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Moriah

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About Moriah

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Alaska

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  1. Actually I've been on that Tracy Arm catamaran excursion twice (once from the Volendam and once from I-can't-remember-which ship, possibly a Vista) and both times we arrived in Juneau at 1 PM and the ship stayed until 9 or 10 PM. OP, check the times on your ship's itinerary to see what applies to your particular cruise. Nancy is right, if you arrive in late afternoon it might be a tight fit. Also, of course this is never, ever a guaranteed experience, but... the first time I went to Tracy Arm we saw HUNDREDS (nope, I'm not exaggerating) whales!!!! The guides on our catamaran were completely blown away along with the guests. The whales were jumping and playing and there were three different kinds. The Orcas were in groups - it was absolutely awesome and amazing!! So you might get lucky too. That Tracy Arm excursion yielded FAR, far more whale viewings than any of the many actual whale watching excursions I've been on! Alaska is like Forrest Gump's "box of chocolates".... you never know what you're going to get!
  2. Just wanting to clearly answer your question here. The Tracy Arm excursion takes place while the rest of the guests on your ship are on their way to Juneau. No back-tracking.
  3. The Tracy Arm excursion is the absolute BEST thing you can do on an Alaska cruise, in my humble opinion. I have cruised to Alaska every summer since 2004. If the Koningsdam is offering an excursion that leave the ship (you get on the catamaran while at sea, near the opening to Tracy Arm. The K-dam is too large, I believe, to actually cruise into the arm), that is, as I said the BEST excursion and you should grab it. It fills up. The ship will leave you, as said, near Tracy Arm, to go exploring on your catamaran in the morning, and you'll be brought to Juneau to meet your ship in the early afternoon and still have plenty of time to do whatever you want in Juneau including a whale watch excursion. Some of the smaller HAL ships actually go into Tracy Arm, eliminating the need for the separate excursion. But either way - GO to Tracy Arm. It's amazing and awesome.
  4. No, why would you need passport photocopies to embark? I have been on too many cruises to count have have never needed a photocopy. You need your actual passport... the photocopies are for you - in case you lose your passport, it's easier to get a new one if all the info is right there, but no, you don't "need" photocopies (unless there is something I don't know and for some obscure "type of cruise" the photocopies are a thing?? Yes, I do the same in hotel rooms, cruise cabins, and on longer flights I wipe down my seat area, the table and the touch screen and seat belt. I get some looks but who cares. Also never get sick! :)
  5. You are right to bring the photocopies of your passport. They are what will help in the event you lose your passport, although I would imagine the passport card would as well. If you are going to Europe or anyplace other than Canada, you need your actual passport and not just the card. For Alaska cruises I bring only my passport card, and leave my actual passport at home, since the only foreign country we visit is Canada. I keep my driver's license in another wallet in case I lose the passport card so I can still fly home! 🙂 I love that you bring wipes to clean - I bring Clorox wipes and I wipe down the cabin and bathroom as soon as we arrive - thought I was the only one! 🙂 Gloves are great idea.
  6. I'm leaving tomorrow for Seattle, and Monday I board our Alaska cruise. I wish I found packing "tedious". Instead, I find it a little stressful. Not usually, but for Alaska, I do. Somehow I keep thinking I need clothes for all four seasons even though we'll be there only 2 weeks. Alaska can be so cold I wear long underwear, and so hot I wish I'd brought shorts (I never do). It's the one destination I don't only bring carry on luggage for. all the winter coats and hoodies and shoes and such... well... I bring a suitcase. Just put it in the car a few minutes ago. Feel like I need a drink now. Tedious would definitely be an improvement over all this stress over whether I packed the right stuff!! 😀 and the embarrassing part is I've cruised to Alaska more than 15 times... shouldn't I have it down by now? 😫🙄
  7. Kdam, in my opinion is a bit large for Alaska. You won't have the wrap around deck that you probably came to love on the NA (well, it's there, but not the same... and especially in Alaska, I would think you'll really miss it), and in you won't be able to get as up close and 'personal' with the glaciers simply because of the size of the ship. The "newness" won't really wow you... NA is fairly new as well, and in fact, if I had a choice I would go even smaller - down to Vista class or smaller, for Alaska.
  8. Pools are small - a "lap" is about a stroke and a half. These pools are not really meant for fitness or exercise type swimming.... How long is your cruise? On my one week Amsterdam cruise last summer there was one spinning class. I don't remember how many yoga classes, but I believe at least 2.
