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Allison & David's Honeymoon Adventure/ Carnival Miracle's Maiden Alaska Voyage

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Intro:

 

I read lots and lots of reviews in the planning of our honeymoon. I am returning the favor by writing this to help those who are planning their Alaskan adventure and for those who just like to read trip reports :D

 

To start with a little background. I am Allison and my husband is David. We are from Orlando, Fl and were married 03/02/13 (on the freak cold Saturday in Florida, temp in the upper 40s with 15-20 mph winds). Thankfully I had the adrenaline of the wedding keeping me warm.

 

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Right after we were engaged I was immediately excited to plan our honeymoon. I started looking at European cruises and found the perfect one. So how did we end up in Alaska? We were booked on the inaugural Carnival Sunshine cruise... which was cancelled and sent me into a complete panic to re-plan our honeymoon. Europe was just not meant to be. I couldn't find another itinerary that would fit our budget and had the ports we wanted. The rates on the 1st Alaskan cruise of the season were too good to pass up. So here we are on our Alaskan adventure!

 

So I am a planner and basically had to rebook our honeymoon in a couple of weeks due to the last min change of plans. Booked the cruise, flights, train, hotels, and excursions.

 

We spent 2 nights pre-cruise in Seattle and 3 nights in Vancouver. We were on the 8 day Alaska Itinerary. We flew in/out of Seattle, taking the Amtrak from Seattle to Vancouver for our departure on the Carnival Miracle.

 

Cruise Itinerary:

Day 1: Sail away from Vancouver

Day 2: Inside passage

Day 3: Sea day

Day 4: Juneau

Day 5: Skagway

Day 6: Glacier Bay

Day 7: Ketchikan

Day 8: Sea day

...... Flying home from Seattle

We used mainly a Canon T4i for photos. Also used a Canon Powershot SD1100, Kodak easyshare sport, and my iphone 5.

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Alaska is on my bucket list! Can't wait to read this one. :D Congrats on your new marriage, btw!

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Congratulations on your wedding from a neighbor in Tampa! =) Looking forward to reading your review. We sail on Miracle in 3 weeks and are very excited. Love reading other people's reviews and experiences.

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congrats to you and your hubby!

my husband and I are on the sunshine in a few weeks but are looking at taking the same alaska cruise next april. i am very excited for your review!

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Day 1: Driving to South Florida

April 23rd 2013

 

Our adventure actually started the day prior to our flight to Seattle on Tuesday. We flew out Fort Lauderdale International. The reason we didn't fly out of Orlando International was that my parents were cat sitting. There was no way I was just going to leave Poko (my cat) at home and have people check in on her over the 2 weeks we were to be gone. She is very social cat and normally goes crazy happy to see us after we leave her for a few days for a shorter trips. She needs people around. This was Poko's first time traveling to South Florida and I didn't know how she would be in a new place.

 

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So we left Orlando after working half a day. Had lunch and had to pack not only all of our luggage but all the kitty stuff. Made it down to South Florida in time for dinner with the parents. Unfortunetly Poko didn't adjust as well as I hoped. She compeltely shut down and spent the night huddle inside David's backpack/curled at my feet/or me pulling her out from any space she could squash herself. I was very worried about leaving her.

 

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your poor cat! this made me feel so guilty. we leave my cat (who just lost her "brother" two weeks ago to cancer) for 16 day on friday, and is feeling like your cat right now, she's hiding in my suitcase, and hasn't eaten since i pulled it out this morning. i'm now packing in the basement. where she doesn't go. I hope Polo managed well without you and was super happy to see you when you got home!!

Edited by xitappers2bx

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Day 2: Flight to Seattle, Washington

April 24th 2013

We woke up WAY too early for me for our 8am flight. When booking it, 8am didn't seem like a bad idea...until I realized the night before what time we had to get up. After getting through screening and grabbing lunch in the airport to take on our flight we found out terminal. About one min after arriving they started boarding super early (was about 20min earlier then it was suppose to be). We ended up leaving a little late and our flight ended up turning from a 6.5 hr flight into about 7hrs due to turbulence. We flew Alaska Airlines. Was very happy with the service and felt the seats were slightly more spacious/more comfortable.

 

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The flight went fast. Be aware that all you get is a trail mix packet and drinks, so pack food accordingly! We watched Prometheus on David's Ipad and played Mario Kart on our Nintendo DS (we are nerds). In no time we landed in Seattle at approx 12pm.

