Jump to content

CHICAGOPAUL LIVE!!!!! 15 Night Bering Sea & Japan TRANSPACIFIC CRUISE - LIVE BLOG


chicagopaul
 Share

Recommended Posts

Since we are finally settled into the ship I wanted to take a moment to comment on a few things I’ve noticed on the ship thus far and give you some of my very very initial impressions of the ship.

 

Cabin: I like the updates that were done to the room. Overall we have enough storage space for everything we brought. We brought 3 full size suitcases that weighed just under 50lbs each, most of this was clothes and shoes. We bring some bathroom / medicine products but for the most part what we bring is limited. The drawers next to the wardrobe closet fit our basics of socks, underwear, t-shirts. We used the desk drawers for some radon items such as ties, shoe laces (yes I bring multiple colors of shoe laces to match shirts / socks), collar stays, etc. The wardrobe held all of our hanging clothes including dress shirts, pants, blazer, and light jackets but it was a tight fit. The lower level shelves in the wardrobe held our sweaters and shorts as well as some shoes. We used the top of the wardrobe near the ceiling of the cabin for some shoes.

 

The bathroom design is very nice. I love the clean lines and colors. The space is small however compared to what we are used to on the S Class ships and my goodness the shower feels tiny! However, it works. The space is small but the design is beautiful. Bathroom storage is limited and there is not any closed storage (drawers, etc.). If you are one to bring a lot of bathroom products you’ll need to get a bit creative but the space works totally fine for us with much storage space to spare.

 

Buffet: It’s been a while since we’ve been on an M Class ship and we are getting used to the buffet setup, plus the change in setup after the “revolution.” For some I can see the complaints of the spread out buffet being a little bit of a hassle to navigate. However, even on a very crowded day I never felt the buffet was too crowded. The choppy set up of the stations actually helps with this which I appreciate. I like the new colors in the buffet, tables, chairs, and set up of some new stations The bakery area for instance looks very pretty and the set up is reminiscent of what I saw on the Edge. We have never been a big fan of the feel of the buffet on the ship but I do like the way this feels. I feel as if I’m eating in an actual restaurant versus a buffet.

 

Public Bathrooms: While they updated the aesthetics of some parts of the public bathrooms I wish they would have made additional updates such as automatic opening doors, automatic flushing toilets, etc. I know this requires a lot more work since new electrical is being run, etc. but given how much cruise lines put an effort to lessen the spread of germs, I would have hoped they would have made these changes.

 

With the above being said I have found the public bathrooms so far very clean and always stocked with cloth towels.

 

Bar Staff: We’ve been really very impressed with all the bar staff we’ve encountered throughout the ship. We’ve run into a few familiar faces which has ben awesome but I’ve been equally impressed with the new bartenders we’ve met from their speediness of service to their friendliness and enthusiasm shown towards guests.

 

Bartenders we’ve met that we’ve had before are Joaquim (Sunset Bar) and Ruel (Sky Lounge). We’ve also met Bagus who was recently on the Edge but I think we only saw him a couple times on the Edge.

 

Random Story: Today we were in the buffet eating a small late lunch. We were sitting at a table one table removed from the window. One of the buffet supervisors was helping clear dishes and had a decent sized stack he was carrying away. Well, today they had mussels at lunch and most people had them on their plates. As he was carrying the plates the plates shifted a bit and a few shells fell on the ground and it looked like one may have hit the person sitting at the table next to me. The supervisor was clearly concerned, apologized profusely, dropped off the plates to the side and came back immediately to check on the guests t-shirt. The guest didn't appear to be concerned in the least, but the supervisor pulled out a card, took the guests info, signed the card and gave it to him for what I believe appeared to be some free laundry. Now this isn't an extraordinary act by any means. As a matter of fact it is exactly how it should be handled. I just wanted to mention this story because I was impressed by the swiftness of the supervisors actions and how he handled the situation. 

