and Norwegian Jewel departed followed by us, with the apartment ship, The World coming in.
DAY AT SEA:
There was minimal rough water; weather was cloudy and cool.
Food was also good here, only once in a while was it hard to find a table, but other than that; service/food was good.
Always loved the food here; always excellent, nothing negative to say at all.
Donatello Dining Room:
First night, was a bit chaotic..but it’s the first night so can’t complain; by the third night, service was spot on. We had anytime dinning; a first for us, but after the first night, things were excellent. Also by the third night, after speaking to the waiter, we were able to keep our same table; because our “team” worked great together, Gerald & Diego.
As for the food side; always always, amazing. Everything from spring rolls, to those tasty beef filet medallions, were always good(Something I recommended) I hardly had dessert, since I can not eat dairy or I was full, but my mom and aunt, who I traveled with, always enjoyed theirs.
First, we walked around town, doing a little shopping, very nice town and its really small, to be their Capital! Lol. This port was probably the worst when it came to weather, it rained/poured the whole day, but we didn’t complain.
After, we had a tour booked, which was the helicopter tour that lands on the glacier. Words do not describe how things went. Free shuttle was provided to the airport and once their; the staff helped people fitting with gear; preping you for the helicopter, etc; all great. The helicopter part was only 20 mins at that, which was a nice time, we didn’t feel scared at all; the pilots were perfect, talking to you, cracking jokes, made you feel happy. Once you land, you meet up with the other helicopters (there were 6) and the staff there take you around the glacier, telling you interesting facts. They even let you taste the water, as well as even keep rocks; its so amazing there, you forget that your wet and cold. This is something, if you can do it, then by all means DO IT! It was something of a lifetime, something you would never forget what so ever.
Very nice little town; the way they kept it, with the older 1800’s feel was very nice. We were one of three other ships in port and still you did not feel crowded. For the most part, we again looked around, took pictures, shopped this and that, till our tour. The weather was better, cloudy bit of rain, but not pouring like Juneau.
We booked the White Pass Tour; this is another tour, that is a must, the scenery is beautiful, we were able to see everything from the windows, even outside, on the platform of the coach, it was just wonderful. Because we were the first train; in that time block? We were able to go all the way around the White Pass, and not just stopping at the summit and turning back around. The guides gave very good information; we all loved it.
Glacier Bay National Park (Scenic cruising):
We had the best weather this day, sunny and no rain; the rangers talked all throughout the day and gave great stories, facts about each glacier, and just the scenery in general. We were the first ship to get to the Grand Pacific & Margerie Glacier, for about an hour, the ship sits their and slowly turns in a circle, just watching the glacier, to see when it will calve, and making a noise called White Thunder; which a sound like no other. After that, the Zuiderdam was approaching, so we left for Lamplugh Glacier, which also was just amazing. After that, we sailed for Ketchikan.
This ties as my favorite port, along with Victoria, from 6:00am-1:00pm is just not enough time to get to explore and enjoy the town. We had no tours planned, due to little time; we were off the ship by 9:00am-ish and mainly just shopped, till we had to board. The naturalist(I’ll make a note about him down below) said, we had the best weather in Ketchikan, warm and sunny, with not a single cloud in the sky.
This was my mom’s close and mine, favorite port; like I said for Ketchikan, you need a lot more time, to be able to enjoy this town. We almost did a tour, of touring the city, but we decided to just take a shuttle and adventure ourselves. It rained and thundered, but we didn’t let that stop us, after an hour or so, it stopped raining but continued to have lightening, which people seemed to enjoy since they filmed it! We stayed in town, till the buildings were lit, then we went back to the ship. Between, the brick roads, the flowers and lights, this was one amazing city, really wish we could have more time here.
The Golden Princess:
We probably had the best, service out of all three of my, and my mom’s 5 cruises with them(aunt has been on 30). Way better than on the Caribbean Princess, that extra deck of passengers, must make a difference, since we had no complaints at all. She was in tip top, fantastic shape, for a ship that’s 11 years old.
On a side note, to up coming passengers, there was a severe medical emergency, that occurred at the Neptune‘s Reef & Pool; (won’t share details as they are graphic) but if you are wondering; that is why the pool is closed. Prayers go out, to that passenger, that they have a quick recovery.
Cruise Director ~ Our was Sammi Coneen-Baker; she was an excellent cruise director, was bubbly and over all perfect. On fortunately, she will be leaving and is being moved to another ship, not sure when that takes place.
Naturalist ~ His name is Michael, and he also did an excellent job, being able to spot the wild life, share facts about the towns.
Teen Center (Remix) (13-17) ~
I am a teen(17), so I was here when I could be, and while I thought it was smaller than that on the CB, the Youth Staff were spectacular. They always asked any of the teens (which there were about 75 that signed up, of the 180 something teens on the ship) if you wanted to play a game, or just wanted to talk. The staff included, Alaina(She leaves after this week), Gavin, Leandra, Connor as the DJ, Monica as the head(she left the ships Saturday). As well as Youth Security, Leanne & Alex, all did an amazing job, if you have a teen with you, I highly suggest they sign up, aside from the staff, you meet some great people.
This was much more organized than on the Caribbean Princess, once we were out of the rooms, we had breakfast, sat there for a while, then headed to the Vista Lounge or Princess Theater (Can’t quite remember), and we were called within 30 mins to about 45 mins. It was a breeze, we had our luggage quick, and had our shuttle take us to the airport, were we were for quite sometime, our flight was at 2:35pm, with Delta, and that too went great.
*One quick one is bring binoculars, they will help you see the scenery of Alaska, a whole lot better, we forgot ours, we were still able to live without them, but they would make it better to spot wildlife.
Any questions, please feel free to ask, and I will try to answer them!
Carnival Sunshine - October 1, 2016 - Bermuda ~ First Family Cruise - Review