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10s nut

Just back from Spirit Any questions?

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Just back from the Spirit and had a fabulous "suite" experience. In fact I'm still at my daughter's house but had to post. I have never had such a wonderful time. Went on the following shore excursions: whale watching by jet boat, Misty fiords with Island Tours, helicopter/dog sledding, and White Pass railroads. All tours were exceptional except White Pass which was sheer torture.

The Spirit was clean, the food was good, but what made the trip was the unbelievable weather, scenery, our butler Maxi (have never had a butler OR suite!), and our good CC friends.

I will post a review as soon as I get home. In the mean time if you have specific questions, I would be happy to answer them.

All I can say is, Alaska is AMAZING.

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Why was White Pass Torture? i am taking this tour next month.....Also how was the food and the buffet? Ive heard bad stuff about it.

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I am glad that you enjoyed your Alaskan cruise.

We're cruising next weekend and can't wait!

I wanted to know, what was the weather like? Did it rain a lot? Because the Weather Channel is showing forecasts for rain in Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway over the next week or so. How should we dress for the weather? We're also thinking of doing the Misty Fjords Seaplane excursion through Island Wings but I never got a reply when I e-mailed them. How else can I reserve?

Also, were the ports very crowded being that there were at least 3 other ships there with you, except for Prince Rupert? And if we try to reserve an excursion last minute...are we likely to get through? One last question, what did you do in PR? I heard its a pretty boring place. Thanks!

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Fierce...The only way to get a TRUE picture of the vastness of AK is in the air. I would suggest a helicopter or sea plane experience. The railroad: 3 hours of torture, up and back is the same "scenery"...just mountains, trees, and the Skagway River. The commentary was by someone who made numerous mistakes and could hardly READ her notes. The train was NOT airconditioned, the diesel smell was nauseating. The only escape was on the platform between the cars which were consistently crowded. I would NEVER recommend this experiences unless one is handicapped. They provided excellent handling for wheel chairs. There are many other different trips that are much better. Also let me add that the smoke from the Canadian fires is a HUGE thing. On all days we had a haze that severely limited visibility. And our weather was wonderful, with the sun shining.

 

As for the food, we ate in our suite 95% of the time. However, the food was from the main dining room most of the time and it was very good. I had a salad in Raffles, so no way can I judge that either. Had dinner in Tempanyaki which was excellent, dinner in Maxim's which was SLOW SLOW SLOW. The sashimi is OUTSTANDING in Shogun's. Overall, I would judge the food as very good. Just pick and choose. Oh, the lobster was very very bad. Would not order it. It was served with some sort of Indian rice which permeated the lobster.

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How was the condition of the glacier for the dog sledding. We go in a month and they said that by then the snow may be too melted. What was the temperature like on the dog sledding excursion. What type of attire do you recommend or any other suggestions? Any problems with motion sickness on the helicopter?

 

I hope you had the time of your life on your trip. It sure sounds like you did!

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Aqua...In response to the ice...The dog camp is moved as the snow melts. The camp is actually moved further up the mountain. It has already been moved once since late May. The ice in the camp is tricky at first. You are provided with boots that fit over your shoes so your feet remain very toasty. As far as clothing, I wore long underwear, jeans, a shirt and sweater, and a hooded raincoat. Of course gloves and sunglasses are a given. I wish I had taken another layer, however I am VERY cold blooded. My daughter had on one less layer and was very comfortable. You are required to have on an orange lifevest as your outer layer in the helicopter so whatever jacket you take must be carried with you. You cannot take anything on board that can't fit in your hands or stowed in your jacket pocket.

 

The helicopter ride is very smooth, however we had a perfect sunny day with little wind. I would recommend taking several Bonine just to be on the safe side. The view from above is like nothing I can describe...just amazing. You will have a new appreciation for the vastness, the quiet, and also the people who live there year round. You will also be pleased to know that after the camp breaks up (mid Sept.) that EVERYTHING is carted out, the snow is raked, and it is left in pristine condition. In fact even the dog poop now is helicoptered out on a daily basis!!!

 

The dogsledding was beyond remarkable. Each musher loves his/her team and it shows. You will have the time of your life. DO NOT MISS THIS EXCURSION.

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Thank you so much for the response. We are by far the most excited about this excursion. Our bon voyage party is even a dog sledding theme.

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Ya know, we loved the White Pass Railway, but we are from rice farming country in Texas so we don't even have very many small hills.... maybe that is why we enjoyed it. We are in awe of any mountain, period. :o Also we went on it in late May when it was still cool in Alaska.

 

Natalie

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Hello and welcome home :)

 

Can you tell us a bit about your suite, any perks or special services you recieved, butler or concierge details?

 

When you order a meal to be served in the cabin how does it work. I mean do they bring the appetizer, salad, main course and dessert all at once? or do they come back with dessert or what?

 

What did you wear during the day?... I have tons of clothes for the evening, but I don't have may casual things for the days.. I am having a hard time trying to decide what coat to bring - the one I have is pretty thick and practically fills the suitcase, the other ones I have are too light... maybe I will have to buy something new for the trip.

 

Thanx for any help or advice,

 

Cassie

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I have a digital camera question. Were you able to download digital pix onto a cd on the shipe or in any ports - Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan & Prince Rupert?

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Thanks Zimmer...

