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Everything posted by musik07

  1. This is worrisome as Hertz is the only vendor to have pickup/drop off points in Anchorage and Seward!
  2. We canceled our July 2020 Caribbean cruise (assuming it would be canceled and didn't want the money tied up in FCC) with a refundable deposit. With the great deals we have seen just booked the whole family (5 adults) for Alaska next July! My parents are still hopeful they will be on their September Oasis OTS cruise and a 2 week BTB in January so we feel pretty confident. We will reassess once flights come out and discuss how we feel. We booked refundable deposit just to be safe.
  3. Cruising with my grandmothers over Thanksgiving when we were in high school. One of my grandmothers has since passed away and one is 90 and not doing so well. The memories of that trip are some of my fondest (even when we couldn't find one grandmother on CoCo Cay for 45 minutes). I wish I had digital pictures, I am going to have to dig them up at my parents on one of my next visits. It was just awesome family time that I didn't quite appreciate enough as a teenager. My first cruise as an adult with my best friend (on Carnival we were broke!). We went mid-May and went through the first two named storms of the season. I remember laying in our cabin one night and her going "Why are you slamming the drawers" and I thought it had been her, but it was the ship rocking. We played more cards and drank our fare share on that trip! Also got to swim with dolphins in Nassau which was a first and super cool. Alaska on the Millennium this summer. It was just my mom and I and we made so many memories, like seeing bears in the wild eating salmon out of a stream, beautiful sunsets from Cosmos lounge most nights with a drink in hand, and seeing the northern lights (just a minor show). The most unexpected was when we went to the dining room on our last day after Hubbard Glacier and just as we were finishing the waiter came and told us to come to the window and there was a group of Orca out the window. One breached about 50 yards from the ship. I didn't get a great picture but it was magnificent!
  4. Yes! We were hoping to be able to use it as we were celebrity cruisers but it was only for those with Celebrity excursions. We checked onboard
  5. I also forgot to add if you take a Celebrity sponsored excursion there is a hospitality room downtown where you can leave you bags. Since we had booked a transfer independently we didn't qualify. The savings in taking and independent tour completely offset the cost to store bags at the airport. I wish we could have stayed a night in Anchorage and really explored and gone to see different things, however teachers started back at my school about 40 hours after we arrived at my parents local airport. I was so beat I ended up spending the night at my parents and having to rush around on Sunday to get everything done.
  6. We had a similar situation the summer. Most of the celebrity excursions we were interested in were for people with flights after midnight. We took the Alaska Cruise Transportation bus that stopped at the Alaska Wildlife Center. The bus ride was good, the wildlife center was good but our guide was AWFUL. She was all about telling self-promoting stories and jokes. I actually looked up some of the information she was telling us and it was incorrect. Once we got to the airport we attempted to check our bags around 11:45 (8:30 flight) and were told no. They had a place at the airport where you can leave your bags for the day. We left two suitcases and two carry on's. I carried my backpack which held all of the meds and technology for my mom and I (we didn't want to leave it in the airport basically just sitting out behind a rope). We then took the public bus to downtown, and walked around and had a great early dinner. The bus was VERY easy and we felt completely safe. We actually took public transportation in Vancouver as well and remarked that both places had such easy to navigate public transportation and locals were helpful when they saw us looking at maps. We took a bus back around 5:30 and had plenty of time to check in, get through security and even grab a snack before flying. It was great to walk around, see some sights and eat before flying home. One thing we both noticed is that the scales at united seems to add 5 pounds to our luggage (we weighed them before leaving the ship) and we had to do some quick rearranging and throwing away of half used bottles of shampoo and sunscreen. Leave yourself room for souvenirs!
  7. We had Steve the first week of August. He is very nice and personable. He did a presentation on the last day (after we did Hubbard Glacier) where he talked all about his travels, the lessons he has learned and the people he has met. It was a great way to spend an hour or so!