 

OK, those are my quick thoughts as of right now. I have noticed a few random quirks in the room both positive and negative. I’ll be taking some photos and posting them throughout the cruise. As always any questions at all feel free to ask!

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you know if you are offered the option of ordering starters or entrees from the MDR menu.  Last time on Summit was able to like you can do in Luminae.  Rumor over the summer is they now disallow that other than the everyday items.  I know this is not generally available on "S" class ships due to the separation of the galleys but on "M" class the galleys are co-located.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, calicakes said:

The asparagus has me LOL'ng.  My wife and I have only sailed in AQ on X( 3 x, soon to be 4) and every single year, there has been a few potatoes, 2 or 3 spears and a few mushrooms with egg dishes.  I wonder if there is a "special" on asparagus.  I'm a huge proponent of eating seasonally and asparagus is NOT a summer vegetable.  My wife is not a fan of omelettes.  She loves the pancakes in Blu.  

 

Edward was eyeing the pancakes today in Blu so I'll be sure to tell him to try them! I love asparagus but I too was amused when I saw two pieces along with mushrooms and a couple potatoes; 

 

25 minutes ago, hcat said:

Loved that breakfast photo....Looks great,..

I highly rec the breakfast parfaits in BLU...and the asparagus frittata and of course the smoked salmon plate..with a  toasted bagel!

 

Our neighbor table at Blu today ordered a couple parfaits and they looked fantastic. I know at some point we will definitely get the smoked salmon plate; one of our favorite things to get at brunch at home (at least when its done right). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, wrk2cruise said:

Do you know if you are offered the option of ordering starters or entrees from the MDR menu.  Last time on Summit was able to like you can do in Luminae.  Rumor over the summer is they now disallow that other than the everyday items.  I know this is not generally available on "S" class ships due to the separation of the galleys but on "M" class the galleys are co-located.

 

I'll find out about this and will keep an eye out for anyone with an MDR menu too in Blu. It seems like it should be easy to do on the M Class given the galley setup. They didn't specifically mention entrees but he did mention the appetizer situation but I think that was because I asked for his recommendations on the appetizers so that is why he specifically mentioned that. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yay...I finally caught up on all of the posts, but then felt a little sad thatI Iwas not onboard.  My DH said the same, as Japan is one of his favorite countries that we have visited, just not on a cruise...so, someday for sure.  Looks like your vacation is off to a wonderful start; cannot wait to hear more...enjoy!

 

I hope that Silkroad is also reading this because she will be doing this TP in the future!

Edited by Lastdance
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was laughing about the asparagus, mushrooms and potatoes as that came with every egg dish I had for breakfast at Blu on all the ships I’ve sailed on. Then it made me think about our Edge sailing and I checked the photos - and you didn’t get that there! 

I’m looking forward to seeing photos of your stateroom at some point. I’m booked on a aft A1 stateroom on Constellation next summer after their “revolution”. Will be interesting to see the changes from the “old” Aqua Class staterooms. 

Thank you!

Wendy

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

I realized I didn’t post the Daily for today. Here you go! 

 

 

 

AC7AC824-B3D2-41A2-A87C-76B53787A459.thumb.jpeg.204f9ae356c31bc0d13eaaafc948c50f.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

If you have time to get to any of Celia's presentations go! She is wonderful. We attended all but one of her presentations on the Aug. 2 sailing and it truly enhanced our trip. She is a great mix of knowledge and entertainment. She is also extremely personable and was willing to answer questions anytime we saw her. We took a mad dash from deck 4 to 11 with her to try to see an Orca! 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

49 minutes ago, musik07 said:

 

 

If you have time to get to any of Celia's presentations go! She is wonderful. We attended all but one of her presentations on the Aug. 2 sailing and it truly enhanced our trip. She is a great mix of knowledge and entertainment. She is also extremely personable and was willing to answer questions anytime we saw her. We took a mad dash from deck 4 to 11 with her to try to see an Orca! 

