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About bonvoyagie

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  • Location
    Portland Oregon
  • Interests
    Traveling and exploring new places
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  1. My TA has been able to move us within the same catagory many times without any extra charge. Technically it is a cancel and re-book.
  2. I stand corrected I was thinking of the Dawn.
  3. the Gem does not have a Haven - instead it has two huge Garden Villas - they were the first of thier kind and were the underpinnings of the Haven concept started on the Jewel class ships. We were in a 2bedroom suite on the Gem and had the usual suite service with breakfast in Modernaro and lunch in Cagney's.
  4. I see where both HAL and Princess are looking at doing land portions of their cruisetours as a way to keep their lodges open. The industry still has to get around the CDC requirements - which at this time is more restictive than the Canada port closure and the PVSA.
  5. I agree that the Sky would probably be the first to go. Also the ship that made the run to Fanning Island was the Wind - I belive that she was once the Windward and was expanded by adding a seciton to her middle. She plied the Alaskan waters in the summer and Hawaii in the winter. This was back in 2002.
  6. If you choose to go by train you arrive at Denali station around 4PM - the train runs once a day so in theory you could move on to Fairbanks the next day after doing the all day tour - or not.
  7. No, you are not stopping at a Canadian Port.
  8. You are not the only person who has asked that question - I did it just last year after booking my Jewel cruise from Vancouver to Seward (since cancelled). As you have discovered there is little to no reviews on these boards - even in the AK ports of call section. NCL has been doing cruisetours for several years now - they were the last to get into the game - RCCL and Princess led the way back in the early 90's. I abandoned the cruisetour idea and elected to DIY the land portion of my vacation - or at least look into other companies travel packages. I found that the AK RR has several different
  9. I went all the way to Carcross by train with a bus return - we saw the bridge but it was not part of the tour. The best way to examine all of your options is to visit the website www.cruiseportinsider.com and look at the various tours offered in Skagway. It also shows the rest of AK ports.
  10. Currently the ship used for this tour is in Astoria OR and is eventually going to Newport OR. It is either heading for some rebuild work or they are moving the tour to the lower 48.
  11. when we did our first AK cruise back in 02 on the Sky we did have a much longer stop in Victoria and were able to see the gardens in both day and night it was great. We also went on the inside of the island leaving from Seattle but came back along the outside of the island. As I remember we also had more time in all of the other ports as well. I am not sure why or how things changed between 02 and 12 (our last AK cruise) but it seems that we spent way less time in Juneau and Ketchikan and way less time in Victoria - in fact we did not even get off the ship there as we had visited by car earlie
  12. Yes both Princess and HAL are in competition with each other (interesting because they are both owned by CCL) to be the "best in Alaska" so I would expect nothing but the best from them. I agree that NCL leaves you on your own for the most part. That said on our recent Panama Canal cruise we had several enrichment programs prior to the canal passage and we had full narration during the passage. As for the "inside passage" i have found that only the ships that leave from Vancouver BC actually go on the leeward side of the island - all of the Seattle ships go on the seaward side of the island.
  13. Yes the PoA was quite new but we found no major issues with the crew - in fact it was quite refreshing to see American faces and strike up conversations about their home state. The only thing we did not like was the food in the MDR - we usually ate our meals at the Diner. But again this is another one of those cruises that is less about the ship and more about the destination.
  14. We did the PoA in 2005 so lots has probably changed since then. We did enjoy the whole cruise and did all excursions through the ship. In hindsight and more experience under our belts and we would have done it differently - ie less ship excursions and more local excursions or rental cars. One thing to note is that there is not much parking for rental cars in the overnight ports (both are primary cargo ports and this could have changed since 05). Since you are still in the USA boarding is very simple - no passports and no worry about money exchange. As others have mentioned you travel at night
  15. AK is a place where you can use non ship tours - I used Chilkoot for my Skagway train trip. We were in a car by ourselves for the train trip and were in a small bus for the trip back. We easily out manuvered the larger buses used by the cruise lines. There are some trips you can't do without using the cruise line - for example the small boat glacier tour out of Juneau that meets the cruise ship after a close up viewing of the glacier (Sawyer or Dawes).
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