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Everything posted by fmrlkr

  1. Thank you. I find my life is less stressful if I stay positive.
  2. Thank you. Alaska is our very favorite cruise.
  3. We know this very well. Thank you.
  4. Yes, you need to do what you can and go where you want when you can.
  5. Me too. Again it is very unlike me so I am very grateful.
  6. Thank you. He is doing much better. He started improving and all the home therapy stopped (Physical, occupational, speech and home health care) just weeks before the covid restrictions.
  7. Late winter 2019 I began researching Alaska cruises to celebrate my husbands 80th birthday in May 2020. This would be our 4th Alaska cruise, we have 30+ cruises since 2001. I stumbled across a fantastic price on an Alaskan cruise on the Joy. I immediately called my PVP. He pointed out that that price was for May 2019 not 2020. In a spur of the moment decision, very unlike me, I decided to book for 2019 less than 4 months out. I was able to use 2 future cruise certificates but the balance was due immediately. Once booked I started to look for flights. To make it work I had to book arriving in Seattle 2 days ahead of the cruise and leaving one day after the cruise. Well, I thought, two trips in one, we would explore Seattle. So I turned to hotel rooms. Since we were going to be there I wanted to be able to walk around so after looking at my options we ended up booking at the Charter Hotel (a Hilton property) within walking distance of Pikes Market. 2 extra days in Seattle, hotel and food started evening out the savings on the cruise. I decided to take a "whatever" attitude, very unlike me, and we did what we wanted, bought what we wanted and spent what we wanted. After a great full day in Seattle we boarded the Joy and had a super cruise and again did, bought, spent what we wanted. LOVED the Joy! Here we are one year later and the cruise I planned to book isn't happening. In the mean time my husband has been in the hospital 3 times with various health concerns. In all probability that will be the last cruise he ever takes, for a variety of reasons. Although I still have 2 future cruise credits I have gotten the value out of them what I paid so I will just wait and see what the future of cruising holds. We have been talking a lot lately about how luckily we were that I made a mistake reading the NCL site last year. I wrote a review of the cruise titled Best Cruise Ever? I can now adamantly say that yes! It was the best cruise ever, for us.
  8. $20 at the beginning of the cruise to our cabin steward with our requests for the room. $20 at the end of the cruise if the steward was good. $5 at specialty restaurants for exceptional service. $4 for room service in the morning when they bring our coffee and sweet rolls.
  9. On our last transatlantic cruise at the last port as we were getting ready to board somewhat early and talking about what to do with our remaining euros we saw our room steward getting off to head into town. We called him over and gave him all the euros we had, it was not much. He was very appreciative. Two birds, one stone.
  10. DH tells this story: A salesman goes into a diner for breakfast. He tells the waitress he is new in town and asks what the people are like. She asks him what the people are like where he comes from. He replies that they are snakes in the grass, they cannot be trusted, and will lie to your face. The waitress tells him that he will find that the people here are just like that. Later that day a salesman comes in for lunch and tells the waitress that he is new in town and asks what the people are like. She asks him what the people are like where he comes from. He tells her that they are the salt of the earth, friendly people who will give you the shirt off their back. The waitress tells him that he will find that the people here are just like that. So I say, "What have your other vacations been like? This one will be like those. "
  11. You are welcome. Have a great time. We went in September several years ago and really enjoyed that time of the year. One of my favorite pictures from of DH and I is one taken in Skayway with the leaves in the trees behind us turning color. We prefer traveling off season and for Alaska that's either early cruises or late cruises.
  12. We were traveling in Portugal staying at the Pousadas (a chain of luxury, traditional or historical hotels in Portugal ) which had a special called "Golden Age" which at the time was offering 40% off for seniors. At one hotel we asked for the Golden age discount and the clerk said "Oh for the old people". He was not being rude, it was just the translation.
  13. Thank you. You made me actually lough out loud!
  14. On Saturday October 16, 1999 DH and I were at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA when I woke up in the middle of the night because the bed was shaking. I called out to my husband (who was born in California and lived there the first 38 years of his life) he replied, “don’t worry, it’s just an earthquake”. Yep, just an earthquake. We had a corner room and the curtains were swaying back and forth. As we got up to get in the doorway of the bathroom, we could see the water in the pool looking like large waves. Once it ended, we went down to see what was going on. Panic in the lobby, crying and screaming and huddling. People checking out to get to the airport. Meanwhile the maintenance crew was already fixing the cracks in the walls. We were scheduled to leave that afternoon, so we waited until the chaos died down and headed for the airport. We boarded our plane and in the seats behind us was a family, mother, father and 5-year-old boy. This was back in the day, so the boy had his Sony Walkman with his earphones. He was obviously listening to Disney music because he was singing along. His parents kept shushing him, but DH and I smiled at each other enjoying it. As the plane took off the little boy said “Up, Up big fella.” And as we reached cruising altitude he shouted out “BEST VACATION EVER!” Since 1999 when we return from a vacation and people ask us how it was, we always say “Best. Vacation. Ever”. Thank you, little boy, (now 25 years old) for starting one of our favorite traditions. So, I am officially declaring this “BEST CRUISE EVER” until the next one.
