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El Abuelo

Just back from Ovation / Alaska

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On 6/23/2019 at 5:48 PM, El Abuelo said:

I read the same  and didn’t want to take a chance or wait in line that long, so we hired a limo. I called for pickup when we left the terminal, it still took 15 minutes for the car to get to us at 9am. There was a line for taxis but I couldn’t estimate the wait. The rideshare / limo pickup area was shoulder to shoulder, and when we got in our car at 9:15 or so, many more people were walking into the pickup area than driving out. Like a Grand Central station Friday at rush hour, Not having to deal with our luggage was a major advantage. Seattle luggage valet is a real benefit. 

 

Crowd control was definitely erratic. Every time we stopped inside the terminal, just to get our bearings, someone walked up and told us to move. Signage was inadequate. Once outside, it was a mass of people. 

 

 

Can you tell me the costs for the limo? I think I will do the same. What company did you use?

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2 hours ago, kyrie said:

Can you tell me the costs for the limo? I think I will do the same. What company did you use?

AlreadyThereTownCar. I got the name from the Seattle Port Forum. The forum said $60, we were quoted $70. My guess is we paid $30 (or so) more than other options, but for us it was worth it for basically no departure stress. 

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3 minutes ago, El Abuelo said:

AlreadyThereTownCar. I got the name from the Seattle Port Forum. The forum said $60, we were quoted $70. My guess is we paid $30 (or so) more than other options, but for us it was worth it for basically no departure stress. 

Thanks ! You just called as you got off the ship? I need them to be prompt as we have to get to the hotel quickly and then elsewhere. 

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, cruisenbuckeyes said:

Thanks for the information about Port Valet. We have an 11:15 flight out of Seattle, I am happy to learn we qualify. 

The 11:00 surprised me, I had seen 12 mentioned multiple times in the Seattle port departure forum, and could find nothing online. The second or third night they gave us a form to fill and drop off at guest services. The last night they left boarding passes and luggage tags in the room. 

 

When we we were leaving the terminal Friday morning all I could think was how much more difficult it would have been if we had to drag along our suitcases. 

 

Attached is the info side of the form. Enrollment is on the other side.

EFA73A32-2910-4F88-90E0-99C784CB1109.jpeg

Edited by El Abuelo

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9 minutes ago, kyrie said:

Thanks ! You just called as you got off the ship? I need them to be prompt as we have to get to the hotel quickly and then elsewhere. 

I called as we were walking out the terminal. In retrospect, we could have called earlier. They asked “what number post we were at”. I had no idea, just outside the terminal was a high pole with “11”, so I said that, and the response was “oh dear” followed by “ we can pick you up at posts 1 through 5” so I said 4. Turns out one we left the terminal and crossed the street into a waiting area for pick-up, it was broken down into areas 1-5. We navigated thr short walk to 4 and about 15 minutes later the car arrived.

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2 minutes ago, El Abuelo said:

I called as we were walking out the terminal. In retrospect, we could have called earlier. They asked “what number post we were at”. I had no idea, just outside the terminal was a high pole with “11”, so I said that, and the response was “oh dear” followed by “ we can pick you up at posts 1 through 5” so I said 4. Turns out one we left the terminal and crossed the street into a waiting area for pick-up, it was broken down into areas 1-5. We navigated thr short walk to 4 and about 15 minutes later the car arrived.

which post was closest? I can then tell them that. We will have lots of luggage. That is the closest they can get hmm ? okay. Thanks! I'm spoiled by easy florida stuff for disembarkation. 

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41 minutes ago, kyrie said:

which post was closest? I can then tell them that. We will have lots of luggage. That is the closest they can get hmm ? okay. Thanks! I'm spoiled by easy florida stuff for disembarkation. 

Leave the terminal, walk forward, cross the street,  numbering starts at 1. Good luck.