 

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We pre-booked a town car with Already There. We had booked them for transport from the airport to our hotel and then from the cruise ship back to airport for our return. We would highly recommend them for the Seattle area. They were great to communicate with and were very professional. Once we landed and had our luggage we simply went outside saw what number we were standing at and called the town care service with the number they provided. Our driver was there in about 5 min.

 

In no time we arrived at our hotel in the Belltown area of Seattle, very close to the Space Needle (about 5 min walk). We stayed at the Hotel Five. Great moderate price hotel. I think we had the smallest room (guess that what happens when you book a super low rate). We were at the very end by the staircase with a street view. The decor was modern and hip. The front staff were always very friendly.

In the lobby there are bikes that are free to use.

 

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The room

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My only complaint was that the bathroom was super dark, limited lighting (no light by the toliet) and I am not a fan of those space air conditioners/heaters. There was a Keurig in the room with K-cups for use and 2 water bottles free of charge. Internet was also free and we a good signal in the room. The shower was the best part of the bathroom. Had a rainfall shower head and Tommy Bahama shampoo/conditioner.

 

Desk area

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Already drinking coffee!

 

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Edited by ucfalli

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your poor cat! this made me feel so guilty. we leave my cat (who just lost her "brother" two weeks ago to cancer) for 16 day on friday, and is feeling like your cat right now, she's hiding in my suitcase, and hasn't eaten since i pulled it out this morning. i'm now packing in the basement. where she doesn't go. I hope Polo managed well without you and was super happy to see you when you got home!!

 

She turned around after a few days. I called my parents every day checking in on her cause she wasn't eating/drinking (making my very worried in Seattle). Eventually she threw in the towel and decided to make the best of it :D. When I came home she was way too comfortable and was cuddling up to my parents.

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Subscribed! Congratualtions on your wedding! I can't wait to read all about Alaska. I keep going back and forth between Europe and Alaska. Currently Europe is winning, maybe your review will change my mind... ;):cool::D

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Subscribing!! Really enjoying your review. I'm stressed about my cat in December :(. We will be gone about 17 days. Debating on driving him up to my sons house to stay. He's very social too and I think that's too long for him to be alone!

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I'm looking forward to the rest, also. We did Alaska (the first week in 2011)...and we're doing it AGAIN next summer in July. I'm stoked!

 

I can't wait to read (hopefully) that your experience was as magical as ours! :)

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Also enjoying this review! Brings back memories since we also did Alaska for our honeymoon (on HAL).

 

Can't wait to read more! :)

 

Jenn

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Great review and pictures! Congrats on your wedding...and your cat is beautiful...so happy she adjusted...we have two at home..they keep each other company and I have someone come in once a day but I still hate to leave them:eek: We have cruised a lot but never done Alaska...thinking about next year:):):) Looking forward to your review!!

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I already know I am going to enjoy reading your review very much! We are cruising Alaska in September, 2014. It is soooo far away so I will try to contain myself by reading every Alaska review I can find!

 

I am glad your cat adjusted. My German Shepherd (Jesse) is miserable when I leave home. We have a petsitter come in (we have 4 dogs) if neither of my sons are at home but he still stays by the front door the entire time waiting for me to return. Makes me feel so guilty.

 

Congrations on your marriage!

 

Kim

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Subscribing to your review. We live just north of Seattle and plan to do an Alaska one day. Arriving in Seattle will make you a "Coffee Nut":D:D:D Thanks for the review! Looking forward to it.

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Good start! I am looking forward to the rest of your review.

 

We have to sneak and pack for trips so our chihuahua won't see us! When he sees a suitcase he gets all torn up. He knows what is coming.

 

Thing is, we always have a dog sitter to stay at the house with him!

 

We want to do an Alaskan cruise so bad!

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Good review so far...I am doing one from my recent cruise as well and trying to figure out how you are getting pictures included in your post.

 

I don't like to read books without pictures, so I'm sure people don't like to read my review without pictures either.

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Can't wait to read the rest of your reviews. My mother and I are going sailing out of Seattle on the Miracle May 28, 2013. Hope you have a wonderful time.

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Congratulations on your marriage!

 

Can't wait to read the rest of your review. We did the first cruise last year on the Spirit, when I saw this one was 8 days I wished I had waited a year. What a great honeymoon.

