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Alaskan Rhapsody Aug 23rd-30th Photo Trip Report

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Hello hello hello!!!

 

Wohooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

 

Excuse me, I'm having trouble containing my own excitement.

 

ANOTHER TRIP REPORT!! My own!!

 

There, now I'm calm...ish. ;)

 

If you haven't read any of my reports before, you might have already clicked another thread. Me being overly enthusiastic might do that to you... oh well.

Your loss ;)

 

So everyone who got this far:

Welcome to another Sinppu cruise report!

 

This time we sailed to Alaska from Seattle and took with us 3 first-timer friends. We had a completely amazing time, more fun than is probably legal and you are now all invited to follow along our fantastic trip.

 

 

I'm Sinny, 33. Married to Lowry, 35.

Friends with Anouk, 38, Ann, 34 and Thommo, 31.

 

This is us (from the left to right): Ann, Lowry, Sinny, Anouk and Thommo.

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Also referred to as ATLAS (clever, I know).

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Coming from Scandinavia we like to make our pre- and post-cruise holidays as long as possible. Our itinerary is as follows:

 

SEA-TAC-Portland, OR-Vancouver, BC-Whistler, BC-Rhapsody of the Seas-Seattle, WA.

 

Our ports on this cruise were Juneau, Skagway and Victoria.

 

If anyone wants to know more about the things we did pre-cruise, ask away. Otherwise I'll just post a few highlight photos, so we can get to the good stuff quickly (gooooo cruising!!)

 

We flew in to Seattle on Friday 16th. We had a layover in Amsterdam and the flight was uneventful. Coming to Seattle was worth it though, just look at the view from the plane window minutes before landing:

 

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We had rented a minivan from Alamo:

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We spent a lot of time in that Dodge over the next week.

We became quite fond of it.

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We took off for Portland on Friday afternoon.

The atmosphere was on the bright side.

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The scenery made it even better.

 

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We stopped at the Mount Rainier National Park for a few breathtaking moments.

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and just so you know, I'm not referring to the scenery. I'm referring to all the 3 ladies in the group, who held their breaths the whole time in the park. We are NOT fans of heights.

:eek:

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Say "HI!" to Portland, Oregon.

 

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In the City of Roses our highlight of the trip were the famous Voodoo Doughnuts. The line was 40 minutes long to get them from the Downtown shop...

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So we just went to the other shop which had no lines at all.

We took 5 different samples and by everything, they were to die for.

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The 0% sales tax in Oregon (plus the importless US prices) prompted some serious shopping. A few tablets and gadgets were taken home by this bunch.

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We spent two nights in Portland and then continued our trip back north, towards Vancouver.

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The drive between Portland and Vancouver was long. Loooong. We took the scenic (also known as "takes you about 13 hours to reach your destination") route.

 

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We stopped for two hours in Port Townsend because we hadn't booked a ferry. It was a good lunch break though and gave everyone some rest from the Dodge.

 

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We took another short break at the Deception Pass -bridge. Some scenery the Pacific Northwest has!

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Getting closer....

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The line at the border was 45 minutes.

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We even had to go in to the office and see another immigration officer, as one of our passports was valid only for 4 months after the trip. Oops.

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Now Vancouver was GREAT. We all loved it.

We spent 5 nights here and were already planning to come back!

 

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We went to see a baseball match, which was really interesting. We don't play baseball in Finland, but we have our own, simpler version of it. They actually differ quite a lot, so this was a real treat to us all.

 

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We went for a day trip in Whistler.

Lots of fun, amazing scenery and great North American food.

 

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We had plenty of time to fool around. We always do.

 

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Green Lake is beautiful.

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Sea-to-Sky Highway.

 

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In Panorama, Vancouver.

 

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We had two really great dinner experiences in Vancouver.

Both restaurants are recommended.

 

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StackHouse in Yaletown served amazing burgers and sliders. My veggie sliders were the best I've ever tasted.

 

Verace in Chinatown had quite ordinary pizzas, but service was wonderful and if you like table games, they had about 300 of them...