 

I actually watched her presentation on bears yesterday on our stateroom TV and found her quite interesting. I’m hoping her along with the other lecturers have a good amount of talks on board coming up during the sea days. We will definitely attend. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good Morning from Sitka! We had a great breakfast in Blu. I’ll have photos uploaded shortly. Here is a quick photo from the ship! We just docked. Weather here seems to be in the low 60s or maybe very high 50s right now in the shade. Perfect day to explore the town. 

 

201A22F1-2E0D-407E-8B6D-EB54FF575840.thumb.jpeg.368142fe071d43c6192e9a96cd91873f.jpeg

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I second the recommendations for Celia's presentations. We had her onboard the Eclipse from Santiago to San Diego. I had to watch replays from the stateroom, but her presentations were great, and she was super friendly around the ship as well.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, chicagopaul said:

Good Morning from Sitka! We had a great breakfast in Blu. I’ll have photos uploaded shortly. Here is a quick photo from the ship! We just docked. Weather here seems to be in the low 60s or maybe very high 50s right now in the shade. Perfect day to explore the town. 

 

201A22F1-2E0D-407E-8B6D-EB54FF575840.thumb.jpeg.368142fe071d43c6192e9a96cd91873f.jpeg

 

Perfect day...perfect photo!

thank you

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope everyone is having a beautiful Sunday and enjoying the day just as much as I am. I’ll post the Daily a bit later along with review of breakfast and of course dinner last night. 

 

Right now we are sitting in Earnie’s Saloon in Sitka Alaska having a beer and probably the spiciest Bloody Mary I’ve ever had in my life but oh my it is sooo soo good. 

 

How did we stumble upon Earnie’s? Well there are not too many bars here but I still wanted some advice. We reached out to our friends Bob and Kathy and while they couldn’t remember a specific place here they did a quick search and recommended where they would try. They haven’t directed us wrong yet. 

 

If you remember in May we went to Arctic Bar in Ketchikan. We made friends with the owner Paula and had a great time. I decided to Facebook message Paula and she replied with a handful of recommendations for Sitka but specifically said stop by Earnie’s. Paula even went out of her way to photograph a couple maps of Sitka for us! So if you find yourself in Ketchikan please pay a visit to the Arctic Bar and ask for Paula the owner. If you find yourself in Sitka hit up Earnie’s, it’s on the main drag. If you like spicy, order a spicy Bloody Mary. 

 

When I’m back in my cabin I will write a proper review of Earnie’s and pay it the respect it deserves. Until then enjoy your Sunday! 

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Paul and Edward,

Terry and I are enjoying your blog and comments on your cruise.

We look forward to the rest of your cruise.  9 days at sea will be extremely relaxing and refreshing.

We have to wait 7 weeks for our next cruise - Eclipse 15 nights LA to Hawaii to LA.

Wishing you both a tremendously memorable experience.

Safe Travels,

Bob and Terry

 

Edited by Ravbo
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So glad you found Processo and Charllou. Everyone in Blu was so great in July. The manager (Yudy?) and hostess were terrific. We were able to get the Decoy Cabernet by the glass, which was not on the list but is included on the premium package. Your cabin is near where we were, so I wonder if ZamZam is your room steward. He was quiet but so attentive and helpful. Your pictures have us revisiting happy memories. Keep them coming!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last night dinner was was in Blu again. We  had a martini or maybe two before dinner and chatted with plenty of people. I must say we really have a wonderful group of cruisers on this ship! There has been no shortage of people to chat with! 

 

We did not have to wait at all in Blu. We requested a table in Prosecco’s section and they were able to accommodate with a great corner booth like table. 

