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abbiep

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About abbiep

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Louisiana
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Disney so far
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Castaway Cay

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  1. Nope, I didn't take the tour to get a deal on items. I took the tour because it sounded interesting and my family and I thought it was. It was in our budget so we did it. We set a budget, we don't buy the photo package, we don't buy the alcohol package, we spend our money one seeing and doing new things. That's our personal choice. Everyone else needs to do what works for them.
  2. We took this tour on the Star. It was really neat to see the behind the scenes, laundry room, kitchen, where the anchors are stored, the medical area and the bridge. I am glad we did it but its one of those things once and done. I don't think I would take the tour again. We had our 15 yr old granddaughter with us and she found it very interesting. As to the cost and is it worth it, that's an individual choice. We thought it was worth it to us. Each of us got a very nice robe, an apron, pad with our names on it and pictures.
  3. We have done the excursion twice and saw whales both times. We really enjoyed the excursion. You get much closer than the ship does.
  4. We sailed in a mini suite recently and I was concerned about not having any privacy. But after the first day didn’t really think about. It was actually kinda neat when we docked in Vancouver and didn’t get off. There were several of us on our deck and above feeding the seagulls. We were all just hanging out and visiting. I am typically a private shy person but that dayreally enjoyed the interaction. Also one of our sea days several people were out and we were all pointing whale sightings etc. it’s also my understanding all the mini suites were all open. We were in club class.
  5. We had an aft cabin on the Jewel. The balcony was awesome but when the sofa bed was opened up it was very hard to use the balcony. I cant find any pictures.
  6. Thank you. We are currently port side which I Understand is the better side for when we sail by the island. I guess I will stay with that.
  7. We like to people watch when we are in port. Which side does POA usually dock on?
  8. I upgraded to Club Class Mini Suite. I was not in full suite.
  9. No I didn’t pay any attention to the times
  10. I think so. We liked the goodies at the end and to me that helped justify the cost also. It was very informative and the Managers in each area were very patient in answering questions. IT seemed like everyone on the tour enjoyed it. However, when I am on vacation, I don't usually justify cost. If I did that I wouldn't take the trip to start with. I have a budget and have set aside a certain amount that I am willing to spend. To us this was definitely worth spending part of our budget on. Also please note, I made an error in the review. Its the Ultimate Ship Tour not the Behind the Scenes tour and if you decide to do it, I would suggest going to guest services as soon as you get on the ship. They only take about 14 or 15 people and from what I understand only offer this one time during the cruise.
  11. Correction: The tour we booked as soon as we got on the ship should be Ultimate Ship Tour not the Behind the Scenes tour. I have tried to edit it and either I am unable to do another edit or I haven't figured out how to do this.
  12. I didn't see anything about the Behind the Scenes tour. Thank you for the correct name.
  13. Yes don't miss the puppies. We got back late from an excursion and couldn't get near them. We stood at the top and watched. They were so cute.
