Jump to content

Star Princess North to Alaska! Sept 10 2016


Recommended Posts

Norris,

 

After 10 days away I'm now all caught up. As usual your photos are superb, almost 3D and making me feel like I'm right in them.. Good work.

 

Please carry on, don't stop.

 

Judy

 

Judy, glad you are all caught up!

 

I have just 30 photos left.

 

Thanks for reading this.

 

Norris

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Back again , Norris, from Rome and Celebrity Silhouette Western Med.Don't know if I can comment on this board but it was great, no surprise there.

 

How I have enjoyed catching up with your great review and pictures.

Thank you. It feels like another cruise!

 

Sandra

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Norris,

I just completed my 3 nights of reading your wonderful review. I loved the detail and your photography. I have just started researching for our first cruise to Alaska and will consider the Star. Thanks for sharing.

Tim

Link to post
Share on other sites

Norris, I am all caught up after a week away (had to take the man child to Denver so he could explore various zoo's and attend a reptile convention!). What a delight to return to such exquisite photos, especially the critters of Alaska... whets the appetite for our trip next August! We are busily planning a fishing excursion at one stop, but hope to get plenty of time to see various animals at other stops along the way. Thank you so much for sharing your insights, your photos, and especially your delightful descriptions and sense of humor! Blessings to you and yours, and I need to go check out some of your other trip reports!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Back again , Norris, from Rome and Celebrity Silhouette Western Med.Don't know if I can comment on this board but it was great, no surprise there.

 

How I have enjoyed catching up with your great review and pictures.

Thank you. It feels like another cruise!

 

Sandra

 

 

Sandra, no there is no surprise that the combination of Silhouette and Med was great. I'd love to sail her out of Barcelona.

 

Yes you can comment on this board-it's all CC, just divided by cruise lines for our convenience. I certainly drop the name Celebrity often here and of course within my review anything goes-hijacking I don't mind as it's cruise people talking.

 

I hope you read my Reflection review and pop in with comments. It's 10 weeks away and we can't wait. Carol liked the Silhouette. I loved it, but she is less ship-centric than I and would compare it to Princess while we were on board-which I didn't as I thought it was just "different but really worthwhile". She was certainly a fan of Blu, Michaels Club concierge, Murano and Lawn Club Grill and she loved the live shows, which were bands and singers and a great comedian. That was different from the singing and dancing shows on Princess, which are very impressive. She was blown away by the art around the ship.

 

She is looking forward to three new islands (for her, not for me as I've been to them all 44 times)and for the Suite Experience.

 

Thanks for reading along on this long ramble!

 

Norris

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Norris,

I just completed my 3 nights of reading your wonderful review. I loved the detail and your photography. I have just started researching for our first cruise to Alaska and will consider the Star. Thanks for sharing.

Tim

 

Tim, thanks for stopping by and for the compliments! I am glad you have been reading along.

 

Although I am not the only one to review Alaskan cruises, if you read my other two I cover a range of excursions that might interest you and help in your planning.

 

Cheers!

 

Norris

Link to post
Share on other sites
Norris, I am all caught up after a week away (had to take the man child to Denver so he could explore various zoo's and attend a reptile convention!). What a delight to return to such exquisite photos, especially the critters of Alaska... whets the appetite for our trip next August! We are busily planning a fishing excursion at one stop, but hope to get plenty of time to see various animals at other stops along the way. Thank you so much for sharing your insights, your photos, and especially your delightful descriptions and sense of humor! Blessings to you and yours, and I need to go check out some of your other trip reports!

 

A fishing excursion sounds like a great idea as no matter where you fish the scenery will be beautiful and you'll be outdoors breathing that fresh air.

 

We do the Princess excursions mainly but I am sure that with the amount of time you have to plan you can pick and choose from the Alaskan operators and really tailor to your needs.

 

I'm glad you followed this along and thanks for the kind comments along the way!

 

Norris

Link to post
Share on other sites

We are heading back along the coast to Anchorage and even though shooting through a moving bus window isn't ideal, it's that or nothing and I don't know when we'll be back again.

