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Everything posted by SeahawkSiren

  1. Looking forward to your review! Doing this exact same itinerary in a couple of months on the Summit on January 25, 2020. Will also be my first time sailing Celebrity. Actually, the entire trip will be firsts as I've never been to San Juan or any of the ports!
  2. Too many to post, but these are some of my most memorable: Sailing out of Venice, Italy in 2007. Amazing weather in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska in 2014. An 11 day Mexican Riviera cruise in 2016 was cancelled and turned into a 14 day Panama Canal cruise from Miami to San Diego. I had upgraded from a side balcony to an aft balcony prior to the cancellation to surprise DH. He didn't want to go on the PC cruise as he was worried about taking more time off work. I had to spill the beans about the aft balcony and told him we were not cancelling having an aft balcony (and getting price protection and 3 extra nights) going through the PC (a bucket list cruise which fell into our laps). Needless to say, it's one of our favorite cruises to date. Sailing into Valletta, Malta on a 2017 Mediterranean cruise. The Acropolis/Parthenon in Athens, Greece on that same cruise. Santorini, Greece on that same cruise. Pompeii on that same cruise, followed by an amazing sunset as we were leaving Naples, Italy. Spent 2 days in Rome, Italy after that same cruise. Toured the Colosseum one day. Toured The Vatican on our last day before heading home. Cruising is awesome, to say the least!
  3. I'm another vote for Hotel Barcelona Universal. We stayed there 2 nights pre-cruise back in 2017. We stayed in one of the Junior Suites on the 9th floor with a huge terrace. Great hotel in a convenient location. Metro stop right across the street. 10 minute walk to Las Ramblas. The breakfast was really nice too, very expansive for a continental breakfast. https://www.hotelbarcelonauniversal.com/en/ There are photos of the room and the terrace here in my review.
  4. Here is a link to my Sun review. We were on the Sun back in 2016 (before the refurbishments) on a Panama Canal cruise. We loved the ship! https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2334907-review-of-panama-canal-cruise–14-nights-on-ncl-sun-october-14–28-2016-with-photos/
  5. I think your TA is mistaken. Our cruise was booked back in January 2019 and we were able to add this no problem by calling NCL. The booking window for this extra $50 began on 9/9 but I didn't see anything on NCL website in the T&C that it only applies to cruises booked on or after 9/9. We were able to take advantage of a price drop as well. Good luck!
  6. Thank you so much to tallnthensome and LaCal for this information! I just called NCL and was able to get the extra excursion credit for our Mexican Riviera cruise on the Bliss next year. And the price had also dropped since the original booking so we saved an additional $540 too! It was worth the 45 minutes on hold! πŸ˜€
  7. I did a Panama Canal cruise on the Sun back in 2016 (Miami to San Diego). Still one of my favorite cruises to date. Here is a link to my review with plenty of photos of the Sun, the canal itself, and all the excursions we chose. Our cruise was prior to the Sun's refurbishment. Really enjoyed that ship, the perfect size. Enjoy your cruise! https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2334907-review-of-panama-canal-cruise–14-nights-on-ncl-sun-october-14–28-2016-with-photos/
  8. We've had two amazing aft balcony experiences, one on the Sun (aft mini suite) and the other on the Bliss (aft balcony). Here are a couple photos from our aft mini suite on the Sun going through the Panama Canal back in 2016 (we were in cabin 9278). Such an incredible, unforgettable experience! While we did move around the ship for different vantage points, nothing beat our own private view from the aft. And here a some shots from our aft balcony on the Bliss last year for an Alaska cruise. We were in cabin 12910. We did have some soot on our balcony during both cruises but certainly not enough to stop us from booking the aft again. It was a very minor issue to us. Staying on the aft, the pros far outweigh any cons IMO. I think you will love the aft balcony experience! In fact, you may have the same problem we did after being on the aft, going back to side balconies! πŸ˜‰ Enjoy!
  9. Great review, thanks for sharing! Brings back memories from my Bliss Alaska cruise last year. So glad you enjoyed Seattle too. Love seeing photos from my hometown. I have not been up in the Space Needle yet since they did all that remodeling and added all that glass. I may have to pass on that. I was getting sweaty palms just looking at your photos from up there. πŸ˜…
  10. Have a great cruise, Bird! I got a few shots of the Joy Saturday afternoon before you left Seattle!
  11. No, we were on a land tour with a rental car. But I would be nervous trying to catch a 6PM train with a tour that ends at 5:30, especially if it does not get back exactly on time. Maybe you could book the 7.5 hour Major Marine tour instead and give yourself that extra 90 minutes buffer (I know you mentioned above you already booked the 9 hour one Kenai Fjords Tours)? The 7.5 hour MM tour also has glacier viewing.
