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About kokosmama

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  1. kokosmama

    My SUN experience 8/12-19/06 Alaska

    Good grief! We had a good time...I thought my experiences reflected that. Sorry if you think I am hoighty toity to have stayed in the Penthouse. When you spend over $6,000 for a cabin, you kind of expect it all to be very nice, don't you? Yes, the waiters asking you if you want drinks is incessant, but I would rather have them ask than have to go seek them out. I loved the cruise and I loved Alaska. The "Alaska Experience" is all about what you want it to be. For some of you it may be just seeing Alaska. For me it was about being pampered and treating myself to a luxury I can rarely afford and to a really neat place. Please keep your jusgements about what an Alaskan criuise should be about to yourselves. The tone of some of these boards has gotten so "angry" in nature that I think I will just pass for the future. Good luck! And sorry to those of you who thought my experience didn't deserve an honest posting...
  2. [FONT=Times New Roman]Hopefully this reflection of my 8/12-19/06 Sun cruise to Alaska is not too late to do anyone any good. Let me say that we had a very good time, despite some disappointments. First let me say all my worrying about getting from Houston to the ship on time was unnecessary. We had plenty of time even arriving at 11:30 a.m. plus taking one hour to get our luggage. The port in Seattle is very close to the airport. We had Metropolitan Town Car waiting and he patiently waited an hour to get our luggage off the carousel and into the limo. It was $40 for the 3 of us. There was a long line to check in at the port, but, since we were in a Penthouse, we were led to a priority check-in and then met immediately by our concierge, Anca. We bypassed all the lines from that point. I wanted a superior experience, so I had booked AD Penthouse 8001. The room was a disappointment to me. I had cruised on the Carnival Ecstasy in July, which is a vastly inferior ship to the Sun. The suite we had on the Ecstasy, however, was wonderful! The bed was so comfy I am thinking of ordering the duvets and bed (Carnival Comfort Bed). The room on the Ecstasy had just been refurbished and had incredible storage, a full wall of glass, bar, flat screen TV., etc. Anyway, that was a suite, so I expected a [B]Penthouse[/B] to be phenomenal. Alas, it wasn’t. The bed had cot-style legs and was not comfortable. We asked for an egg crate and duvet cover right away, which helped. I found storage lacking (nothing like the Ecstasy suite). The carpet had stains in it, the sofa bed was torn and the room was very cramped. The bathroom helped make up for it…it is wonderful! It is huge with a walk-in shower, private commode and large hydrobath with a shower head. There is granite on the double bowl vanity and there is lots of storage for toiletries. The balcony is large, but you have to stand to see over the rail. Don’t leave your porch light on or the captain will call asking you to turn it off as it affects their ability to see. I know…we got the call. The food was great everywhere but in the buffets (Garden Café, etc). We paid to experience Le Bistro and Il Adagio. Both were very nice and much more intimate dining than the main dining rooms, but I did not find the food substantially better. One of my friends ate in Ginza 3 times, saying the sushi was the best he had ever had (and he lives in Hollywood). We ordered room service twice from Pacific Heights and the fish was very tasty. I loved the chilled soups in the main dining rooms and always could find something very good to eat. We did not care for the tapas in Las Ramblas, but we did enjoy made to order omelets there for breakfast one morning. The only problem is that it smells fishy in there (it is right next to Ginza). One disappointment was that we did not get to have the Alaskan King Crab legs or the lobster in Le Bistro. We heard it was wonderful, but they were sold out of it by Wednesday evening. Lunch in the Seven Seas was always quite good. The champagne bar was a favorite (they don’t just serve champagne), and we discovered from the bottle of champagne in our room when we arrived that “Arias” was a good selection. For $24 a bottle, it was a bargain. The Java Café is a place to enjoy specialty coffees and smoothies. A surprise to me is that they allow smoking in the café and the champagne bar and just about everywhere else. You could choke in the Java Café from the smoke, because it is such a small area. Our concierge, Anca, was wonderful and pulled quite a few strings for us. Our butlers just delivered room service, so they were more of a non-factor. Our Pilot’s Choice Helicopter in Juneau and our dogsledding & helicopter in Skagway were both cancelled due to fog (Juneau) and clouds (Skagway). One of my pet peeves was that they would not tell you at the excursion desk if your excursion would be cancelled. They make you get off the ship and walk to the excursion area to be told that it has been cancelled and your ship account already credited. We utilized the Mandara Spa extensively. I highly recommend the Hot Stone Massage. The Deep Tissue massage is a little too deep. I tried Acupuncture for the first time and found it painful and unpleasant. He seemed uncertain of his sticks and I could not wait to end it! If you have used a spa service, you get to use the sauna and steam room whenever you want. The fitness center had a lot of good equipment, although they could use some more ellipticals. The ship is very clean and the staff is very friendly and attentive. If I sail again on the Sun, I will probably just get a mini-suite. Those rooms looked nice enough with a balcony and had concierge service. Hope this helps! If you have questions, let me know![/FONT]
  3. kokosmama

