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Star Princess North to Alaska! Sept 10 2016


Bimmer09
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Can Norman Love do no Wrong? (rhetorical!)

 

30478484895_f46224d075_b.jpg

 

I realized that if we had just sat down and ordered "Four Normans each please" the night would have taken on a better complexion.

 

I paid the $58 check but left no $12 tip as I normally do.

 

A walk on deck peering into the darkness was how we always ended the night.

Promenade Deck. One which can take you all the way around the ship. One that is covered from the elements.

 

Our hallway luggage was gone, not to be seen again until Chicago if I recall correctly.

 

We had to sleep.

 

Tomorrow our original plan of getting off the ship late and taking a Princess Shuttle ($27 each) and booking a room for the day at the Captain Cook Hotel to use for naps and bathing before our flight, had been replaced by a 6 plus hours excursion, by Carol, who wanted to savor every moment of the 12 hours before our 8 pm flight back to Chicago.

 

Yes, we have an excursion in the morning...and it's a doozy!

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I am not often a dessert guy as I don't usually eat a lot at a sitting. Just seeing that Norman Love creation has reminded me of the Celebrity version of the Crown Dependence which we had on our Silhouette Cruise.

 

The explanation of the delights we were eating is in the review and I can't put my hands on Carol's notes to tell you what the treats were. You'll have to read the review I guess.

 

The Celebrity specialty restaurants are priced way above the $29 on Princess but two of them-Murano ($50 pp) and Lawn Club Grill ($45 pp) really outshine any Princess offering.

 

Here's X's idea of a blow-out dessert....

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and was followed by chocolates

 

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If you haven't read that review and are curious about Celebrity (as I was) then give it a read. We are very happy to have two great cruise lines to choose from.

 

Norris

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Norris, all I can say is Wow!! We were on the Royal Princess this year and it was just as bad at the Crown Grill. It took THREE HOURS from the time we sat down to the time we finished. The service and food were atrocious and cold. Unlike you I did complain.

The next day we went to Sabatini's and the food & service was fabulous!!!

Tony

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Thanks for all the food porn. Will I lose your respect and friendship if I tell you that I would have totally eaten your first steak?! A certain gentleman of my acquaintance will no longer permit me to order steak when we dine out together, as he says that ordering it well-done is an affront to his sensibilities. What can I say, I'm a philistine. Or his sensibilities are too delicate.

 

Your glacier photos were breathtaking.

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Thanks for all the food porn. Will I lose your respect and friendship if I tell you that I would have totally eaten your first steak?! A certain gentleman of my acquaintance will no longer permit me to order steak when we dine out together, as he says that ordering it well-done is an affront to his sensibilities. What can I say, I'm a philistine. Or his sensibilities are too delicate.

 

Your glacier photos were breathtaking.

 

Annie, glad to see you are still reading!

 

Had I been at home cooking my own steak and had overdone it I would of course have had to eat it but here I had a choice to send it back as I was paying for it. It was awfully dry looking and could have been a long chew. There are half a dozen temperature requests that can go with a steak order and I guess the cook forgot how long mine had been on the grill. It was a surprise that they had to cook three steaks to get it right.

 

I'm glad you enjoyed the glacier photos. A couple will make it into our annual Walgreens calendar as 8 X 10s.

 

Almost done-have some animals and scenic vistas to share up ahead.

 

Norris

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Norris, all I can say is Wow!! We were on the Royal Princess this year and it was just as bad at the Crown Grill. It took THREE HOURS from the time we sat down to the time we finished. The service and food were atrocious and cold. Unlike you I did complain.

The next day we went to Sabatini's and the food & service was fabulous!!!

Tony

 

Tony, yes three hours is beyond endurance for what they have to cook in the CG.

Steaks don't take long to cook nor require a lot of stirring and attention when on the grill. I had the kitchen clock in my field of view which maybe made matters worse as I saw the time taken for our orders to appear.

 

Did they comp your meal on the Royal when you complained?

