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taxatty

Diamond 6/19 Review (Long and Belated--Part III)

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Thursday, June 24th—woke up early with the ship docked in Ketchikan. For the first time, it was a dreary overcast day, but still in the 60s. Since we had taken the Taku Lodge floatplane trip, I cancelled the Misty Fjords floatplane trip I had pre-booked, which looked like the right move if that area was as clouded over as Ketchikan was. In the short time allotted to this stop, we walked around town, went to the two small museums in town, and did some shopping. Since we weren’t gaining enough weight already, we bought some chocolate and fudge (really good!) at a Ketchikan candy store (forgot the name, but there is only one, a block from the dock), and almost bought some of the local crafts. The two things we both liked were $1000+, which is out of our price range for souvenir chatzkas. By the time we left Ketchikan at around noon, it was sunny and warm again.

 

Watched the latest Lord of the Rings movie on the TV and took a nap, followed by a short (winning on video poker) stint in the casino and another Adobe Photoshop class. DW took a napkin folding class (apparently basket weaving was unavailable). A very nice dinner at the IDR, with big beautiful lobster tails that we for some unknown reason didn’t get. DW had pheasant (very good), I had the beef Wellington (ditto). Princess then earned my award for serving the Best Institutional Cheesecake Ever (it is available every night—I wish I’d had it earlier). One note—one of our dinner companions successfully ordered a steak, which was not on the IDR menu that night and is not on the “every night” menu).

 

Entertainment this evening was the Curtain Up show—a typical generic “Salute to Broadway” show, but it was as good as the first show—the singers and dancers were exceptional. So far, the room and the quality of the shows and other entertainment are the biggest differences from our last cruise.

 

Friday, June 25th—our 19th anniversary—a day at sea, finally a little dreary outside--cold and windy on the jogging track at 7:00 AM. We left the cabin this morning and found the door decorated with balloons, ribbons and a “Happy Anniversary” sign (I had noted the date in our Cruise Personalizer on the Princess web site)—a very nice touch. Elsewhere, we have seen similar door treatments for graduations and birthdays). DW took a galley tour and cooking demonstration, while I attended the final informative lecture by the naturalist (on the Alaskan Native Americans). I also discovered that my laptop with built-in wireless capability connected easily from a window seat next to the Future Cruise Desk on Deck 5 with the ship’s wireless network. If I had wanted to (or were paranoid about security), I thus could have checked my e-mail and connected to the Internet by using my laptop and a pre-paid access card from the purser’s desk instead of using the ship’s computers in the Internet café on Deck 7. We had fun playing Jeopardy in Club Fusion, and did pretty well with our smart co-passenger team members, but lost on the last question (hint—bet it all in Final Jeopardy).

 

Dinner at Sabatini’s—very much worth the money, especially if you like seafood. Since this was Victoria night, we had 6:00 PM reservations, and the restaurant was about 1/3 full Excellent service, wonderful food. Small tastes of many different appetizers and pastas, all tasty. Thanks to this board, we got as our main course a sampling of the sea bass and each crustacean—you have to ask for it, as it’s not a menu choice. Interestingly, the appetizers had the zing that some of the regular dining room items were missing. On the other hand, the seafood was very simply prepared, basically grilled (I think after being basted in olive oil), just like in Venice—it needed no help to be absolutely delicious. We couldn’t decide on which desserts to have, so we split all 3 of them. If you like apricots, the pie/tart was to die for.

 

After dinner, we got off the ship in Victoria about 8:15 (disembarking started about 7:40). We didn’t have enough time to do anything other than look in the cheesy shops near the dock—it seems like a pretty town, so we wished we had more time there.

 

Saturday, June 26th—the ship docked in Seattle soon after 6:00 AM. After wolfing down a quick breakfast at 6:30 AM in the Horizon Court, express disembarkation by carrying off our own luggage was quite easy—just don’t put your luggage out the night before, and let your room steward know in advance. It looked like around 200 people did this. We were off the ship and through customs before 8:00 AM. However, if you are in a real rush to get to Sea-Tac airport, don’t use the Princess transfer bus. We sat in the bus for over half an hour without leaving, as the bus driver indicated that he couldn’t leave until the bus was full. (Plenty of cabs were around as an immediat)e alternative.) Once enough Red and Orange passengers arrived to fill the bus, we finally left around 8:40, and had no trouble at all making a 12:02 PM flight to Calgary (this review is late as we’re still up in Canada on Vacation Part II, but that’s another story.)

 

Bottom-line, the ship was wonderful, the service was universally excellent in all the dining rooms, the showrooms, spa, the room preparation, room service, and in each and every facet of the cruise experience. The food was always beautifully presented, and with rare exceptions quite good (including in the Horizon Court buffet) and often excellent. Not one significant glitch occurred during the entire cruise of which we were aware. We never had a problem with the open balcony. In fact, it was fun looking at and talking to others on their balconies above us. Princess will definitely see us again (we already booked our Future Cruise Deposit on board--an absolute no-lose no-brainer--do it!)

 

I’ll be out of e-mail range for a few days, so flame away!

 

Les

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Thanks for the review Taxatty. Has Victoria been taken off the schedule permanently or just on your cruise? Glad you had nice weather.:) Happy sailings.

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We did dock in Victoria--just took extra time before disembarking was allowed--don't know why.

 

Les.

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Thanks, taxatty! It was fun just reading your reviews! I hope to make it up to the DP some day!

 

JON

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Don't worry taxatty, the majority of cheerleader bashing has abated with the advent of the ignore button on the new boards, perhaps they went back to pulling the wings off flys as they did before arriving here.

 

I loved your review, made me home sick for our gal who we won't see again till November, cheating on her with her Sister in September though. :D

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Your review ws great. I will be on the Sapphire in Oct. and my DH and I are really looking forward to this size of ship. We have been on many other size ships of Princess but this will be the biggest. Glad you had a good time.

 

 

Marilyn

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Thank you so much for a great 3-parter. I wish it was longer. It made me very home sick for my already taken Alaska cruise. Can't wait to go again.

 

Lynda

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Don't worry taxatty, the majority of cheerleader bashing has abated with the advent of the ignore button on the new boards, perhaps they went back to pulling the wings off flys as they did before arriving here.

 

I loved your review, made me home sick for our gal who we won't see again till November, cheating on her with her Sister in September though. :D

 

SRPHNX---CLICK!

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