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Trip Report: Celebrity Eclipse | 10-Night Ultimate Alaska Cruise | May 9, 2019

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I’m setting up my Trip Report a couple weeks in advance. I hope to provide information that will help other cruisers.

 

My mom (early 50s) and I (30 years old) are taking a Girls Trip on the Celebrity Eclipse out of Vancouver, BC for a 10-Night Ultimate Alaska cruise. This will be the Eclipse's inaugural Alaska season. If it wasn’t for this long itinerary (I think anything below 10-nights is too short!), we were going to do the 7-Night Northern Glacier cruise aboard the recently revolutionized Celebrity Millennium, plus add the Denali Express land tour. I wanted to bring my mom on this sailing as she doesn’t travel much, and I want to celebrate Mother’s Day onboard with her. Also, we don’t see each other that often, as she lives in South Carolina and I live in Miami, so this will be a great mother-daughter trip.

 

I booked this trip about 1.5 years ago and cannot believe that in 16 days, our trip of a lifetime will begin! Side note is that my mom wasn’t so eager to go on this cruise. She has been on two cruises, one with Princess and the other with NCL, both to the Caribbean. I told her that this trip will not even compare to the Caribbean and to give Celebrity a try. I am happy to say she is finally getting more excited with each day that we are nearing the cruise.

 

We decided to sail AquaClass and had a wonderful A1 mid-ship location on Deck 11. Just the other day, though, I was given the amazing opportunity to upgrade to a Sky Suite S1 category. For those that are not sure where these are located, they are the corner aft units. I cannot believe we scored one of these suites. I feel like any aft facing stateroom is one of the best to have onboard an Alaskan sailing, as you will have 180-degree views of the stunning scenery. My mom has no idea we have been upgraded from an A1 to a S1, and it is so hard to keep it a secret!

 

We will be traveling to Vancouver on May 7th, spending a full day in the city on May 8th, and embarking on May 9th. For those who have never been to Vancouver, I suggest you spend a few days here. It’s a gorgeous city! We scored an Airbnb condo near Stanley Park for 2 nights at a great price. I know some may be weary of staying in an Airbnb, but we made sure we rented the entire place and we are also used to these types of accommodations, as this will be our 5th Airbnb.

 

The following is our itinerary and what we plan on doing in each port:

 

Day 1: Embarkation Day in Vancouver!

Day 2: Cruising the Inside Passage!

Day 3: Ketchikan: We will be doing this port on our own. We will be heading out to Totem Bight State Historical Park and will also check out Southeast Alaska Discovery Center. Afterwards, we will be checking out Creek Street

Day 4: Sitka: This is the other port we are doing on our own. We are still deciding whether to walk or take a cab to the Raptor Center. Afterwards, we will take a bus/cab to Fortress of the Bears and then head over to Sitka National Historic Park. Depending on time, we may check out some Russian landmarks in town.

Day 5: Skagway: My mom and I will be splitting up in the morning to do our own excursions. My mom will be doing the “Sled Dog and Musher’s Camp” excursion, while I will be flying with TEMSCO to do the Dogsledding and Glacier tour. I couldn’t get my mom to fly in a heli, but this is a huge personal bucket list experience to check off. Later, we will meetup and explore Skagway together.

Day 6: Icy Strait Point: Another port where my mom and I will split up for a couple hours. I will be doing ZipRider (SUPER excited!) and my mom will be relaxing in town until I’m done. After the excursion, we will meetup and explore the town.

Day 7: Juneau: My mom and I have elected to do the “Ben Fogle’s Great Adventures: Alaska’s Whales, Glaciers and Rainforests” excursion with Gastineau Guiding. This is a 5-hour tour that must be arranged with the cruise line. Afterward, depending on weather, we plan on going to Mount Roberts Tramway.

Day 8: Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier – Cruising!

Day 9: Sea Day

Day 10: Victoria, BC – We have a full day here! We booked via CVS Tours to take us to Butchart Gardens. While there, we will be going to The Dining Room to have afternoon tea. Both my mom and I love the Victoria era, so we thought this experience will be unique!

Day 11: Debarkation Day in Vancouver, BC 😞 Since our flights don’t leave until 10:30pm, we found a great tour with Landsea Tours and Adventures called Vancouver Delights. It is a 7-hour tour that visits all the main sightseeing spots in Vancouver and takes us to The Capilano Suspension Bridge. The awesome part of all this is that Landsea will store our luggage AND take us to the airport!

 

*If anyone has any other recommendations on places to see in these ports, please let me know!*

 

I am still researching the top restaurants and stores to check out in each port, and will add those to the trip report.

Edited by PittsburghNative

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3 hours ago, PittsburghNative said:

I’m setting up my Trip Report a couple weeks in advance. I hope to provide information that will help other cruisers.

