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Alaska Review on the Carnival Spirit

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Alaska Review on the Carnival Spirit

 

This will be my first review here on Cruise Critic and I hope that everyone reading enjoys it. A little background ... there was 6 of us on this cruise which included myself, DH, DS (5), DD (2.5), my Dad and my Mom. This was mine and DH’s third cruise (all on Carnival), DS and DD’s 2nd and my parents first.

 

Our first cruise was back in October 2011. We went on the Carnival Paradise to Baja Mexico which was a four day cruise. At that time my husband knew he wanted to cruise to Alaska (thanks to his buddy at work who came off one that September and raved about how beautiful it is and how everyone must attempt to visit once in their lifetime). So we booked the four day as a test cruise to see how we and our children liked it. Of course, we loved it!! So after that cruise DH decided it would be an awesome present to take my parents with us for their 20th anniversary. How sweet is he??

So once my parents agreed easily we were off to count down the days to our Alaskan Cruise on the Carnival Spirit!

 

Alaskan Cruise

Carnival Spirit

May 1, 2012 - May 8, 2012

Departed Vancouver, British Columbia & ended in Seattle, WA

Ports of call:

Juneau, AK

Skagway, AK

Ketchikan, AK

and Glacier Bay

 

Day 1 - Long Beach, CA to Seattle, WA

 

DS, DD and I before we left for the airport

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DH, DS and DD ... DD is a Leo and has a temper like her mommy lol

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We decided to fly out of Long Beach into Seattle roundtrip on Jet Blue. It was cheaper and at the time we thought would be easier on the kids. We left on Monday April 30th and flew from LB to Sea-Tac. Our flight was delayed over an hour due to technical problems. We didn’t know if we would make our shuttle on time but with luck on our side we did. I initally booked a rental car and last minute decided to cancel it and booked with Quick Shuttle under the impression that I would be easily pushed thru the border. Also, I was saving a little over $200 by switching. Well I wish I didn’t switch. First off, Quick Shuttle’s bathroom on board the motorcoach that picked us up was disgusting! There was this smell that came from the toilet not being maintained or cleaned. Secondly, the ride from Sea-Tac Airport to Downtown Vancouver (which they drop you off at the Holiday Inn on Howe St) took over 7 HOURS!!!!! We had two pick ups once we left Sea-Tac and once we came to the boarder, all the passengers on board had to get off and go into a building to go thru Customs. At first we were told that all passengers had to get off the shuttle and take all luggage inside to go thru Customs but then the driver came on and said he worked a miracle and we could leave our luggage on and just take our carry on’s we had inside the coach. So with that and the 3 drop offs after the boarder we ended up at a little over 7 hours for our trip from Sea Tac to Downtown Vancouver.

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We decided to stay at the Holiday Inn on Howe street (the drop off for Quick Shuttle). The room was reasonably priced and in a good location near food, stores etc. Plus it wasn’t far from Canada Place to board the ship. Overall the room was clean, the beds were comfortable but the hotel is currently renovating and the way they built it was a little weird. I mean you go in then have to take one elevator to level two then walk across the pool to take another to the rooms.

 

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After checking into our rooms we were super hungry the last time we ate was at 7:30 a.m. so we went off to Tokyo Joe’s for some dinner. Tokyo Joe’s is a nice little quaint restaurant with no more than 5 tables inside and a couple outside. They serve Japanese and Hawaiian style plate lunch. As we are part Hawaiian we were stuffed to our limits with, Udon, Teriyaki beef, Shrimp Tempura, and Yakishabu!

 

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Udon ... delish!

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Shrimp Tempura .. you get 6 with an order

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DS's partially eaten Beef Teriyaki

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Gyoza's

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A picture of us eating YUM

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After our dinner DH and I walked two blocks to the Marketplace IGA which is a grocery store. We went in to pick up some water, juice and a 6 pack of ginger ale which was way overpriced than what I’m used to. We headed back to our hotel and called it a night, tomorrow we boarded the SHIP!!

