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Diamond Princess photo/video review Alaska

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Norris, I wonder why YouTube is so slow posting your videos. I know how frustrating that can be.

 

We appreciate all the time and effort you have put into this review and honestly hate to see it end soon.

 

I think you are just going to have to book another cruise so we can continue to follow your adventures.

 

I can see two of the three videos I uploaded last night....#1 and # 3 but 2 is still not ready. While I wanted to show the experience sequentially it is not a perfect world and I imagine youtube gets bombarded by videos daily-just the cat videos alone must take a while to load ( I have 3 cats and they are very amusing I must say).

 

So if no one minds I will link to the #3 video which begins with me in the hallway outside our cabin while the ship was turning so that people aft could get a good view. There is a little segment at the end featuring Juan from Mexico who was the first bar waiter to approach me in Vancouver and who was fun to talk to. He remembered my full name from the first look at my Cruise Card and so always got an extra tip on top of the mandatory tip. Carol is always amazed at the recognition I get from bar waiters far across the decks

but I like to talk with the crew (as I was once a crew member myself) and joke around with them, rather than give them orders.

 

OK...here goes...

 

A search on youtube may find it as Diamond Princess Glacier Bay III

 

Regarding my next cruise- that is now the Royal, E Caribbean January 2014 as I have cancelled my Ruby Med cruise in September as of yesterday.

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I had to cancel the much anticipated Ruby Med cruise Sept 21 2013-Venice to Athens via Istanbul. Normally not an easy decision.

 

However, there is a good reason: Carol and I are rabid opera goers and love (until death) the music of Richard Wagner who built his own theater in Bayreuth, Germany and that theater plays only his 10 most famous operas and has been doing so since 1876. There is an 8 to 10 year waiting list for tickets normally-can't buy them on line or on E Bay. 500,000 people apply yearly for 58,000 tickets (it runs for 6 weeks in July/August). We have been submitting requests for 5 years. If you miss the deadline one year (mail only) you lose your place in line and go back to square one.

 

This week we received a letter from the Wagner Festival telling us that they are offering us tickets (after only 5 years!) so we have to accept and consider ourselves lucky.

 

So I had to reach out to my concierge/ booking man in Princess and cancel but have now booked us on the Ocean Princess September 2014 from Venice to Rome via Malta and Tunisia.

 

So I am going from the biggest ship (Royal in January 2014) to the smallest (Ocean, September 2014) The suite on the Ocean(aft) is $1300 pp more than the Ruby!!

 

The last time we were at the Wagner Festival was 1999 (our first time) and it is the only event I would pass on a cruise for.

 

I will also get to indulge my love of driving BMWs (hence my screen name) on the German Autobahn....

 

Norris

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I can see two of the three videos I uploaded last night....#1 and # 3 but 2 is still not ready. While I wanted to show the experience sequentially it is not a perfect world and I imagine youtube gets bombarded by videos daily-just the cat videos alone must take a while to load ( I have 3 cats and they are very amusing I must say).

 

So if no one minds I will link to the #3 video which begins with me in the hallway outside our cabin while the ship was turning so that people aft could get a good view. There is a little segment at the end featuring Juan from Mexico who was the first bar waiter to approach me in Vancouver and who was fun to talk to. He remembered my full name from the first look at my Cruise Card and so always got an extra tip on top of the mandatory tip. Carol is always amazed at the recognition I get from bar waiters far across the decks

but I like to talk with the crew (as I was once a crew member myself) and joke around with them, rather than give them orders.

 

OK...here goes...

 

A search on youtube may find it as Diamond Princess Glacier Bay III

 

Regarding my next cruise- that is now the Royal, E Caribbean January 2014 as I have cancelled my Ruby Med cruise in September as of yesterday.

 

I post videos on a regular basis, going directly from my SD card to YouTube. Most of my videos are 15+ minutes (craft tutorials etc). Usually at a max it takes 1 hour to load and process. I know how frustrating it can be when a video takes so much longer to load than anticipated.

 

I was able to watch this video this am. What a great shot of the eagle flying. You were at the right place at the right time.

 

I had to cancel the much anticipated Ruby Med cruise Sept 21 2013-Venice to Athens via Istanbul. Normally not an easy decision.

 

However, there is a good reason: Carol and I are rabid opera goers and love (until death) the music of Richard Wagner who built his own theater in Bayreuth, Germany and that theater plays only his 10 most famous operas and has been doing so since 1876. There is an 8 to 10 year waiting list for tickets normally-can't buy them on line or on E Bay. 500,000 people apply yearly for 58,000 tickets (it runs for 6 weeks in July/August). We have been submitting requests for 5 years. If you miss the deadline one year (mail only) you lose your place in line and go back to square one.

