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Wanna_Cruize

Onboard Legend to Alaska June 2016

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First impressions -fun ship & staff seems friendly. All our pre-purchased items (water, booze, etc) in the cabin when we boarded at noon. That was late for us, but usually don't fly on to cruise. Our flight was delayed 1 hr, but luckily I had booked the first non-stop of the day, so no worries.

 

One new item I hadn't seen before. Out by the pool are, just outside the lido buffet was the regular coffee machine, but on the back side was another separate machine making hot cocoa and Americano coffee - DH said it was good, really strong. There were other buttons not programmed yet, but nice to see a free coffee option other than the regular stuff.

 

Muster was outside on deck 3, no need to bring life vests.

 

Heard two people saying they had already hit their 15 drink limit!!!

 

Nice view for sail away:ImageUploadedByForums1467158159.189867.jpg.75aa5385cc8d9aff2e53af6d04bf072e.jpg

Edited by Wanna_Cruize

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We got a Stilla Towncar from SeaTac to Pier 91 - $60 flat rate. I had checked the Carnival bus transfers -they were $27 per person so this was much better & faster. Took about 1/2 hr to the port.

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Looking forward to hearing more! Have a great time!! Oh, and want to know if people are still getting off for the Tracy Arm excursion!?! It sounds like it's been hard for the ship to get in there due to ice.

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At dinner, we enjoy YTD. We have tablecloths! So, confirmed no American table on Legend yet. No Guys Burger, no Alchemy Bar either. Yet.

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Enjoy!! My sister and niece are on that cruise. They wore hats that were patriotic. I am sure they are not quiet either. One is voluptuous and one is robust ;) She does FB live videos but is not on cruise critic.

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just booked our cruise, its not until May 2017 but I'm still so excited. Hubby and I have always wanted to go and now we are. If anyone has any info on the zip lining would like to hear. Also has anyone stayed in room 6194 balcony????. Whats the best way to get from the airport taxi or carnival van. Thanks for any information

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Just woke up in Skagway. Our weather so far has been fantastic. Yesterday in the Tracy Arm Wilderness area (more on that in a bit) we started off a little cloudy, but by the time we got to the glacier, the sun was shining, partly cloudy. Up here they refer to that as "Cloud Failure". We endured little bit of misty rain on our way back, but all in all a wonderful day. Here are some general notes, and then a longer post about the day in Tracy Arm next.

 

Lido Restaurant Notes (Unicorn Cafe)

New Coffee machines spotted in several places (I'll get a pic later)

No Bacon Police!

Lots of omelet stations available

 

Wine package & MDR

Mid-level package purchased in dining room the first night. Waiter was IGusti and Asst iWayne. Very friendly, good service. we decided to request them again the next night.

 

Dinner on 1st Sea Day (elegant night) went to dinner @6:30 - very long line for YTD (1/2 hr wait for table for 2). I went to bar & redeemed ticket for a bottle of wine, and we had some while we waited for our table. This worked well for us, since it gave us a longer time to drink the entire bottle. Once our pager went off, we took our opened bottle & glasses with us to the station. Oops, no tables in IGusti’s station, so either sit somewhere else now, or wait longer. We decided to wait, but then it was another 30-45 minutes. Seems to have been some miscommunication.

 

Another change I noticed that night, Maitre’D welcomes everyone onboard, and introduces Asst MD who will sing for us. He sings “That’s Amore”. Some of the waiters are also singing along, but not like before when it was the entire waitstaff who stopped and sang. I asked our waiter if they did away with making them all sing & dance? He said no, but not every night.

 

We checked out the Atlantis Lounge on Deck 2 outside the MDR. This is what will eventually turn into the Alchemy Bar. It is almost there, the bartenders wear the white coats, and the back-lit menu is pretty similar. I got some photos on my phone, hopefully you can read them.

 

 

 

One thing I noticed is that all the drinks on that menu are 10.95 - when we were last at Alchemy on another ship, there were only 1-2 that we over $10 and not eligible for Cheers. Now with the new Cheers, I guess it allowed them to make all these specialty drinks at Alchemy the same price.

