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Cruise Suzy

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  1. It took me awhile, but I think he was referring to the Meal of the Day: Tofu-Vegetable Stir-Fry ie Fry-day
  2. In late May 2008 we boarded the Sapphire Princess in Whittier, had no time to do anything but that. These were taken from our balcony.
  3. We did a DIY land tour before a southbound cruise. I used the cruiseline's list of stops as a basis and omitted some that weren't of particular interest, then added some that sounded better to us. Had no problem reserving lodging (about 6 months prior) and found several local restaurants that were quite delightful and tasty. Except for the Discovery Riverboat and Tundra Wilderness excursions, we could stop wherever we wanted for a photo op or to just admire the view for as long as we wanted. And no time spent getting 40-60 people back on a bus at each stop. Saved at least a third of the cruiseline's cost for land portion and had a customized tour. Of course, someone had to be willing to drive, but frequent pull-offs to admire the scenery made it not so tedious. Hard to get lost - only 1 road between Anchorage and Fairbanks, with a side trip to Talkeetna. Denali is on the Anchorage-Fairbanks main road. Flew into Anchorage, rented car, spent night. While driving to Fairbanks, we stopped at Alaska Native Heritage Center, Eklutna (Russian church & cemetery), Talkeetna and the Alaskan Veterans Memorial (in a pull-off). In Fairbanks, we did the Discovery Riverboat (met folks who were on the ship's tour and would cruise with us), drove out to the pipeline exhibit and visited North Pole. Spent time at Denali - hiked a few easy trails and took the Tundra Wilderness Tour. Drove back to Anchorage, toured the Anchorage Museum before returning the car and catching the bus to the ship.
  4. @richwmn Wasn't familiar with Salmiakki. Not sure I'd be a fan. Salmiakki is a soft liquorice with ammonium chloride added to give it its distinctive saltiness. More ammonium chloride means stronger, saltier and more potent salmiakki. Salmiakki can be a hard sell to those of us who haven't grown up eating it, and that group includes pretty much everyone outside of the Nordic countries, Holland, and northern Germany. Eating it can be unpleasant, even borderline painful, and can make your sinuses feel like you've just been upended into the Dead Sea.
  5. One thing you can do is to check every so often to see if they are marked as "Limited capacity" or "Only x seats left." Then book immediately when that appears. That being said, I usually book the one(s) I really, really don't want to miss as soon as possible, balancing how far out the cruise is with our cash flow. As mentioned above, there is no discount for pre-booking. However, last year, I had several excursions booked when HAL had a discount on excursions. One by one, I cancelled and immediately re-booked at the lower rate. Have not seen that promo since.
  6. And if the person is underage, they only have to purchase the Quench package
  7. Before the "pause" you could delay purchasing the Internet package. But then you had to purchase for the remainder of the cruise. Otherwise you had to purchase by the day. Depending on how far into the cruise you need Internet, you might be able to save s few dollars by purchasing some non-consecutive days and then later for the remainder. Don't expect to save much over the entire package.
  8. National Tailgating Day refers to the practice of American football fans to have meals/barbeques in the parking lot before games. Started when those with a station wagon or pickup truck would lower the tailgate and use it to serve the food. Now some bring grills, smokers, tents, etc. Quite an elaborate setup in many cases. I agree that vehicular tailgating is very dangerous.
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