 

This week we received a letter from the Wagner Festival telling us that they are offering us tickets (after only 5 years!) so we have to accept and consider ourselves lucky.

 

So I had to reach out to my concierge/ booking man in Princess and cancel but have now booked us on the Ocean Princess September 2014 from Venice to Rome via Malta and Tunisia.

 

So I am going from the biggest ship (Royal in January 2014) to the smallest (Ocean, September 2014) The suite on the Ocean(aft) is $1300 pp more than the Ruby!!

 

The last time we were at the Wagner Festival was 1999 (our first time) and it is the only event I would pass on a cruise for.

 

I will also get to indulge my love of driving BMWs (hence my screen name) on the German Autobahn....

 

Norris

 

5 year wait for tickets!!!! Oh my gosh, how exciting for you and your wife to be chosen. I totally understand the major change in your plans.

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Mary (Millie's Mom) the 5 years is what surprised me as I was expecting 8 years and saw no issues with booking the Ruby, out of Venice this year.

I regret not being able to see Istanbul this year but the Venice to Rome itinerary (albeit very expensive on the Ocean) is something I can look forward to for the next 18 months. We both had already begun a Rosetta Stone course in Italian and an extra year of study will help us "fit in" to a cruise that focuses on Italy.

 

Norris

 

Millie's Mom wrote....

 

 

5 year wait for tickets!!!! Oh my gosh, how exciting for you and your wife to be chosen. I totally understand the major change in your plans.

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So after all the excitement of Glacier Bay and it being Formal Night, back in the day when we didn't pack clothes for such a thing, we had booked a dinner in the Sterling Steakhouse which is a part of the Horizon Court (aft, starboard) which is sectioned off and made into a steakhouse each evening. Crown Grill it ain't. It lacks the ambiance and decor that is so rich and "Gentleman's Club"-like in the real thing. We had of course been to Skywalkers for cocktails first



only to find it empty as all the waiters were pressed into service at the Captain's Cocktail party in Club Fusion. We had an invite but were not (a) dressed for it and (b) willing to join the long line waiting to get in.

 

In Sterling I had to pry the host away from a table as we were being ignored at the host stand. I am all about customer service but when the only three visible employees are gathered around one table chit chatting to people who already have some steaks on their plate I start looking at my watch and when it hits the 3 minute mark I make my presence known.

 

Once we sat down all was well as we had a huge picture window table and a view of mountains and sea. My bottle of white wine was procured from the MDR storage to accompany my shrimp cocktail but these I prefer delivered in a drinking glass (traditional) rather than a salad plate.

 

I ordered a 22 oz Porterhouse which is an obscene portion for anyone who hasn't spent an 8 hour day cutting down giant trees with an axe and ordered a glass of Bordeaux to wash it down.

 

I am Mr Steak and Potatoes (as well as Mr Foie Gras) and have been cooking since I was old enough to reach the gas stove on a step-stool back in Ireland.

In summer I barbecue rib-eye steaks and the neighborhood cats come by and line up, hoping to get a lick of my tongs when I am done. In winter I cook rib-eyes in a cast iron pan, searing the daylights out of them before finishing them in the oven.

 

My steak was huge but I couldn't eat it all. I hate to leave food on the plate but if it had been seared at a higher temperature it would have been richer in flavor. The fries ( I am an authority on fries) were crisp and deee-lishus!

Carol had a filet mignon with out-of-focus creamed spinach....

 

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After dinner we stepped outside onto the aft decks so I could have a cigarette before going to the evening show which was called Born to be Wild and was new to the fleet I believe.

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Carol is very much a Broadway Show type person-all singing , all dancing etc whereas I am more into Opera (which she is too but has a capacity to go beyond it more readily). With opera I have got to spend many wonderful nights of being put through an emotional wringer, tears rolling down my face at the beauty of the music and drama happening before me on a large scale that Broadway can't compete with.

 

Kudos to Princess for what they can do on a small stage on a heaving ship.

BTBWild was the first time I have seen a stage-size LCD screen employed to provide razor-sharp background images to compliment what is going on the live stage in front (think "green screen" on TV programs).

 

Office workers living for the weekend...that's the theme and when the weekend comes around we find them in a real pink Cadillac convertible on stage with ever-changing highway scenery behind them, singing recognizable pop hits to do with moving and traveling including the iresistably catchy "500 Miles" by the Proclaimers, a Scottish band of yore. Fun, peppy 35 minute show where the energy never let up. Great job!

