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Old July 12th, 2005, 06:18 PM
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jstducky jstducky is offline
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Default ALASKA! Serenade of the Seas - July 3-10th Review

I just returned from my third trip to Alaska. What this trip made me realize more than anything was that I definitely will be going back to Alaska again. Alaska is an amazingly beautiful place. Its people are friendly, its sights are breathtaking, and its scenery is awe-inspiring. I donít understand how anyone can go up to Alaska and not just lose themselves in their surroundings.



For this cruise, I chose to go with the 7 day roundtrip from Vancouver through Hubbard Glacier on Royal Caribbeanís Serenade of the Seas. On my previous two cruises to Alaska I had gone to Glacier Bay National Park on Holland America. So this time the combination of a trip to Hubbard Glacier, as well as sailing through Misty Fjords National Monument and taking a cruise on Royal Caribbeanís Radiance Class of ships persuaded me to this particular ship and itinerary.



We were a party of six traveling together. For 3 of us, this was our 8th cruise, second with Royal Caribbean, for one it was her 4th cruise and for 2 of us it was their first cruise ever. I chose Category H oceanview cabins for us. As I have been to Alaska before, I decided to save the money on a balcony to go towards shore excursions instead. We ended up with cabins 3106, 3582 and 3584.



We departed from Los Angeles on the morning of the cruise. In the past, for Alaska cruises and other cruises, we had done the same. Unfortunately, I donít get the kind of vacation time necessary to fly in the day before a cruise. The flight I had booked on Air Canada was for us to fly from LAX to Calgary and then from Calgary to Vancouver, arriving in Vancouver around 12:30 pm. Our flight from LAX to Calgary was uneventful and pretty much on time. However, when we showed up in Calgary to transit to our flight to Vancouver, we were told that our 12:00 pm flight to Vancouver had been cancelled as well as the 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm flights due to mechanical issues. The only flight available was the 3:00 pm flight which would put us in Vancouver at 3:30 pm, which wasnít going to work. We had to work quickly and we contacted WestJet who had a flight from Calgary to Vancouver leaving at 1:00 pm arriving in Vancouver at 1:30 pm. Since we had no choice and we couldnít risk missing the cruise altogether we had to buy one way tickets from Calgary to Vancouver on WestJet. However, when we went to get a partial refund back from Air Canada for the Calgary to Vancouver portion of the trip, we were informed that since we had purchased a discounted fare, they would not be able to refund any money at all even though it was their fault that the flights were cancelled. Since I had to leave to catch my WestJet flight, I filed a complaint and certainly plan to take it up with Air Canada in the next few days.



EMBARKATION: After that hectic morning of travel we finally arrived at Vancouver International Airport at approximately 1:30 pm. Since our first point of entry into Canada was at the Calgary airport, we didnít have to go through Canadian Customs in Vancouver. As soon as we walked off our flight we went straight to baggage claim. It took about 15 minutes for our bags to arrive. Since there were 6 of us we grabbed 2 cabs and we were off to Ballentyne Pier. The trip to Ballentyne took about 30-40 minutes. We arrived at the pier around 2:30 pm and discovered that there were hardly any people there. We went through security, checked in, went through immigration and were on the ship before 3:00 pm. It was all a very smooth process.



SERENADE: The ship itself is gorgeous. Most of the ship is pretty familiar to me since I was just on Jewel of the Seas (her sister ship) about 9 months ago. It was nice to know exactly where I was and how to find my way around the ship. Of course the decoration on the ship was a bit different from Jewel. I must say that I loved the Centrum on Serenade. The large piece of art hanging from the Centrum was gorgeous. The Balinese theme of the Solarium was really nice as well, though I didnít get much a chance to enjoy the Solarium on this cruise as I found that there were just too many other activities to participate in on the cruise. I loved getting up in the morning and just wandering around Deck 12 and getting some great early morning shops. I also loved being able to jog on the treadmill in the Ship Shape center and see out the bow of the ship.



