Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community


  • Content Count

  • Joined

About Invero

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Orlando, FL
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Disney Cruise Line

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. I don't know about 2021, but this year, both the Noordam and Westerdam will be stopping in Haines during their southbound journey. Northbound, they stop in Skagway. So, at least once a week, they'll have a ship from HAL. Maybe she meant they were not stopping as much as previous years?
  2. We're stopping in Haines. HAL doesn't have any sled dog excursions from there, but we are not opposed to booking something on our own. But I'm not sure if stopping in Haines instead of Skagway proper makes a difference.
  3. Hi -- We'll be sailing aboard the Westerdam this summer, stopping in Juneau. We would love to do a sled dog excursion where we get to meet the dogs (and hopefully puppies, too). Holland America has two excursions in Juneau that seem to be what we're looking for, but I can't tell what the difference between them are. "Dog Sled Summer Camp" $160pp 2.25 hrs Learn what it takes to be a musher in the great Iditarod dog sled race with a trip to a dog sled camp. See an exact replica of an Iditarod Race checkpoint, enjoy a thrilling ride behind a team of highly trained Alaskan huskies, then meet and pet adorable camp puppies. Your adventure begins as you embark on a breathtaking motor coach ride into the remote and scenic Sheep Creek Valley, and to the home of some of the state’s most famous athletes - the huskies that run in the Iditarod. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by a real Iditarod musher and his dog team. You’ll tour the camp, visit the replica of an Iditarod Race checkpoint, and go through the steps each musher performs, as if you’re traveling the route with him. Then you’ll climb aboard a comfortable wheeled sled and relax as your husky team whisks you along the 1.5-mile trail through the beautiful landscape. Returning to camp, you’ll get to visit with the dogs, pet the puppies and learn what it's like to live amid 120 happy huskies. "Sled Dog Discovery & Musher's Camp" $170pp 2.25hrs Visit a musher's camp to experience a true Alaskan adventure and support the state sport of dog mushing. You will have a blast on an authentic dog sled ride, meeting and learning from knowledgeable mushers and dog handlers, and playing with the husky puppies. Your journey begins with a scenic drive deep into the Tongass National Rain Forest on Douglas Island. At the camp, you will be greeted by a musher and a team of Alaskan huskies who seem like they're about to burst with excitement because they know that, once you board the custom-designed wheeled summertime training sled, they get to run. Feel the thrill of being pulled by these strong huskies, and soak in the inspiring beauty as you race down a one-mile trail surrounded by giant spruce and hemlock trees. After your ride, meet up with a knowledgeable dog handler and a retired sled dog. Together they will demonstrate the impeccable care sled dogs receive from their mushers and veterinarians. Walk across the suspension bridge overlooking Fish Creek and step into Alaska's wilderness. Enjoy an interactive presentation about the adventurous races and the equipment required for dog sledding. And last, but certainly not least, meet the adorable husky puppies. The attention you give them is important because it helps to socialize them, and this is essential to their future athletic success. Both excursions meet with a musher, take a ride on the summer sled, have a presentation, and have a chance to meet the dogs. I called Holland America's Shore Excursion hotline, and they had less information than the website. Their only suggestion was to ask the Shore Excursion desk once onboard. When I mentioned that I didn't want to risk it selling out, he then mentioned that one of them is almost full. Can anyone help me figure out what the difference between the two are, and which one would be the better one to book? Thank you!!
  4. Thanks, everyone. Sounds like I should get over my cheapness and get the reservation now. :)
  5. Hello - I was looking at Specialty Dining options for my Alaskan cruise this summer on the Westerdam. There is a package deal -- Canaletto and Pinnacle Grill for $50pp. But the catch is that you have to wait until you get on board to make reservations. Due to the tour we're on, I do not believe we will board until 4-5pm on embarkation day. I am worried that by the time we get on board, all that will be left is undesirable times, like 9pm. If we book separately, it's $10pp more, but we get to select a date/time. Do you think we'll be safe to wait? Or should I just suck it up, and pay the extra $10 for the piece of mind of having a reservation.
