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Royal in Alaska - missed ports


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Has anyone actually missed a scheduled port in Alaska on Royal due to size or weather conditions?  If so, which port and why?  I'm trying to find out how often Royal really misses ports.  Also, does Royal ever tender in ports?  TIA

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In 2019, we did a B2B on the Royal to Alaska.  We did not tender into any ports.  We did miss Hubbard due to the heavy fog but that could have happened with any ship.  The only deviation from the original times on the itinerary was in Vancouver.  When we embarked in Vancouver, we were informed that our ship would be leaving one hour ahead of schedule.

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Did Alaska on Royal last August - wonderful ship. No ports missed and we always tied up close to the town, occasionally right next to the smaller Ruby Princess which was doing a similar itinerary. No tenders at any port.

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We have completed several cruises out of Seattle and one north bound AK cruise out of Vancouver.  We have never had a tender port and all three ports (Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway) have been visited.  We did try to do Tracy Arm once and was not able to go all the way in due to the ice floating in the water (it was in September).  Just looked at the options for 2021 and it appears they now use Endicott Arm located next to Tracy Arm.  I have heard on here that some ports get overcrowded and some ships are required to tender.  

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8 hours ago, RoperDK said:

Has anyone actually missed a scheduled port in Alaska on Royal due to size or weather conditions?  If so, which port and why? 

 

 

It wasn't the Royal, but a year or two ago some ships were unable to make all parts because of very severe winds. But that would be something that could affect the Royal if it was in the same weather conditions

 

 

8 hours ago, RoperDK said:

 Also, does Royal ever tender in ports?  TIA

 

In Alaska ports, if tendering is needed they schedule the larger ships to dock and make the smaller ones use tenders.

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We were on the Royal Princess for the Los Angeles-Alaska roundtrip a year ago (September 2019).  We, in fact, "missed" the stop at Victoria, BC. 

 

I think the reason is somewhat comical.  The Royal Princess is, of course, one of the larger ships in the Princess fleet.  This was the only 2019 cruise in which the Royal Princess was making a stop at Victoria.  The berthing facility at Victoria had to be upgraded to accommodate the Royal Princess.  As you can imagine, these itineraries are established months or years before the actual cruise date.  So, between the Victoria officials and the Princess officials there was no reason to fear that the upgrade to the dock could not be completed.

 

Well, except it wasn't.

 

The steel required for the upgrade came from China.  The ship that was carrying the steel encountered a serious storm,  The steel bound for Victoria broke free of the lashings securing it to the deck and a good portion (or, maybe, all) of it went overboard.

 

That was the story I heard.  If it wasn't true, who cares?

 

Of course the stop at Victoria was required for PVSA compliance.  So, on our Victoria port visit day, the Royal Princess anchored off shore,  A small boat came out to meet us.  Presumably, there were Canadian officials were on that boat with paperwork that technically satisfied the requirements of the PVSA, and we continued on our cruise back to Los Angeles.

 

A few days prior to embarking on this cruise we did receive notification that we would be making this "service stop" at Victoria, and no passengers would be able to go ashore.

 

Not on the Royal Princess but we once tendered from the Grand Princess in Juneau.  The docks were full of cruise ships that day.  If no dock space is available, tendering is going to happen regardless of the size of the ship.  On the plus side, it was the shortest tender trip I've ever taken.

 

 

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We were on the same cruise as XBGuy.   While stoped in Victoria, the Canadian Coast Guard or Navy was doing practice dropping and recovering a rescue swimmer into the water from a helicopter .  They were pretty close to our ship, so that was our Victoria entertainment .

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We were on the Royal June 1st 2109 southbound from Whittier to Vancouver.  We didn't miss any ports and found the Royal to be a great ship for Alaska.  Yes, the on deck space is more limited but we never had any problem finding space at a railing even in glacier bay. We had an inside room so we spent lots of time out on deck.

 

We had no problem docking at all ports, no tenders.  We did cruise Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier but cruise ships don't dock there anyway.

 

I'm glad we didn't listen to all the naysayers who said we would miss ports and the Royal was not a good ship for Alaska.  It worked out perfect for us.

 

My avatar picture is from the Royal in Glacier Bay... it was awesome!

Edited by Gaynors
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Oh, I just remembered something from last year's AK cruise on the Royal Princess.  This has nothing to do with the ship, but this is the first time I'd ever seen it.

 

As we were pulling away from the dock at Ketchikan, we saw this from our balcony.

 

DSCF2548R40.thumb.jpg.1f5a1906b6516fca467aab25a1677af4.jpg

 

Bubble feeding whale.  By the time he popped up, we were well passed it,  My shot was late, but you get the idea.

 

DSCF2549.thumb.JPG.07004c8ec3bc2c1a132bc8268b354ce0.JPG

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