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Everything posted by Giantfan13

  1. OK, just read all 7 pages of this thread and really, people seem to like to talk just to hear themselves and really don't know much about it. Like my handle, I am a huge NFL football fan (sorry to say, at this point, a Giants fan). I was on that cruise that the OP was on, opening of the NFL season and NO football. I really thought that Dallas/Giants would be on, but again, no NFL at all. And to think that the Jewel is being singled out is utterly ridiculous. WHY, because I asked the Captain at that meet the Captain thing that they have. He spoke maybe 6 words of English and referred the question to the cruise director and his explanation made sense. The Jewel is going to be based in Australia and they just did not see the need to pick up the NFL package. He said, you cannot pick up part of it, you have to buy the entire season, and they just figured that there wouldn't be a huge call for the NFL from Australians. Personally, I wasn't happy about this, but I do understand. You can argue all you want about cost, who makes this decision, whatever, but that is the exact reason the Jewel will no t have any NFL games this year and other ships will. It is on a ship by ship basis and they must figure who the passengers are going to be when they decide what is to be shown. Cheers Len
  2. Thanks for the cruise lesson. When you are NOT enjoying that part of the cruise it feels like 5 knots or even slower. Cheers Len
  3. Being from NY, maybe we are a bit prejudice, but we have sailed out of NY 6 times and there is NO BETTER port to sail out of, at least for sights et al. Sailing down the Hudson River, by the new Freedom Tower (we still have pixs of the WRC) and right past the Statue of Liberty, then under the Verrazano Bridge. Venice is very nice, but nothing beats just sailing by the Statue of Liberty, knowing you are off on a cruise. I would also add sailing in and out of Stockholm thru their Archipelago is also not to be missed. Cheers Len
  4. We sailed out of NO on a B2B several years ago. We found the about 8 hour sailing up and down the Mississippi very unsatisfying. We just didn't enjoy all the oil refineries and all the other stuff that, to us, wasn't very attractive. I posted that same opinion here and several others disagreed with it. So, as they say, 'different strokes for different folks'. Just be aware that it does take about 8 hours to clear the River before getting out into the Gulf, basically doing 5 knots during those 8 hours. You may like it, we didn't. Cheers Len
  5. Having a BBQ????😄😄😃 Cheers Len
  6. Depending on your budget, you could spend more than the price of the cruise, just to get you and/or your family to helicopter onto a glacier. There are the whale watches in most ports. Juneau, in particular, has a square full of booths just looking for people to go on private tours. That said, all the ports you mentioned are quite nice and you can manage to spend a day in each just wandering about, doing walking tours or local transportation. Depending on what you are looking to do and how much you are willing to spend. Take Skagway, for instance, you can walk right up to the White Horse train and buy a ticket if you wish. You can rent a car and drive into the Yukon, as you cannot get lost as there is one main road there and back. Ketchikan you can spend quality time on Creek street, walk up the Married Man's Trail and see salmon all over the place. visit Totem Pole Park. In Juneau, you can get some transportation to Mendenhall Glacier and spend some hours there, taking the easy mile walk to the glacier and the waterfall. You do NOT need to spend a fortune in Alaska unless you want to do things that cost lots of money. Cheers Len
  7. As has already been posted about our trip, we just got back from Alaska and had a south bound cruise, Seward to Vancouver, with 2 glacier stops. Unfortunately the Sawyer stop was cancelled because of too much ice in the water, or so we were told. Alaska is getting warmer and who knows what will be next year. This was our third cruise to Alaska and on the previous two we did Glacier Bay and both times, we had glorious weather and it was truly spectacular. Our time, this year, at Hubbard was great because there was so much calving it was hard not to get pixs of it and see it. If you have the choice, I would also recommend Glacier Bay. it is truly spectacular. cheers Len
  8. Not too much. Many of the people did a zip line that people said was great. We have done the usual Alaska things as we have been to Alaska twice before, so we opted to just wander about, and there isn't all that much to wander about to. It was low tide when we were there and many people were scouring the shoreline for shells, rocks and other assorted sea creatures. We found some large and small star fish. We had a bit to eat in one of the local restaurants, and spent some time on the dock watching the so called 'every present' Orca that sort of stays in the harbor. I'm sure there were many things to do if you wanted to book an excursion, but they were very expensive and we decided to just have a relaxing day. Cheers Len
  9. We did a TA last December, and although my Giants were out of it, I am still a gung ho football fan and wanted to watch. We were on RCCL and the only games they were able to show where the National games or any on cable, like NFL network, or ESPN. We were able to get Sunday Night football, but anything on local stations, Like FOX or CBS we couldn't get. Cheers Len