  15. Victoria We did not get to Victoria until around 6pm. The last time we were here while we were in a shop picking up the last of our gifts, DH asked the woman at the counter if they gave military discount since he was wearing his Marines polo. She looked and him and said yes, of course. We just love Canadians! So here are some of my recommendations. Take the time to sit in the observation lounge in the afternoon. Read a book. Have a scone with clotted cream. Order room service coffee in the morning. We tip them $4. You don’t have to tip but you should, $1, $2, $3. Don’t have a melt down at the elevators. Let your room steward know what your schedule is. Once Mark understood our schedule our room was always clean and we only saw him when we went looking for him. Visit places on the ship during non prime time. Debarkation We put our luggage our before we went to bed. We leisurely got off the ship. The line of passengers with luggage was long. We got a porter, he picked up our luggage (2 pieces) we went to the porter line and were out of there. We had the red eye leaving at 11:45 so we stored our luggage and walked around Pike Market. Had another scone. I mean it GO! Had a late lunch at the Athenian. We went to Target, on 2nd and shopped for some snacks for the airplane, which we did not eat. Our car picked us up, we went to the airport no flight problems and we got home by 9am.
  16. Alaska is our favorite of all cruises. Sit back and enjoy.
  17. There are a lot of jeans. It is very casual. We too, like to dress for dinner. I took 2 pair of black dinner pants, they took up very little room and 3 pair of black heavier weight pants along with my top. 3 of the tops were fancier and I wore them to dinner. Since we never ate anywhere more than 3 time I was golden.
  18. Glad to hear it. We were on the Jewel for a 9 day Alaska and love the ship. It is perfectly designed for Alaska.
  19. Sea Day Random thoughts. We used our free laundry twice, it’s one of our favorite perks because we can pack less. Once I booked this cruise, I went to Kohls to look at clearance merchandise which just happened to be winter clothes. I was able to buy 10 long sleeve shirts each under $10, some only $3, I used my 30% coupon and had all my tops for less than $50. Once we got home, they were washed and put up for next winter when I will have all new tops for the season. We were on our balcony all the time. We would not do an Alaska cruise without having a balcony. We shopped in the ship store for the last-minute items we needed. The store is not nearly as good as Carnivals shops. I want to reinforce, shop in Ketchikan or Skagway. Being on a cruise ship makes me sleep better than any where else. I just love the rocking of the ship. Afternoon naps on sea days are about as good as it gets. I don’t understand all the criticism of the food. Nothing was Bad. Some was adequate, some was good, and a few things were great. I’m talking to you tiramisu at La Cusina! If you don’t care for something get something else. If it arrives cold mention it and get new. The buffet is what it is. Hunt for what you do like. We ate two dinners in T/S and were pleased. One night they had eggplant with spaghetti, and it was delicious. The deserts are very good. To sum up, don’t let a cold app or busy elevators over shadow all the really good things going on.
  20. It is more casual, wear whatever you are comfortable in. There is a dress up or not night, ours was on Day 2, Sunday. This is a good opportunity to dress up and have pictures taken. We saw people all week dressed up or down. Please, I beg of everyone, do not wear a baseball cap in a dining room, it's just rude and inappropriate. If you just have to wear a baseball cap go to the buffet.
  21. Skagway. If you have never had the continental room service menu, please try it. We always order coffee for 2, fruit Danish for DH, Blueberry muffin for me. Occasionally we add juice or a banana or sliced melon, it just depends. I fix our coffee and we go out on the balcony to start the day. In Alaska the sun is already up, in the Caribbean we sit watching the sun come up. Later we will go and have a true breakfast. Today we went to T/S and had the Salmon and something else. Skagway has some great excursions. You can’t go wrong with any that involve the White Pass Railroad. We designed our own version of a tour based on the Historical City and Salmon bake. We called it the City Shopping and Halibut Fry. We waited and watched as everyone got off to meet their tour. Once the crowds died down, we got off the ship. The city has a shuttle bus to take you from the ship to town. It is $2 each way or $5 for all day. Well worthwhile. Our driver said Skagway has a population of just under 1,000 people and on the day we were there 16,000 cruise passengers arrived. I believe during the summer there are more residents they are just not year-round. We strolled up and down the street looking in shops. There are stores that run the gamut from touristy t-shirts to high end craftsmen and artists. Fun food finds also. If Disney were to design an Alaska town, it would be Skagway. After shopping, around lunch time we went to a side street to Woodie’s for Halibut fried fish platter. They also had a king crab platter we saw many people getting. There we a long line the whole time we were there. The guy running the place said he went down to the fishing camp 4 miles away the day before and got the Halibut whole and had them break it down into pieces. True? I choose to believe him. We picked up the shuttle bus and went back to the ship. We were docked so that our balcony overlooked the activities. As it got close to time to leave, we watched excursions return. It began to rain slightly. We love to watch the pier runners in Cozumel as they try to drunkenly stumble back on the ship with their sunburns. Take note, Cozumel, cheap Tequila included excursions out in the sun for hours on end may seem like fun at the time but there is a steep price to pay! Back to Skagway. We waited and saw crew take 6 wheelchairs out to the area where people return. An excursion bus arrived late, and the wheelchairs were taken over for those who needed them. We called them Skagway pier runners. That night when we went to dinner there were 6 scooters lined up outside of Le Bistro and Cagney’s. Each cruise has its own personality. We had been referring to this cruise as the sloth cruise because it was very cute and moved at the speed of a sloth. Casino practically empty, no party people. Only the Atrium was crowded so we avoided it. I was talking with CruiseNext and asked if this was typical for an Alaska cruise. He said it was and went further to say that the average age on the Joy was 35. Probably because of all the multi-generational families with many young children. He said the average age on the Jewel was 65, oh my. Of course, the average age of my husband and I is 68, so numbers don’t mean much. Dinner at Le Bistro. By now we were becoming know to restaurant staff who greeted us warmly everywhere we went. On the Breakaway we received lots of hugs and greetings. There have been comments about the Joy crew being rude. When we fist arrived, they seemed a little distant but as we talked with them and thanked them, they became friendlier. By the end of the cruise we were being seated at the best table in T/S and many were coming over to say hello. I believe the crew may just be adjusting to the change from the China market.
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