Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Bimmer09

Cruise to Alaska while quarantined?

Recommended Posts

Greetings from Chicago in Lockdown!

I'm an avid reader of CruiseCritic, mainly for the cruise reviews. Those won't appear again for some time.

I'm including a link to a review from my last visit to Alaska in September 2016 should anyone want (a) a break from talk of refunds (b) for anyone who is curious about Alaskan cruises (c) for anyone who had booked this year only to have their hopes dashed. 

 

There are a lot of videos which due to the software changeover/update on CC  since this sailing, can no longer be seen. If you keep a screen open on Youtube (Norris Adair channel) you can watch them there. This is the first Vancouver video that might land you in the right place...

 

Here's the link to the review itself....

 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2403532


Norris

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Norris

 

Just what we needed!  We have been  have enjoying reading about your travels for several years.  With your permission we will board this fabulous cruise and share your adventures and fine dining experiences.  We have never been to Alaska.  It is on our Wish List.  Please give our best to Carol.

 

Cheers

Louden

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Louden-welcome!

Permission granted after I take your temperature...

Carol is well and appreciates your greeting.

 

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hi Norris and Carol,

 

I was just thinking about you the other day. I remembered reading in one of your cruise reviews that you had finally gotten tickets for this year's Wagner Bayreuth Festival. It bummed me out thinking that after all those years of waiting, the Festival was probably going to be cancelled. If it is I hope that all those who were able to get tickets this year will get first option for tickets to next year's Festival.

 

Anyway, back to cruising. Barbara and I went on our third Alaska cruise last May. It was our first time on Holland America, and also our first visit to Sitka (which quickly became my favorite Alaskan port of call). Little did we know at the time that it would be our last cruise for the foreseeable future.

 

John

Edited by Jasperdo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, John- The Bayreuth Festival is communicating with ticket holders later this month and have suggested that 2020 tickets can be used in 2021 or in 2022 which is what we could take as I already canceled one Azamara cruise this October and booked a new one for October 2021 which I don't want to cancel. So should be Germany 2022, August.

 

How was your HAL Alaskan experience? Have thought of them just to visit Sitka.

 

Cheers!

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good news about the Bayreuth Festival. Happy to hear that you won't lose your place in line, after waiting so long.

 

We enjoyed our cruise on the Eurodam. There were a few things that I thought they did better than Princess, and other things I prefer the Princess way. We would definitely sail HAL again if we found a great deal. But we still prefer Princess. It seems a better match for us, overall.

 

Sitka was the main reason we did chose HAL for that cruise. Princess hardly goes there. I though it was a terrific port. It felt more like the "real" Alaska to us. Not a Diamonds International in sight. Compact downtown with lots of history and friendly people. If you're interested, here is a link to the photos I took that day:

Sitka

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great idea, Norris!  I actually just re-read both of your Alaska reviews a few months ago when I was planning for my Alaska cruise this summer...  sadly, that cruise was cancelled, but it was still fun to see Alaska through your lens.  I hope you and Carol are staying healthy!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/3/2020 at 6:52 PM, Jasperdo said:

Good news about the Bayreuth Festival. Happy to hear that you won't lose your place in line, after waiting so long.

 

We enjoyed our cruise on the Eurodam. There were a few things that I thought they did better than Princess, and other things I prefer the Princess way. We would definitely sail HAL again if we found a great deal. But we still prefer Princess. It seems a better match for us, overall.

 

Sitka was the main reason we did chose HAL for that cruise. Princess hardly goes there. I though it was a terrific port. It felt more like the "real" Alaska to us. Not a Diamonds International in sight. Compact downtown with lots of history and friendly people. If you're interested, here is a link to the photos I took that day:

Sitka

 

Thanks John-I loved the photos and it looks like perfect weather for your visit. It certainly looks less touristy than the other ports in Alaska.

 

I have looked at HAL for Caribbean cruises but don't like that I can't book a specific cabin on their website and I am not the man to book "guarantee" cabins, ever. The ships have some nice public rooms though.