  10. Ha Nita, we finally broke into the win column today, but it is still going to be a long year. Funny thing is, we opened against the Cowgirls, and I fully expected this game to be shown some where on the ship, but NO. They did not pick up the NFL package as the Jewel is going to be sailing out of Australia and they aren't going to be showing any NFL games on her this season. BOOOOOO Cheers Len
  11. I wish they would have. We were scheduled for a stop in Juneau from 7-1:30 and then going to Sawyer Glacier, but because it was cancelled, they extended our stay in Juneau till 10:00 that night. Really, all excursions were planned for that limited time frame and it gets dark about 8ish, staying till 10PM was simply ridiculous. There had to be something better to do, only NCL figured it would be cheaper to stay in port. Bad choice. Cheers Len
  12. There were also very few salmon in many of the smaller streams. In our drives, we had hoped to see maybe a bear snacking on some salmon in a river or stream, but everywhere we stopped, there were no salmon. When we finally got to Ketchikan, usually along Creek Street, there are usually salmon everywhere, not this year. We did hike up the Married Mans Trail and above the water fall and along the river/stream there were thousands of salmon, but that was the only place we really saw them. They said because the temps were so warm all summer, the waters were also a bit too warm for the salmon and they were just dying off before getting back to spawn. Be prepared to pay a lot more for Alaskan Salmon next year. Cheers Len
  13. Sawyer Glacier Cheers Len
  14. We have about 25 cruises under our belts and I know about food on cruise ships. When I say this was the worst fish entrees we have ever had, well, that's simply the way it is. We always dine in the MDR so I cannot comment on how the buffet food was, couldn't be any worse. AND, to your comment about 5 star food. When we started cruising maybe 25 years ago, we did expect 5 star dinners every night. Isn't that what cruise lines advertised--gourmet dinners every night, all included in your price? Maybe now, when there are just so many pay for dinner venues on every ship, they are truly cutting back on food in the MDR, trying to encourage people to pay for better food? I surely don't know. What I do know was on this particular ship, on this particular cruise, the fish entrees were not good. Not to keep being repetitious but the fillets were almost paper thing and mostly dry. Today, maybe we really don't expect 5 star meals in the MDR (though we should), we should expect 4 star meals. seems they care more about the presentation than they do about how it is cooked and tastes. Cheers Len
  15. As I said, the officers and staff were very nice and everyone had a smile on their face. I did find the Captain very hard to understand as he has a very heavy accent. Again, I would have really liked to have the chef come out and see the fish that we had to eat and ask him if he would eat that if he ordered it at a restaurant, but we always try to share a table and every nite we did, and I just did not want to make a huge scene out of it. I did mention this twice to the maitre'D and they apologized many times, but the food never changed. I do all the cooking in my house and though I am far from being a chef, I know how to cook, and you simply cannot cut fish so thin and leave it sit, or whatever they do to it, and then serve it and expect it to be moist. As was said, every ship is different and every cruise line does their own thing, on this ship at this time, the fish was uneatable. I cannot speak for any of the other meals, like chicken or steak, everyone we ate with seemed to enjoy theirs, I can only speak for the fish entrees. Cheers Len
  16. Paul Hope you are enjoying the cruise and have had wonderful weather. I do agree the production cast was wonderful and they tried very hard. I was NOT criticizing them at all, it was more the material that they were working with, if you get my drift. Cheers Len
  17. I fully understand. We also have never really had a bad piece of salmon. Salmon is usually on the every night menu if you don't like the fish entrée, but believe me, even the salmon was overcooked. It was like they either pre cook it and when ordered they just zap it a bit, or they leave the cooked fish under those heat lamps and if the fish is cut so thin, it will dry it out. And in Alaska, you would think the salmon would be spectacular, but just not this case. I hope it is just a sort of quirk and not the future. Cheers Len
  18. We are experienced cruisers, and have no particular favorites, having cruised NCL about 8 times, RCCL, MSC, Princess and Carnival, but after this cruise on the Jewel, a one way from Seward to Vancouver, I will not cruise on NCL again. Our main reason was the food. We are not pure vegetarians but we do not eat meat and we opt for the fish most nights while cruising. I can honestly say, on all seven nights we did not have one well prepared fish entrée. First of all, the cuts (or fillets) of the fish have become so thin that any sort of cooking will basically dry them out unless done perfectly. They were dry and several nights uneatable. I did complain to our server and then to the Maître 'D and if not seated with people most nights we would have complained to the chef. If I had ordered anything like this in any restaurant, it would be sent back or we would leave. Really, it was just uneatable. Again, I assume it was because the cuts were so thin--is NCL trying to save more money by cutting the fish so thin as to get extra portions from them? My DW did eat from the fish they have every nite which was a fried flounder, but I stay away from fried foods. Our second complaint was the entertainment on this cruise. Now we