CABIN: I had cabin 3106 on Deck 3 right at midship, below the Centrum. It was an oceanview room located on the port side of the ship. I was already familiar with the room and its location, as I had cabin 3108 when I was on Jewel, which is right next to cabin 3106. Our cabin steward was ok, not great, just ok. There were days were our stateroom wasnít made up until after 11:00 am, even though we had both left our room no later than 8:00 or 8:30 am. Additionally there were a few nights were our stateroom wasnít made up yet until way after we had returned from dinner. I also never got my Crown & Anchor coupon book or gift until I had to ask for them from my cabin steward myself. However, our cabin steward was always friendly and always had a smile on her face when we saw her. We just chalked up the fact that she was slow with some stuff to her being tired and having a lot of staterooms to take care of.



FOOD: We were assigned to Table 442 for 6 people in the Reflections dining room. It is on Deck 4 right by the stairs leading up to Deck 5. In fact our table was right next to the Captainís table. However, since we had main seating, and the Captain eats at late seating, we never saw him at dinner. Our waiter was Abraham from India and Yudi from Indonesia. They were an amazing team. Out of all the cruises that I have been on, this wait staff was certainly my favorite. They were always attentive to our needs and made sure we had everything we needed. They were also very friendly on a personal level. We really got a chance to know them as people. We learned a lot about them and about their lives. It was just a great service experience this time around. As for the food, it was pretty good. The food was actually better than my first Royal Caribbean cruise on Jewel. My favorite dinner night was Italian night (Tuesday), even though I didnít order anything remotely Italian. All of the chilled fruit soups were amazingly delicious. I highly recommend trying them. The salmon dishes for dinner were good as was the lobster and shrimp dish, the desserts were pretty amazing as well. If you go to the dining room for lunch, try the Banana Caramel Split! Breakfast, everyday but one, was in the Windjammer. The Windjammer tended to be pretty busy late in the morning for breakfast and at lunch time on sea days. On port days, the Windjammer tended to be really busy during the afternoon hours when everyone was returning from their shore excursions. At times it was a bit difficult to find a table at the Windjammer.



ENTERTAINMENT: The ships entertainment was pretty good. I would say the best entertainment Iíve had on any of my cruises. The Royal Caribbean dancers and singers put on 2 shows, Vibeology and from Stage to Screen. They were both excellent. Vibeology has to be one of the best ship shows Iíve ever seen. The guest entertainers were Judy Kolba, a very funny lady, Maria Neglia, a very talented violinist, Jay Johnson, an incredible ventriloquist, and Los Diablos Gauchos, a tango couple. The first night, there was a comedian by the name of Don Barnhart, but as dinner ran long the first night, I never made it to the theater in time to see his show. Later in the week he also performed an adult comedy show which I also ended up missing.



The rest of the on board entertainment and daily activities were very good. There was always something going on around the ship and always something for everyone. The nightly musicians around the ship were very entertaining. During the day there were great activities such as the towel folding demonstration, cooking demonstration, scrapbooking classes, a back stage tour, line dancing classes, bingo, art auctions, and even a question and answer session with the Captain, Chief Engineer, Hotel Manager and Chief Environmental Officer. Of course there was also Royal Caribbeanís signature rock climbing wall as well as the miniature golf course.



PORTS: I have previously been to each of these ports of call before. This was my third trip to Juneau and Ketchikan and second trip to Skagway. I wanted to do something different than I had done previously on my other visits in each of these cities.