  14. Star Princess 5/26/19-6/2/19 We flew into Seattle Saturday and stayed at the Crown Plaza right across the street from the airport. We took their free shuttle but you can walk if you want to. IT really is right across the street. The breakfast was buffet but had cook to order eggs. It was good and the cost was about $17 per person. We previously booked Seattle Express for pick up at hotel and return to airport after cruise. They give you a discount for booking round trip and booking your pick up early. We paid $85 for the 3 of us round trip. We were picked up about 9:15 am and got to cruise terminal about an hour or so later. We were allowed in and quickly checked in and then sat and waited for our number. We were in Club Class Mini Suites so we had priority boarding. We were on the ship probably by 11:15 at the latest. The ship was docked port side. As soon as I got on the ship I went straight to guest services and signed up for the Behind The Scenes tour of the ship. More on this later. We booked a Club Class suite. It was very comfortable and I would probably do it again if there wasn’t a big difference in cost between this and the mini suite. We had originally booked Mini Suite and was able to upgrade for about $19 per person. Many times on the Cruise Critic Forum I have seen people ask if they will allow someone that isn’t Club Class or Suites into the CC dining room and we did see them turn someone away even though he was with someone that was CC. Personally I think they should do this. People pay extra for this little perk either by cruising every other week or in actual money. It’s a perk that is paid for. If they allowed everyone in that came with a friend or family then it kind of devalues the perk and makes me wonder why I should pay extra. I do know that if I hadn’t paid for it I sure wouldn’t expect them to bend the rules and let me in. This is a hot topic and I don’t mean to open a can of worms here. Just wanted to give a heads up on what I observed. On another note, we don’t dress up and we went to the dining room in jeans every night except one of the formal nights and had no problems getting in. Another can of worms I know. Now back to the cruise and the important stuff…..We went to the Horizon Buffet and grabbed some lunch and then our room was ready. We were in Dolphin 501, pretty much in the center of the ship. I was surprised at how quiet it was in that area. There were 3 of us and it there was more than enough space for us to put up our clothes etc. Lots of cabinets, drawers etc. The bed and pillows were very comfortable. My granddaughter slept on the pull out sofa and it was okay. She is about 5’7 and she said her feet hung off. I don’t think two adults or older children could sleep on this together. The only complaint about the room is it was warm to us at night. We like to sleep in a very cool room. Also, the only other minor complaint was how long it took for room service to answer the phone. Once they answered they delivered the order pretty quick. We had dinner in the Club Class dining room and the service and food were really good. They do have one special dish each night that isn’t on the menu. We went to the show and got there around 7. The show was a dancing and singing show and really enjoyed the show. It did get crowded pretty quick and there were people standing by the time the show started. I would suggest getting there early for the shows. Monday was a sea day. We ate breakfast in the Club Class dining room but after Monday ate breakfast at the buffet. You can get made to order omelets at the buffet and it was quicker. For lunch on most days we got the hamburgers or pizza. We mostly just walked around the ship, watched a couple of movies and relaxed. There are two pools, one outside and one covered and there were people swimming in both pools. Monday evening we ate at the Crown Grill Steakhouse and we were very pleased with our meal. After dinner we watched the Movie under the stars. It was Aqua man. It was a good show but the problem is it doesn’t get dark until close to 10:30 so some of the dark parts of the show were a little hard to see. It was chilly and probably to some actually cold. The deck attendants brought blankets around. I would suggest getting two, they are kind of thin. We also go hot chocolate but got it from the International Café because we didn’t realize until Friday you could actually get hot chocolate from the bars located on deck 14. We had the Soda and more package which included the hot chocolate. The ice cream station is also located close by and we did enjoy that while we were wrapped up under the blankets. They also provide popcorn at the ice cream station during the Movie Under the Stars. During the day there was a presentation by a Naturalist and it was really interesting. Tues-Ketchikan. Ship docked Starboard side. Beautiful sun shiny day. No rain and the temperature was in the upper 60’s. That is awesome for us people from the south where it is already hitting close to 100 degrees. We ate in the buffet then got off the ship for the lumberjack show. Its an easy walk. We booked through the ship to use up our OBC but you could easily book at the site. It’s a cute show. After it was over we walked back to the ship to get ready for our next excursion. We did the Rainforest 4x4 Family adventure booked through the ship. We took a tour of the forest, had pancakes and s’mores at a campsite and then continued on for the rest of the tour. It was nice and peaceful in the forest. We ended up being the only ones and that was a bonus. By the time we got back to the ship we really didn’t have much time to do any sightseeing in town. On a previous trip we took the Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s tour and it was awesome. We booked this through the company instead of the cruise ship. It was cheaper. Wed was Juneau and glacier day. Ship docked Starboard side. Another beautiful