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

We had three sunny days in a row on that trip: Juneau, Glacier Bay and Sitka. It was actually in the mid 70's in Juneau. Terrific weather for May!

 

I wasn't aware that you couldn't book a specific cabin on the HAL website. That seem very odd. I don't mind booking guarantees, since we always book insides, and it doesn't matter where we are on the ship. 

Edited by Jasperdo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John, I went back to the HAL website yesterday and checked out a Nieuw Amsterdam sailing on January 16 2021. Tried a booking on a Neptune Suite and again it came up as a guarantee. On Princess as you know you can see all the cabins that are available and book the one you want-which in our case is always aft with a wake view. 

 

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Bimmer09 said:

John, I went back to the HAL website yesterday and checked out a Nieuw Amsterdam sailing on January 16 2021. Tried a booking on a Neptune Suite and again it came up as a guarantee. On Princess as you know you can see all the cabins that are available and book the one you want-which in our case is always aft with a wake view. 

 

Norris

Norris, unfortunately the HAL site is not user friendly.  You DO have your choice of stateroom location, but, you will need to call HAL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, FlorenceItaly said:

Norris, unfortunately the HAL site is not user friendly.  You DO have your choice of stateroom location, but, you will need to call HAL.

 

Thanks Florence.

Adding another step and one that can potentially eat up the customer's time is weak in the digital age. Not a problem on the Princess and Azamara sites so it can be done.

I'm not desperate to sail HAL although not averse to the idea as they seem to do a lot right and their ships are built for relaxation and enjoying the sea ( a real promenade deck, Crow's Nest for example)

If I can't find a Princess itinerary for January 2021 that suits-one of the newer Royal Class ships just for variety sake -HAL will certainly get a second look. No Az sailings then. Viking? Virgin ?(tongue in cheek on that loopy design)

Time is on my side. 

 

Florence am I right in thinking you have sailed HAL and if so your opinion of your experience?

 

Cheers and thanks again!

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Bimmer09 said:

 

Thanks Florence.

Adding another step and one that can potentially eat up the customer's time is weak in the digital age. Not a problem on the Princess and Azamara sites so it can be done.

I'm not desperate to sail HAL although not averse to the idea as they seem to do a lot right and their ships are built for relaxation and enjoying the sea ( a real promenade deck, Crow's Nest for example)

If I can't find a Princess itinerary for January 2021 that suits-one of the newer Royal Class ships just for variety sake -HAL will certainly get a second look. No Az sailings then. Viking? Virgin ?(tongue in cheek on that loopy design)

Time is on my side. 

 

Florence am I right in thinking you have sailed HAL and if so your opinion of your experience?

 

Cheers and thanks again!

Norris

Hi Norris,

I am a 3 star Mariner with HAL, and my most recent cruise was a 51 day Tales of the South Pacific Cruise disembarking on December 18, 2019 on the Amsterdam.  This is one of their smaller ships.   You will not find much nightlife on HAL ships unless you are on one of the larger ships, which offer the Music Walk or BB Kings Club.  We enjoy live music and dancing.  We prefer the larger HAL ships because of this.  With that said, the cruise was excellent, service wonderful, and the best cuisine we've had on the high seas.  We have mainly been cruising on Celebrity lately since 2015 with some Princess and HAL sprinkled in.  Best wishes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Marie, thanks for the follow-up and the endorsement of HAL.

The few HAL photo reviews I have seen on CC show the food to look good on the plate which is a good sign and now you've given the cuisine a big thumbs up.

They have some very old and several smaller ships and although I am not a night owl I do like choices of entertainment in the evening so will think "bigger" when looking at their fleet.

 

I was attracted to the Nieuw Amsterdam sailing on Jan 16 2021 as it stops in San Juan PR and Princess never (?) goes there it seems.

 

A cruise of 51 days? My mind is boggled at being pampered and entertained for that long!

 

Cheers!

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Bimmer09 said:

Marie, thanks for the follow-up and the endorsement of HAL.

The few HAL photo reviews I have seen on CC show the food to look good on the plate which is a good sign and now you've given the cuisine a big thumbs up.

