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Paul Bradley

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  1. Aside from the cold and wet weather, it was great! We saw a group of juvenile male sea otters, a couple of humpbacks, one grey whale feeding close inshore and a host of eagles. As I say, the weather was cold and wet, but there are inside areas on the boat to warm up in, and there are liberal supplies of hot chocolate and hot tea! The boat crew seemed knowledgeable and were accessible. Although we didn't see as much as I'd hoped, what we did see was very cool. We had smooth seas, so not much pitching, but that isn't always the case, I'm sure. The seats on the upper deck, which is where we were, were simple bench seats, though I spent most of my time at the deck railings. I think the downstairs seats are cushioned, and there are large picture windows.
  2. It seems to be very hit-and-miss, depending on ice and weather conditions. This was as close as we got on the Mariner in mid-June. Very disappointing. Luckily, I'd seen some spectacular glaciers from the air in Juneau, but I was looking forward to seeing some calving. Next time......
  3. Tonnes is metric - 1 tonne is approx. 1.1 tons.
  4. According to the BBC, this applies to ships over 1,000 tonnes. So pretty much all cruisers. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49276730
  5. I personally wouldn't bother with the 35mm fixed - that's covered by the short zoom. Versatility is the keyword - your other choices should give you excellent coverage.
  6. Carry-on only is eminently doable - we, family of three, just did that for our Alaska cruise. Don't forget you have 'personal item' as well - we all used small backpacks which doubled as day packs for our excursions. Wear your bulkiest clothes and shoes on the plane. Layers are important, and doing laundry halfway through the cruise helps enormously. Don't forget that you don't need to monitor it! You can start it in the washer before breakfast and move it to the dryer when you get back. We did the thrift shop thing to stock up on clothing beforehand so we didn't worry about taking 'nice' clothes, and we also bought souvenir t-shirts along the way, saving a little space when initially packing.
  7. On my recent trip, I took two Canon bodies (T7i and T5i), and two lenses - 28-105 and 70-300. I had considered taking my 150-600 for wildlife, but frankly, I'd have only used it once and it would have been problematic with the weather we experienced that day. The two I took were sufficient for wildlife, scenery and glacier-viewing. I also did the 5-Glaciers Floatplane and took both cameras, but only used the long zoom for taking photos of the floatplanes taking off and landing while waiting for my flight!
  8. Can't comment on the Rail/Hwy excursion, but we did the rail both ways. It is spectacular, but my interest started to flag a bit halfway back. Perhaps the view from the road is sufficiently different to keep one's interest all the way?
  9. We were on Mariner three weeks ago and our 'viewing' of Hubbard was from about 3 miles away due to ice in the middle of the channel. We were only able to get to Haenke Island. The glacier itself was almost completely obscured by fog. Very disappointing. Luckily, I'd taken the 5 glaciers floatplane excursion in Juneau, and we also had spectacular views of glaciers on the climb out of Anchorage airport.
  10. Dubrovnik - a beautiful city - is now limiting cruisers to two per day: https://www.total-croatia-news.com/lifestyle/31375-crowds-a-thing-of-the-past-dubrovnik-will-finally-limit-cruisers Which is a great thing - they realised the experience was being ruined, and the city was getting a bad reputation. Previously, there could be 4 or 5 ships per day, either at the port or tendering to the Old City. We stayed there for a week a few years back, and the best times of the day were the early mornings and evenings once the cruisers had left - there was hardly space to breathe when they were in port. After the first day, we went elsewhere during the daytime and enjoyed the city at night.
  11. I'm 6' 4" and the tub/shower combo on Mariner was uncomfortable - I had to bend my neck as the floor is raised so high. It was a delight to return to our vaulted ceiling home bathroom!! That was the only real minus of the ship though - she's beautiful, and our PHB suite was so spacious. The public areas were never crowded and often, we were the only people in the observation lounge which has terrific views If I were to be nit-picky - as a photographer, the lack of a proper forward outside observation area was a slight annoyance, and the tables in CR were a little too close for comfort one evening with a large party seated next to us. I can't comment on Voyager, but we'd definitely cruise on Mariner again.
  12. Vancouver has a nicer, less crowded airport, so if you have the option to fly direct, that's a bonus.
  13. We were on the Mariner that week - we were in the same ports as the Coral for a lot of the cruise...!
  14. Not sure if it's just me, but I can't see the photos in your last couple of posts.
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