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I read in an actual review( on the review page) that the Ovation was to big to go through the glaciers. We will be on the September 6th cruise and we are taking our grown kids, and really hoping we would be sailing through the glaciers as advertised. Thank you so much for taking the time to right a review!

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On 6/24/2019 at 8:59 PM, BEENSAILING said:

Going on Aug. 2. I have  been to Alaska a few times but never on a cruise.Been on Quantum and Anthem-several times. Looking forward to this Ovation cruise. Did you attend the enrichment lectures and if you did, did you find them valuable?

I also was on the June 14 sailing, and I attended a few of the enrichment lectures.  There were 2 speakers who alternated presentations during the cruise.  One was a professor and the other a retired mountie.  I don't think either of the speakers were particularly skilled presenters but I did enjoy the pictures that accompanied the presentations and did learn a little history.

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Thanks for the review El Abuelo...I was on the sailing with you, and I agree with most of your commentary.  Like another poster, though, I did not find the ship at all cramped or crowded.  I've sailed on Allure before and agree it's more spacious, but I was also pleased with the layout and spaciousness of Ovation.  I didn't find the embarkation/disembarkation process as frustrating as you did--I've had worse experiences and better (you are right that it isn't on the level of Port Everglades).  I was disappointed with my NorthStar experience, but those in my party loved their iFly session.  I also would have liked one more port day as opposed to a sea day, but I enjoyed the ports we visited--my favorite was Skagway.

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33 minutes ago, tiger belle said:

I also was on the June 14 sailing, and I attended a few of the enrichment lectures.  There were 2 speakers who alternated presentations during the cruise.  One was a professor and the other a retired mountie.  I don't think either of the speakers were particularly skilled presenters but I did enjoy the pictures that accompanied the presentations and did learn a little history.

Thank you tiger belle

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Hi I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about the weather. I know we can't predict but I would like a general sense. We are doing a different itinerary than you (Seward to Vancouver) start July 5th. By the way nice review. I was torn on getting on the Ovation instead of the older Radiance. Like you I didn't want a lot of sea days so I sacrificed the new ship for more ports. Hopefully there is enough to keep the kiddos busy.

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On 6/24/2019 at 2:51 PM, El Abuelo said:

Yup. We saw a whale when we were in Northstar. We had a whale watching excursion  in Juneau and saw lots of Orcas and some whales, and  bald eagles along the drive.When docked at Victoria island we saw quite a few sea otters and turtles.

Just a little correction, I think.   If you mean that you were in the city of Victoria.....then you were on Vancouver Island.   Not a criticism,  just a friendly help because who can know the name of everyplace in the world.  

Thank you for your review, I’m on Ovation in a couple of years...yes....in 2021.   😊

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13 hours ago, denavo said:

Hi I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about the weather. I know we can't predict but I would like a general sense. We are doing a different itinerary than you (Seward to Vancouver) start July 5th. By the way nice review. I was torn on getting on the Ovation instead of the older Radiance. Like you I didn't want a lot of sea days so I sacrificed the new ship for more ports. Hopefully there is enough to keep the kiddos busy.

Weather was unbelievable. While we were cruising it was windy, overcast and rainy. Generally crappy. When we pulled into Skagway it was raining. In every case, as soon as we started prepping for  our excursions, the sun came out and it was very pleasant. So, when we needed good weather it was there. 

 

We were prepared for cold and wet. It was frequently wet, but more windy than cold. My very light nylon wind and rain jacket did more than the flannel shirts.

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I second what Abuelo said about the weather.  While it was a little windy and raining in the mornings, we had great afternoon weather for the excursions in Skagway and Victoria, and pretty good for Juneau. I didn't have to use too many layers--the rain-resistant jacket I brought was the most I needed.

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Just one additional comment about rain and wind. A few people brought poncho type rain jackets, the pullover  type that slips on over the head  with no real fastener. They did not work well onboard or in the wind, people needed both hands to keep from ballooning. A jacket with zipper worked much better.

