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moneeman

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About moneeman

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    Melbourne, FL USA

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  1. Good replies, so I won't repeat what has been said, but will add a couple of points. We read before our first Alaska cruise many years ago that it was best to book a room on the side of the ship facing the mainland (on a one-way cruise). We did so, and were rewarded with the most magnificent snow-peaked mountain view when we opened our blinds the first morning on ship. That really made an impression on us, and we were sold. Fast forward to this year and we again made sure we booked to face the mainland, and on this cruise (same basic itinerary as before) we felt the side of the
  2. Thanks for the note. You can see bear pictures and more here: https://alaska2019ultimateadventure.shutterfly.com/pictures/71
  3. Final Post I will spare any comments about a non-eventful flight home, but I do want to share some pictures. I’m not a Cruise Critic expert, but it appears you have to first post pictures elsewhere, then link to them in order for a picture to show inside a post. I don’t have a place to post the pictures like that, so instead I created a share site on Shutterfly. The pictures are in order of our trip, and I added a short description on each one. You might have to click on “See 1 comment” to show the first one, then I believe the rest will show automatically. Thanks for hanging with me
  4. Friday, August 2 – Disembarkation and Vancouver Everyone is assigned a meeting place for disembarkation. One of the benefits of being in a suite (even the lowest level like ours) is priority disembarkation. We were instructed to gather in the Retreat Lounge (after one final nice breakfast) at 8:00, and we walked off the ship at 8:15. The Vancouver port is a bit of a maze, but generally you just follow the crowd. We located our suitcases without any trouble, and headed toward the exit. I normally rent cars from Enterprise, as I qualify for the Florida state rates (and personal u
  5. Thursday, August 1 – Sea Day – Inside Passage There isn’t a lot to write about this final sea day. There was a continual slow drizzle/mist all day, which kept everyone indoors. The inside passage is beautiful, as is all of Alaska, and the fog made for some interesting views and pictures. The ship schedules a lot more activities on sea days, which draws some interest, but generally not more than 20 or 30 people (except bingo). Slot tournaments, the final art auction, last-chance pictures, and of course everything is “on sale” in the boutiques. We also had to pull out the suitcases, pa
  6. Wednesday, July 31 – Ketchikan Five days into the cruise, we have our routines down. General times for meals, what we love at Café al Baccio, where to sit in the theatre, the Retreat lounge, etc. Everything is good fun and good food. Kudos to Celebrity for knowing how to put on a great vacation. Could I nitpik? Sure. No one is perfect. But truly, the cruise was outstanding. The M-class ships “only” hold around 2,000 people, and the ship is set up to handle that number extremely well. I may have mentioned this before, but I was especially impressed by the workers at Café al Ba
  7. Tuesday, July 30 – Icy Strait Point Mary and I were really looking forward to Icy Strait Point for an unusual reason. A chance to rest and relax. We knew that by this point we would have been going strong for 11 straight days and the idea of having a day with nothing scheduled was attractive. The excursion options centered around whale watching, bear viewing, or adventure boats. Greg and Tammy went whale watching, and had a great trip. They followed both a pod of Orcas and some Humpbacks. Lots and lots of blows, humps, and tails, but no breaches. They seemed very pleased with the e
  8. Monday, July 29 – Skagway When planning the trip, we went back and forth about what to do in Skagway. Thre are so many good options! We did the gorgeous drive to Emerald Lake many years ago, so we sort of favored other options. I seriously considered booking a private flightseeing tour that a couple of people recommended (sorry, lost the link). I believe he flies out of Haines, but for an extra $50 or so he will come pick you up (and drop you off – ha!) in Skagway. We decided against that because we did flightseeing with our bear tour, and we were scheduled for a Misty Fjords tour l
  9. Thanks, Anita. I don't see a way to edit, so I guess the double post will have to stay. I have a few more days to cover, including one I am posting now.
  10. We were in a Sky Suite with a smaller balcony and LOVED it! The location near mid-ship was wonderful. Close to everything. The room was a good size, not cramped at all, and the balcony was big enough for a love seat and table. We initially booked a Concierge room 9 months out, and were able to upgrade to the Sky Suite for the same price after final payment date due to the price drop. Luminae was fantastic! Enjoy.
  11. Sunday, July 28 – Juneau Mary was truly excited about this day’s adventure. When we went to Alaska in 2002, we went dogsledding on a glacier. I don’t know if it was the picture-perfect day, the excitement of our at-the-time-12-year-old, the fact that the glacier was ours alone that day, or perhaps the perfectly playful puppies, but our memories of that excursion are peaceful perfection. So we probably set ourselves up for disappointment by dogsledding again. This time we decided to book the extended dogsled tour where they take you on a 5-mile sled run. Well, the forecast was not goo
  12. Saturday, July 27 – Hubbard Glacier I must say I was really impressed with the new mattresses put in as part of the recent renovation. They are very comfy, and the amount of covers was just right. So many hotels put on thick, hot comforters, but won’t let the A/C go below 70 degrees (in real temp, not what the thermostat says), but I digress. I got my first of many mochas (and a pastry) while Mary showered and dressed, then we headed back to Luminae. I learned later in the cruise how to hold back on breakfast, but that first morning I ate a yogurt parfait, fruit, bacon and eggs and an
  13. Friday, July 26 – Onward to Seward Having returned the rental car Thursday evening, we opted to take the train to Seward. I had read that the Gold Star service was worth the extra, so we had seats in a dome car. It was very nice, though having already seen great Alaskan vistas for a week, I’m not sure we got an extra $100 worth from it (less the cost of breakfast, which was included in the Gold Star ticket). Nonetheless, it was a very pleasant journey. Arriving in Seward, our instructions were unclear as to how to get to the cruise ship. I am generally a relentless planner, but I
  14. Thursday, July 25 We had one full day to explore the area before heading for the cruise ship, and we decided on the 26 Glacier Cruise out of Whittier. This is a 5- hour cruise, but basically takes the whole day due to travel time. Getting to Whittier requires travel through a one-way tunnel, which opens for a short while on the half hour. The cruise company suggests leaving Anchorage at 9:00 to easily make the 10:30 opening, as the 11:30 opening does not allow enough time for 300 people to get through and get on their boat. Before leaving, we had an excellent breakfast buffet at the H
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