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  #1  
Old June 21st, 2005, 07:44 AM
buzzandjulie buzzandjulie is offline
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Default Just returned from Serenade of Seas Alaska June12-19

Just got home late last evening from Alaska. This was bar none the best cruise we have ever taken. I have been on 8 RCI and a total of 15 cruises. The service was great, ship was beautiful and I felt the entertainment and food was excellant most of the time. My husband and I are both already talking about going back. Will do a full review in a day or so. Fire away with any questins you have for now.
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  #2  
Old June 21st, 2005, 09:40 AM
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akh40 akh40 is offline
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How was your weather? We were on the Radiance June 4-11 and had spectacular weather, hot, sunny, mostly high 60s and low to mid 70s. Who is the CD on the Seranade, and did you like him/her?

Amanda
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  #3  
Old June 21st, 2005, 10:15 AM
buzzandjulie buzzandjulie is offline
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Weather was great. Little rain in Skagway in AM but cleared about noon in time for our ride on the railway. Needed a jacket on deck on sea days cuz of wind but 75-80 in ports. The cruise director was Alan from Vancourver, he was unbeivable he actually knew our name and said hello everytime we saw him, very visable and pesonalble
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  #4  
Old June 21st, 2005, 12:06 PM
swong13 swong13 is offline
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We'll be on the same cruise in August. I have a question...Do you remember which side of the ship viewed Hubbard Glacier first? I plan to view Hubbard from my Starboard side balcony when it is on that side and from up on deck when the glacier is on the port side. Just trying to plan where to be when we first get to Hubbard.

Thanks.

-Steven
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  #5  
Old June 21st, 2005, 01:22 PM
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crusinhokie crusinhokie is offline
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Can't wait for your review! I'm not going on SOS to Alaska until next summer so I'm hoping to learn lots this summer. What excursions/activities did you do in port?
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  #6  
Old June 21st, 2005, 01:53 PM
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jstducky jstducky is offline
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Glad to hear you had a great time. I am on Serenade in less than 2 weeks! Third trip to alaska and I can't wait.

How was Hubbard Glacier, did you see lots of calving? Did you get close?

How was Misty Fjords? Did you guys see bears? Did you have early or late seating? If you had early, how did you deal with that on Misty Fjords night?

Thanks!
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7/13 - Sun Princess - Southeast Asia
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  #7  
Old June 21st, 2005, 03:08 PM
khank khank is offline
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Looking forward to your review. We're going next summer. I'd also like to know which dinner seating you had. I booked early seating as we have 2 teenagers and generally this works best with their evening activities. Do you think this will interfere with anything? I'm sooo looking forward to seeing Alaska!
Also, what excursions did you take? Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks for the info!
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  #8  
Old June 21st, 2005, 03:15 PM
lmmn lmmn is offline
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I'm glad you had a great time. We will be on the Serenade in three weeks. Looking forward to reading your review. Which excursions did you take? Did you go to the shows? Any you would recommend...or not? Did you need to dress in layers or was it warm enough for t-shirt and shorts? Many people at the pool?
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  #9  
Old June 21st, 2005, 07:58 PM
buzzandjulie buzzandjulie is offline
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I will start my review but may have to stop and continue later. I would rate this cruise as the best I have ever been on. Food great entertainment very good staff more than willing to helpful. We were celebrating our 25th anniversary so this was a special week for us.

We left Providence RI on Saturday and flew into Seattle with Southwest. We were able to use FF miles and therefore the flight was $200 rt total for 2. We took Quick Shuttle to Vancourver, a very long ride about 4 hrs, before arriving at the Hyatt. The quick shuttle driver was very nice and pointed out sites of interest along the way. After checking into hotel we went to eat at a local Greek resturant Stepho's great food very cheap.

Sunday am we checked out of the hotel and arrived at the dock about 10:30 went thru priorty check in in about 5 minures and were sitting waiting to board ship before the coffe and pastry had been set up by cruise line. After waiting about 35 minutes at exactly 12 noon the custom officers allowed hadicap persons to go thru and board and we were next. We were unable to check out or room, but looked around the ship and then headed to the Windjammer for the buffet lunch at 12:30. I did not like the set up of the Windjammer it is stations instead of the usual buffet line. I found people tended to be getting in each others way but just my thought nothing really bad. I do not really like the Windjammer anyway so just another reason no to go there.

After eating we went to find our room, E-3 on deck 7. Man it is smaller than the D-1 we had on the Voyager last fall but we got by. My only complaint about the room is that the lifeboats are directly below and there is a hard plastic covering over them so even though the balconey has clear plexiglass all the way down you can not look down into the water you have to look off to a distance because of this covering.

We then proceeded to go to Viking lounge to meet our mix and mingle friends ( Hi everyone! ) Off to Muster then we were on our way.

We had early seating which workded out well for us, our table mates were wonderful and we found we spend time with them other times on the cruise.

I found the menu to be smaller than other cruises with only 3 entrees as well as the alternives but have to say every single meal was excellant. My husband really enjoys cold soup and each night it was very good, we had a chef's recommendation most nights and that is what we ordered.
Coffee left alot to be desired but we are the type of people who will throw out a pot that is 20 minutes old and make new so we or not easy to please when it comes to this. We alternated brakefast in main and windjammer as well as lunch. We ate dinner in main dining room all but night we were cruising thru Misty Fjord( Friday)( Lobster night) this night we choose to eat in Chops it was very good and the onion soup they had was to die for!

