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AtlantaAlly

LIVE: Bliss Alaska June 9- Haven & Expecting

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7 hours ago, sagrs said:

Thanks so much for sharing. Off topic- what did you use to create your daily schedule? Thanks. 

I use PowerPoint 🙂 I like the visual it gives.

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We ventured over to Margaritaville for lunch, it opened at 12, so we had a little bit of free time. It was complimentary for Haven guests on the first day. We enjoyed the Nacho Volcano and the chicken quesadilla. I had the taco salad, probably wouldn’t order it again. 

 

While I didn’t have any alcoholic beverages, I know many in our group enjoyed the perfect margarita as well as the watermelon one. 

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We ended up upgrading our 250 min package to unlimited so we can FaceTime the kids. It’s been consistently strong enough when we have tried it- even on day 1, far out to sea. We could have done it from our phones, but we didn’t select it the first time we logged in, so we had to do it in person. A quick call to the concierge and it was taken care of!

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1 hour ago, AtlantaAlly said:

We ended up upgrading our 250 min package to unlimited so we can FaceTime the kids. It’s been consistently strong enough when we have tried it- even on day 1, far out to sea. We could have done it from our phones, but we didn’t select it the first time we logged in, so we had to do it in person. A quick call to the concierge and it was taken care of!

 

Thanks so much for sharing! Good to know about the internet—if you want to upgrade from the free at sea internet, you need to do it the first time you sign onto the internet?

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1 hour ago, kylielkinnaman said:

 

Thanks so much for sharing! Good to know about the internet—if you want to upgrade from the free at sea internet, you need to do it the first time you sign onto the internet?

No, but if you want to do it afterwards, you have to go to the Internet cafe, it isn’t an option on the login screen anymore. You can use some of the minutes before upgrading the package. 

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We said goodbye for now to Seattle right after 5. By the time we were done with the muster drill, grabbed a drink at sugarcane mojito bar, and walked outside, we were sailing away! It was a quick takeoff! We enjoyed the view from the back of deck 8.

 

the drinks were great- I had a virgin raspberry mango and the others in our group had the pineapple coconut, and cucumber jalapeno- All were enjoyed and quite refreshing!

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We wandered the ship for a bit before joining more family in then haven restaurant for dinner. Everything was delicious! (Although after a big lunch, we weren’t super hungry)

 

I had the short rib and the scallops with romaine gnocchi. My husband had the lamb chops with mustard crust. They were prepared perfectly and were quite good. This is where I started to notice that vegetables are sometimes hard to come by on this ship! More on that later.

 

for now, here is some food porn!

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First night brought us the Beatles cover band. It’s cool because each show steps through a different phase of their music, so this was the early years. 

 

Our towel animal was a elephant tonight. Very fun- we’ll be sending pictures to the kids each night. Our room steward, Michael, is phenomenal. He’s been responsive to our minimal requests, friendly, and knew us by name after the first meeting. 

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The first morning at sea consisted of a delicious Haven breakfast of steak and eggs for myself and the seafood eggs Benedict for my husband! With chunks of lobster and scallops and a delicious cream sauce, it was phenomenal. I was jealous of his lack of carb control.

 

Afterwards, we went to the spa to enjoy a couples massage. I had tried to book with the bath as well, but it isn’t permitted for pregnant women. Makes sense. They were able to do an excellent job while laying on my side. However, because it was technically two separate massages (prenatal) and Swedish- the price is $150 more than just a regular couples massage. On top of that, it is unfortunate that they try so hard to sell products. I would prefer they send something to the room with a list of what they used. Because for us, it was just a waste of time. Plus, nothing had a price, so I didn’t feel like asking... but they had a list of 6 things they highly recommended we buy. We passed. Then, as we left we had to wait over 10 min to get our cards back. They should bring those to the room for us instead of having them at the front desk. It was a great massage spoiled just a bit by the end, but we didn’t let any of that ruin the experience! Just trying to paint the picture for everyone that they try to fill every spare 5 minutes where they have an audience with an opportunity to make them more $$. We’re spending plenty on this cruise (without the actually cruise fare, we’re estimating $4,500 for excursions, entertainment, additional food, drinks, spa, tips), so it would be nice if they weren’t pushing pull tabs before every show, or so much product at the end of treatments. 