They have some very old and several smaller ships and although I am not a night owl I do like choices of entertainment in the evening so will think "bigger" when looking at their fleet.

 

I was attracted to the Nieuw Amsterdam sailing on Jan 16 2021 as it stops in San Juan PR and Princess never (?) goes there it seems.

 

A cruise of 51 days? My mind is boggled at being pampered and entertained for that long!

 

Cheers!

Norris

Norris, in regards to the cuisine, I think it was due to the long cruise.  There were a lot of world cruisers and this crowd expects a lot, LOL.  It was wonderful being pampered, but, I must confess we found it a bit too long.  I never thought I would feel this way.  Perhaps, if we would have been on a bigger ship we would have felt differently.  I do think variety is the spice of life, and you should give HAL a try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Bimmer09 said:

 

A cruise of 51 days? My mind is boggled at being pampered and entertained for that long!

 

 

 

Our longest cruise (not on Princess) was 42 days comprised of three segments, 15, 15, and 12 days.

 

From the standpoint of just cruising and seeing new ports, we could have stayed on board longer.

 

From the standpoint of hearing the same Captain and CD jokes and speeches already three times as well as the same production shows, we were ready to get off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whew! Just finished after having to pause several times, but so enjoyed your witty review and stunning photos! Two years ago at this time we were eagerly getting ready to pack for our 2-week Alaskan Cruisetour, and your reviews brought back fond memories of the cruise portion. We did the land portion first with southbound cruise, so I had to re-orient the ship 😉

IF we ever get a chance to get back to Alaska, we may have to splurge on both the Misty Fjords trip and the White Pass Railroad. 

Thanks for taking the time at the time, and for your other great reviews. Hope you and Carol are doing well and hope you'll get to your Michigan home soon.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

         Thank you, Norris for posting a link to your review of the Alaska 2016 cruise that you and Carol enjoyed. It is a much appreciated way to spend some time during these days of isolation.

          I have been watching a program entitled The  Cruise on You Tube. It is a British production through ITV that follows certain Princess ships on various cruises to the Med,Alaska and the Caribbean. The show consists of six seasons with various amounts of episodes. The ships are the Star, Royal,Regal and the Majestic. We have sailed with two of the captains that are involved in the show. Captain Nash and Captain Perrin. Captain Tuvo (Captain Bye-Bye) is also featured on the series that follows the Star Princess on an Alaskan voyage. We were hoping that he would be the captain on the upcoming cruise we were taking on the Sky Princess which we plan to cancel soon due to the virus.

          These past few months have proven to be such a different time. Living eightymiles east of NYC,we are very aware of the effects that Covid-19 has brought to the way we live.  We need to stay the course and support one another so that we can return to “normal” whenever that can be.

         Posting your cruise review is a boost for many. I will also look for your YouTube channel. Since I am dealing with painful back issues as well as adjusting to this quarantine, You Tube has become a good diversion for me.

        Hoping that you and Carol continue to stay safe and healthy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, WisCruiser2 said:

Whew! Just finished after having to pause several times, but so enjoyed your witty review and stunning photos! Two years ago at this time we were eagerly getting ready to pack for our 2-week Alaskan Cruisetour, and your reviews brought back fond memories of the cruise portion. We did the land portion first with southbound cruise, so I had to re-orient the ship 😉

IF we ever get a chance to get back to Alaska, we may have to splurge on both the Misty Fjords trip and the White Pass Railroad. 

Thanks for taking the time at the time, and for your other great reviews. Hope you and Carol are doing well and hope you'll get to your Michigan home soon.

 

 

Hello Wisconsin!

Thanks for taking the time to read my Star review and for the kind compliments. We did 3 Alaskan cruises in 5 years but it's already been almost 5 years since our last. Even though it was the same ports as always we found new experiences on shore and highlights were the dogsled camp, Misty Fjords on a boat and the luxury carriage on the White Pass train. I missed the chance to eat at Tracy's Crab Shack but there's always a "next time".

 

A cruise tour is on our bucket list for sure.

