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twangster

Explorer Alaska 6/22/18 - 7 Nights RCLBlog Group Cruise!

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On 6/27/2018 at 6:27 PM, JLMoran said:

See, these photos and the clear awe being expressed are why I believe you have to see Alaska on a Radiance ship, Voyager class at the largest, because only those smaller ships can actually get to all these places. Can Ovation even go to this spot? If she can, can she get anywhere near as close without hitting the cliffs on either side while turning? And get you get nearly as much time with a good view when you'll be fighting with twice as many passengers to see it all?

Sure, Ovation is a cold-weather ship and has a lot more to offer on board, but when the goal is seeing all of that stuff not on the ship, I don't know if the potential trade-offs in the final experience are worth it.

I agree with you JLMoran.  I have been to Alaska 3 times on Radiance class ( Radiance, rhapsody, and serenade) and once on celebrity Millenium and love that ship size.  On millenium in May 2012, we were able to get closer to Hubbard glacier than the captain ever had before because the conditions were so perfect.  You could hear the calfing up on deck.  Also,  I will point out that all 4 times I had an inside cabin and have no regrets  ( on the trip in 2012, I only paid $1200 total for the trip).  I never had a problem finding space up on deck, the helicopter pad, or in the solarium especially if you try to avoid the crowd once they all get cold and go back inside for breakfast! 🙂  My DH and I have now down northbound, southbound, 1 roundtrip from Vancouver and 1 roundtrip from seattle and we will definately be going back!  It is one of our favorite destinations!  We have gotten so comfortable with Juneau now that the last time we took the city bus out to mendenhall glacier and stopped at the alaskan brewery for their tour and tasting ( which is pretty far out of the town) on the way back.  They always have beers there that you can't get in the town, but then we like to hit the Flight Deck in town and watch the seaplanes land.  

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Best Cruise Blog Moment

It's the last night of the cruise in the R Bar.  There are a handful of blog cruisers present.  The R Bar is shutting it down soon.  I've been drinking Kraken and diet cokes so I order one last drink before the bar closes.  Bottle near empty it's the last of the Kraken so I get a generous pour. 

Meanwhile and unknown to me, Matt has been saving his last punch on the drink card for one more... Kraken and Coke.  The bar tender apologizes and says "No more Kraken".  The look on his face said it all. Like a child who was told they can't have that shiny new bike I thought for a brief second he might cry.  

Cost of drink package: $347

Look on Matt's face: Priceless

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6 minutes ago, twangster said:

Best Cruise Blog Moment

It's the last night of the cruise in the R Bar.  There are a handful of blog cruisers present.  The R Bar is shutting it down soon.  I've been drinking Kraken and diet cokes so I order one last drink before the bar closes.  Bottle near empty it's the last of the Kraken so I get a generous pour. 

Meanwhile and unknown to me, Matt has been saving his last punch on the drink card for one more... Kraken and Coke.  The bar tender apologizes and says "No more Kraken".  The look on his face said it all. Like a child who was told they can't have that shiny new bike I thought for a brief second he might cry.  

Cost of drink package: $347

Look on Matt's face: Priceless

Hmm....I feel like there may be another Kraken scope coming by @Matt....lol

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On 6/21/2018 at 10:09 PM, twangster said:

I grabbed some lunch and headed back for my turn at the Space Needle.  It was about an hour in line snaking slowly up towards the elevator for the rise top the top.  There is a security checkpoint you have to walk through but I had no issues with anything I had with me. 

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This is the area near the elevators where I finally made it to after crawling along, inch by inch waiting for the one elevator to carry guests up and down to the top.

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Just prior to this point is a photo station.  The photo is free to download.  They take your picture against a gray background and later, in the gift shop you can choose one of six backdrops and have a link emailed to you to access your photo.  This is included at no additional charge.

Built in 1961 the building and elevator appear to be set in this era.  It took just 400 days to building the Space Needle.  They are renovating the upper observation deck, replacing wire 'cage' with glass panels for a better view.  It's under construction now but mostly complete.

Here is the elevator ride up and down.

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They have set up a display to compare the old caged feel versus the new glass panels they are installing.  There used to be a knee wall where now the glass extends down to the floor for a much more open feeling with great views.

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The inside is being renovated as well. This is the line waiting to go back down. Not nearly as long a wait as it was going up.

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I'm very glad I did both Chihuly Glass and the Space Needle but I would choose an earlier reservation next time.  The crowds seemed to be growing bigger as the afternoon progressed.

We had reservations for 8pm the same day to try and catch the sunset. We had no line at all, walked right up the elevator. 

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8 hours ago, Boltswin said:

We had reservations for 8pm the same day to try and catch the sunset. We had no line at all, walked right up the elevator. 

Yes, I'm pretty sure peak is mid-afternoon which is pretty much what I selected.  I wasn't sure how the transfer to the hotel would go, or if a room would be ready so I played it safe.  I guess I could have selected a later time but then there was the group cruise meet at the hotel which I had timed near perfectly. 

I did try to go early but they enforce the 'boarding' times.

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On 6/27/2018 at 3:54 AM, twangster said:

 

Another excursion that has peaked my interest involves being driven to the summit (or taking the train one way) then riding bicycles down into Skagway.  We came across this excursion as we drove back down.  I just might have to try this one time despite our bus driver referring to them as bear food.

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Finally it was time to stop at US Customs since we had technically departed the country ever so briefly.

We've done this tour and it is SO much fun - so much so that we may just do it again this June.  I'm so glad they are still offering it.

 

 

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