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SeahawkSiren

Trip Report of 7 Days on NCL Bliss - First Seattle to Alaska Sailing - June 2-9, 2018

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We headed back to the room to get ready to disembark.

 

The Radiance of the Seas arrived in Juneau shortly before the Bliss.

 

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The Golden Princess arrived shortly after the Bliss.

 

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Time to take the tram to the top of Mount Roberts!

 

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We took the first tram of the day (at 8:00 a.m.) up to Mount Roberts. The views were stunning on such a beautiful day! We walked the loop trail and also the side trail up to Father Brown’s Cross. So many birds were singing along this hike. It was so peaceful, and especially since we were on the first tram up of the day there were not many people on the mountain yet. A very pleasant morning overall.

Hello, Bliss. You look beautiful from up here!

 

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Before heading back down on the tram we stopped to see the beautiful Lady Baltimore. She can no longer live in the wild due to injuries she sustained.

 

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DH managed to catch a bad cold on our vacation so after we got back down the mountain we went to the drug store for cold meds.

 

So here are some random downtown Juneau photos.

 

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After getting back on the ship we went back to our balcony and had another whale sighting.

 

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And a seal. Hey, that Bliss is pretty spiffy looking!

 

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HAL Amsterdam and NCL Pearl coming to join the fun in Juneau.

 

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The one and only excursion we did on this cruise was the Tracy Arm Fjord and Glacier Explorer through the ship. This excursion diverted to Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier instead due to too much ice in Tracy Arm/Sawyer Glacier.

 

We were on a catamaran, the St. Nicholas, which was operated by Allen Marine Tours. The boat holds a maximum of 145 people. We have been on some pretty amazing shore excursions during our other cruises, and I have to say this one ranks VERY high on the overall list! We had originally paid $249 pp for this excursion months before the cruise. But it’s a good thing I looked at the shore excursion list onboard only to see that the price was actually $174 pp. So I rebooked it onboard at the lower price and had the difference refunded as onboard credit. The shore excursion desk did not have an answer as to why the price was so different other than to say NCL corporate in Miami must have entered the wrong price online when the excursion was initially listed.

 

The St. Nicholas coming to pick us up!

 

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This excursion was definitely worth every penny! I had read so many great reviews about this excursion, watched YouTube videos, etc. I was amazed just watching the videos! That is what really sold me on this. We saw so many incredible things and got so much closer to everything than the ship ever could.

 

We boarded the catamaran at 1:15 just before the Bliss was leaving Juneau.

 

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Goodbye for now, Bliss. Don't forget to pick us up at the glacier later!

 

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It was a nice catamaran with 3 levels total. Two levels of indoor seating and a galley with food and drink for purchase. They also served some free snacks. There are 2 outdoor areas, one on the upper seating level and another level above that (with no seating) that was understandably only open when the boat was not going at full speed. So they would open it every time we slowed down or stopped to view something.

 

The ride to the glacier was just beautiful. Saw two humpback whales, two grizzly bears, numerous icebergs and several bald eagles. Beautiful waterfalls too.

 

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When is the best time for your camera battery to die and you don’t have a spare one with you? Well, right as you’re approaching Dawes Glacier of course! I charged my camera nightly, but it still had to die right now! Ugh!

 

So most of these glacier photos were taken with my phone. I was very nervous just having my phone for the photos (without a strap of course) and didn’t want my phone to become a permanent fixture at the bottom of Endicott Arm, but it was a chance I was willing to take as I had to get photos of this awesome glacier! So I was holding my phone very, very tightly. Note to self- don’t leave your spare camera battery at home when you are on a cruise. :rolleyes:

 

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It doesn't get any better than this! How about a spruce tip glacierita drink while viewing the glacier?

 

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Admittedly, I was bummed when I found out we weren’t going to Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glacier because of too much ice, but I don’t know why I was bummed. I had never been to either Sawyer or Dawes glaciers so didn’t know what I was missing in the first place. But I have to say that Dawes Glacier was pretty spectacular. Our catamaran got to within about 500 yards of the glacier (maybe even closer than that, we were just estimating 500 yards). We were so incredibly close. We could hear the glacier cracking. We also saw some calves. We also heard some cracking off in the distance that wasn't visible. The glacier was massive in height, I’m guessing at least 200-250 feet high.

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We stayed at the glacier for at least an hour and did several complete turns of the boat. It was so amazing! Not just the sights, but also the sounds. And there was so much else to see in addition to the glacier – massive rocks, numerous waterfalls. And I couldn’t get over the color of the water. A beautiful green.

 

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Magnificent photos. Thank you so much for sharing your Alaskan vacation with us. We loved the Bliss and can’t wait until can sail on her again!

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After being at the glacier for over an hour we looked back to find the Bliss. She was nowhere in sight. Bliss, where are you? Did you leave Alaska without us?

 

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Whew! There she is coming for us!

 

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Oh no, is this magnificent excursion over and we have to go back on the ship? Yep. Time to say goodbye to Dawes Glacier.

 

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This photo was taken from our balcony after we got back on the ship. We estimated the Bliss was around 2.5 to 3 miles from the glacier and that was as close as she got. So you can see the major difference between the excursion boat and the ship as far as distances from the glacier.

 

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I can’t recommend this excursion enough. The Bliss won’t detour and stop to view icebergs along the way. The Bliss won’t detour and stop to view bears, seals, and eagles. The Bliss won’t get within 500 yards of the glacier. Spend the money for this excursion. You won’t regret it.

 

Thank you so much Allen Marine Tours for a wonderful excursion!

 

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After leaving the glacier we sat on our balcony for over an hour just enjoying the incredible scenery back out of Endicott Arm.

 

 

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Goodbye Dawes Glacier!

 

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The excursion ran over about a half hour late. So luckily we didn’t have dinner reservations anywhere and just had a late dinner that evening in the buffet.

 

Good night from a spectacular day in Juneau, Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier!

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I have to stop here for tonight. I've been at this all day.

 

Tomorrow is my first day back to work after this awesome cruise. :loudcry:

 

I'll be back tomorrow night to answer questions and continue my review. Hope you have enjoyed it so far.

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How far in advance are the NCL excursions available online to be booked?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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WOW! Yes...I am enjoying your travel log and looking forward to more.

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