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We were on the June 21st to June 28th cruise. First time on RCL with a party of 9 of us. I will post a review later this week but I did take note that you felt the ship cramped and narrow. We completely agree. We had great weather, people outside, and it still felt cramped. Not enough areas to just hang out and people watch. Don't get me wrong. We loved the ship, but when we wanted to head to an area such as Two70 or the Promenade, there was always something going on that kept that area really busy.  

The other thing I noticed is your comment about the stabilizers and the ships movement being more that usual. I have never been seasick, as well as a few others in our party, but all of us got sick on the second afternoon. It was strange because it was more of a rolling and it almost always felt as if the ship was top heavy. I have not seen this mentioned in Ovation reviews and for someone who has a DH who uses every product to keep his seasickness at bay, I think it should be considered when booking. 

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On 6/25/2019 at 11:14 AM, El Abuelo said:

The 11:00 surprised me, I had seen 12 mentioned multiple times in the Seattle port departure forum, and could find nothing online. The second or third night they gave us a form to fill and drop off at guest services. The last night they left boarding passes and luggage tags in the room. 

 

When we we were leaving the terminal Friday morning all I could think was how much more difficult it would have been if we had to drag along our suitcases. 

 

Attached is the info side of the form. Enrollment is on the other side.

 

Thank you for the form El Abuelo - I thought the time was Noon - now I know we can do port valet!  We leave for Seattle in 16 days.  Do you by chance have the Cruise Compasses saved?

 

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I had two questions.

 

One was- did you make it to the glacier? I've seen the same review that says that the ship can't go to the glacier even though it's marked as an excursion.

 

Two- where do you get your seapass cards? I keep thinking they're in the rooms, and not in the terminal when you check in, but i can't imagine how that would work if you get there before the rooms are opened (and I will want a drink ASAP!)

 

Thanks!

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1 minute ago, celoplyr said:

 ...

Two- where do you get your seapass cards? I keep thinking they're in the rooms, and not in the terminal when you check in, but i can't imagine how that would work if you get there before the rooms are opened (and I will want a drink ASAP!)

 

Thanks!

 

You use your SetSail pass barcode to purchase anything before you have your SeaPass card.

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Uber: The walk is a long way from the ship.  Uber drivers dropped us 6 times.  We were only going into the city ($33.00) and we suspect they wanted the airport fare (2x that).  Finally, after almost everyone had left, did we find an Uber driver looking for a fare.  $12 into the city.  Won't use Uber again at a port.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, celoplyr said:

I had two questions.

 

One was- did you make it to the glacier? I've seen the same review that says that the ship can't go to the glacier even though it's marked as an excursion.

 

That depends on how you define “make it”. We sailed Endicott Arm, approached Dawes Glacier, stopped the ship, did a slow 360 degree turn, then returned over the same route. We were probably 1/2 mile from the glacier. It wasn’t “up close and personal”,  but it could also be seen clearly without binoculars.

 

My recollection of times, which may be off as I don’t use a watch (and abuela says I’m getting old and senile) On our cruise we started the fjord around 7:30 am, somewhere around 9:30 we reached the glacier, spent 1/2 hour there, then another couple of hours back out. Very slow and easy. 

 

When we were at the glacier I saw the Northstar in use, later I heard they charged extra for those views. 

 

Edit to add - I’m attaching a photo (iPhone) of Dawes glacier. It’s not that good, but it gives an idea of how close we were.

C080EC6E-4A74-416F-8AA5-425A948B5F92.jpeg

Edited by El Abuelo
Add photo

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Attached is one of our photos of the Glacier - This was taken as we were going out.  In the distance you can see a small tour boat and a glacier.  We made it to an area between that glacier and the tour boat.  The Captain spun the ship 1,040 degrees.  The 2nd photo is of a seal on the ice.  We saw many seals and their pups doing this.  A good pair of binoculars really helps.  

IMG_2361.jpeg

Screen Shot 2019-07-02 at 10.31.06 AM.png

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