  8. Thanks we had the higher one this summer as a perk. They are just trying to figure out if it is worth it to get the lower one on a cruise with no perks.
  9. Looking for this info too? Is the mower cost package adequate to check email, social media, send messages and read the paper online? My parents won’t use it for more than this and basically get it to check in on my grandma while they are away. We had the more expensive package as a perk this summer and could Facebook voice and FaceTime. I even streamed a bit from FloSports but this isn’t really necessary.
  10. Random Question- What type of internet do you have? The lower one or higher one. My parents are wondering if you can upload pictures on the lower one to somewhere like facebook.
  11. If you have time to get to any of Celia's presentations go! She is wonderful. We attended all but one of her presentations on the Aug. 2 sailing and it truly enhanced our trip. She is a great mix of knowledge and entertainment. She is also extremely personable and was willing to answer questions anytime we saw her. We took a mad dash from deck 4 to 11 with her to try to see an Orca!
  12. We were on the Millie on Aug. 2. There was no hole in our cards, but I did see some teens with them punched. I did read online somewhere that you can't do it because of the RFID in the card but I think that was incorrect. Mine would open the door to our cabin when in my thin fabric wristlet. I only ended up taking it out at the bar and to get on and off the ship.
  13. I am so glad you are back. Your review of your Alaska cruise was great as we cruised the Millie on Aug. 2 and it gave me tons of info. No Transpacific planned (maybe after I retire from teaching in 30 years?) but I am excited to follow along. Especially since the marathon review of the people who booked 7 nights and ended up on the Harmony for 14 nights. Enjoy your cruise!
  14. I live in a large townhouse community. A few weeks ago a townhouse in the group next to me had a major fire. My home was not affected but State Farm called and checked that I was ok and that my hour was. The agent talked me through checking outside and inside just Incase something was damaged. I wouldn’t have even thought they would call or it would register since it was about 6 homes away and not attached. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. I didn’t forget about you all! The first few weeks back at school is crazy. To be honest my suitcase still has some things in it and is on the guest room bed. I am almost settled now so I will hopefully get back to this for a few days, until kiddos come on Monday!! Cruise Day 2- Cruising Inside Passage My mom has really enjoyed cruising the inside passage on her first cruise (Southbound on the Radiance) so I was looking forward to this day. Unfortunately we went through much of the skinnier part of the inside passage overnight and in the very early morning hours. Also, when we woke up it was so foggy you couldn’t see the water and the fog horn was going. It took until mid-afternoon to clear. Regardless we started with breakfast in the buffet. I almost always get the eggs Benedict but I was disappointed. However the bacon and French toast I replaced it with was enjoyable! Our sommelier from the evening before saw us sitting down and came over to see if we wanted any drinks. I felt spoiled already! A latte please😍! After breakfast we went back to our cabin and had a notice that our table for dinner had been changed, which was great! We attended a naturalist talk and then went up to the solarium with books until lunch! After lunch we changed into swim suits, attempted to use the small heated kiddie pools (hot tubs) and then relaxed some more. After two travel days, and a crazy summer before it was needed. I know it was evening chic night but I have no idea what we ate but looking at pictures I think it was steak! We also did the senior officers party. I will say that there wasn’t a single night where I disliked my meal. After dinner we started a routine of going to the naturalist and then the show. We also started trying new drinks before the naturalist presentation. I had never had a Gin and Tonic but it is now my new ‘go-to’. The show that night was a Motown show and while I wasn’t super excited I actually really enjoyed it!! I didn't take a lot of pictures that day but I will leave you with these.
  16. Thanks! I don't have all of the pictures uploaded anywhere and I need to delete a lot of the whale watching ones that just show water but maybe eventually I will get an album up! I got thrown a curveball when I got to school this morning and I am going to be having a much bigger caseload this school year than I anticipated. I need a run to the teacher store at some point and I need to get my DonorsChoose project up on social tonight since Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is doing something with donations tomorrow to double them and I need to figure out a schedule and classroom layout to accommodate my new larger numbers. I haven't even completely unpacked and I am already in PJ's and ready for bed!
