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Everything posted by wolfie11

  1. I disagree that smaller is better for whale watching boats. Many of the boats in Juneau are small "six-pack" fishing boats that are low in the water with little deck space and no viewing access off the bow. All boats, regardless of size, must maintain a certain distance from whales. I find that boats with bow access and an upper deck actually are better, at least for photographing whales, because of the increased viewing opportunities and the slightly higher angle. Speed is another factor. Faster boats can access whales further out than slower, smaller boats, resulting in better viewing experiences and photos not cluttered up with half a dozen boats vying with each other for the best position. I loved the old Orca Enterprises boats, which are now owned by other Juneau whale watching companies, as being a great combination of all the above.
  2. Swiftwater Cafe down by the ferry dock has some of the best fresh seafood in Alaska. The shrimp caught nearby are especially delicious.
  3. Fall storms start in mid- to late September. Gale force winds and up to 20 foot seas are normal. Sometimes days of endless rain. Sometimes beautiful, sunny days. You take your chances in October. If you are going this October, be prepared for pretty much everything to be closed down. I would imagine, given the uncertainty still that there will even be an Alaska season combined with acute worker shortages across the country, it will be difficult to persuade people to come up to Alaska to work low-paying jobs with lousy living conditions for an 8-10 week season.
  4. I'm not sure the Canadian Inside Passage is an issue with ships out of Seattle doing a round trip, as they almost always sail on the outside of Vancouver Island. Majestic, however, has another set of problems, as her leeward windage and lack of steerage capabilities resulted in restrictions recommended by the SE Alaska Pilots Association banning her from docking at every port in Alaska when winds exceeded a certain velocity (around 25 knots) and direction. September can be beautiful, but can also be very windy and stormy. October is the onset of the fall storms, so there could be problems getting into ports.
  5. The CDC has stated that these are to be non-revenue generating cruises. So theoretically that means no booze sales, no gambling, no shops open, and no specialty restaurants. I wonder if that's why they're only 3 days...
  6. I'll bet all the cruise line-owned jewelry shops are open...
  7. Royal Caribbean doesn't go to either Glacier National Park or Glacier Bay National Park.
  8. The Northern Lights can be spectacular in September. One of the best displays I've seen was in Glacier Bay in early September. However, I was on land with no light pollution. The ships are really bad for viewing the skies at night. It's impossible to find a dark corner on deck although there may be a few balcony cabins where it's dark enough. There will be no announcements of NL over the PA, nor is it likely guest services will do wake-up calls.
  9. Just curious as to why Carnival would target casino players when there likely won't be any gambling on board? The CDC stipulates these are non-revenue generating cruises and gambling is revenue.
  10. Oooh! Free cruise! No revenue means no drink sales on board and I doubt they're going to give it away. Masks and social distancing required. No entertainment, gambling or spas (no revenue), or specialty restaurants open. Sounds like loads of fun...
  11. Yes. You also sail several miles away from land so no scenery.
  12. The first evening headed north out of Vancouver is nice. You sail south in the Strait of Georgia to Victoria and then turn west into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, so you are in "inside" waters until after sunset.
  13. It may depend on the percentage of passengers on board that are American. Princess won't pay for the rights if it won't be watched since, as already pointed out, most non Americans could care less about college basketball.
  14. As Chengkp75 stated above, the problem with the big Princess ships is their rudder/propeller configuration. Add to this the fact that Royal Princess has somewhere around 3.1 acres of sail area (the amount of surface exposed to a wind blowing on the side of the vessel), and Alaska pilots were concerned about getting her through narrow parts of the Inside Passage. If I remember correctly she will "crab" or go sideways at about 8 degrees with a 25 knot wind on her beam. She was also not allowed to dock at the SE Alaska ports under various wind conditions. Fortunately 2019 was a nice summer with very few storms. BC made the decision that she would not be allowed to transit Seymour Narrows, which meant she had to sail west of Vancouver Island. I sailed on Royal for 3 months in 2019, and not once did we sail east of Vancouver Island. Clearing Lion's Gate bridge is not a problem.
  15. I was on that cruise. Seems sooooo long ago! I loved the fjords!
  16. The narrated bus tours run to either Teklanika or Toklat depending on how early in the season it is.
  17. Cruise ships are a terrible place from which to view the Northern lights unless you're on the bridge, which has to be kept dark at night. I can barely see the stars at night from anywhere on the open decks. Every possible space is brightly lit with scant opportunity to observe the cosmos.
  18. Ice caves are ephemeral. There's no guarantee that there will be ice caves or that they will be safe to visit in 2022.
  19. I think NCL has run this one up the flagpole to see who salutes. It will likely be approved and cruising will resume this summer across most lines with all-vaccinated ships. Non-vaccinated people will have to wait until at least next year to cruise. It should also be noted that masks and social distancing will be required even on all-vaccinated cruises.
  20. I think NCL has run this one up the flagpole to see who salutes. It will likely be approved and cruising will resume this summer across most lines with all-vaccinated ships. Non-vaccinated people will have to wait until at least next year to cruise. It should also be noted that masks and social distancing will be required even on all-vaccinated cruises.
  21. And toilets...5000 people need a lot of toilets
  22. https://www.jpost.com/health-science/royal-caribbeans-newest-ship-stuck-in-port-after-workers-catch-covid-19-661182
  23. I noticed that Odyssey of the Seas, a brand new cruise ship that hasn't transported a single passenger yet, has reported COVID on board.
  24. Very few of the 20,000 or so people who work in cruise-related areas of the tourism sector (restaurants, tours, and retail) are Alaskans. I know several who drive buses at Denali (which is union with benefits), and several with US Coast Guard licenses who run boats, but the vast majority come from Outside to work for the summer. The pay is low, and the living conditions can be pretty awful. In addition, the lodges and other larger corporate-owned enterprises have a couple thousand foreigners, mostly from Eastern Europe employed on J-1 visas.
  25. Well, it's just good manners to say you don't object when you know there's not a chance in hell it's going to happen...
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