 

Here is the menu from last night. 1D7A4F2D-11AB-4EB7-A387-A6E90D66D9D8.thumb.jpeg.d0be3c504c4ad14241f7b61b61b60922.jpeg

 

C885AB92-11F7-4416-BA8D-A70D6381144C.thumb.jpeg.a50b3a1282e69fbdfc939d5f218f263c.jpeg

 

047CBB05-AB2D-44BE-A217-6886D86F90D5.thumb.jpeg.1dc6877cbe622caca9d913c8d362236b.jpeg

 

We both had the same thing last night. We started with the Scallop followed by the crab bisque and then had the lamb as our entree (you like lamb don’t you sweet pea? - name that movie!). 

 

The scallop was fantastic. The crab bisque was plain and didn’t have much flavor. Not the crab bisque I was really excited for. The lamb was great and had a very nice crust. Similar mustard flavor that the lamb has in Murano. 

 

We asked our sommelier for a good wine recommendation and told him we’d be fine going above the package. I was eyeing a gold Pinot Noir. He made the bellow recommendation and we really enjoyed it. We ended up finishing off a bottle of it. 

 

4351D0ED-886B-4E5A-9161-8F8C2A238CFB.thumb.jpeg.e598641bc92f1f3f3d83e6118f263115.jpeg

 

Penner Ash Pinot Noir. Upcharge was $6 a glass I believe. 

 

Ok let’s check out some food photos. 

 

401598DF-6856-4C77-B3C5-38444210C313.thumb.jpeg.e169ddf0f19e009830a81e41e94db2bb.jpeg

 

CF91D3D3-0C3C-4CD7-ACB7-5FD7384CBA36.thumb.jpeg.eabd21c8ab2b79eb8cd9dcaf6b14f7ee.jpeg

 

8394B72F-0E93-4FD8-A204-1243DF73961F.thumb.jpeg.a2eb7c7fa0d008b47783707da1e26fff.jpeg

 

For dessert we just had a double espresso and some vanilla ice cream. 

 

Service was prompt yesterday and food came out quick and all food was hot. Both the hostess and the manager did table touches throughout the dinner. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/7/2019 at 4:24 PM, wrk2cruise said:

Do you know if you are offered the option of ordering starters or entrees from the MDR menu.  Last time on Summit was able to like you can do in Luminae.  Rumor over the summer is they now disallow that other than the everyday items.  I know this is not generally available on "S" class ships due to the separation of the galleys but on "M" class the galleys are co-located.

We just got off the Equinox yesterday and were able to order off the MDR menu. I'm a beef eater and there were three days that there wasn't a steak on Luminae menus so I ordered off the MDR menu. The days they had steak in Luninae it was delicious, the three days that I ordered off the MDR menu it was just ok.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good Evening everyone, or good morning for many. We gain another hour tonight which is fantastic and will mean we can wake up refreshed and properly enjoy breakfast again. 

 

Its approaching midnight here and we just left the casino bar and aw settling into bed. The casino had a decent crowd tonight. I haven’t played yet but will start at the tables tomorrow. It’s the first formal night so that will be my treat to myself. 

 

Lets discuss today! We woke up a bit hungover. Last night after dinner we hit the casino bar and Amitava, our bartender at the casino bar smoked some bourbon for us using the same smoker that’s at world class bar on the S Class ships. Well he smoked a lot of bourbon so we had a lot to drink. Apparently at some point we finished and went to martini bar but were smart enough to not drink anymore and instead just chatted with some friends. 

 

While we we woke up hungover the scenery looked beautiful and the bright sun was motivation to get moving and head to breakfast. So roughly around 8:15am or so we headed to Blu. We had a nice window table and gulped down some coffee as soon as it was poured. Edward has the salmon plate which he finished completely. I had some scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and toast. The eggs were actually a lot more moist and fluffy than I thought they would be. They were steaming hot when they came out and arrived pretty quickly after ordering. We went through a lot of coffee and I also had a blueberry smoothly which was good but I would have preferred it to be a bit sweeter. 

 

Here is my breakfast. 

