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Quantum of the Seas / September 11 - 18, 2023


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Lovely cruise into rainy Sitka!!! Made a GRIEVOUS travel error by not reading the digital compass yesterday and missing we needed shuttle tickets as if this were a tender port. uuuughhhh you’d think I would’ve known! Everything I read always just said take the free shuttle, not prepare a day ahead and get a ticket for said shuttle! Whoooops. #33, currently calling #14, 15… loong wait to go ashore is killing me! 

Pilot boat after he dumped his cargo:



Came in alongside HAL Eurodam.



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Disembarkation was SUCH a mess!! We went in to the Raptor Center and really enjoyed it. Getting transportation though from downtown was a real challenge however. Took 30+ mins to finally hail a cab after just missing the local bus. Evidently there is also only 1 Uber/Lyft driver and she’s a nurse and didn’t get off work til after 10:00. We caught her on our return to downtown from the Raptor Center after she dropped off another fare. REALLY enjoyed seeing the church downtown as well. 






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Loved Sitka!! As @deButler mentioned, getting off and to town was rough! Mostly because of my lack of shuttle tickets, but we made it finally around 12 after being fully ready to disembark at 9.

Sitka was so gorgeous! Mist sitting on all the tree tops, some snow still on the mountains. Critter tally jumped up to 3 eagles, 2 otters, 10 harbor seals and countless grey and humpback whales on our tour. We went deep into Sitka sound on a hunt for bears but I missed the rough outline of a mom and cubs some were able to spot. 

Driving into town from the cruise pier.











We were ablento walk the Totem trail in Sitka National Historic Park before our tour, seeing the lush natural rainforest was lovely. 




Looking back at the bridge from an earlier photo.




The salmon were jumping everywhere! 


Captain Gary was able to drop us back off at the dock where Quantum was parked, so we didn’t have to wait in the shuttle line to come back which was nice. I missed seeing the downtown, we will have to come back! That Russian church looks so picturesque. 😍


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On 9/12/2023 at 7:46 PM, DDaley said:

It turned into a partly cloudy day a little later, not too bad at all! We were able to get in some time in the Solarium this afternoon and the pool was even bearable. 

We went to the Top Tier event this morning, it was especially cool because it was in the 270 and they showed us an awesome robot tv screen demo at the end that really showcases their spinning and fluid motion.



After that we headed to our 11:30am iFly reservation. It was so much fun! It was a lot more effort than I assumed but such an exhilarating feeling! We liked our teacher Harry a lot. We ended up buying a 3 pack of images for $49.99 which we can pick up tomorrow. It took till my second try to focus and think oh so thiiis is the feeling of free fall.. there is so much going on with the instructor signaling you and also trying to remember to hold your body a certain way.



We hit up bingo this afternoon. One woman won games 1 and 3! 




We were greeted by our first towel friend after the single morning cleaning. Our attendant Sandi is so friendly and has brought us ice consistently! 


Izumi tonight and then the Sequins and Feathers production show. 


Getting cold out here! Snagged this extra blanket from a cabinet above the bed. 

Picture of clouds over Flowrider is great. 

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We were in Icy Strait Point today, rained all day and was verrrryyy happy to be dressed in my swishy waterproof pants and raincoat. We even found that our water backpacks (knock off Camelbaks) from Amazon came with a rain cover so we were fully prepared to be wet all day. 

Our early morning whale watch was cancelled (small craft advisory) but we were able to jump on the same tour at 11:30am instead. While we waited we walked the ISP area and rode the gondola up to the top of the mountain. 







While there was no view due to thick fog, we were able to walk the hidden lake trail and spotted a mama bear and her cub!! The ISP employee nearby told us to book it but it was so cool to be able to check wild bears off my list. 



There are bears in this pic but not sure how easy they are to make out, I only ended up with a video that really captured them.





We walked back to the excursion hub and were shuttled to Hoonah to catch our boat. 




This tour was leagues better than the one yesterday, thinking it was mostly Paul, the guide we had! 