 

My mom (early 50s) and I (30 years old) are taking a Girls Trip on the Celebrity Eclipse out of Vancouver, BC for a 10-Night Ultimate Alaska cruise. This will be the Eclipse's inaugural Alaska season. If it wasn’t for this long itinerary (I think anything below 10-nights is too short!), we were going to do the 7-Night Northern Glacier cruise aboard the recently revolutionized Celebrity Millennium, plus add the Denali Express land tour. I wanted to bring my mom on this sailing as she doesn’t travel much, and I want to celebrate Mother’s Day onboard with her. Also, we don’t see each other that often, as she lives in South Carolina and I live in Miami, so this will be a great mother-daughter trip.

 

I booked this trip about 1.5 years ago and cannot believe that in 16 days, our trip of a lifetime will begin! Side note is that my mom wasn’t so eager to go on this cruise. She has been on two cruises, one with Princess and the other with NCL, both to the Caribbean. I told her that this trip will not even compare to the Caribbean and to give Celebrity a try. I am happy to say she is finally getting more excited with each day that we are nearing the cruise.

 

We decided to sail AquaClass and had a wonderful A1 mid-ship location on Deck 11. Just the other day, though, I was given the amazing opportunity to upgrade to a Sky Suite S1 category. For those that are not sure where these are located, they are the corner aft units. I cannot believe we scored one of these suites. I feel like any aft facing stateroom is one of the best to have onboard an Alaskan sailing, as you will have 180-degree views of the stunning scenery. My mom has no idea we have been upgraded from an A1 to a S1, and it is so hard to keep it a secret!

 

We will be traveling to Vancouver on May 7th, spending a full day in the city on May 8th, and embarking on May 9th. For those who have never been to Vancouver, I suggest you spend a few days here. It’s a gorgeous city! We scored an Airbnb condo near Stanley Park for 2 nights at a great price. I know some may be weary of staying in an Airbnb, but we made sure we rented the entire place and we are also used to these types of accommodations, as this will be our 5th Airbnb.

 

The following is our itinerary and what we plan on doing in each port:

 

Day 1: Embarkation Day in Vancouver!

Day 2: Cruising the Inside Passage!

Day 3: Ketchikan: We will be doing this port on our own. We will be heading out to Totem Bight State Historical Park and will also check out Southeast Alaska Discovery Center. Afterwards, we will be checking out Creek Street

Day 4: Sitka: This is the other port we are doing on our own. We are still deciding whether to walk or take a cab to the Raptor Center. Afterwards, we will take a bus/cab to Fortress of the Bears and then head over to Sitka National Historic Park. Depending on time, we may check out some Russian landmarks in town.

Day 5: Skagway: My mom and I will be splitting up in the morning to do our own excursions. My mom will be doing the “Sled Dog and Musher’s Camp” excursion, while I will be flying with TEMSCO to do the Dogsledding and Glacier tour. I couldn’t get my mom to fly in a heli, but this is a huge personal bucket list experience to check off. Later, we will meetup and explore Skagway together.

Day 6: Icy Strait Point: Another port where my mom and I will split up for a couple hours. I will be doing ZipRider (SUPER excited!) and my mom will be relaxing in town until I’m done. After the excursion, we will meetup and explore the town.

Day 7: Juneau: My mom and I have elected to do the “Ben Fogle’s Great Adventures: Alaska’s Whales, Glaciers and Rainforests” excursion with Gastineau Guiding. This is a 5-hour tour that must be arranged with the cruise line. Afterward, depending on weather, we plan on going to Mount Roberts Tramway.

Day 8: Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier – Cruising!

Day 9: Sea Day

Day 10: Victoria, BC – We have a full day here! We booked via CVS Tours to take us to Butchart Gardens. While there, we will be going to The Dining Room to have afternoon tea. Both my mom and I love the Victoria era, so we thought this experience will be unique!

Day 11: Debarkation Day in Vancouver, BC 😞 Since our flights don’t leave until 10:30pm, we found a great tour with Landsea Tours and Adventures called Vancouver Delights. It is a 7-hour tour that visits all the main sightseeing spots in Vancouver and takes us to The Capilano Suspension Bridge. The awesome part of all this is that Landsea will store our luggage AND take us to the airport!

 

*If anyone has any other recommendations on places to see in these ports, please let me know!*

 

I am still researching the top restaurants and stores to check out in each port, and will add those to the trip report.

Thank you, looking forward to your adventures. This is our first Alaska Cruise too.

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Over the next several days, I’m going to highlight a port and mention a few shops that I personally want to check out. In addition, I researched some of the most popular restaurants (including specialty places, like candy stores, coffee shops, etc) and will include their information. I am basing the mentioned restaurants off of website articles, TripAdvisor, and Google/Facebook reviews. As always, feel free to add your opinions and if there are other shops/restaurants that one should visit.

