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Steve in Omaha

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    Omaha, NE
  • Interests
    Golf. music

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Cool Cruiser (2/15)

  1. You get into the bay that early, but you have to travel a bit to get to Margerie and Hopkins glaciers. Probably closer to 8am? Follow the tv channel (11?) that shows you the ship's position.
  2. Yes, in Glacier Bay we went out thru Deck 8. It was stunning (and raining!). The best indoor viewing is the Spinnaker Lounge on Deck 13. The prime seats do fill up early. Due to the bad weather, we used it as our "staging" area. We'd watch from Spinnaker for a while, then we'd go outside, then we'd come back to Spinnaker.
  3. This was our 3rd cruise ever so we are far from veterans. But if any of these random thoughts helps someone with their planning, then great! Norwegian Jewel - great choice. We didn't need a go cart track, a water slide, or a rock climbing wall. Food & entertainment were excellent. Crew was even better! The Jewel had an outdoor seating area directly behind the buffet. Use this any time the weather allows! 7-day One Way Route - Vancouver/Ketchikan/Juneau/Skagway/Glacier Bay/Hubbard Glacier/Seward. Inside Passage - We left on a Monday and I never felt that we were on a moving ship until Saturday afternoon! We splurged on a balcony. We traveled north so I specifically got a room on the right-hand side. Sit outside and watch amazing scenery from your own room! We brought our own (Disney) travel mugs. Use NCL's coffee mugs in the buffet to fill our own, then take it anywhere on the ship. Especially our balcony. No fancy clothing was required. No jackets, no dresses. We wore "country club casual" and never felt underdressed. Bring magnet hooks (like on your refrigerator). VERY helpful to hang things on the all-metal stateroom walls. One of the "what to bring" youtube videos said to bring a folding hamper. If your room was twice the size of ours then this might be a good idea. In our room it would have been a huge annoyance. Solution? Put an empty suitcase under the bed and that was our hamper. Booked our own excursions. Saved hundreds and no issues at all. Your mileage may vary. Orca Cove Kayak Excursion thru Southeast Sea Kayaks in Ketchikan. Great guide, perfect amount of time on the water. Helicopter Glacier Walkabout thru Northstar Trekking in Juneau. This was our 2nd splurge and IT WAS SO WORTH IT! This literally became a bucket-list item for me as we were doing it. Side-note: due to a medical emergency on the ship, we only saw one of the 2 scheduled glaciers in Glacier Bay. Our Hubbard Glacier day was rainy with poor visibility and we could not get very close due to ice in the water. We would have been very disappointed because glaciers were high on our requirements for this cruise. But since we literally walked on and drank from a glacier on our excursion, we were sad but didn't feel our trip was ruined. In Skagway we did an easy 1-hour hike to Yakutania Point and Smugglers Cove. Drop.Dead.Gorgeous. Our flight home was 11:50pm. NCL stored (and had people sit with) our bags in Anchorage while we explored the city. Then NCL had a bus take us and luggage to the airport. Although this was a wonderful service, it was very poorly communicated thru NCL. Bring a journal. At the end of every day, write down what you did, what you ate, etc. You WILL forget, and days will run into each other. I'd be glad to answer any questions. And huge thanks to all on these boards who answered the many questions I asked!
  4. Here's the info we have from disembarkation this past Monday. Carrying your own luggage (self assist) could leave any time after 6am. They made frequent reminders that you would be carrying bags down stairs and ramps. The first time Independent Guests could disembark was 7:30am, and you would pick up your luggage in the Seward Cruise Terminal. I don't know what the line was like at that point. Neither of those sounds ideal for you. But your vendor must have done this for many people in the past. I'd contact them first to ask how to make it work. Then maybe contact NCL.
  5. I am the one who asked the original question. Just back yesterday. NCL's entire disembarkation process ran very smooth, but it was also poorly communicated by NCL before we got on the boat. If you book NCL's train excursion you are off the boat by 6:30am. Other disembarkation times ranged from 6:30 - 9:15am. We were 9am. We booked our airfare thru NCL, so we took their bus from Seward to Anchorage. Very scenic, and our driver did a great job narrating. Saw bald eagles, a golden eagle, and beluga whales. 3 hours due to construction traffic. If your flight is before 4pm, you go directly from the ship to the airport. If your flight is after 4pm, you go to the Hospitality Center in Anchorage. Your luggage is already there when you arrive, and the room is supervised the entire time. They run free airport shuttles every hour until 10pm. We ate lunch and walked around Anchorage for a couple of hours. The weather was glorious, and it was the first day it hadn't rained in 3 weeks!
  6. I'm the one who originally asked the question. Got back yesterday. From Monday to Saturday afternoon, you couldn't even tell you were on a boat or that it was moving. Exiting Glacier Bay on Saturday, and then all day Sunday the seas were fairly rough and you could tell. I took Bonine Saturday & Sunday just to be safe. Sunday night after we had already packed our suitcases, the empty metal "hotel hangers" in the closets were banging like wind chimes! I had to hang a coat over them so we could sleep.
  7. Thanks for the perspective. Very helpful for my 5' 1 3/4" wife!
  8. We leave Vancouver on Monday for a 7-day Alaskan cruise. Via a site with a webcam, I've noticed people in the absolute front/point of the ship while in Glacier Bay. I've only been on 2 cruises, but I believe that front/point area was reserved for crew. So does NCL allow passengers out to that viewing area while in Glacier Bay? What deck is it and how do you get to it? Thanks!
  9. We fly into Vancouver the day before our cruise. I'm not going to attach the paper NCL baggage tags that I've printed off until the day our cruise starts. So how do you do it? Do you borrow a stapler from the hotel front desk on the morning you check out to board the cruise? Thanks
  10. So maybe this is a new thing, since nobody said anything about it. NCL does not take us from Seward to the airport. They take you and your luggage to the Egan Convention Center, where you can store your luggage and set out for the day. Then when you're ready, they take you and your luggage to Anchorage Airport. That changes everything about what I was planning, in a positive way.
  11. Did you have an inordinate amount of time waiting for your flight at the airport? Did you go into Anchorage at all?
  12. The only excursion listed on the NCL website for Seward is called "Turnagain Arm, Wildlife Center & Hospitality Center (Debark)". It says "scenic drive" twice and refers to a "coastal road". That doesn't sound like a train ride. (I know that's not the bus transportation that comes with the flights I booked thru NCL)
  13. I booked flights through NCL, and included in that is transportation from the ship to the airport. That's all I know. Is there something I did wrong? I don't think I was given a choice of a train or a bus.
  14. I have no idea. We're taking whatever transportation NCL has set up for us to take.
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