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About newbiewfromms

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  1. I am doing this same land/cruise tour end of June into July. Does anyone know which hotel in Fairbanks that Princess uses for the first leg of the trip?
  2. So beautiful. Thanks for the awesome videos. Will be cruising there this July. My first time to Alaska. Seeing this has really got me excited 🙂
  3. You are correct. It says Anchorage (Whittier) AK. I didn't realize they were two separate places. So it looks like we should try to pick some up in Fairbanks on the first leg of our Land tour. Thanks for the info. Now going to research our ports some more. They will be Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. I would love to get in some whale watching in Juneau. I saw the Adventure Bound tour and was so excited until I realized we will be leaving Juneau at 5:00 pm so we would get back too late. I will try and research some Mendenhall Glacier and whale watching combos. Skagway I'm looking at Dyea Dave Emerald Lake tour. Since were going on the Direct-to-Wilderness train ride do you think it would be worth it to take the train back to Skagway or just stay on the bus tour? I've also read good things about the Jewell Garden since my mother in law loves flowers/gardens. Any personal experiences on that? We are in port from 7:00 am to 8:30 pm that day. Still wide open on Ketchikan but like I said just starting to getting into researching.
  4. Hi all. I am not new to cruising but have only been on Carnival so far. We are going on an Alaska Land/Cruise tour with Princess departing Fairbanks on June 29, also first time in Alaksa...so excited . There will be 7 of us total, it was a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law to her kids and spouses. We arrive in Fairbanks and spend 4 days on land (Fairbanks/Denali) before boarding the Coral Princess in Anchorage. We take the train from Denali to Anchorage which takes us straight to the cruise ship. My question for the day is: We do like to bring on the allowed bottle of wine per person but how/where can we purchase the wine in Anchorage before boarding the ship? Should we try to purchase the wine before we take the train to Anchorage to board the ship at either Fairbanks or Denali or is there a place at the port in Anchorage we could purchase wine? Thanks in advance and I've gotten so much wonderful advice reading these boards so thanks in advance to everyone.
  5. I am brand new to Princess on an Alaska land/cruise tour this June. I have been on 6-7 Carnival cruises but have never ventured to another line. This is a trip gifted by my Mother in law to her kids and spouses. Very generous and very appreciated. 4 first time cruisers on this trip so I am very much looking forward to their reaction of cruising and everyone's first time in Alaska. I'm loving all the great things I'm hearing about Princess. Thanks for the "secrets" and keep em coming. Doing all the research now on our ports Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan along with the land portion 4 days in Fairbanks and Denali. 🙂
  6. I was also on the 3/4 Fascination cruise. A group of 4 of us and I cannot say a single bad thing about the cruise or ship. We had an unbelievable time. It was my first time to any of these ports. We flew in a day early and stayed at Hotel Milano in old San Juan. It was just okay. We didn't spend much time in the room but they had a nice rooftop restaurant where we ate. We walked around and did a little shopping, picked up some cokes at the CVS to take on the ship. Walked around quite a bit in Old San Juan the next day as our boarding time was 3:00 to 3:30. We visited the forts which were really cool and did some more shopping. Embarkation was so smooth. Just walked right on the ship as there were no lines due to the staggered boarding times. I have been on the Dream several times so was a little worried about a smaller ship but I ended up LOVING it. Could get around very easily all over the ship and learned my routes quickly. We had anytime dining which was also my first time for that and loved it. Everyone on the ship was so friendly. We had great room stewards and also great wait staff in dining room each night. Loved Guys burgers, the deli, pizza and all the other food we had. It was very very good. St. Thomas was our first stop and there was some rough weather prior to us getting there so we were told only two beaches were open. We took a taxi to Emerald Beach club I think it was called. Nice beach. Nice bar on the beach with decent prices. Try the Painkiller. Delicious. I think taxi there was around 8.00 each way and we told our driver what time to be back and they were right on time. Sea day was nice and relaxing, our only sea day. Hung around the pool, serenity deck and hit casino a little. Barbados we walked out of the port with no particular plans and found a taxi driver with a nice air conditioned toyota larger type van. Her name was Malik. She was great. For 30.00 each she took us on our own private tour. Visited a beautiful church where they were cooking fresh fishcakes and tried those. Then went to the top of the mountain and got out and walked around, took pictures and had some delicious rum punch. She took us to a nice beach club in Bridgetown (can't remember the name now) and asked us what time we wanted to leave. We decided to stay a couple hours and she picked us back up. We didn't rent chairs because we weren't going to be there long enough. They delivered drinks to the beach which was nice. Water was beautiful but still a little rough. We left around 2 shopped a little at the port and were back on the boat by 