 

Alas we sold our Michigan home 2 years ago and are getting to know Chicago better. I have to salute the people of Chicago who are doing a great job of staying inside and social distancing outside using masks in the majority. 

 

Stay safe and healthy!

I forsee a nice drive up to beautiful Milwaukee this summer...

 

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/8/2020 at 10:21 PM, MJSailors said:

         Thank you, Norris for posting a link to your review of the Alaska 2016 cruise that you and Carol enjoyed. It is a much appreciated way to spend some time during these days of isolation.

          I have been watching a program entitled The  Cruise on You Tube. It is a British production through ITV that follows certain Princess ships on various cruises to the Med,Alaska and the Caribbean. The show consists of six seasons with various amounts of episodes. The ships are the Star, Royal,Regal and the Majestic. We have sailed with two of the captains that are involved in the show. Captain Nash and Captain Perrin. Captain Tuvo (Captain Bye-Bye) is also featured on the series that follows the Star Princess on an Alaskan voyage. We were hoping that he would be the captain on the upcoming cruise we were taking on the Sky Princess which we plan to cancel soon due to the virus.

          These past few months have proven to be such a different time. Living eightymiles east of NYC,we are very aware of the effects that Covid-19 has brought to the way we live.  We need to stay the course and support one another so that we can return to “normal” whenever that can be.

         Posting your cruise review is a boost for many. I will also look for your YouTube channel. Since I am dealing with painful back issues as well as adjusting to this quarantine, You Tube has become a good diversion for me.

        Hoping that you and Carol continue to stay safe and healthy!

 MJ, thank you for the response and for re-reading our Star Princess adventure!

I have been surfing various boards looking for  photo reviews and of course have to go back a few months to find any that weren't interrupted by Covid-19. Lots of time on my hands to check out lines I haven't sailed. Princess remains my go-to for value and bang for the buck. 

 

Thanks for the mention of "The Cruise" videos on Youtube. When I went looking for them  a few years ago they weren't available to view in the USA. I have already watched the first couple featuring the Regal. A really well-done insider's view. I have subscribed and will watch them all.

 

I'm glad you are staying safe-the more of us that treat social distancing/masks/hygiene seriously as if our lives depended on it the quicker the virus can be managed to a level where cruise lines can get back to making our cruising dreams a reality.  There is a sense of urgency in finding an effective vaccine, unlike the lack of urgency in finding out who is carrying the virus. We can all help by slowing the spread.

 

As Captain Tovo would say...."Bye Bye!"

Norris

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/8/2020 at 2:13 AM, FlorenceItaly said:

Norris, in regards to the cuisine, I think it was due to the long cruise.  There were a lot of world cruisers and this crowd expects a lot, LOL.  It was wonderful being pampered, but, I must confess we found it a bit too long.  I never thought I would feel this way.  Perhaps, if we would have been on a bigger ship we would have felt differently.  I do think variety is the spice of life, and you should give HAL a try.

Having a 9 day cruise as our longest so far (Azamara) I can surmise that a cruise lasting over a month would wear us down a bit and be unkind to our cat, Snowy. There's no way a cat knows you are coming back when you leave with suitcases. That's one consideration until we are cat-less. From our own standpoint or my own I should say I feel that I would get so into the rhythm of ship-life that returning to work after a month away would really be hard and as long as I have a job not even feasible to take that amount of time off.

 

There's retirement ahead and reduced income but I think I would rather take six 7 day cruises or four 10 day than one 42 day cruise on the same ship. A World cruise is not even something we dream of. There are parts of the world we are happy to avoid and have no interest in and parts we could go back to time and time again, by ship or by air/car as we love them so much. Mainly Western USA and Western Europe.

 

I agree that variety in cruise lines is a factor for the avid cruiser. We love Princess foremost but are happy to have added Celebrity and Azamara to the list. HAL may well be next, or Viking. There's a number of lines I have no interest in sailing but those two seem like a good fit.

 

I will certainly keep your endorsement of HAL in my mind when I consider them.

My thanks for that!

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...