 

130D8243-1520-4320-8D8B-DC32A207CDEF.thumb.jpeg.03dc5190e8bb37ef7ebc94cd179e727d.jpeg

 

F26E3841-8D80-4021-BADB-0EA1D400C3F0.thumb.jpeg.9f940c14bdb4e8b9e9abee659201c78c.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

After breakfast we headed up to Sunset Bar and had a drink prior to getting off the ship. It was such a beautiful day and truly picture perfect. Here is the view from

the back of the ship this morning around 9:45am. 

 

2BA84967-D34D-42C3-898E-2F0236AF4E61.thumb.jpeg.8a1d36a5a6fa822c586a50cdf1c1c7f2.jpeg

 

After our second breakfast of Ketel One and Grapefruit juice we swung by the room to grab a luggage sweater for myself and very light jacket for Edward. The weather was awesome but was a temperature where it would feel nice to have a light sweater on and roll up the sleeves. 

 

Here is a photo Edward took of me. I’m only posting it because I think it makes me look younger than I am haha 

 

3D0DA24D-311F-44BD-BE11-E38BDE0F0853.thumb.jpeg.d864ffeaaf027835d250947880a126e8.jpeg

 

In Sitka we took the free shuttle into town. The rude was around 10 minutes. The drivers were friendly, informative and very well organized. The shuttle pick up

and drop off was probably the most efficient and organized shuttle service I’ve ever experienced. 

 

As as I mentioned before we had plans to stop by Earnie’s Saloon but the bar didn’t open until Noon and we arrived in town about 10:45 so we had over an hour to kill. We walked around and hit the multitude of gift shops around town. The shops were filled with lots of Russian dolls and orthodox religious figures plus all the typical Alaska souvenirs. The quality of most items seemed pretty good and the staff at all the places we walked into were very friendly and laid back. The town itself is small, if you blink you’ll miss it. 

 

After making a couple passes through town we found ourselves near where the shuttle dropped us off. Our watches indicated we still had 10 minutes until Earnie’s opened. We had walked by if already and from the outside it didn’t look very inviting so we didn’t want to be the first people in there. We parked ourselves on a random bench and checked our phones. I watched the few cars in town drive by. An early 2000s Ford F-150 pulled up across the street and parked. I remember looking around for parking meters... they don’t exist in Sitka. The driver rolled up his windows on his silver pickup and opened his door. The first thing I noticed when his door opened was his little dog, a pug, at the drivers side feet. The dog stepped out into the street with his owner in tow. The dog clearly ran the show in this relationship. The man, a heavier set gentleman in his mid 30s made his was to a store front and unlocked the door to his shop. As he was unlocking the door a couple tourists came by to pet his dog. He smiled and chatted with them and then disappeared with his little pug into the shop. It was a nice moment. 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Noon rolled around and we strolled back down the street to see if Earnie’s was open and if there some people in there. Much to our surprise the bar had a good crowd moments after opening, including 4 of our cruise friends who we mentioned this place to. The front door was propped open, the two small windows with horizontal blinds had the blinds open and a couple light up beer signs turned on indicating Earnie’s was open for business. The bar is to the left as you walk in and consists of a long wooden bar with old school leather bar seats, roughly 16 or so. Opposite the bar are multiple U shape booths and in the back of the bar is a pool table and dart board. Behind the bar the wall is covered with dollar bills, quirky pictures and sayings, and of course multiple shelves of booze. Grab two seats next to our friends and make ourselves at home. 

 

The bartender, a shorter dark hair woman sporting a football jersey, says she will be right with us. To my left is a woman drinking some coffee who brought her own creamer. Regular powdered creamer and creamy chocolate. Clearly she’s a regular. Next to her are a few other regulars. On our other side are our friends from the ship and then further down the bar are a couple other regular patrons. 