We got back on the ship around 3:15 after 7 hours out in the rain, so needless to say we were soaked!! Figured out a fun clothes drying hack using the cabinetry above the couch. (FYI This cabin, 12254, is “wrong” with the couch closer to the balcony) 


New towel pal! 


After a huge bowl of reindeer chili fries we were not quite feeling getting dressed for Wonderland so we pushed it till day 6. Windjammiér for dinner for us. Not awful but not great! 


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Confirmed we turned back due to thick fog in Endicott Arm but we will be getting to Juneau 2.5 hours early which is a nice trade off. 

Every direction is so gorgeous! 










In other HOT news this morning, Solarium Bistro has REAL Huy Fong Sriracha! For a true fan this was shocking as they have been sold out everywhere for 6 months due to drought/lack of production. 



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Blustery sea day today and the ship is a-rockin’! 

Hot, unsubstantiated gossip is that the stabilizers are out of commission which is what made both our sea days so crazy. 

Yesterday in Juneau was so amazing. Everywhere you looked there were tiny waterfalls running down mountainsides from the previous day’s 4 inches of rain. Since we got in 3 hours ahead of schedule, we were able to walk the city before meeting up for our tour. 













We stopped by the Red Dog Saloon and tried a Duck Fart shot (as found on the boards) which was pretty delicious. We also had “really expensive shit” drinks and some lunch, the brisket sandwich was our fave.





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After lunch we met at the base of the tram station for our Mendenhall kayaking tour through Shoreexcursioneer.com. This was definitely a highlight of our trip, despite it making my arms incredibly exhausted later and getting a hell of a blister on my thumb! 

From the base of Nugget Falls you could baaarely see the glacier so I am so glad we were able to get on the water and see it a lot closer. The glacier used to extend all the way to the Vistor’s Center!!! 








After our 5 mile kayak we were dropped back downtown for some shopping before getting back on the ship around 5:30pm. 





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13 minutes ago, DDaley said:

unsubstantiated gossip is that the stabilizers are out of commission which is what made both our sea days so crazy. 

I think it’s more that the wind is hitting us at 56 knots and causing pretty high seas. This is our 2nd week onboard and have heard no mention of stabilizer problems so hopefully not that. Captain expects seas to calm late afternoon. Fingers crossed because it’s pretty crazy. I also saw that Radiance was being held in Seward because of 30’ waves there. 

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19 minutes ago, DDaley said:

Hot, unsubstantiated gossip is that the stabilizers are out of commission which is what made both our sea days so crazy. 

FWIW, we found the quantum class sailing (we were on odyssey/quantum ultra class, though i’m not sure it matters) to be the rockiest we’d ever had. maybe because the ship is so long and skinny, you feel more movement. 

and that was in the caribbean 😳😮‍💨

hopefully it calms down for you guys soon!! 💚

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13 minutes ago, FloatyBoaty said:

Captain expects seas to calm late afternoon.

This is great news! I am worried about trying Wonderland later with a queasy stomach, haha. 

5 minutes ago, asquared17 said:

maybe because the ship is so long and skinny, you feel more movement. 

Ohhh this definitely makes sense to me! Brilliance was rocky when we went last March but nothing like this.

Currently we are hanging in the cabin, we just tried to play some pool in the Music Hall to hilarious effect. 😂

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1 hour ago, DDaley said:

We stopped by the Red Dog Saloon and tried a Duck Fart shot (as found on the boards) which was pretty delicious. We also had “really expensive shit” drinks and some lunch, the brisket sandwich was our fave.

AMAZING pictures of Juneau!!! It was real treat to finally be out the rain for a bit. My wife enjoyed all of the “End of Season Sales” at every jewelry store in town. 

We also stopped in Red Dog for lunch. Enjoyed the piano player. Kept singing the Duck Fart song for your shots. Lots of fun. 

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1 hour ago, FloatyBoaty said:

I think it’s more that the wind is hitting us at 56 knots and causing pretty high seas. 

I stepped out onto our port forward balcony this morning after hearing the wind howling and saw right away what we were literally up against. Stepped inside to check the map position details and saw the same. 

