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Star Princess North to Alaska! Sept 10 2016


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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

 

thanks. I just happened to run into your post about a week ago when i was searching for something specific, it popped up, so I have read it thru. Very enlightening. I enjoy reading everyone's experiences in particular their excursions. We also are trying to figure out what we want to do in Kanai peninsula area for 2.5 days after getting off in Whitter. And we have a party of 12! I wonder how late you can stay on the ship before being forced off. 9:30?

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thanks. I just happened to run into your post about a week ago when i was searching for something specific, it popped up, so I have read it thru. Very enlightening. I enjoy reading everyone's experiences in particular their excursions. We also are trying to figure out what we want to do in Kanai peninsula area for 2.5 days after getting off in Whitter. And we have a party of 12! I wonder how late you can stay on the ship before being forced off. 9:30?

 

I'd say 9.30 would be doable.

 

How are you researching things to do on Kenai?

 

I'll have to surf and see what might lie ahead of you. Scenic beauty is a given.

 

Cheers!

 

Norris

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I'd say 9.30 would be doable.

 

How are you researching things to do on Kenai?

 

I'll have to surf and see what might lie ahead of you. Scenic beauty is a given.

 

Cheers!

 

Norris

 

Yes, thanks, i have researched a LOT about what to do! Right now we are planning on going down to Seward and renting place for 2 nights and have several suggestions for the group to pick from. there seems to be a lot to do there! Our biggest issue is rental cars. Whittier has little to offer and $$$ or a one way. So we may have 2 of the guys shuttle over to ANC and pick up two rd trip minivans there and bring them back to us! Waste of time but might be best option. Trying to find a way to get the rest of us shuttled over to Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to kill time there while the 2 guys are picking up our cars LOL

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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

 

 

Norris, thank you for the information, I greatly appreciate it.

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Off the road, we stop at a scenic overlook

 

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There's a glacier here, seen up in them there mountains which used to come down into the water. Look how far back it has shrunk.

 

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Someday we'll rent a car and explore the accessible Alaska by road...

 

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We move on and I am back to taking photos through the window

 

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We are heading for a one hour stop at the Alaskan Wildlife Sanctuary

 

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We have gone in the back way so that our guide can drive us around and give us a taste of what's in store.

 

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The driver is offering a choice-we can get off here or stay on and go to the gift shops where they have bathrooms and walk back. I needed a bathroom break and I didn't care if the walk was 2 miles.

 

All but 3 of the passengers chose to get off here where the elevated walkway keeps you safe from the bears below.

 

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My goal lay up ahead in the Sanctuary complex

 

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Someday we'll rent a car and explore the accessible Alaska by road...

Even better than that is to drive up to Alaska on the Alaska Highway. We did that in 1995. What an amazing trip! Of course, you probably don't have the time to do it. We took 5 weeks. Drove the entire length of the Alcan Highway from Dawson Creek to Fairbanks. Then down to Denali National Park and on to Anchorage. From there we went to the Kenai Peninsula, going to both Homer and Seward. After exploring the Kenai we drove onto a flatbed railcar to go through the Whittier Tunnel. This was before they put the road bed down. Then we took the Alaska State Ferry over to Valdez. Heading back, we took the Top of the World Highway to Chicken, Alaska and Dawson City, Yukon. That was an incredible drive above timberline. Dawson City is an amazing town. A must see. Heading south we took the Stewart - Cassiar Highway instead of the Alaska Highway. Another great drive. I know how much you love to take road trips. And this is one of the best there is. Try and do it someday. You won't regret it.
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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

 

 

 

Norris,

 

You should definitely claim your Glacier before someone else does! LOL. We loved the experience. My wife's mother had just passed away and I was looking for any way to cheer her up. It was expensive, but well worth it on many fronts. Prior to your next visit to Marco Island, hit the red button in my signature and let me know you're coming. We'd love to get together to meet you and Carol and swap stories. Thanks again for the wonderful adventure.

 

Trip:)

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Hi Norris,

 

Thank you so much for responding to my question about the aft suite. I can calm down now. When you take into consideration the 45 minutes looking at a glacier from any cabin on either the port or starboard side verses the whole week in a suite and a walk up on deck for 45 minutes it is a no brainer. Thanks for the slap-up-side the head.

 

I really do appreciate your wonderful reviews and the time you take to personally answer everyones questions.

 

Thanks for the heads up about the diamond princess review. I read the whole review and passed on going to the grocery store, there is always tomorrow to grocery shop which I dislike anyway.

 

Thanks again,

 

Janet

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Thank you, Norris.

What a superlative combination this review is- the beauty of nature in Alaska brought to us courtesy of your commentary and photos.

Enjoying every bit.

 

Tomorrow morning will be my last read of it for a while as we will go to Rome to be on C. Silhouette for 2 weeks (and try to make it a policy to not have internet while away.)

Still I suppose there are worse ways to miss it for a while.

It will be great to come back to.

Sandra.

