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AuroraRose

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About AuroraRose

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Upstate New York
  • Interests
    Traveling, baking, snowboarding, camping, kayaking, yoga (especially paddleboard yoga!)
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    None yet, but booked with Celebrity for our first one!

Recent Profile Visitors

63 profile views
  1. How incredibly sad for all involved. Sending thoughts and prayers to the friends and families of those involved, and wishes for speedy recoveries to those who were injured. If anyone knows of a website where we can donate to victims and their families, I would like the link so that I can help in some way. We have flightseeing tours from Icy Strait Point and Juneau booked for this August. Right now, I am not planning to cancel either tour (especially given the impact this accident will potentially have on the tourism industry in the area), but I am watching closely to see if this accident has any findings that could affect flightseeing tours going forward. And this incredibly unfortunate accident has me thinking about if there are any insurance options that would cover costs associated with a freak accident and/or being stranded in a port due to being hospitalized? Would regular travel insurance cover this or would you need extra insurance of some kind? I think knowing options and maybe purchasing additional insurance would make me less nervous about taking the tours we currently have booked in the wake of this accident.
  2. We haven't been yet (going in August 2019), and I haven't been great about cost saving initiatives, but have done some things so that we could afford more excursions: -Look into the Alaska Toursaver book...the cost to buy the book will more than make up for the savings for us. -We are renting AirBNB's in Seward, Healy, and Fairbanks. All were cheaper than hotel rooms (for 4 people; for a couple the price may not be , and all have kitchens that will allow us to cook our own meals. -We are doing a one way rental car from Anchorage to Fairbanks (taking the train from Seward to Anchorage). That saved us a substantial amount of money over renting from the 1 place in Seward. The Toursaver book also had a coupon. -We used hotel points for 1 night in Anchorage. -We booked our cruise early, and then I monitored for price drops before final payment. I ended up upgrading our room a few times and saving $700 in the process from when we first booked. -We used airline miles for our flights. -For our Helicopter Glacier Landing Tour in Juneau, I booked it on Trip Advisor on Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. The tour was already cheaper compared to the cruise line, and there was an additional 10% off for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. I think Major Marine usually does a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale too. -For the shore excursions that we did book through the cruise line (due to time constraints/not finding a similar private tour), I watched for sales (through Celebrity) and cancelled and rebooked to take advantage of lower prices.
  3. I was having a similar problem with ISP, and our cruise came out with more excursions including a flightseeing tour of Glacier Bay from ISP. Since our ship doesn't go there, we decided to book that tour.
  4. I understand your sentiment, but cross contamination can directly affect others' vacations. I certainly would be upset if I had to spend 3-4 days confined to my cabin (or evacuated to a hospital with the vacation cut short) due to an allergic reaction because someone couldn't use tongs properly. I do take precautions, but it's not exactly fair to people on board with allergies/dietary restrictions who can't eat the foods they want/at the venues they want/at the times that fit their schedules when other venues aren't open because of others' selfishness.
  5. That is appalling and heart breaking on so many levels. I hope that family has a peaceful vacation for the rest of the cruise, and that enough others show them kindness and support. And if that man was using the same tongs on multiple dishes, I also would have had words for him. Due to a food allergy, I have to be careful around buffets because of idiots like these people who don't think about why each dish has its own set of tongs.
  6. Both you and @scottca075 are correct. The area is comprised of moderate to high-end apartments (I used to live in one of those in Little Italy), and there is a large homeless population in that area, and you will notice smells while walking. However, usually the homeless people in the area will not bother you. I don't think anyone ever bothered me walking through that area (unlike closer to the Ralph's and in the Gaslamp area), and I frequently took the train to work and walked through there to the train station, passing many sleeping people on the street on the way. In general there is a large population of homeless people in downtown San Diego, but that does not necessarily make the area unsafe (which is what I assume you meant by "sketchy"). Granted, this was in 2014-2015, so things could be different now, but my husband and I were in the area again a year ago and not much had changed from what I saw.
