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Kathysum

Good Morning from the Diamond!

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Hello from the Diamond!

 

We are just sailing into Juneau as I write. It is a beautiful day with loads of sunshine! The wind is brisk! So far this trip has been wonderful, the service superb and all the staff friendly and attentive. The ship is beautiful!

 

Being a first time cruiser I was unsure of what to expect - but it has exceeded my expectations. We are traveling with a family group of 13 to celebrate my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary.

 

Last night was the first formal night. People were dressed to the nines! It was great fun. We are 2nd seating in the International dining room. We have eaten lunch and breakfast in the Horizon Cafe, ordered from room service and had pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs from the Trident grill. We saw the show "Curtain Up" last night and have enjoyed shopping on the ship. So if you have any questions, I'll be glad to try and answer them.

 

Well, gotta run, I see the house of Juneau out the window of the Cyber Cafe!

 

I'll try to log back on later tonight!

 

Kathy

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I am going to be sailing on the Diamond on July 24 through the 31st and am so excited I can't stand it! What have the temps been like? Still wondering what all to pack. Enjoy your cruise and can't wait to read your next entry.

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Terra,

 

We arrived close to 2 hours early to Juneau today. It helped us get ahead of the crowds and was nice.

 

We did the Mendenhall Glacier and Salmon Hatchery tour today. It was warm today in the low 70's...very pleasant. We had carried jackets in case it got chilly at the glacier - but we didn't need them. It was very comfortable in short sleeves. There were even a few guys that stripped down to their boxers and had an all-out splash party in the glacier waters. If you do take this tour - the big advice I can give you is to make sure you make it back to the shuttle that returns to the ship on time. They won't wait for late passengers beyond the 5 minutes they are allowed to park at the shuttle pick-up area at Mendenhall.

 

It also appeared that the ship was looking for a family that didn't return to the ship in time tonight. They paged for them in two languages. We were a little late leaving Juneau.

 

There have been a lot of activities on the ship. I have watched 3 different demonstrations so far - the chefs doing Vegetable and Fruit carving; the Martini Mixing demo [free samples at that one]; and the flower arranging demo. These were all done in the atrium.

 

You will definitely need snazzy clothes for the two formal nights. They were much more dressed up than I had expected. The crew served drinks, mock-tails [alcohol free drinks for the kiddies], and h'orderves to all passengers with compliments from the captain. They also had about six locations to have formal pictures taken. We found that most people did not know about the "Titanic" staircase background pictures on the 7th deck of the atrium. There was hardly any line there.

 

Most folks are pretty casual during the day, ie., sweats, shorts, jeans, and resort type-wear. At night on the Sporty Casual nights - nice slacks and collared shirts for men, and most women have worn nice slacks, skirts, or dresses. I did see a very few in jeans tonight.

 

You will definitely need a jacket on deck while at sea and at night in port. The wind was so strong at sea last night - we had trouble getting the doors to the Promenade deck open. Also, walking around the uppermost decks while at sea is challenging - due to the wind.

 

Things were really rocking last night due to 7 foot seas. My daughter [16] was really bothered by the up and down movement of the ship. Most of us didn't eat as much at dinner last night - because of all the motion.

 

As I stated before, we did go to see the "Curtain Up" Broadway Review show last night. It was really entertaining and had a youthful and entergetic cast. They did portions of "42nd Street", "Evita", "Phantom of the Opera", "Sunset Boulevard", "Grease", "Caberet", "Oklahoma" and some Gershwin tunes. It was fun to watch - because they did all the costume changes on stage - and they changed for each musical change.

 

My sister-in-law and husband went to hear Libby Riddles tonight - the female Iditeron winner. They said she was really interesting.

 

The high tea yesterday was yummy and not to be missed. They served tea and almost every kind of bite-size treat you can think of, like scones, cookies, mini cakes, tea sandwiches, crossants, tarts, mousses, etc.

 

The shopping on board is good. They had sidewalk sales both Saturday and today.

 

We are heading to Skagway tonight. Tomorrow we plan to do the 8:15 AM White Pass Railroad tour.

