Best Vacation Ever!
We had the best time ever! The crew is so nice, and they really did their homework. Our Room steward "Reneah" was amazing she knew our names and always called my kids by name. She was the very first person to wish us happy anniversary even before the kids! The room was always clean and fresh smelling which was nice. The rooms were prearranged just the way we needed them IE: double bed for the couple single beds for the kids. And the room was decorated for our anniversary while we were away on shore that day, (a nice little Bon Voyage gift including a special cake.)
The cruise director crew was so much fun I have to say Nacho was my favorite, but Aussie Steph and Alvin were pretty cool too! Really they were all so nice, they tried to include as many passengers as possible in everything and were always willing to stop and answer questions. The wait staff was always friendly and helpful and we adore the "Washy- Washy ladies"!
Captain Ivar was nice too, we went to look at the More
bridge in the observation area and were surprised when he turned and waved at us.
My son loved the kid's crew so much it was hard to get him to leave to eat. The counselors were like friends to the kids. All the kids seemed to really love them.
We went to the show every night, but had to get there half an hour early to get close seats. (Well for the early show the late show seemed to be not so full)
I found out almost at the end of the cruise that if you go to crafts and trivia you should get an activity card because you can exchange it the last sea day for prizes. We only did a few so we got a coffee mug.
I was not pleased with the seating at the buffet. There just never was any. Often in the day you ended up sitting in "Mama's" which was used for overflow seating and was quite a ways from the food. Seriously not fun to walk around holding your food looking for a table. The MDR was a much better choice for us. (Except for the shore days when the process seemed really slow with the excursion times looming) I advise taking the advice of someone here on CC who said order room service on shore days it makes a good wake up call!
Seriously this was a great cruise! We really felt like we were leaving behind friends when we passed the crew members as left the ship that last day!
I am so glad I did some research here first. I printed out my own set of directions for how to get around the ship from our cabin using the map on NCL's website and we would have been so lost without it! And they don't tell you about Tzars being open on embarkation day so if I hadn't read it here we wouldn't have known. And there was not really anyone to ask questions the first day. Really I felt like a lot of things you need to either know or really pay close attention to the daily reader they give you or you will miss out on a lot!
Asking questions first saved us a lot of trouble there. Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
Again we went out on our own. We took a free shuttle into town, a short 5 min ride. Right at the stop there were booths of local people selling tours. We got a shuttle to the Mendenhall Glacier for $8 per person each way. Since it was a local driver he was very informative, telling us the history, pointing out spots where the wildlife can usually be seen. And yes we saw eagles sitting in their nests. The hike to the waterfall near the base of the glacier was an easy half hour walk on a gravel trail, and in the visitors center they had a large chunk of glacier you could see, touch and hold, as well as lots of information on glaciers in general as well as specifics on this one. The driver pointed out the local stores for us, gave us tips on the best things to see and do and even dropped us off early so we could shop at the Harley Davidson store, where they have lots of plus sized souvenir t shirts.
The scenery around this city was simply breathtaking!
We docked right next to the town no shuttle needed, and close enough to jump back on ship to grab a bite to eat in the middle of the day. First purchase was a warm coat; the ship was very chilly on deck. Pleased to find plus sized coats and souvenir t-shirts in this town.
We walked up Creek Street which was mostly stores but decided to go into Dolly's house. I was a little wary with my kids along, but it just seemed to be a normal old ladies house. It was nice because they let you wander through at your own pace no rushed feeling at all. But also no lingering if you are not very interested.
We went on our own to "Saxsman Village" and while my son loved the totem poles, I was glad we hadn't spent a lot of money on it (Just $1 each way for the city bus and $5 to go up close) just FYI there is no village just totem poles on a hill, and we asked at the little store and they gave us a paper telling all the information about each totem pole for free.
My daughter who swore she would not leave the ship for any reason, loved it! She said it was such a lovely city.
All in all this is a lovely town with friendly people.
White Pass Scenic Railway
My husband and son are Railroad fanatics so this was a must for us. I was worried it would be too crowded or sold out, so it was nice that they made room for everyone by having a long train. (Ours was 13 cars long!)We have a daughter who does not enjoy trains, yet she liked this ride. It was the most amazing scenery all the way up and back, and going in early June there were tons of waterfalls all along the way. Once you get out of the city limits you can go out on the platform to ride outside of the train car, the only drawback to that is you can't hear the tour guide as he gives the history and points out the best places along the route to get photo's. Yep you guessed it the two train buffs never sat down! The shuffle at the top of the line was just fun! It was also nice to get to see the scenery from both sides of the train.
I really felt this excursion was well worth the price we paid for it. (And if you like to ride out in the open, they do give each rider a pamphlet with the history in it, so you can find out what you missed latter!)
Skagway was a beautiful little town, it really felt to me like we had gone back to the old west, it was complete with wooden sidewalks. Lots of places to shop. My favorite was the popcorn shop where they make fresh popcorn and have every flavor of popcorn, (I loved the Carmel corn!) And the Russian store. I just love the nesting dolls and they have every price range from $15 and up. The really intricate ones where quite expensive since they are all painted by hand.
The dock is a ways from the city. I was told it was a half hour walk. You can take a shuttle bus, regular taxi, bike taxi or limo. The lines for both shuttle bus and regular Taxi were quite long. The shuttle was $8.50 per person each way, the Taxi was $8.50 for everyone each way. The bike taxi was $30 per person but they take you on a tour of the city on their way to drop you off in the shopping area.
The city was wonderful. It was so pretty! Flowers and gardens were everywhere. The people were so nice. Lots of places to shop. Finding plus sized tee's(larger than 2 x)was quite challenging, but I did finally find a couple in a store right next to the ship on the dock.
Since we chose not to do unlimited soda and the soda we did buy on board was in 8 oz glasses, finding a convenience store with big and super sized soda's was nice!
plus it felt like home because it's a very common store in the USA. (That surprised me.)
We loved this city!