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GenerationX

Solstice LIVE: Alaska Honeymoon Cruise Aug 9th-16th 2019

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Hello CC! 

 

You may remember me from such live reviews as my solo sailing on Equinox in March and our Christmas sailing on Infinity in December.  Tomorrow, my DH Jeremy and I fly to Seattle for our belated honeymoon cruise on the Solstice to one of our bucket list destinations:  Alaska!

 

 A little about us:

 

Jeremy and I got married in December on our Christmas sailing on Infinity.  We're in our mid 30's and live about an hour outside of St. Louis, Missouri.  In my free time I enjoy cooking, wine tasting, smoking cigars, taking care of the animals on our 12-acre farm and going hiking and kayaking in the state park down the road from us.  Jeremy enjoys fishing, kayaking, and giving me grief for how much money I spend on the animals, wine and cigars.

 

This will be our 6th cruise with Celebrity together (and my 7th) but this will be our first time on Solstice.  We're a high-energy, fun-loving couple and we've been known to be the last people out of the sky lounge or Quasar on more than one occasion.

 

We booked this cruise about a month ago after our plans for a New Zealand honeymoon cruise in November of this year fell through.  We usually prefer to sail in Sky Suites but by the time we booked, all that was left was guarantee and we don't like the uncertainty of not knowing where our room will be located.  Plus, we're trying to save for a winter Caribbean cruise in a royal suite and stepping down to Aqua class on this cruise puts us over $2,000 closer to that goal.

 

We'll be staying in a hotel near SeaTac the night before the cruise and then will be staying in downtown Seattle for a night after the cruise to explore the city.  Our ports will be Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria, BC and we have shore excursions booked through Celebrity in every port but Victoria.

 

If you followed my Equinox review, you know I'm not a light cruise packer, and this time I had to pack for both mild summer and frozen glacier weather as well as excursions that involve canoeing, hiking and river rafting.  Let's just say it's a good thing the first two checked bags on Southwest are free.

 

One of our favorite parts of cruising with Celebrity is the food and we always make a point of coming out ahead on our beverage package (classic was included in the package from our TA and we paid to upgrade to premium), so be prepared for food and drink photo overload.  We'll miss having Luminae as our restaurant, but we're looking forward to Blu and have a couple of specialty reservations booked.

 

This is our first time going to Alaska but from what I've heard and read, I'll probably also be sharing lots of pics of breathtaking scenery.

 

Jeremy is a card player and will be giving me info to report on the onboard casino.  I prefer drinking and listening to music while Jeremy plays cards and will give full reports on how the martini bar and onboard musicians are doing.

 

If there’s anything else in particular that anyone wants to see/hear about, just let me know.   Now it's time to finish packing and print all our confirmations.  Tomorrow morning we head to the airport to fly to Seattle. Looking forward to having you all sail along with us!

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Fantastic post!  Your writing style and sense of humor are going to make this a great thread!  I'm also taking this same cruise with my husband starting Aug. 30; booked it spontaneously a week or so ago after too much wine and tequila.  We've been to Alaska once before, but I'm looking forward to your reviews as, like you, we tend toward more active pursuits.  I'll be particularly interested in hearing about the hiking you do.

 

We're in Seattle, so if you need any recommendations for your post-cruise time, let me know.  

 

And you guys are a beautiful couple!

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I always enjoy your blogs, looking forward to this one!

Brent Nixon, the naturalist onboard is amazing! You may think lecture and boring but his presentations are absolutely neither of the above!

Enjoy!

 

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We are also on this cruise...belated congratulations on your wedding.  Enjoy.

 

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1 hour ago, JMB27 said:

Fantastic post!  Your writing style and sense of humor are going to make this a great thread!  I'm also taking this same cruise with my husband starting Aug. 30; booked it spontaneously a week or so ago after too much wine and tequila.  We've been to Alaska once before, but I'm looking forward to your reviews as, like you, we tend toward more active pursuits.  I'll be particularly interested in hearing about the hiking you do.

