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netchik

Jewel: Summer in Alaska - Southbound - Review 2019

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Thanks for the review, we will be doing pretty much the same trip next year, but with the NCL land part.  We have updated our to do list from your review and can’t wait for another 346 days to pass

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You had such a fabulous time! Thanks for sharing with us.

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2 hours ago, LeesaB said:

Loved reading!  Thanks so much.  Makes me even more excited for next year!

 

Thank you! Have an amazing time!

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1 hour ago, Harratine said:

Thanks for the review, we will be doing pretty much the same trip next year, but with the NCL land part.  We have updated our to do list from your review and can’t wait for another 346 days to pass

 

Awesome.  Have fun on the NCL Land & Sea trip!

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1 hour ago, ellenw said:

You had such a fabulous time! Thanks for sharing with us.

 

Thank you, appreciate your feedback.  

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On 8/2/2019 at 7:19 PM, netchik said:

 

Mom opted to stay in the warm hanger while the girls and grandson went on the tour.  9 of us in our group (1 solo business traveler, a family of 5 from Germany, and us 3) were clothed in the same type of gear (waterproof jackets, pants, slip-over boots, and gloves) and listened to an explanation of the helicopter safety instructions.  I didn’t need my scarf, gloves, or heavy jacket after all, they were put back into our rental car trunk.

 

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We took 3 helicopters up to the musher’s camp for the 9 of us; our helicopter fit our 3 passengers plus the pilot.  We had a beautiful view and flight.  The pilot kept us entertained for the short 7-minute flight, keeping an eye out for bears.  We arrived to Punchbowl Glacier, where 32 sled dogs were each tied to their personal igloo home but were outside and seemed anxious by the helicopters and new guests.  

 

1-min video arriving to camp:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/7umU7ZaRsg3KJB1f7

 

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The guides let us mix and mingle with the dogs for a while.  Then the 9 of us were called over to talk about the order of the riders on the sleds and the order of each position on the sleds should we decide to rotate positions during the sled run (2 standing and 1 sitting position).  One musher led the dogs and his position didn’t change.  A photographer was on hand to record photos from each run.

 

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While the first group of riders went out, four of us moved into a large heated tent to play with a husky puppy named Brownie.  There was Iditarod memorabilia & gear to view as well.  The first group came back in about 35-40 minutes and we traded spots with them, our group of 3 on 2-sleds pulled together with 1 musher and the solo rider on her own sled with 1 musher.  We went around the glacier bowl outside of view and away from the camp.  


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It was the most amazing ride over the glacier, close to trees and mountains, with dogs excited.  We stopped three times during the run, with the musher allowing us to rotate positions each time.  One standing position was a little precarious and required the standing rider on the back sled, using a foot pedal to slow the sled down from running into the first part of the sled all while going around hills and curves and in and out of the sled tread.  Son and I traded our report of that position and both felt like we almost fell off, which would have been OK, since the snow was soft.

 

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We arrived back at the camp, full of excitement from the incredible ride, and with worn out sled dogs and the excited dogs that did not go out sledding.  We mingled among the dogs again, went back into the heated tent with the option to download photos from our tour for $40 (Airdrop to iPhone), and waited for the choppers to come back for us.  The helicopter ride back was just as exhilarating as going up.  This was, by far, the best excursion we’ve ever taken.  We felt welcomed by the staff and given exact instructions of what was happening when and what is coming up.  The total time at Punchbowl Glacier was ~ 1.5 hrs.

 

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Thanks for reading so far, will be back soon to continue..... next up, more in Girdwood...

 

What an amazing excursion!!

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Thank you so much for sharing your trip, pictures and dailies!!!!

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4 hours ago, TSUmom said:

What an amazing excursion!!

 

It was amazing! 

 

4 hours ago, TSUmom said:


Thank you so much for sharing your trip, pictures and dailies!!!!

 

My pleasure, I am glad you found them helpful!  Enjoy your trip!

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Loved the review doing the reverse trip next June.  Will visit Glacier Bay instead of Icy Strait.  This was very informative.

I like the smaller ships too.  Dreading the day when it will only be mega ships.  Thanks again for the review.

 

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1 hour ago, shadowmeboy said:

Very nice review! thank you for sharing.

 

Thank you for reading!

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2 minutes ago, beachseasand said:

Loved the review doing the reverse trip next June.  Will visit Glacier Bay instead of Icy Strait.  This was very informative.

I like the smaller ships too.  Dreading the day when it will only be mega ships.  Thanks again for the review.

 

 

Thanks so much, I am glad it helped. 

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Wonderful trip!!!!

 

question: why choose southbound vs northbound?

 

the dog sledding excursion is my expensive dream!!!  I’m debating excursion on cruise or after cruise. I’m worried about bad weather bc it happened to me last time I went to AK so I didn’t get to dog sled

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53 minutes ago, gumbypee said:

Wonderful trip!!!!

 

question: why choose southbound vs northbound?

 

the dog sledding excursion is my expensive dream!!!  I’m debating excursion on cruise or after cruise. I’m worried about bad weather bc it happened to me last time I went to AK so I didn’t get to dog sled

 

Thank you!

 

Great question - -  We end our cruises wanting to get back home quickly, so knew we’d want to sight-see in Anchorage ahead of a trip, not after, so Southbound made sense. Vancouver is also much quicker to get home from than Anchorage.

 

That stinks to miss the dog-sledding, I would have been upset.  That’s why we picked it earlier in the trip too.  I thought if nothing else as a last resort we might get in on the ship’s excursion if we had the Girdwood one cancelled.  Good luck, hope you make it on the next one.

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Awesome review!  Thank you so much for taking so much time to write it and post your gorgeous pictures, many of which brought me right back to my 2003 and 2011 Alaskan cruises with my late husband. 👍

 

 

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1 hour ago, dreamer976 said:

Awesome review!  Thank you so much for taking so much time to write it and post your gorgeous pictures, many of which brought me right back to my 2003 and 2011 Alaskan cruises with my late husband. 👍

 

 

 

Aww, Thank you, I am glad that it brought back wonderful memories.  It’s a pretty special place, I hope to get back again soon.

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