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Anzura

Rhapsody - July 11-18 Alaska review with pics

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This was my second cruise, first on Royal. The first cruise for everyone else in the party. I was really disappointed with my first cruise on HAL to the Mexican Rivera. I set my expectations too high so I was let down a lot. This time, I knew exactly what to expect and we all had a great time!

 

We drove from Northern Ca all the way to Seattle. We stayed in Portland Ore. the first night, then drove into Seattle and stayed another night there. While in Seattle we took a tour of University of Washington. It's one of the top 5 universities my son wants to attend after he graduates hs next year. It's a beautiful campus, but I won't bore you with the pictures. We also did the touristy thing and headed down to Pikes market and the Space Needle. Again, won't bore you with pics. Let's get on to the cruise.

 

I had plans to take pictures of everything. From boarding process to disembarking. Well, best laid plans didn't work. I was distracted too often and just plain forgot. Oh well, I did my best.

 

We parked at Pier 91 parking lot. I'm pretty sure it was around $20 a night. The shuttle picked us up right away and took us right to the dock, 3 min drive max. We left our bags and checked in. It was easy peasy. We boarded around 11:00. Once we boarded, we walked around for just a bit and headed straight to the CL. No one was in there. It was a nice place to get away from the boarding crowds.

 

Concierge Lounge on boarding day

 

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This little machine was my saving grace. I NEED coffee in the morning and I'm a huge coffee dork/snob. My dh tried the coffee in the WJ once and almost puked. I wasn't about to try it. We only bought the premium beverage package so Latte-tudes wasn't on our freebie list. I visited this machine several times a day. Grinds the beans, froths the milk, pulls the shot. Perfect!

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Dh and I headed right for the R bar (which became our favorite bar right away) and had about 3 drinks each before we even pulled away from the dock. :D People always talk about how strong the drinks are. I watched every single drink being made and they were all measured precisely. Not too strong, not too weak, just right.

 

As soon as I could, I went to the gym and checked out the classes being offered. Only one yoga and one spin class the whole week. I signed up for both. The yoga sign up already had 10 people on it. I was the only one signed up for spin. Guess I'm the only sucker for punishment.

 

We got into the room around 2pm. Bags showed up about an hour later.

We had the Royal Family Suite room 7102. My only disappointment of this trip was walking into the room and seeing the teeny tiny balcony. I did so much research on cc and I swear I saw balcony pics of this exact room and the balcony was large. I was so sad to see it was only big enough for 2 people! Why would a suite that sleeps 8, have a balcony that seats 2?? So upsetting. We had our room attendant remove the table from the deck and bring us 2 more chairs. It was tight, and there was no way to get all 5 of us out there at one time, but it was better. Here's some pics of the room and balcony.

 

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MIL slept in the big bedroom. It has it's own bathroom with tub and sliders out to the balcony. My oldest son slept in the living room on the pullout couch. Me, dh and my youngest slept in the little bedroom. There are 2 pullman beds that come down from the ceiling. We shared the the little bathroom and the huge walk-in closet, aka: dressing room. There's also a small door out to the balcony from the living area.

 

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Muster

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Sorry my pictures are so big. I've got to figure out how to resize before I continue.

 

See you in a week Seattle

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The first night we ate in the WJ. It was just what I expected.... Hometown Buffet, if you know what that is. I was shocked to see a chicken curry stew. Something with flavor! It was actually pretty tasty. I was pleased. The desserts were just what I thought they would be, crap. :p

 

 

 

First night sunset

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The next morning I got up and headed to the CL for my coffee and bran muffin. Then it was off to the gym for yoga. Now, if any of you reading do yoga and are interested in the classes, it was basic...very basic. It was interesting because the gym is on the very back of the ship and the first day at sea to Alaska is always bit rough. The teacher said this was his first class in a long time where someone didn't fall down. Anyway, it was a pretty easy class, so when we were done I went out onto the jogging track and met up with my dh and walked about a mile. The track says 4 times around is one mile.

When we were done, we headed straight for the R Bar and got ourselves a Bloody

 

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Here's me in my gym clothes enjoying that drink on my tiny balcony

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Edited by Anzura

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After we cleaned up we had lunch in the MDR. Had the much talked about salad bar. Looking back on it now, this was possibly the best meal on the ship. It's really a really great salad bar!

