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JerseyShoreGirl0732

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  1. I booked this in early Nov and my original itinerary has St. Kitts on the 26th too. I was checking the port loads (without my itinerary in front of me) to figure out if and where we would book excursions. I've now learned not to rely on Cruise TT! This is my first Celebrity cruise so I'm just learning how to use their website. Wow, 4 weeks from today, can't wait!
  2. I noticed a discrepancy in the ports when looking at the cruise tt website to see how many ships were in port along with the Summit for the 3/25 sailing out of San Juan. The itinerary from my TA along with the itinerary on Celebrity's website has us in St. Kitts on 3/26 and and St. Croix on 3/27. The Cruise TT site has it reversed with us in St. Croix 3/26 and St. Kitts on 3/27. Has anyone noticed something like this before? I'm considering booking an excursion privately so I want to make sure I have the correct port dates. Is the data on the cruise tt site always accurate? This is what I see on the tt cruise site for the Celebrity Summit: 14-Feb-19 09:30 25-Mar-19 20:30 No Information Available 25-Mar-19 20:30 26-Mar-19 08:00 At Sea 26-Mar-19 08:00 26-Mar-19 17:00 St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands 1950 26-Mar-19 17:00 27-Mar-19 08:00 At Sea 27-Mar-19 08:00 27-Mar-19 17:00 Basse-terre, St. Kitts, Saint Kitts and Nevis 12964 Costa Magica, Costa Pacifica, Carnival Horizon 27-Mar-19 17:00 28-Mar-19 08:00 At Sea 28-Mar-19 08:00 28-Mar-19 17:00 St. Johns, Antigua and Barbuda 5730 Costa Pacifica 28-Mar-19 17:00 30-Mar-19 08:00 At Sea 30-Mar-19 08:00 30-Mar-19 20:30 San Juan, Puerto Rico 4451 Jewel Of The Seas 30-Mar-19 20:30 31-Mar-19 08:00 At Sea 31-Mar-19 08:00 31-Mar-19 17:00 St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands 1950 31-Mar-19 17:00 01-Apr-19 08:00 At Sea
  3. We were on the Coral Princess in July with our 2 teens and absolutely loved it! Here's a link to my lengthy trip report. We did 5 days on the Kenai Peninsula before boarding the Coral for a 7 day southbound to Vancouver. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2665120
  4. I've finally finished my trip report from our 5 day DIY land and 7 night Southbound Whittier to Vancouver on the Coral Princess (7/25 -8/1). It only took me 2 months! Lots of photos included. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2665120
  5. Day 12 - Sea Day Our last day was spent at sea and the weather wasn’t nearly as nice as it had been in all 3 ports. It was chilly and overcast. Pete and I ran on the promenade deck, picked up coffee at International Café, and then headed to Horizon Court for breakfast with the kids. Sean made sure he loaded up on his carbs with only one buffet breakfast left. Since we hadn’t done any shopping on the ship, Shannon and I decided to check out the shops. Lots of passengers had the same idea. The shops were packed! We picked up a few things and headed back to our stateroom to begin the dreaded task… packing (insert sad face here). As I was folding clothes, staring at the water through the balcony door, I spotted a humpback whale! So much for packing. We stayed out on the balcony watching the water, looking for the spray, hoping to see more. According to the Patter, the best chance to see killer whales was in the afternoon when we were going through the waters of Johnstone Strait. Canadian Pilots were scheduled to arrive at 1pm so our plan was to be on the promenade deck to see the Pilots board, and to whale watch until Bingo at 3:30. The Pilot boat arrived right on time, but we didn’t see any whales. I was torn. I wanted to continue looking for whales, but I didn’t want to miss the final Bingo (the Snowball Jackpot was over $1500). It was time for Bingo. Sean opted to sit in a chair on deck 6 to keep up the whale watch. During our 7 days on the Coral, we spent a fair amount of time in those club chairs on deck 6. They face the windows for perfect viewing outside. The rest of us went to the Universe Lounge for the final Snowball Jackpot Bingo. The woman from the casino staff who called the numbers was great! She kept everything moving at a good pace. There is definitely some type of Bingo lingo. I was starting to pick up on it after playing twice on this cruise. I'm not sure if it's real Bingo lingo, or Coral Princess Bingo lingo. After Bingo ended, we found Sean just where we left him. He clearly made the better decision to stay on whale watch. We didn’t win, but he did. An orca breached right in front of him! I was so bummed I missed it. Of course he