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Sinppu

Alaskan Rhapsody Aug 23rd-30th Photo Trip Report

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Yay!!!! I'm considering this itinerary! Your review is great! I can't wait for your next installment!

 

I have enjoyed your past reviews and this one is also great!

 

Thank you both, more to come very soon. Right now, actually ;)

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Thanks for doing this as I'm doing a B2B2B on RH next spring with Alaska as the last leg!

 

Oh you are in for such a treat. I envy you.

 

Love, love, love your reviews. Between you, max's mom and radio we are spoiled with them. Thinking of going to Alaska next aug/sep

 

 

Do you have another cruise booked yet?

 

Thank you!! Being compared to max's mom and Radio is a great honour.

 

We haven't booked one yet, but are planning two in 2014 ;)

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Thanks for your review!!! Rhapsody was my first ship so she's special to me! Can't wait to read more.

 

I love your reviews. You seem to have so much fun.

 

More coming soon.

 

Fun is indeed the keyword here ;)

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Oh, I just love your Scrooge-attitude. I wish I could see the same attitude with my DH, who while being cheap on some things, insists on two things while cruising:1) the ship has to have been built in Finland - namely Turku, Finland and 2) he needs to have a balcony. Balcony cabins do cost too much. We could take more cruises if he'd accept inside cabins... Well, too bad. I just hope he is not going to become a suite snob after our Navigator Junior suite... It's bad enough to deal with a balcony snob. And I have no other option but to stick to Royal Caribbean cruise ships, which is not at all a bad thing - except that some other cruise lines might be more cost efficient...

 

I hear you. In our family I do all the planning so I get to decide.

I also make a lot less money so I can always play the "if you want to be a snob, you can pay for my holiday as well"-card :p

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Day 2 was a sea day. Unlike cruises in the warmer climates, it doesn't attract hoards of people on the decks.

That was kind of stating the obvious, but you know. Right? Yeah, you know.

 

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The views were wonderful, though.

 

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We tried breakfast in the MDR today as it was on the same deck as our cabins. We had a little trouble communicating with the waiters but everyone got what they wanted at the end.

 

Anouk went to Chef demonstration in the Centrum this morning. She liked it very much.

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Today I also discovered something that shocked me to the core: notice something missing?

 

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I noticed quite many Barbie signs on the cabin doors. There weren't many children on this cruise so it might be that the package is a success.

 

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Today was a free champagne art auction.

 

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We generally enjoy them but seeing the same artwork for the 4th time in 15 months is getting a bit boring.

 

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However, there is also another reason to attend. Can you guess what it is? Anyone? It's right there, in the name of the activity....

 

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Yep, you guessed it.

 

Today was the first formal night. We booked a table at 7.30pm and us ladies started primping around 6pm. The gentlemen escaped and promised to return 7.15pm for their own primping.

 

We managed to be spot on time in Edelweiss on deck 5 at 7.31pm.

They served champagne in front of the MDR. Which our gentlemen might have not needed anymore...

 

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We were given a table for six by the window which was very nice.

 

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Now it's time for some food porn, people!!

The quality of the photos varies, sorry about that.

 

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Bay Scallop Gratin. It is alright, but nothing special.

 

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Shaved cantaloupe and honeydew melon. Praised by everyone.

 

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Royal shrimp cocktail. Tried by my lovable hubby, who hates seafood. AKA too much pre-dinner champagne...

 

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Roasted duck. Anouk enjoyed this very much although she said the duck was a bit on the dry side.

 

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Shrimp Ravioli. I liked it, I've tried it before. Maybe something else next time, though.

 

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Carved fillet of beef tenderloin. Lowry had this and enjoyed it (except for the mushroom sauce. He hates mushrooms...just HOW much champagne did he have?!)

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More food porn...

 

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Premium Angus Beef Sliders from the Classics. Thommo thought these were excellent and he appreciated very much the fact that he got mashed potatoes with them. And the ketchup face.

 

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Chocolate sensation from the classics. Some thought it heavy, others polished off their plate (and everyone elses).

 

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Sky High Lemon Meringue Pie. Yummy.

 

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Bittersweet Chocolate Souffle. Anouk had this and didn't finish it. She said it was OK in a bland way.

 

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Double Strawberry Cheesecake was tasted by all and we'll be ordering that the next time. It was great.

 

After dinner we went for a group photo.

 

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I love these. I always buy at least four...

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Next we went to see the Headliner Show. It was Greg London, "Master Musical Impressionist" but I have to say I didn't see any mastery.

The show was 45 minutes long, of which he talked about 20 minutes and seemed a bit confused all the time. "When I was doing a show in Vegas, I mean cruise ships..."

He did an impression on maybe 10 people and wasn't very convincing.

 

We saw Finis Henderson on the Jewel in May. His show was well over an hour, he did at least 20 characters and was hilarious.

 

We weren't very impressed this time.

 

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But we were impressed by the way we looked. Ha.

 

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Coming back to our cabins we found our first towel animals.

 

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Now this puppy even I could take home (Lowry is allergic to real ones).

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I was up at 7am on Sunday morning. I went out to the deck to take some photos and it was truly amazing.

 

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It was also VERY windy.

 

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Where is everybody?? Oh, right. Sitting on their balconies.

