Celebrity Cruise to Alaska
This blog has taken a while to write because every time we go on vacation we are twice as busy when we come back. But I figured I’d better write it today because we are leaving again tomorrow – this time for a work trip through the Kootenays and Okanagan.
Two weeks ago Jeff and I boarded the Celebrity Century at the Port of Vancouver (Canada Place) with seven members of the Knight family (my aunts, uncles & mom) for a one-week cruise to Alaska. This trip was planned in honor of my big birthday (40th) this year and I was much looking forward to it. Who knew that I would not do so well on a rocking boat? Long story short – 18-foot seas and any future cruising plans are on hold for a long while.
Celebrity Cruise Lines
The cruise however was great! The staff of Celebrity was all fantastic right from the Cruise Director John to our dinner table server (Arvin), assistant server (Olga) and sommelier (Eric) to our room staff (Brandon and his team). They are all trained with a culture to acknowledge the guests at all times and were friendly every moment of the day. Our only on-board disappointment was the layout of our stateroom. It was not as convenient as we had on a previous two-day cruise with Holland America.
For those our age who do not think they will find anything to do on board a cruise I have to give details on the wine seminar series Jeff and I took over five days. Each seminar was priced at $10 or $15 except one, which was $35, and all were great value for an hour of learning and tasting. We started with a five country – ten wines tasting on day one, followed by Wine Appreciation 101, Food and Wine Pairing, Privy Connoisseur tasting ($35) and a Riedel Glass workshop. We have taken several wine 101 classes in the past as well as a food and wine paring workshop all at various spring, summer and fall Okanagan Wine Festivals; these sessions however were more informative with more wine tasting than all of those. We were impressed. Our ship had a Celler Master Sommelier and 10 junior sommeliers all at various levels of training. I have heard that not all cruise lines have sommelier staff or not to this degree so this is something we will definitely check into the next time we cruise, if ever. But if you are going to travel on Celebrity get to know your sommelier right away and your trip will be that much better. There were also many other activities on board that we did not participate in from scrapbooking and photo classes to food seminar and talks with the Naturalist – all of the free. The Knight family did do fairly well at music trivia the 60’s, 70’s and Beatle mania.
The food on the cruise was also very good; better in the dining room than at the buffets. However the one thing that disappointed us was the actual menu selection being made up of non-locally sourced food. The formal night consisted of Atlantic Lobster when we are cruising in the Pacific and so close to the Bering Sea. Where was the Crab, Halibut, Sea bass?? Granted their was Alaskan caught Salmon on the menu a few nights. I am not saying that the food was not good, but on the Atlantic Lobster night I made a statement and ordered Eggplant. What can I say? I guess living in downtown Vancouver for four years has made me a bit of a ‘food snob’ but if you live here I bet you know what I mean.
The ports of Icy Point Strait, Juneau and Ketchikan were all nice to visit once but for us the highlight was the Hubbard Glacier and rafting down the Mendenhall Glacier River. More on that in the next post…
If you are cruising this winter we thought that Celebrity did a great job for us – as finicky as we are! You can view the photo set from our cruise here.