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shukapaw

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About shukapaw

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Alaska
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    MSC (so far)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean (so far)

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  1. Yeah, we say that Alaska is just a short drive from Anchorage. 😉 You are really selling yourself short by allowing 2 days pre-cruise. Budget Queen's suggestion of a Whittier boat tour is a good one. I've done the 26 Glacier Cruise a number of times and it never fails to delight! So much to see and do and you are traveling so far that 2 days seems woefully inadequate. ~Brian
  2. The inlet is on your right and land is on your left. The best views are on the inlet side. ~Brian
  3. shukapaw

    MSC OBCs

    There are no shareholder's OBC since the company is privately owned. Those perks are reserved for people who are stockholders in various companies (Carnival, NCL, Royal Caribbean....) They do offer up to $200 OBC when you book a future cruise while onboard. ~Brian
  4. Our sailing was scheduled for June 6. I submitted the electronic form for the future cruise credit on May 2 and immediately received notice that it had been accepted. I received an email on May 31 with a link to a webpage. On that page was another link that downloaded a pdf copy of the actual certificate to my computer. I sent that to my TA and she was able to immediately apply it to another reservation. ~Brian
  5. I currently have cruises on the books with 4 different cruise lines over the next 2-½ years. I have gotten discounts from my TA on all of them. ~Brian
  6. I have B2B Rock Star bookings for May of 2021. I’ve reviewed the rates and they have dropped a few hundred bucks per cabin. I’m hoping to upgrade to a suite with larger balcony but cannot get through to VV. Was on hold 45 minutes and then opted for callback but that was hours ago. This sort of cryptic announcement is frustrating. They should be clearer about the changes. They seem to be more interested in generating cute, edgy messages than clearly worded messages. ~Brian
  7. I've gotta side with @littlelulu here. The offer of the 20% is for the newly booked cruise, NOT the canceled cruise. The 20% is off of the base cruise fare, not including taxes, etc. And I was able to take the FCC from a canceled 7 day cruise and use it to help book an 11 day cruise at 20% off the listed price. ~Brian
  8. NCL's site states that if your new cruise is less than the value of your FCC, you will be issued a new FCC for the difference. In that case, you could still use the remaining balance of your FCC to qualify for another 20% discount. We did exactly that. Also, know that if you book online, the 20% is deducted only from the individual with the FCC, not the traveling companion. CALL NCL and they will apply the 20% to the companion as well. ~Brian
  9. Most of the sailings I've looked at with NCL are offering OBC... the higher your cabin category, the more OBC.... from $100 up to $1000. Also, NCL is now allowing even lowly inside cabin cruisers (like me) to get all 4 of their "Free at Sea" offers. These include internet, unlimited beverage package, Specialty dining package and $50 per port excursion credit. In the past, an inside cabin had to pick one of the 4 offers but now all 4 are included. Also, I had a December 2020 SE Asia cruise booked with NCL. Just today, they made the decision to not sail in Asia through March of 2021. As a result, my cruise was cancelled. They are offering a full refund of deposit, up to $300 for airline change/cancellation fees for those who might have booked airfare independently (with documentation) and a 10% credit toward a different booking. I have a number of "issues" with NCL (obviously not enough to avoid them) but they certainly seem to be doing the right thing under the circumstances. ~Brian
  10. Looks like NCL has followed suit...
  11. Gotta agree here... As a long time resident of Alaska, I would have to recommend Princess for a cruise to Alaska. I don't have any problems with NCL in general but Princess does a much better job with Alaska itineraries. You can see from my signature that I've recently sailed NCL more than Princess. I'm not loyal to one brand only. A few years ago we sailed south from Alaska to Vancouver on Princess and after a few day in Vancouver we sailed back north to Alaska on NCL. The itineraries were identical..... same ports for a similar amount of time in each. We had the same category of cabin on each ship. Princess, who has been sailing Alaska longer than the other lines, just "Alaska-fied" the trip. With Princess: Staff were often in Alaska/Gold-rush-era outfits. Ship was decorated in Alaska theme. In one port (Juneau I think) They brought sled dog puppies onboard for play time and photo opps. In one port Libby Riddles, first woman to win the Iditarod, came on and gave a lecture. Alaska-themed menus If you are planning a land portion be advised that Princess owns/operates their own hotels, lodges, rail cars, etc. NCL rents or leases whatever is available. Princess has a long history in Alaska and has made some pretty sizeable investments in infrastructure for their passengers Princess sails from Whittier, a port much closer to Anchorage than NCL's port of Seward. I wrote a review of this trip shortly after we travelled but it has been lost since CC revamped the site. I do remember saying that NCL will provide you with a cruise to Alaska but Princess will provide you with an Alaskan cruise. You won't be disappointed either way but why not take the one that offers you the most? Also, regardless of which line you select, make sure your itinerary includes Glacier Bay. Hope this helps, ~Brian
  12. Thanks so much for taking the time to share these great pics with us. Our first NCL sailing was on the Spirit in 2015 and we are scheduled to sail on her again this December in Asia (fingers crossed) ~Brian
  13. We were on this same sailing. I agree with many of your points. The selection of ports was very nice. We generally do not take excursions through the cruise line but made an exception this time. We were quite impressed with the "Panama Canal & Locks Transit By Boat" in Panama City and the "Discovery Family Las Caletas Private Beach Getaway" in Puerto Vallarta We found the meals in the MDR at dinner to be quite good. Other times it was really hit or miss. Princess serves an excellent French Toast at lunch time in the MDR and they refer to it as a "brunch" item. Too bad you cannot get this during breakfast hours. The breakfasts were generally poor in the MDR and served at a temperature that was somewhere between room temperature and lukewarm in the buffet. As for the International Cafe, cutbacks and changes have really ruined this. At any given time, about half of the available desserts are either gluten-free or sugar-free. Princess' attempt to placate a small minority with dietary restrictions has left those of us who want "real" desserts with few (and poor) choices. The same holds true in the buffet. Aaron (CD) is NOT ready for Prime Time. He is amateurish, not funny and clearly out of his league. On a positive note, Alex, an assistant CD from Serbia, was great and will hopefully have a ship of his own soon. This cruise had the worst entertainment we have ever encountered on a cruise ship. The ship's own performers were the worst. The juggler/magician wasn't worthy of a 6-year old's birthday party. The few bright entertainment spots were Dwight Blake, an excellent violinist named David Klinkenberg and a singer/impressionist named Trish Kelly. There was a good comedian onboard as well. His name is Ken Boyd. He was never the main entertainer but did provide a couple good shows in one of the smaller venues on the ship. He would have been a lot funnier had he not been hamstrung by Princess' rules on acceptable language. There was a gentleman named Chris Roberts who was the ship's "Destination Expert". He gave talks about the canal and many of our upcoming ports. He was funny and very entertaining. Pretty sad when a port lecturer provides some of the best entertainment on a ship. I know this has been covered in other threads but the Platinum/Elite happy hour held daily in Skywalkers offers an extremely poor selection of drinks at happy hour prices. The have cobbled together a menu of 6 or 8 drinks that you will find nowhere else (thankfully). Very odd concoctions consisting of unappetizing combinations of alcohol on mixers. Over the past 4 or 5 years Princess has gone from our preferred cruise line to 4th place. We spoke with many Elite passengers and the consensus was unanimously that Princess is headed in the wrong direction. We did purchase a couple more Future Cruise Certificates but have serious doubts about using them before they expire. As stated by @BoughtMyPoints, "All said, I was still loath to disembark after 15 days." ~Brian
  14. Great review so far. Thanks for taking the time to write this up and post all the photos. Looking forward to more!! ~Brian
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