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Tracy Arm Fjord

Here’s some notes I took from a talk from our Naturalist onboard, Michelle. The entire area is called Tracy Arm Fjord Wilderness Area, designated as a nature preserve by an act of Congress. On the left side is Tracy Arm Fjord, ending in the Sawyer Glacier. On the right side is Endicott Arm Fjord, ending in the Dawes Glacier. Both of these glaciers are part of the same ice field above that spans both Alaska and Canada. The wilderness area is covered by a use agreement, which states that cruise ships are designated to only use the Tracy Arm Fjord, in order to allow smaller boats and kayaks to use the Endicott Arm Fjord area exclusively. The only time the cruise ships are allowed to enter Endicott Arm Fjord is if the Forestry Service determines that weather or safety conditions do not allow them to enter Tracy Arm Fjord. This has been the case for these last couple of months so far this year. The Sawyer Glacier is extremely active right now, delivering enormous building-sized icebergs and the entire fjord is packed full of icebergs, clogging up the channel. In fact, last week the Forest Ranger Service sent a kayak team into Tracy Arm Fjord and even they were unable to get to the Sawyer Glacier. In the morning when the ship gets to the Tracy Arm area two pilots come onboard, and one of them is present on the bridge for the entire time we are in the area. They will confer with the captain on the latest status reports from the Tracy Arm Fjord, and will make the decision on which direction they will go at that time on each voyage.

 

That being said, for cruise ships, it is rare that they are able to see Dawes Glacier, so I guess we should feel lucky that we were able to see it. There were calving events happening at Dawes Glacier, and it was certainly beautiful.

 

No worries about the small boat excursions - they will happen no matter which side you end up going - It’s just titled Tracy Arm Fjord Glacier Explorer. No matter which fjord the cruise ship goes to, there is a glacier at the back that your small boat will get right up next to. It seems like they keep adding boats/capacity, because they were advertising up until the 2nd excursion of the day that tickets were still available. I saw two different boats loading, so a total of 4 boat-loads of people got to go. That being said, it seemed like the price increased, because in the booklet they gave in the cabin when we boarded had the price at 189pp - and it seems to me like Michelle said it was about $240pp when she talked about it the night before during her Glacier and Wildlife talk. It may be that if they have to bring in a 2nd boat because the first one sold out, perhaps that’s when the price goes up.

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On our trip, we entered the area in the morning, and picked up the two pilots about 9am. We saw lots of humpback whales going into the Tracy Arm Wilderness area. More were seen on the port side as were were going through the different channels, but we’ll see if they are seen more on the starboard side when we come out. During our morning transit, the Naturalist, Michelle would broadcast from the bridge out on the decks, and in the cabins on the same channel as the forward camera. She would report when whale spouts were spotted, and draw your attention where to look. She mentioned that when we actually entered the Endicott Arm Fjord that she would no longer broadcast on the open decks, but would be available on the TV channel. This is done to not disturb the other boats, campers, hikers, and wildlife. We ended up staying on our balcony the entire 3 hours of the transit through Endicott Arm. Michelle did come on and tell us the morning excursion pilots radioed back that there was a brown bear (grizzly) at the waters edge. She was able to determine the location and tell everyone where to look. It was magnificent - hope the pictures DH took with his camera turn out.

 

Finally, we arrived at the Dawes Glacier. Michelle announced that the Capitan had to stop prob about 1.5 miles from the glacier, because of the amount of icebergs in the water. He was going to make a slow turn to port, and line the ship up with the starboard side facing the glacier for about an hour, and then we would leave. We then left our cabin and went up on deck to see the Dawes Glacier and take pictures. During this time, the morning excursion boats would return to the ship, dump their passengers, and load the afternoon passengers. Once that switch happened, we turned the ship further to port and slowly made our way back. The afternoon excursion passengers would get close the glacier for a while, then meet up with us back at the entrance to Endicott Arm around 6pm.

 

We got some misty sprinkles on the way back out of Endicott Arm, and beautiful scenery again. It is quite breathtaking. DH relaxed on the balcony in our hammock.

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It's taking a while to load the pics into PhotoBucket so I'll add them in later. We are keeping all the Fun Times, so I'll scan them in when we're home and post them next week.

 

Any specific questions, I'm happy to answer, however we aren't doing any excursions this trip, so I won't be able to give any insights, except what I hear from others. I do have the big booklet of offerings, so I'll scan that and post it later.

 

This trip turned out to be completely different than when we booked it. We were lucky and got a casino bounce-back offer on our last cruise, over New Years. This was the last date available for that offer, so we jumped on it, and upgraded to a balcony. A week after we booked, I got diagnosed with Breast Cancer and have since undergone surgery and chemo. I'm just a week out of my last chemo, so we are staying away from crowds, and not doing any of the active things we would normally do. However, this trip was a great shining star for me to look forward to during treatments. We're so thankful to be here and seeing these wonderful sights.