 

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There was a photographer around the pool taking photos of people with the Kodiak bear. It was hilarious. Everytime the bear saw someone new it started running towards them and gave them a huge hug. It was really funny and got everyone in a great mood.

 

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The ship arrived in Juneau quite late, 11 am. That gave ample time for breakfast and the outdoor/window seating at the Windjammer was much appreciated.

 

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Coming into port in Juneau is awesome.

It's hard to grasp that the mountains are so close and the clouds so low.

 

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In Juneau we split into two groups. Thommo, Anouk and Ann had booked a whale excursion that ended in Mendenhall Glacier.

We'd already seen in whales in Iceland last year, so we weren't that excited about it.

 

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But the three of them had a great time.

 

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They saw sea lions and plenty of whales, which came pretty close to the boats at times.

 

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There is a free shuttle from and to the pier. The walk is only a mile.

 

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We were wondering should we take the Mount Roberts tramway.

 

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But decided against it when we saw the prices.

 

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There are plenty of excursions available.

 

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Knowing that the others were going to the Mendenhall Glacier, we bought tickets there. I think they cost $8 pp and there was a shuttle every 30 minutes there and back. Last shuttle back was at 5pm. They leave right next to the tramway.

 

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I would recommend spending at least an hour at the glacier. If you want to walk to the edge of it where the beach and waterfall are, you'll need 45 minutes. And it's truly worth it.

 

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Although it was beautiful, we'd still recommend Iceland as the best place to see glaciers, waterfalls and beaches (and volcanoes and mountains and whales and birds and geysirs and...).

Reunited!

 

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After the glacier we went back to Downtown Juneau and to the famous Red Dog Saloon. It was a fun place to have lunch.

 

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We did some souvenir shopping before heading back to the ship.

 

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We were told there is only about 15 days of sunshine a year in Juneau, so we got really lucky with the weather.

 

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We had big plans to go to the Quest tonight but after having a quick dinner in the Windjammer, we were all too tired. We had an early morning the next day so we ordered breakfast from the room service and went to bed early.

Edited by Sinppu

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We'd bought the Yukon Pass railway excursion today and our tickets stated that we should be out at the pier 8.10am as the train would depart 8.30am.

 

We ordered breakfast to be delivered 7.00-7.30am.

 

At 7.35am we hadn't yet received anything and Lowry became just a little frustrated. This is him trying to call and ask for our food while shaving.

 

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At 7.50am Ann got fed up and went out to get at least something to eat. Our breakfast arrived just as she left and then Thommo received the call of the breakfast being on it's way. He told them not to bother as they didn't have time anymore. They went up to Park Cafe and we agreed we'd meet them on the pier.

 

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The train leaves very conveniently right next to the ship.

 

Ann got herself a Red Bull so she felt a little better.

 

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We were all given a newspaper to read and everyone had plenty of room to themselves as the train wasn't crowded.

 

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There are announcements to point out the highlights along the way but yet again the scenery is more than enough.

 

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The excursion was supposed to be 3 and 1/2 hours but suddenly the train stopped and the tour guide announced that we were having problems with one of the engines.

If you are a pro-napper like myself, you sleep at any given chance.

 

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After a half an hour, there was another announcement where they told us that we would be linked to another train and continue then together.

 

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So we did and continued the journey.

 

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Looking back it would have been great to do a longer excursion and go all the way to Yukon. But it was fine. Even if I did have my back at the window for extended periods of time... it's the heights. We don't really see eye to eye.

 

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You are sure to see everything as the train comes back the exact same route. First you sit on the left side and then again on the left side. When facing forward. Or backward.

 

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There are complimentary water bottles in the train, but no food to be bought.

 

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Coming back you can see the port and the ships.

 

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You can stand between the train cars but they get crowded on the way up.

On the way down there was a lot more room.

 

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After the train ride we still had several hours in Skagway so we decided to look around the village a bit.

 

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That's all it took, really. A bit. Skagway isn't really a metropolis.

 

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There are plenty of souvenirs on sale and some very quirky little shops that have fun things and signs everywhere.

 

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This shop is recommended. It was a dream come true to the sweet-toothed folk.

 

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Skagway port offers beautiful views.

 

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This evening was busy. We went back to our cabin around 5pm to play a little cards and have a pre-dinner drink.

 

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While playing there was a knock on the other cabin door and when Thommo answered it, it was from house-keeping and this is what our friends received:

 

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We all thought it was a nice gesture. Especially after the champagne we'd already had.

 

There was an aerial performance in the Centrum. We went there 30 minutes before it started and couldn't find any available seats so do go early.

 

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I've seen a few Cirque du Soleil products and am sorry to say that this one compares quite badly to them. I left after 5 minutes, but the others stayed until the end.

 

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After the show it was dinner time. We were seated next to the table we'd had on formal night so we had the same waiters and they were so wonderful I don't have enough words for them. We took photos of the names just to make sure we'd remember them.

 

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Alejandro was from the Philippines and Bras from India. They really made our dinners unforgettable and they gave us the best service we've ever received anywhere.

 

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And then for the food porn again!!

 

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Creamy roasted garlic soup. I loved this, it truly is creamy and garlicky.

 

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Chilled strawberry bisque. Lowry, Anouk and Ann all liked this very much. We don't usually have sweet appetizers so it was a refreshing change.

 

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Arancini. Thommo had this and he said it was one of the best dishes he'd ever had.

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