 

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Coming up is our last day on the Diamond. Pop Choir for Carol and UST for me.

Then College Fjord followed by a short 4 hour trip to Whittier for our last night on board.

 

The Glacier Bay II video I may have to re-edit as youtube still hasn't put it up for viewing. Will keep you posted. I can't send in the exact same video as they won't acknowledge duplicates.

 

Norris

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Norris,

Thank you again for great photos, review and video. Sorry you had a frustrating day but the video of you walking down the hall, into your room and out to balcony and then the glacier just overwhelmed me- wow. What a gift you have and what an eye. And the video of the receding glacier makes me glad I am going next year.

Kathie

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Norris,

Thank you again for great photos, review and video. Sorry you had a frustrating day but the video of you walking down the hall, into your room and out to balcony and then the glacier just overwhelmed me- wow. What a gift you have and what an eye. And the video of the receding glacier makes me glad I am going next year.

Kathie

 

Kathie-thanks for the kind words. I did that shot on a whim as I thought it remarkable that this view, this scene of a glacier that has been sitting for hundreds if not thousands of years, in a quiet bay in Alaska is there for all to see from their cabin. No land-based hotel can give you something unique and different to see every day, like a cruise ship can. You don't even have to get out of your bath robe to see these wonders and -if you wished- you could pick up the phone and order champagne to celebrate the event. I love room service!

 

Norris, reliving this amazing cruise as I write and re-discover along with you.

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The LCD screen I refer to above was in fact an LED screen.

Later today I will move on to our last day at sea on the Diamond. College Fjord etc.

 

Norris

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Norris,

I, too, would like to add my Thanks to you for all this work. I have been on 7 cruises in Alaska as well as land tours associated with most of those cruises. i never tire of the scenery and you have brought ot to life again. I will be goign back up there again this year in late August/early September.

I do apprecaite all your fantastic efforts in sharing Alaska with us again.

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Norris, as (I think) Bob Hope used to say "Thanks for the Memories". Each time I viewed your videos and your still photography, I was transported to my favorite vacation...The Alaskan Cruise. Thanks so very much! Enjoy your future cruises and your trip to Germany.

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Even when you have College Fjord and Ultimate Ship Tour to look forward to-not to mention the farewell "International Crew Show" in the Princess Theater, the last day on board a Princess ship is bitter-sweet. Damn it, Princess I don't want to pack my suitcase!! Didn't I just unpack it a couple of days ago??? Seems like it and it doesn't get any easier the more cruises I take.

 

Some interior shots I took in that "how long before I see anything like this again?" mood.

 

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I love the multi-pool set up Princess has on vessels like this sailing Alaska. Coral also had this covered pool....toasty warm in there and many people would enjoy their breakfasts around the pool. No MUTS noise there either.

As you know I am a big fan of the decor near the theater...

 

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Elegant, relaxing places to sit. This was outside the Wheelhouse Bar I think.



I am a big fan of Teresa Anderson's subdued , restful colors. Neon and glitz you can see on other ships. Colors and textures fighting with each other to give you a migraine are not the Princess way.

 

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Early risers get to take photos without obstructions...

 

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The library (but we take a Kindle). I do prefer a book though if I could sit still for a moment and read a page or two. Always something to see off the bow in Alaska. Never a dull moment.

 

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Future Cruise Sales office where I scored my FCC for the Ruby Caribbean cruise in January this year.



 

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Cafe, deck 5, part of the Piazza.

 

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Tour desk

 

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Some of the whimsical stairwell art, aft stairs.



 

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Our final breakfast in Sabatini's. Carol has already bagged a window seat.

 

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When I wrote my DP review on this board, last September I devoted about 1,000 words to the Ultimate Ship Tour ($150 well spent) so I don't intend to repeat that here.



 

It was the best of the three I have taken (Crown and Ruby being the other two)

and part of that was because it started early (10.30 vs the others' 1.30) and it began on the bridge! We were met by the Captain, Dino Sagani.

 

He's a firm handshake, look-you-in-the-eyes guy with a big smile and an enthusiasm that doesn't waver.

 

55 minutes later we moved on. He can talk-so animated and in love with his job and a great Princess ambassador.

 

So in the reasons why I like the Diamond most (wide promenade decks, 4 anytime dining rooms, friendly fun Thailanders among the crew) Dino becomes #4. He speaks with an Italian accent but his English is crisp and clearly spoken.