Our 2 TA crossings in spring were never anything close this motion. Fortunately I never have had any issues with motion sickness. It’s always fun to watch folks walk around the ship when we’re rocking this much. 😄🤪


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Sonic Odyssey last night was so cool! I’m so glad we snuck it in before dinner because it turned out to be our favorite of the three production shows we’ve seen on this cruise. Mega percussion, giant triple banger guitar, huuuge theatre-wide harp, what’s not to like? 



After the show we had about 40 minutes and snuck in another un-tried activity in the Seaplex. Line went pretty quickly and we only ended up 5 minutes late to Wonderland. 



Wonderland was interesting. Haha, I am glad we went but it was definitely a one-and-done visit. Stand outs were the dumpling soup, potted shrimp and the short rib main course. The smoked whiskey drink on their menu was my husband’s favorite ship-wide! 

I took exactly one picture while there - the baby veggies in the garden.


Still on our way to Victoria this morning. Check this classic balcony look! 





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Our excursion in Victoria didn’t get back till 9:45pm on Sunday night! We got into port around 4:30 and were bussed to AdrenaLine Zipline Adventure Tours in Sooke at 5:30. Because the tour was going to end in the dark, our helmets were outfitted with headlamps that we turned on near the end. 

It was so fun! It’s an 8-zipline canopy tour and they offered a “Big Zip” excursion through the cruise line as well. The difference being that Big Zip was just one run at 2400ft long that they got to try twice. We went to the top of the mountain and came down the 8 different lines and suspension bridge, the longest line being 1000ft. 

Pulling into Victoria, we saw at least 10 seaplanes taking off and landing! 






Views were lovely while they lasted!



Guide performs “the wet noodle"




Ended in the dark! You can see the tiny red light where this line started in the distance. 



It was a 45 minute journey outside of Victoria. Overall we really enjoyed this tour! Great guides always making the difference. 

When we got back to the ship, they had kept the WJ open late so we were able to grab something other than Sorrento’s, which was so nice. All week the WJ had been closing at 8:30! It was Mexican night and I can never resist a make your own nachos offering. 

We did some late night packing as we pulled away from Victoria and called it a night. 

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Woke up about 6:30 yesterday and saw people were already disembarking in Seattle! We finished our packing and grabbed one last breakfast in the Windjammiér (aka The Jammy). As usual, it was a madhouse with suitcases everywhere and people eating their weight in their last free eggs and bacon. Even saw a family bagging up 10+ croissants and cold cuts for their voyage which I thought was a pretty smart idea! We always bring tumblers for bringing our cocktails to port but making your own sammie is a new one (probably wouldn’t fly in the Caribbean where they have you declare your fruits/vegetables). 

We booked Seattle Express for the return trip to the airport (suggested here on the boards!) and I would definitely recommend them. Lyft/Uber was running around $60-$80 and we paid $25 each for the shuttle. Aside from price, ride-share users have to cart their luggage pretty far outside the terminal area before they can pick you up, our bus was right at the end of the baggage collection area. 

We left our cabin at 8:15 and were on the shuttle by 8:45. TSA at SeaTac is insane, make sure you show up as early as you can, the security line took us from 9:20-10:40 or so!  Probably the worst TSA I have ever encountered and SFO and HNL have done me dirty plenty of times. 



Goodbye Quantum!! Will be back with some final thoughts on this class and itinerary. 


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What an amazing trip and such fun to travel along with you @DDaley  !! Sure the weather could have been a little better but it sure did make us appreciate our day in Juneau that much more, AND you’re in Alaska. We had planned and packed for rainy weather all week. We especially enjoyed the cooler temps after enduring the last 2 months of TX heat. 

Thanks so much for all of the amazing pics and fun commentary along the way. I will certainly make note of that Zipline tour. We did a similar experience with many multiple descending zips in Costa Rica back in 2003 and was so much fun. 

Quantum was a new class of ship for us and I am still processing how I feel about them. I was extremely excited to finally get on but I don’t think that I was overly thrilled with the layout and design. I much prefer the larger promenade space on almost all other ships as this one seemed very crowded all of the time. Even our world record TA on Symphony this year NEVER really felt crowded at any point.  The other REALLY disappointing aspect was the Casino. They really need get it updated and SOON. My wife and other family members however enjoyed the payouts on some of the older slot machines this time. 😍😆

What a fun time. Thanks again for letting us come along on your Alaskan Adventure!!

