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Posted (edited)

Oh, another tip: Go to the Atrium bar and ask Ahmed to make you a Pistachio martini.🍸 It looks like pistachio, but it tastes like heaven. We called it the Pismashio. You’re welcome. 😜

83530D07-18CE-4F1E-95BD-1E69BE09F716.jpeg

Edited by BayAreaCruisers4

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Can you tell me who the Skagway excursion was with? trains and puppies are a great combination ! 

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On 5/14/2019 at 3:10 PM, drumming cruisers said:

Embarkation quick?

How was entertainment? 

Were venues/bars crowded?

How was Q, Cagney's, Le Bistro? The Local?

Excursions? Did you do anything in the ports?

Any pictures?

Disembarkation quick?

 

We were also on this cruise May 4 -11...to answer your questions...

Embarkation - a little slower than normal...it was everyone's "first day"

Entertainment - Footloose and Elements were both fantastic! The comics were good and the magician was amazing!

We didn't find bars/venues to be crowded other than the buffet on embarkation and disembarkation days like normal.

Q - good, Cagneys - horrible...we waited over an hour after our appetizers to get 3 cold steaks that were all undercooked and side dishes that were also cold (not room temp, but downright cold). Service here was also just horrible...tracking down anyone for assistance was next to impossible until after we got everything cold. 

Le Bistro - we didn't try

Local - we did this for breakfast and it was really good

We found the service in the Manhattan, Savor/Taste and the Buffet to all be above average.

Ports:

Juneau - Whale Watching Photo Safari with Mendenhal Glacier - we cannot recommend this enough! Kristen/Misha and Captain Bruck were amazing! We saw Humpbacks, a ton of Orcas, bald eagles, seal lions, seals, the glacier and even learned about how to optimize our photos and settings and even some basic foraging! Worth every cent and then some! Gastineau tours

Skagway - Bicycle Tour (all downhill). We got great photos at our pit stops down of the white pass railroad and probably better photos than folks on the train. Brian and Melissa were both great! Sockeye Cycling

Ketchikan - Canoe tour - great views on the lake, yummy clam chowder made over an open fire and an extremely short (maybe 10 minute) "nature hike". I wish the hike would have been longer but the views on the lake and the chowder more than made up for it. 

 

Victoria - we were only in port for about 4 1/2 hours and since we were there starting at 6pm and it was the last night of the cruise, we had dinner with friends and then just walked the long pier in port. 

 

Disembarkation - HORRIBLE!!!! I cannot express this enough. We used the port valet so you can check your bags for your flight directly on board and they take it to the airport for you for free and provide you with your boarding passes. We filled out the form for both of us (same cabin, last name, flights, confirmation number) but we only got mine. We waited, waited, waited and nothing ever came for my husband so I went to guest services...with about 100+ other  people who all had the same issue. After well over an hour, on the last night of the cruise, I was finally able to get my husband's tag and boarding pass. They told me they were still printing passes and distributing them (at 11pm) so who knows when it would have finally shown up if I hadn't waited. I feel if they had made an announcement on board to let everyone know what was going on, 90% of the line would have be able to enjoy the last night and not have to wait in a long line with a pianist/singer in the atrium drowning out all thought!!!! Just unbelievably loud!

 

**A note, if you book excursions on the tv, and you have status with NCL, your shore excursion discount will not be applied unless you go to the shore excursion desk (during their very limited hours) and have them apply the discount**

 

Also, we had made our specialty restaurant reservations ahead of time and a few weren't showing on the TV in the room at all and 1 showed on the wrong day, even after we confirmed it on board with the restaurant directly so who knows what that was about.

 

Shopping - if you are on an Alaska itinerary, the shopping on board and in port is going to be a disappointment. This is definitely not Caribbean/Mexico shopping. Even the shopping person on board spent more than half of her port shopping talk saying that the shopping on board was better than in port. The only thing we bought on board were our standard 2 for $20 tshirts. 

 

**Shopping/Casino - again, if doing the Alaska itinerary, the shops and casino will close a couple hours before you arrive in Victoria and will not reopen the rest of the cruise so if you want to buy photos/tshirts/jewelry,etc on board or cash in your casino tickets, make sure to do it well before you get to Victoria**

 

As mentioned before, Go Karts are $15 and the Galaxy Pavilion is $29 for 90 minutes. Both venues and the laser tag were pretty empty during our cruise and having done the go karts before, we won't do them again, especially not for $15 (we did them on the Bliss in December for $10). 