Wonderful fun guy and we had a few laughs. As I was leaving he shook my hand again and looking me in the eye said "You need to sail with us to the Far East someday"....and of course he was right. # 5 would be the indoor pool I just showed you and # 6 will appear in some photos to follow.

 

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I also enjoyed my time with Paolo the Staff captain (2nd in command) who showed us the mooring room and the inside of the funnel assembly.

 

Carol missed the tour as she was in final rehearsal for the pop choir performance @ 5pm. Here's a snap from that event.

 

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Sailing North from Glacier Bay to College Fjord, Friday afternoon, August 24, 2012.



 

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In College FJord it was drizzling and misty to begin so we watched from the comfort of Skywalkers. I head earlier been to Club Fusion where they were setting up for Bingo and the drawing for the Clean Sweep Bar Bill, where I had 3 cards in the ballot box, was made. I didn't win but someone else did. They weren't there to hear their name called.

 

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I know we are going to love our cruise that is coming up fast! What I am not going to like is this thread ever ending!

I check a few times a day to see if i have miised something LOL

 

cheers from 'down under'

 

sharon

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Bimmer...is it over?????:eek:

Can't you just continue..maybe go backwards and write about things you forgot to write about before.:o

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Bimmer...is it over?????:eek:

Can't you just continue..maybe go backwards and write about things you forgot to write about before.:o

 

The next epic?? No this one is coming to an end but isn't over just yet as there are a few more photos, including some of Anchorage and still a video or two.

I tried uploading the missing Glacier Bay footage. I tried twice and each time after watching it load for 30 minutes I got a message saying "communication error" which doesn't really pinpoint the problem, Sherlock.

 

I will try a couple of new videos tonight.

 

I don't know exactly when but I have a hankering to pay tribute to my first Princess Cruise on the Coral as, thanks to that being excellent and surpassing expectations, I have now done 4 in a 16 month span with two more booked

(Royal and Ocean, biggest vs smallest).

 

The Coral was Whittier to Vancouver but what made it special was some of the excursions- White Pass and Yukon Railroad (video and photo), A helicopter trip onto Taku Glacier, near Juneau (Video and photo) and a 90 minute flight over Misty Fjords in a small airplane (Video and photo). The usual whales.

 

So I'd like to do that. I have selfish reasons for doing it also. It helps me remember great times of course but it also, when finally written from stem to stern, gives me a URL to share with family in Northern Ireland (one of whom is a P & O cruiser) and friends far and wide who can just follow the link and read it in one long sitting with a mug of cocoa.

 

For me, so far, there is no saturation point with Alaska (or Princess at this time) and it won't be until 2015 until my cruise calendar is cleared. Maybe I will go back to AK then or pass for a year or two. I will go back though. Often I imagine.

 

I definitely won't launch into the Coral saga right away as you all need a break and a chance to relax from all this excitement!

 

Some of you will be in Alaska this summer and see for yourself. If you sail on the Diamond you are in for a treat. I hope I convey that here.

 

OK- some pictures coming up and later some video.

 

To all the people in Australia who tune in-thanks for being good , patient sports.

In my early days of living in London ( I left home with my Mother's blessing at 18) I shared a home with some fine people from (a) Brisbane and then (b) Melbourne and they were all "fair dinkum." Carol has ridden across the Nullabor Plain ( 3.5 days by train) from Sydney to Perth and has eaten her share of Vegemite.

 

Ok- let's continue.....

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Photo taken from just outside Skywalker's back door. Harvard Glacier.



 

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Reason #6 why I love the Diamond Princess...look at the wide-open aft decks!!

No Sabatini's or Agagio taking up any space. The decks are tiered but less steeply than on the Super Grand Class.

 

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Thank you Thank you!

 

I found this about 3 hours ago, and it's a good thing I didn't have plans for the evening! I was on the Golden Princess to Alaska (out of Seattle) last August, for my first cruise ever.

 

It's kind of hard to top it, and believe me, I've been putting in some effort!

 

Your pictures are amazing, and it's been wonderful to sit and remember all the great adventures I had!

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I have just uploaded 2 new videos to youtube...not available for viewing yet as there is a queue. Will keep checking....Glacier bay 2 and College Fjord.

 

Back later!

 

Norris

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Sorry, but the videos don't show on youtube under my uploads and no reason is given. I will check back during the morning....it may be photos only from here on in. They did say that the GBay one had already been uploaded but it has never shown on my end. Frustrating.

 

Norris

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