 

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The Cruise is here!! Here here here!! Hereeeeeeeeeeeee!!

 

Sorry.

 

Now comes the scary part of our trip.

 

As seasoned cruisers, we suggested to everyone that we'd start early on Friday morning so that we could board the ship as early as possible, have lunch there and so on.

 

Google Maps showed us that it would take 2,5 hours to drive from Vancouver to Seattle. We wanted to be careful and cautious, so we added 90 minutes for border formalities.

 

Hence if we leave at 7am, we'll be in Seattle at 11am and at the pier 11.30.

Right?

 

Wrong.

 

We left at 7.24 after some hassle with the bags (and three women... just in general, you know.)

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Still in good time.

 

At 8am, we are stuck as a bug after a truck breaks down in a tunnel and freezes the whole traffic for over an hour.

 

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At 9.30am we stop at the border to buy our 4 bottles of wine we are allowed to take with us. Ann and Lowry go in to the store.

9.45am Ann comes back and tells me to come inside, because there is something I NEED to see.

10.00am I come back to the car with great souvenirs for the whole family and Anouk decides to go in and have a look, because I got so much great stuff.

10.15am Thommo goes in to the store to have a look, because Lowry just came back with the bottles of wine and a really nice Canada hoodie.

10.30am we are all back in the car, but haven't even crossed the border yet.

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It only takes us 25 minutes and we are back in the US.

At 12.45pm we are almost in Seattle but get stuck in the traffic again.

 

The ship sails at 4pm which means we have to be at the pier latest at 2.30pm, but I have no desire of reminding anyone of this...

At 1.30 we return the car, get two taxis and drive to the terminal.

We arrive at 1.45pm, 2,5 hours later than we meant to.

45 minutes more and we wouldn't have been able to board the ship.

 

I'm never ever ever never eververeverevererrrrr again staying anywhere but at the pier the night before the cruise. Seriously. In a sleeping bag. I mean it.

 

Lowry agrees. That's not really a stress-free face, now is it...

 

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But we are here! At the pier! We made it!

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Love your review so far, you have a great sense of humor! Can't wait for the Alaska pictures, we were there 3 years ago and can't wait to go back.

Sitting here with my coffee waiting for the next installment!

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Happy to be here, in time and ready for it all to begin. Bags were left to the very friendly porters at the curb.

 

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There were no lines anywhere. We were given a booklet full with discount coupons and such when entering the terminal but none of us actually used any of them.

 

You go up an escalator to the 2nd floor, where they have the security and the check-in.

 

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Now these are stress-free faces. Finally ;)

 

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Here we encountered some really bad service (worst ever on Royal, actually).

I'd booked My Time Dining for us. I hadn't made any reservations as I thought it would be easiest to go with the flow with 5 people.

A crew member asked me after the check-in, would I like to make reservations for the MTD. I said "no thank you" and tried to walk past him but he turned around and followed me saying "You should really make the bookings, ma'am". I smiled and told him again "no thanks, not right now" and continued to walk to the doors.

The crew member had then turned back and rolled his eyes at Lowry, who in turn asked if there is something wrong. The crew member snapped at him "She doesn't want to make any reservations!" Lowry asked what is the problem with that and he just mumbled something and went to the next customer.

Meanwhile I walked past another crew member who also asked me to make MTD reservations and I told her the same thing: "No thanks, not right now". She stopped smiling and said: "Mm-hmm. Do as you wish, madam."

I have to say we were all very surprised. We'd just bragged to our friends about the excellent service you get on a cruise ship and this is the first impression they get from the crew. Yay.

 

The walk to the ship isn't long and the first photo is taken right here!

 

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We will be on the Rhapsody next summer. Love your review. Take me along :)

Edited by PudgiPoo

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Looking forward to another enjoyable report!:)

 

Well hello again! So nice to have you here :):)

 

Love your review so far' date=' you have a great sense of humor! Can't wait for the Alaska pictures, we were there 3 years ago and can't wait to go back.