 

We're in Seattle, so if you need any recommendations for your post-cruise time, let me know.  

 

And you guys are a beautiful couple!

 

 

Thank you!!!! Enjoy your cruise on the 30th.  That is some impressive buzzed impulse shopping! I can totally relate. When I start into the brandy, Jeremy changes the password to our Amazon Prime account. 😁

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58 minutes ago, mosleyman said:

We are also on this cruise...belated congratulations on your wedding.  Enjoy.

 

 Thank you, looking forward to sailing with you!

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2 hours ago, lovecruzin said:

I always enjoy your blogs, looking forward to this one!

Brent Nixon, the naturalist onboard is amazing! You may think lecture and boring but his presentations are absolutely neither of the above!

Enjoy!

 

 

Thank you! I will definitely check out some of Brent’s lectures. I’m very interested in Alaska’s environment and ecology.  Hopefully I won’t be judged if I show up at said lecture toting along a boozy coffee to go from al Bacio.

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Hope you have a fabulous honeymoon!

I'm looking forward to your posts. My family went on the Solstice 10 years ago to celebrate my daughters college graduation and we're (finally!) going on the Solstice again next August to celebrate my retirement. 

We haven't decided on excursions yet so looking forward to your experience. Have a great trip!

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We are cruising on Solstice in 5 weeks so this will be exciting to follow. I can tell already it will be an enjoyable review !

I hope you have a blast ! 

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Great to hear from you again and looking forward to your live report! Enjoy your Honeymoon.

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I don’t know guys, do you think I’m bringing enough shoes? 😂  True love is a man who let’s you share in his checked bag allowance.  This time tomorrow we’ll be eating a seaside dinner in Seattle!

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We will be the 1st time in Blu on the Aug.23 cruise can’t wait to here about the food. We have been on Solstice 2 times before  love the ship. We are doing the couples hot glass class, have watched them for hours on the other cruises.

 

Happy Honeymoon!!💕

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4 hours ago, eyecantwait said:

Hope you have a fabulous honeymoon!

I'm looking forward to your posts. My family went on the Solstice 10 years ago to celebrate my daughters college graduation and we're (finally!) going on the Solstice again next August to celebrate my retirement. 

We haven't decided on excursions yet so looking forward to your experience. Have a great trip!

 

Thank you! Congrats on your upcoming retirement!  Jeremy and I dream of the (sadly still far away) day when we retire and can spend our winters just hopping from cruise to cruise.  I’ll be sure to report in detail on how our excursions go. 

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Have a fantastic honeymoon and a great trip.  I think you’ll love Alaska, those are all very nice ports.  Will be intently following along.

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Well, we along with our UberXL’s worth of luggage have made it to the airport.  We were a few minutes late leaving the house due to one of my bags coming in overweight (hey, I never had to pack heavy hiking boots and sweatshirts to cruise the Caribbean) and contents needing to be redistributed. Luckily there was no line for TSA precheck so we breezed through and are enjoying our first cocktails of vacation.  Our flight boards in about an hour and then we’re off to Seattle!

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Posted (edited)

We made it to Seattle!  Weather made the flight kind of bumpy, but you should have seen Jeremy and I pointing and wow-ing like a couple of Midwest yokels at the snow capped mountain tops as we descended into Seattle.

 

We are staying at the Home2Suites by Hilton near the airport. Since we flew in later in the day I wanted to stay cheap the night before the cruise and this was the cheapest option with good reviews. I was also able to save a little by booking with Honors points and cash.

 

The staff at check in were very friendly and helpful and the room is spotless.  It’s designed for extended stays so the room is very spacious and has a large kitchenette stocked with dishes, cooking utensils and a dishwasher. Cooktops are even available to check out from the front desk at no charge.

 

When we came in and he saw the setup, Jeremy made a half hearted suggestion that we just walk to a nearby store for groceries and I cook our dinner tonight in the room.  I told him if I had to cook jar sauce spaghetti in a hotel room on the first night of our honeymoon, he was going to hear about it again and again...in every argument, large and small, for the duration of our marriage...