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So I called this a live but I’m a few days behind. Trying to catch up today a bit! 

 

Didn’t do much during our sea day after the massage. Relaxed a bit- I felt seasick (head was all mushy) so hung out in the Haven lounge, had lunch there, took a nap, and Teppanyaki for dinner. Our chef was most entertaining, and kept the table engaged. For those with hearing challenges, I wouldn’t recommend this restaurant. We didn’t try the specialty drinks, but some in the group did enjoy the Japanese Sapporo Beer! Afterwards l went to bed, others in the group went to the 18+ comedy show at 10. They really enjoyed him and it was definitely 18+ based on the content they relayed!

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On 6/12/2019 at 11:46 AM, ImADaneFan said:

 

I don't know if you are planning on dining at Ocean Blue, but if so, would you be able to post pics of the menu?  There are 2 different menus depending on which ship you are on and one is MUCH better than the other.:classic_rolleyes:.  We will be onboard for the PC cruise and I'm trying to decide how many extra dining plans to purchase.:classic_biggrin:

Have a wonderful time.

Linda

Here is the current Ocean Blue menu

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2 minutes ago, AtlantaAlly said:

Here is the current Ocean Blue menu

Thank you sooo much!!  That is actually different than the menu the last time I was on Bliss & different from Escapes in January. 

Linda

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, AtlantaAlly said:

Here is the current Ocean Blue menu

 

 

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So the Surf and Turf has a $10.00 dining package upcharge...is that in addition to the $10 extra that is charged to use one of the meals on the SDP? If you order that, are you charged $20.99 in addition to your SDP meal? If so, I don’t see us going there.  I’m willing to pay the $10 upcharge, but to charge more on top of that is a bit much..

Linda

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5 hours ago, ImADaneFan said:

So the Surf and Turf has a $10.00 dining package upcharge...is that in addition to the $10 extra that is charged to use one of the meals on the SDP? If you order that, are you charged $20.99 in addition to your SDP meal? If so, I don’t see us going there.  I’m willing to pay the $10 upcharge, but to charge more on top of that is a bit much..

Linda

It is a $12 upcharge for the restaurant (I believe that includes gratuity) and then another $10.99 on top of that, plus gratuity.

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3 hours ago, AtlantaAlly said:

It is a $12 upcharge for the restaurant (I believe that includes gratuity) and then another $10.99 on top of that, plus gratuity.

Thanks! Unfortunately that's what I expected.:classic_dry:  Thank you for taking the time out of your vacation to answer.  I hope you have a fabulous time!

Linda

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Woke up early on Juneau day, and we don’t get in until 2:30 this afternoon! So we lounged in the room a bit, on the balcony and then went exploring before our scheduled excursions. We had a quick lunch in the Haven restaurant and then got the dreaded phone call- our helicopter tour was cancelled due to weather. This was the excursion we were most looking forward to. A few key notes:

 

Prior to sailing, about a month before I knew my pregnant body wasn’t going to meet the 250lb weigh limit for the regular excursion. I called NCL and they said there was nothing they could do. They said just show up and see. I didn’t feel comfortable with a $700 gamble like that, so I started contacting the vendors. Tens o was the vendor who actually held our reservation- they took care of contacting NCL and got NCL to send me a new confirmation. Phenomenal service.

 

We we’re on the 4:15 tour, so they cancelled us by 1:45. We went down to the concierge desk to see what we could do- the lounge was packed with people waiting for priority escort off the ship (available in every port!). They told us that David would be right there to help us. He was. He whisked is down to a shore excursion person using a staff elevator- we were able to book the mendenhal glacier expedition- I bus to the visitor center and 2.5 hours to hike around. My brother was able to book onto a whale watching excursion. This was all done in under 15 minutes- a definite Haven perk that was unexpected but most appreciated. My husband was even saying “this is where the real difference is recognized.”