didn’t have the camera. The weather really improved so we took our usual spot on the sun deck, enjoyed our last Happy Hour drinks, and played cards. It was a nice afternoon. And we did see a couple of orcas, but they were far away and unidentifiable in the photos. We finished up the last of the packing and placed our bags in the hallway. Soon we were off to our last dinner with Eduardo and Astrid. The theme was American, and it was my least favorite meal. The food was good, it just wasn’t as great as it was the other nights. I'm pretty sure I had meatloaf. Something I found odd was the menu on the second formal night included fried chicken. I think that would have been a better menu selection on American night. Am I wrong? As we ordered cappuccinos, our Cruise Director, Gary, entered the dining room and got on the mic. He said a few words, made some introductions, thanked the dining room staff/chefs and then he queued the Baked Alaska parade. Napkins were waving in the air and the servers paraded around the dining room carrying flaming Baked Alaskas. It was cute and fun, and a nice way to end our last evening. We all tried the Baked Alaska, but if I remember correctly, no one in my family thought it was anything to write home about. Day 13 – Disembarkation in Vancouver The morning weather was gloomy which aligned well with my mood. After packing the last of our belongings, we said goodbye to GinaLynn, our room steward. She was wonderful from start to finish! She always greeted us by our names with a big smile on her face. I made sure to mention her awesomeness in the post-cruise survey from Princess. Our assigned disembarkation time was 8:30 to 8:45. We dragged our carry-on bags and one suitcase to our final breakfast in Horizon Court. Since we had so much with us, we took a table outside of the dining room. The disembarkation process was very efficient. We were off the ship at 8:35, through Customs and had our luggage by 9:15. We were directed to the exit for private transportation where we waited a few minutes for our van. I booked transportation (Aerocar) in advance after reading about the size of most of the taxis. Too small for the four of us and our 300 lbs of luggage. The drive through Vancouver made me wish we had a couple of days there. Something I noticed as we drove to the airport was the absence of screens in any windows. Small office buildings, apartments, houses; none had screens in the windows. I should mention the windows were opened, that's how I noticed this. I guess there are no bugs in Vancouver. Our experience at Vancouver International Airport was smooth and painless. We had plenty of time to sit down for an early lunch before we boarded our flight to Newark. And we were back on the grid with wifi and cell service, that was bittersweet. Some final thoughts… This was the best vacation (by a million miles) for our family. Everyone agrees. Princess Cruises exceeded our expectations. We purchased Future Cruise Credits and will most likely book a Norwegian Fjords cruise when summer 2020 itineraries are released. We loved the size of the Coral. The only change I would make to this itinerary is add one more day in Homer and one more day in Seward. I booked our return flight with Princess EZAir and was happy I did. I checked fares regularly (on different travel web sites) and changed our flight when there was a price drop. So easy. I booked the cruise during a Sip and Sail promo. This was a nice savings. I hope I'll be able to book our next cruise when this promo is offered again. I also used a big box TA and we received quite a bit of on board credit. This was nice, although we did not have the OBC to use until we boarded. I was not able to book excursions or special dining in advance unless I paid out of pocket. This is why I booked all of our excursions on my own. In the end, Expedia did the right thing. After one final, long, firm phone call the day after we returned home, I was finally able to speak to someone in the corporate office who issued a refund for the rental car price difference. This trip report took way longer to write/post than I ever imagined! But I'm glad I did it so I could relive this incredibly amazing trip. Now I'm reliving the post-vacation blues all over again. Until next time...
  6. Hi there. I read a couple of reviews that mentioned a Black Friday discount offered by Major Marine so I started looking at their website the week before. If I remember correctly, the website had the information about the upcoming Cyber Monday discount. I just pulled up my receipt and it's dated 11/27 so it was a Cyber Monday deal. Enjoy your planning!
