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Giantfan13

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Everything posted by Giantfan13

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Sawyer Glacier Cheers Len
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. Thanks for the heads up. We have been here several years ago but it was wonderful and maybe worth another visit. Cheers Len
  12. Palmer is one of the places we were planning on visiting, Thanks for the heads up on the other things./ Cheers Len
  13. 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
  14. WOW, some terrific suggestions. Too bad we only have 3 days to try and fit a lot of this in. Cheers Len
  15. Thanks so much for all the great suggestions. I've printed them out and will carry them with us and plan out our 3 days. We are so excited. Is it worth the trip going North, say to Talkeetna, as just a drive for a day. That is about how far North we want to venture in a day. Cheers Len
  16. We are leaving from Seward and we plan on staying the night there. We are taking the bus to Seward and then doing a Kenai Fiord cruise. seems if you book both with this company, you get a rebate for the entire bus fare which makes it a pretty good deal. Cheers Len
  17. If you are looking at a 'high end' ship, then obviously money isn't an issue. Also look at where the cruise leaves from. When we toured, our ship left from Dover which meant, for us anyway, a week in London pre and post cruise. AND the ports of call should make a difference also. Most cruises do the regulars, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Helsinki, but some do Oslo and others do Rostock (another Berlin port). If you have 3 days in St Petersburg, it may be at the expense of missing other wonderful ports. 3 Days in St Petersburg would be great, but many use that extra day to travel to Moscow. Again, with those 3 days, you have to see what other ports you will NOT visit and decide if that is worth it. I, like JB, feel 2 days with a good tour company, you can see most of St Petersburg, at least what most people want to see. And DO try and pick a line that does stop in Stockholm proper. You really need to do some homework instead of asking which line you should use. Cheers Len
  18. And I thought WE had this great idea. but seems everyone has done the exact same thing. We also had the 'red eye' from NY to Barcelona and stayed in the Las Rambles area. We must have gotten to our hotel about 10:30, they stored our luggage and we went out to see this area. We NEVER sleep on the plane so we were tired, but it was a gorgeous day, and by 1-2:00. Las Rambles was in full stride, all the vendors out, restaurants open, shops looking for customers. We wandered about, grabbed some lunch, visited the market, sat for a while just admiring where we were. We found this great falafel place which we ended up using for dinner as we just didn't want a heavy meal and then go to sleep. We really wanted to stay up till it got dark, but we decided to get to bed by 8, which we did. Since this was such a great plan, we are doing it again this November. Hey, if something works, why change. Cheers Len
  19. We are leaving for Alaska next Wednesday (Aug 28), flying into Anchorage. We have rented a car and will be in Anchorage for 3 full days and need some advice what to see and do? We are not going to Denali as it is too far a ride for one day and we cannot stay over. I don't mind driving so I was wondering how to plan our 3 days there. We don't have to stay in the Anchorage vicinity. I am an avid amateur photographer and we just love to view spectacular sites. We are seniors and don't mind doing some short hikes but nothing really strenuous. Any and all suggestions will be appreciated. Cheers Len
  20. Looking at the routes, we are staying in the Las Rambles area, without getting off, about how long is each route, time wise? Cheers Len
  21. Reading some of the info, seems parking is a major headache. Say we just want to drive around Stanley park, stopping as we go, is there parking available all over, only in certain areas> I also have a handicapped plaquard, would that help me be able to park in places. I know, when we were in Quebec, displaying that plaquard, allowed me to park on the street, at meters without having to pay. Is this the same in and around Vancouver? Cheers Len
  22. Thanks for the wonderful suggestions. We did decide to book the late flight and will rent a car. We will take the advice offered by some here and see what we can see in Vancouver, return the car and fly home. Hopefully we will have a wonderful day in this lovely city. Cheers Len
  23. Thank you so much for all this valuable info, If I may add on, if we look to do the rental, and want to avoid a lot of the city stuff, what might you recommend for a day out? We really aren't museum type people and love scenery and I am an amateur photographer so I love taking pix. I don't mind driving either. One other point, on looking at 'other' airlines, I see I may be able to get a flight out of Vancouver at 12:30PM. Would we be able to make that flight from the cruise? We are seniors and carrying our luggage off is really not a very good thing for us. We could ask for an earlier dismemberment though. I would assume taxi's are readily available at the airport. I am not one to 'want to cut it close'. If this might, in any way, be 'cutting it close' then I would rather avoid it and enjoy our vacation and not have to worry if we might miss our flight. If you think this is 'plenty of time' we might go for it. And again, thanks for all your suggestions and help. Cheers Len
  24. We are arriving Vancouver on Sep 9 (Monday) off a cruise and we have a very late flight out 11:30PM. Since we have never been to Vancouver and would like to see something, rather than sitting at the airport all day, what options do we have? We were seriously considering renting a car for the day (about $30 US) and seeing what we can see, then returning to the airport, drop off the car and proceed to check in for our flight. Is that a reasonable plan? What might we want to see in our short time there? How is the driving in Vancouver and will our GPS device help us to get around? I was reading about a HoHo bus and that is a decent option but what do we do with our luggage? From the cruise terminal, where would be the closest place to catch a HoHo and does it stop anywhere near the airport, or do we have to taxi around also? Thanks for any and all info. Cheers Len
  25. Once again, thanks for all the helpful suggestions. Cheers Len
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