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About Ariyel

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    Travel, Reading, Stitching
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  1. Skagway – July 2, 2019 – 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Part 2) Ok, pause here for a few comments before more pictures of our lunch excursion. As we're approaching Caribou Crossing for lunch our tourguide asks who is doing the Dogcart experience. It turns out only our little group of 6 had signed up for that. Unfortunately, there was no extra time allotted for the Dogcart experience, so as we pulled up and were given tickets for our lunch we had about 15 minutes to eat and get to the Dogcart part of the day. The fortunate part is they really have serving a crowd down to an art – you walk thro
  2. Skagway – July 2, 2019 – 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Part 1) This one is pretty long with a lot of pictures, so breaking it into 2 Parts. Hi loyal readers, sorry for the long gap between posts. This is the first weekend I've been home in a month! Anyhow, looking back to our lovely day in Skagway. First, it was shockingly warm, especially as we went inland to the Yukon and higher in elevation. It had to be close to 90F in the heat of the day. We were very glad we'd packed some lighter clothes for sure. We heard it was over 90 in Fairbanks, though obviously we were a
  3. My pleasure sharing, thanks for reading along! You are correct, the Celebrity App is not yet up and running for the Solstice, which is a total bummer. My understanding is each ship is added to the app as it goes through a major drydock. Solstice isn't scheduled for drydock until October 2021. Since there was no app (and none of us got the wifi package) we had the following methods (and we used all of them): - If in port, or near it, we could still use cell phones as normal. All the ports except Victoria are US ports, so we didn't even incur international charges. D
  4. I'll give you the short version, since I can't promise the long version before you leave! We did the Chinese Lantern Walk Tour at Butchart Gardens booked via Celebrity. We didn't want to mess with having to walk out of the port area to get our own transport to Butchart Gardens (it's a long drive from the port), so we found this was one that was just a lot easier to book through the cruise line. It was well worth it. Comfortable bus ride, nice tour info from the bus driver and a wonderful time at the gardens even if we had to rush a little since we were only there in evening hour
  5. Hi Anita - thanks for the confirmation re Mendenhall! It's astonishing seeing the pictures from a couple decades ago v. today as to how far the glacier has retreated in that time. It's honestly kind of depressing but also awe inspiring that change can happen so unnoticeably day to day, but huge change over a relatively short time. When we were on the catamaran excursion in Endicott Arm they told us the very clear angles lines in the rock along the sides of the fjord are where the glacier has retreated just in the last decade. The shear amount of ice loss is just staggering. See
  6. I'm just going on the timestamps on my photos and guesstimating since I wasn't constantly taking pictures - it looks like the excursion got back to the Solstice around 2:15 or 2:30 or so. A little bit behind the listed schedule. I think it's because we spent a little extra time watching the whales on the way back. Enjoy the excursion - I thought it was fantastic, one of my favorite things we booked!
  7. Very nice report so far! I'm enjoying reading along. I'd love to see some of your bear pictures! That's the one thing I was really hoping for on our recent cruise that I missed. Next time bears will have to be a priority!
  8. Seconded! Our friends booked through Tours By Locals while we DIY'ed Ketchikan. I ultimately ended up being pretty jealous of their experience. Well worth booking with a guide who knows the area and can create a day that suits your group's interests.
  9. Juneau – July 1, 2019 – 1:30 PM to 10 PM Alright, when last we left off our adventure, our brave party had returned via Catamaran to the Solstice where it was now in port in Juneau. We re-boarded the Solstice ship-to-ship and decided to snag a quick lunch in the buffet before heading out to explore Juneau. It's a good thing we decided fast as the buffet was pretty much closing down around us as we grabbed some food (probably around 2 PM at that point). Early on I had decided Juneau was a good DIY port for us since Mendenhall Glacier seemed to be the big thing to do. Wit
  10. I agree 100% - we were SO glad we booked this ship-to-ship morning excursion. I think it really let us maximize the day and enjoy the glacier up close without having all the extra travel time FROM Juneau out to the fjord area as well. I was so pleased with how this excursion turned out. I would recommend it whole-heartedly. Thank you so much for your kind words! Knowing you're reading along and enjoying makes a huge difference, especially since I have so few opportunities to put these posts together and post them up! I'm glad you could see the vi
  11. Alright, let's see if my video of the glacier calving will work! If it does, and the sound comes through too, I am already embarrassed at my smugness at having the camera pointed in the right direction and shooting video at the right time! Well, I guess I can't upload it directly to be playable, it just shows as a download for me. It may be I need to host it on Youtube or something first? I don't have it posted anywhere else to share at the moment, so if this doesn't work I'll either abandon the video idea or try to throw it up on Youtube and link that. IMG_0247.MO
  12. Endicott Arm Scenic Cruising – July 1, 2019 – 6 AM to 2 PM Thanks everyone for coming along on our trip and still following along with my very slow posts! Real life sure has proven how little spare time I generally have when not on vacation! Right up front, here's the daily for July 1: To be honest, this was such a busy day I don't think we did a single shipboard activity. I am going to divide July 1 into two posts, because it was sort of like 2 days worth of stuff! Our morning was “Scenic Cruising” in Endicott Arm. However, after loo
  13. Let's see, checking out time stamps on my photos - Got to the area behind the Visitor's Center for the far view to Mendenhall at 4:56 PM Walked the Nugget Falls trail and got to the Falls at 5:30 PM (overlook a few minutes before, actual falls a few minutes after). Spent about 20 minutes taking pictures, chatting with our friends, and looking around at the lake/falls. We headed back a little before our friends because I'm a slow walker and that worked out well - they hung around at the falls a little longer and then caught up to us on the trail
  14. June 30, 2019 – Ketchikan Let's see if we can cover a little more ground! Our port times for Ketchikan were 7 AM to 4 PM so we had a decently full day in port. When we were researching our ports this is the one that we thought we could DIY the most easily. We had debated about the Misty Fjords Boat trip (flightseeing trips were out due to cost and people in the party being very anti-small aircraft). We decided this was our Totem Pole day. My plan HAD been to catch the city bus early to go out to Totem Bight/Potlatch Totem Park and then come back to town to see Creek Str
  15. I wasn't super upset about the wine situation, but this was just one of the sort of customer experience hiccups that turned our travel-mates off of Celebrity, so I thought it was important to share. FWIW, our long gaps in service were when seated at the early dining dinner service, so I don't think it can be chalked up to early/late or anytime dining. I think it's just symptomatic of trying to serve that many people at one time. Glad you're coming along! Sadly I went back to work! I'm trying to get more posted here tonight. I hope yo
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