  7. We are on the same cruise in August, and I see some combination tour and airport drop offs in my cruise planner. The tours say they are only available to guests departing Anchorage at 11 pm or later, so it looks like it would get you to the airport in plenty of time. Take a look at your cruise planner and see if these are options for you as well. Here are some other bus options not yet mentioned that would easily put you into Anchorage with enough time: https://alaskacruisetransfer.com/tours/seward-anchorage-narrated-direct-bus-shuttle-transfer/ https://www.sewardalaskabus.com/
  8. We haven't been yet, but we booked a Glacier Bay flightseeing tour directly through Celebrity from Icy Strait Point on our upcoming cruise this August. I couldn't find any private tour operators from that port. I think there are private operators out of Skagway.
  9. Looking forward to following along! We are on this same trip this August, and I will definitely be following along closely to get ideas for some of our down time in ports!
  10. Petrini's is a restaurant, and does not have groceries. Do you mean Market by Buon Appetito or Fillipi's up the road a little? Mona Lisa's also has a small market attached. Ralph's and the small Italian market/restaurants I just mentioned are probably a long walk depending on where you stay, but the trolleys all have stops within a few blocks. Also, check out Karl Strauss, Ballast Point, Bencotto, Queenstown Public House, and Extraordinary Desserts pre- or post- cruise for some amazing restaurants and breweries. I used to live in Little Italy when I lived in San Diego and am happy to recommend other things as well.
  11. We received the classic package as a free perk with our booking, and I am considering using some of our OBC from our TA on board to upgrade both of us to the premium beverage package. However, my husband doesn't drink alcohol. He does however love some of the offerings in the non-alcoholic section of the premium package. Does it still make sense to upgrade both of us, or is there a better option to change his classic package to the non-alcoholic premium beverage package? I do think he will drink more than $11.80/day in non-alcoholic premium beverages (he can drink his weight in VitaminWater Zero, juices, and smoothies). I see that I can have a different package than him, and I fully plan to take advantage of some of those great premium wines, Grey Goose, and martinis :).
  12. I have been to Disneyland, California Adventure, and Universal within the past 3 years. Universal is much closer to LAX, and the shows are great, but many of the rides are virtual with screens, and caused my DH and I severe motion sickness (we usually don't have that issue on anything else). For the time frame you have, I would still recommend it, as long as you are into the shows and/or don't get motion sickness. Harry Potter world was fun to walk around for a few hours too. The studio tour there was also great, but we did wait in a pretty long line to do it. Disneyland and California Adventure are much better for rides, but it is further away from LAX and will be crowded. As adults, we much preferred California Adventure. We had a similar time frame when we went, and still were able to do the car racing ride in Cars Land, the California Screamin' roller coaster, the raging rapids (best one I had ever been on by far!), and the ferris wheel (get a swinging gondola....it was the most fun I ever had on a ferris wheel!).
  13. We booked AirBNB's in both Seward and Denali for 4 adults this upcoming August. The Seward one is a block away from a downtown shuttle stop (free during the summer). The Denali one will require a rental car to get to, but both were significantly cheaper for 4 adults then hotel rooms would have been. I can't comment on quality or activities to do yet.
  14. Thanks all! I decided to book it now, and will try the suggestion to cancel and rebook using the TA OBC once onboard. If that doesn't work, hopefully it will get refunded to us since it is not directly from Celebrity. And if for whatever reason it is nonrefundable OBC (apparently it depends on the agreement the TA has with Celebrity according to other threads I read), then I am sure we can figure out how to spend it on specialty dining, massages, fitness classes, shopping, etc. @ipeeinthepool we got a discounted Go Best package and 10% OBC from the TA, so gratuities, premium beverage package, and internet are already included. The 10% OBC is $500, which we won't have until we board the ship. We did already use the Celebrity OBC from the Go Best to book an excursion in Skagway. We have not purchased any specialty dining (waiting to get on the ship before we decide to do that). @4774Papa I do tend to research private tours, and already booked a helicopter glacier landing in Juneau through Shore Excursions Group, and booked another tour in Ketchikan directly with the tour vendor. I did not however see any private companies specifically offering a Glacier Bay Flightseeing tour from ISP; otherwise I would have probably gone that route. Please let me know if I missed one, but my research came up short.
  15. We have our first cruise ever coming up this August aboard the Millennium in Alaska. There is a shore excursion that I am interested in doing in Icy Strait Point (Glacier Bay Flightseeing), but there are only 2 time slots offered for the excursion in the cruise planner, and it might be popular since our cruise visits Hubbard Glacier instead of Glacier Bay. It is pretty pricey though, and ideally I would love to be able to wait to book it on board once our OBC from our TA is available. So I guess I would like to know from experienced cruisers if there is a good chance that something like this might sell out before the cruise. Thanks!
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