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HawaiiApril

Just home from the Summit

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I was posting during our cruise but they had trouble with the satelite that last two days. I tried. I hope I get refunded! Can't find my thread either now. Don't remember what I answered and what I missed. Icy Strait was all set up for us cruisers. I didn't get to see Hoonah, as we chose a whale watching excursion. I am sorry to say that it was a big disapointment and I wouldn't recommend it. The boat was big and beautiful, all new and comfortable. There were seats upstairs, downstairs and lots of area to walk around. That was actually the problem, when a whale was spotted you couldn't get to the place you needed to be fast enough and if you were in a position to see it, someone jumped in front of you. I don't think the crew thought they needed to assist us - I saw them standing around alot and found out later that they set snacks out downstairs and never announced it so when I wandered down on the way back, all that was left was empty plates!They did have an urn of self serve coffee upstairs. I heard one lady ask for hot cocoa and the crew member said they would have to go downstairs for it. She never came back. I had my elderly mother-in-law with me and the restrooms were upstairs. It would have been hard for her to do the steps so we stayed up there. On a better note, the guide for this trip was wonderful and I learned so much about the town and the area. I got to see so many whales the day before in Juneau, it wasn't that big a deal. We ate lunch on shore in a restaurant they had set up, delicious but very pricey. There were some excellent gift shops selling authentic Alaskan wares and a canning museum to browse through. It was the coldest place on the whole trip, very windy but the shops were all indoors. Sad to say that at dinner we found out that many stayed on the ship, didn't think the stop was worth getting off at.

Just want to mention one more thing...getting home to the east coast was really rough! I didn't read too much about it beforehand. Maybe someone will benefit from this story and plan better: First of all, I knew that we would have a later flight so we opted for the longer more scenic Grandview Train ride to Anchorage. It cost an extra $30+/pp over the bus but we had time to kill. Unfortunately it didn't kill any extra time. We found out the night before that we would be getting off the ship at 6am! (2 hours before the bus would have left)We didn't even get breakfast. I ordered room service the night before but it must have came after we left. We were whisked off that ship so fast, I was shocked! The train ride was absolutely breathtaking, worth every dime! But then, in Anchorage we were held up on the tracks and just sat and sat, it was tiring. We were herded off the train onto buses and taken to a Hospitality Center in the middle of the city. We had over 5 hours to kill...The hospitality center offered nothing but a place to leave your carry-ons which we checked. We couldn't walk very far with my mother-in-law in tow so we found a place close by called the "Alaskan Experience" do yourself a favor and don't experience it. We did find a really great restaurant called Phyliss's one block from the center. We had King Crab legs - eating outdoors - believe it or not! We opted to take a cab to the airport, we had enough "herding" for one day $15+tip and worth every dime. The cabs there have to be called, they just don't stand around. We saw people getting in one and asked the driver to call us one, it was there in a minute. We checked in at the airport quickly but the TSA workers were all at dinner so we just sat some more waiting. Our plane left at 7:30pm on time. We made it home at 8am with a stopover in Detroit. Lots of turbulance and baby's crying made sleep impossible! I was never so tired in my life! If I ever do Alaska again, I will definately schedule something post-cruise even if it is just a night in a hotel. It would have been much better.

 

Til our next cruise

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=00ffff&cdt=2004;6;4;17;30;00&timezone=GMT-0800

Facination 1998

Grandeur of the Seas 1999

Nordic Empress 2000

Voyager of the Seas 2001

Facination 2002

Infinity 2003

Summit to Alaska 2004

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Sorry you had such a dissapointing experience. When we went a few years back we stayed over in Anchorage not far from the airport. We actually had time the day before to rent a car and see some of the area.

The hotel shuttled us to our flight in the morning. This is a much less exhausting plan if you have the time for it.

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That is what we did in Hawaii, had 3 days to explore, it was great. You had a morning flight on the west coast, but east coast flights are only in the evening. There were some people we talked to flying out at 10pm to Texas! Even so, if we had stayed over night in Anchorage we would have been a bit more rested for the trip. Maybe I should have left the casino before it closed??? icon_smile.gif

 

Til our next cruise

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=00ffff&cdt=2004;6;4;17;30;00&timezone=GMT-0800

Facination 1998

Grandeur of the Seas 1999

Nordic Empress 2000

Voyager of the Seas 2001

Facination 2002

Infinity 2003

Summit to Alaska 2004

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Thank you for your wonderful reports each day. We leave on the summit July 16 and cant wait. Could you please tell me how many formal, informal and casual nights dress there were. Thank you.

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HawaiiApril,

To find your recent posts click on your name and then click on recent posts and you can see the posts.

 

Thanks for your reviews.