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33 minutes ago, deButler said:

Quantum was a new class of ship for us and I am still processing how I feel about them. I was extremely excited to finally get on but I don’t think that I was overly thrilled with the layout and design. I much prefer the larger promenade space on almost all other ships as this one seemed very crowded all of the time.

Completely agree on Quantum. This was our first try on this class and it really feels like it’s missing something when it comes to those big interior spaces, and the Via feels almost forgotten hidden behind the aft elevators. I did truly love sitting in the 270, though. Those huge windows facing the wake were hard to take my eyes off of! I really liked the Top Tier event being held in there and being accompanied by the full band. 

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1 minute ago, SweetPea said:

I've not been to AK yet, but your pics really whet my interest! Thanks for posting!

The pictures can never do it justice! If you can stand the cold and lack of gorgeous sunny days on your vacation, I highly recommend it, just beautiful scenery every direction you look. Even in the midst of all-day rain! 

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1 hour ago, DDaley said:

The pictures can never do it justice! If you can stand the cold and lack of gorgeous sunny days on your vacation, I highly recommend it, just beautiful scenery every direction you look. Even in the midst of all-day rain! 

If you do go I would recommend July as well for better weather. Never a guarantee in Alaska, but I went mid July in 2019 and it was 75 and Sunny every day. Just gorgeous. 

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Final Thoughts

Overall, we enjoyed Quantum class. It was the newest ship we’ve been on to date and all the high tech shows and art and design throughout the ship were pretty awesome! We missed all of the outward facing venues we last experienced on Brilliance, but it greatly made up for it in beautiful spaces. 

• 270 as a day-use venue and at night as a high tech theatre venue, especially liked sitting in the upper levels 
• Solarium had the best view, we even spotted 10-20 whales on our final day sailing up the strait into Victoria as we sat in the heated cascading pool! Just amazing.
• iFly skydiving simulator, left me sore for 3 days but was such an exhilarating feeling
• Seaplex activities, bumper cars and laser tag were both worth a try

Not as good
• Esplanade layout on deck 4, we were constantly dodging tons of people walking, sitting and shopping in this area
• The four dining room MDR concept made me jealous because we only ever got Silk, despite moving around to different waitstaff teams on our 3 nights we dined there, let me see American Icon Grill! Looked so shiny in there.
• Casino layout and slot machine variety, all corners of the casino smelled like smoke and I missed the older machines without the enormous curved screens
• The on screen map in the cabin doesn’t zoom in enough! Haha. Why would I need to see where we are in relation to Asia when I’m in Alaska? Zoom in more and let me see the actual land masses nearest me. 

If you’re headed on Quantum in the next 6 months you must visit Erico in the WJ bar! He was our favorite bartender anywhere on board! His “finger slipped” almost every time producing hearty cocktails 😂

We had blustery seas and rainy weather but all three Alaskan ports were so beautiful, even shrouded in fog. I had thermal layers, a hoodie and a rain jacket with 2 beanies but I do wish I brought gloves. My hands were frozen on both boat tours from holding the aluminum railings! 

I packed 4 dresses and a skirt for dinners but only ended up dressing for dinner twice (on the two formal nights that coincided with our specialty dining) because we were so exhausted after our days in port. I would definitely bring more casual wear next time so I don't have to wear the same sweaters and sweatshirt all the time. We were able to do the trip with just carry ons and an additional bag each but all that room for dresses was wasted.

Alaska was absolutely fantastic and we already decided we will have to come back and do a North or Southbound route instead because round-trip from Seattle just wasn’t enough Alaska for one week. And we’ll have to add on a land portion next time! Have I truly been to Alaska if it was only Southeast Alaska? 


PS. I forgot to mention that our whale watching tour guide in ISP was the bear guard for a couple of those Alaskan family wilderness tv shows and it’s all fake! He shuttled them to a motel in town every night hahahah


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