  17. We were on the same sailing. It's interesting to hear a different perspective.
  18. Cruise Day 1- After our later than anticipated arrival into Vancouver we were BEAT. We went to bed quite early (my mom says I was out by 9:15) but that lead us to be up extremely early the next morning. I struggle with sleep and time changes (daylight savings does me in) so I as worried about this change. I was up around 4:15am and it was wet and windy out. After some more sleep I was able to catch the ship coming in between buildings I ended up dozing a bit more but mom and I finally decided we were hungry and needed to eat breakfast. It was looking nicer out so we decided to eat, walk down to the waterfront before we headed to the port. The Tim Hortons near the hotel had at least 20 people in line so we went to McDonalds and used the screens to order. We were able to bypass a long line using the screens to order. It wasn’t a fancy breakfast but it worked and we knew we would be onboard for lunch! We then walked down to the waterfront area. My mom has been to Vancouver twice before but I had never been. We saw Canada Place, the float planes and the Olympic torch. I am a GIGANTIC Olympic nerd so seeing the torch was huge. I am already saving to go to the LA games in 2028! After that we walked back to the hotel and made a stop at a pharmacy for last minute supplies and coffee crisp bars (like a coffee KitKat and only sold in Canada!). We packed, checked out and were ready to head to the ship right on time for our 10:30 to 11 am check in time. From the hotel to onboard it was about 45 minutes to an hour. Workers at the hotel hailed our taxi and it cost about 14 (with tip) to the port from the Hyatt Place. The check in was easy, especially with having our set sail passes ready and the keys being at our door. We didn’t love that you had to go up and down and all around to get through the stations. Also the US Customs computer didn’t like my passport so we had a few tense minutes while it was worked out. We stepped onboard to our drink and I was immediately questioned about my age (I am 30.) and ended up with OJ. No big deal because I had the classic package and could get whatever I wanted. I did carry my license all week Incase there were other issues. With the new system of check on we could go right to our rooms and drop our things. Our inside cabin on deck 8 was already ready and we took a few minutes to put items in the safe. Our room was nice and other than in the bathroom we thought there was a lot of storage. The USB plugs at 3 spots helped keep everything organized. Next we set up our internet (we needed to keep in touch with home due to my elderly grandmother) and checked out our dining table. We were immediately displeased as if was just inside the doorway to the dining room shoved against a wall. Dinner the first night was not super enjoyable as we had waiters and people rising by our table. We put in a request for a new table and were told the dining room was over capacity, which was why we were stuck in a hall. Luckily the next morning we found our table had been changed! After this we headed to the buffet for lunch and some beers. We also were able to use WiFi calling to give my Dad a call and check on things at home and the pups. They were helping him work from home all weekend. The rest of the afternoon was uneventful. Our luggage came by 2 and we unpacked before muster. Then we went to deck 12 on the back for sail away. It was crowded but we never felt overcrowded! After that we changed for dinner and headed to our table. I didn’t take menu pictures but this is from night one! After dinner we went to Cosmos for a game show and then to the comedian. After we were still a bit jet lagged so we went to Cafe al Baccio for a warm drink and headed to bed. More to come. I head. Back to work on the morning so I need to put away laundry and get to bed. 5:45 will come early! If you have any questions or want a specific picture let me know. I took over 3000 so I may just have it!! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  19. I didn't forget!! I just didn't realize how busy an Alaska cruise is (not much time to sit by the pool or anywhere and relax!). We just got in yesterday afternoon and I go back to school (teacher) for the fall tomorrow morning so I am trying to get caught up with laundry. To answer the questions I saw already: United Club- No explanation was given, I actually walked to another one (there is an area where you go under a runway to another part of a terminal and I walked back to the one in our first terminal and was going to call my mom to come over) and they didn't accept them either. Both had a large sign outside. We went in the first one and they said no passes and didn't elaborate. I didn't even go in the 2nd one but I saw the same sign. The Old Spaghetti Factory- I will disagree that it is a 'low-end US chain restaurant'. The food was absolutely delicious. My seafood alfredo had more seafood than you would get at a high end seafood restaurant near me for about the same price. The service was excellent, food was delicious and we were served quickly. Since it had been 9 hours since our last meal (and that was airport food) we wanted something filling and when looking at menus both online and before we left this fit the bill. If I was comparing it to the pasta at my local non-chain Italian restaurant it was far superior, and it obviously beats the pasta at both Olive Garden and the Cheesecake Factory. I am very picky and like to eat well (ignore that we ate at McDonalds for breakfast in Vancouver, that's what happens when you are jet lagged and wake up before 5 and are starving) so I wouldn't be raving about it if it wasn't delicious! I will try to post a bit while my laundry is running and if not in the evenings after work this week. It was absolutely the most amazing trip I have ever been on
  20. August 1 Travel day 2 We left from Harrisburg International Airport to y to Vancouver. Our flight was at 8:15 and getting to the airport at 6:10 was far to early for this tiny airport! We checked our bags and were through TSA by 6:30 (with pre-check). We grabbed coffee at Dunkin’ and waited at the gate. We had possibly the best flight ever to Chicago (nice newish plane, direct tv in seat, no wait to takeoff and very smooth). In Chicago we had planned to use one time passes to the United Club but they didn’t allow it so we just hung around our gate for what ended up being almost 4 hours! We had an hour delay out of Chicago due to the pilot coming from another flight that had been delayed. He boarded the plane after the passengers! The flight to Vancouver was very bumpy and uncomfortable but we made it. Customs went quickly and we taxied to the Hyatt Regency in downtown. After checking in we were starving so we walked to Gastown for dinner. We saw the steam clock and ate at The Old Spaghetti Factory. We were seated in the train car and the food was very good. I had seafood fettuccine Alfredo. It came with bread, salad/soup, ice cream and coffee! We were stuffed. We did a bit of roaming around shops and then took the Expo line back to the hotel because we were exhausted and couldn’t fathom the walk up the hill! I love everything moose so be ready!!! I could have spent $1000 yesterday in shops! We saw the steam clock at 6:15 it was less exciting than I expected! Our dinner spot! When in Canada. Eat Tim’s and wear moose PJ’s Now that I am caught up time to get ready to board. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  21. July 31 Travel day 1 I live about an hour from my parents and they are two hours from our airport so this was the day of lots of driving! After a haircut I drove to my parents and had lunch with my Dad. When my Mom got home from work my Dad drove both of us out to my brother and sister in laws place in the Harrisburg area. They would be taking us to the airport the next day. We were able to play with their new pup/ the furry nephew and get dinner as a family at a local brewery before my Dad headed back home and we settled in. It was nice to just chill out and see my brother and sister in law. Craft beer stop! Lots of snuggles from my new furry nephew! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  22. My mom and I are leaving today for the northbound Alaska. Since we have WiFi I will try to post!! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  23. We are traveling on the same cruise. Unfortunately due to work schedules (My mom works until 1 next Wednesday and the school I teach at requires teachers to be back on Aug. 12) we can only fly out the day before and are flying home at 8pm the night the cruise is over (a redeye back to Newark). I am 30 and my mom is in her early 60's. We were supposed to go on a cruise out of San Juan but the flights were more than our flights to Alaska. We were looking at 700-900 per person to San Juan and found great deals for Alaska with a bit of a wonky itinerary.
  24. No clue, however when we were in Aqua last summer on day 1 we went to see where the Persian Gardens were and it was completely packed with people walking around, the door was actually propped open. I don't think it would be relaxing to be in tehre to actually use the loungers.
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