 

So now we’re relaxing with our feet up and drinking a couple of glasses of Washington wine purchased from the hotel’s little market before getting ready for our dinner reservations at a nearby restaurant that a friend from law school recommended.

 

 

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Edited by GenerationX

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On 8/7/2019 at 3:11 PM, GenerationX said:

 

Thank you! I will definitely check out some of Brent’s lectures. I’m very interested in Alaska’s environment and ecology.  Hopefully I won’t be judged if I show up at said lecture toting along a boozy coffee to go from al Bacio.

 

That sounds like a perfect plan!

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My kind of girl, no cooking on a honeymoon, or vacation. I have enjoyed your past reviews. Looking forward to this one too!!

if you get a chance to try Tracy’s Crab Shack in Juneau, they have wild king crab, to die for if you love crab.

norma

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On 8/8/2019 at 11:28 AM, GenerationX said:

I don’t know guys, do you think I’m bringing enough shoes? 😂  True love is a man who let’s you share in his checked bag allowance.  This time tomorrow we’ll be eating a seaside dinner in Seattle!

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A girl can never have enough shoes!

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Looking forward to following along. Glad you cleared up your luggage story. When I saw your luggage for your Equinox cruise I was wondering how much that would have cost you given how strict the US is on baggage limits! Update on LPC would be much appreciated. We're cruising on the Solstice on 23 September. 

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23 hours ago, GenerationX said:

 

Thank you! Congrats on your upcoming retirement!  Jeremy and I dream of the (sadly still far away) day when we retire and can spend our winters just hopping from cruise to cruise.  I’ll be sure to report in detail on how our excursions go. 

Thank you! I still have to hold out until June 2020 but the light is finally at the end of the tunnel.....and many days I'm convinced its coming from the train heading straight for me. LOL

Our plan is to do a lot of last minute deal travel and also road trips in the US. (and maybe a part time job here and there to help pay for some of the travel 🤣)

Your retirement day will come.....just be sure to always use your vacation time in the mean time! I feel bad reading those stories about people that don't/can't use it.

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Good Morning Everyone!

 

TODAY IS THE DAY!!!! Is there anything better than embarkation day?  I swear for me every single time it feels like being 8 years old and waking up on Christmas morning.  

 

I’m up early taking care of a few work emergencies (occupational hazard: lawyers are never really on vacation) then I’m going to hit the hotel gym and rouse my better half from his wine-induced loud snoring slumber.  Then it’s time to get ready to sail!

 

I’ll report on last night’s waterfront dinner on our Uber ride to the port.

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We’re off to the cruise terminal!  And yes, I dressed to match my stateroom class 😁

 

Last night for dinner we went to Anthony’s on the Waterfront which was a $15 Uber ride from our hotel.  It is in a marina with incredible views of the sound.  

 

We had clam chowder and a seafood spinach artichoke dip to start which were both delicious. Then Jeremy got the dinner special small plate tower with coconut shrimp and salmon teriyaki. I had a combo plate of fresh, wild caught Alaskan silver salmon and fresh Alaskan Halibut.  

 

The halibut was extremely bland with an even blander burre blanc sauce on top.  I had to really salt and pepper it to make it edible.  The salmon, on the other hand, was the best salmon I’ve ever had in my life.  The meat itself was so tender and flavorful and it came with a really delicious tomato basil butter on top.  If this is what I can expect from salmon in Alaska, it’s going to be a very good week.  We washed it all down with a bottle of one of our favorite Pinot Noirs and then passed out as soon as we got back to the hotel.

 

We’re in the Uber to the pier now. Next time you hear from me we’ll be onboard the Solstice!

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We did the Solstice 2 years ago to Alaska and loved it, you will too!

 

If you love fish n chips, in Ketchican there is a super great, super tiny hole in the wall place called Alva's fish and chowder. It's literally right across the street from when you get off the ship. The fish is so fresh, it was probably swimming an hour ago. Prices weren't too bad, but it's not much of a restaurant, just a few picnic tables inside, but really worth it if you love tasty fish.

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