HUBBARD GLACIER: Although Hubbard Glacier isnít technically a port city because you canít get on or off the ship, it was certainly a main attraction. We were all worried that the weather would be horrible. Everyone had checked the internet the in the days leading up to the cruise and we were all aware that the forecasters called for bad weather, namely Alaskan liquid sunshine (rain!). On our first sea day, that certainly was the case. It was gray, overcast and raining. However, when we woke up on the second day and looked out the window we saw nothing but calm seas, clear blue sky and the sun! Captain Frank Martinsen said that this was the best weather for Hubbard Glacier that Serenade had experienced so far this season. Around lunch time we picked up our native Tlingit family to help narrate what we would be seeing. At approximately 12:30 pm, Hubbard Glacier came in to view. As we approached you could already see the massive size of the glacier from far away. The face of the glacier itself is approximately 6 miles wide! As we approached Disenchantment Bay we noticed that HALís Zuiderdam was already at the glacier and making their turn around to leave. Just as the Captain pulled the ship into position a huge chunk of ice calved off the face of the glacier. Itís incredible to hear the cracking noises of the glass and the whoosh! that it makes as the ice calves off and hits the water, then the wave that is created by the displacement of the water! As the Zuiderdam pulled out of the glacier and we pulled in, we all noticed that NCLís Norwegian Dream was pulling in right behind us as well. We were at Hubbard for close to 2 hours. The experience was incredible. I have to say that I liked Hubbard Glacier better than Glacier Bay.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 06:19 PM
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SKAGWAY: I have to admit that Skagway is my favorite Alaskan city that Iíve visited so far. And I wasnít disappointed this time around. When we approached Skagway, I could see that the Norwegian Star was already docked at the Ore Dock, the Norwegian Spirit was also docked, and the Island Princess was pulling into the Railroad dock just ahead of us. Once the Island Princess was docked, the Captain pulled the ship right along side, the ship stopped in its tracks and did a complete 360 turn, and then we docked with our stern up against the stern of the Island Princess. It was fascinating to see the Captain just turn the ship around and back into the docking location.



I had booked, through the cruise line, a trip to the White Pass Summit on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad for the morning. When we arrived in Skagway it was kind of a gray and overcast day. The fog was hanging low, so I was a bit worried about what we would be able to see on the train. It was also drizzling slightly. Taking everyoneís advice, we got onboard and took seats on the left hand side of the train. We were actually in the caboose which was kind of fun. For me it actually didnít matter where we sat because I was standing outside on the platform the whole way up and back. The views from the railroad were amazing. Even the fog made for amazing photos. You couldnít have asked for better scenery. To me, this is what Alaska was all about. The beauty and power of nature can all be seen and felt here. I would highly recommend this excursion to anyone. My only complaint was that by standing outside on the platform, I never heard the narrator and what he was saying about the history of the land and the gold rush trail since there are no speakers on the outside of the train cars.



Since we were in Skagway from 7:30 am to 8:30 pm, I had booked an afternoon helicopter flightseeing and glacier landing trip as well. Itís hard to believe that I have been to Alaska twice previously and never done a helicopter excursion. I was a bit apprehensive that the trip might be cancelled because of the low laying fog. Even in the afternoon it hadnít quite burned off. I was a little nervous about the whole thing to begin with. But I soon found out that there is nothing to be worried about. I booked the Valley of the Glaciers helicopter trip directly through TEMSCO and saved some money over booking through Royal Caribbean, as well as getting a better excursion time. TEMSCO is certainly a class operation. Their facilities are large and well organized. They had a great staff helping to assist all of the guests and get us suited and ready to go in a timely manner. We were informed that ours was only the third trip of the day that was going to be able to make it; the rest had to be cancelled due to weather, so we were lucky indeed. Our helicopter pilot was Nate from Colorado. The helicopter trip itself was amazing. I could never imagine anything like it. I was luck enough to be assigned a seat in the front row right next to the window, so I got some great shots from the air. We saw a really incredible hanging glacier. We flew over the California Glacier and a couple of others whose names I did not catch. Then we came up to the No Name Glacier, or as glacier guides like to call it ďNo Nam-ayĒ just to give it a little twang. We landed right on top of the glacier right near the face of the where the glacier waterfalls down the mountain from the ice field high up in the mountain. There were mini streams forming where the ice was melting off from the surface of the glacier. It was just such an incredible experience to be walking on top of ice that was 600-800 feet think. To think about how many hundreds of years, if not thousands, it took to form this glacier. It was also sad to think about the effects of global warming on something as beautiful as this glacier. It makes you realize that in years down the road this beauty and wonder may no longer exist.



Additionally leaving Skagway that night, we passed by Eldred Rock Lighthouse. That was quite a sight, especially for someone like me who loves lighthouses. It was a nice treat to end the day.



