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About disneyochem

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Central Valley, California
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  1. Thank you for the info and pictures! We’re cruising on the Grand May 26–first Princess cruise so really appreciate this.
  2. Here’s hoping you see bears! Have a great trip.
  3. We did this tour: https://www.shoreexcursionsgroup.com/tour/bear-wilderness-wildlife/AKISBEARWILD3. There were only 6 of us on the tour and our driver tailored the tour to what we wanted to do. All of us wanted to see bears so that’s what he focused on. It was a great experience.
  4. We have sailed RT on both the Jewel and the Pearl in Alaska. We enjoyed both ships—love the Great Outdoors. It is a great location for whale watching and just chilling. When it gets too cold, I love to sit in the Spinnakers Lounge and watch the scenery. I like that both ships have a promenade deck (like to get my steps in!) and thermal spas! My favorite whale sighting was from the sauna on the Pearl. Each NCL Cruise was a little different—sometimes there were naturalists and Alaskan theme drinks, food and music on board, and sometimes not. Which is one of the reasons we’re trying a different cruise line this year (Princess). i have been on the mega ships (Breakaway, Getaway) in the Bahamas and Caribbean—I don’t think I would like that size on an Alaskan cruise. Just a different experience. We are sailing on the Jewel again next summer (northbound) so we do like that ship for Alaska. Trying out Princess this summer though (next week!).
  5. We did just a bear tour last year in the first week of June at ISP. It was great! Saw a number of bears. Favorite part—saw a mama bear and her two cubs. We got out of the van and watched them for about 30 minutes. We were up on a road overlooking the trio—about 100 yards away. Our driver had his rifle with him just in case. On the way back, we saw a bear rambling down the middle of the street in town. Had to pull over and wait for him to mosey on out of town. Our Alaskan cruises are always in late May/early June. I was concerned about being too early but I’m glad I spent the money!
  6. I’m glad you experienced no delays—most days, we did not. Yes, I ordered a day in advanced but with free style dining, we had different waiters every day. Some of which knew nothing about our preordering. We would also have to wait for our designated person to come from one MDR to ours. He had about 10 people a night with special diets.
  7. I also have about 12 cruises under my belt. For the most part, they have all been wonderful. But I certainly see where one bad interaction with staff (or on board experience) can sour a cruise. I have non-celiac gluten intolerance (yes, diagnosed by a board certified physician) and, while I appreciate how wonderful the staff is regarding the allergy, I have had unusually long waits in the MDR. So much so that we’re tempted not to tell NCL that I need to be gluten-free (gluten causes gastrointestinal distress for me) and just navigate the buffet and menu by ourselves.
  8. We are booked on the 10-day cruise out of SF on May 26. Our first Princess cruise but have been to Alaska a number of times. What made this trip attractive is that it is out of SF—we live an hour away from the port!! We’re really looking forward to not having to travel and experiencing a new cruise line. We also really enjoy sea days so that is a plus as well. i say book it and enjoy!
  9. I agree with your assessment about the train ride. My kids were not thrilled... My kids enjoyed the Junior ranger program. We also did a number of the hikes in Skagway. Was a great way to get some exercise in and get away from crowds. We picked up sandwiches and picnicked.
  10. disneyochem

    Family Trip

    And, if you spend time in Vancouver, we love the aquarium in Stanley Park (especially the beluga whales). Lots of things to do there that the kids will enjoy. i
  11. disneyochem

    Family Trip

    My girls were 10 and 12 on their first Alaskan Cruise, and 12 and 14 on the second one. Some of the excursions they still talk about (almost 10 years later): dog sledding and PUPPIES(!!!), the Lumberjack Show, ziplining, and panning for gold. We regularly visit National parks so they also loved the Junior Ranger program at Mendenhall and Skagway. We also did a lot of hiking just to get some exercise off the ship. what they didn’t enjoy and I regret paying for is the train ride—both of them fell asleep and missed all the great scenery!
  12. I rarely fold it up in the pocket--think I have done it twice?!? I always use it for a light jacket since it is also relatively wind-resistant. I have the black color so it looks nice even when it's not raining.
  13. Ditto on the sunscreen, sunglasses and sun hat! I also bring insect repellant wipes but so far have not had to use them! (We generally cruise in late May/early June)
  14. I’m glad to hear this information for formal nights on an Alaskan Cruise. We’ve cruised a number of times on other cruise lines—first time on Princess this May. Hubby in the past packed his jacket and wore it on formal nights. He retired last year and now refuses to br8ng his jacket on the cruise! He wears nice slacks, collared shirt and a knit sweater. He looks nice (wears that outfit to the theater and restaurants in SF) so hopefully it’s okay on Princess. if he feels uncomfortable , we’ll just hit the buffet that night. Not a big deal for us.
  15. I have this Columbia brand rain coat which I love: https://www.columbia.com/womens-evapouration-jacket-RL2023.html. I wear it over layers and sometimes a puffy jacket for warmth. i live in Northen California where we get a lot of rain. I wear this coat on walks and dog walks in the rain. Works very well for me. i also have a pair of REI rain pants that I rarely use. Bring 'em on every trip to Alaska but have worn them yet!
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