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We woke up quite early and walked across the street to Starbucks and ate a little breakfast. After breakfast we walked back to our hotel and asked the receptionist to call us a cab. Once we were grabbed all our luggage and brought it out front we checked out and were on our way to the port. We arrived a little after 11 am. Our cab ride from the Holiday Inn to Canada place was $14.00 including tip. We had VIP boarding since we booked a Ocean Suite and I used my credit card to fund my parents booking so they could board the ship with us. We were on the ship by 1 pm and headed to the Lido Buffet for lunch.

 

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The view from our balcony as we sailed away from Canada Place.

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After our lunch on the Lido deck we headed to check to see if our rooms were ready. They were!! My Dad and Mom called our room to thank us for their cake.

 

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After we unpacked we all went up on deck 10 to take some pictures of sail away.

 

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Keep it coming :D :D :D We are sailing in August.

 

Same with us. Looking forward to more of the review.

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I’m back. Had to throw a load in and give the kiddo’s a bath.

 

I knew the ship had to go under a bridge once leaving Vancouver, so I did my best to capture it. Here’s the results ....

 

Next time I need to attempt it at a different angle

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We then headed to the arcade to let the kids play for a while. On our last cruise I bought the $20 token deal and ended up taking tokens home that I swore I would take on our next cruise. Of course I forgot them. Well this time I said I would buy the same but since we were on a 7 day cruise I for sure thought we would use them all ... we didn’t. I should sell them on ebay!

 

On our way to the arcade we had to walk thru this jungle hallway that had windows looking out, tables and chairs. Every time we went to the arcade there were a handfull of people in there playing cards or reading.

 

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I can't wait for more, I live in Huntington Beach and we are looking at Alaska cruise for next summer with the kids.

 

I am a little worry with the rough sea, did you encounter rough sea?

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An entrance to Circle C

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The only complaint I had about the arcade was the air hockey machine needs to be fixed. It takes 4 tokens to play and more than half of the little holes that blow air don’t work so the puck gets stuck in the middle.

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I can't wait for more, I live in Huntington Beach and we are looking at Alaska cruise for next summer with the kids.

 

I am a little worry with the rough sea, did you encounter rough sea?

 

Being the first cruise of the season and so early in May we actually had a pretty easy going cruise. The only time we hit rough seas was on Sunday night and most of Monday. Sunday was Ketchikan and most of all the water excursion were cancelled due to the weather and once we left port the ship was rocking! A couple kids in Camp Carnival got sick and they actually had barf bags taped to the walls near all elevators. But in actuality we had it pretty well. Just don't forget the Bonine!!

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Woo-Hoo, a Spirit Alaska review!

Great start.

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Your kids are soooo cute!

There are many of us who have been waiting for the first review of 2012!

Looking forward to more, keep it coming!

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Great start! Wonderful family! Food at Tokyo Joe's looks delish! Love gyozas and udon:) Maybe the shuttle should change it's name to Stinky Tortoise Shuttle:rolleyes: Not exactly the best way to start out, but at least you got there. Waiting for more.

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Great review so far! I am doing this same cruise (Vancouver, Alaska, Seattle) next year so I am very interested in hearing how things were with weather and excursions since this is so early in the season.

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LOVE the pictures! Keep 'em coming!

 

Even though I've been on Spirit before, I can never get enough of seeing her. :)

 

I can't wait to read about your excursions, etc.

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Great reading so far - so excited to see a new review for Alaska! Thanks for taking the time. :)

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My wife and I took this same cruise aboard Princess in 2007. This was our first cruise. We had such a wonderful experience. The seas were a bit rough going to juneau from seattle, but once you enter the inside passage, all was well. Be sure to keep a look out for small, misty plumes in the ocean. These will be whales. We hope you have a great trip. Thanks for posting and keep them coming!!!:)

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Great start! Wonderful family! Food at Tokyo Joe's looks delish! Love gyozas and udon:) Maybe the shuttle should change it's name to Stinky Tortoise Shuttle:rolleyes: Not exactly the best way to start out, but at least you got there. Waiting for more.