 

We have always had issue-free dinners in Sabatinis. It would be nice if they could change up the menu though.

 

Norris

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We were up at 6 a.m to give us enough time to be at the Explorers Lounge at 8 to leave the ship and join our excursion.

 

One last time I had my coffee at my favorite spot

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I met our room steward, Decilone in the hallway. I left a tip envelope in the room for him

 

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We went to Portofino for breakfast only to find it a staging room for disembarkers. We went to another MDR, probably Capri and found the same thing. As we were near the IC and imagining the buffet to be a zoo we found a window table and Carol fetched some croissants and such. We ordered coffee and a butter knife so I could spread some on my croissant. They didn't have a butter knife and gave me a soup spoon. Huh? Really? LOL.

 

We didn't have long to hang around in Explorers and were soon being scanned off the ship and down the gangway. A long walk up ramps and through a big hall then out to a waiting tour bus.

 

Our tour was called Turnagain Arm, Wildlife Refuge and Bird Sanctuary or something to that effect and would take over 6 hours but we would end up in Anchorage at the end which was the important thing.

 

There was to be an Ariel Tram Ride at the Aleyska Resort which we were looking forward to.

 

See you on the bus!

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Great review, Thank you.

What is the earliest they let people get off the ship in Whittier? (it appears that it docks shortly after midnight!) And how did you arrange to depart when you needed to?

We are on the same ship and itinerary next summer, and want to get off as early as possible to head to our next activity in Alaska.

 

thanks again!

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Hi Noris,

 

I am enjoying your review so very much.

 

I do have a question though, we are taking that same cruise in September 2017 and have an aft suite. You indicated that the ship turns so both sides get to see the glacier. If you are on the back of the ship does it just pass you by or does it stop for a while so those of us at the back can sit on our balcony and enjoy the view? What are your thoughts, should we change cabins? The glaciers are the best part of the cruise for me as we have already been on 3 Alaska cruises.

 

Your opinion would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Janet

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We were up at 6 a.m to give us enough time to be at the Explorers Lounge at 8 to leave the ship and join our excursion.

 

One last time I had my coffee at my favorite spot

29869484544_e84344ab80_b.jpg

 

I met our room steward, Decilone in the hallway. I left a tip envelope in the room for him

 

29869486764_48846f9736_b.jpg

 

We went to Portofino for breakfast only to find it a staging room for disembarkers. We went to another MDR, probably Capri and found the same thing. As we were near the IC and imagining the buffet to be a zoo we found a window table and Carol fetched some croissants and such. We ordered coffee and a butter knife so I could spread some on my croissant. They didn't have a butter knife and gave me a soup spoon. Huh? Really? LOL.

 

We didn't have long to hang around in Explorers and were soon being scanned off the ship and down the gangway. A long walk up ramps and through a big hall then out to a waiting tour bus.

 

Our tour was called Turnagain Arm, Wildlife Refuge and Bird Sanctuary or something to that effect and would take over 6 hours but we would end up in Anchorage at the end which was the important thing.

 

There was to be an Ariel Tram Ride at the Aleyska Resort which we were looking forward to.

 

See you on the bus!

 

Norris,

 

I love pictures of the pool areas at night for some reason. I love sitting out by my pool here in Naples, FL at night and watching the breeze make the light shimmer off the water. After being entertained by you for so long during this journey on The Star, I went rummaging through some photos of our Sapphire RT from Seattle in 2011. I was floored when I remembered the name of the glacier we went dog sledding on in Juneau:

 

16bbmdk.jpg

 

I absolutely cracked up and wanted to share this with you. You are even more of a "Star" than you know! :):) I hope you had a good weekend in Michigan and thanks for doing this for all of us. Go Cubbies (although I am a Mets fan, I want them to win).

 

Thanks,

 

Trip

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Well I am sorry to see this coming to a close .Alaska was our very first cruise in 2003 on the Island Princess. Your excellent photography and commentary has helped me revisit my memories of that cruise.