 

First up....Ketchikan! In no particular order for the restaurants:

 

Bar Harbor Restaurant

 

The Alaska Fish House 

https://exclusivealaska.com/fish-house

 

Sweet Mermaids

 

Annabelle’s

http://www.annabellesketchikan.com

 

George Inlet Crab Feast  

https://catchcrabs.com

 

Burger Queen

 

Alava’s Fish n Chowder

 

New York Cafe 

http://newyorkcafe.net

 

The Asylum Bar  

https://www.theasylumbar.com

 

KetchiCandies 

http://ketchicandies.com 

 

The stores I’ll be stopping at:

 

The Rain Barrel

Caribou Creek Company

Tongass Trading Company

Crazy Wolf Studio

The Captain’s Lady

Fish Creek Company

Ketchikan Mining Company

Sockeye Sam’s

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KetchiCandies, yum!!!!!!!!!!!  Always make this stop when we are in Ketchikan.

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Sitka is next! 

 

Bayview Restaurant

https://www.sitkabayviewpub.com

 

Ludwig’s Bistro 

http://www.ludvigsbistro.com

 

Mean Queen 

https://www.meanqueensitka.com

 

Beak Restaurant

 

Chocolate Moose

 

Halibut Point Crab and Chowder

https://www.halibutpointcrab.com 

 

Ashmo’s

 

Highliner Coffee 

http://stores.highlinercoffee.com

 

Channel Club

 

Sitka Hotel

https://sitkahotel.com 

 

The stores I’ll be stopping at:

 

Alaska Pure Sea Salt Company

Goldsmith Gallery

The Russian American Company

Sitka Pioneers Home Gift Shop

Wintersong Soap Company

Edited by PittsburghNative

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We are also on that cruise! There are 6 of us and we are on deck 8. 3 couples all celebrating anniversaries.  

 

We are on the same whale watching excursion in Juneau!

 

We are doing zip lining in Ketchikan, we rented 2 Jeeps in Skagway, a hiking tour in Icy Strait, cultural tour in Sitka and a Winery and Distillery tour in Victoria

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5 hours ago, PittsburghNative said:

The stores I’ll be stopping at:

Alaska Pure Sea Salt Company

 

Dang! Now I really wish my cruise was stopping in Sitka!  

https://www.alaskapureseasalt.com/out-story

>> the perfect pyramidal flake

Salt shaped this way is supposed to taste saltier.  So you can use less. 

The same amount will taste saltier than an equivalent amount of regularly shaped version.  (or so I heard on Science Now the PBS show.)   I shall order from them when I'm close to running out of Maldon.

Edited by SempreMare

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2 hours ago, Love to Cook! said:

We are also on that cruise! There are 6 of us and we are on deck 8. 3 couples all celebrating anniversaries.  

 

We are on the same whale watching excursion in Juneau!

 

We are doing zip lining in Ketchikan, we rented 2 Jeeps in Skagway, a hiking tour in Icy Strait, cultural tour in Sitka and a Winery and Distillery tour in Victoria

 

That’s awesome!!! Congrats on everyone’s anniversaries! What time is your whale watching excursion?! We signed up for 9:15am.

 

Did you join the roll call?

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10 hours ago, Love to Cook! said:

we are also on the 9:15. Yes i signed up for the roll call 😊

 

If we don’t see you at the Connections party, then be on the lookout for a mother-daughter duo on the excursion 😊

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20 hours ago, SempreMare said:

 

Dang! Now I really wish my cruise was stopping in Sitka!  

https://www.alaskapureseasalt.com/out-story

>> the perfect pyramidal flake

Salt shaped this way is supposed to taste saltier.  So you can use less. 

The same amount will taste saltier than an equivalent amount of regularly shaped version.  (or so I heard on Science Now the PBS show.)   I shall order from them when I'm close to running out of Maldon.

WE shopped there last year.  Great store and a lot of fun to visit—we walked away with a number of different flavors and actually gave some away as gifts.

 

 

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Then there was Skagway. There are a ton of highly rated restaurants, so here are a few to get you started:

 

Skagway Fish Company

 

Olivia’s at the Skagway Inn

https://www.skagwayinn.com 

 

Bites on Broadway

http://www.bitesonbroadway.com 

 

Starfire

http://www.starfirealaska.com 

 

Woadie’s South East Seafood

https://www.woadiesses.com 

 

Sweet Tooth Cafe

 

Gold Digger Mine and Dine

 

Klondike Doughboy

http://klondikedoughboy.com

 

BBQ Shack

 

Skagway Brewing Company

http://www.skagwaybrewing.com 

 

Glacier Smoothies and Espresso

https://www.glacialcoffeehouse.com 

 

Red Onion Saloon

http://redonion1898.com 

 

The stores I’ll be stopping at:

 

Art Glass Alaska

Nature Creations

Alaska Christmas Tour

Taiya River Arts

Alaska Shirt Company

Alaska Artworks

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Next is Icy Strait Point (aka Hoonah). Since this port is privately owned, any restaurant in town has been getting great reviews.

