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GloriaF

A short review - 5/21 Coral southbound

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Hello everyone!

We got home Tuesday, May 31, about midnight. Spent the next couple of days adjusting to the time difference, and now are back in the swing of things.

 

Our ALASKA trip was absolutely fabulous! Unless you've seen the beauty, there is just no way to describe it!! We had wonderful weather almost entirely, and never a full day without sun. Actually only a couple of mornings that started out dull and rainy looking, giving way to sun in the afternoon. I didn't wear half the warm clothing I took.

 

The Coral Princess was beautiful, just the right size and more than I expected, even though I am a loyal Princess cruiser with this being the 7th for us. When we entered our cabin, the TA had sent the Alasks Companion book and map, 2 comp photos, and Cassie from another roll call had sent us chocolate covered strawberries (they were dressed in tuxes). The service, food, everything that Princess always does, was the same on this ship. Outstanding! and with the addition of a wonderful naturalist.

 

The naturalist onboard was Barbara Bennet, and she was wonderful pointing out points of interest along the way, whales, otters, eagles, etc. And her lectures were long and detailed, she really loves her subject!

 

My favorite was the glaciers in Glacier Bay and College Fjord. If you are planning an Alaska cruise, be sure to include these places. The 7 day RT out of Seattle don't get there, and I feel sorry for them missing the best scenery. We had a southbound 7 day and it was perfect, altough I could easily have gone again. They say the SB are smoother sailing. Tablemates one evening thought it was rough, but Bob & I had not even noticed it. For the most part the water was as smooth as glass.

 

Pre-cruise we went to Seward on the Alaska RR, and Renee of PJs Taxi met us and gave us a special tour of the extended town and Exit Glacier. I recommend Renee and PJs taxi service if you go and need transportation. The RR was a fun experience and the scenery was lovely. In addition, the dining car had good food for dinner back.

 

Post-cruise we had 2 nights in Vancouver - what a beautiful city! - and after an initial trolley tour, walked the town and saw Chinese gardens in Chinatown, Gastown, Etc. Then on to Seattle on Quick Coach Shuttle. Our bus driver made customs a breeze. We spent the afternoon walking all over Seattle, especially Pike's Market area. It was Memorial Day and lots of extra stalls were set up, and a Folklife Festival in the Space Needle part too. Sure wish I had worn my pedometer so I'd know how many miles we walked those few days.

 

It was just a wonderful trip, with very few disappointments, and Bob & I turned them into adventures and had fun anyway. I'm sorry to be home, except to check on the kitties. They missed us terribly.

 

If I can answer any questions on specifics, please post. I'll mark this thread to notify me via email.

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Great review!

 

Glad you loved Alaska! Barbara was a naturalist on my Coral Princess cruise 2 years ago and she is wonderful. Glad she was the naturalist on your cruise also.

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How cold was it when you were cruising in Glacier Bay and College Fjord? Did you stay on your own balcony or go up on deck? I'm packing today for our trip and have about decided to leave the turtleneck at home - will I regret it?

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ceejay, I think I would take one heavy sweater or sweatshirt if I were you. Just plan to layer - start with a shortsleeve tee, then a sweater or long sleeves at least, and your jacket. Jeans were fine for the lower half.

 

Glacier Bay was a little bit cold (by Florida standards, anyway) and I wore a heavy sweater and sometimes a light windbreaker with flannel lining. In the afternoon it was quite warm as we left GB and my husband took a sunbath on our balcony.

 

You will be in College Fjord only about 3 hours, but Glacier Bay is an all day affair. We spent some time on the balcony, some time on deck, and some time in the Horizon Court in the front where the windows overlook the nose of the ship. The naturalist can be heard in the buffet, on deck, and in all the public areas. To hear her more plainly when on your own balcony turn the TV to channel 38 and turn the volume up. You will most likely move about some, so that you can view both sides of the scenery and be able to see it as she is talking about it. The ship will park in front of the Margerie Glacier and wait for it to calve. Then turn around so the other side can see the same thing. The sounds are incredible. We were lucky and had beautiful sun just about the whole time. But the one thing I learned was never to assume the weather will be the same the next day. It changes quickly.

 

The coldest time was in Skagway (it means wicked wind) when it was damp and windy. We didn't take our gloves with us in port, but wished we had them that day.

 

We took cheap rain coats that folded up in our pockets just in case, and never had to use them. But we did pull the hoods of our jackets up.

 

Have a great cruise, and post if I can help anymore. i hope what I've told you is helpful.

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