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One of my two cats HATE being anywhere but home, so it would honestly be "easier" on her if we just left her at home and had someone watch her when we're on vacation. However, I worry too much about the "what if", so I send them both off to the boyfriend's parents house...I'm told that she spends most of the time staring outside a window or curled up in a corner, hissing whenever someone walks by. My other cat adjusts very well to other people/pets but won't eat for almost two days if she's in new surroundings (vet assures me this is typical). Regardless, I feel like a better pet parent if they're supervised. It's tough!

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Congratulations on your marriage. One cruise that I would like to take is an Alaskan cruise. That and Hawaii. One of these days! :D

 

I am enjoying your review and can't wait to read the rest.

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Great start on the review and congrats on the wedding. Even though honeymoon reviews make me wonder if I will ever find a wife.

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Good review so far...I am doing one from my recent cruise as well and trying to figure out how you are getting pictures included in your post.

 

I don't like to read books without pictures, so I'm sure people don't like to read my review without pictures either.

 

You have to first have your photos uploaded to a hosting website such as photobucket. I use Shutterfly. Then you just click on the icon at the top of the posting box that has a mountain in it. In that pop up box you insert the image url location (which you get my by right clicking the image you want to use on that photo share site)

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You have to first have your photos uploaded to a hosting website such as photobucket. I use Shutterfly. Then you just click on the icon at the top of the posting box that has a mountain in it. In that pop up box you insert the image url location (which you get my by right clicking the image you want to use on that photo share site)

 

Thanks for the info...I think I got it figured out and was able to upload to my review.

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Thanks to everyone for the nice messages and congrats! :)

 

My dad sent me updates on Poko during our honeymoon. She didn't end up drinking/eating for probably 3-4 days. I was a bit of nervous wreck up till then wondering if I made a good decision about bringing her there and worrying about being out of the country with her not eating. Right before we left on the cruise out of Vancouver my dad e-mailed me telling me that her food bowl was missing some food and there were some papers knocked off the table (showing she came out that night). Was able to then cruise in peace. :D

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Day 2: Seattle Continued

 

So after dropping off all our luggage at the hotel, we immediately set forth to the Space Needle since it was a gorgeous day! In fact both days we were in Seattle the weather was sunny with a few clouds. We were very lucky. Our hotel was actually right next to the monorail, so you just had to follow it down. On the way David decided he wanted to get money out the ATM so we stopped at a Walgreen's (since they have those Chase ATMs inside). His first attempt to withdraw money didn't work so he tries a different card. When the money comes out it's not the full amount. Great start to the vacation! To make things even better, the first failed transacation shows up on his account as having withdrawn (with no money actually given). So after a call to Chase everything is cleared up. We were actually very impressed with their customer service. They straightening everything up promptle and credited him back. I am assuming they go about with auditing the machine/reviewing security footage at a later time?

 

So we get to the Space Needle and we are at the ticket booth to purchase the combo ticket that includes the Chihuly Glass Museum. The attendendant notifies us that there is a special event at Chihuly and that it closes in an half hour. So we decided to change plans and head down the waterfront instead to Pike's Public Market. But first we decided to pop back into our hotel for their complimentary afternoon coffee and cupcakes. Yum!

 

On a side note: I never drank coffee until earlier this year (due to wedding planning) and here I am drinking two cups of coffee in Seattle within 2 hours of being there!

 

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My two main first impressions of Seattle: The people are super friendly/helpful and that there are a lot of bums on the streets. Especially around Pikes Public Market. Was a bit offsetting and I have visited quite a few big cities. Just something to be aware of if you are traveling with young children.

 

Pike's Place Market

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We walked around, enjoying the sights, smells and sounds of the market. They had an amazing array of seafood, fresh produce and tulips. The tulips were gorgeous and couldn't believe you could get a big bouquet for $10! Of course I had to find Rachel the pig and get a photo with her. There is a green area right by the market with amazing water/mountain views, but like I said there were a quite a few bums in the area, so have your wits about you. The locals seemed completely use to it.

Rachel the Pig

 

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At the Flying Fish Market

 

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Love the Tulips!!!

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Day 2: Seattle Continued

 

After Pike's Public Market, we continued along the waterfront making our way to Pioneer Square.

 

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Pioneer Square

 

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We made it down into time for the last Bill Speidel Underground Tour. I highly recommend this tour if your time in Seattle allows it. You get a good amount of history about Seattle and I always love seeing glimpses into the past. Our guide was a local and you could tell she liked what she did and had a passion for Seattle. They start you out in the original bar area with a brief history talk (about 10 min) then you descend into the underground. You only get to see a few sections (which are rubble now) but it's fascinating to see. Most of the underground is not excavated.

