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July 28, 2005

Alaska Cruise

Last Week we cruised on the Norwegian Star to Alaska. We did the typical Alaska Cruise n00b things: Mount Roberts Tramway in Juneau, White Pass & Yukon Route up and Sockeye Cycle down in Skagway, and the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show in Ketchikan. We also had a day sightseeing in Glacier Bay. I did not make it to the Yukon, but I did see a Yukon license plate (in Skagway) and a road sign for the Yukon town of Carcross (on the Klondike Highway in Fraser, B.C.).

It was a good cruise and the weather was very good, partly cloudy at the beginning and then sunny at the end. Beyond the shore excursions we walked around the cities a bit, but mostly they sell the same tacky Alaska souvenirs or the same crap that you see in stores at Caribbean cruise ports: tanzanite, alexandrite, Ebel watches, etc. that probably only have value to people who have been trapped for days on a cruise ship with no external stimuli.

From a technology point of view, the Star has an Internet Cafe, as well as Wi-Fi in various common areas (for a fee). I used none of that and was off the grid for a week. They also have a bridge cam on the website linked to above. Currently it's night but if you view it on Thursday between around 10 am and 1 pm you might see some good glacier views.

Besides this cruise we've done the Disney Magic and the Explorer of the Seas in the Eastern Caribbean. All 3 ships have advantages and disadvantages: the Star has freestyle dining and sails from Seattle, and the kids programs are pretty good, but the buffet food is lousy, the entertainment isn't so good, and they don't have a good cabin for a family of six. The Disney Magic has lame kids' programs and scheduled dining, but had a great cabin for us, they do feed the kids meals in the program, and the shows were good. Royal Caribbean has the best kids programs, the buffet is good, and the cabin is good, but the kids food isn't that varied and it also has scheduled dining. And neither Disney nor Royal Caribbean sail out of Seattle (any more). So we still haven't found the perfect cruise line.

Posted by AdamBa at July 28, 2005 12:35 AM

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RC is coming back to Seattle in 2006. I was going to take an Alaskan cruise with them this year (out of vancouver), but looks like that may not happen. However, I do know that they are scheduled to be back in Seattle next year.


Posted by: J.P. at July 28, 2005 06:20 AM