4. St. Lucia was my favorite. We did Spencer Ambrose tour. We didn't book ahead of time but walked through the port and saw a girl holding a Spencer Ambrose tour sign so we decided on this one. They took us by Speedboat out to a beautiful beach (Sugar Beach) between the two Pitons. The tour included chairs to the left side of the dock as the other chairs belonged to a resort there. Plenty of chairs and umbrellas, a cooler full of beer, water, sodas and rum punch. They served a nice buffet lunch and even had snorkeling gear. This beach was absolutely gorgeous. We stayed there about 2-3 hours I believe. I did try the snorkeling right before we left and saw tons of beautiful fish right there at the beach. Speedboat ride back (around 30 mins) and were back on the boat by 330. St Kitts we decided to wing it again, found a taxi to take us to Cockleshell beach for around 6 dollars each way I think per person. Let us get out on the top of the mountain where we took beautiful pictures. He dropped us off at this little bar/beach with umbrellas/chairs which I think were 5 each for the chairs and included an umbrella. The bar I believe was called Lions club. Cheap drinks/beers and had a delicious lunch of ribs which my husband and I split. I think lunch was around 16 dollars. Local beer was 2 and rum punch was 5. We had a nice time here and walked up and down the beach. I think the Reggae beach club was down a bit from us. St. Maarten was I believe the prettiest water I've ever seen. It looked like it was dyed blue. We took a water taxi over to the beach you can see from the cruise ship. It was 7.00 and you could use it all day. Absolutely beautiful beaches and really nice shopping. We walked around for a long time, went into one of the many bars and had lunch and a bucket of beers. Put our towels down on the beach vs. chairs/umbrellas since we were only going to stay at the beach for hour or so. Nice clear calm water. I loved St. Maarten. Got back to boat and went and had our last dinner in dining room. We ate in dining room 5 our of 7 nights. We did see two shows, Diva and another one I can't remember the name of. Both were good. We went to comedy club and loved it, the last night there was a mentalist/comedian in the Palace theater who was really good. We got back in port and debarkation was effortless. We carried our own luggage and was off the boat by a bout 745. We stayed the night in Old San Juan at a place called Villa Herencia which was beautiful. A very small boutique hotel, almost like a bed and breakfast. Headed back home on Monday. We really really really enjoyed this cruise. I cannot say a single bad thing about any of it. If your on the fence, GOOOOO. We loved the ship and all the ports. It was a little exhausting but thats really my fault as I have FOMO (fear of missing out) so we were on the go a good bit of the time. Not a whole lot of down time on this cruise.
  7. This is very disheartening to hear as i will be boarding her this Sunday March 4. I am truly sorry you had such a bad experience. Most of us wait anxiously for our next cruise and it's awful to have such a terrible experience. I hope they can get their act together very soon. Will post comments when we return. This is my first southern Caribbean itinerary and was very much looking forward to these islands.
  8. Yayyy. Nice start so far. Thanks for taking the time to review. Will be sailing on this same itinerary on May 3. Looking forward to the rest of your review.
  9. Brianna, I cannot tell you how much I THOROUGHLY enjoyed your review. My husband and I have been on 4 cruises with Carnival so far and this will be our first one without kids. Hah. We'll see if we make it :) jk. Im looking forward to spending some one on one time. My kids are my heart but after being married 27 years it will be nice to spend some time together alone for a change. I loved every single bit of your review and I thought it was amazing. Especially all the fun you had with your Krewe and I have to say the sunset pictures are my favorite. You hit the nail on the head of why I LOVEEEE cruising. Sitting out on the deck staring at nothing but ocean for miles and miles is just so serene, calming and soothing to my soul. It's been a couple of years since we cruised but leaving on the DREAM on May 3rd going to Key West, Nassau and Freeport. So looking forward to it and I for one appreciate all of the time and effort along with the awesome pictures you posted on your review. I appreciate it very much and hope to one day see you on a cruise. If I see ya then Im gonna join right in if you don't mind. Looks like you are my kinda people :) Enjoy your next cruise and thanks again for the Mahvelous review.
  10. Pam, Been up since around 5 am...we are leaving for New Orleans this morning too to board with you guys tomorrow...Can't wait---weather is dreary and cold in Memphis...so glad to be leaving this place for a week...See you guys on board...Have a safe trip to NO....:)
  11. Forgot all about the dancing we all did at dinner this night. After dinner was over Claudio came on the microphone and said that our waiters wanted to dance this evening and didn't want to do it alone so they invited everyone (they actually insisted) to dance with them. My Mother in law was alone so our head waiter Jorge came over and got her out of her chair to dance. It was so sweet. My mother in law has been taking ballroom dancing lessons for several years so she is really a fantastic dance. Jorge wasn't too bad himself and they made a very attractive couple and looked like pros dancing. My son of course made his little sister his dance partner and his friend went over and got my mom out of her chair. We had a ball....