 

Carol

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Thanks for all your updates HawaiiApril, both during and now. We are really looking forward to our August trip. Your cruise sounded very nice, aside from the rough trip home. If you decide cruise in Alaska again, we will be doing the Summit southbound, and you can get earlier flights home from Vancouver, although we do plan on spending a couple of days there at the back end. You also don't have that long trip to the airport in Vancouver. Hope you're all rested soon, and planning your next trip...

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HawaiiApril,

Thank you for your updates during the cruise and for this report, and a special Thank You for gettting that webcam on again.

I'm sorry you were disappointed with your whale watching in Hoonah and with the delays in Anchorage.

 

NBP [7<sup>2</sup>=49]

Boten, you're always good for a laugh - newtocc

Boten, I want to speak with Mrs. Boten. NOW - brigittetom

 

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There were 2 formal and one informal and all the rest casual. The formal ones were the second night and then the next to the last night. The informal one was the 3rd night.

 

Til our next cruise

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=00ffff&cdt=2004;6;4;17;30;00&timezone=GMT-0800

Facination 1998

Grandeur of the Seas 1999

Nordic Empress 2000

Voyager of the Seas 2001

Facination 2002

Infinity 2003

Summit to Alaska 2004

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HawaiiApril:

 

Thanks very much for all your posts. They have been very helpful to us as we plan our 7/2 trip. Did you talk to anyone who did the bear watching trip at Hoonah?

 

Chuck

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No, I didn't talk to anyone who did the bear watching. Some said they saw a bear off the train out of Seward. I missed it, but we did see a moose off in the distance. Personally I think it would be more like a bear "search" than a bear "watch" unless they take you to the town dump.

 

Til our next cruise

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=00ffff&cdt=2004;6;4;17;30;00&timezone=GMT-0800

Facination 1998

Grandeur of the Seas 1999

Nordic Empress 2000

Voyager of the Seas 2001

Facination 2002

Infinity 2003

Summit to Alaska 2004

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Could someone help me find the daily posts of HawaiiApril from her Alaska cruise? I tried the suggestion to click on your her name and click on recent posts to see recent posts but do not see her posts there. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks

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Hawaii April,

 

Thank you so much for your reports about the Summit Northbound. I am on the July 30th sailing. We are wanting to take the train into Anchorage. Was there any type of immigration that you all had to go thru going Northbound when you got off for non-us citizens that you remembered? I know there is immigation for when you get on. Also, does the train not drop you off at the airport? Just wanted some clarification. My flight is not until the evening and I thought of renting a car just for the afternoon since it appears we would get into town really early.

 

So, you would say it is still worth it to take the train up, right? : ) Thanks again for your great reports.

 

Walter

 

Until my Summit Alaska cruise

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Until my Hawaii Infinity cruise

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Stinsowm, The train was spectacular!, it was the best scenery we saw (other than the glacier) the whole trip. I don't regret taking the train and would take it again, I was just surprised of how early we left the ship. We just walked off the ship and onto the train, it was that simple. We had to show our ID(passports)at one point and then there were a couple of people taking our transfer vouchers and also the vouchers showing we paid additional for the train. Whenever we left the ship in any port the only thing we ever needed was our ship card. We always took our passports but never needed them. If you take an excursion at any point that crosses over into Canada you would need to go through customs but otherwise not. We sailed out of Canada and it was kind of silly, but we had to fill out a customs card declaring what we purchased in Canada, and turn it in, BEFORE we could even buy anything! As far as renting a car, you would need to reserve it in advance and then get off at the train's first stop, the airport. We thought about doing just that, but the train was held up(it seems other trains use the tracks) for about an hour and we didn't have a car reserved either so we just went on into Anchorage. Also, just sitting there looking at the airport gave us the feeling that you would need to know your way around a bit just to get in and out of it. Really, there was quite a lot to do within walking distance of the hospitality center. Hope I've helped!

 

Til our next cruise

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=00ffff&cdt=2004;6;4;17;30;00&timezone=GMT-0800

Facination 1998

Grandeur of the Seas 1999

Nordic Empress 2000

Voyager of the Seas 2001

Facination 2002

Infinity 2003

Summit to Alaska 2004

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HawaiiApril,

 

This was exactly the information that I was looking for. Thank you so much. We are really looking forward to our trip to Alaska.

 

Walter

 

Until my Summit Alaska cruise

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<param name="year" value=2004>

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<param name="hour" value=17>

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Until my Hawaii Infinity cruise

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<param name="font" value="lcdb0">

<param name="year" value=2004>

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Thanks HawaiiApril for your reply, but all I got was the posting site. I did find your posts. They were out of date in sequence on the board. Don't know what happened. Enjoyed your observations of the cruise.

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