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ErLee

Trip Report June 12th - 25th, 2019 Princess Connoiseur Cruisetour

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The pictures and report are great!  We are on Coral Southbound next June so this is a preview of what we will be doing, and I love it!  On the whale watch in Juneau, how much motion was there on the boat?  I would love to do a whale watch trip, but I am VERY prone to seasickness - I have to wear my sea bands on the cruise ships when they are moving - so I am afraid I wouldn't be able to do it... Thanks!

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One more question... how long did you spend at Mendenhall Glacier?  You said the trail to Nugget Falls wasn't too bad... so we might try to do that one... We are planning on renting a car from Avis also, so I'm trying to figure out if we would have enough time to do the whale watch trip since it takes 3 hours.. The ship leaves at 5:00 pm... so if we picked up the rental car at 8:30 am, would we have enough time to drive to Mendenhall, do the Nugget Falls trail, get over to the whale watch, return the car and get back to the ship in time?  I don't want to be cutting it too close... LOL.   Thanks!

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On 7/28/2019 at 9:31 PM, cruises42 said:

Wow, they are great! You zoomed in for some, right? My phone has awful zoom.

 

Thank you! Yes I did zoom in for some and that works better on some pictures than others. I read on another thread someone saying that taking pictures with the phone is fine if you’re just using them for viewing on social media, but the quality is not good enough for some other uses. That’s probably true, but for the most part I’m just looking at my pictures on my iPad and used them for posting on Facebook or on here, so it worked for me!

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On 8/2/2019 at 8:54 AM, puppymama1 said:

The pictures and report are great!  We are on Coral Southbound next June so this is a preview of what we will be doing, and I love it!  On the whale watch in Juneau, how much motion was there on the boat?  I would love to do a whale watch trip, but I am VERY prone to seasickness - I have to wear my sea bands on the cruise ships when they are moving - so I am afraid I wouldn't be able to do it... Thanks!

 

 There was definitely some motion on the boat, particularly because it was a small craft,  I was so enthralled with what I was watching that I didn’t find it to be overwhelming. Although I do sometimes suffer from motion sickness, when I’m cruising or flying, I now start taking meclizine the day before I leave and I just take one every day the whole time I’m traveling to avoid any problems. It doesn’t make me sleepy, has no side effects for me which is surprising since I’m very sensitive to medication, and it has taken care of that issue for me altogether. My husband used to always get seasick on the first day of a cruise before he would take anything or do anything about it; this trip for the first time I convinced him to start taking it before our trip started and take it the whole way through. He never got sick either.

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On 8/2/2019 at 9:41 AM, puppymama1 said:

One more question... how long did you spend at Mendenhall Glacier?  You said the trail to Nugget Falls wasn't too bad... so we might try to do that one... We are planning on renting a car from Avis also, so I'm trying to figure out if we would have enough time to do the whale watch trip since it takes 3 hours.. The ship leaves at 5:00 pm... so if we picked up the rental car at 8:30 am, would we have enough time to drive to Mendenhall, do the Nugget Falls trail, get over to the whale watch, return the car and get back to the ship in time?  I don't want to be cutting it too close... LOL.   Thanks!

 

I would say all together we were over there at Mendenhall for maybe two hours. So it all depends on what time your whale watch is. Since our ship was there late that day, I had plenty of time to do what we wanted to do  which is why I rented the car. But it also depends on which dock your ship will be at, because the walk to Avis can be far from some of them and you have to factor in time to walk back after you return the car. I do think they have Uber there, but I didn’t try using it since it was only about a half a mile from our ship, and I walk every day at home so I knew it wouldn’t be an issue. 

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Posted (edited)

June 17th - Glacier Bay

 

In looking back through my pictures, I don’t have amazing pictures from Glacier Bay day, but it was a fantastic day!  

 

I woke up early, excited to see the scenery! Going out on my balcony I found out it was an overcast, cloudy morning,  and  I couldn’t see much. I was a little disappointed, but undeterred, and assumed that our luck would hold and the view would improve.  While it stayed mostly a cloudy day, the clouds did lift so we were able to enjoy our glacier viewing.