JUNEAU: Alaskaís capital city and the largest city in Southeast Alaska with a population of about 30,000. We were docked today at the furthest dock possible from downtown Juneau. In fact, it was so far, that AJ Shuttle Service provided a shuttle from the pier to the Mt. Roberts Tram terminal at the edge of town for $2 for an all day pass. We were the first ship into town that day. When I woke up at 4:30 am, I could already see the town up ahead as we were sailing through Gastineau Channel. Following behind us was the Sun Princess, followed by HALís Ryndam and finally Celebrityís Infinity.



Today I booked a dog sledding trip. Since the weather in Juneau was certainly better than the weather we experienced in Skagway, I was hopeful that our trip wouldnít be cancelled! This time I booked the Four Glaciers Helicopter Adventure and Dog sledding through Royal Caribbean directly. The tour is operated by ERA Aviation, but when I contacted ERA directly, they informed me that for the day I was in port they were not offering private bookings as there were 4 ships in port. ERA is across from Juneau over on Douglas Island. It was about a 15 minute drive from the ship to ERAís offices. Along the way we were given safety instructions. Once at ERAís offices we were given a life vest to wear and given glacier boots to put on over our own shoes. Our pilot this time was Anders from Norway. I was once again lucky to be able to sit in the front on the way to the dog sled camp. The helicopter flight over the glaciers today was even more wonderful than it was the previous day in Skagway. We first flew over a couple of smaller glaciers before we came upon the amazing Taku Glacier. Itís the only advancing glacier in the Juneau Ice fields. You could see just how blue the glacier was. As we were flying around our pilot was able to spot a moose sitting out in an open field! We also flew over the Norris Glacier before ending up at the dog sled camp which was set up on the Middle Branch of the Norris Glacier. The camp was situated on 7 feet of snow which was sitting on top of ľ mile of ice! There were 140 dogs at the dog sled camp and they couldnít be any more excited to see us. As the dog mushers were setting up the sleds the dogs were yapping the whole time because they wanted to get out on the course. We were then divided into dog sled teams and we met our dog musher. On my team it was just me and my friend, and we rode on the second sled attached to our team. Our musherís name was David. The dog sled ride was amazing! It was like nothing Iíd ever experienced before and well worth the money I spent. We stopped along the trail 4 times in total so that my friend and I could switch positions driving the sled and being the passenger and also so we could take pictures. It was so exhilarating. Afterwards we got to meet each of the 9 dogs on our dog sled team! They were amazing. It was so much fun to be able to pet the dogs and interact with them. On the helicopter trip back we were flown over whatís known as a floating glacier, and finally we saw the Hole In the Wall Glacier which is a branch of the Taku Glacier. The Glacier broke through 2 ridges in the mountain 80 years ago and started flowing down the mountain. It was incredible to see think that 80 years ago all the ice never existed before! Once back at ERA base camp, we were treated to one final treat. In the trees right behind the offices where was an immature and mature bald eagle perched out on a tree limb. They were right in our sightlines almost as if they were posing for us.



That day as we pulled out of Juneau around 4:00 pm, the Captain informed us that at approximately 8:00 pm we would be sailing past Admiralty Island, an area known to be frequented by humpback whales. Surely enough, around 7:45 in the dining room, people started spotting whales. We quickly left the dining room and headed up to Deck 12 to get a better view. Now, Iíve seen whales in Alaska before, both humpbacks and orcas, and Iíve also seen humpbacks breaching twice on previous Alaska trips, but I must say, Iíve never at any one time seen as dense a concentration of humpbacks as I saw that night. I would say that between 7:45 pm and 8:15 pm, in that small area we were sailing through, we must have seen between 20-30 humpback whales. The waters were so calm so they were easy to spot. Some of the whales were really close to the ship and some were so far off. At one point, I saw 8 humpbacks come up at the same time! Unfortunately, we didnít spot any breaching whales.