 

Cass...I will be posting pictures of some of the suites when I get home. If I had paid "full price" for our suite I would have been VERY upset (suite 10001)! We did NOT have a 1/2 bath as advertised. I also believe (am not certain) that the suite next to the other end unit did not either. Ours was quite a bit smaller than the end unit and did not have a separate bar either. Another thing, if we had not become REALLY good friends with 10002 we would have had a major issue. The walls were paper thin and there is actually a tiny area in one corner of the sitting area that you can see into the next suite; a good laugh to be sure between friends, however a big shock to others:p

 

Suite perks are champagne upon arrival and daily canapes. The consierge COULD make your experience great. On past cruises our fellow suitemates informed us that their consierge roped off seats for them in the stage balcony, met them after shore excursions, was constantly checking to see if she/he could be of assistance. We found ours, Simone, to be of NO help whatsoever. She made 2 initial specialty restaurant reservations for us and two other requests were met with resounding NO's.

The rest is totally the butler. Maxi, our butler, was absolutely the best. He served us every course just like you would have in the restaurant. Soup, then taken away, salad, taken away etc. He poured our wine, he did anything and everything for us. We had his personal pager and whenever we wanted anthing we paged him. But not just that, he became our FRIEND. His attitude was, "I am here to make you feel pampered and special." On the other hand, the butler at the other end of the hall, from everything that was said to me, had no personality and did little to enhance the suite experience.

 

As for clothing, I took a Gortex rain jacket and layers. I would absolutely NOT worry about a heavy coat. Layers, layers, layers. I took several thin sweaters and a few fleece items, and jeans (which I rarely wear) which I lived in. Good walking shoes are a must. Also took two pairs of shorts, long sleeved tee shirts as well as several pairs of cropped pants. I brought a black pants suit which I wore to the specialty restaurants. I saw very few people dressed up but then I did not eat in the main dining room during optional formal night. However, if you have a pants suit you will be fine. I think this is a very informal cruise due to the port intensive cruise.

 

Hope this helped. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask.

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Wow 10s nut, what a great review.

 

OMG to the hole you can peer through to the next cabin :confused: :confused: LOL!

 

Okay so this butler thing, does he stay in the cabin while you eat? or does he return to take away your soup bowls? I am interested in ordering a dinner or 2 in the suite we have an (AB and a AD side by side on the Sun) but I would like it to be comfortable and not 'weird' if you know what I mean.

 

Glad you mentioned jeans ~ I never wear them but I was thinking they might be a good choice for this cruise and I was wondering if many people wore them.

 

So the concierge was a bust huh? too bad about that... how was the check in area for suite holders ~ I hear they have a nice waiting area with refreshments?

 

Thank you for all your help ~ looking forward to your photos :D

 

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The serving is not at all wierd. He brings your course and then leaves; in our situation he left the deadbolt out so he didn't have to open the door every time. He just "knew" when we were ready for the next course. Since he had 7 other cabins with other needs, some nights were slower than others. But it's the same way in the dining room as well. We became so spoiled that we loved eating in our room! We would tell Maxi that morning or the night before what we wanted for dinner. It is good to give your butler as much time as possible to get everything straight.As far as check-in, we were sent to the first available agent. It was very fast but we were NOT told about the VIP waiting area. We met our next door suitemates and THEY told us about it. Had it not been for them, we would have never known. At approximately 11:30 we were escorted on board (I am sure we were first) and left to FIND our suites by ourselves. It was a very poor process and certainly was not what I expected.

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Other than the shows can you comment on the night life? My husband and I enjoy dancing of all types and look forward to this on the cruise each evening. I've not heard anyone post on this yet. Curious to hear....

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I took the White Pass Summit tour by mini bus and thought it was good enough. You get to see the train chugging along on the opposite side of the gorge. The bus makes stops at the gold rush cemetary, bridal veil water falls and some other points, which I liked. And it was about $60. less than the train. Our guide/driver was fantastic too. Didn't read from a script. Otherwise we probably would have landed up falling off a cliff!

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Cheri..Am sorry I can't answer your question. I know there was a disco and another nightclub, Galaxy of the Stars (which also had a dance floor). I didn't go anywhere at night, not even to a show but I know there was lots listed in the Daily and I am sure there was dancing in both places.

Pup, you definitely did the right thing by taking the bus:p Getting out would have helped to break up the trip but I still don't think the scenery was all that spectacular with the smog haze from the fires. But of course that is just my opinion:o

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The serving is not at all wierd.

 

~~~

 

As far as check-in, we were sent to the first available agent. It was very fast but we were NOT told about the VIP waiting area.

 

~~~

FIND our suites by ourselves. It was a very poor process and certainly was not what I expected.

 

Hi again,.. thank you for the great information on in-suite dining. Did you tip your butler at the end of the week?

 

As for the boarding... it must be a hit and miss thing as I read another report today where the suite passengers were escorted on board by the concierge and then another person met and showed them to the suite. (Sun) I am wondering if it is because you were there so early.. maybe the staff was not in place yet as it was so early and most people board at 1pm-ish.

 

Will you be posting photos anywhere? :D

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Cass...We were the first to board since we were all together in the VIP lounge. They escorted us onboard AS A GROUP. Then we were left to fend for ourselves. I think it is totally up to the concierge to make these arrangements.

 

As for the butler, we began tipping him for dinner as I felt we were using him more than the average suite was. And, he was giving us such incredible service. We also tipped him at the end, as well as our two housekeepers.

 

I hope to post pictures soon!

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As for the butler, we began tipping him for dinner as I felt we were using him more than the average suite was. And, he was giving us such incredible service. We also tipped him at the end, as well as our two housekeepers.

 

I hope to post pictures soon!

 

My tipping plan is to tip in advance... Give the butler $100.00 in a card saying I would appreciate him making the cruise special for my parents, also the concierge and the cabin steward.

 

It is very important to me that my parents have the time of their life.

 

Looking forward to your photos!

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