  12. We were not assigned a table seat slot. When we boarded we were told it was open seating and we could choose where to sit (I think this may only be applicable to this particular vessel as it was worded as "there is no assigned seating on this vessel." I can see where there may be the need to assign a table seat slot on the much larger boats). Some chose to sit inside, others chose outside. There was a max of 36 passengers on this particular cruise. I will say on a completely separate note for those that are very interested in photography and want to be outside a lot, if you choose to sit inside you may want to sit on the aisle as on this vessel it was 6 slots per table, 3 on each side (and it was bench seating, not separate seats). If you were to sit in the middle or next to the window you will need the people next to you to let you out of your seat if you want to go outside. There was always a mad dash to get outside to the railings every time we got close to something of interest so if you don't have quick access to the outside that could be problematic for getting photos. We purposely chose to sit outside for the entire cruise for that reason, to be closer to the railings, to be able to get photos and move around outside easier.
  13. We just returned from our Major Marine tour earlier this month. It was the longest tour they offer, the 8.5 hour Northwestern Fjord cruise. I believe the Viewfinder, the vessel we were on, is the smallest vessel in their fleet and it does have covered outdoor seating (the clear tarp surrounding was never completely opened). We chose to sit out there for the entire cruise and not inside the cabin. There was no assigned seats or tables, it was open seating and people were moving all over the vessel - inside, outside, taking photos, etc. Having said that, even without assigned seating people did return to their original spots as that was where we stored our belongings. I have read that some of their larger vessels do require assigned seating but just wanted to point out that our vessel was small enough that it did not require that. https://majormarine.com/tour/8-5-hour-northwestern-fjord-cruise/
  14. Thursday, July 11. Anchorage to Seattle. Vacation is ending. Bummer! But reality calls and it's time to go home. Our flight from Anchorage to Seattle wasn't until late afternoon so we just enjoyed a leisurely drive along the Seward Highway. The weather did not cooperate on the return trip either as the mountains were socked in by fog this time. As we were driving along the Seward Highway though right before we got to Anchorage we got a send-off from two moose, a mama and her calf. A nice way to end our vacation! We had lunch in Anchorage at Gwennie's Old Alaska Restaurant. http://gwenniesrestaurant.com/ A really wonderful vacation and special 50th birthday for DH! We really enjoyed seeing the interior of Alaska, We will return again someday.
  15. If you want souvenirs you must go to the Alaska Shop in Seward. An awesome store with a huge stock. The variety of stuff in there was amazing. And I had forgotten to get souvenirs in Denali and they even had Denali stuff there too! Score! We finished up the day with a drink at Seasalt and enjoyed the view from their nice outdoor patio. Goodbye, Seward. Thank you for a wonderful time.
  16. We had a picnic lunch along the water for our last day in Seward and enjoyed the views and watching some sea otters. Some random photos of downtown.
  17. We then did a short hike in town at Two Lakes Park. There were swarms of flies following us so this was not an enjoyable hike. Nice scenery, but just hit it at the wrong time of year I guess. The ravens in Alaska are the size of my cats! 🀣
  18. A very nice hike with an up close view of the glacier. We hope to return someday and do the longer hike up to the Harding Icefield. Goodbye, Exit Glacier!
  19. There are markers along parts of the road and along the trail showing where the glacier was in history. For example, in this photo this is where the glacier was in 2005.
  20. It’s less than a 2 mile hike (one way) to the glacier.
  21. Wednesday, July 10. Exit Glacier at Kenai Fjords National Park. Exit Glacier is the only part of Kenai Fjords National Park that is accessible by road. Getting a glimpse of the glacier on the drive in! A nice little hike to view the glacier with beautiful scenery along the way.
  22. A really fabulous day! If you have the time, I really recommend this tour or whichever one is the longest possible cruise you have time for. You really get into the farther reaches of the park and have more chances to see wildlife. Fog was lifting as we got back to Seward. We ate at another great place after this excursion, a thai restaurant. Woody's Thai Kitchen. https://www.woodysthaikitchen.com/ I will be stopping here for tonight. I will have one more installment which will include hiking to Exit Glacier and a final moose send off from Anchorage!
  23. We saw several humpback whales, puffins, mew gulls, otters, seals, sea lions and bald eagles throughout the cruise. Ugh! All my sea lion photos turned out bad too.
  24. After viewing of glaciers, we got up close and personal with some waterfalls.
  25. Other glaciers in the areas were just as impressive. All of the scenery was amazing.
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