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An Alaskan Ovation - Ovation of the Seas 9/13/2019-9/20/2019 Alaskan Cruise Live(ish) blog

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18 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Jeans? Must be cold! Lol

Cruising in jeans and jackets just feels wrong..I absolutely love it..such a difference than all the Florida heat I am used to.  My Alaskan cruise was my favorite one ever..and Canada/New England was a close second.

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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!

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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!

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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.Two70.thumb.jpg.550853bed1c2375151476964bc1bce59.jpg

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

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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:

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Dinner tonight was in the MDR, and of course they offered the standard night one menu:

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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. 

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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!  

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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.

 

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8 hours ago, twangster said:

No matter how many pictures I take, I can never do it justice. To experience Alaska you have to sail to Alaska. 

Now you can see why I love Alaska cruising so much.    :) 

This is what I’ve been telling my friends. There’s no way pictures can ever capture the majestic views of Alaska.

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Apologies for the lack of updates - I’m finding that an Alaskan cruise is not your typical laid back Caribbean cruise.  Up early, out late.  You definitely don’t want to miss anything!  Stay tuned for more pictures and updates later.  Now it’s off to Skagway and the White Pass railway.

Here’s a taste of yesterday’s Mendenhall visit.

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So unfortunately our cruise suffered the same fate as that of @RatedPG's - there was too much fog on the approach to the Dawes glacier, so the Captain turned us around in search of whales instead.  Now that today's more of an extra sea day, I'm sitting on my balcony looking for whales and catching up on my blog.

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Let's rewind all the way back to":

Day 2: Sea Day

We woke up early to catch the first sunrise of the cruise and it did not disappoint - I didn't have my phone at the time, so there are unfortunately no pictures.

Much of the morning was spent viewing the Canadian coastline from different vantage points.

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I was even able to catch a bit of a rainbow

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If you sail on Ovation or any other Royal Caribbean ship for that matter, make sure to take time to look at the amazing art all around.  There are plenty of paintings, sculptures and other forms of media around pretty much everywhere you look. 

This is one of my favorite pieces in the Via on the way to Two70

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And of course, the pandas are not to be missed!

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Today was a mix of watching the scenery go by on the starboard side and exploring different venues around the ship including my favorite, The Schooner Bar

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Jamie's Italian 

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One thing I noticed on this ship that I didn't realize, or maybe it wasn't offered on my Anthem sailing last year, but Vintages onboard the Ovation offers Coffee

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Since Vintages is next door to Jamie's Italian, they offer  some small appetizers from Jamie's around dinner time.  These appetizers range anywhere from 3 to 5 dollars and include a miniature version of their meat plank, garlic bread, music bread, Italian bread basket, squid and bruschetta.  

I had reservations for the North Star at noon, but we were in an intense game of bingo and I lost all track of time.  Luckily, since it was a sea day I found a time slot that didn't require reservations so I arrived early and stood in line.

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The day was drawing to a close which meant that it was time to experience another sunset.  I don't think I'll ever get tired of these types of views.

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We had reservations tonight in Jamie's Italian and it did not disappoint - they bring out so much food.

Meat Plank:

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Dessert plank:

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After dinner we went to the headliner show in the Royal Theatre.  The performer, Nate Thompson did a tribute to some old school rock 'n roll classics.  He was very energetic and really got the crowd into it.

After the headliner show, I went to the other end of the ship to Two70 for the 70's disco party.

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As it was getting late, I didn't stay very long - had to be up early tomorrow to catch our approach into our first stop, Juneau!

 

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9 minutes ago, firebuck said:

So unfortunately our cruise suffered the same fate as that of @RatedPG's - there was too much fog on the approach to the Dawes glacier, so the Captain turned us around in search of whales instead.  Now that today's more of an extra sea day, I'm sitting on my balcony looking for whales and catching up on my blog.

Sorry to hear that!  My waiter told me that such things happen as the cruising season is coming to a close.  I hated the sound of the horn as we were going through the fog, constantly reminding me of what I've missed at Endicott Arm.  Time to look into another Alaskan cruise, maybe June-July.

Did you go on the iFly?

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1 hour ago, monctonguy said:

The Disco Inferno doesn't look well attended?!

 

I am guessing on ships that don't have a promenade for that stuff, it becomes hit or miss for people showing up or finding these type of events?

The dance floor in the Two70 is part of the stage.  People might be hesitant to go to the dance floor due to "stage fright". 

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Day 3 Juneau Alaska

We weren't scheduled to arrive into port until around noon, but I wanted to be up early to catch the sunrise, and I'm glad I did - it was amazing!

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One thing I'd found that is really important on an Alaskan cruise is to move around  to all sides to take in all of the scenery as it can be drastically different depending on where you are - for example, here's one side of the ship:

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And here's the view from the other:

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As we were eating breakfast in the Windjammer, we were lucky enough to see some whales spouting and then breaching - I couldn't really get my phone out in time to capture it fully, but I did get the splash.

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As we got closer to Juneau, I went to the front of the ship to take in more amazing views

 

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The only other ship in port during our visit was the Coral Princess.  

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After docking, we headed down to the port to look around since our excursion didn't start for a few hours.

This shop had some very interesting wares...

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I guess some parts of you won't be cold wearing these?

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Once we had reached our appointed excursion time, we met up with our bus driver and headed for the Mendenhall Glacier visitors center.  This excursion offered us transportation to the visitors center for about an hour and a half followed up with a salmon bake in the woods.

The views of the glacier were absolutely amazing.  The air was just as you would expect it to be as well, extremely clean, crisp and fresh.

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Once our time was up at the glacier, the bus came back to pick us up for the salmon bake.  This was wooded area that had picnic tables set up with a buffet style spread of food along with fire grilled salmon.  The food received mixed reviews from our group - I think there was a higher expectation for some amazing fresh Alaskan salmon, so the bar was pretty high.

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After dinner, there was a little trail that you could take that lead to a waterfall and an old mine.

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After enjoying the scenery a bit, we headed back to the food area and hopped a shuttle back to the port area.  We stopped by a restaurant along the port for some Alaskan brewery beer and met a dog who was patiently waiting for the staff to give him a bite to eat.

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Soon after, we boarded the ship and prepared ourselves for dinner in the MDR.

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, twangster said:

Any word when you might go into Vancouver harbor and under the bridge?

Haven't heard anything as of yet - we depart Victoria at 6 PM tonight, so I'd imagine it would be sometime late tonight or early tomorrow morning.  I'll let you know if I find out a concrete time. 

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