KETCHIKAN: It was a bit overcast as we approached Ketchikan. You could see some low hanging clouds and it was obvious that we were going to get a bit of rain. When we arrived in Ketchikan, the Norwegian Star and HALís Amsterdam were already docked. We also Radissonís Seven Seas Mariner pulling into the last spot on the dock. Today, we would be tendering into Ketchikan. The tendering process was pretty easy. Since I had already done the city tour with a trip out to Totem Bight Park before, as well as a kayaking trip my last time to Ketchikan, I decided to go with the Great Alaskan Lumberjack show this time. I booked this directly through Royal Caribbean, which was a good thing because I heard of a few people who tried to walk up and purchase tickets and were told that they were sold out for the duration of the day. The show was incredibly entertaining. They do a good job and the lady that hosts the show is very funny. We were sitting on the side of the arena cheering for the American Spruce Mill Camp. Unfortunately, on this day we were beaten by the Canadian Dawson Creek Camp.



Once the show was over we headed over to Creek Street, Ketchikanís former red light district. We took the $2 roundtrip ride up the funicular to Cape Fox Lodge. There were some great views of Ketchikan from on top of the hill.



The tendering process back to the ship got a bit out of control on this day. All aboard for us was at 2:30 pm. When I got back to the pier at approximately 12:40 pm the line was incredibly long. Good thing, however, that I did not wait until later to get in line. The line continued to grow longer and longer, doubling and tripling back. It didnít help that while we were in the tender process, HALís Amsterdam left the dock only be followed by HALís Veendam who would be taking the Amsterdamís position on the dock; therefore the tendering process was halted for about 20 minutes while the ships switched position. This is also where we saw a family of 5 come running up the dock as the Amsterdam was pulling away saying that they were passengers on the ship. I donít know whatever happened to them as the Amsterdam sailed off and the Veendam came in.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 06:19 PM
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About 30 minutes later when the Norwegian Star left Ketchikan, we once again had to halt tender operations for about 20 minutes while the ship pulled away from the pier. In total I waited almost an hour to get on a tender. I heard that people after us waited close to 2 hours to get on a tender. Needless to say we didnít depart at 3:00 pm, but rather left around 4:15 pm. The Captain came over the loud speaker to tell us that this would not affect our trip to Misty Fjords; we would just end up there later than we were scheduled.



MISTY FJORDS NATIONAL MONUMENT: We were originally scheduled to sail through Misty Fjords between 5:00 Ė 7:00 pm. However, due to the delay of the tendering process in Ketchikan, the Captain told us that we would not arrive in Misty Fjords until about 7:00 Ė 9:00 pm. While we were eating dinner at early seating, approximately 6:30 pm you could already tell that we had entered Misty Fjords. One thing that I noticed is that the Captainís announcements, unless an emergency, are not broadcast in the dining room, therefore we didnít know what was going on. While we were waiting for desert, I decided to go outside on Deck 5 to see what was going on. Thatís when I heard the Captain announce that we would be rounding a corner and come upon Bear Beach, affectionately named because bears tend to frequent the area. I was lucky to have come outside at the right time! As we rounded the corner I had my binoculars out scanning the area but didnít see anything. Then the Captain came back over the loudspeaker to announce that he had seen a bear. As soon as he said that, I finally saw the bear walking around in the middle of the creek. Then he walked up to the bank of the water and onto the grass, he walked around for awhile before finally disappearing around a corner we couldnít see anymore. I was glad that I had remembered to bring my binoculars to dinner that night. After awhile right before the bear disappeared you could actually see a brown dot moving along the grass with your eyes, but without the help of the binoculars I would never have spotted the bear to begin with. I highly recommend a good pair of binoculars. Mine were 10x25mm which worked just fine. Later as we continued sailing through Misty Fjords, almost as we were sailing out of the area, we were up on Deck 12 at the bow of the ship watching the view, when we spotted some whales. The Captain immediately came over the loudspeaker and announced that there was a pod of Orca. Indeed they were killer whales. There were 4 of them swimming along together. I was so happy that on this trip I was able to see bald eagles, stellar sea lions at Hubbard Glacier, a moose, a bear, humpback whales and Orca.