 

Edward and I order a couple IPAs on draft. We talk to our friends, two of which ordered bloody Mary’s. They say the bloody Mary’s are awesome but extremely

spicy. After we are half way through our beer we decide to order a couple spicy bloody Mary’s. Holy hell. Spicy does not begin to describe this concoction that Rachel the bartender made us. It was even complete with a pickled spear of asparagus which was delicious. After a few sips I could feel heat pouring out of my head. After a few more sips I was sweating. After a couple more my left eye started to tear up and I had tears running down my left cheek. It was insanely spicy, but insanely good. 

 

Our cruise friends left and as soon as they did two regulars took their seats next to

us. One man, one woman. The woman was obviously Native American and the man had a gray and white beard, sporting a baseball cap and had the look of exactly who you’d expect to see in a small time dive bar. He saw we had a Bloody Mary and commented on the spice. He then went on to tell us Rachel the bartender despises making Bloody Marys so she makes them so spicy you can’t order another. Makes sense! Haha. 

 

Our new local friend went on to explain Sitka to us. He explained how he ended up moving there 17 years. He spoke about his job as a fisherman. He showed us photos on his phone of the northern lights he took a couple nights ago. He asked us about ourselves and our jobs. He talked about his first jobs as a young man in Minnesota and then moving to Sitka. 

 

To our other side is the woman who brought her own creamer to the bar for her coffee. I started talking to her all about her allergies. Her lactose intolerance and her new found allergies to sulfates. She doesn’t own a car. She only walks. In the middle of all this a man rides a bicycle into

the bar with a bag of McDonalds. The bartender is now enjoying some mcdonalds at the end of the bar. Another man stops in thrilled about the deal he got at a rummage sale and proceeds to show off a grilling pan he bought. 

 

The scenery in Sitka was stunning. The air was fresh and clean. The vibe was one of pleasentville. The people were genuine and real.   

 

Total cost for 2 Beers and 2 Bloody Marys. $22. I’ll take that! 

 

On our way back to the ship we stopped by a food truck and picked up a couple fish tacos. $8 for two. Great fish tacos. Popping hot. As we were waiting for them a man showed up wearing a 90s NBA jacket complaining to the food truck that the running of their generator is not letting him operate Facebook or YouTube. Apparently the magnetic field is messing with his internet. The girls in the food truck handled the situation well and the man departed down the street after a short while after finally admitting he can’t blame them. You can’t make this stuff up! 

 

After our tacos we headed back to the shuttle and the ship. Here are some photos from today. 

 

BACEDCB5-1338-4803-8FB2-98DA6B0EEC28.thumb.jpeg.2d36c679719146c3e28fad6724b32bed.jpeg

 

0941FEDA-C4E8-465E-8DBF-CB73ACACCC09.thumb.jpeg.054e1e32a3016dcfb0ecb53d4919bebd.jpeg

 

Photos of Northern Lights shown by our new bar friend Rick. 

 

3C5AC142-5B2B-47EE-BD44-74675544F718.thumb.jpeg.e62b930a8ec657b9d079097730c06ac7.jpeg

 

61B67F20-FA46-4963-9EFC-D231125FCFF5.thumb.jpeg.f2ad56f74f96605ae2e69cc0faee1334.jpeg

 

A9CC780F-AA2F-47D0-AB90-CBA190A93964.thumb.jpeg.05fca8e87febd3437e7c5e6d07e2ccfe.jpeg

 

DC49EFDD-2200-44D9-A05B-8DEA6AAD293B.thumb.jpeg.bd127e39119d65156136eda67e64300c.jpeg

 

E6DE66F2-63D5-432F-8B8F-940DD214C081.thumb.jpeg.3ea14ee16846189c21fc21c986d081be.jpeg

 

Fish Tacos 

 

39F3BC88-053E-436E-BDFE-0DC2BCA289E5.thumb.jpeg.632e36084caa94d03ee6eea13d2b9145.jpeg

 

CFF6D7E0-06EB-487E-A95B-6912706C2052.thumb.jpeg.66b2c2bc274369b0abd844dd22172ca5.jpeg

 

Who wants some Reindeer hot dogs? 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...