 

I'll try and post some more tomorrow.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Kathy

 

Diamond Princess Alaska 7/10/05

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Thanks for the reports. Glad to hear you're having a good time so far on your cruise!

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You are making us miss our Diamond, we are sailing Alaska twice this year but your reports make it feel like we should be doing it more often than that. Have a great cruise!

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Thanks Kathy... I love to read the "real time" posts, especially for cruises we'll be on. Our Alaska cruise on Diamond is August 21. Getting very excited! Sounds like you're having a great time. She's a great ship. We sailed on her this past March to Mexico. Hope you're able to keep up the posts cause I'll keep reading them.

 

Sandy

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Kathy, thanks for all the great info. We were there a month or so ago and I am longing to go back. Where is your cabin located? We were in the far aft and a couple of nights were so rough it was hard to stand up in our room. It kind of soured me on trying an aft cabin again even though some poeple just love that area.

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Hello again! Sorry for the delay in posting but due to the ship's position in Skagway yesterday, there was no internet service.

 

It was 60 degrees for our sail through Tracy Arm. We passed our sister ship the Sapphire Princess on her way out this morning. Most people were on deck in light jackets and some even in shorts. It was beautiful, but we have been plagued everywhere by the smoke from the wildfires in Canada. It has created a haze that has hung over the peaks. But still in all it is gorgeous!

We were able to see a nesting female eagle and a seal sunning himself on an iceberg. He seemed oblivious to the huge ship with hundreds snapping pictures. You could almost feel the ship tilt as everyone rushed to the starboard side for the photo op!

 

Yesterday our family did the White Pass Rail tour. It was great! They gave everyone free collectible bottles of glacier water to sip on the train. Make sure you sit on the left side of the train - as it has the most spectacular views. We were on the first train up - so we went further than the other trains behind us - all the way to the turn around in BC! So we got the view from the other side as well. They also let us go out on the train platforms to take pictures. The air was so clean and full of the smell of spruce. The weather on the train ride was comfortable and only required a light jacket at the highest elevations.

 

We shopped in Skagway, which actually has more reasonable prices than we found in Juneau. The shops were just as nice too. They have lots of young people dressed in period clothes here. The weather was warm - so no need for jackets here. They have a shuttle from the ship into town for $1.50, but it is not a long walk. They also have Pedcabs here - folks riding bicycles pulling covered seats - kind of like a rickshaw. We chose to take one of the colorful decorated horse and buggies driven by a gal dressed in period goldrush costume. That cost $10.00 per person - but were splurged after and afternoon of shopping and tired feet.

 

Back on the ship it was Italian night. The waiters dressed in striped red or green tight shirts. That was funny since the optional menu we were given was from the Pacific Moon!

 

I forgot to mention that most nights we have been given an opportunity to order from one PC choice menu in addition to the International menu. Embarkation night was the Sterling. Vivaldi was the night in Juneau.

 

I am told that the next formal night - which will be Thursday in Kechikan - we will have Lobster on the menu and steak. So we will be able to splurge for Surf and Turf.

 

We have wonderful waiters Carlos from Portugal and Dilek from Thailand. They were nice enough to procure Frozen yogurt for my lactose intollerant daughter. She was delighted!

 

Last night we saw the young juggling comedian. He was a lot of fun. Bert Stratton had people packing the lobby to hear him.

 

This morning my daughter and I had manicures in the Lotus Spa. It was her first professional manicure - so that was enjoyable. I had been bothered by swelling feet from the the long plane ride and all the walking - so Yvonne gave me some refreshing gel for my ankles. I have had no swelling since, so that was a real plus!

 

Well, I am planning to go to the tea again and check out the Snowball Bingo, so I will check in again tomorrow.

 

Have a great day all!

 

Kathy

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Kathy,

 

What a wonderful service you are providing by your day-by-day trip report from the ship. I will be on the Diamond next year for this cruise in August and after reading everything you are posting I just can't wait. It sounds wonderful. Glad you are having a good time and enjoy the rest of your cruise.