That night was a bit of a rough night at sea. The Captain warned us that we might be ďfeeling the motion of the ocean.Ē Boy, he wasnít kidding! The swells were pretty big and I certainly was glad I had taken some Bonine during dinner. That night around 11 pm, we actually saw another cruise ship pass us in the middle of the night sailing in the opposite direction. It was interesting to look out and see nothing but darkness and then this cruise ship ablaze in lights!



The next morning the motion of the ocean was still rocking the ship from side to side. I think being the last full day of the cruise and a sea day too, a lot of people were up later than usual. I am sure that seasickness also played a part in this. Around lunch time, while were we in the dining room, we saw the Canadian pilot boat pull up along side the ship and offload our Canadian pilot who would guide us through the Inside Passage and into Vancouver. Thatís also when we noticed that HALís Ryndam was sailing right behind us. The Ryndam sped up and came pretty close to the stern of our boat in order to pick up their own Canadian pilot off of the same pilot boat. Finally we were sailing through the calm waters of the Inside Passage.



DISEMBARKATION: We arrived in Vancouver right on time, approximately 7:00 am at Ballentyne Pier. The Windjammer was very busy for breakfast that morning. At about 7:30 am, they began calling the first group of express passengers who would take their own bags off the ship. Even though we didnít have a flight home until 7:30 pm, we were called to disembark the ship at around 9:15 am. The process was very smooth. Customs was a breeze and our luggage was easy to find.



VANCOUVER: We rented a car for the day in Vancouver since our flight wasnít until 7:30 pm. Our car rental was through Enterprise, the one company that doesnít send a shuttle to pick up passengers from the pier. However, they do reimburse you the cost of a cab to their downtown location as long as you get a receipt from the cab driver. We first drove over to Gastown and explored the area for a bit. Then we headed north over the Lionís Gate Bridge (tons of traffic) to North Vancouver and the Capilano Suspension Bridge. After about 2 hours there we drove back across the Lionís Gate Bridge over to the area known as the West End and English Bay. The Tall Ships were in town that day and the weather was nice and sunny so there were a lot of people at the beach. From there we drove over to Chinatown and ate a very late lunch before finally going over to Stanley Park. At the end of the day we drove down to Richmond where the car rental drop off was and took the Enterprise shuttle to the airport. Express check in at the airport was a breeze. US Customs and Immigration was a bit of a process, taking us approximately 45 minutes. We then just waited for our plane to come in. I ended up buying a sweatshirt at the Roots store at the airport. Iíve always wanted to own Roots merchandise so I just went for it. Our flight home was uneventful.



Overall the trip was amazing. Aside from the hiccup at the beginning of the trip with Air Canada canceling our flight, we had a great time. The weather was as best as could be expected for Alaska, a little bit of rain here and there, but nothing that would ruin the day. It was more light drizzle rather than rain. All of the shore excursions I did were amazing and I felt that I got my moneyís worth out of everyone. I wouldnít hesitate for a second to recommend any of these excursions to anyone.



I have completely fallen in love with Alaska. I could definitely see myself living up there. Itís just so serene, peaceful, beautiful, and amazing up there. Words can not begin to describe Alaska. Even the most beautiful of words donít do it any justice.



Where else can you, wake up in the pre-dawn hours and realize that its already light outside because the sun only sets for a few hours every night, you go out on deck, realize that its a misty morning, the fog is hanging low over the calm ocean as the ship moves silently up the Inside Passage. There's not even a ripple in the water. As the fog begins to lift, you see a movement off to your side. It looks like a small puff of water. At first you don't think anything of it. A few minutes later you see it again, along with something sleek and black just gliding through the water. Then you see it, itís a humpback whale coming up for air. You see the tail come up out of the water and disappear back underneath. Finally after a few more patient minutes, you hear this enormous sound as this massive animal heaves its body weight out of the water and puts on a spectacular show for you. Later in the afternoon as you approach a glacier, you see the massive white and blue ice of a tidewater glacier. The ocean's water laps up against the glacier and there are icebergs floating all around you. Some that are quite small, but some that are the size of a small ship. You see harbor seals and stellar sea lions lying on top of the icebergs and you see otters bobbing up and down in the water. Also you can see puffins perched on ledges all around. Then you hear it. At first it sounds like a crack of a whip. Then out of the corner of your eye, you see it. There's a huge chunk of ice calving off the face of this enormous glacier. As it lands in the water you hear this thunderous sound like no other you've ever heard before. And this massive 90,000 ton ship you're standing on begins to rock back and forth from the waves created by the calving glacier. You realize then that Mother Nature is not a force to be reckoned with. That's when you know you're in Alaska. And there's no where else on Earth you'd rather be at in that moment.