Sitting here with my coffee waiting for the next installment![/quote']

 

Thanks, I aim to please ;)

Alaska was wonderful!

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Loving your review. Gorgeous pics. Keep it coming!

 

Thank you! We had 3 cameras and 3 smartphone cameras to go through every night... over 3000 photos in total. About 800 were saved ;)

 

We will be on the Rhapsody next summer. Love your review. Take me alone :)

 

Come along, come along :cool:

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The looks on our faces reflect our feelings very accurately.

 

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Tired, bored and homesick? Yep, each and everyone of us.

 

There was a bit more walking to be done to get to the ship.

 

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I was driving everyone crazy going "Ding! Ding! Ding!" the whole time but as we stepped onboard and they gave their SeaPasses to security, they got it. "Ding!"

 

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We were originally going to try Celebrity, but the prices jumped up all of a sudden and we decided to try Rhapsody.

 

And this is your first look inside the Rhapsody:

(actually it's the elevators, but come on... this is a lot more glamorous, right?)

 

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Some people actually told me here on CC that it's worth ZERO to go on an Alaska cruise, if you don't have a balcony.

I pointed out that a balcony cabin cost nearly twice as much which they answered with "Well, maybe you shouldn't cruise before you can afford a balcony".

I had a very hard time trying not to laugh out loud until I remembered they can't hear me. So I laughed out loud. I still do. *snort*

 

We had booked two adjoining inside cabins which worked great for us.

This photo was taken a bit later in the week:

 

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So no own pillows/towel animals waiting when you get in, sorry.

 

We kept the door open during the day and closed during the day. We had our own cabin with Lowry and Anouk, Ann & Thommo shared the other one.

 

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Having two bathrooms and a double set of mirrors (especially on formal nights) was a blessing...

 

We didn't have very long before the muster drill so we all unpacked quickly so we could concentrate on the essentials: sparky.

 

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We only had four glasses so Lowry very graciously sacrificed himself and drank from the bottle. He's such a generous spirit.

 

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Edited by Sinppu

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After we drowned our sorrow...no, wait. We weren't sad. Drowned our joy...no, that doesn't work either. Hmm...aha. Pirate day today. Too many arrrs.

After we'd downed the Korbel, we went to the Muster Drill.

 

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No, I wasn't scared. I was just worried the next bottle of Korbel wouldn't be chilled when we got back....

 

The drill began promptly and went very smoothly. The Seattle skyline was a nice background.

 

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What a delight you and your review are. Throughly enjoying your journey and amazing photos.

 

 

 

Sent from my SGH-M919 using Forums mobile app

Edited by Tkaklita

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Now Vancouver was GREAT. We all loved it.

We spent 5 nights here and were already planning to come back!

 

WP_20130819_12_52_49_Pro.jpg

 

20130819_145054.jpg

 

WP_20130819_15_14_35_Pro.jpg

 

We went to see a baseball match, which was really interesting. We don't play baseball in Finland, but we have our own, simpler version of it. They actually differ quite a lot, so this was a real treat to us all.

 

20130820_182000.jpg

 

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Americanized already. Baseball and hot dogs. Great together. Hope you enjoyed your visit to the USA.

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Sinny, your reviews and pictures are so much fun to read/see and with your friends added to this one just has me smiling the whole time - you are all so adorable....

Keep it coming - hubby and I have an Alaskan cruise on our bucket list.

:):):)

Barb

Edited by Just The 3 Of Us

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What a great start to your review. Pictures are amazing and I really like your style of writing. I would love to do an Alaskan cruise. It is on my bucket list, but somehow I believe my bucket has a hole in it......:p So, I will just have to enjoy it through your review.

 

Thanks

Gwen :)

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What a delight you and your review are. Throughly enjoying your journey and amazing photos.

 

Why thank you! I thoroughly agree

 

Americanized already. Baseball and hot dogs. Great together. Hope you enjoyed your visit to the USA.

 

We did! We always do, it was number 8 already ;)

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