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Everything posted by Missabby

  1. I am sorry to tell you that we had to be out of the cabins by 8am and off the ship by 9am.
  2. Thanks for posting the caramel cookie recipe. Good thing it’s a bit beyond my baking abilities or I would be adding to my post cruise battle of the bulge. Just a few more tidbits and then I’ll let this post fade into history. Library: If you prefer a hard copy book to an electronic read, the Odyssey has a small library along one side of the Seabourn Square. It operates on a trust basis. Find a book, take it back to your cabin, read at your leisure, and return when finished. I’ve usually been able to find something to read. A tip to consider: Try and take time to check out the shelves on embarkation day to have the best chance of finding something you like. If not, just check back periodically as books do come and go throughout the cruise. Bacon: For “extra crispy” bacon afficionados, don’t settle for what they set out in the Colonnade. Ask your server for “extra crispy” bacon. The Colonnade kitchen staff on our cruise made the most amazing crispy bacon. Not a smidge of chewy fat anywhere, which is my idea of perfect. I probably ate enough for the next 10 years and I assure you I’m not kidding. Once they figured out it was me ordering (same time, same table, same order, no leftovers might have given it away), I started to receive a plate with no less than 12-20 full size slices of bacon. Catamaran excursions: We took two of the Seabourn catamaran excursions. One in Tracy/Endicott Arm and one in Misty Fjords. Misty fjords was a touch more scenic because of the tons of harbor seals laying around on the floating ice. Different catamaran boats. Both were nice but we preferred the one in Tracy/Endicott Arm. It was a bit smaller and had far better food and drink. Wishing everyone pleasant future sailing!
  3. I totally agree that the poor post-disembarkation (or pre-embarkation) process is a HUGE mistake on Seabourn's part. I also understand that they were most likely working within certain limitations imposed by the circumstances. (ie; a better charter company wasn't available, the bus isn't allowed to get closer to the hotel, etc.) However, I think they could do better if they tried harder or started planning earlier. Because as seen by DCTraveler244's reaction to cancel a subsequent booking, the chaos experienced by this season's travelers could potentially impact future business. I hope that others who have had the misfortune to suffer through this have also taken the time to express their displeasure directly to Seabourn. I have no clue whether Seabourn actually does anything with their customer surveys or if they simply hand them out just to make us feel like we matter. But management needs to figure it out before Seabourn goes the way of Crystal. Just my opinion.
  4. No need to hate you. 🙂 We learned a long time ago that Mother Nature does as she pleases, not as it pleases us. 😆
  5. More random thoughts for those new to Seabourn. Drinking water: Many have talked about Seabourn switching away from bottled water. I found that the quality in the containers they put in the cabins did vary from day to day and it paid to sniff first before imbibing. Also, smaller containers are set out as you get off the ship. A tip to consider: Many of them are now missing the rubber seal so if you want one that doesn’t leak a lot be sure to look at the top before you grab. The seals are a light gray and you can easily see them. Bar drinks: If you have a favorite bar drink that might not be run of the mill, the bartenders are happy to make it if they have the ingredients on hand and if you can tell them how to make it. Olga at the pool bar had to learn how to make our preferred drink, but she knocked it out of the park every day. A tip to consider: It seems easier on the bartender, if you are able to put the drink recipe on your phone to show them rather than trying to explain. Thomas Keller Grill: We unfortunately side with those who are less than impressed with the TK Grill, but we make usually eat there once. A tip to consider: Make your reservation online soon after final payment so you can have a date and time of your choice. It can fill up fast, so if you wait until you are on board you might miss out. But if you enjoy it and they have additional times available, you can ask to make a second reservation once on board. Cookies: If cookies are your thing, the bakery chefs onboard the Odyssey were making a caramel cookie that was heavenly. The best place to find them was at the patio grill. I’m not sure why, but they didn’t put them out in the Seabourn Square. However, one day I happened to mention them and they simply went into the back room and brought some out for me. Binoculars: A tip to consider: If you have binoculars, try and find the space to bring them. They come in very handy in the inner passage if you like to get closer views of the glaciers and the animals. We observed bears, eagles, sea otters, whales, seals and mountain goats which would have been very difficult to spot without our binoculars. Getting off the ship: Not sure why after numerous Seabourn cruises we did not know this fact, but you do not have to let them take your luggage off the ship at the end of the cruise. We wanted to be off the ship fairly early and did not want to hassle with looking through rows of luggage to find our bags, so we asked if we could just wheel them off the ship ourselves. It was an immediate yes, we could do it at a time of our choosing, and I did not have to worry about packing something that we might end up needing.