 

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I'm pretty sure the first sea day was formal night. I insisted on my boys dressing up, and boy did my youngest look dapper! Sorry about the blurry pics....too much drinking ;) kidding kidding.....sort of.

 

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Me, MIL and youngest in the CL before dinner

 

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Here's the whole gang at formal night

 

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After dinner my oldest met up with his new friends and took off, my youngest went back to the room to play on the playstation :rolleyes: and me, mil and dh went to Schooners Bar for the Adult Day Care at Night. Come to find out by the end of the cruise, this was by far the best entertainment on the ship. Also by the end of the cruise, my son and dh both had their very own Del Sol color changing light rings valued at far less than $1000. <-----ok, you just had to be there. It is fantastic and anyone going on Rhapsody in the near future must go see Derek Lewis.

 

I've got to go make dinner. Up next...Juneau, a ton of rain and a washed away Nugget Trail.

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Day 3- Juneau

 

The next morning dh and I headed to the gym for our morning workout. I snagged a spin bike facing the window and happened to see quite a few whales while I worked out.

 

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Went out on the deck to join my dh on the track again and saw even more whales

 

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Ate breakfast in the WJ then hung out on our balcony while we pulled into Juneau around noon.

 

The weather was overcast and looked like it might clear up. Boy was I wrong.

 

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We headed up to the CL and waited for about 2 seconds before our concierge Amit took us down the elevator to the exit ramp. We bypassed the huge line waiting to get off the ship. Nice perk!

 

Right after you get off the ship there's a shuttle you can take to downtown. It cost $4 pp. Or you can walk if you want. I think it's about a mile. We took the shuttle. It started raining pretty bad by this time. Of course I forgot the ponchos for my kids. Bad mom. They love the rain, so they were plenty fine with getting soaked.

Once we got to downtown, we found the Blue Bus stand and bought our tickets to Mendenhall. The bus was there in a snap.

 

The Nugget Falls trail was closed because of flooding. There was a ranger there telling us all about the ice dam break. It's called something with a J and happens every year apparently. I can't remember details. The glacier was totally socked in with low clouds and it poured on us even more.

 

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After Mendenhall we headed straight for Tracy's. Yum Yum Yum Yum!! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

 

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Just look at the size of that crab leg!

 

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We did some shopping and headed back to the ship. We took advantage of the drink package once again at the R Bar and ordered room service for dinner. Had the broiled salmon which wasn't all that bad. Shocking I know. Early morning ahead so we all crashed early. No Schooners this night.

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After Mendenhall we headed straight for Tracy's. Yum Yum Yum Yum!! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

 

 

 

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Just look at the size of that crab leg!

 

 

 

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We did some shopping and headed back to the ship. We took advantage of the drink package once again at the R Bar and ordered room service for dinner. Had the broiled salmon which wasn't all that bad. Shocking I know. Early morning ahead so we all crashed early. No Schooners this night.

 

 

Thanks for the Mendenhall pics, we were there the week before you and it looked totally different!

 

Tracy's how about the crab bisque??

 

 

Laura

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Thanks for the Mendenhall pics, we were there the week before you and it looked totally different!

 

Tracy's how about the crab bisque??

 

 

Laura

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

Stop making my mouth water! I'm on an after cruise diet and thinking about that bisque is killing me! :DIt was all amazing. The crab cakes, bisque, crab leg and Alaskan amber ale. So yum!

Edited by Anzura

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Thank you for posting of nugget fall. We were planning to hike there next week. Now I have to find other excursion.

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I'm pretty sure the water has receded by now. I heard part of the trail is open again. The visitors center probably has a Web site with info

 

Sent from my SGH-M919 using Forums mobile app

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Great pictures. We did the same cruise in May. I agree, Amit was FANTASTIC! We were remarkably lucky. The forecast for the entire week was rain. Instead we had sun everyday and highs in the mid to high 60's! It was actually too warm for a jacket! Also had one of the best whale watching experiences in Juneau, and a fantastic day in Tracy Arm.

One comment. You said you were surprised the Salmon was good. I find that the seafood dishes on Royal Caribbean have been quite good overall. No surprise here.

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Day 4 – Skagway

 

Our Skagway day was an early one. We ordered room service for breakfast. Being in a suite, we are able to get the mdr menu. However, the mdr doesn't open till 7:00, or was it 7:30? and our excursion started at 7:30! We never got to use that perk.

