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Everything posted by karatemom2

  1. The two places we have caught halibut in Alaska are just as @wolfie11 suggested - Icy Strait Point and Sitka. In Icy Strait we went with Glacier Wind - captain Sean. But I think they only do whale watching trips now. You would have to check - maybe he would do a fishing charter. We reserved the whole boat for our party if 6. In Sitka, we rented a boat and gear and fished on our own.
  2. Yes! Exactly why we booked one for our Norwegian affords cruise this summer. Can’t wait to take it all in from our forward facing balcony! Really besides the forward facing cabins, the best forward views are probably from the Sanctuary.
  3. Sounds like this is really a dream cruise for you and I agree - a full Panama Canal transit is on our bucket list and I think doing it over the holidays will be magical! Yes, there will be lots of children - traveling happily with extended families. Often you will find multiple generations traveling together. I love children - raised two of my own on Princess cruises and we made great holiday memories with them on the ship. Sharing Christmas with children is a joyful experience for me. We raised our children to be respectful and never had any real issues with other children onboard. Of course, kids will be kids at time and do some annoying things like hit a few extra elevator buttons or congregate in the stairwell. That was about the worst we experienced from the younger crowd. However, the stories I could share about the rude adults onboard over the years we have cruised far outweigh any bad behavior from kids. And yet, I don’t let any of it deter me from enjoying my experience. Princess does a great job providing activities for the kids that keep them busy and having fun. And seeing their shining faces with Santa is pure joy. Go and enjoy your dream cruise and don’t be deterred - no cruise is ever perfect, but we have done 6 holiday cruises with Princess and they have all been wonderful!
  4. Christmas and New Year’s are a wonderful experience on Princess. First, the ships are beautifully decorated. Christmas celebrations generally include caroling, gingerbread house building contests, formal evening on Christmas Eve with Christmas Crackers at your place setting at dinner, a reading of The Night Before Christmas, Fun Fair for kids with activities including cookie decorating, and visit from Santa with a gift. These are just some examples - different CDs will add other things from ship to ship. New Year’s Eve is a giant party. Also a formal night, you will get hats at your dinner place setting. There are multiple parties staged throughout the ship with the largest generally on the top deck, weather permitting. There is a huge countdown at midnight and lots of music and dancing. I don’t have a basis of comparison as I’ve never spent a holiday with any line but Princess, but I can’t imagine anyone else does it better. Princess makes it a very special experience.
  5. Thank so much for your report! The Sky has definitely become one of our favorite Princess ships and we are so looking forward to our cruise in June!
  6. You can't use the Casino deposit in advance - because it is considered exactly that, a deposit to hold your booking and you lose it if you cancel. Therefore, even thought it transfers to OBC once onboard, you can't use it in advance like other types of OBC. But you can definitely use it toward buying the packages once onboard so it should work just fine for you - there are plenty of crew just waiting and eager to sign you up for the package as soon as you step on the ship.
  7. We have found this to be the case. We have brought six packs of canned or bottled sodas back with us from port many times.
  8. Dun Laoghaire is a tender port, so if you don’t have a ship tour you will need to go to the lounge where tickets are being distributed. I would suggest getting there as early as they open up so you can be toward the front of the line. Elite passengers and those with Princess shore tours get priority for tendering, so if you don’t fall into one of those categories, you could be facing a bit of a wait so the earlier you can get to the lounge for your ticket the better. Your whole party will need to be with you in order to get the tickets. Then you wait in the lounge until they call your group. It’s hard to say how long this will take - depends on how close you are to the front of the line and how many priority passengers are departing early. Another point, the tender transit into Dun Laoghaire is the longest we have ever experienced - it is a good 30 minute boat ride. So you will need to factor that in as well. I would imagine, if the ship arrives on time and receives prompt clearance the tenders will start running immediately, but depending on your tender group you willl likely have at least a minimal wait time even if you are in an early group so I would not expect to be at the dock to meet your family until 8 - 8:30 am at earliest.