 

 

LOL ... they should think about a name change :p

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I have been waiting for this. We sail on July 31st. So excited!

 

You will definitely have a wonderful time. We are planning to go back in a couple of years and want to cruise in either July or August. Let us know how you like it!!

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Thank you for doing this review! I am sailing on the Spirit June 12 and cannot wait!!!:) These reviews are just getting me more excited...

Pam

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Great review so far! Alaska will probably be our next cruise and I can't wait!

Edited by ElvisAndretti
typo in title

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This is great! The first review I've seen for the season so far, I can't believe how quickly you've gotten it started! We're sailing to Alaska in 2 months, though not on Carnival. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your cruise :)

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I have been waiting for this. We sail on July 31st. So excited!

Us too! June 19th.

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I'll try to get in as much as I can today. Between baseball practice, washing clothes, and desperately needing to head to the grocery store I'm pretty swamped with chores.

 

Once we left the arcade we headed out of the Jungle Room and came to another stairway which was directly on the other side of the stairs into the arcade. They had a handicapped ramp or chair thingy (i don't know the correct term for it, sorry) that lead up to what I believe was the other end of the hallway leading to the arcade (if that makes sense lol). I thought it was very considerate of Carnival to have something like that for people in wheelchairs!! Kudos to them.

 

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I totally forgot to post some pictures of our stateroom. We booked an Ocean Suite on Deck 6 Mid-ship Room 6183 starboard side. LOVED IT!!! Loved the space, the balcony, the tub, and all the closet space!!! Plus we got VIP boarding.

 

I must have forgotten to take a picture of the bathroom, sorry!!

 

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Heres a picture of the vanity which came in handy. I must have stopped and had to do something as I don’t have any of the bathroom or closets.

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Our room steward Eva and her assistant were the absolute best I could have asked for. They were friendly, hard working and super helpful! I miss waking up and not having anything in the world to do beside head to breakfast.

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That night we went to the steakhouse and my camera was in the room charging. So I didn’t get any pictures of our meals. DH had the cowboy steak and he loved it, he’s a steak guy who frequents Mastro’s, Morton’s and Ruth Chris steakhouse so he has tasted aged steak and that steak was up to par. I had the filet mignon and it was a little over done, Dad and mom both had the cowboy and loved it! DS had the lobster and devoured it immediately. As for DD she slept in her stroller the whole time!

I will say that the rosemary focaccia was very tasty and DH and I loved the wasabi mashed potatoes.

 

Day 2 - Sea Day

 

We woke up had breakfast at the Lido buffet, played bingo, gambled and strolled around the ship. We went to the MDR that night as it was one of the two formal nights. Our head waiter Harry was spectacular. He and his waitstaff were very friendly, and always kept our drinks filled. They of course learned that DS loved seafood and DD only ate mashed potatoes.

 

DS and DD on our way to dinner.

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The food was the same as our last cruise. I enjoyed it but there were some nights better than others. I tried my hardest to bring my camera with me if we were going to be eating in the MDR but forgot some nights. Here is a couple of pictures of what we ate...

 

I had the stuffed mushrooms along with my Dad and we both enjoyed it.

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DH, DS and Mom had the shrimp cocktail. I swear they get smaller and smaller!

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DH, Dad, Mom and I all had the prime rib. Delish!

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DS had the lobster and shrimp.

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DS “the captain” and I Putu.

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Day 3 - Juneau

 

The ship was right on schedule at 2 p. Stu, the cruise director had asked that anyone without an excursion to please stay away from deck 2 so they could get all the people off in time to make their excursions. We waited awhile then headed down around 2:45 pm. It took approx. 20 mins to get off.

 

Here is a couple of pictures I took of Juneau ...

 

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Some of the vendors selling excursions etc.

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We wanted to ride the Mount Roberts Tram but they only sold all day passes for $29/adults. I went in and asked if I could buy for 1 ride and was told no. So we passed.

I do have to say that it was a nice clear day and it must have been beautiful to see Juneau from that high.