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On our trip, we entered the area in the morning, and picked up the two pilots about 9am. We saw lots of humpback whales going into the Tracy Arm Wilderness area. More were seen on the port side as were were going through the different channels, but we’ll see if they are seen more on the starboard side when we come out. During our morning transit, the Naturalist, Michelle would broadcast from the bridge out on the decks, and in the cabins on the same channel as the forward camera. She would report when whale spouts were spotted, and draw your attention where to look. She mentioned that when we actually entered the Endicott Arm Fjord that she would no longer broadcast on the open decks, but would be available on the TV channel. This is done to not disturb the other boats, campers, hikers, and wildlife. We ended up staying on our balcony the entire 3 hours of the transit through Endicott Arm. Michelle did come on and tell us the morning excursion pilots radioed back that there was a brown bear (grizzly) at the waters edge. She was able to determine the location and tell everyone where to look. It was magnificent - hope the pictures DH took with his camera turn out.

 

Finally, we arrived at the Dawes Glacier. Michelle announced that the Capitan had to stop prob about 1.5 miles from the glacier, because of the amount of icebergs in the water. He was going to make a slow turn to port, and line the ship up with the starboard side facing the glacier for about an hour, and then we would leave. We then left our cabin and went up on deck to see the Dawes Glacier and take pictures. During this time, the morning excursion boats would return to the ship, dump their passengers, and load the afternoon passengers. Once that switch happened, we turned the ship further to port and slowly made our way back. The afternoon excursion passengers would get close the glacier for a while, then meet up with us back at the entrance to Endicott Arm around 6pm.

 

We got some misty sprinkles on the way back out of Endicott Arm, and beautiful scenery again. It is quite breathtaking. DH relaxed on the balcony in our hammock.

 

Would you say you need the small boat if you are in Endicott Arm? Could you see the glacier well enough from the ship?

Thanks

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Can I ask what time you arrived at the port for embarkation and how long it took to get on the ship?

 

Thanks

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I'll post the pics I took when they finish loading. I'd say it's the same at either arm. The ship parks a mile or so away. You can see the glacier, especially through binoculars. If you want to experience it up close, then the small boat adventure would be necessary. Also for seeing the wildlife up close. The brown bear we saw from the ship was tiny, but the excursion saw it much closer.

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Can I ask what time you arrived at the port for embarkation and how long it took to get on the ship?

 

 

 

Thanks

 

 

We arrived at the port around 11:30 and they were already doing general boarding. We're platinum so we got to go in some shorter lines, but had to go from X-ray to the liquor check station for our two bottles of wine. Be advised that the do really inspect each bottle. One to make sure that the alcohol content is belie 40%, and to make sure the cork hasn't been tampered with.

 

All in all, we were boarding about 20 minutes after we hit the port doorway.

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Night 3 - Tracy Arm

Dinner tonight was again in the MDR, and requested IGusti’s table. I did mention to the girl giving out the pagers about having to wait twice, so she wrote on the slip that we wanted IGusti ONLY. Seemed to work a bit better, only had to wait about 10-15 minutes. When we saw our waiter, he asked how our wait was and said he mentioned something to the girls at the desk himself. I should mention that my husband is a serial-tipper when he finds good service, and he likes to give a few dollars each night.

 

Dinner was great again. One more change we noticed with the Penne Mariscos, they now top it with a small piece of Grilled Salmon. Not sure if it is an Alaska thing or not. The Braised Short Ribs were yummy. There were the singing waiters tonight, with funny costumes, for “Hey Baby, I wanna know, would you be my girl”. Lots of fun. Then off to the casino, which was pretty brutal tonight. Managed to get out of there with a few dollars left in my purse, but it was a near miss.

 

We generally don’t go to any of the shows anymore, so anyone looking for reviews of that is pretty much out of luck. The live music was good that we’ve seen so far. A good duo called Two Tone, appearing in several venues, and a 4 pc band called SoundCheque that we’ve heard play Jazz & Motown so far.

 

One really strange thing is the sunrise/sunset. It actually hasn’t gotten really dark at all. We have a balcony, and leave our drapes open, but here’s a picture of the sunset tonight (although through the front camera channel on the TV) taken at 11pm.

IMG_2445.jpg

Here’s the sunrise, same view, at 4:15 am this morning. Crazy, right?

http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k534/wannacruize/IMG_2446.jpg

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Wait....hammock on the balcony? Is this just for Alaska cruises or something new?

 

And congrats on finishing chemo!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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OK, here's some photos to illustrate what I was talking about with the Small Boat Excursion in Tracy Arm (or Endicott Arm that we ended up doing). Both options are handled the same way.

