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About SoBaycruiser

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  1. We were just in Fairbanks for our precruise land trip. We came in a day early. Unfortunately it rained the whole time. We just wanted to get out and walk a little. We took the hotel shuttle to downtown and walked along the river to the visitor center which was quite good. We had lunch at the Fudge Pot. Lots of locals as well as tourists. Very small place. I assume you are on a precruise land trip with Princess. They probably will take you on the riverboat. That was excellent. As as far as the Aurora... it has a 27 -28 day cycle as to high activity. There are apps or THIS is a good site. You can see Aug 28 has some mild activity (Kp=3) predicted but Sept 1 is your best bet (Kodiak=5). We had clouds and rain and limited darkness in early August. I hope you have a chance of seeing it.
  2. I’ll just add a few comments to what the others have said. In response to cruise ship size... the smallest ships tend to attract an older crowd...60+. Not many families go on the under 1000 person ships. But the really big ships are limited where they can dock. Excursions... determine what you REALLY want to do. If wildlife is high on your list, and you want to see whales and possibly bears, than Icy Strait Point and Juneau have some great excursions. But choose your months appropriately. Don’t go in mid May if you want to see bears. Land portion... we just finished a Fairbanks to Seward pre-cruise land trip and we found it exhausting. Distances are far and we found ourselves sitting in a bus or train an awfully lot of the time. I was surprised to find that the day in Denali is a day spent on a bus. We only got off for bathroom breaks. While we did see caribou, bears, and a moose... it was a lot of sitting on an old school bus. We loved the train ride... especially because we could get up and walk around. Even though we boarded our ship in Seward, we didn’t spend any time in Kenai Fjords National Park on the precruise tour. Luckily we had visited that before and the boat tour was fantastic... up close to a glacier and we saw a pod of Orca. I would think if you can, that would be on your bucket list. Skagway is great for the train trip. Basically, you have to first set your priorities, then see when is the best time of year to fulfill them, and then see if you can find a ship that meets the bill.
  3. Yes we flew a float plane over to Katmai. We are indeed on a cruise. They met 5 of us at the port. We booked the trip in March for the August trip but the others booked more recently. We were exceptionally lucky with the weather. Normally bad weather can cancel the flights. However, they said this summer has been the warmest they can remember.
  4. We went to mile 92 and back on Monday in the pouring rain and it was a mess. Plus the windows in the bus totally fogged up and you couldn’t see out unless you opened them. We had a great guide and driver who did find us some wildlife... but 13 hrs was too long in those conditions.
  5. I was in Denali on Monday night when the Aurora was expected. Unfortunately it rained that night and the next. There is an app that will tell you the prediction and likelihood due to clouds. Otherwise this is a good site: https://www.gi.alaska.edu/monitors/aurora-forecast PS... there is also an app that helps you photo it if all you have is your iPhone. I had both apps, it weather failed me.
  6. Yesterday we had the most magnificent experience... we went on a bear viewing tour with Sea Hawk Air. It’s not cheap but this was for a special treat. They flew us in a float plane over to Katmai Natl Park and Preserve where we landed on a bay. ( They go different places depending on where the bears are currently fishing). They provided us with waders to walk out of the water and onto a delta of a river that attracts bears. There is no viewing structure. There were a few bears already there and we were instructed to stay close together and talk in a semi-soft voice. They said these bears were used to photographers and as long as they didn’t feel threatened or the fishing area being impacted, they’d leave us alone. Our wonderful guide and co-owner Jo was amazing. She shared their body language and explained the interaction between the bears. We found a spot where we sat down and watched them and took hundreds of photos. Sometimes we’d see them from afar and they slowly came closer and closer as they fished. One bear was probably only 20’ away! We spent three hours there and saw 9 bears. We finished the tour with a huge box lunch as we flew back to Kodiak. I was in seventh heaven.
  7. We always take our swimsuits. We use the Jacuzzi on cold weather trips. We have a fun picture on our Norway trip that went above the Arctic Circle with us in the jacuzzi with our pina coladas and a friend standing behind us in his parka and ski hat.
  8. We are currently in Fairbanks and it has been raining pretty constantly for two days. I have previously used rain pants for a zodiac excursion but did not bring them for this trip. If you are just walking around with an umbrella, then just spraying ScotchGuard waterproofing on the lower half of your jeans and your athletic shoes works fine. We do have a waterproof windbreaker for those moments that the the umbrella comes down. ScotchGuard now has a heavy duty waterproofing especially for shoes. It worked well. We walked around for an hour out in the rain this morning and came back dry.
  9. We are flying into Fairbanks tomorrow for our pre-cruise land package. We found trying to get a one-way flight (that didn’t land around midnight or later) to be very expensive. We are flying up from LA. Considering the drop-off charge for a rental in Fairbanks, you might want to consider renting in Anchorage.
  10. That is exactly my concern when I saw that we had lunch scheduled in Anchorage. We will get the left over slots... e.g. nights after long days in port. Luckily we have a lot of days at sea on our way to Japan so I’m hoping for more choice. I’d love to hear about your lessons learned. Azamara seems to depend on people researching their website for info rather than sharing it with them through emails,etc. if it weren’t for CC, I wouldn’t even know about the Chef’s table or a White Night. We booked a Disney cruise with our grandkids next Spring and I’ve already had more direct contact from Disney cruises about what to expect than I have from Azamara. Rita ps... looks like we may get a lot of rain during our precruise land tour... disappointing. Nothing we can do but make the best of it.
  11. I’ve become an avid watcher as well because we have an excursion out of Kodiak planned on the 8th to see the bears salmon fishing. This webcam continues to give me hope that the salmon are still running. 9 more days to go!
  12. Interesting. I got my edoc copy from the website when I checked in. It was incomplete (didn’t contain the land portion) so I called my TA who hadn’t received anything. He called AZ and got a copy of the edoc and forwarded it to me by email. I got nothing printed out or mailed to me. With Bonnie’s help I got an updated edoc online with the land portion included. So I was confused when people said they were receiving packages. Thanks for all who shared.
  13. At one time I remember one of Rship lines allowed ONE night prebooking in the specialty restaurants thus allowing everyone a chance to book. That seems fair to me and would allow people to book special occasions. Just because someone arrives early on embarkation day should not give them the advantage. They could open up reservations at the same time they allow check-in. By then they should know the plans for the White night or Amazamara evening and could post that as well.
  14. LuAnn, I’ve seen others mention receiving a package in the mail. What’s in the package? Do only people who book direct with Azamara get this? PS... looking forward to meeting you on the Aug 7 cruise.. Rita
  15. Thank you SO much. We are actually flying in a day early so we will not be met at the airport. However we are staying at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge for our additional day so will expect the packet when we check in. BTW, I asked how many were on our land package and the gal said only 6. So I doubt there will be a big coach for us. I really appreciate that you spoke with Phillip and guest relations about what was obviously a problem. I have been concerned about the late arrival. I figured if we had lunch in Anchorage and then had to travel to Seward it would be 3-3:30...I wasn’t pleased about that. Getting there after 4 is worse. We want to book a Chef Table and we have some spa credit we would like to book as well... let alone just relaxing for a moment and enjoying the ship. We have been on Azamara once 11 years ago. And Phillip was hotel manager on that cruise! Anyway, maybe with only 6 of us, lunch will go quicker and we can be on our way sooner. BTW, what Chefs Tables did they offer you... I assume French and Italian... was a third offered? Rita
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