 

Bruce was sleeping in a bit, so I met up with our traveling companions and went to their cabin to view the early part of Glacier  Bay from their balcony. Above all else, I recommend that you do not sleep in on this day! We saw a lot of great wildlife that morning as we were coming in to the bay.  There were a lot of otters and seals easily visible from the ship, and perfect with a good pair of binoculars. I even got my one and only sighting on the trip of a puffin! It was brief, but I had my binoculars trained on him and got a good look which made me very happy. We saw some whales in the distance, but mostly just the spray from their blowholes. I think during that viewing period If you were someone that had a high-powered camera and knew how to use it, that would be the only way to get really good pictures of the wildlife out there in the water. There was no way for things like that to show up on a phone so I didn’t bother to try to get pictures.

 

Being able to listen to the naturalist over the TV in the cabin while we were out on the balcony made it very easy to tell what we were looking at and help us find things to train our binoculars on. The glaciers were magnificent, and all the scenery that day surrounding us was just beautiful despite the cloudy weather! I was so glad we picked an itinerary that included it.

 

We spent most of that day either in our cabin out on the balcony or on that front viewing deck on Caribe that I had chosen my cabin specifically to be near. There were probably only ever about 20 or 30 people out there at the most at one time throughout the day, so it was very uncrowded and a friendly group. I cannot say enough about how great it was to know about that little area! It was a perfect location to get great views of the glaciers as we approached.  When the ship was turned so the glaciers were on the starboard side, we went to our cabin, when the glaciers were on the port side we went back out on the front and had a great view still.  We did see some seals and otters down there as well around the floating ice, but not as many as we had seen coming into the bay. 

 

The main thing you have to know about that day is that it is very cold and windy in Glacier Bay!  Both on our balcony and out there on that front deck, the wind was biting , but I would not have wanted to be inside. In order to be able to stand outside I had on every layer of clothing that I had brought with me, including gloves and a winter scarf over my head. If I had not brought the one pair of fleece leggings to wear under my pants and the multiple layers of shirts and jackets with the rain jacket/windbreaker for the top layer, I would not of been able to stand out there all day.  I did not end up bringing my puffer jacket, but I had a bunch of layers that I was able to pile on that day. The rest of the trip most of that was unnecessary, but that day if you don’t  have warm layers, it will certainly impact your experience!  

 

Though not not the typical Glacier pics, here are a couple I like from that day...

 

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Edited by ErLee

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On ‎8‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 10:43 AM, ErLee said:

 

I would say all together we were over there at Mendenhall for maybe two hours. So it all depends on what time your whale watch is. Since our ship was there late that day, I had plenty of time to do what we wanted to do  which is why I rented the car. But it also depends on which dock your ship will be at, because the walk to Avis can be far from some of them and you have to factor in time to walk back after you return the car. I do think they have Uber there, but I didn’t try using it since it was only about a half a mile from our ship, and I walk every day at home so I knew it wouldn’t be an issue. 

We are going on the same cruise next week on the Nieuw Amsterdam (HAL) and I am enjoying reading your review.   You make it sound so personal and I like your style of writing.   Thanks for taking the time to do this.

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Great job on your review. Looking forward to reading about the land portion as well. 

 

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We were also on the ship through Glacier Bay and like ErLee we found it very cold and windy.   We were on the outside deck to get the best views.   The scenery was nice but we were disappointed.   We expected more whales and wildlife and better scenery.   I don't understand people taking multiple trips to Alaska.   We saw it once and don't have the urge to return. 

 

The whole week we were disappointed at every port and especially the lack of Glaciers = especially at Mendenhall.   The shopping at every port seemed to consist of all the same items and none of it interested us at all.   No need to buy any diamonds from the multiple shops at every port.

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Thank you so much for your trip report!  We are going on a cruisetour in May 2020 and your advice has been great.  In fact, I just booked the Bennet Scenic Journey with Chilkoot Charters because of your review!  Now I'm wondering how the land portion of your cruisetour was.  I don't see any posts on that and I'm just curious of your thoughts.  What did you do while there?  Thanks again!

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