 

Here is a picture taken from our balcony of the small boat coming alongside to load their first group of passengers at noon:

IMG_2411.jpg

 

Here is a picture from the top deck from my iphone (non-zoom) where we stopped 3 hours later, at the Legend's closest spot to the Dawes Glacier at the end of Endicott Arm Fjord:

IMG_2429.jpg

 

Here's a semi-zoomed shot, capturing the small boat excursion returning to the ship to drop off the morning passengers and loading the afternoon group:

IMG_2425.jpg

 

Finally, here is the closest zoom I could get of the Dawes Glacier from the Legend:

IMG_2435.jpg

 

Now, I could see it closer in my binoculars, but if you really want to experience a glacier, nothing will beat taking the small boat excursion.

 

Now, here is DH later relaxing on our balcony as we made our way out of the Endicott Arm (notice the small icebergs floating in the background):

IMG_2437.jpg

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Wait....hammock on the balcony? Is this just for Alaska cruises or something new?

 

And congrats on finishing chemo!

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Thanks. The hammock is certainly not standard issue, we bring it ourselves. We've done it for Mexican cruises and our trip to Roatan/Belize, and thought, why not for Alaska. It is a lot cooler, for sure, but right now we're parked at Skagway, and he's out relaxing in it right now, much less wind than when we are underway. Nothing beats being rocked in it while we are sailing, you just can't stay out there for long.

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Here's a few more random photos:

 

The new-fangled coffee machine we spotted in a couple of spots in the Lido restaurant. Notice the fresh beans in one of the top containers, and the cocoa. There was a separate Decaf model next door:

IMG_2447.jpg

 

Close-up of the buttons:

IMG_2448.jpg

 

Walking back from dinner last night at 9:15 pm - notice how light it is still outside!!

IMG_2442.jpg

 

Reposting the earlier ones from Sunset & Sunrise, because I moved the photos into an album and may have killed the links:

 

Here’s a picture of the sunset last night (although through the front camera channel on the TV) taken at 11pm.

IMG_2445.jpg

Here’s the sunrise, same view, at 4:15 am this morning. Crazy, right?

IMG_2446.jpg

__________________

Edited by Wanna_Cruize

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FYI, I'm posting all of this via my cellphone - I'm getting good AT&T cell service here, so I created my own hotspot to use my laptop. No need to buy the wifi service, since I was fine being incommunicado for a few days.

 

Today was Skagway.

We arrived in port around 7am, but we’re moving slow today. Our sleeping is kind of jacked up, with traveling, napping, and early sunrise / late sunset combinations. Had a late lunch & headed into town. We docked at the Railroad Pier, so got to see the White Pass Train take off right below us.

 

At the end of the pier the City Shuttle bus picks you up to take you to town if you like. $2 pp/one way, or $5 day pass. It makes about 7 stops through the town. We took it to the end of town so we could see how it was laid out. Then we walked to the Museum/City Hall nearby, then stopped at the Skagway Brewery for a beer & pretzel snack. Here's a fun fact, the miners were suffering from scurvy back in the day, due to lack of Vitamin C. It was discovered that the Spruce tips were a good source of Vitamin C, so the miners took to putting them in their tea. One thing led to another, and they started making beer from it. I had a Spruce Tip Blonde Ale, very tasty.

 

After that rest, we took our time walking down the original boardwalk-lined main street. Very pretty downtown, with about 90% of the buildings actually original to the Gold Rush days. It was fun poking through the shops and picking up some inexpensive souvenirs, and checking out the local Ace Hardware Store - picked up an Alaska corkscrew, since we had forgotten to bring one along with our bottles of wine. Then took the Shuttle bus back to the ship.

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One other difference I noticed on this ship is in the Casino with Let It Ride. They don’t use an auto-shuffler like on the other ship’s I’ve sailed with. The dealer just shuffles the same deck about 3 times between hands. He cuts in half and shuffles them together, then draws small groups off the top to the bottom (about 4-5 times to get through the entire deck), then cuts in half and shuffles them together again, then cuts the deck in half, and deals the hand. I’m sure it impacts the hands, but not clear whether it’s good or bad. I have heard that it takes 7 ‘shuffles’ to sufficiently randomize a deck of cards.

 

I've done ok with it so far, except last night when I couldn't seem to get any winning hands. We'll see later tonight.

 

Oops, I realized I didn't post pictures of the Atlantis Lobby Bar/future Alchemy bar menu. Here they are:

IMG_2406.jpg

 

IMG_2405.jpg

Edited by Wanna_Cruize

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THANK YOU for the live trip report!! Love it! We leave on the 12th.

 

I can't believe how bright it is at 9:15 pm!!!

 

Can't wait to hear more! :)

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THANK YOU for the live trip report!! Love it! We leave on the 12th.

 

I can't believe how bright it is at 9:15 pm!!!