 

 

Sent from my SM-G360T1 using Forums mobile app

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Even better than that is to drive up to Alaska on the Alaska Highway. We did that in 1995. What an amazing trip! Of course, you probably don't have the time to do it. We took 5 weeks. Drove the entire length of the Alcan Highway from Dawson Creek to Fairbanks. Then down to Denali National Park and on to Anchorage. From there we went to the Kenai Peninsula, going to both Homer and Seward. After exploring the Kenai we drove onto a flatbed railcar to go through the Whittier Tunnel. This was before they put the road bed down. Then we took the Alaska State Ferry over to Valdez. Heading back, we took the Top of the World Highway to Chicken, Alaska and Dawson City, Yukon. That was an incredible drive above timberline. Dawson City is an amazing town. A must see. Heading south we took the Stewart - Cassiar Highway instead of the Alaska Highway. Another great drive. I know how much you love to take road trips. And this is one of the best there is. Try and do it someday. You won't regret it.

 

What an adventure! Where was your starting point and what sort of vehicle did you drive? Was it an RV?

 

You are right that the 5 weeks is the killer for us as long as we have our cat.

 

I'll check out Dawson City via Google images.

 

I love what I've seen in the State of Washington. From Seattle where we have attended the opera I drove to Mount St Helens and also took a day drive out to Dungeness. While visiting Vancouver I drove down to Bellingham to go skiing on Mt Baker. I have a Rand McNally road atlas and will check out those places you have been.

 

Thanks for taking the time to tell me about your tour!

 

Cheers!

 

Norris

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Norris,

 

You should definitely claim your Glacier before someone else does! LOL. We loved the experience. My wife's mother had just passed away and I was looking for any way to cheer her up. It was expensive, but well worth it on many fronts. Prior to your next visit to Marco Island, hit the red button in my signature and let me know you're coming. We'd love to get together to meet you and Carol and swap stories. Thanks again for the wonderful adventure.

 

Trip:)

 

Trip, reading between the lines I am assuming you were on a dog sled in the snow?(you said very expensive and our heli-landing on Taku cost $300 each with no sled dogs) I thought the dogsled over a dirt road would be disappointing but it wasn't. However the thrill of riding over the snow would make the Iditarod spring to life before me. After our sled ride and meeting Alan I was so hung-ho to enter next year's race. That is until I found that you can't fit a Barcalounger on a sled(and yet we can send a man to the Moon?!) and there's no wi-fi in the wilderness.

 

Thank you for the invite and when we are next down that way I'd be sure to click your email link. I used to get my peel n eat shrimp fix when I went to Marco and the water there was my kind to swim in (warm)

 

Cheers!

 

Norris (not the glacier one)

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Hi Norris,

 

Thank you so much for responding to my question about the aft suite. I can calm down now. When you take into consideration the 45 minutes looking at a glacier from any cabin on either the port or starboard side verses the whole week in a suite and a walk up on deck for 45 minutes it is a no brainer. Thanks for the slap-up-side the head.

 

I really do appreciate your wonderful reviews and the time you take to personally answer everyones questions.

 

Thanks for the heads up about the diamond princess review. I read the whole review and passed on going to the grocery store, there is always tomorrow to grocery shop which I dislike anyway.

 

Thanks again,

 

Janet

 

Thanks for reading my Diamond review Janet- one of my shorter ones but vast in memories, still alive. You may have seen the videos of our two great young Thai waiters Siwa and Sadudee, still our favorites after all these cruises. We found out that our waiter Gen knew them both! Sadudee is now a waiter not an assistant. Good news.

 

We wanted an aft suite on the Star but none were available. Suites are the best but we prefer aft so we took the aft-most mini.

 

We have one on the Reflection.

 

Hope to see you when I write my January review.

 

Norris

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What an adventure! Where was your starting point and what sort of vehicle did you drive? Was it an RV?
We were living in Carson City, Nevada at the time. So the road trip was round trip from there. We had a Toyota pickup up truck with a camper on it. Camped out most nights, with a few motels thrown in here and there. The Alaska Highway is definitely passable for passenger cars. It is paved all the way, although there are some rough spots that are caused by frost heaves. Think giant speed bumps. The Top of the World Highway is dirt, but is very well maintained and is fine for cars and motor homes. At least that was our experience in 1995.
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The bus pulled up to the Sanctuary complex and I leapt off to head to the bathrooms. Huh? closed?!! There was a note saying that porta potties were available across the yard. I had no choice. Luckily there was no sitting involved.

(T.M.I)

 

15 minutes of our hour were already gone so with camera bag on my shoulder I walked briskly, aided by breathing air "as sweet as shalimar" (Van Morrison). I have no idea what Shalimar is but will look it up later. (a woman's perfume by Guerlain from 1921 with an oriental soft amber scent)

 

It was a fresh sunny morning. Quiet and I was surrounded by vast fenced meadows. A new adventure-photographing animals!

 

I'm thinking Caribou?

 

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There's a Moose in the Hoose! (for my Scottish readers)

 

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Who could ever harm gentle animals like these?

 

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I am an animal lover but not the kind to let a dog lick my mouth. I am a carnivore when it comes to eating and always have been except for 6 months when I shared a house with an American Jazz singer in London who had me be vegetarian. She had a young daughter called Apache which was and still is the coolest name ever. She will be in her 40s now.