 

Headed off the ship once again via our concierge ahead of everyone else. So nice!

We got off the ship and our tour guide was waiting right there with a sign. “Chilkoot Tours”. We got on the tour bus and our driver took us around town for a bit because we were early. She dropped us off at the White Pass train depot and we boarded our car.

 

 

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We got the end car, which ended up being very cool!

 

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The whole train ride was socked in with clouds. It was still fun and we had a few good sights.

 

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The train stopped at Fraser Summit. Which is right at the Canadian border. We had to wait on the train until our passports were checked by customs. When we got off the train, our tour guide bus driver was there waiting for us. We got on the bus and we took off along the Klondike Hwy heading towards Carcross – Lake Bennett. We had lunch at Caribou Crossing and spent a lot of time with the future Iditarod dogs. Stopped at Carcross Desert, Tagish Lake, Emerald Lake and took the ubiquitous picture at the Yukon sign.

 

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I had to share this one because it my favorite picture of my dh! I married a good looking dude!

 

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back in Skagway we drove up to this overlook so we could see the whole town.

 

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Did some more shopping and headed back to the ship. The clouds were absolutely amazing

 

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We got back on the ship around 5:30pm. Changed our clothes and of course headed straight to our favorite R Bar for cocktails. We had dinner in the mdr. Crab cakes on the menu. Yum!

Went to the Broadway theater to watch the movie Divergent. Long day, bedtime.

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Day 5 was supposed to be Tracy Arm Fjord. Apparently we couldn't make it up that arm so we headed to the Endicott Arm to see Dawes Glacier. It was a very early morning. I tried to get my boys out of bed to watch as we approached the glacier. No luck, they would rather sleep.

 

Headed up to CL for my coffee and muffin then headed out on deck for the views.

 

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A little later, I had breakfast in the WJ with my kids. This was a pretty lazy day. Lot's of cards and cocktails and another formal night. Saw more whales on our way out to sea.

 

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Not many pics of formal night, but here's my youngest looking dapper once again.

 

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Lobster night. MIL had it, said it was overcooked and dry. I had prime rib, no flavor. Meh. Headed to Schooners again to the Adult Day Care. My oldest son came with us this time and he was called out to sing. Got his Del Sol color changing light ring by singing “Baby Got Back”. Yes, it was hilarious and I didn't bring my phone or camera!

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Incredible photo of the close approach to Dawes Glacier. You were able to get much closer than we did in June 2012.

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Hi,

Loving your picture review. Thank you for taking the time to post. I had a question if you don't mind, did you happen to notice if they offered unlimited Wifi yet? I was told they would start offering it on Rhapsody in late July, just wondering if they started early. :)

Thanks

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I will be on Rhapsody in just 3 days. I am enjoying your review hope to read about your day in victoria before I board on Friday.

 

 

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Incredible photo of the close approach to Dawes Glacier. You were able to get much closer than we did in June 2012.

 

I was going to say the same thing- we were there the first week in June. That's a great shot!

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Day 6 was sea day. Got up early and headed to the CL for my daily coffee and muffin. Went to the gym for my spin class. Found a nice surprise that I wasn't the only one signed up anymore! There was about 7 people total. This was a pretty decent class. You can work at your own level on a spin bike, so I ended up getting a pretty good workout.

 

We received an invitation to a private champagne brunch from 11:30-12 in Chops by our concierge. I didn't ask, but I'm pretty sure it was all the suite guests. It was pretty darn nice. All the chefs were there plus a bunch of officers. The food was AMAZING! Yes, good food!! I was in heaven. Cream of mushroom soup with truffle oil was to die for. The rest of the food I'm guessing was all from the specialty restaurants. There was sushi and this duck crepe thing. Omg, I can't even remember it was just all so good. Dh and I made reservations to Izumi a few days before not knowing about this brunch. We were stuffed when we got to Izumi. We ended up just ordering 2 rolls. Not the greatest sushi. We have awesome sushi places around our home, so we are pretty spoiled. Izumi is nothing to write home about. Or maybe we just ordered the wrong rolls? Who knows.

 

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The rest of the day was spent playing hours of cards with my youngest. Watched this great duo perform in the Centrum and drank plenty more cocktails from our favorite R Bar. By the way, our drinks of choice this cruise were the Cucumber Fizz and Moscow Mule. So so good! I had my fair share of cosmo's and wine as well. We got good use out of our drink package for sure.