I am in anticipation of your next cruise on Celebrity Reflection to the Western Caribbean. Last March we did the Eastern Caribbean on the Silhouette and fell in love with that ship. I did not stumble upon your review of the Silhouette until we had returned , but this time I will read your review of the Reflection before we go.

Your commentary and photography are entertaining a lot of us . Thank youicon14.gif

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Great review, Thank you.

What is the earliest they let people get off the ship in Whittier? (it appears that it docks shortly after midnight!) And how did you arrange to depart when you needed to?

We are on the same ship and itinerary next summer, and want to get off as early as possible to head to our next activity in Alaska.

 

thanks again!

 

It would have been 7 am as that's when the transportation arrived.

 

We departed on a Princess Excursion.

 

You will have a great time!

 

Thanks for reading. Have you been reading all along or did you binge read?

 

Cheers!

 

Norris

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Hi Noris,

 

I am enjoying your review so very much.

 

I do have a question though, we are taking that same cruise in September 2017 and have an aft suite. You indicated that the ship turns so both sides get to see the glacier. If you are on the back of the ship does it just pass you by or does it stop for a while so those of us at the back can sit on our balcony and enjoy the view? What are your thoughts, should we change cabins? The glaciers are the best part of the cruise for me as we have already been on 3 Alaska cruises.

 

Your opinion would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Janet

 

Hi Janet, we only sailed the glaciers once in an aft Penthouse Suite (Diamond P) and we had about 15 minutes of aft glacier time before we left the scene. Up until then I had been on Promenade deck, where the view is stellar. I wouldn't change an aft suite for any reason unless you want to be indoors and warm while you watch-for 45 minutes from a mini suite. We were aft with no obstructions on the Star but I took most of my pics standing on Prom deck. No heads in the way on Prom deck. No blue windscreens.

 

Thanks for reading this and for the comments and compliments!

 

Read my Diamond review next! (my favorite Princess ship)

 

Norris

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Goldenpaw - I am not Norris, but the app is called Ship Mate. [emoji6]

 

Marty

 

Thanks Marty! I was at work for 14 hours today and couldn't respond. Yes Shipmate.

 

Norris

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Well I am sorry to see this coming to a close .Alaska was our very first cruise in 2003 on the Island Princess. Your excellent photography and commentary has helped me revisit my memories of that cruise.

I am in anticipation of your next cruise on Celebrity Reflection to the Western Caribbean. Last March we did the Eastern Caribbean on the Silhouette and fell in love with that ship. I did not stumble upon your review of the Silhouette until we had returned , but this time I will read your review of the Reflection before we go.

Your commentary and photography are entertaining a lot of us . Thank youicon14.gif

 

Hi Bones, thanks for reading and coming forward to be recognized.

 

I'm gratified that the photos and commentary can bring back memories for you.

 

It's easy to fall in love with the Silhouette-a stunning ship and the reason we are going on the Reflection. Pop in during my X review in January and say hi.

 

Many thanks for your kind words.

 

Norris

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Was wondering if you used a filter on your lens? If so, what type did you use. Again, thanks so much for taking us all on your journey....it was very kind of you to do this.

 

Hello again!

 

I have a pack of 3 Zeikos filters but the one on my most used lens-the 10 to 22mm is a Polarizing filter but I don't mess with it unless shooting into shiny sunny water, so it's really just a lens protector in Alaska.

 

The zoom I used for the glaciers had no filter attached.

 

The other filters are a UV and a fluorescent filter but for indoor shooting I change the white balance to the Tungsten setting on the camera -when I remember! I hope to take better food pics on the Reflection and later the Eclipse. I will go bonkers taking pics in Norway (and London)

 

I use 64 gigabyte Sandisk memory cards-whatever their highest rated ones are called.

 

I couldn't survive without Adobe Lightroom 5 though. It helps rescue some less than stellar shots. I pay $10 a month for that and Photoshop which I use only for titling at the moment.