  12. Okay.Im able to add a little more to the review. After my son won his ship on a stick we wandered up to the Lido deck again and went back to the water slides. It was really windy and the girls were going up and down the slides. I really really wanted to do the slides this time but I was pretty content with my lounge chair, a drink and the sun so I kinda chilled out for awhile and watched them. Went and grabbed a couple plates of fries and some chicken tenders (yum) and brougth the back for the kids to share. Decided to go find my DH and start getting ready for dinner. It was Elegant night and we wanted to go to the Mambo show at 7 which is for those that have the late dinner seating. Went back to the cabin and found DH in there taking a nap....He took alot of those this trip. He said it was his vacation and he just wanted to relax. That was fine but not for me....Why do you think I brought all those Red Bulls???:) Took a shower and watched a little bit of TV. The movies playing that week were Harry Potter, Rio, No water for Elephants and a few others I cannot think of at the moment. I will try and look for my Fun Times to see if I can see what else was playing. I hadn't planned on spending that much time in the room anyway so I never finished a whole movie. Did catch my DH on the Carnival channel they run all the time. He was doing the Hairy Chest contest...Still had to laugh about that. Rounded up my daughter as she was still roaming the decks with her new BFF's from Circle C and made her come get dressed. She was staying right next to us with my Mother in Law. We all got dressed and headed to the Mambo show. We got seats right up on the 1st row. Jen the Cruise Director who I loved announced the show. In my opinion Jen was an excellent CD. I've seen some people say her voice got on their nerves after awhile but I liked her just fine. She was very energetic and likeable. I didn't mind her accent at all. The show was Fantastic. The Costumes were gorgeous and I really really enjoyed it. I said I wanted to do more of the shows this cruise and I did. After the show we all met up right outside the Imagination dining room and took a few pics with everyone all dressed up. I intended on getting a family portrait done after dinner but that never happened. The kids disappeared immediately after dessert to meet up with their friends. Dinner our 2nd night was Elegant night like I mentioned. I ordered Prime rib and Lobster. These were 2 separate entrees but you can order as many as you like from any of the menu items. My prime rib came out the first time and it was just too rare for me. I had ordered it Medium and I think it came out medium rare. Jorge apologized immensely and got me another one very quickly. I think I also ordered the stuffed mushrooms tonight and they were also very very good. No dessert for me this night...I just had an espresso...Needed the caffeine to keep me going....All in all it was an excellent dinner and we all enjoyed ourselves. DH decided to call it a night around 10 oclock and I went up and joined my Mom on the lido deck and just relaxed. It was pretty quiet out there that night and we just enjoyed the breeze. We then went and made our daily deposit at the casino and I actually came out around 60.00 ahead tonight...Woo hoo.....Finally went to bed around Midnight...We were docking in Key West in the morning at 7 am and I was going to TRY and get everyone out of bed early to get into Key West.
  13. Spent some more time relaxing on the Lido deck. I love people watching so we hung out, grabbed a couple of drinks and watched the kids swim. My son who is 21 and a senior at Ole Miss had his friend with him on this trip so I think he really enjoyed it as he had someone to hang with. We had 4 girls with us that were all around the same age...from 12-14 so they really had a blast. All of them went to the Circle C and met up with a bunch of other kids their age so everyone really had a great time on this cruise. It's nice when the kids have someone their own age to hang with. We let my daughter who is 13 have alot of freedom on the ship.She's a good kid and very trustworthy. We even let her stay out with the girls in our group at the Circle C activities until midnight some nights. At that age they do not have to have someone check them in our out, they just come and go as they please. Our daughter checked in with us often as were were usually hanging out by the pool or in someone's room. I looked through the Fun times again and saw there was a Sports Trivia down at the Stars Bar in a few minutes. My son is a Sports Fantatic...so I figured he would be there trying to get his ship on a stick first. We walked down there and him and his friend were sitting there.... dang it...I grabbed a sheet anyway to see if I knew any of the answers...Not a good idea..I am a HUGE football fan but don't know much about any team except the Miami Dolphins.....I've been a fan of them practically my whole life since I was born and raise in Miami...So sad to say, I only got about 4 or 5 answers correct and sure enough my son got almost every one correct and ended up with his Ship on a Stick....