    Trip of a lifetime or the first of many?

    We are packing as many excursions into the trip, because I don't know either if there will be a "next time." The way I looked at it is that there may be only one chance to see all of the things unique to Alaska and we can rest when we get home!!!
  4. kokosmama

    Disembarkation time on Sun

    What time does disembarkation start when you get back to Seattle? Is there any hope of making a 10:15 a.m. flight? We will be in a Penthouse and I am a Latitudes member in case that makes any difference. What's your experience getting off?
  5. kokosmama

    Pilot's Choice Helicopter & Dog Sledding Duplication?

    Bummer! Does that mean I can prebook 2 excursions at the same time with NCL and then choose the one to take when we get there?
  6. One of the things I am looking forward to on our Sun saling next week to Alaska is access to the onboard spa. Is there anything there that we should be sure to book? Do we need to book our times as soon as we are onboard? I like spur of the moment ...see what I feel like...so I would like to think I could book without much notice. Anyway, what's a "Do Not Miss". I haven't see anyone discuss the Mandara Spa since I have been on these boards the last couple of months.
  7. kokosmama

    Pilot's Choice Helicopter & Dog Sledding Duplication?

    Thanks, BudgetQueen! Would NCL have let us book dog sledding through them if it was not going to be available? Also, what do you mean about the ice vs the snow experience? Do you see different things (other than snow & ice, of course). Both excursions are costing us a small fortune. I would love to substitute zip line for the Pilot's Choice if it meant we were not missing anything substantial. I also thought the dog sledding took place on a glacier. Am I wrong?
  8. While we are in Juneau (Sun 8/12 sailing), we are booked on the Glacier Explorer:Pilot's Choice Helicopter" and later in the day the Tracy Arm Fjord & Glacier Explorer. When we get to Skagway, we are booked for the "Dog Sledding & Glacier Flightseeing Helicopter". I am wondering if we will be doing essentially duplicating excursions with the Pilot's Choice and then the Glacier Flightseeing". I definitely want to see the dog sledding camp, so the question would be do we see or do anything substantially different on the Juneau helicopter tour? If not, I would rather subsitute something else (hopefully less expensive, like the Zip Line, for Juneau in the morning. Has anyone done both to know the answer to the question?
  9. kokosmama

    Just back from Alaska....some helpful tips!

    Thanks for the tip on the zip line adventure. It sounds awesome! I will have to figure out how to fit it into the schedule! How should you dress for it? Is it cold? I would be going next week.
  10. kokosmama

    Sun Penthouse 8202

    What's your sail date? What category is the 8202?
  11. kokosmama

    Cruise documents???

    If you are traveling with someone in your reservation that is not at the same address as you, check with them to see if they got all the documents and not just theirs. That is what happened to me. I have been fretting about not receiving docs for my 8/12 cruise, so I called NCL. They checked and found out that all the documents were sent to my brother in California. I thought he had just received his, but instead they had sent mine and one other person's to him.
  12. kokosmama

    Just back from Alaska....some helpful tips!

    What was the zip line adventure like?
  13. kokosmama

    WiFi on Sun

    I know there is an internet cafe, but, if I bring my laptop, will I only have access in the cafe? If I bring my own laptop with a wireless card, will I have to pay the cruise line for usage?
  14. It would be ghastly expensive now to fly in the night to Seattle before our 8/12 cruise because of change fees, etc., but I am a little nervous about our plane from Houston arriving on time. We are on the Sun, which I don't believe sails until 4:00. How long does it take to get from the airport to the dock? How much time should we need? I wish I had booked in the night before, but I didn't have an available sitter until now. I never like to be late or have to run to catch something. Am I cutting it too close?
  15. kokosmama

    New NCL Sun review

    posted where?