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About firebuck

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    South Jersey

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  1. Good morning from Alaska’s inside passage! Pictures do not do it justice (at least mine anyway). But what an amazing sunrise this morning! Will catch up on the blog later tonight after a visit to the Juneau and Mendenhall Glacier.
  2. Good morning from.... somewhere in the Pacific! If It weren't so chilly, I'd swear we were on our way to some tropical island! So let me go back in time a bit here and talk about boarding. Pier 91 seemed very organized and efficient. We hailed a Lyft from our hotel around 9:30 and were at the port in about 10 minutes. We passed the throngs of sad-that-their-cruise-ended passengers, dropped our bags off with the porter and waited for Polly and Sheri to arrive. We followed the signs for the key priority check-in where we showed our passports as well as our seapasses to the attendants. They scanned everything in with Ipads, took our picture and put a check in complete sticker on our seapasses. We were then sent upstairs and bypassed the larger check-in line where we were ushered to our priority seating area which was a combined space for Pinnacles, Diamond Plus, Suites and Key members. At around 10:45, the ship was cleared for new passengers. They called the suites first, and I think maybe a few people got up, then right after they called for everyone else in the priority area to board. We weren't the first people on the ship, but it was close! After boarding, we immediately went to a specialty restaurant to make our reservations for the 3 night package. We chose Jamie's Italian, Wonderland and Chops, starting with Jamies on night 2. Having been onboard Ovation's sister ship, the Anthem last year, we already had the lay of the land, and she felt really familiar. I also realized that I wasn't taking as many pictures as usual due to the familiarity, so I need to step up my picture game starting today! We went up to the Solarium where I had my first drink of the day, the Kraken lava flow! After a bit, we headed down to deck 3 where key members were able to drop their carry-ons and get their key letters which contained the wifi access codes. Right after, they welcomed us to lunch in The Grande dining room where they served a special Chops lunch menu for key members only. No pictures, unfortunately, but I ordered the filet, Polly ordered the Branzino, and everyone else ordered burgers. You really can't beat that Chops filet (although I know @Lovetocruise2002 would beg to differ). Next, we went to the opposite side of the ship to show Polly and Sheri Two70. I think the Solarium and Two70 have to be my favorite spots on Quantum class ships. We got the call that our rooms were ready at around 1:30 PM, so we headed up shortly after to take a look. Our luggage wasn't there when we arrived, but as we were leaving to do some more exploring I spotted it down the hall clustered with a lot of other bags, so I went down and grabbed them. The rest of the afternoon was spent exploring the ship, experiencing the different venues complete with a visit to my friends, the robotic bartenders Mix and Mingle After a few more drinks and a visit to Sorrentos for a pre-dinner slice of pizza, we headed up to the rooms to unpack before dinner. Here's a view from our balcony of the coastline: Dinner tonight was in the MDR, and of course they offered the standard night one menu: I can't recall what everyone else got, but I went with @Matt's suggestion from our last cruise and got the spaghetti bolognese! It did not disappoint. After dinner, more exploring. Hearing a live cover band in the music hall (didn't catch the name) we stopped in for a listen. They were pretty good! At 10 PM, there was an Adults only comedy show featured in the Royal Theatre, so we decided to go, hoping to further acclimate to the time difference. No offense to the comedian, (he was actually pretty good) but I was nodding off during the show, so clearly, it was time for bed. Today is a sea day so there should be lots of good activities around the ship.
  3. It was a little chilly sitting in port LOL. This one was tough to pack for!
  4. Onboard! Dining reservations made, Kraken Lava Flow ordered. Watching the latecomers trickle in. Vacation has begun!
  5. I ordered the nutty bitch, the wife got a sausage egg and cheese. Not sure what everyone else has. Lots of people in here, so it must be good stuff! *edit It was good!
  6. It’s cruise day!! We arrived in Seattle yesterday around 10 AM and hopped the link light rail ($3.00 per person) from the airport to the University Street stop which was about a half of a mile walk to our hotel which is very near the Public Market area. Arriving prior to check-in, our room understandably wasn’t ready but we were able to drop our bags off at the hotel, and were given several restaurant recommendations for lunch. We settled on The Virginia Inn for some comfort food and a decent local draft beer list as well. After lunch we walked around the Pike Place area. Some really good people watching down by the water... As a frequent customer of their franchise locations, of course I had to visit the original Starbucks location. There was a line to get in and when I arrived it was about 15 people deep, but it went fairly quickly. After a bit more walking around and exploring we met up with Polly and Sheri at the Edgewater Hotel for happy hour in the lounge which had great views of the sunset last night. Yesterday was a lonnng day, having woken up at 3:30 AM to catch our flight and losing 3 hours to the time change, we were completely zonked our by 8:30PM local time. Now it’s time to get ready, grab a bite to eat at a place near us called “The Biscuit Bitch” (How we not try that?) and Uber over to the Port! We’re aiming for a 10 AM arrival. Will update more from Pier 91!
  7. They need one more range for those of us 6'5" and above lol. It's all good, as long as the weigh-in is before the briefing, it'll save me some time. Fingers crossed that their scales are off in my favor 🤣 The land-based locations are a bit more forgiving. If it doesn't work out on the ship, I'll hit one up afterwards.
  8. Piggybacking on this thread - I'm skating all around the ship's IFly weight limit... Are they pretty firm or will they let, say 4 pounds or so over get on? I've booked it on the morning of day 2, so if I have to avoid the windjammer/alcohol on day 1 and take some water pills, by gosh I will get on this darn thing 😂
  9. Yes - as long as you have both cards, they'll let you get two!
  10. Agree with @JLMoran +1 to the Kraken Lava Flow... it's amazing! Another one of my favorite rum drinks is the Painkiller - It's made with Pusser's rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, coconut cream and a bit of grated nutmeg on top for good measure.
  11. Haha we shall see! I'm sure there's gotta be some decent poutine in BC somewhere, right?? I noticed that on the menu for the restaurant in Victoria that @SpeedNoodles recommended that there is a seafood poutine... I'm not a seafood fan, but fries, cheese curds and gravy can make anything taste good!
  12. My Sister-in-law is reeeeally hoping to see the Northern Lights - well, we all are, but she's the most excited I think lol. That's really a shame about the fog.... that's going to be one of things I'm also looking forward to most. I can understand how you'd be bummed. Thanks again for all your tips, they're really appreciated!
  13. Thanks for the tip! I'm all for walking around the port, so we'll definitely do that then.
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