  6. In appreciation to the folks who were kind enough to answer my questions, I am paying it forward with some observations regarding our recent Seabourn journey to Alaska. This is geared toward those who are thinking about booking a future Alaska cruise, not Seabourn regulars. These are my personal opinions so a lens to view them through may be helpful. We travel about once a year - since 1998. I think we’re pretty easy to please. We do both ocean and river cruising with the random land trip thrown in. We travel with one checked-in bag and one carry-on each. We have cruised with Holland America, Orient, Celebrity, Tauck, Crystal and Seabourn. Seabourn has become a favorite but we did sneak in a trip last year on Crystal’s new expedition ship, the Endeavor, and totally loved it although the ship was not even finished. We are generally DIYers when it comes to arranging flights, hotels, transports and tours. We occasionally do book ship excursions. We have experienced most of the typical travel issues – missed connections, cancelled flights, missing luggage, poor weather and horrible tours. I don’t think I’ll get to everything in one swoop, so if anyone has questions I’m happy to answer if I can. I am going to avoid making comparisons to pre-covid cruise experiences because travel seems to be a whole new ballgame. We booked the Seabourn Odyssey for the Inside Passage & Alaska Fjords, 8/26 thru 9/6. Cabin 641. There are many postings comparing the Quest/Odyssey/Sojourn to the Ovation/Encore so I won’t go into that. Pre-cruise we stayed at the Fairmont Waterfront which is directly across the street from the pier so embarkation day is very easy. Take your luggage down the elevator, out the door, across the street, into the Vancouver pier and check in it with Seabourn. A tip to consider: Checking your bags can be done in advance of your boarding time if you choose to take in more of the city before you embark. Of course, the Pan Pacific Hotel is also a huge hotel right there on the pier. Everyone says to be prepared for rain in Alaska. Please believe them. We had the misfortune of being there while an atmospheric river came through. 9 out of 11 days it rained fairly steadily which is more than usual. Every day we went off the ship I came back with soaking wet shoes even though they were touted as “water resistant”. Our water pants were a staple when getting off the ship and well worth bringing. A tip to consider: Above the refrigerator is a very warm place and we found the space useful to speed up drying out hats, gloves, socks and what not. Also, the hair dryer was very useful on my shoes. I put the Seabourn app on my phone as they suggest and found it to be nothing but an unneeded frustration. You can however, work around most things. They don’t deliver paper tickets for the excursions to your cabin any longer. They show up as a QVC code on your application. But not once did anyone ask to see the code. They simply took our name as we walked into the lounge and crossed us off their list. They also don’t deliver the next day’s schedule in paper format. You are directed to the application or your TV. However, you can go to guest relations and request a paper copy be delivered to your room. “Seeing Bears” I had hoped this would be the highlight of our trip but I knew that high season runs July through August and we were not scheduled to take the Anan Bear Photo excursion until September 3rd. And sure enough, day #2 we received a notification that the excursion was cancelled due to lack of bear sightings. Not unexpected, but disappointing. However, Ketchikan was our first port stop and when you get off the ship you can find a wide assortment of day trips being touted just inside the visitors center as you step off the ship. Even though it was pouring rain we went in search of a possibility of seeing bears. As luck would have it, we were informed that because the weather was so sunny the week before, the bears did in fact retreat from the rivers. But…… the rain brought them back. So, we booked a tour with a local company and drove out to Herring Cove to see bears. Not a lot. A mom with 2 cubs and three other full size bears all frolicking and catching their fill of the salmon running through the river. To us it was worth the drenching we received. A tip to consider: If you are not a natural DIYer, but the ship’s excursion you wanted to book is full, there are many opportunities to easily book a tour just as you step off the ship in most of Alaska’s ports. There are more thoughts, but it's time to start dinner. 🙂
  7. There are YouTube videos of a 757 and Airbus airplanes landing at RKV, so it appears small to mid-sized jets can land there (e.g., 757, 737, A320). What the RKV airport authority allows is the question. As this is a charter flight, it's difficult to find out what exactly does land there. FlightAware showed nothing between Kangerlussuaq and either RKY or KEF, probably because they are charter flights..
  8. Wow thanks for such a quick reply. Next question if you don't mind. Did you find it to be truly waterproof of should we pack our cameras in zip lock bags for protection?
  9. And perhaps an odd question if anyone knows. If you are flying back to Reykjavik from Kangerlussuaq on the charter and going ashore is via 'zodiac tender' how does one navigate a wheeled carryon bag? I'm wondering if I need to choose alternative carry-ons. If anyone has info I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
  10. Thank you so much for taking the time to share. If possible could you post a picture of the backpack Seabourn provides. Thanks
  11. So one quick question. Are the kayak and zodiacs paid excursions on the Venture? They were on the Quest down in the Antarctic but the Quest is not an expedition ship. Thanks.
  12. Shark b8 - Thank you for asking my question. The answer is exactly what I expected so now it's up to me to decide and keep my fingers crossed. The bear video makes me very jealous, but I'm very glad you had good weather and good sightings. FlyerTalker - Thank you for the reminder about those video cameras. I watched them everyday for months before our polar bear trip to Churchill but had forgotten about them. I will now have a new daily activity at the breakfast table.
  13. Thank you both for sharing your info on the Anan bear viewing. We are signed up for the longer 7 hour photography excursion at Anan on Sept. 3. It is my understanding that September is late in the season and the chances of seeing bears is diminished so I am questioning my decision. We have always found the guides and expedition team members to be fairly honest and forthright whenever we discussed our wildlife viewing plans. Shark b8 perhaps if the opportunity arises on your excursion you wouldn't mind inquiring of your guide about the viability of actually seeing bears in September. If the topic doesn't come up, no problem. We are well aware of the fickleness of wildlife sightings and I will just have to weigh our chances against the cost and time of the excursion. Looking forward to hearing how your bear viewing goes. Hope you have a good weather day.
  14. Thanks for posting all the fabulous pictures. We are interested in possibly taking one of the bear excursions so it's disappointing that you didn't see any bears. Would you mind saying which excursion it was that you took? Was it the Anan bear location? Thanks so much.
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