are seniors and I would say the majority of the passengers were seniors, but the entertainment seemed geared to a much young audience. The production shows were well done, just not to our liking with much more modern music that we would like. OK, maybe this is just us, but we thought since most of the people are seniors, maybe shows geared towards them might be better? They also has a comedienne who was so bad, people were walking out all thru his show. He was hard to understand, and he just wasn't funny. They also had a husband and wife acrobatic show, which some said was good, it just didn't interest us. Out of 7 nights we only attended 3 shows that we thought would interest us and from others that we spoke to, except for the sort of Circus Soliel thing they do, the theater was half empty most nights. So I am usually not a complainer and will roll with the punches and take things in stride, but when you cannot enjoy dinner and don't like the entertainment, maybe it's time to switch cruise lines for a while. We have been with RCCL for our last several cruises and find them more to our liking. We sailed NCL because of a credit we had from a past Breakaway cruise, but, really we will think hard and long about cruising with NCL again. BTW, the service was GREAT. It sure seemed as if all crew memberswent out of their way to be friendly and try to be helpful. It was much appreciated and noted. You want to flame me, go ahead, but I just wanted to write what I felt was an honest assessment of this cruise and did the same to NCL in our post cruise survey. Cheers Len
  19. We got back a short while ago from our trip to Alaska and just wanted to note a few things. We did a 4 day pre cruise in and around Anchorage, choosing not to go all the way to Denali. After, we boarded the NCL Jewel for a 7 day cruise from Seward to Vancouver, and a day in Vancouver before flying home late that night. I just wanted to say a few things and give a bit of info on our trip. Our 4 days in and around Anchorage were nice except because of the wildfires, we couldn't see anything of any of the surrounding mountains anywhere. One day we drove the Seward Highway unto Portage Glacier and all you could see was white. We were going to do the hour boat cruise to Portage Glacier, but even the people at the info center said you wouldn't be able to see much, so we just hung around for a while and headed back. On the way back, we did stop at Beluga Point and did see several whales. We also stopped for what is known as the Bore Tide (Bore Tides. The "bore" is a tidal phenomenon in which the leading edge of the incoming tide clashes with the flow of the outgoing tide to form a wave that travels up a river or narrow bay.) Next day we decided to head north on the Glen Highway, as they said the fires were a bit less. It really didn't help much. We drove about 100 miles to Matanuska Glacier which is a privately owned glacier which, for a price ($25 seniors PP) you can walk about a mile unto the glacier, which we did and it was pretty cool. Myself, a senior who walks with a stick, I was able to make it unto the glacier, but once there found it hard to walk on the ice, but anyway, was proud of myself for making it there. Many people brought spikes to attach to their shows to be able to walk all around. The following day, it cleared a bit as we went to the Alaska State Fair (about 30 miles outside of Anchorage) which we loved. We are from NY, but we never saw so many people in one place in a long time. The fair was great and we enjoyed the entire day. Following day we headed to Seward on the bus and we had booked a 6 hour Kenai Fiord cruise that same day. Well, the weather was horrendous with constant pouring rain when we got to Seward. We were informed that the seas were rough and if enough people got sea sick the boat would turn around. We were given the opportunity to opt out for a full refund, which we did. We stayed at the Hotel Seward for the night and it was a very nice place with great customer service. They had a shuttle which takes you to the terminal to board your cruise. Our cruise was nice and we had glorious weather for all our days. We were supposed to visit 2 glaciers, but because of the warm weather they cancelled one because of too much ice in the water from calving, but we did get to Hubbard and we did get to see many great calving's. Our ports were Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. We have been to the 3 latter ones twice so we basically did town things except for another visit to Mendenhall and the waterfall. Mendenhall has really shrunk since our last visit 8 years ago. In Vancouver, we opted to rent a car for the day, $30 for a Nissan Rogue, where we drove to Stanley park and spent most of the day there. We returned the car about 7, they shuttle you to the airport and we caught our red eye back to NY. Will be happy to try and answer any questions if anyone has any. Cheers Len
  20. I'm so glad you mentioned about the drive to Talkeetna. I would have thought it a very picturesque type drive, but will have to rethink that option. Cheers Len
  21. Thanks for the heads up. We have been here several years ago but it was wonderful and maybe worth another visit. Cheers Len
  22. Palmer is one of the places we were planning on visiting, Thanks for the heads up on the other things./ Cheers Len
  23. Super pixs. Now that is something I'd be interested in. Are the trails marked, as to know where they are, or did you discover them by chance? thanks Cheers Len
  24. WOW, some terrific suggestions. Too bad we only have 3 days to try and fit a lot of this in. Cheers Len
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