 

I use Flickr to store photos and upload easily to CC. It shows me all the settings I use for each shot.

 

The videos are prepared through iMovie (which like most Apple products is a beautiful design that makes me gnash my teeth because of its idiosyncrasies ) It can be a handful with a mind of its own.

 

I use an iPhone 5 which I want to smash with a hammer quite often but it does take good pics.

 

Thanks for asking-and for continually reading. I'm much obliged.

 

Norris

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Our hallway luggage was gone, not to be seen again until Chicago if I recall correctly.

 

I just remembered that our luggage was seen again at a Cruise Ship Luggage room in Ted Williams Airport in Anchorage and we collected it and checked it in to United Airlines.

 

Norris

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Norris,

 

I love pictures of the pool areas at night for some reason. I love sitting out by my pool here in Naples, FL at night and watching the breeze make the light shimmer off the water. After being entertained by you for so long during this journey on The Star, I went rummaging through some photos of our Sapphire RT from Seattle in 2011. I was floored when I remembered the name of the glacier we went dog sledding on in Juneau:

 

16bbmdk.jpg

 

I absolutely cracked up and wanted to share this with you. You are even more of a "Star" than you know! :):) I hope you had a good weekend in Michigan and thanks for doing this for all of us. Go Cubbies (although I am a Mets fan, I want them to win).

 

Thanks,

 

Trip

 

Trip, I am aware of the Norris Glacier near Juneau and hope to land on it via helicopter one day and claim it!

 

When we were on the Star looking at Harvard Glacier, Carol said "It's so beautiful I wish we could take it home with us" but me being practical asked "where would we put it?" We have a big garden area in Michigan but the neighbors might object and with all the add-on luggage fees on Untied Airlines it would cost a fortune just to get it home.

 

We will make do with a panorama photo pinned inside our freezer and can open the freezer door, dressed appropriately in layers and relive the moment as we drink Irish coffees and hot chocolate.

 

So you dog sledded on real snow?

 

We don't have a pool to sit out by at night (sigh) but made many trips to a friend's home in Marco Island and the pool with a lanai was our living room in the evening as we barbecued and ate out there. Magical with the pool lit up from within.

 

We are off to Michigan in a few hours where it is cold-colder than it was in Alaska. We'll stay at our home there tonight and set off at 5 a.m tomorrow on a 300 mile trip.

 

Thanks for reading up until the end!

 

Norris

 

 

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I've said it before, but I have to repeat myself. Norris, those glacier pictures were amazing!

I'm looking forward to seeing pictures from your wildlife excursion because it sounds like one I would probably choose myself. :D

 

Nancy, you'll see the wildlife soon!

 

I am off to the gym in an hour then have to pack when I get home then drive for two hours so may not get to it until early afternoon.

 

Watch this space!

 

Norris

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The Whittier photos were taken through the bus window

 

29869487914_af6ab8782d_b.jpg

 

We were on a big motor coach but there were only 30 of us so Carol and I both had solo seats and I could have my camera bag open next to me.

 

We had to sit for 20 minutes waiting for a wheelchair passenger to join us and then when she came the bus had to drive in a lazy circle to get the ADA access door facing the kerb. Now the lady was aboard and oddly didn't need the wheelchair on our tour. I was concerned that we wouldn't make the tunnel access in time-there's a mountain blocking the main road in Whittier and there is a long train tunnel through it. There's a 30 minute window for the one way traffic. Miss it and your vehicle waits 30 minutes.

 

I am twisted in my seat so the pic is angled and my spirit level was in my hand luggage under the bus.

 

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One last look

 

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We made it through the tunnel after waiting for the last of the incoming traffic to pass and were now in a world of scenic splendor...

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As we drive...

 

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Our lady driver, who looks like Pam from CA on this board, tells us we will be stopping at a scenic overlook soon where we can get out for 10 minutes and take pictures. Count me in!

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