If any one has any questions, Iíd be more than happy to try and answer them.



I took approximately 880 pictures that I hope to have edited and posted by the end of this week.
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check out my travel blog, food blog and travel photos blog!

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7/13 - Sun Princess - Southeast Asia
8/12 - Brilliance of the Seas - Russia & Scandinavia (Review)
7/09 - Ruby Princess - Greek Isles (Pictures)
7/08 - Grand Princess - British Isles (Review)(Pictures)
7/07 - Veendam - Scandinavia/Russia (Pictures)
7/06 - Brilliance of the Seas - Mediterranean/Greek Isles (Review) (Pictures)
7/05 - Serenade of the Seas - Alaska (Review)(Pictures)
9/04 - Jewel of the Seas - Canada/New England (Review)(Pictures)
7/04 - Zuiderdam - Western Caribbean (Review)(Pictures)
7/03 - Zaandam - Alaska
4/03 - Norweigan Star - Hawaii
7/96 - Noordam - Alaska
7/96 - Golden Princess - Alaska
8/94 - Jubilee - Mexican Riviera

check out pictures from my trip to China!
http://community.webshots.com/user/uclagirl09
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Old July 12th, 2005, 11:16 PM
SingBill SingBill is offline
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jstducky vbmenu_register("postmenu_4197207", true);
What a wonderful review. We are sailing on the Radiance of the Seas on August 15, 2005. Just reading your review was like being there myself. I'm so glad you had a great time.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 11:55 PM
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takeabreath3 takeabreath3 is offline
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thank you so much for taking the time to post your wonderful review. my turn is coming very very soon.!!!!

hope to sea ya some day on the sea, judy
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Old July 14th, 2005, 01:25 PM
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If anyone is interested, I've narrowed down my 880+ pictures to 204 pictures which I have put up at the following link

http://community.webshots.com/user/jstduckyluvsalaska

enjoy!
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jstducky!
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check out my travel blog, food blog and travel photos blog!

Where to next?!?!


7/13 - Sun Princess - Southeast Asia
8/12 - Brilliance of the Seas - Russia & Scandinavia (Review)
7/09 - Ruby Princess - Greek Isles (Pictures)
7/08 - Grand Princess - British Isles (Review)(Pictures)
7/07 - Veendam - Scandinavia/Russia (Pictures)
7/06 - Brilliance of the Seas - Mediterranean/Greek Isles (Review) (Pictures)
7/05 - Serenade of the Seas - Alaska (Review)(Pictures)
9/04 - Jewel of the Seas - Canada/New England (Review)(Pictures)
7/04 - Zuiderdam - Western Caribbean (Review)(Pictures)
7/03 - Zaandam - Alaska
4/03 - Norweigan Star - Hawaii
7/96 - Noordam - Alaska
7/96 - Golden Princess - Alaska
8/94 - Jubilee - Mexican Riviera

check out pictures from my trip to China!
http://community.webshots.com/user/uclagirl09
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  #7  
Old July 14th, 2005, 02:37 PM
celtic selke's Avatar
celtic selke celtic selke is offline
 
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That was a great review. It took me back to my Alaska cruise. I too would like to go again.

Maybe someday.

Thanks for the memories.



celtic
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  #8  
Old July 14th, 2005, 02:47 PM
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tinkerme1 tinkerme1 is offline
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Default Thank You!

You review was so beautiful and very eloquent! I can see that Alaska holds a very special place in your heart.

We'll be taking the Radiance OTS cruisetour next year in June and can't wait to experience just a piece of what you wrote about in your review.

