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9/3 - 9/10 Alaska on the Star


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Overall this was a great cruise with so-so weather. We did the same itinerary last year also on the Star so it was interesting to compare the two. There were some noticable improvements especially with the food at the buffet but many things were the same which was a good thing.


This is pretty long so skip it if you don't care ;)



We stayed at the Marriott Waterfront which is normally my favorite hotel but this time they left me a little cold. I think part of the problem was that Seattle and the Pacific NW has been having wonderful weather so I think there were more tourists there this year than last. Anyway, the room overlooked the water but was very noisy from the traffic on the road. My dinner at the Fish Club was terrible but hubby enjoyed his. We'll stay there again but do some things differently. Honestly, this really was the worst part of the trip and it wasn't that bad.



Very smooth though the port workers were not synched up. We were told to go through a set of doors only to be that no, we needed to go stand in line. It looked like a long line but it moved very fast. Handed over our luggage and proceeded to to the check-in. We checked-in and then introduced to our concierge, Carlos, who then escorted us through security and to our stateroom.



We were in one of the Owner's Suites (9506) and all I can say is WOW. There was so much space and tons of storage. The bathroom was great with a walk-in closet..a walk-in closet on a cruise ship...NICE. We had two balconies, one on the side and one up front. We used the side one more because the weather was not cooperative for most of the trip. My only complaint is that the furniture was not very comfortable. Very hard sofa and chair in the sitting area but again, not unbearable.



Better than I remembered it being from last year. Hubby really like that they offered roasted chicken for lunch everyday at the buffet. We generally ate lunch at the buffet because we aren't the type of people that enjoy a sit down multi-course lunch. We just want to eat and go. We only ate in the main dining room one night, the rest of the time we did Cagneys, Le Bistro and Endless Summer for dinner. LOVED Cagneys and Le Bistro was ok but their chocolate fondue was the best. Endless Summer was greatly improved over last year.



I think I was expecting different shows so I was a little disappointed that they were the same as last year. I didn't much care for our CD, Sharon, she seemed a little fake to me. The last two days all she talked about were the guest comment cards so that was a bit annoying. There was plenty to do during the sea days so we never really found ourselves getting bored. With the weather being not the greatest we did spend more time in our stateroom (it was fabulous after all) than I would have expected. The shows were done well except for the "Beyond Broadway" which was not so good. I think 1/2 the people left about 20 minutes into it but came back for the comedian who was excellent. The magician, Shawn, was great as always.



We aren't shore excusion type of people so we didn't do any. We just do things on our own


Juneau was our first stop and not my favorite port. We did get off the ship and strolled around town. The weather actually turned out really nice which was a huge difference from last year. It was crowded though with several ships in port at the same time.


Skagway was our second and this is my favorite stop. I love the look and feel of the town and we were docked really close so the walk was really easy. We shopped and walked around but the weather was terrible so we were actually pretty glad we didn't do any shore excursions. It was also very crowded but we had a great time.


Glacier Park was beautiful and we seemed to be able to get really close to the glaciers. Loved having the two balconies for viewing. I have to say that if you can swing it, get a balcony stateroom. It's so worth it for Alaska.


Ketchikan was our last Alaska port and my favorite for shopping. I know many people have a love/hate relationship with the jewelry stores in these ports but I love 'em. We wandered around town and saw some sights and did some shopping. It was a nice day as well and turned really beautiful about an hours before we left.


Our last stop was Victoria but we didn't get off the boat. We only live about 5 hours away and figured we'd come back when we have a weekend to explore. We were tired and wanted to get packed. I was suprised by the number of people who seemed to be doing the same thing.



First off I will say that having an Owners Suite does give us access to a concierge and butler which will make a difference. However, I felt that the service overall was much improved from last year. Everyone we encountered had a smile and a greeting for us. Our room steward/stewardess were great and kept our room very clean.


I have to highlight our concierge, Carlos, who did a fantastic job. He seemed to appear out of nowhere, checking up on us thoughout the cruise. He made sure our requests were met and handled many things personally. He was definately a busy guy but always made time for us. He really made this a cruise we'll never forget.


We didn't use our Butler, Henry, very much but when we did he was great. He brought me breakfast twice and made sure we had our afternoon snack and evening sweet treat every day. Hubby was a little uncomfortable at first with all the attention but soon got used to it ;).


There were a couple of occasions though that made me groan especially when it came to the the CD staff. There was one person in particular that really rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe he was trying to be funny but he just came across as rude and arrogant. I tried to avoid him as much as possible.



It was so smooth that hubby and I were like "that's it"? We were off the boat and in our car by 7:45. It helped that we chose the express option and carried our own bags off too. Of course Carlos was there to help the process along which I'm sure made a difference as well.



I spotted 2 whales on our way up to Juneau and I found the best viewing time was early morning. It was awesome to see them so close. I didn't even try to get my camera because I just wanted to enjoy the moment. There was other wildlife but it was hard to spot as it is late in the season. Again, this is the cruise to splurge for a balcony.


Had a great time and will probably do Alaska again in a few years. We booked a Mexican Riviera for Jan '08 also on the Star. NCL is the only cruiseline for us now.


Thanks for reading!


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