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Northern Aurora

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About Northern Aurora

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Fairbanks, AK
  • Interests
    reading, quilting
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    the next cruise

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  1. While Seward has a small airstrip there is no commercial air service into Seward. The closest airport is Anchorage. The Alaska Railroad offers daily train service during the summer. Or folks can drive. Several companies offer motor coach service or you could opt for a one-way car rental. While scenery is subjective, the Alaska Railroad route is generally considered to be more scenic, but the drive is enjoyable too.
  2. I also think that they will be dropped off at either the Dena'ina Center or the Eagan Convention Center. But I wonder if the OP has skimmed the trip reports organized by year located at the top of the Alaska CC forum page. My memory, which certainly could be faulty, is that the location has been mentioned in those reports.
  3. We have been in Celebrity Suites on three of the M-class ships and two the S-class ships. I am a short woman -- 5'. I am also very flexible. On both classes of ships I sit on the edge of the tub when either entering or exiting, bring my knees up toward my chin and swing my legs over. But it does seem to me that the CS tub is higher on the M-class ships than on the S-class ships.
  4. While we have received reimbursement for several of our canceled cruises, we also elected to have FCCs on some others. Our FCC certificates indicate that they are not transferable.
  5. If your OBC is a booking perk from Celebrity it will be non-refundable.
  6. RICCruisers: Jeylane is correct. From their inception both Luminae and Blu have had the policy of pooling their server tips. Sometimes the maitre' d will collect the envelopes and divide the tips, or sometimes they will elect among themselves a specific waiter to collect, count and allocate. But it is my understanding that the sommelier is not included in the pool. I don't know how the wait staff tips are handled in the MDR as the last time we were in the MDR was when we were on our "free" Zenith cruise (not really "free" given the amount of money you spend to reach the Zenith loyalty level). We also have provided additional tips to the stateroom attendant and butler using the form. While we have select pre-paid gratuities as a perk, I always feel that these folks work so hard that we provide additional cash. And when we have unused non-refundable OBC then we use the form to provide provide an even larger tip.
  7. On Celebrity you can obtain a form from either Guest Relations or the Michael's Club/Retreat concierge to allocate unused non-refundable OBC to designated staff.
  8. We also received our e-mail about thirty minutes ago that our Asian sailings are cancelled. I had been expecting this to happen as the embarkation port would have been Yokohama, and I suspect it will be some time before Japan will accept cruise ships. We were on the Solstice in March on what would have been a B2B2B2B when passenger operations were suspended and we left after the first leg. And then we were scheduled to be on the Eclipse September 25th sailing Vancouver to Yokohama and the following leg to Singapore (we would have been on the Eclipse today-- sigh). Now this B2B pairing has been cancelled. Heaven only knows when we will be on another cruise.
  9. Like so many others I also share the OP's pain. We were on the Solstice in Australian waters when cruising ceased for passengers so cut a planned B2B2B2B series very short and headed for home. Today, September 25, we would have boarded the Eclipse in Vancouver for a B2B (trans-Pacific to Yokohama and then on to Singapore). But we are healthy and safe. And who knows when we will resume cruising. A very strange world indeed.
  10. While Blu is the assigned MDR for Aqua class staterooms, suite passengers are allowed access on a space available basis. Ashland: A Sky Suite 2 (what you are referencing as a SS2) is essentially a relatively larger stateroom. You will have access to Luminae as your assigned dining room. If you have mentioned which ship you will be sailing on I have missed that reference, but you will have access to Michael's Club/the Retreat (the name depends on which ship you will be sailing on). All bars are available to you, but if your order a drink priced over the premium price level you will be charged the differential. But remember that the contents of your in room mini-bar are not covered by the premium beverage package.
  11. I have never heard of anyone not booked on the cruise being able to book the cruise ship contracted train. An acquaintance lived in Seward for a number of years, and during the years they lived there they would have loved to book the cruise contracted train to reach the Anchorage airport during the summer months. While Seward has an airstrip, they don't have commercial air service so Seward residents fly out of Anchorage. Hopefully someone has more recent information.
  12. We have done land trips to both countries and also have done B2B2B2B cruises which included both Australian and New Zealand ports. We almost generally stay on a ship for at least a B2B pairing, and one of the real advantages to stringing a set of cruises is the amount of flying needed for those of us who reside in North America to reach these countries. I also echo the sentiment that a trip limited to the cruise ports means that folks will see a small portion of the countries. For example we spent five nights in Uluru in 2011, and found it fascinating.
  13. Welcome to Cruise Critic, and I also hope I can welcome you to a visit next May in my home state of Alaska. With any of the Celebrity beverage packages you will simply give your sea pass card to the beverage server when you order. The package level will be indicated on the card. There will be nothing to sign and no additional tip will be expected. If you develop a special relationship with a particular server an additional tip would be appreciated by that particular server. But that decision is up to you. And your gratuities perk also includes your stateroom attendant and dining room staff. But again, if you are very pleased with the service from these departments an additional tip to your particular stateroom attendant or dining room staff would be appreciated, but is not expected nor mandatory. While tipping is a very personal issue I will add that through the years we have generally been very pleased with our stateroom attendants and dining room staff so generally do provide an additional cash tip at the end of the cruise.
  14. If you book a cruise line sponsored Seward to Anchorage early morning ARR trip (which you can only book, at least in the past, through cruise lines) you will be delivered to the Anchorage airport. If you book the "regular" Seward to Anchorage early evening run you will be delivered to the Anchorage downtown ARR depot.
  15. In Anchorage Celebrity has also used the Marriott Anchorage Downtown. In Denali Celebrity has started using the Denali Park Village. The DPV is a complex of lodge buildings and is located several miles south of the entrance to Denali National Park. While we go down to DNP at least once each summer (we live about a two hour drive north of the park) I don't pay that much attention to where the Celebrity cruise tours are staying. I was under the impression that Celebrity currently uses the DPV. So I wonder when Mary Lou stayed at the Grand Denali. If I had a choice I would select the Grand Denali given its location near the park entrance. The Alaska Cruise Critic forum has threads dedicated to trip reports. The reports are organized by year, and, if my memory is correct, there are reports submitted by folks who took Celebrity cruise tours.
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