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The Trailblazers- Sailing for Alaska!


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Have a wonderful trip!  It's great to "live" Alaska again, hearing your story!  I'll never forget all of the eagles we saw in Juneau!  And the bear while hiking after the gondola ride!

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Posted (edited)

@GoHoward - 1.  When did you finally receive your boarding time window and how did you coordinate that with your transfer to the port?  I am planning on using a shuttle service and I will choose one of five pick up times.   I am just wondering how far in advance I will be able to make my transfer arrangements which will be dependent on my boarding time.  2.  Was there any rough water on the way up to Juneau?  Thanks.  

Edited by AKJonesy
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16 hours ago, esimon said:

what's with the masks?    wearing those on the cruise???

 

According to Seth:

 

Masks worn until passengers are actually on the ship.

 

No masks for passengers once they get on the ship.

 

Crew are wearing masks for added protection for the passengers.

 

 

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Hi all - we are in Juneau, just back from a spectacular whale watching trip where we arched a Humpback breach off of our boat 12+ times. We have had incredible weather- smooth sailing in the Pacific on the way up, and blue skies in Juneau today. Looks like the weather will hold for the next few days; we are very fortunate.

 

It is absolutely great to be back on HAL, and the experience onboard feels very close to a pre-COVID cruise. Passengers do not have to wear masks onboard, but crew are masked and due to the rise of COVID cases in Alaska we are asked to wear our mask when going inside ashore and while on transport/ in enclosed spaces.

 

Embarkation - we received our boarding time (1PM / group D) after completing the health questionnaire three days before the cruise. We arrived at the port at 12:30 expecting to wait 30 minutes, but we’re ushered through boarding and we’re on the ship about 12:55.

 

Here are a few observations from the first three days; note that these are NOT complaints as the crew is working incredibly hard and everyone is excited to be back to sea. After 15+ months suspended, there are a few things that are still being worked out, and the below are intended to help set expectations for future voyagers:

 

Huge positives:

  • Ship looks beautiful, thoroughly cleaned
  • Staff and passengers thrilled to be back on board
  • Onboard experience very similar to pre-COVID
  • Lido quality and variety same as before - numerous stations, types of cuisine.
  • Prices on drinks about the same as before 
  • Overall there seems to be less selling, or maybe I am just filtering it out
  • Excellent EXC talks - numerous talks each day, very well produced with photos, video 
  • Music Walk is in full swing, and as great as ever 

 

A few noticeable changes / cuts:

  • Limited selections in the MDR; only 2 - 3 appetizers and mains change between evenings. Gala dinner selection the same as before, perhaps a bit more limited.
  • Pools not filled for departure, could not swim until day 3. Hot tubs were functioning. This should be fixed / not an issue for future cruises.
  • Significant cuts to main stage entertainment - no show on embarkation, movie one night, two song and dance shows are the same as before COVID (Humanity, etc.)
  • No in room dining menu in stateroom, long hold times to order room service 

 

Additional observations:

  • There are far fewer printed fliers / announcements. MDR menu is via QR code, though a printed wine list is on the table. Gala night dinner there was a menu presented. 
  • Room service once daily by default, but you can request morning, evening, or twice daily service if you wish.

722890AF-AD55-4684-A9AD-DDE295C53141.jpeg

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16 hours ago, bluesplayer said:

 

Would you be able to post the room service breakfast menu (the door hanging menu delivered at a certain time?)    Much thanks!!

 


Here you go:

 

6A0ECF53-1421-480C-A937-3633E9F6E3F3.jpeg

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Thanks for sharing your experiences - the good and the not so good.  It's helpful to know what to expect when it's my turn in December, and I enjoy reading all the details.  Although it's only been a little under 2 years since my last dam cruise, it feels like a lifetime ago!

 

Sue/WDW1972

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21 hours ago, Crew News said:

Any change in masking requirements today?


Not yet - no masks required on board, masks strongly recommended / required when in closed areas or transport off the ship. I spoke with the medical officer yesterday, who said we are doing well with no COVID cases on board so far. 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, GoHoward said:


Not yet - no masks required on board, masks strongly recommended / required when in closed areas or transport off the ship. I spoke with the medical officer yesterday, who said we are doing well with no COVID cases on board so far. 

Thanks for the update.   Will be onboard in December.

 

Will there be a Rudi's Sel de Mer night in the Pinnacle Grill during your cruise?

Edited by Crew News
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