 

one thing to note: if you’re doing the helicopter tour, it’s good to do it early in the day- because if it is canceled, they cancel before you arrive. Then you can rebook. People we met the next day were upset that they didn’t get cancellation notice until later and weren’t able to rearrange their schedule to fit any excursion. 

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Skagway was beautiful. We were up early for a glacial lake kayak. Don’t forget your passport or the Canadian border patrol agent with a Scottish accent won’t let you through! That said, there were 6 of us on this tour. It started with a bus ride up to Frasier lake- about 30 minutes? I lost track. Karissa was our primary guide throughout the day- she was from Packer Expeditions. Lots of fun!

 

Once up at the lake we met Mads and she was the primary Kayak instructor. The kayaks had rudders but about half way through, when we were fully across the lake, ours stopped working and only went left. This was an issue. We also tried without it, but the cross wind made everything impossible for us, we ended up needing a tow. How embarrassing. My husbands frustration level was quite high at this point. 

 

We got on the train and they had light snacks- chips, granola bars, cider/tea/coffee. Hit the spot. They also work out an arrangement where they get the last car, which was super cool to stand out back!

 

There were so many amazing views off the train (including two train cars in the valley). We stopped a couple of times to let on and off a few hikers. Fun morning adventure!

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Haven frustration ahead: restaurant hours aren’t fully convenient. For a lot of east coasters, we’ve seen wandering around the Haven around 5/5:30. Snacks aren’t available in the lounge until 6/6:15. The restaurant doesn’t open until 7. Room service’s earliest option is 6:30-7. So on days where you are off the ship starting excursions at 7/7:30, breakfast is limited. For a pregnant east coaster, this has been a bit annoying. So we circled the 6:30 and it has been delivered within 5 minutes!

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Thanks for sharing!  I am really enjoying your review!

 

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Decided to do a post-Ketchikan pre-los lobos bar crawl. The goal is to go to each bar before the end of the cruise. I’m the pregnant judge and rule maker. Each of the three participants are required to order and have a drink or shot.

 

Earlier in the week we crossed off: Haven Bar, Atrium Bar, Margaritaville, Sugarcane, Social Comedy Club, and the Local.

 

So far today, I have had the exciting club soda and lime. We checked off observation lounge and now we’re at spice H2O. Two rounds of shots! An Italian surfer and a Cinnamon Toast Crunch. 

 

Next bar!

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Skyline bar is dullsville. They aren’t interested in us or our bar tour. They aren’t busy. But the team up at spice was so much more engaging. Pain killers and overly limed mojitos...

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Maltings for the win! Good vibes. A lemonade, a few woodford old fashions. Lemonade has maple syrup in it. We think they made it wrong...

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Tonight was Los Lobos for dinner. There were some stars and some that could use improvement. Overall, we enjoyed.

 

We started with 7 appetizers- 2 guac, 2 queso fundido, a shrimp civiche, a chicken quesadilla, and empanadas. Guac was good, we asked for spicy and the heat was missing but the avocados were fresh and flavor was good. The queso was pretty solid by the time it reached us and wasn’t that warm- also needed more chorizo. The civiche got a star vote. 

 

For entrees, we ordered 3 carne asada. Was flavorful but we were full and the steak was a bit chewy. They never came to ask us what we thought of the meal. We each got the corn, so delicious! That was the best part of the meal, and the company!

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We went to Jersey Boys tonight. It was great. Frankie Valli lead was spot on and had an incredible voice. We haven’t seen it on broadway, so no expectations going in. We took the staff elevator down from the Haven and sat in the Haven area; off to the left but midway up so pretty decent view. Chairs aren’t comfortable for a 1:45 show. 

 

We weren't sure what to expect. Once we got used to the format where they break the 4th wall and narrate to you individually hopping between scenes really quickly, we really loved it. The language warning is real. They included all the favorites and deserved every bit of the standing ovation we gave.

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