  9. Yep, same offer here. Sadly the timeframe doesn't work for us, but we would jump on it otherwise!
  10. Exciting news, thanks for sharing! We are back to Alaska on the Ruby this September for the first time since 2022 and so happy to be going back again to our favorite destination. It is great to see that Princess is really upping its Alaska game, which in my opinion was excellent already! We will be really looking forward to experiencing some of these new offerings!
  11. The classic soda package does not include bottled water or the freshly squeezed juices from the juice bar. It does include all fountain and canned sodas, regular juices that are available at the bars like apple, orange, and smoothies and mocktails. We used to get it for our kids when they were younger and they definitely enjoyed getting the smoothies and mocktails. And my daughter was the Shirley Temple queen!
  12. The wildflowers are beautiful here this year with all the rain we had this season. I bet it was gorgeous. The interior jeep tour is a great tour - I hope they don't change your itinerary. Catalina is such jewel!
  13. Skagway Fish Company has very good food and is literally right at the dock area if you want something close by. No shuttle required - just a short walk from the ship. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60877-d5110097-Reviews-Skagway_Fish_Co-Skagway_Alaska.html
  14. Thanks for sharing your cruise experience with us. We are on the Sky in June for the 14 day Land of the Midnight Sun itinerary, so very interested to follow along on your journey!
  15. Catalina is a tender port and can really only comfortably accommodate one ship - it is very small. So maybe there is a delay to see how the schedule shakes out? Other lines regularly stop in Catalina including Carnival which has a regular rotation there. If you do end up going, be sure to check out the inland Hummer tour that takes you to the more remote parts of the island and up to the Airport in the Sky. It's an amazing (albeit a bit bumpy tour). Great way to see parts of the island that those who stick just to Avalon don't experience and also catch sight of some of the wild roaming bison.
  16. I think most printed materials are going the way of the dinosaurs these days considering the exorbitant cost of four color printing and mailing - online, email promotions and app advertising is where it is at. We still get the occasional post card, but that is about it, which is perfectly fine with me. The less paper the better!
  17. HAL also offers an unlimited laundry package you can purchase for the length of your voyage. They also offer a single laundry bag special.
  18. Another vote for BlackBerry, pricier than some other options, but very reasonable for a private car service and super professional and reliable. We have then booked for both our arrival and departure this summer.
  19. Yes, most of the stores in the downtown tourist area stay open into the evenings when ships are in town.
  20. Here is how I would look at it - you will have the privilege of seeing Alaska at a time of year most travelers do not. Crowds will be gone, but the beauty will remain. Yes, the weather could be less than perfect some days, but if you’re prepared to enjoy it no matter what the conditions, you will not be disappointed. It sounds like a wonderful itinerary and great deal, so I would encourage you to take the leap!
  21. I’m really looking forward to having the option. Often there is a lot going on after dinner and the chance to be able to catch the show early is not only convenient, but helps spread out the crowding among three shows. It’s no different then theatre offering a matinee.
  22. Oh I do too!! I feel if there was only one thing I could convince Princess to bring back, it would be the cookies and milk. It would be an instant guest pleaser!!
  23. Actually, my husband is 6’7” and he much prefers the showers in the regular cabins as opposed to mini suites. What many people fail to account for is the fact that the tub shower actually raises the shower flooring considerably higher then the standard shower which is basically flush with the bathroom floor. However, the shower heads are the same height placement in the bath showers in the mini suites as they are in the standard room showers. So ultimately he has less headroom under the shower head in mini suites. Trust me when I say he notices these things and I have spent our entire married lives telling him to watch his head and looking for ways to accommodate his height. It’s challenging, but he has never had an issue with the shower curtain or overall shower situation in our regular rooms on Princess. Now if the water pressure is bad - then he has an issue!
  24. You may need to rent a car to get to these places, but in Ketchikan there is Rotary Beach, and in Juneau, Eagle Beach, Echo Cove and, also the beach at the Treadwell Mine Trail.
  25. I have seen the kiosks along the dock that seem to be selling tours, but not sure what they offer. I would say it might be a good idea to look at the date you will be in Juneau and check the port calendar to see how many ships are in town with you and the times. That could have an impact on availability, even for walk up tours. This is kind of an old thread but it talks about the pier vendors in Juneau:
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