  7. Day 11 – Ketchikan, float plane to Traitor’s Cove (continued) Once we were over water my nerves calmed. Our final approach had us flying low right next to the cruise ships quickly followed by a smooth water landing. Coral Princess fly by This trip was absolutely worth every penny! I’m very grateful for the nice weather. I really don’t think I would have had this experience if the weather on this day was typical Ketchikan weather. It was later than we expected when we arrived back in town. There wasn't enough time to go back to Creek Street so we stopped in a few shops close to the ship. The crowds had thinned substantially. I was caught off guard and lured into a fragrance and cosmetics store by a salesman that put a small shopping bag with a free gift in my hand. Next thing I know, I'm in the store and he is applying eye cream under my eye and asking my daughter if she notices the brightness/tightness blah, blah, blah. I insisted I wasn't buying the $250 miracle eye cream, but he applied it to the other eye, so it was even. We managed to get out of there without spending a dime. It was getting close to the all-aboard time so we could only visit a couple of stores. I was searching for earrings for my mom, and I had a specific idea of what I wanted. I didn't find exactly what I was looking for, but I did find a nice pair that I'm sure she will love. I also picked up some Devil's Club hand salve and lip balm. Devil's Club is a plant I was seeing over and over again, and couldn't get over the size of the leaves. While we were on the bear viewing tour, I mentioned this to Kim and she gave me quite a bit of info about the plant. She mentioned the hand salve from Devil's Club was exceptional, so I when I saw it in a store, I had to buy it. I still have not used it, but with the cold weather on the horizon, I'm sure I'll be using it soon. We were back on the ship right around the all-aboard time of 4:30. I touched my face under my eye it felt scaly and cracked. I found a mirror and the eye cream dried and left a white, crusty mess that was nearly impossible to rub off, even with make-up remover wipes! Boy was I happy I stood my ground and didn't buy the eye cream. After the painstaking process of scrubbing the dried eye cream off my face, we headed to the sun deck for a cocktail while we pulled out of port. Instead of our usual table, we sat in lounge chairs and played Deadliest Catch Trivia. This is about the time I felt sad that our unbelievable vacation was almost over. Dinner was in the main dining room, and we were pleased with another delicious meal. After dinner the four of us took in the Master Illusionist Hawley Magic Show. They were finalists on America’s Got Talent a few years back, if I remember correctly. We all enjoyed it. Next: Sea day
  8. Day 11 – Ketchikan, float plane to Traitor’s Cove (continued) It was a gorgeous 20-minute flight to Traitors Cove. Once we arrived at the dock we exited the plane and made our way to a van and Kim drove us to the viewing platform. To access the platform we walked along a trail that was approximately ¾ of a mile. Kim pointed out signs of bears in the area including fresh scat. We were really hoping to get lucky and see bears fishing for salmon. As we approached the platform we noticed there was another group there. They had not seen any bears. Bummer. The platform overlooks a running creek, but there hadn’t been rain in about 2 weeks, so the water was very low. Too low for the salmon to be running, therefore, no bears. The other group left, and we stayed for about an hour or so. We kept looking, but nothing. We did see a bald eagle land in a tree across the creek so that was cool. But we were not cool. It was so hot with the sun beating on us and there wasn’t much of a breeze. Kim thought it was good idea to head to the lake where it would be cooler, and we may just spot a bear there. The lake was just up the road a bit. Kim was right, it was much cooler. She pointed out a gravel road and said that was the most likely place we'd see a bear. The view of the lake was beautiful. After taking a few family photos, we were having a nice conversation with our new friend from Germany when suddenly Kim called out, 'bear'! Sure enough, a black bear was crossing the gravel road. By the time I picked up my camera, I was only able to snap a photo of the bear’s rear end as he wandered into the woods. Having seen so many bears during our time on the Kenai Peninsula, we were not at all disappointed. Our visit to Traitors Cove was so peaceful and relaxing. Kevin was waiting for us at the dock. We boarded the plane and in no time, we sped off in the water like a motor boat, but were quickly in the air like an ordinary plane. Because of the perfect weather, Kevin told us he was taking the scenic route back to Ketchikan. It was so incredibly beautiful, but I was nervous! We were so close to the mountains and it was breezy. He was telling Sean about catching the updraft and boy could you feel it! Apparently catching an updraft is a good thing, but it still made me nervous. I was thankful for my camera. Snapping photos and taking videos helped keep my mind from wandering. To be continued