 

Can't wait to hear more! :)

 

I know! Can't wait!! And we actually bought a portable hammock at Sports Authority tonight, after I told my husband about this! LOL! With their going out of business sale, it was like $40! And it comes in a little pouch, easy to store!

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Would you say you need the small boat if you are in Endicott Arm? Could you see the glacier well enough from the ship?

Thanks

 

I just disembarked the Legend this week and did the small boat excursion. If you can fit into your budget, it is so worth it. It is amazing, and you get so much closer to the glacier than the ship. This was my favorite part of the cruise! I would pay to do it again in a heart beat. We emailed and booked the excursion before the cruise.

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Thanks so much for posting, we go in September, and don't think we will have the short night, long day situation (which I am actually sad about)

 

Glad to know you are doing better. DH started a chemo therapy via a chemo pill two months ago, all sorts of weird side effects, so I am glad you are enjoying your trip cause I know how hard it can be. Cant wait for more pics, and enjoy the rest of your cruise.

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Random notes:

Platinum gift was Blue Tervis Tumblers.

 

Platinum/Diamond Party - 4:45pm-5:30 on Saturday (after leaving Juneau) - Usual cocktails and 4 different appetizers, tubs of beer and lemonade at tables in the front. 3 guessing games for prizes, and new video - all ships are shown, 3 per line, with people cheering for the ones they had been on. Only two diamond passengers on this ship. No recognition for milestone cruisers (that would be a nice touch, I think). Captain and 5-6 other officers present. Very nice reception.

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We had fabulous sunshine for our day in Juneau - very unexpected, according to the locals we chatted with. We walked a few blocks into the downtown area and stopped at the Alaskan Brewery Store. From there we arranged a shuttle to their brewery outside of town for a tour and tasting. The cost is $20pp, and included the shuttle both ways, tour (with 3 set tastings) and then a stop in the tasting room with 3 other tastings of your choice. Also included was a beer cozy to take home. All in all, very nice. I did see where you could just purchase the tour & 6 tastings for $5pp once you were there. There was a couple who ended up walking from the ship to the brewery - about 6 miles. They said it wasn’t bad, but they arranged to hitch a ride back on our shuttle, the driver agreed for $5 pp. If you are a larger group, it might be cheaper to catch a cab out there and pay for the tour there, but don’t know the availability of the cabs going back. Very informative talk about the origins of the brewery, etc. (not a walking tour, just in the original area of the brewery where you can see all the machinery, etc.

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Today we are in Ketchikan, and unfortunately, the rain has finally caught up with us. Very cloudy, and mostly drippy weather. Not bad, actually, we had just been so lucky up until now.

 

We got off around 10am and walked down a few blocks to Annabelle’s. We had been there before in 1998 on our previous Alaskan cruise, and DH still has the t-shirt he purchased there. In fact, he wore it today, and picked up another one. Walked through the local shops and contributed to the local economy.

 

A nice day, but we are only here until 12:30, so a quick port stop. We could hear the hooting & hollering from the Lumberjack show at the end of the pier area. We had considered going, but ended up skipping it. I’m sure it was good, it sounded like everyone was having fun. It does look like the bleachers are all under cover, so it happens rain or shine.

 

As I type this, 1 hr before we leave, the sun is actually trying to peak out, and the rain seems to have stopped. I think I’ll go out on the balcony and see if I can see a rainbow…

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Thank you so much for sharing your cruise. Will be going in August, can't wait.

 

Naoma

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The hammock is really awesome! How do you hang it up?

 

I cruise on the 12th and now I want to do that too!!!

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Really enjoying your live report! We're on the Legend in August. Is the hammock an ENO? My daughter has one of those, I may have her pack it!!

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One other difference I noticed on this ship is in the Casino with Let It Ride. They don’t use an auto-shuffler like on the other ship’s I’ve sailed with. The dealer just shuffles the same deck about 3 times between hands. He cuts in half and shuffles them together, then draws small groups off the top to the bottom (about 4-5 times to get through the entire deck), then cuts in half and shuffles them together again, then cuts the deck in half, and deals the hand. I’m sure it impacts the hands, but not clear whether it’s good or bad. I have heard that it takes 7 ‘shuffles’ to sufficiently randomize a deck of cards.

 

I've done ok with it so far, except last night when I couldn't seem to get any winning hands. We'll see later tonight.

 

Oops, I realized I didn't post pictures of the Atlantis Lobby Bar/future Alchemy bar menu. Here they are:

IMG_2406.jpg

 

IMG_2405.jpg

 

 

We got off on June 28 . Intan and Zophia in Atlantis were fantastic

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