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We already planned to stop off at Tracy’s Crab Shack and have lunch. We put aside $200 for lunch that day. I went online to their website and knew that one leg which was approx. 1 lb was $24, but they also had buckets which were priced at $99 online and came with 4 legs and a claw.

 

When we got to Tracy’s which is about a 5 min walk from the cruise ship we were told prices went up! We orded a number 1 which came with one crab leg, 4 crab cakes and crab bisque which was $34 and one large bucket which was $120 and had 4 legs and 1 claw.

 

Dad orded another bucket and we ended up spending a little over $300 for 2 buckets, one #1 and drinks. DH, Mom, DS and I all shared. DD was sleeping again (lucky me) and Dad not being a seafood lover walked over to the Red Dog Saloon and ordered a $14 burger. He enjoyed it. He did say that while he waited for his food he had a beer and it was ice cold.

 

 

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DH, DS and Mom @ Tracy’s

 

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#1

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DS playing with his food

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After dropping a few bucks on crab we headed to find the shuttle to take us to Mendenhall Glacier. I read on CC that the blue shuttle is $16 roundtrip. So we went looking for the blue bus. It was about to leave and the bus looked pretty full so we decided to find another way there. I talked to a cab driver and he was going to charge me $35 one way plus $1.25 a person. So I declined and went off to look again. I came across Juneau Tours and got a sweet deal. $16 roundtrip for DH, Dad, Mom and I. $8 roundtrip for DS and DD was FREE!!

 

I left downtown Juneau at 4:30 pm and last pick up at the glacier was 6:30 pm. The shuttle was warm and the driver was very informative. Took 20 mins to get us there.

 

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Visitor Center in the background

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Dad was a bit chilly.

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Overall the weather was fine. It was cold and was a little windy. It rained very little that day so we lucked out. The glacier was beautiful!!

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Great start. I have been waiting for these reviews to be posted. I have a friend on the Spirit right now. I so want to take this cruise again. Maybe one of these days. Can't wait for the rest.

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Being the first cruise of the season and so early in May we actually had a pretty easy going cruise. The only time we hit rough seas was on Sunday night and most of Monday. Sunday was Ketchikan and most of all the water excursion were cancelled due to the weather and once we left port the ship was rocking! A couple kids in Camp Carnival got sick and they actually had barf bags taped to the walls near all elevators. But in actuality we had it pretty well. Just don't forget the Bonine!!

 

I am enjoying your review!! I was on the 3 day repositioning cruise prior to yours, from San Diego to Vancouver. And I sailed Spirit to Alaska back in 2003.

 

LOL I am surprised they had any barf bags left for your cruise, we had REALLY rough seas during all of our three days. I took the pills and still was sick one day.

 

I'm looking forward to more of your comments when you have time to post :)

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We already planned to stop off at Tracy’s Crab Shack and have lunch. We put aside $200 for lunch that day. I went online to their website and knew that one leg which was approx. 1 lb was $24, but they also had buckets which were priced at $99 online and came with 4 legs and a claw.

 

When we got to Tracy’s which is about a 5 min walk from the cruise ship we were told prices went up! We orded a number 1 which came with one crab leg, 4 crab cakes and crab bisque which was $34 and one large bucket which was $120 and had 4 legs and 1 claw.

 

Dad orded another bucket and we ended up spending a little over $300 for 2 buckets, one #1 and drinks. DH, Mom, DS and I all shared. DD was sleeping again (lucky me) and Dad not being a seafood lover walked over to the Red Dog Saloon and ordered a $14 burger. He enjoyed it. He did say that while he waited for his food he had a beer and it was ice cold.

 

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DH, DS and Mom @ Tracy’s

 

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#1

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DS playing with his food

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Saw this price increase coming..they cut the King Crab quota in 1/2 this year I belive I heard fro 14 million pounds to 7 million pounds

We leave on the Spirt on the 19th cant wait to read more of the review

Thanks...

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THANK YOU SO MUCH. WE LEAVE NEXT TUESDAY AND I'M SO EXCITED! I am waiting for more of your review! The web cams make the weather look worse than it really was. :D

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