We are back from our recent cruise and had a great time. We were very happy with the ship (Spirit), and the ports. Even the weather was pretty much cooperative.
We left from Seattle, it was a beautiful hot day.... next day at sea was a mixture of weather.... warm, cloudy, sunny, foggy. Going thru Tracy Arm Fjord stated out chilly but after a few hours, once the sun made it over the mountains, the day turned out great. My clothing consisted of either shorts, or capris... the only time I used a light jacket was at the beginning of the trip thru the fjord.
Time in Skagway was wonderful... took the Whitepass and Yukon Rail trip... unfortunately it wasn't the one we thought we had, it just went to the summit of the Whitepass, and came back. We were not able to get off the train to stretch our legs or take photos. Understandably it was at the border of Canada and USA, and there were no border guards or custom agents. But in my opinion, if anyone really wanted to sneak into Canada from that point, I would wish them well... is very rough terrain to cover to get to any degree of civilization. Oh well, was a nice trip anyway. When we returned to Skagway we had plenty of time to explore the town, and shop!
In Juneau, the day started the same as in Skagway, cool, but turned very nice for our Whalewatching trip. And yes, we did see some whales... woohoo! Unfortunately, they didn't surface close to our boat at any time, but was still nice to see, as I have heard of others that have taken a trip and never saw any. We also stopped at a buoy that was being used by sealions. Returned to town to explore and shop!
In Ketchikan, it seemed like it was the 'worst' day of weather, not a lot of sun, but was still very warm for this Canadian girl. We took in the Lumberjack show, and of course did our shopping.
In Victoria, we didn't get off the ship, as we were only there for a few hours, and they were late in the evening. It really is too bad that only 4 hours are given to this beautiful city; I heard a lot of passengers that had gotten off for an excursion were disappointed that there wasn't more time, and daylight time at that.
Returned to Seattle, to the hot humid weather there that we left.
As for all the 'critics' that I read before we went, I say take your chance, enjoy your trip and don't let anyone tell you different. We were with another couple and the reviews from them would be totally different than ours. This is because they have different expectations. They thought the food on the lido was cold, didn't like the way the burgers were made, didn't like the pizza choices available. My thoughts: if you eat at a buffet and expect hot food, you will be disappointed. The husband of the couple only liked his burgers very well done (burnt!) ... well of course the lido grill isn't going to do that for all burgers, you need to ask. As far as the pizza goes, I would hope that the pizza maker would be as accomodating as possible, even if the one he wanted wasn't on the menu... as long as the ingredients were onboard.
Haven't officially planned the next one, looking at fall 2015, for a friends 50th birthday, but do want to do another one before then --- no better way to travel!