 

Jackie

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Things were really rocking last night due to 7 foot seas. My daughter [16] was really bothered by the up and down movement of the ship. Most of us didn't eat as much at dinner last night - because of all the motion.

Am I the only one who gets hungry when there's a good rock and roll? :rolleyes:

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We were on the 6-26 sailing. The night we left Ketchikan there was a gale.

The ship has a station which tracks the position, weather conditions and distance traveled. The night of the gale the seas were 18 feet.

It really did not seem that bad.

I have been on 12 cruises and the worst seas always see to be leaving Cabo San Lucas and heading north against the Alaskan current.

We experienced the same smokey conditions but only north of Skagway when we drove into the Yukon.

I would definetly rent a car and drive versus the train. I was with my wife and 4 children. The van we rented was 100 for the day and we could stop as we please to sight see and take photos or go for a hike.

The train would have cost 450 for my family.

Just something to consider

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Hi all.

 

We have a very short visit in Ketchikan. We were only in port from 6:00 AM until 11:45.

 

Once again we have been blessed with beautiful weather - everyone is topside in bathing suits and shorts. We were able to do a little shopping and site-seeing in Ketchikan this morning. My daughter and I took the tour of Dolly's house - the infamous bordello. It cost us $5.00 each for a quick walk through. It is very much a time capsule for the period.

 

There really wasn't enough time to do a tour - unless you were out the door at 6:00 AM and skipped breakfast. We ended up eating at a wonderful restaurant on the same street as the dock called Annabelle's. We had stopped a bus driver and asked him where was a good place to get a bite. Annabelle's is an establishment owned by another famous lady-of-of-the-evening named Annabelle. It is a very Victorian styled building, with a huge bar on one side and a parlour restaurant on the other with huge portraits, crystal lighting and brocade chairs. Contrary to the way it looks, it was reasonably priced and offered wonderful food. They even had chicken tenders that delighted my 12 year old - who seems to live on a diet of them and fries. They also sold chowders, fish, and all manner of sandwiches, salads, etc.

 

There is also a wonderful chocolatier in town called Ketchi-candies. They were making candy on the spot and the kids loved watching them.

 

There seems like a lot to do here. We saw many people riding the big red English sytle double deck tour buses; buggies drawn by teams of horses- complete with husky dogs on the front seat with their drivers; amphibious land/sea crafts; kayaks; seaplanes...you name it.

 

Last night was Crab Leg night in the International Dining room. We were also offered the Santa Fe PC Restaurant menu. Then they capped it all off by turning off all the lights and having the waiters do the "March of the Baked Alaskas" on fire! LOL This is where the waiters march around carrying flaming baked Alaskas. It was delicious!

 

We did make it to Bingo yesterday. I was short one number of winning $1500.00. WAH! And dumb me, being a newbie to all this did not know that I could have used my bonus card on the last game. Oh, well - they said I can use it again today.

 

The highlight of the Bingo - has to be the "Chicken Dance" that they make people who yell 'Bingo' by mistake do in front of everyone. We had 3 chickens yesterday alone! It was a hoot!

 

We also went to see the musical comedy of a guy whose claim to fame had been that he once won the "Gong Show" back in the 70's, named Duncan Tuck. He mostly played the guitar and told jokes. To give you an idea of his humor he offered the following:

 

Just what does a Skag weigh? Juneau? Juneau? Alaska again!

Can you catch a can? [ketch-i-kan]

If you walk through a screen door, will you strain yourself? Better ask the collander girl.

 

Oh, well you get the idea.

 

We are planning to catch the "Piano Man" show tonight in Princess Theater. This is also the last formal night. They are doing a champagne fountain in the atrium tonight - so everyone can have their pictures with it.

 

We just left an ice carving demo on the lido deck next to the pool - and it was interesting.

 

One thing I forgot to mention was a sevice they have on the ship which has been great! The photo services people will download your photo memory sticks and cards and make cd's for you for $9.99. Hey it beats buying another memory card and you free up your camera to to more pictures!

 

Ok, well gotta head to bingo! Wish me luck!

 

Bye for now.