 

On 5/14/2019 at 3:10 PM, drumming cruisers said:

Unless you are in the Haven, you won't be able to be at the front of the ship on the outside. You can see the front view on the inside from the observation area (which is super crowded during the glacier viewing) but not from the outside like on other NCL ships (this is the same as on the Bliss). 

 

On 5/14/2019 at 3:10 PM, drumming cruisers said:

 

We found our cabin steward, Mark, to be stellar...one of the best I have had in over 14 NCL cruises/24 cruises in total.  We also had a minisuite which had an incredible shower and a double sink. A friend also on the cruise who had a minisuite even had a bathtub!

 

On 5/14/2019 at 3:10 PM, drumming cruisers said:

Hope this helps!

 

On 5/14/2019 at 3:10 PM, drumming cruisers said:

Will we cruise NCL again...yes and in fact we are already booked on the Breakaway but we will not be on the Joy or probably the Bliss again any time soon. 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, BayAreaCruisers4 said:

Yes, a lot of folks used this service, but we didn’t. For some reason a LOT of these folks stood in line for an hour the night before disembarking to get their luggage tags. Not sure why, since the tags were supposed to be delivered to their rooms. I don’t know why they had to go to gust services. I can think of a lot better ways to spend my last night on the cruise. 

As one one of the ones in that line...it was because my tag and boarding pass showed up about 6pm and my husband's where nowhere to be found. We were on the same form, same confirmation number, etc. but they printed them separately. Unless you waited in that horrible line, who knows when/if we would have ever seen my husband's boarding pass. We wanted to make sure our bags were together and there would have been no reason to check one and not the other. 

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We used the regular disembarkation tags, picked our time, and left the ship by 10am. Then we dropped our bags off at the Hilton for a $10 tip and spent the day touring Seattle. I would have used the Marriott across the street, but we met friends at the Hilton Seattle. 

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Posted (edited)

On another note, you know what? Enjoy your cruise! It’s a vacation!  Don’t sweat the small stuff*. *And it’s all small stuff. 😉 First world problems. 

Edited by BayAreaCruisers4

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10 hours ago, BayAreaCruisers4 said:

Yes, a lot of folks used this service, but we didn’t. For some reason a LOT of these folks stood in line for an hour the night before disembarking to get their luggage tags. Not sure why, since the tags were supposed to be delivered to their rooms. I don’t know why they had to go to gust services. I can think of a lot better ways to spend my last night on the cruise. 

hmm, yeah I'd be curious to know why they had to go to guest services too! I cannot lug bags around Seattle all day though 😥

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7 hours ago, basktchic said:

As one one of the ones in that line...it was because my tag and boarding pass showed up about 6pm and my husband's where nowhere to be found. We were on the same form, same confirmation number, etc. but they printed them separately. Unless you waited in that horrible line, who knows when/if we would have ever seen my husband's boarding pass. We wanted to make sure our bags were together and there would have been no reason to check one and not the other. 

I certainly hope they work this out before I sail mid june.  Sorry you had to wait in that line!  Thanks for the clarification.  Did they give any explanation to why this happened?

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, BayAreaCruisers4 said:

We used the regular disembarkation tags, picked our time, and left the ship by 10am. Then we dropped our bags off at the Hilton for a $10 tip and spent the day touring Seattle. I would have used the Marriott across the street, but we met friends at the Hilton Seattle. 

were you staying at the Hilton?

Edited by Melli56566

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12 hours ago, magicstacey said:

We used the port valet for our luggage and checking into our flight. It was very convenient. 

so you had luggage tags and boarding passes delivered to stateroom?what time approx? thx!

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10 hours ago, BayAreaCruisers4 said:

Oh, another tip: Go to the Atrium bar and ask Ahmed to make you a Pistachio martini.🍸 It looks like pistachio, but it tastes like heaven. We called it the Pismashio. You’re welcome. 😜

83530D07-18CE-4F1E-95BD-1E69BE09F716.jpeg

will def try since we have the drink package!!

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9 minutes ago, Melli56566 said:

so you had luggage tags and boarding passes delivered to stateroom?what time approx? thx!

This was the first time we have done this. We were surprised to see them in the room around 3-4pm. We were thrilled it worked out. We were in room 14138. We had upgraded to concierge and it was worth it. 

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1 hour ago, magicstacey said:

This was the first time we have done this. We were surprised to see them in the room around 3-4pm. We were thrilled it worked out. We were in room 14138. We had upgraded to concierge and it was worth it. 