  9. Day 11 – Ketchikan, float plane toTraitor’s Cove It was another beautiful, warm day in Alaska. In my opinion, Ketchikan could very well be the float plane capital of the world. They were taking off in threes as we were pulling into port. Then landing in threes. I could have sat on the balcony and watched the planes all day long! In a few short hours we would be in one of those planes. We didn’t have to check in for our excursion until 11:15 so we had time for some laps around deck 7 and breakfast at Horizon Court. After breakfast we disembarked and thought we’d walk around town as we had about 40 minutes to kill before check-in. Wow was it busy! Like Juneau, it felt more like Times Square than Alaska. A friend of mine from high school lives in Ketchikan seasonally and works at a jewelry store on Front St. I stopped in for a quick visit. She recommended walking to Creek Street so that’s what we did. My family was not happy with the crowds of people and opted to stay behind. I strolled along Creek Street by myself. They made the right decision as I felt a bit claustrophobic with so many people walking aimlessly. I did stop in a few shops and decided I would go back after our float plane/bear viewing trip, hoping it would be less crowded.There were 4 ships in port that day. I found this and thought it was perfect for Pete! I’m so mad I didn’t go back and have it shipped home. We checked in at the Visitors Center and had to wait about 20 minutes until we were called to board the van. It was a quick drive through town to Southeast Aviation’s office/dock. We met our tour guide, Kim and pilot, Kevin. They were both great! I fully admit I was nervous knowing that there was a float plane crash just weeks earlier. If the weather wasn’t ideal, we weren’t going up (this was my decision, the rest of my family was not in agreement with me). Thankfully there was not a cloud in the sky, phew! A solo traveler from Germany, the 4 of us, Kim and Kevin made our way down the dock. Kim pointed out how much of each piling was visible during low tide. The tide fluctuation in Alaska is crazy! When we returned 3 hours later, the water was covering the barnacles. As Kevin had us board the plane, I asked if Sean could sit up front in the passenger seat because he wants to be a pilot. I knew sitting up front would absolutely make Sean’s day, and I also knew he was too shy to ask. In the end he thanked me and was so happy to be up front. Kevin gave us a short safety briefing, we put on our headphones and we were off! It all happened so fast I forgot to be nervous! At least for the time being... To be continued
  10. Day 10 - Juneau, Mendenhall Glacier, salmon hatchery (continued) From there we headed back towards downtown and stopped at the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery. This place was very interesting. We didn’t take the tour, we just walked around in awe of the vast amount of salmon there. Shannon was not comfortable, she felt the salmon were being tortured. They were, in fact, being released into the channel. It is quite some operation and worth seeing. I enjoyed watching the seals hanging out and eyeing up their next meal. Before returning the car, Sean and I were dropped off in town to check out some stores. This port was super crowded, and it was hard to walk on the sidewalk. It felt more like Times Square than Alaska. There were 4 ships in port. I was on a mission to find the glacier soap store. After walking around a few streets and stopping in the Alaskan Brewing Company store, we gave up and headed back to the ship. As soon as we crossed the street, right in front of us was a cute building with 'Glacier Silt Soap' in huge letters. I don't know how we missed it. Unfortunately, it was closed. I was bummed. Our All Aboard was 3:30pm and it was getting close to that time. Pete and Shannon were waiting for us by the gangway. We boarded the ship and headed up to the sun deck for a cocktail and some people watching. As we departed Juneau we kept an eye out for whales. We got lucky and saw 2 orcas. They were far away and by the time I got the camera they were too far to get any good shots. Dinner was in the main dining room, it was the second formal night. I think fried chicken was on the menu. This seemed like an odd meal for formal night, but it was a big hit with the kids. It was another beautiful night so we strolled to what was becoming our favorite evening spot, the lounge chairs on deck 11 aft. The view leaving Juneau Next: Ketchikan – float plane bear viewing excursion
  11. Day 10 - Juneau, Mendenhall Glacier, salmon hatchery We arrived in Juneau at 6:30am. Our rental car pick-up was scheduled for 9am and the office was within walking distance of the port. After a leisurely breakfast, we disembarked at 9:15 and walked to Juneau Rental Car Company. It wasn’t as close as the directions implied. By the way a crow flies, it was about ¼ mile. Walking there was more like a mile to a mile and a half. Maybe that was because we thought we were going the wrong way and turned around, only to realize we had been going in the right direction. After what felt like eternity, we arrived at the office and were given the keys to a 2005 Chevy Malibu. I was fully aware the cars rented through Juneau Rental Car Company were not new cars and it was fine. The daily rate was just over $100 and was less expensive than 4 of us taking the bus to Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. The Malibu served its purpose and got us to where we wanted to go. It was another beautiful day. The first stop was Mendenhall Glacier. Our timing was perfect as we seemed to beat the crowds and tour buses. As we walked from the parking area, the glacier was visible. It just wasn’t as impressive as any other glaciers we’d seen, but still breathtaking. We hiked the East Glacier Trail which was a nice, moderate 3.5 mile hike. I thought we’d get to Nugget Falls, but we didn’t make it there. We heard it, we just didn’t see it up close. There was a side trail to AJ Falls so we did see a waterfall. The view from East Glacier Trail After the 2ish hour hike we left Mendenhall Glacier parking area. We decided to check out more of Juneau and made a right onto Egan Drive. We came upon Southeast Alaska University and took a quick driving tour of the campus. It was very small, but nice and definitely too far for either of our kids to consider applying. To be continued...
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