day. We took the excursion the left from the ship when it got close to the glaciers. It’s the Tracy Arm Fjords Scenic cruising tour. You will get on a catamaran and leave the ship behind and meet back up with the ship in Juneau. We were able to get within about a half of a mile of the Sawyer glacier. They said sometimes they can get within a quarter mile but the ice was too thick this time to get any closer. We never saw the ship at the glacier so I am not sure how close they were able to get or if they were even able to see the glaciers. This excursion leaves Sawyer glacier and goes to S. Sawyer glacier. I am sure it probably changes depending on the ice conditions. After leaving the glaciers we cruised along the coast line and were able to see beautiful waterfalls and wild life. We didn’t see any bears this time but we did see lots of sea lions, seals and a whale. We docked back with the ship at about 1:30. They do offer refreshments for a cost on the ship and the burger was awesome. Once back at the ship my husband and granddaughter left for the helicopter ride to the glaciers and dog sledding. They said it was amazing. Watched movie under the stars again and it was The Greatest Showman. They also show these shows sometimes the next day in the theater. One night they showed Mama Mia, not sure if it was the 2nd one or not, we didn’t go but I do know they also showed this in the theater the next day. They had a magic/comedian show and it was pretty good for the evening show. This may have actually been Tues night, I don’t remember, I just remember it was good. Once again, get there early. Thurs was Skagway-Shipped docked Port Side. Once again another beautiful day. We didn’t have rain our entire trip. Here we did the Kroschel Wild Refuge tour. You take about a 45 min ride on a Fast Ferry then another 45 minute ride on a bus to get there and do the same coming back but the tour itself is awesome. Learned lots about animals, got to kiss a moose, feed reindeer, see a wolf, fox, bear and other animals. The driver of our bus was very informative about the area and on the ferry we did see a whale and some sea lions. I would highly recommend this tour. This is a wild refuge so the paths are not very even and the bathroom is primitive. Also just a heads up, it is a pretty good distance from where we docked to the end of the pier regardless of where you are going. They do have a shuttle from the ship to the end of the pier and back for the handicap and or elderly. There is a smart bus that will take you into town but we didn’t ride this so I really don’t have any info about where it stops etc Friday was another sea day. They have a show called Culinary something or other that if you didn’t know better you would think it was a culinary show and may not be interested. It is a must see show. It’s the staff putting on a show and some parts of it are hilarious. I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes at some points. It was put on Friday morning. We just relaxed for the rest of the day. Saturday is Victoria. Ship docked Port side. We didn’t dock until after 7 pm and it was close to 7:30 pm before we could get off. It’s a really short visit. You only have about 3 or 4 hours in port. There is a nice gift shop as soon as you get off the boat and that’s what we went to then got back on the ship. Saturday morning we took the Behind the Scenes Ship Tour. The cost is $150.00. However, you do get one of their really nice robes, an apron, pictures and a couple of other things delivered to your room in the afternoon. We were offered snacks in the dessert area of the galley and at the end they offered chocolate covered strawberries and I think champagne. The tour is about 3 to 3 and half hours, and it is a lot of walking and climbing up and down stairs. AT one time we had to climb 3 levels. So that may be something to keep in mind. I don’t think they would let you take the elevator and meet the rest of the tour because security had to stay with us at all times. It was really interesting to see how things work behind the scenes. The gallery and the laundry room were my two favorites. They didn’t let us take any pictures on the bridge. I have read some reviews where some captains allowed this but our didn’t because of security reasons he said. And now to the saddest part of the trip….. Leaving. We signed up for the Port Authority disembarkation. This information was provided I think on Tues and it has to be turned in by Wed or Thurs. We put our bags out the night before and didn’t mess with them until we got to Houston. They had our boarding passes and luggage tags preprinted for us and delivered to cabin and checked us into the flight etc. All we had to do was go straight to the waiting area. It is a free service and I would highly recommend it if you are flying. They set everyone up to disembark at a certain time. Our number wasn’t called until about 8. We breezed through security, waited a few minutes for our shuttle and then were at the airport about 9:15. Our flight was at 12, I think the ones with an earlier flight had an earlier disembark time. We are TSA precheck and I would highly recommend this for the Seattle airport. The regular line was really long. It was an amazing trip. We have cruised on Disney 2 times, NCL Jewel and RCCL Harmony of the Seas and I will say that the staff on this ship was amazing. They may even rank better than Disney. Everyone told us good morning and asked us how our day was going; the workers in the buffet bent over backwards to help you with your food, get your drinks etc. The dining room staff couldn’t do enough for us and our cabin steward went above and beyond to make sure our trip was amazing. The workers seemed very happy and truly enjoyed working on the ship and taking care of the passengers. I really tried to keep this short, organized and hopefully not too boring.
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