Do you mind sharing what you bid for the upgrade? What room did you originally book? What you liked most about Concierge Service? Thanks!!

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2 hours ago, Melli56566 said:

were you staying at the Hilton?

No, we weren't, but friends of ours were. I'm a Hilton Honors member and checked with the hotel about leaving our bags with them for the day. They said no problem. We tipped them $15 to hold the bags.

 

I would have done the same at the Marriott right across from Pier 66 (I'm a Bonvoy member, too), but the Hilton ended up being our home base for the day. Our flight didn't leave till 10pm that day.

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1 minute ago, BayAreaCruisers4 said:

No, we weren't, but friends of ours were. I'm a Hilton Honors member and checked with the hotel about leaving our bags with them for the day. They said no problem. We tipped them $15 to hold the bags.

 

I would have done the same at the Marriott right across from Pier 66 (I'm a Bonvoy member, too), but the Hilton ended up being our home base for the day. Our flight didn't leave till 10pm that day.

10pm for us too!!  seems like they leave very early or very late!  How was that flight?  Get any sleep?

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2 hours ago, Melli56566 said:

will def try since we have the drink package!!

A lot of people were ordering these all week long. We also started a trend for Irish Coffees. My wife and I ordered a couple and everyone asked, "What's that?" By the end of the cruise it seems like everyone ordered them.

 

The bar staff at the Atrium are the best. Super happy and professional.

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2 minutes ago, Melli56566 said:

10pm for us too!!  seems like they leave very early or very late!  How was that flight?  Get any sleep?

We live near San Francisco, so it's only a two hour flight for us.

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Oh, another tip. Make sure to have the World's Best Mac and Cheese (TM) at Beecher's. Their shop is in Pike Place, but they have one in SEATAC, too! I always get some when I come in or go out of SEATAC. It lives up to its name.

IMG_4795.jpg

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thought of another question,,,,best area for glacier viewing (we cruise through glacier bay)?  I've read about observation deck is good (but can get crowded). Is it best/possible to view outside (I heard there is a lot to hear too)?  We bid on a balcony, but that's yet to be seen.

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4 minutes ago, Melli56566 said:

thought of another question,,,,best area for glacier viewing (we cruise through glacier bay)?  I've read about observation deck is good (but can get crowded). Is it best/possible to view outside (I heard there is a lot to hear too)?  We bid on a balcony, but that's yet to be seen.

Best inside viewing area would be the observation lounge (deck 15, forward, crowded). But to really experience it go outside. There were several calvings while we were there and they are thunderous! It was cold and rainy, but worth it.

 

Best outside viewing is on deck 6 all the way forward (enter the long hallway near District Brewhouse toward the bow of the ship) or, as we did, go to deck 8 all the way forward. Here you can get great views from the railing on both sides of the ship. The captain does a great job of pivoting the ship back and forth so both sides of the ship get good views. The crew also setup Irish Coffee stations for us on deck 8. 🙂 

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1 hour ago, sporty12usa said:

Do you mind sharing what you bid for the upgrade? What room did you originally book? What you liked most about Concierge Service? Thanks!!

We had  booked a balcony and upgraded for the least amount on the sliding scale. It wasn't that much. The room was much larger and the balcony was double the size.  We had a dedicated concierge at the guest service desk area.(or we called him) 

Eating at La Cucina  for breakfast and lunch was wonderful. 

We ate there almost every breakfast. 

 

We were able to get on and off the ship in dedicated Haven/ concierge lines. 

 

Our favorite part was watching the wildlife from our balcony! 

 

 

 

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Just wanted to say thank you for the best post ever.

 

We're headed out in Early June.  Will post dailies as well.

 

Apologies if this is a lame question:  was the weather ever good enough to use pools/slides?  How was the heated pool?

 

thank you!

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2 hours ago, rrrijah said:

Just wanted to say thank you for the best post ever.

 

We're headed out in Early June.  Will post dailies as well.

 

Apologies if this is a lame question:  was the weather ever good enough to use pools/slides?  How was the heated pool?

 

thank you!

Thanks!

 

The weather was great in Seattle and Victoria. Alaska was cold and rainy, but weather is always subject to change.

 

One day I almost got my nerve up to try the water slides, but ran into some friends and never went through with it. The weather that day was sunny and mild. Never got in any of the pools or hot tubs, so can't say anything about them. Sorry.

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