  14. First fun day at sea...Like I said I love sea days...no rush to get up or get off the boat..just relax and enjoy. This cruise though I made a vow that I was going to win one of those coveted "24 carat solid plastic SHIP ON A STICK"...My husband and son won one on our last cruise and I could never manager. So we were going to have a contest to see who could win the first one. Woke up around 8:30 and wandered up to the Lido and enjoyed the breakfast buffet. Went and got an ham/cheese/mushroom omlette at the omlette station on the Lido. It was yummy. Everything else looked good as well with all your basics bacon, eggs, sausages, hash browns, cereal, all kinds of pastries etc. The lines weren't too bad. Ate out on the Lido with my sister and her husband and looked through the Fun Times to see what the fastest way I could win a ship on a stick. Aha, I see a general knowledge trivia contest going on at the Stars Bar in an hour. Walked around and went into the Galleria shops and looked around. Walked in and made my 2nd donation to the Casino and it was time for the Trivia contest at the Stars Bar which was right outside the Casino entrance. My sister had shown up by now so we played together. There were quite a few people playing so my chances didn't seem too good. I knew alot of the answers, think I got like 15 out of 20. Drat, someone else had 19. No ship this time. Wandered up to the Lido deck where my DH and his mom were hanging out having lunch. Think they both had the cheeseburgers from the grill. yummmm...I loved these and had them several times. DH was waiting for the "Hairy Chest contest" which was how he was planning on winning his ship on a stick. If you've never seen this, it's hilarious. It's not really about who has the hairiest chest, it's who can act like the biggest fool :). My DH should be a shoo in..:) Just kidding. There were 6 men up there and they picked 3 women to be "judges". Each man took turns strutting to the music and slowly taking off his shirt. The women and the crowd judged them. My DH was insane, he attempted to do some old break dancing moves from the old days and even went down to the floor. It was sooo dang funny. The crowd was loving it....(my husband however paid for these "moves" for the rest of the trip, he could barely walk up the stairs:)...I couldn't laugh...Anyway, they eliminated two of the contestants and went over to the pool with the remaining four. Each one had to do a Swimming "routine" to be judged again...OMG....It was so freakin hilarious...DH jumped in and I swear did really well, even slowly going up the stairs like he was pole dancing..the crowd loved it. The way the guy did the judging though I think the crowd misunderstood. When he held his hand over who the crowd thought should be disqualified they all cheerd and clapped for my DH who I think they wanted to stay in but he was eliminated...:( Ahhhh Drat...no ship on a stick for him...Good for me though as I still had a chance to be the first.. I do have to tell you though that people all over the ship for the rest of the cruise recognized my husband from the Hairy Chest contest and came up to him laughing, slapping him on the back and saying "Oh man..Your THAT guy.." It was alot of fun...I've got a few pictures to post but seriously, they don't do this justice....
  15. We all met up for dinner in the MDR that night and like I stated earlier our party of 15 were seated right next to each other which was nice. We had brought two bottles of wine on board but didn't bring one tonight. Forgot to mention I also brought along a 12 pack of coke and diet coke, an 8 pack of sugar free red bull (very wise choice as this gave me the extra energy I needed to do everything I wanted to fit in) and an 8 pack of bottled water. We met our waiters, Jorge and Martin. I cannot say enough good things about this duo, they were AWESOME. They made our dinners very enjoyable and treated everyone as if they were family. We talked to Jorge alot about his country, Colombia, and he told us all about his family etc. They always remembered what we drank, my daughter had chocolate milk every night and my Mother In Law requested two glasses of milk. After the first night they always had it waiting for them when they sat down. Dinner that night was good as was each and every dinner we ate. I had the pork steak that night and it was perfect. I've got a few food porn pictures but honestly I forgot more than I remembered about taking the food pictures. My family got used to me doing this and sometimes even reminded me..."You wanna get a picture before I start pigging out???". The bar waitress came by but I don't think any of us ever ordered anything at dinner. All enjoyed their food and I had my first Chocolate Melting Cake for dessert...YUUUUUUMMMMMMYYYY...I love these and usually get them once or twice during the cruise. Hubby had the strawberry cheese cake and my son I believe had pecan ice cream maybe. The Maitre'd was Claudio and he was very entertaining. Much better than our last cruise on the Fantasy. Claudio was from Croatia with a strong accent but kept insisting he was from "Sweet Home Alabama" :)././He was very funny. After dinner we took a few photos from the many photographers. They are a bit pushy but you can just say no and they will move on to the next person. If your interested in getting a family picture done though I highly recommend it. They really all turned out very well and its nice to get one while everyone is dressed up. Especially on Elegant night. Hubby thought it was funny after awhile to see how many times he could talk me into getting my picture taken. Not many before I started getting irate with him though :)...We went up to the Lido deck so my Mom could have a smoke and she ended up going to bed around 10:30 or so. It had been a long day but I decided to catch up with my son and his friend in the casino. Made my first donation....:) but had a good time. Went to bed that night around 11:30. Tommorrow our first fun day at Sea...I love Sea Days....
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