 

29984341043_d555a6e06c_b.jpg

 

29986387684_ea51534d1d_b.jpg

 

30581979546_9eeb35afae_b.jpg

 

30618331895_8c1cc7bb1d_b.jpg

 

You can see the train tracks hugging the coastline

 

30618334395_3f0f66e6d1_b.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

As we approach the outskirts of Anchorage the driver asks if anyone needs to go to the airport before we go downtown to the Egan Center, the hub of Princess Operations in the city. One couple does so we drive over there.

 

30618340145_3baf77e79f_b.jpg

 

30318311430_8bae27b37a_b.jpg

 

The Egan Center was another 20 minutes away in Saturday traffic. Our plan once there was to leave our hand luggage with Princess and find lunch.

 

We had hoped to eat at Simon and Seafort's a restaurant with views over the water but it closed at 2.30 p.m and we arrived at the Egan at....2.30!

 

So Carol got on her phone and did some research and came up with a name. It was a very short walk away. When I heard "fish and chips" my feet automatically started moving...

Link to post
Share on other sites

30618342655_2f555e62d8_b.jpg

 

Humpy's is a big, long saloon with good bar food and patio dining outside the back door.

 

We seated ourselves and immediately a friendly waitress was taking orders. We hadn't eaten in over 7 hours and in my case it had been one croissant (spoon buttered) in the IC on the Star.

 

30618345885_30b4103e05_b.jpg

 

First up Carol's salmon chowder

 

30618348415_6794f4622e_b.jpg

 

My choice was the Halibut and Chips washed down by Draught Guinness

 

30618350795_446e1af009_b.jpg

 

At $24 it was more than I usually pay for fish and chips but so worth it!

 

Suitably fueled we were now free to roam the streets nearby. Princess runs a shuttle to the airport every hour on the hour. We would take the 5 p.m for our 8 p.m flight direct to Chicago. We like to get to airports early and be relaxed waiting for our flight.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anchorage is a beautiful small city with big wide streets. Oil company office towers stand next to single family homes and small businesses. There is a small park near the Egan Center. We like parks.

 

29986405764_1cc6149265_b.jpg

 

29986403294_835e07d8e2_b.jpg

 

30501225662_f1d05b5d3b_b.jpg

 

30501226592_62a266503b_b.jpg

 

30501227292_57ae46e40d_b.jpg

 

30501228112_484d5e0b74_b.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing Carol didn't like about the park was the number of men seemingly with nothing to do and nowhere to be that were hanging out there. If they were homeless it wasn't obvious as they didn't have shopping carts loaded up with their worldly possessions as we see in San Francisco. They weren't panhandling either. I tried to allay her misgivings but she wasn't happy to just sit on a bench and relax. The city, with a population of 300,000 has 19 homeless shelters.

 

So we walk on and meet some residents out for a stroll

 

29986411014_ff460af96b_b.jpg

 

Cool mural

 

29986411784_e13fea2f47_b.jpg

 

Across the street is the Egan Center.

 

29986412524_a117d0e61b_b.jpg

 

A super-cool mural!

 

29986413164_636ecba292_b.jpg

 

There are some big nasty clouds in the sky so we aren't going to stray far

 

29986413754_c3ec37dbfc_b.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

The rain doesn't come. We have decided to stay near the Egan anyway and enjoy the people watching. The temperature is pleasant in the mid 50's.

 

29986414454_9669c8e182_b.jpg

 

There's a Starbucks on the ground floor of the office building seen at the center, close to the Egan. Further back the brown building is the Captain Cook Hotel where we had canceled a room for today as a place to nap and bathe. The 6 plus hour excursion rendered that pointless and over-extravagant.

 

Carol has found a good bench

 

29986415174_8e9000bee6_b.jpg

 

In the distance the Hilton Hotel

 

29986416614_0b03a62217_b.jpg

 

29986418274_1d5689c3d8_b.jpg

 

In good time we return to the Egan to collect our carry-on luggage

 

29984381403_606e03887e_b.jpg

 

At this time on a Saturday the people joining the Star in Whittier are long gone as boarding runs from noon to 7.30 or so. I would be sitting up at Tradewinds with a Guinness. She sails around 8pm and there is one dinner seating as I recall from our Coral trip now 5 years ago but still fresh in our minds. Princess livery trains will be returning from pre-cruise tours to Denali and Fairbanks. Someday we will be on one of them.