Again, thank you for your time in writing up this wonderful report.
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  #9  
Old July 14th, 2005, 08:19 PM
slh2412 slh2412 is offline
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Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma USA
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Awesome review; very descriptive, I could actually visualize some of the sightings you wrote about..... we will be on the Radiance on 8/6 and can hardly wait to cruise Alaska.
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  #10  
Old July 16th, 2005, 01:06 AM
shadow4 shadow4 is offline
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Default ketchikan excursion

For our first time in alaska would you recommend the sea kayaking, jeep 4x4 & rainforest excursion or something else?
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  #11  
Old July 18th, 2005, 12:40 PM
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jstducky jstducky is offline
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Shadow - i would definitely recommend kayaking. i did that in Ketchikan on my second trip there. we had an amazing time.

as for the jeep 4x4 and the rainforest excursion, i haven't done either, so i cant really comment on it.

as for what i would say you should do if you get a chance: helicopter flightseeing and landing on a glacier either in skagway or juneau, dog sled if it fits your budget either in juneau or skagway, and the white pass & yukon route railroad in skagway
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  #12  
Old January 18th, 2009, 01:03 PM
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Okotoks Folk Okotoks Folk is offline
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hi we are the okotoks folks and going on the alaska cruise july 18 2009 can anyone tell me which dock we will be leaving from as i am under the impression there are 2 docks canada place and one right downtown?? also how is the parking as we are probably driving down thanx linda
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  #13  
Old January 18th, 2009, 07:10 PM
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Piperpals Piperpals is offline
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There are two terminals, Canada Place is downtown and smaller Ballentine Pier is about 20 minutes away by shipping docks. Schedules have not been posted yet but the Port of Vancouver website, which posts schedules for both Piers says will be available in January. I checked today (we are sailing Alaska on Serenade in May) and isn't posted yet.

I believe that there is a link on this website to the 'cruise parking' information. This lot is between the two piers and provides a shuttle between them.

This is 3rd time on Alaska cruise.

Cheers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Okotoks Folk View Post
hi we are the okotoks folks and going on the alaska cruise july 18 2009 can anyone tell me which dock we will be leaving from as i am under the impression there are 2 docks canada place and one right downtown?? also how is the parking as we are probably driving down thanx linda
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Sailed:
Golden Princess 7 Night Alaska August 2013
Carnival Miracle 15 Night Hawaii April 2013
Celebrity Sillouette 14 Night Caribbean March 2012
Sapphire Princess 7 Night Mexican Riviera March 2011
Celebrity Mercury 7 Night Alaska August 2010
Golden Princess 14 night Hawaii April 2010
Golden Princess 5 night Pacific Coast May 2010
Sapphire Princess 4 night Alaska Sampler Sept 2009
Serenade of the Seas 7 night Alaska May 2009
Celebrity Millennium 3 Night Pacific Northwest Sept 2008
Celebrity Mercury 7 Night Alaska May 2008
Dawn Princess 11 Night Mexico Riviera April 2007
Celebrity Infinity 7 Night Alaska July 2005
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  #14  
Old January 18th, 2009, 11:15 PM
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KelJ KelJ is offline
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This is a three and a half year old thread!
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Kelly



RCCL Sun Viking - Alaskan Inside Passage - July 1991

RCCL Voyager of the Seas - E. Caribbean - Dec. 2005 Read my review at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=269890

RCCL Voyager of the Seas - W. Caribbean - Dec. 2006 Read my review at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=8644814

RCCL Enchantment of the Seas - W. Caribbean - April 2008 Read my review at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=760284

RCCL Explorer of the Seas - Canada/NE - July 2008 Read my review at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=809854

RCCL Serenade of the Seas - Alaska Sawyer Glacier - July 2009

RCCL Explorer of the Seas - Bermuda - July 2011 Read my review at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1443262

RCCL Majesty of the Seas - Bahamas - February 2013 Read my review at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1789216

RCCL Grandeur of the Seas - Bahamas - July 2013 Read my review at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=39333225#post39333225
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  #15  
Old January 19th, 2009, 09:18 AM
deppong deppong is offline
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old threads die hard!
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