  6. Ahh, thank you for the correction! Now that I think, that makes much more sense. 🙂
  7. Just to add a few things about the actual flight experience itself... I don't know if it's been mentioned above, but the time for your flight is the time it is scheduled to take off. Boarding of the airplane is usually 30-40 minutes prior to that time. Boarding is done in groups, starting with the First Class and frequent fliers. Your boarding pass will tell you what group you are boarding group you are in. Boarding usually ends 10 minutes before flight time, and even if the airplane is still at the gate, they will close the door and deny further boarding. Once on board the aircraft, you'll notice there is a "Fasten Seat Belt" light above the seat. When this light is on, it is important to stay seated, and keep your seat belt fastened. It is not appropriate to get out of your seat during taxiing, takeoff, or landing. Your seat will be small and cramped. You mentioned that you previously had taken a bus trip. Bus seats are probably the one seat that is smaller than an airline seat, so if you were OK on the bus, you should be OK there. You put your "personal item" (backpack, purse, small bag) under the seat in front of you. The overhead bins are for the larger carry-on rollaboard bags. While flying through smooth air, the pilot may turn off the seat belt light. It's going to be tempting to unbuckle your seat belt. However, you are encouraged to keep it buckled at all times, in the event of unexpected and sudden turbulence. Speaking of turbulence -- no one likes it, but it's a fact of flying. It's unsettling for everyone, to various degrees. But for the most part, it's OK, and nothing bad is going to happen. If you have a view of the wings, you may see them flex a bit. They are designed specifically to do that, so nothing to worry about. The flight itself is probably going to be boring and uneventful (that's good!). American Airlines has been removing IFE (in-flight entertainment systems built into the seat in front of you) in favor of BYOD (bring your own device). You can connect to their on-board WiFi, and they will provide a content library to stream TV, movies, and music to your phone or tablet free of charge. The library is constantly changing, and may be different on each aircraft. Note that you may need to download a program to do this, so make sure to do so beforehand. Of course, you can also download stuff from Netflix/Amazon/etc before you leave as well. If you need power, most seats on AA will have a power plug to charge. Depending on the plane, it might be one plug for three seats to share. (When you get on board, you'll be asked to switch your phone to Airplane mode. This turns off cellular functions, but you can re-enable WiFi and Bluetooth.) Many people recommend having noise cancelling headphones for the flight. The sound of the engines droning can get a bit loud, and with regular headphones you need may need to crank the volume to an unsafe level to hear. With noise cancelling headphones, it cancels out the engine noise, and makes listening to content much easier. Even a cheap set of noise cancelling headphones can work well. For example, I bought my headphones on Amazon for $40, and they work great. Are they as good as the expensive Bose headphones? No. But, for $300 less, they work great. Aside from cookies and non-alcoholic beverages, you won't find food on board. Some flights will try and sell you a snack pack, but they're generally expensive, and yucky. Your best bet is to eat prior to your flight, or if you have time, during your connection (just make sure you are at the gate in time for boarding!). You are free to bring food or snacks on board the aircraft, but please be respectful, and avoid food that may have a smell or bother others. It's a tight cabin. No tuna fish sandwiches, please. LOL Enjoy your first flight!
  8. Hello - Looking to cruise Alaska on the Konigsdam. Does anyone have any thoughts or recommendations for the what to look for? At the minimum, we'll be going for non-obstructed. But I was also looking at an Aft-View Verandah. My only two concerns are smoke/soot, and if there are any significant aft vibrations? Otherwise... any other thoughts? It looks like many of the verandahs on deck 4 are deeper than the upper decks? Or does being on a higher deck outweigh the larger verandah? I know I would prefer not being within the insets (I like to look down at the sea against the ship...). Thank you for your thoughts and advice.
  9. Those front seats are reserved for YC guests. If they have any remaining, they are opened for non YC reservations. The majority of non YC cocktail seats are in the sides, behind the dinner seats. They're not bad... Just not as good as the center close up seats.