 

In the meantime we have a plane to catch...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ted Williams airport is close to the city. It is small but beautiful. Our bus driver directs us to the luggage room for cruise ship passengers. We show I.D and have our bags. A painless and efficient check in then through the TSA Pre security line and onward to our gate. We are two hours early for our flight which is fine.

I've had my last cigarette for the next 9 hours, enjoyed outdoors.

 

We pass the two hours with our iPads (Carol) and my laptop where I am tweaking photos in Lightroom (edits that had to be done again when I got home and started this almost 6 weeks ago to the day)

 

Sandwiches for the 7 hour flight were hard to come by but I foraged and found a Starbucks that met our needs.

 

Wildlife is one of the main reasons to visit Alaska

 

29984382943_cac96485c6_b.jpg

 

29984384453_40a675a6ff_b.jpg

 

29984386463_03298bbcc1_b.jpg

 

It was with a sigh that we left Alaska behind on the runway. The only redeeming feature is that we were traveling at 550 mph towards a sleeping, unsuspecting cat back in Chicago. You can stand at the doorway with your luggage and point to a map of Alaska and show the cat your Princess boarding pass (which she will sniff) but the cat doesn't quite get it. She sees us going out hundreds of times and usually we are back in a few hours. For 8 days now when the key has turned in the door it was neither of us turning it but instead our cat sitter. She hides from him in the boxspring of the bed. As far as Little Snowy is concerned we have gone for good and her life has taken a downward turn. She'll soon get an uplifting surprise!

 

30640256915_1b9a14e9ba_b.jpg

 

The night passes hour by hour and I am awake most of it. We land in Chicago at 5 a.m

 

30552229891_ee11c7e152_b.jpg

 

I began this on September 18th an hour or so after petting the cat.

 

Thanks to all who have read this far and especially to those who have commented along the way. The response has kept me at the computer each day.

 

Our next cruise, in fact our next two, are not on Princess but on Celebrity and I hope you'll tune in for reviews of the Reflection and Eclipse, unless we cancel the latter due to getting tickets for the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, Germany.

The chances are good that we will sail the Eclipse to Norway next August.

 

I hope to see you all again in January!

 

THANK YOU! .....BYE BYE!! (Captain Tuvo)

Link to post
Share on other sites

thank you norris!

i know how much time blogging takes, i can't imagine the extra added time for your beautiful photos. i appreciate all your work for us.

what will you do with your spare time now that you are done showing us alaska?!

Link to post
Share on other sites
thank you norris!

i know how much time blogging takes, i can't imagine the extra added time for your beautiful photos. i appreciate all your work for us.

what will you do with your spare time now that you are done showing us alaska?!

 

Plan a cruise to Norway maybe?

 

I have a blog that I have to get back to and a slew of TripAdvisor hotel and restaurant reviews to write, to add my my 126 already published.

 

Work, an opera season, twice weekly drives over to Michigan....the 75 days until our next cruise will pass quickly!

 

I'm glad you followed and enjoyed the review. Visit me on the X one in January if you can.

 

Cheers!

 

Norris

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wonderful review, I enjoyed it so much. I have already gone back and read your other Alaska reviews also. They were all helpful and have me so excited for our cruise next year. I wish now I had read them before we picked the Coral but as that ship leaves Vancouver on my in-laws' 50th wedding anniversary which is the purpose of the cruise, it does seem like the right choice. Thank you also for the wonderful photographs. I know I will revisit all of your Alaska reviews between now and June.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhhhh relief. ;) Now I don't have to obsessively check for updates but I will have to patiently wait for January which I will happily do. I can't not have a Norris ramble to read.

 

Your narrative and incredible pics are fabulous. I just wish you both were retired so you could travel more and we could have more rambles to read.