Went to most all the shows some better than others but no a one that I would call bad.
The cruise director was Allan he was great we meet him at the love and marriage game, return guest party and the Platuim and Diamond brunch and by Friday when we saw him he called us by name.

Ports:
Great pictures and calving seen at Hubbard Glacier, I think Starrbaord side was first but don't really remember becasue we were up front.Needed a jacket on deck early in day but a sweater later.

Skagway we had alittle rain in AM but not bad then took the whitepass train ride it was unbeiveable and a must do . Need a swaetshirt most of day

Juneau we took the tram to the top of the mountain and hiked for an hour then we walked around and had lunch in the Red Dog Saloon, not cheap but food ok a crazy piano player:light jacket only

Ketichian- I had planned to go to the lumber jack show but at 9am when I got ther it was sold out for 9am and 11am ( buy tix from cruiseline if you really want to do this)

We ended up taking a private tour from a company the woman who drove the bus was very knowledgeable and we really enjoyed her and learned alot about the area. She had lived in the area for 25 years. We ate lunch at the Burger Queen, great fish sandwiches weather was 80 and sun.

We saw orca whales, dolphins, eagles and bears in the distance

I can't say enough about how much we enjoyed this and how wonderful the ship and cruise was.
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  #10  
Old June 21st, 2005, 11:16 PM
BJane BJane is offline
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We'll be on the 7/3 sailing for our 12th cruise to Alaska. We often go in July and have been able to get really close to Hubbard Glacier. Last year when we went in May we could not get as close. It is really something to see. I think I like it better the Glacier Bay. I am seriously thinking about having dinner in the Windjammer the night we go into Misty Fjord. We always have early seating and I have missed most of the scenery too many times.
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  #11  
Old June 22nd, 2005, 08:45 AM
mergle55 mergle55 is offline
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Enjoyed your review and I am looking forward to our trip to Alaska in September. This will be our 5th cruise and our 1st to Alaska. Anyone ever cruised to Alaska in Sept, looking for do's and don't's and what to expect. We did the NE/Canadian Crusie last October and enjoyed it alot, hoping it was a warm up for Alaska.
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  #12  
Old June 22nd, 2005, 09:02 AM
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Sam of the Seas Sam of the Seas is offline
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Glad to hear you had a great cruise! My parents are on this very same cruise this week courtesy of my brother, sister, and I. I hope they have a great experience. This is their first cruise. I have to admit I'm a little jealous of them...lol.
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  #13  
Old June 22nd, 2005, 12:06 PM
swong13 swong13 is offline
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Thanks for the answer on which side of the ship sees Hubbard first. I plan to be on my balcony when we get there!

-Steven
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  #14  
Old June 22nd, 2005, 01:30 PM
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baseballmom baseballmom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swong13
We'll be on the same cruise in August. I have a question...Do you remember which side of the ship viewed Hubbard Glacier first? I plan to view Hubbard from my Starboard side balcony when it is on that side and from up on deck when the glacier is on the port side. Just trying to plan where to be when we first get to Hubbard.

Thanks.

-Steven
Hi Steven -- I was on Serenade June 5-12th. For us, the port side viewed Hubbard first. There was a lot of crowding in some areas of the ship, which I realized was kind of silly because we were there for quite a while. One cool place to view, after you've been outside for a bit, is on deck 11 near the ping-pong tables. The windows along the deck can be opened and you get a great view.

The captain will announce when he is turning the ship around. We had a balcony on starboard and really enjoyed viewing Hubbard from there. It was also at that time that most of the calving took place!

Have a great cruise.

Laurie
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  #15  
Old June 22nd, 2005, 02:18 PM
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lisabrooke1130 lisabrooke1130 is offline
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Thanks Buzz and Julie! Great information and always so nice to hear positive things ahead of a cruise. We are on this same cruise on August 7th, with the CC group. Can't wait!! Thanks for taking the time to share your experience.
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  #16  
Old June 22nd, 2005, 02:20 PM
kimbtech kimbtech is offline
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I'm so glad you had a wonderful time and thank you for the review. My husband, friends and myself will be aboard this wonder ship for the August 21 sailing and needless to say we can't wait. It's nice to hear good things about the ship you are about to sail on. This will be our 4th Alaskan cruise, 1st with RCL. We are so looking forward to this adventure.
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  #17  
Old June 22nd, 2005, 03:21 PM
Teresaw Teresaw is offline
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Default Formal Nights?

Buzzandjulie: When were the formal nights? We are booked on the Serenade 8/28. We can't wait and really enjoy reading everyone's reviews.

Teresa
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  #18  
Old June 22nd, 2005, 03:29 PM
buzzandjulie buzzandjulie is offline
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The formal nights were Monday and Thursday
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  #19  
Old June 22nd, 2005, 03:51 PM
swong13 swong13 is offline
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Baseballmom-

Thanks for the information.

-Steven
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  #20  
Old June 22nd, 2005, 06:37 PM
dougp26364 dougp26364 is offline
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As you can see by my signature, Alaska is one of our favorite cruises as well. IMO, a balcony is a must for this particular cruise. We had a balcony on our second cruise but not the first. We saw so much more just sitting on the balcony and watching vs the outside cabin. You never know what you'll see or when. One morning I was able to see a humpback whale breaching and slapping it's massive tail on the water. Someone latter told me they'll will do that to knock barnicals (sp?) off. The only problem, I didn't have my video camera with me and I didn't want to go back inside to get it, fearing the whale would disappear while I was in the room. So I just stood, watched and enjoyed.

We also found the balcony conveneint at Hubbard. No elbows or positioning for a view.
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