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Home > Member Reviews > SamNSojourner's Port Reviews of Seattle, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Victoria

SamNSojourner's Port Reviews of Seattle, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Victoria
Norwegian Jewel cruise in August 2013
Member Name: SamNSojourner
Cruise Date: August 2013
Embarkation: Seattle
Destination: Alaska
Member Review: SamNSojourner's Norwegian Jewel Review
Seattle
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+

I LOVE SEATTLE. That's why I live close by. Seattle started the public art movement. With all our overcast days we needed it!
It's easy to get some local flavor by going to the Pike Place Market or taking a tour bus or "the Duck".
If you're more adventurous walk uphill from lower queen anne to upper queen anne and snack in both neighborhoods. Likewise walk up Pike or Pine Street to Broadway and explore "Capital Hill".
Spend a day exploring Fremont, with it's outdoor art sculptures along the canal, and on the bridge (northeast corner of the bridge), and under the Aurora bridge (it's legendary).
Go to Greenlake or Alki and rent bikes and bike through the neighborhood and along the waterways. lots of good food and local art all around. Also -close to greenlake- the University District has a plethora of dining options and that college town feel. or close to Alki- the views on the hill of West Seattle are just spectacular.
Lake WA is also very bike-able but i'm not familiar with where all you could rent the bikes there. the view of Mt.Rainier from Seward Park is gorgeous and Seward Park is wonderful. Walking around Leschi and the Madison area is also charming.



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Ketchikan
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+

We thought we'd enjoy exploring Creek Street for a few hours but no, it was more of a shopping mecca than a pub crawl. We took the funincular (outstanding views and great staff) up to the Cape Fox Resort and enjoyed the ESPRESSO shop there before going outside to see the Totems.
Then we went down Married Man's walkway. Again, this was similar to some local hikes in our county, but it was still beautiful, and the lore about 'married men' sneaking to and from the red light district was entertaining.
on Creek Street we did easily see the salmon 'running'. August is prime time for that.
A friend did the group canoe paddle and loved it. I should have done that. Like i said, do a few excursions!
Catching the bus to the totems at Bight/Potlatch is good, but a tour might be better.

We visited several bars and found them to be mostly too smokey for our liking. We went down "Betty King Alley" to have a drink at the Pioneer Bar (wi-fi was available!) where the bartender was very charming. we also liked the atmosphere at Annabelle's but weren't hungry enough to really eat. we just had the 'kung pao' calamari. it was fine.

We probably could have found some good bargains shopping (my friends did) but we just weren't in the mood.


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Juneau
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+

I'm sorry, we didn't do as much as we should have. We basically got out our binoculars and looked at the mountains to see the goats that others pointed out to us after they got back from their excursions. we spent hours in the hot-tub and pool with a precious lack of children on this day. we could see the mountains easily from the pool deck. they were gorgeous. i had planned to go to mendenhall glacier but cancelled it as made a dire mistake the night before: i wore new heels that i hadn't broke in and got blisters that left me hobbling that day.
our friends took the bus over and had a good time. but they were back early too.



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Skagway
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+

i liked the charm of this town. we rented bikes and just lolly gagged around a bit. (rented at sockeye something). we went into the red onion (which was packed) and bellied up to the bar (no other way to get there) for a quick libation. the corset-clad staff showed enough cleavage to stifle my interest in the brothell-museum so we skipped that. we thought about doing the 'easy' hike up to lower dewey lake but enjoyed the bicycling too much. (yes, my blisters were all better). we went out to the river and back into town, but mostly we just tooled around town.
our friends did the train to white pass (or whatever) and they really enjoyed it. they took the short version and were back in time for lunch.
apparently there is an actual espresso shop in town, but we didn't find it. i was hoping for a starbucks and free wifi and i got directed to a coffee shop inside a jewelry store! i shouldn't have said starbucks! this shop was brewing starbucks coffee,and it was fine, except the line was like 20 people long, and it wasn't a starbucks.



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Victoria
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

We're fairly familiar with Victoria, so it was easy to get off the ship and find a drug store and a dollar store for some supplies we felt we "needed". Then we were going to go on the Pickle Pub Crawl but somehow got talked out of it. The weather was great so we decided just to walk to some pubs ourselves. Victoria has plenty of pubs/bars/restaurants. The waterfront area is definitely priced a bit higher than other areas, but it's also the most convenient.
We also found a dragon boat festival going on at the waterfront, where we discovered a group called Uminari Taiko performing (Taiko is a Japanese drum). They were wonderful. I'm seriously thinking about looking for a drumming club locally to join or at least to see if they do workshops.
We were a group of 3 couples, and regular taxis are limited to 4 people so we needed 2 taxis. The group behind us was in a similar position so we shared 3 cabs between the 12 of us. this was encouraged by the facilitators working the lines of people getting off the boats. we were instructed to meet at "The Parliment Building".
The problem was, we, in the middle cab, had a driver who took a shortcut instead of following the cab in front of us, and then dropped us off at "the parliment building" about a half mile away from where the other 2 cabs dropped all of our friends. it took an extra half hour to find each other. "The Parliment Building" is pretty big. (yes, there are some mini-van taxis that seat 6 passengers, but they are rare and in high demand). I still think we could have easily walked into town (a 30 minute walk) but our friends are not regular walkers (I am).



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