 

Thank you so much for all the hard and time consuming work you put into you reviews. It is much appreciated. Barb

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for another exceptional review. I have enjoyed every moment travelling through Alaska with you and your photos are inspiring. I now wait for January and your next review with great anticipation. It's a good thing that I am planning for my next cruise to the Baltics on Crown Princess next June to keep me occupied in the meantime!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Norris, many thanks for a great read. Will miss checking on it daily. Loved the beautiful pictures. We just returned home from our 11 day tour to Ireland.

Will be on the Star next August after the land portion.

Safe travels!

Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

30202417860_19302e2a0e_b.jpg

 

30202419230_9ece8495d3_b.jpg

 

I do love venison

 

30500927375_4e7fc8b3b5_b.jpg

 

Hay is their Lobster tails

 

30500928105_2cd6c714cb_b.jpg

 

30500928955_87dffe4966_b.jpg

 

Here I am at last! Are there any muffins left? This is Deck Chair Queen aka Carol or Guidebook Carol. I'm making a very late appearance as my life is insane when not cruising and I fell way behind in reading this review. I caught up tonight while watching the Cubs lose (White Sox fan here so not heartbroken). It's so gratifying to see you all reading and enjoying Norris's epic. He works very hard on these and you should see the growing load of camera equipment he takes along on these trips. For me they are not only a great memento but also an introduction to the 90% of the ship I never see. As some of you know, all I am interested in doing on a ship is finding a quiet place to read and stare at the water, outdoors weather permitting. My path on the ship is quite circumscribed; the cabin, the Sanctuary, the entertainment and dining venues, and I have recently added the gym to keep up my very slow daily treadmill work. I don't sunbathe, shop, gamble, drink, or look at the "art" on auction. I eschew the buffet. I also don't rise before dawn (my real life is lived under the tyranny of the alarm clock). So thanks to Norris for the stunning photos of the dawns and the nooks and crannies of these marvelous ships. As for the sour faces you will see from me in some of these photos, just remember that I never know when he's shooting me and I'm not constantly grinning like an idiot :-) Thanks to all of you for following along and for your kind and friendly comments. We will find out whether or not we have Bayreuth tickets in January (we apply every year and in 2013 we hit the jackpot after only five years of applying, which is amazingly short) and then will plan our cruise for next summer/fall. But in the meantime stay tuned for the Caribbean cruise in January. This one will be very special for me as my mother was Jamaican and I spent all my childhood summers visiting my grandmother in Kingston. I have not been back there for about 50 years. And I am told by a genealogy buff in my family that we have family buried at Falmouth as our family was in the shipping business for generations. It should be amazing.

Edited by Deck Chair Queen
Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting to the end of one of your amazing reviews is almost as sad as debarkation day on a cruise ship. Your photos, detailed text, and dry humor (or is it humour?) is always a joy. Can't wait for your next review in January. Give us a wave over here on the Princess board when you start it so we can follow along.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Loved it Norris. Thank you so much.

 

I had a look for Norway for us and we can sail from Southampton. Celebrity I think.

 

Busy looking at offers in the Daily Mail. Cunard have some BARGAINS! I do love the Saturday paper.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Wonderful review, I enjoyed it so much. I have already gone back and read your other Alaska reviews also. They were all helpful and have me so excited for our cruise next year. I wish now I had read them before we picked the Coral but as that ship leaves Vancouver on my in-laws' 50th wedding anniversary which is the purpose of the cruise, it does seem like the right choice. Thank you also for the wonderful photographs. I know I will revisit all of your Alaska reviews between now and June.

 

The Coral is a great choice. We picked her 5 minutes before going to a TA...but that's how that review begins so no need to go into it deeply here. She impressed enough that we were on the Crown a few months later. The Anniversary will add some icing on the cake.

 

I'm glad you were tempted to read the old reviews of Coral and Diamond as they cover a lot of different excursions. We go to the same ports but the excursions are fresh and exciting.

 

Thanks for following along for the past 6 weeks!

 

Norris

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Ponant Cruises & Expeditions - Return to Europe!
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with Barbara Muckermann, CMO Silversea Cruises
      • ICYM Our Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...