 

Kathy

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Wow!!! They really had fun in Ketchikan in the old days!! :eek: MMMMMMMM, fish chowder, did I hear chocolate??? I have got to go to Alaska!! :D

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Duncan Tuck's jokes are mostly corny (in a self-deprecating way), but his guitar playing was incredible. He applies his classical guitar style to many era's of pop tunes. The version of California Dreaming he did on the 7/3 cruise was amazing.

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I took a break from packing my luggage [sniff] to come log on one more time.

 

After a bumpy ride this morning through overcast seas, things started to brighten up again and everyone is back on deck sunning themselves.

 

Bingo was fun again...still didn't win but I really enjoyed the experience. It beats playing Fortune Bingo on Pogo.com any day! LOL

 

Side note regarding Duncan Tuck... I in no way meant to disparage his performance - he was great! I especially enjoyed his classical twelve string guitar numbers in the Flamenco and Spanish styles.

 

We ate once again in the International dining room. Lobster and Beef Wellington were both on the menu!

 

After dinner we headed to the Princess Theatre once again to see the "Piano Man" show. Once again those kids are great! They did numbers from Elton John, Neil Sedaka, Liberace, Barry Manilow and Billy Joel.

 

Following the show we made our way down to the atrium to the champagne fountain and dance. More formal pictures were taken in front of the champagne fountain. They crew jumped in and danced to music from the BeeGees' "Saturday Night Fever" days. Confetti and rose petals were thrown from the balconies. It was neat! Most people danced until 1:00 AM.

 

This morning I attended the Culinary Demonstration. They fixed Fettucini Alfredo, Black Bean soup and Tiramasu. Four cooks sang and danced. Cookbooks were sold at a reduced rate for those who attended and the Chef's signed them. They had a galley tour afterwards - but I had an appointment at the Lotus Spa to have my hair cut - so I missed out on that one. I was bummed cause I really wanted to see that!

 

Later this afternoon they also had a backstage tour for those interested in what goes on behind the scenes at the Princess Theatre.

 

Well, I picked up my final memory card CD and pictures from photo services [i took almost 2000 pictures durning the course of this cruise - gotta love the new larger memory cards!], We have packed and tagged our luggage and are just waiting for the ship to dock in Victoria.

 

We are scheduled to do the Empress Hotel/City Driving Tour/Craigdarroch Castle Tour. Since I have never seen anyone post about this excursion - I have no idea what to expect - so I'll let y'all know how it goes. This tour takes up the entire stay in Victoria - so we will miss tonights last dinner in the International. I hate that! Of course if the ship has trouble docking in Victoria that may change - but so far things look pretty calm.

 

Ok, well that's about it for now. I am headed down the the booking office to pick up my souvenier copy of the the cruise.

 

And oh by the way, we booked another cruise!

 

Later,

 

Kathy

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First, thanks so much for posting lots of details of what sounds to have been a GREAT cruise for you last week! We leave Seattle this coming Saturday (7/24) on the Diamond and have been watching the Webcam a lot lately.

 

You mentioned you spent some time in the Internet Cafe ... how does that work on the Diamond. I 've heard that it's a per/minute charge, and that it also is a wireless network. Are you charged for how long you're in the Cafe or for how long you use one of the computers there?

 

Thanks,

David :o

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When you disembarked in Skagway to get on the train at 8:15am, did you have to walk to the train station or was there transport between the dock and the train station?

 

How early do you have to get off the ship to make the 8:15am train?

 

I need to see whether it's possible for us to do this excursion since we have 2 kids under 5 and I need to figure out the logistics before committing to this excursion.

 

TIA.

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I've seen several people mention "coke cards" or "soda cards" ... how do those work?

 

Thanks,

David

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When you board. After you are photographed you will immediately see a table where coke cards are sold. Don't get in line there. You will find staff selling cards throughout the ship on the first day so no need to wait in line. The card costs about 20.00 for the week (it's on my bill somewhere but I don't remember exactly) Physically it is a sticker that is placed onto your cruise card. Just flash it when you want a coke.

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