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About Alsmez

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  1. We are sailing on Celebrity Solstice out of Vancouver and back into Seattle, Thursday May 21- Friday May 29. We have never been to either Seattle or Vancouver, so we would like to spend a couple of days in each city during the trip. We will be flying from NYC, and given the way the cruise falls in the week, we were thinking our best plan might be to fly into Seattle the Saturday or Sunday before the cruise, spend a couple of days there, then get to Vancouver for a couple of days before hopping on the ship. We could then fly directly home and have a full weekend to recover from jetlag before heading back to work. The only issue with this plan seems to be getting from Seattle to Vancouver, which I didn't realize was as long a trip as it is. There will be four of us, so renting a car might be a good option, but one-way rentals are rather expensive. Any other options I'm missing? Two of our party (my parents) are in their 70s and my dad is mobile but grumpy about it; I'm not sure he will be down for the Bolt Bus. Amtrak? Other ideas? We'd also love recommendations on things to see and do in both cities, as well as hotel recommendations. We were thinking of renting a car for the entire four days but depending on the availability of cabs/public transportation/etc., it may just be easier to stay somewhere central to the things we want to do and get around that way. If you were traveling with a grumpy septuagenarian with bad knees, what would you do? Thanks in advance for your advice!
  2. Following with interest. We are planning to rent a car in Juneau and need ideas!
  3. There is a shower, just outside of the hot tub. Shade is basically non-existent, other than a few pod chairs that have awnings that can be raised/lowered. DH and I spent a lot of time in those!
  4. I just tried to reserve a car through the Avis website at the Mill Street location and I keep getting an error message stating that the location is closed at the times I requested. I called and their business hours are 9am to 2pm - do they allow after-hours drop offs? It seems insane to only be able to rent for a few hours when we have all day in port. As an alternative, are there shuttles to the airport location (or is it easy enough to get a taxi)?
  5. We have been to Qsine a couple of times and I have to disagree. The food is more or less the same quality you might find in the buffet, dressed up with silly presentations to make it seem like something worth paying an upcharge. The concept was done to death long before it made it onto X's ships and it doesn't surprise me at all that they are implementing Le Petit Chef in its place, although IMO that's not really an improvement.
  6. Thank you Alan, that is very helpful! Getting on/off buses, boats etc is no problem as long as there are grab bars. After talking to my mom, I think we are going to rent a car in Ketchikan and Juneau so we can see what we like at our own pace (and drop my parents close to the entrances of things - DH and I can then go park and walk back to the venues), and do whale watching in ISP and the train and flightseeing in Skagway.
  7. Yes, I found Mountain Flying and a few others out of Skagway and Haines. Basically every review says it's the most amazing experience they've ever had, so we are going to make time for it no matter what!
  8. Thank you! I checked out a couple of these but from what I can tell, the flights from Juneau don't do Glacier Bay, just general glacier flightseeing closer to Juneau. It looks like we're going to have to do this in Skagway if we really want to do it. Luckily we should have plenty of time for the train in the morning and a flight in the afternoon given our long hours in port.
  9. That's an interesting deal - our agent didn't offer us the option to take a non-refundable deposit in exchange for $200 OBC, although that might have been because I made it pretty clear we might have to move this one around. That's actually a great deal if you are certain of your dates.
  10. Thanks for a great review! We are in agreement on most points. I actually forgot to mention Sky Lounge in my review, other than to say it was damp and musty, but my DH remarked immediately upon walking in there that they must have run out of money before they got to it, LOL. Sushi on 5 was pretty empty on our cruise too, and although I like sushi (and have enjoyed Sushi on 5 on other ships), I didn't care for its location or situation on Summit - it felt more like a lounge that just happened to be in use as a restaurant rather than a proper restaurant of its own. I also think cruise passengers struggle with the a la carte pricing - I know we don't care for it. Service in Cellar Masters wasn't too bad on our cruise but I think the layout of Cellar Masters/Rendezvous confuses people - I saw many people on our cruise try to order a cocktail from the Rendezvous menu at Cellar Masters, not realizing that it is supposed to be a wine bar exclusively. Again, with no physical separation of the spaces, the lines are blurred. We felt the bartenders all over the ship were overextended and most lacked the training required to make a decent cocktail of any kind (on or off the menu). I agree that a lot of it has to do with the drink packages - as you said, it benefits them to have package holders drink less.
  11. Interesting - I thought the $100pp deposit when booking on board was pretty standard. Perhaps they don't offer that particular perk with the non-refundable fares? We just booked a refundable fare while onboard Summit and the deposit was $100pp, I didn't even have to ask about it.
  12. Following with interest - we are doing a similar itinerary next year and thus far my thinking on excursions parallels yours. Can't wait for the next installment!
  13. That's helpful, actually - thank you! It seems like whale watching is big in Juneau so perhaps we'll switch tactics and do whales there, flightseeing in ISP. ETA: We also have a very long stop in Skagway, so it's possible we could do the scenic train and a flightseeing tour on the same day, depending on scheduling. That may be an option if my parents choose not to join DH and I for flightseeing.
  14. Great advice - I think this is what we'll do!
  15. Yes, we are leaning toward one of the 6 passenger boats, but we'll be a group of four and since the slightly larger boats are a bit less expensive, we may elect to do one of the 20-25 pax charters and save some cash. We shall see!
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