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  1. Personal preference, but I would not pick a guarantee room. You are only guaranteed that category of room or better. What the cruise line thinks of as better, might not mean the same to you. You could end up in the front or back of the ship, way up high, below the pool, near the nightclub, etc. I much prefer to pick my own room and then mark it no upgrade (at least with Princess, where there will typically not move you but you might still get an upsell offer for a (usually) small fee but you get to pick your cabin and location.) Recently went to Alaska- had booked two connecting insides and received an upsell to a balcony. It was so wonderful to have the balcony- I woke up before everyone else and was able to go out and sit and watch the world go by. Did a Southbound sailing and was on the right side of the ship- other side had more land while sailing. Sometimes we were on the dock side, others we weren't. I had originally booked the insides because balconies were over double the price per person. If you can afford it and think you might want to use the balcony (or at least get a little fresh air), then go for it. Not sure what cruiseline you are looking at, but Princess ezAir allows you to book flights but not pay for them until final payment- they aren't ticketed until 45 days or so out (ours were 35 days out). The plus to this is that you can re-book your flights at NO PENALTY if the price drops, you find a better flight, etc. Even if the price drops after final payment but before being ticketed, you can still get a refund on the price difference.
  2. Now I'm curious as to what actually happens tomorrow. I got my info about the winds from someone posting from the Royal on facebook and as of a minute ago, they had not been notified about any further changes in plans, other than an extra sea day today instead of Juneau.
  3. If you are in the US, then yes, if the price drops, you can re-fare at the lower price. As an example, this summer went to Europe with family and friends and had a total of 4 cabins. Most were re-refared for lower prices but the promos were different for each one. It is entirely possibly that the price will drop for guests 1 & 2 but go up (double or more) for the 3rd person. If you are happy with the price as of right now and think that you really want to go, put the refundable deposit down. Then, if you change your mind, you can still cancel. If a lower price (factor in all perks you lose vs ones you gain), then you can re-book.
  4. The reason the Royal left early week or so ago from Ketchikan was due to the tides in Vancouver. I was on the 10-17th sailing- we had to leave Ketchikan early (3:30) to hit the right tide to clear Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver on the 17th at some crazy early hour (3:30am I believe it was). We ended up going faster than scheduled from Juneau, and were able to get off in Ketchikan a little early (about 30 minutes or so). I read on facebook that Juneau was skipped today due to high winds. It was not safe to make it there (other smaller ships made it in earlier but they had issues).
  5. I have done two of them from Seattle. The first was the Ruby from Seattle to Vancouver fall 2017, as hubby and I needed a night away without the kids (and grandma lives in Seattle). Second time was on the Emerald fall 2018 with the kids to see how cramped 4 in a cabin felt before booking Alaska for this past summer. They were totally different cruises. On the Ruby, casino and shops opened not long after leaving and production show was pretty good. It was a Saturday night. On the Emerald, a Sunday night, casino and shops opened very late (after 10pm, or maybe the casino didn't open at all but the shops did?), production show wasn't as good. Boarded early enough both times to eat lunch in the MDR, dinner was anytime dining. They are a bit of hassle. Great if you want to have a quick getaway, work up to a higher status level or purchase future cruise credits.
  6. I just used Bear Paw Transportation https://www.bearpawtransportation.com/ to get to Whittier and were so happy with our private transfer. Another one to look into.
  7. I have not been the all you can eat crab at George Inlet (wanted to but were in Ketchikan for not enough time this trip) but based on their website they have Dungeness. Living near the Pacific, I eat a lot of Dungeness and love them but they are smaller and more work. Tracy's has king crab, which are giant. We were there a few days ago and they had a special of broken pieces for a slightly reduced price ($115 I think). We were a group of 4 and got the regular bucket, which was 4 legs and 2 claws (one feeder, one killer claw) plus coleslaw and 3 rolls. It was enough for all of us, as they were huge. My hubby probably could have eaten an extra leg or two but for the rest of us, it was plenty. We went for the first time 10 years ago, when it truly was a shack. It was neat to see how much bigger it has gone. For us, Tracy's was well worth the money!
  8. Just got back from Alaska. We were at the farthest dock and my MIL is not a good walker and she was miserable on the walk. Took us a good 20+ minutes to go the lumberjack show and another 10+ minutes to get to Creek Street. (she isn't very fast and takes frequent breaks). She allowed 45+ minutes to walk back to the ship and she used a lot of that time with her frequent breaks. I want to say I saw taxis but our time was shortened and we were very rushed to see anything other than the Lumberjack show.
  9. I just got back from the SB on the Royal Princess. We had our muster delayed until about 8pm (maybe a little later), as we left a little late, because the tunnel schedule got off during the day and trains/transfers were late coming through the tunnel. We were supposed to go through the tunnel at 3:30 (or was it 3:45?) and they had the opposite direction coming at the time we were supposed to go through. We went through about 30 minutes later than scheduled. I didn't note the time we actually left- maybe 30 minutes late. With that said- we went to dinner right at 5pm. All dining rooms were anytime that night (except the Club Class section, which was always club class). The dining room was VERY empty at 5pm. Dinner cut off to sit down was 6:30 (so perhaps it is 6pm on a regular non-delayed departure). No issues sitting as a group, as most tables were open. Hope this helps.
  10. If the price drops after final payment but before being ticketed, you get a refund. In my experience, most of the time when the price dropped after final payment, I had to call back a few days later to get them to manually push the refund through. Refund goes to the last card used, unless you call them- traveling with my Mother in law in the same cabin and she paid her portion of the cruise last- when my flights dropped- refund went back to her card as she paid last. In fact, that was the only time that the credit went back automatically to a card without me calling. On my upcoming cruise, flights weren't ticketed until 30 days out.
  11. I was just looking at deck plans and the Golden has family suites. You need to call for pricing but it might be a better option, especially if there end up being 4 adults and 2 kids. https://www.princess.com/ships-and-experience/ships/products/staterooms/family-suite.html
  12. To anyone that is considering booking a Major Marine tour in Seward in 2020- wait until Black Friday/Cyber Monday to book. They had a really great sale this past year. All tours were 40% off. I was able to book open dated reservations, meaning I called and paid the sale price for the tour I wanted for the amount of people I wanted and then when I had my date figured out (we are doing 5 days pre-cruise on our own), it was a quick phone call to apply that to the date we wanted. (We are cruising in a few weeks.)
  13. I just got my second price drop after final payment on an Alaska cruise, going back to the card used. So it is very possible (but not a guarantee). I'm a big fan of booking now and rebooking later when a better price comes along. Just make sure you book with a refundable deposit.
  14. My kids are 5 and 7 and absolutely love the kids club. The oldest will be 8 on our next cruise and while she absolutely loves all the crafts in the 3-7 group, she's looking forward to doing the other activities as well. My biggest problem with the kids club is that the kids want to be there every second it is open. :) We've only sailed on Princess, so I can't compare it to anything else, but Princess is a great fit for us.
  15. I’m in the US and recently (in June) got a refund when the fare dropped after final payment. We lost our original perks (OBC) but the refund was more than double the obc lost. Refunded back to the card used. Kept same cabin.
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