  10. They said that for us too, but then they just opened the doors and didn't check anything. Perhaps they use it to gauge interest, and if it hits a certain number, then they check?
  11. There were signs that said you could not bring in beverages from other bars. I did not see anyone try, so I do not know if that rule is enforced.
  12. We attended both shows last week. Each show had three cocktails and one non-alcoholic drink to choose from. They do not allow you to bring outside drinks into the theater, nor can you order a custom drink. The non-alcoholic drink for Viaggio was a grapefruit based drink, and was nasty. The non-alcoholic drink for SONOR was a non-alcoholic mojito. I did not try it. I do not know if these are the drinks that will be served for your show. However, my recommendation is to think of the price of the show as for the show only, and the drink is merely just a free bonus. We had the early seating for both shows. Doors open at 6:15. I didn't pay attention to when the shows started, but they both ended right at 7:30.
  13. Just off the Meraviglia. The Marketplace Buffet was probably where we had our better meals. They had a fantastic breakfast. Lunch was usually very good, too. The pizza was great. The cheeses, especially the freshly made mozzarella was yummy. And the breads/pastries... OMG... so good. The main dining room for dinner. Yikes. We ate here three out of the four nights. The first night, both of our entrees were inedible. I forget what mine was supposed to be (some fancy pork dish), but it was 85% grissle/fat. My apple crumble ala mode came with the ice cream completely melted into soup. The next night, I ordered the salmon off the "Classics" menu (basic items that are available every night). It was decent, but nothing great. The last night, I ordered the French Onion soup (nasty, and very gravy like), and a Lasagna Bolognese. The lasagna was actually fairly tasty, although the presentation was a disaster. However, where I really do need to fault MSC is two key areas: 1 - Presentation. Everything looked like it had been slopped onto the plate cafeteria style, with zero presentation or plating. I know they're feeding 5,000 people, but a little bit of effort can go a long way. 2 - Food temperature. Nothing was hot, and there were a few items that were borderline into food danger zone. Not something you want on a cruise ship. My companion was "Diamond" status, so we received a complimentary dinner in one of the specialty restaurants. However, when we tried to book something once on board, we found that most everything was booked solid. Advice: Reserve early!! The only option we had was Keito Sushi. While the sushi was good, I would have preferred Butcher's Cut. We heard a lot of people raving about it. Did not run into anyone who had an opinion on Ocean Cay restaurant, or the tapas restaurant, so I cannot comment on those.
  14. As others have mentioned, there are 2 US and 2 Euro outlets, plus a single USB plug. I don't know if it was just our cabin, but the USB plug was useless. It did not have enough power to charge my phone. I plugged in my phone at 11pm with 44%. When I woke at 7am, it was at 38%. Not because it became disconnected, but rather because the USB plug emitted such a low amount of energy.
  15. We saw both shows last week. Personally, I enjoyed them both tremendously. We did the Cocktail option for both. (You get a choice between three cocktails and one non-alcoholic cocktail) For Viaggio, we were seated in the "Cocktail Seats" (first-come, first-seated), which are located off to the side, and behind the dinner guests. They were OK. Not bad seats by any stretch... just not great. Also, the cocktails with Viaggio were nasty. I don't think I saw anyone drinking them. There were tons of still-full glasses all around the theater when the show was done. For SONOR, we had assigned seats in the center that were very good. I suspect they were originally for Yacht Club guests, and then when they had extra, they released them to regular bookings. The drinks with SONOR were significantly better. If I were to pick only one to see... I guess it would have to be SONOR. It was the more unique show, and I think I enjoyed it slightly more. Highly recommend booking the Cirque show prior to sailing, as we ran into many people who were unable to see either show due to them being sold out. Also, as a note... in order to get to the theater, you have to go through the casino. If you see the show on a sea day, the casino will be extra smokey since it was open all day. This can be an issue for those who are sensitive to breathing cigarette smoke. If you have an assigned seat number, you can get there at the last minute and be seated just fine. But if you're in a Cocktail Seat, they seat you with the first arrivals getting the best seats. Enjoy the show. I honestly don't think you could go wrong with either.
  • Create New...