  9. I absolutely love this post - thank you for taking the time to write out your thoughts. You are SO right. I have found that an attitude of gratitude goes a long way in erasing any of life's little irritations, whether on a cruise or on land. One of my favorite things to do is make sure I think every single crew member I pass - especially the ones hard at work polishing and cleaning and scrubbing to make the HAL ships spotless and shiny and gorgeous. When I stop on the stairs or on the deck to thank someone, they always light up and you can see in your faces how much it means to them that a guest has noticed and appreciated their hard work. I just say "Thank you for making the ship so clean and beautiful" and then I carry on my way. That's all it takes. And here's the thing -it does more for me than it does for them! I am uplifted just by the act of appreciation! When I see guests who are out of sorts over something, I try to be compassionate and think they must have had very, very high hopes for their vacation and really needed for things to be perfect. If I see them abusing a crew-member, however, I will always try to speak to that crew member later to offset that. I believe that only unhappy people mistreat others. Oh, didn't mean to ramble on, really just wanted to thank pstoker for this very uplifting post that made my day.
  10. I usually book my next cruise while on board a cruise, because I get so excited, and sad to disembark... I find the Future Cruise Consultants on board HAL to vary in quality as far as the knowledge and help they provide, but I usually am able to choose what cruise I want to do next and put down a refundable deposit, along with whatever the best promotion they are currently offering is - usually some OBC, or whatever. Then I transfer the bookng to my travel agent. It used to be that I could do that anytime before final payment, but now the rule is you have to transfer your booking within 60 days of making it. Still a pretty reasonable amount of time. Then the TA usually adds whatever perks she can (more OBC!!) to HAL's offer, and I'm all set. I still watch the new promotions as they come out, and if the price of what I've booked goes down, my TA has always been able to rebook me at the new HAL promotion price. Yes, that means wiping out the OBC or whatever other perks were offered initially, so it always has to be weighed carefully. The TA OBC will remain constant. I like that the TA is the one that calls HAL to negotiate this for me and I don't have to do it myself, but that's just me. This system has worked well for me. Some people just adore their HAL cruise consultants and some swear by just using their TA. In the end we all want friendly service, the best possible price on our cruise, and to be kept abreast of possible improvements on that.
  11. It's just semantics really. That beverage package you have is a "promotion". It was probably available during certain dates. It's the way these things work, and I agree it's a little crazy, but it's at least consistent. To us, it seems like you just want to pay more and get a different room and leave everything else alone, and I totally agree that seems logical, but that's not the way they do it. Instead, they knock you off your previous booking altogether (including the drink package) and rebook you at whatever best price for the room you now want is, with whatever promotion is available. You are right, no logic, just annoying, but it's the way it is.
  12. Yes, it's annoying, but when you change your booking to a different promotion you lose all the perks of the promotion you had before. It's happened to me as well. You just have to choose whatever seems to be the best deal. If it were me, I'd stick with the Lanai and all the perks you were originally offered, but in my opinion, a Vista suite is not an "upgrade" from a Lanai, so that's just me... YMMV!
  13. I loved reading this! I've never cruised on NCL and probably never will. All the things you mentioned are things I love about HAL. It's always nice to know someone new is appreciating them as well.
  14. Woo hoo!! What fun to wake up and see this post! Thank you kazu!!! I can't believe we're finally in the last week's countdown till sail-away. I know many people on these boards have done veeeerrrry long cruises - some 4 months long - but for me, this 2 week cruise will be my longest ever! I've reached 4 star mariner status just doing one week and 10 day cruises for the last 15 years. So I'm really looking forward to this "long-for-me" cruise, especially to my favorite cruising destination and on my favorite ship!!
  15. Oh, this is good to know. I wasn't sure if the Vista ships had permanently closed those saunas. Probably saw them closed one day, as you mentioned. They are not part of the Greenhouse Spa, which is the reason they are not included in the tour, probably. Also good to know the spa showers are simply open to all. I wonder why that's the policy, since the spa is a "separate" business from HAL.
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