Tour starts in this building

 

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Into the Underground!

featuring yee old garbage can in the right hand corner (gotta love anachronisms)

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Day 2: Seattle Continued

When you are walking along the sidewalks in Pioneer Place you will see glass tiles on the ground. Those are the old highlights that were used when the area was still functional and pre electricity. The glass is now purple and clouded due to oxidation (if I remember correctly). Would of never known that's what they were if I wasn't on the tour.

 

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Old bathroom

 

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After the tour we headed back towards our hotel in Belltown and found a local pizza restaurant named Rocco's on Yelp that had good reviews. The area had quite a few "hip" bars and restaurants in the area. Pizza was yummy and we tried a local cider that was delicious! Was Spire Mountain, Dark & Dry Apple Cider. If you are a cider drinker, highly recommend it.

 

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Nice graffiti art on the way back to the hotel

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In sleep in no time after the long travel day!

 

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Day 3: Seattle

April 25th, 2013

 

Woke up to another beautiful day! Stopped at Top Pot right by our hotel to try some local eats for breakfast. I believe we had the Bavarian cream.

 

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Then started the CLIMB up to Kerry Park for the postcard view of Seattle. You can easily take a cab, but we are walking people. There are several steep staircases on the way as you make you way up.

 

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I'm a sucker for dandelions

 

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Beautiful cherry blossom trees and tulips along the way!

 

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Congrats on your wedding. Nice review so far. Funny about the coffee, my daughter never drank coffee till she got to Harvard this year and now she is a coffee fiend. Looking forward to more of your review.

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Day 3: Seattle Continued

 

We made it to Kerry Park!!

 

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Hello Mt. Rainer!

 

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Going uphill to Kerry park took about 30min. Going back downhill...about 10 min. In no time we made it to the Space Needle and had our combo tickets purchased.

 

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You get a free digital download picture taken and e-mailed to you at the Space Needle. You pick the backdrop at a kiosk.

 

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Edited by ucfalli

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Day 3: Seattle Continued

 

Up on the Space Needle

 

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View of Kerry Park from the Space Needle. It is the green space in the middle

 

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Mountain view

 

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City View

 

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After the Space Needle we headed right next door to the Chihuly Garden and Glass. When you buy a combo ticket for the mususem and the Space Needle, I believe you save about $5.

 

This is hands down one of my favorite museums that I have visited. I think this was the first time I was sad when I had to leave a museum. The glass work is unbelievably gorgeous. They have a photographer going around inside that snaps photos of you if you wish. You are then able to digitally e-mail them to yourself free of charge.

 

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Day 3: Seattle Continued

 

Chihuly Garden and Glass

 

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This is the ceiling of my favorite room! The color's spill out and flood the walls.

 

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Close up detail

 

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Each room is amazing

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This is a chandelier!

 

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The Glasshouse

 

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Day 3: Seattle Continued

Part way through the exhibit we stopped to eat at the in house restaurant, The Collections. There are other places you eat nearby the museum that would probably be a little cheaper, but we were tired and hungry. Plus the restaurant had good reviews on yelp. Was a little more then I like to pay for lunch, but good food and the service was excellent. The restaurant decor was funky, with hanging accordions from the ceiling and each table had a clear area in the middle with a "collection" of some sort on display. Our table had vintage ornaments.

 

Yummy flat bread Pizza. When I asked the waitress how the flat bread was when ordering, she told me it "has a lot of carbs" with her foreign accent. Sounds good!

 

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David had the meatballs. They were also very tasty

 

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Outside gardens

 

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Close up in the Garden house before leaving

 

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Would love to come back in the future to this museum at twilight/night when it's all lit up outside. We then headed afterwards all the way back to Pioneer Square. There were a couple of sights we missed the day prior because they were closed.

 

Sculpture art outside

 

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Day 3: Seattle Continued

 

We stopped first at the Waterfall Garden in Pioneer Park. The Waterfall Garden is a gift from the UPS to city of Seattle and gives much needed tranquility to the surroundings. It has limited daytime hours. When we were there I believe it closed around 5:30pm. It is a small area, but it is shaded and cool.

 

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Made a quick stop to the Klondike Museum. It is free and has great exhibits. David seeing if he would "strike it rich". Unfortanely we both didn't.

 

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Did some souvenir shopping along the waterfront as we headed back. Made a quick stop at the gum wall, since we forgot to check it out the day prior.

 

EWWWW

 

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Lots of graffiti in the area also

 

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