 

Juneau is the next port. Again, there are many highly rated restaurants in Alaska’s capital:

 

Hangar on the Wharf

https://www.hangaronthewharf.com 

 

Deckhand Daves

http://www.deckhanddaves.com 

 

Alaskan Crepe Escape

https://alaskancrepeescape.com 

 

Tracy’s King Crab Shack

https://www.kingcrabshack.com 

 

Zerelda’s Bistro

https://www.zereldasbistro.com 

 

Twisted Fish Company Alaskan Grill

https://www.twistedfishcompany.com 

 

Red Dog Saloon

https://www.reddogsaloon.com 

 

Devil’s Club Brewing Company

http://www.devilsclubbrewing.com 

 

The stores I’ll be stopping at:

 

House of Russia 

Trove

Glacier Smoothie Soaps

Alaska Shirt Company

Caribou Crossings

Alaska Knifeworks

Tripp’s Mt. Juneau Trading Post

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Lastly is Victoria. Most wont be able to enjoy many restaurants, as Alaska cruises tend to only stay a few hours in Victoria, not a full day. I at least wanted to give some ideas of where to dine:

 

Q at the Empress

https://www.qattheempress.com 

 

IL Terrazzo

https://www.ilterrazzo.com 

 

Ithaka Greek Restaurant

http://www.ithakagreek.ca 

 

Blighty’s Bistro

http://www.blightysbistro.com 

 

Blue Fox Cafe

http://www.thebluefoxcafe.com 

 

Fishhook

http://fishhookvic.com 

 

OLO Restaurant

https://www.olorestaurant.com 

 

Little Jumbo Restaurant and Bar

http://www.littlejumbo.ca 

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On 4/24/2019 at 10:46 AM, Italy52 said:

KetchiCandies, yum!!!!!!!!!!!  Always make this stop when we are in Ketchikan.

fyi - Google Maps is saying it's "Permanently Closed" 

Maybe that really means it was closed for the winter? 

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1 hour ago, SempreMare said:

fyi - Google Maps is saying it's "Permanently Closed" 

Maybe that really means it was closed for the winter? 

Don't know what it means.  We have gone to KetchiCandies for many years.  Last May we were there and talked with the owner who mentioned that the new location took a while to open up --- we mentioned to him that we were glad to see that he was still in Ketchikan and would be seeing him again when we returned in 2019.  I guess we will find out in June when we return to Ketchikan.

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9 hours ago, SempreMare said:

fyi - Google Maps is saying it's "Permanently Closed" 

Maybe that really means it was closed for the winter? 

Follow-up to my original answer.  I'm sorry that I didn't look closely at your Google Maps reference.  The picture shown is the old location of Ketchicandies.  And, yes, that location is closed.  I believe the reference below is their new address:

 

405 Dock St, Ketchikan, AK 99901
Hours:
Closed ⋅ Opens 11AM
 
I Googled the store name and found the new address. 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
 
 

 

 

 
 
 

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Following along on your report. We are on the Eclipse August 25th and this will be our first trip to Alaska. Thanks for posting!

 

 

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Following along.  Hope your flights went well and you are enjoying your day in Vancouver.  We are looking forward to visiting the Capilano bridge and Granville Island while we are there.  48 days til we are in Vancouver and 50 days til we board the ship!

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10 hours ago, kimberlydrzymala said:

Following along on your report. We are on the Eclipse August 25th and this will be our first trip to Alaska. Thanks for posting!

 

 

 

You’re welcome! I’ll be posting photos after the cruise as well, along with port information 😊

 

7 hours ago, Kelli0927 said:

Following along.  Hope your flights went well and you are enjoying your day in Vancouver.  We are looking forward to visiting the Capilano bridge and Granville Island while we are there.  48 days til we are in Vancouver and 50 days til we board the ship!

 

I will admit there was a nightmare situation with my flights. As my flight was getting ready to leave Miami yesterday, it was delayed right before take-off for 3.5 hours, as my connection in Houston had horrible weather conditions. Well, that made me miss my connection to Vancouver, so I had to stay overnight in Houston. I finally arrived into Vancouver at 1pm today. It’s all good though! My mom and I just came back from Granville Island and walking around the city. It’s absolutely gorgeous today!

 

4 hours ago, SempreMare said:

So excited for you @PittsburghNative !  

 

Aw thanks! I can’t believe it’s almost here!

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15 minutes ago, PittsburghNative said:

... It’s absolutely gorgeous today!...

So YOU are to blame for all of our excessive sun and humidity today! You must have dragged the Miami weather with you... Please take it with you up to Alaska so I can go back to nice, cool, cloudy days 😉

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