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bobbin0308

Updated/More Extensive Rvw of Diamond 6/5 Sailing

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Wrote a quickie review when I first got home on 6/12. Following is more extensive review written once I had adequate sleep to be coherent:
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I'll try to answer some of the questions people posed now I'm not delirious for lack of sleep any longer.

Our first night and full day (Saturday night and Sunday) were rocky. High winds at sea were pushing this huge ship around something awful. We wore a motion sickness patch and were still miserable. You could NOT walk down hallways on the ship without gripping the handrails. Saw people stumbling, falling, wretching. Many people were so seasick they ended up in the medical office on ship. Talked to a number of people who said they stayed in bed all day Sunday due to motion sickness. I was determined to keep going, and I think I felt better pushing myself to be up and out of the cabin, eating something frequently, etc. We had another smaller dose of the same problem Thursday night. Had to hold onto furniture to make it from bed to bathroom during the night.

The tours we took were: Juneau - Whale & Wildlife Quest (on a boat - saw mom & calf humpback whales, bald eagles, sea lions).

Skagway - White Pass & Yukon Route Railway (incomparable scenery & loved the shopping in town - shuttle to town from ship $1.50 each way).

Ketchikan - I shopped & hubby toured native Saxman village and the town of Ketchikan on a bus (I was more impressed with my shopping than he was with his tour). No transport to town necessary. Step off the ship and you're in town. Forty (count them!) jewelry stores in this town. Makes for good deals, but sales personnel were just too aggressive for my taste. They really feel the pressure of competition and the fact that all their business is done and over w/in 5 mos. time.

Unfortunately, can't report on Victoria. That port was cancelled due to weather (winds). We pre-reserved all our tours thru Princess, and had planned to do the horse drawn trolley tour in Victoria. Since we reserved thru Princess, the port and tour charges were automatically credited to our account when this port was cancelled from the itinerary. Gotta believe the merchants in Victoria were as disappointed as the Diamond passengers. We had been told that they would all keep their shops open til 11:00 pm to accommodate us. Oosterdam (HAL) did make it into port that evening, but the shops' customer base they had planned for was easily cut in half by our being unable to dock there.

Tried all restaurants on ship except Vivaldi. Prime rib, onion rings really good in Sterling. Had a surly waiter in there that I actually caught rolling his eyes as he walked away from our table after we questioned him on some menu items. New York steak (not a strip, but a sirloin) tough & flavorless. Shrimp cocktail prepared ahead of time/served on bed of shredded, limp lettuce.

Liked everything we tried in Pacific Moon. Overall my favorite restaurant/waiters. Had the tiger prawns and chocolate/hazelnut mousse for dessert - yummy.

Good experience and food in Santa Fe. Great guacamole dip and fajitas. Really good Kahlua rice pudding for dessert. They haven't built an extensive menu there, but all we tried was very good. Waiter and asst. waiter were extremely attentive and friendly.

As for the Sabotini, the extra $20/person surcharge simply wasn't worth it. We had meals we enjoyed more in the other restaurants. Will give them their due on desserts - apricot pie was divine.

Horizon buffet was good, not great. Desserts there really disappointing. It is a madhouse to serve yourself there during the busiest mealtimes. No method or organization to the place. People bumping into one another, spilling stuff, cutting in what may or may not be a line at every serving station.

Embarkation was lengthy and tiring. It was actually pretty hot in Seattle that day, and the process for the first timers was confusing and pure bedlam until you got in the terminal and got in the que. Then it was stop and go for about an hour until you reached a check- in representative. Then security was pretty quick, as was boarding.

Disembarking was a snap. On advice from srphnx, we carried our own luggage off - we were off the ship, thru customs and out of the terminal building by 7:45 a.m. If you have a tight flight time to make (we did), that's definitely the way to go. Purser's desk would have issued us red tags (priority) to disembark with a copy of our flight schedule, but we still would've had to wait for the folks carrying their own bags to get off the ship first.

As for our cabin (outside w/picture window), it was very adequately appointed EXCEPT for the shower stall. JUST UNBELIEVABLY SMALL. Admittedly, we are big people, but we had neighbors commenting about the tiny size, and they were much smaller than we are. Resorted to going to the gym/spa and showering in their larger stalls, but they don't open til 7 am and close by 10 pm. Plus, you have to schlep your clothing, toiletries, etc to another deck of the ship to do this. Would never reserve anything but a mini-suite (normal size tub/shower combo) in the future.

Overall would rate my first cruise somewhere between good to very good. And again, the Diamond is a very beautiful ship. -Bobbin

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Thanks Bobbin, lets keep that carry off thing a secret shall we? I plan to use it more often and don't want that line as long as all the others.

We agree about the steak but it varies week by week, we had bad ones in April, good ones in May. The showers were really, really tiny but, like you we did go to the spa, left clothes and toiletries in cabin and used robe for public decency.

Sorry about the rough seas, we had glass the whole time.

Steve

[B] Life is at it's best when your address floats [/B]
Two MORE open Bookings.
[B]<FONT color=red>Alaska</FONT>[/B]
Diamond Princess 05/04 ~~ Mercury 06/02
Rhapsody o.t. Seas 05/98 ~~ Legend o.t. Seas 09/95
[B]<FONT color=red>Mexican Riviera</FONT>[/B]
Diamond Princess 12/04
Diamond Princess 11/04 ~~ Diamond Princess 04/04
Sea Princess 01/02 ~~ Vision o.t. Seas 04/02[B]<FONT color=red>
West Coast-Baja Mexico</FONT>[/B]
Ecstacy 09/01
[B]<FONT color=red>Eastern Carribean</FONT>[/B]
Century 12/97
[B]<FONT color=red>Western Carribean</FONT>[/B]
Century 9/96

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