 

Hit up the rock climbing wall with the kids. I've done many rock walls in the past and never had a problem. I made it half way up until my arthritic fingers wouldn't let me go on. Everyone thought I was scared or weak. The belay guy would not let me down. I just let go and started swinging. It took my dh to tell him very firmly to “let her down now!”. A few of my fingers were swollen and sore for a few days after that. Of course both my kids made it all the way up.

 

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MDR for dinner. This night dh and I hit our full meter. Dinner was very light with fish and veggies and I felt like I ate an entire cow. The cruise was catching up with us. Miserable!!

 

Day 7 – Victoria

 

Up to CL for coffee and muffin of course. Off the ship around 9am. Once off the ship in Victoria, it's kind of hard figuring out what to do or where to go. Mil decided to take a cab and the rest of us walked to the downtown area about 1.2 miles away.

When we got there, mil bought tickets for the hop on hop off bus tour. I sorta wanted to do the BC Museum and see the Viking exhibit. Thought the boys would enjoy that. Oh well. We did the bus tour and I wasn't impressed. You really can't “hop on and hop off”. Well, you can hop off but no one was able to get back on our bus and had to wait another hour for another one. I'll be writing a trip advisor review on this one. Nothing really much to see in Victoria. Wish we didn't spend an entire day there. Would have been nice to add another Alaska port and only docked here for a few hours.

 

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A few months before the cruise, I made reservations at the Empress. Glad I did! There were a lot of people who were turned away. I had no idea you got so much food at Afternoon Tea! We had plans to eat fish and chips a little later down at the wharf. We did anyway, but shared 2 meals with the 5 of us. Barb's Fish and Chips! Really really good even when you're stuffed like a pig!

 

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Back to the ship around 4:30pm. More card games, more cocktails, NO DINNER! We had a few snacks in the CL lounge a little later in the eve. Had dessert in the WJ. Actually came across something very tasty. It was a key lime pie that was very cheescakey. Really yummy.

 

Ended up at Schooners again. This time dh got his del sol color changing light ring. Lot's of singing as a group. Tons of fun. Wish that guy was local. I would go watch every weekend!

 

The next day we disembarked on our own. We had a LONG drive ahead so we wanted off the ship asap. The CL lounge was all cleaned up this day. NO COFFEE!!! I almost cried. We headed down to latte-tudes which thankfully was open. We ended up having a credit on our account because we canceled my youngest sons beverage package. He doesn't drink soda or coffee, so it was a waste of money. We canceled on day 2 and we got a full refund. Very nice of RC!! We used this credit for tips, gym classes, a few trinkets and the last day coffee! I think we ended with a credit of like .30 cents. We dragged out our own bags around 7:30 am. Found the shuttle and headed to the car. We were on the road back home by 8am. Arrived home at 10:30pm! It was a long long day of driving. Had the best nights sleep that night all week. Found a new appreciation for my bed.

 

Well, that's all she wrote. Thanks for reading. I think my dh is pro cruise now. We will be looking into a Mediterranean cruise in the future.

Edited by Anzura

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Incredible photo of the close approach to Dawes Glacier. You were able to get much closer than we did in June 2012.

 

I was really surprised how close we got! The darn thing only calved a tiny bit. Would have been so awesome to have a big one being that close. It was cracking and making a ton of noise though. Very very pretty!

 

Hi,

Loving your picture review. Thank you for taking the time to post. I had a question if you don't mind, did you happen to notice if they offered unlimited Wifi yet? I was told they would start offering it on Rhapsody in late July, just wondering if they started early. :)

Thanks

 

To be honest I didn't even check. Once we left ports, I put my phone on Airplane mode and so did everyone else. We didn't want to take a chance on being charged. There was nothing said in any paperwork about it. Sorry I'm no help there.

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Thanks for your review. I really want to got to the Empress for tea now. Maybe I need to take a trip to the island this summer so my mouth can feast as much as my eyes just did! Lol.

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Thanks for the great review and photos!

 

I enjoyed all of it!

 

We'll be on Rhapsody in 2016, so this was a good preview.

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Thanks for the review! We were on Rhapsody the week before you and had warm weather the entire time. Our "go to bar" was Schooner's and I agree, Derek Lewis was the best entertainment on the ship!

Edited by lvmy2boys

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