 

When it comes time to have dinner my love for animals is overshadowed by the desire to eat a grilled one with a rich red wine sauce and some onions or such.

 

I haven't eaten Musk Ox yet

 

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Look at that setting above!!

 

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Noble beasts

 

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AWESOME bear photos! is this at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center or somewhere else? I got confused. Can you see all this by walking around or do you need to be on our tour bus?

 

PS did you happen to post the daily platters? i may have missed them

 

thank u

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AWESOME bear photos! is this at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center or somewhere else? I got confused. Can you see all this by walking around or do you need to be on our tour bus?

 

PS did you happen to post the daily platters? i may have missed them

 

thank u

 

Walking. No bus involved other than getting you there. Yes it is the AWCC. 700 acres of it.

 

I didn't post the Patters. I don't read them on the ship as Carol does and then tells me where to be or not to be (that is the question)

 

I just get on the ship and do my usual walking around for a week.

 

I thought that after we got off, Alaska was done as far as Princess and the Star is concerned and that seeing the Patters would have little value.

 

For instance-if I listed all the movies on board that week those are unlikely to be playing now 5 weeks later.

 

If others also ask for them then I'll scan them and put them up after a review.

 

When others post them on CC I usually just scroll down without reading. I just drift around the ships and am governed by mealtimes and showtimes. We go to every show (well if I am awake I do) but we don't do trivia although I would ace it Carol tells me as my head is full of useless facts. No bingo, line dancing, napkin folding, Art Auctions although we both love art. Carol is an avid lecture goer and fills me in with the details on a need to know basis.

 

I am just happy to be on a large ship and to smell it and touch the metal and marvel at its complexity. I spent an uninterrupted 8 months on a cruise ship and was never bored by the vessel, even though it is a very small floating town.

The crew on the Star has a bigger population than the port village I was born in.

 

I have been around ships since I was tiny as my dad was a Captain of one. I've been in the boiler rooms of his steamships and seen the sweat on the men shoveling coal and been in the engine room where the smell of warm oil is an everlasting memory-and the noise! The steamships gave way to diesel ships. I was fascinated by the chart room and seeing our course unfolding and by staring at the radar screens, especially at night. I got the chance later as an early teen to steer the ship with a big wooden wheel and brass analog compass as we sailed up the coast of Northern Ireland, passing my home on the way, my house visible as it overlooked the harbor.

 

I'm happy just to be on a ship but I will say that re the Patters if you need to be entertained or enlightened Princess will fill your day with events. You cannot be bored and certainly cannot go hungry. Unbelievable value for the dollar or pound.

 

We are looking forward to taking many more-with Princess, Celebrity and ?

 

Norris

 

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I meet up with Carol who had got off the bus earlier to save a walk and we look at a musk ox again

 

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I do love venison

 

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Hay is their Lobster tails

 

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Trip, reading between the lines I am assuming you were on a dog sled in the snow?(you said very expensive and our heli-landing on Taku cost $300 each with no sled dogs) I thought the dogsled over a dirt road would be disappointing but it wasn't. However the thrill of riding over the snow would make the Iditarod spring to life before me. After our sled ride and meeting Alan I was so hung-ho to enter next year's race. That is until I found that you can't fit a Barcalounger on a sled(and yet we can send a man to the Moon?!) and there's no wi-fi in the wilderness.

 

Thank you for the invite and when we are next down that way I'd be sure to click your email link. I used to get my peel n eat shrimp fix when I went to Marco and the water there was my kind to swim in (warm)

 

Cheers!

 

Norris (not the glacier one)

 

Norris,

 

The dog sledding on the Norris Glacier was probably the coolest (no pun intended) thing we've ever done. The helicopter ride over the harbor and up through the mountains to the glacier was fantastic. About 150 dogs and a bunch of mushers (mostly college kids) live on the Glacier for the summer. When we got out of the helicopter, I was surprised to notice how silent it was considering the amount of dogs. After a quick briefing on what to expect, this all changed as we approached the dogs. They KNEW it was time to run and let us know they were excited to have us share in their fun. Somewhere I have some video of our ride and I'll post it when I find it. Until then, I found some pictures in my phone:

 

My Personal Musher Mrs Met (Pam)

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I was in the first of 2 sleds

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Another Team across the glacier

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Co Pilot Mrs. Met Leading us off the glacier

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I think the whole excursion for the two of us was a bit over $1,000. It was something we will never forget and hope to do again some day. I know it didn't take away the grief of Pam losing her mother a few weeks before, but it brought a smile to her face I hadn't seen in a long time. Pam's mother lived with us for almost 2 years and was afflicted with Alzheimer's. She was a wonderful woman whom I truly miss. I think part of the reason we've enjoyed your review so much (other than the normal fantastic stuff we're used to seeing from you) is that it took us back to a time when we both were feeling low and our trip to Alaska really turned us around. Thank you for allowing us to follow along and relive some great times vicariously through you and Carol's adventure.

 

I'll have the peel and eat shrimp waiting for you if you make it down!

 

Trip:):)

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