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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 27th, 2004, 08:04 PM
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Default Back from Northbound Carnival Spirit

I'll be writing a review later in the week, but if anyone has any pressing questions, I'll be glad to help.

Sheila

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old July 28th, 2004, 01:49 AM
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Default Re: Back from Northbound Carnival Spirit

What were your overall impressions of the ship? We will be on her in December going to Mexico.

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Old July 28th, 2004, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: Back from Northbound Carnival Spirit

I loved the ship. Of course, I prefer bright, vibrant colors (I'm a quilter, and you are much more likely to find fucshia and purple in my quilts than beige!). The Grill had wonderful lighting and bright, happy colors. The landings on the stairs each contained some artwork (sculptures and glass) that I really liked. Deck 2 had a wonderful seating area with comfortable and lovely leather chairs. The only real thing I would have changed is the nod to "classical art".... lots of half-nekkid Renaissance paintings ;-) Not that I minded the semi-nudity, but I would have preferred something either impressionistic, or more contemporary.

Sheila

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Old July 28th, 2004, 04:37 PM
bigabill
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Default Re: Back from Northbound Carnival Spirit

what are you recommendations for must do's & don'ts
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Old July 28th, 2004, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Re: Back from Northbound Carnival Spirit

Bill wrote:

what are you recommendations for must do's & don'ts

On the ship, or in Alaska? I'll be writing up a complete review soon, but here are some thoughts off the top of my head:

On the ship:

1. Bring a blowdryer. Yes, they have one, but the switches are created so that you have to hold the button down for it to work. Pain in the neck (or hands, as the case may be).
:-/

2. Check out your dinner seating arrangements immediately upon boarding. We didn't, and were a bit disappointed to discover we were given a table to ourselves. I love my family, but I would have preferred to sit with some new faces. Yes, I could have asked for a change, but the ship was completely full, so it would have meant displacing someone else.

3. We had a couples massage on the first full day. It was an excellent way to release the tension from work and the travel the day before.

4. Talk to people!!! I so enjoyed meeting all the different people on the ship, from crew to other passengers.

Off the ship:

1. Instead of booking a tour on ship, take the little Trolley tour in Ketchican, with Woody. Unlike the drivers of the big buses, who live there only during tourist season, Woody has lived in Ketchican for 22 years. He has a lot of knowledge about local history and local living. It gives a different perspective from a professional tour guide.

2. We did Capt. Larry's whale watching in Juneau. Great time. I loved it. My daughter has now decided she wants to be a marine biologist.

3. The highlight of the trip was the helicopter/dog sled excursion in Juneau. Yes, it was expensive, but worth every penny. I was told by some people on the ship that, in Skagway, the dog-sledding adventure was on ground, not on the glacier... and if that is the case, I'm doubly glad we went in Juneau. It was amazing going around on the sleds (each of our kids got to drive for about 30 minutes). We even witnessed a (small) avalanche. Coastal did a very good job for us.

4. I'm much more ambivalent about the train in Skagway. It was some lovely scenery, but I'm thinking we could have done the same for less money by renting a car. We added on the motorcoach/Liarsville part. If you have kids, do it... they get to pan for gold, and they enjoy the show. For adults only, I wouldn't pay the extra.

5. There are four straight days of port days, and by the time we got to Sitka, we were exhausted. We spent only about two hours walking around. There are some nice art stores there, and a quilting shop. :-)

Those are some quick thoughts. I'll try to have the full review by this weekend.

Sheila

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Old July 28th, 2004, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Re: Back from Northbound Carnival Spirit

Bill wrote:

what are you recommendations for must do's & don'ts

On the ship, or in Alaska? I'll be writing up a complete review soon, but here are some thoughts off the top of my head:

On the ship:

1. Bring a blowdryer. Yes, they have one, but the switches are created so that you have to hold the button down for it to work. Pain in the neck (or hands, as the case may be).
:-/

2. Check out your dinner seating arrangements immediately upon boarding. We didn't, and were a bit disappointed to discover we were given a table to ourselves. I love my family, but I would have preferred to sit with some new faces. Yes, I could have asked for a change, but the ship was completely full, so it would have meant displacing someone else.

3. We had a couples massage on the first full day. It was an excellent way to release the tension from work and the travel the day before.

4. Talk to people!!! I so enjoyed meeting all the different people on the ship, from crew to other passengers.

Off the ship:

1. Instead of booking a tour on ship, take the little Trolley tour in Ketchican, with Woody. Unlike the drivers of the big buses, who live there only during tourist season, Woody has lived in Ketchican for 22 years. He has a lot of knowledge about local history and local living. It gives a different perspective from a professional tour guide.

2. We did Capt. Larry's whale watching in Juneau. Great time. I loved it. My daughter has now decided she wants to be a marine biologist.

3. The highlight of the trip was the helicopter/dog sled excursion in Juneau. Yes, it was expensive, but worth every penny. I was told by some people on the ship that, in Skagway, the dog-sledding adventure was on ground, not on the glacier... and if that is the case, I'm doubly glad we went in Juneau. It was amazing going around on the sleds (each of our kids got to drive for about 30 minutes). We even witnessed a (small) avalanche. Coastal did a very good job for us.

4. I'm much more ambivalent about the train in Skagway. It was some lovely scenery, but I'm thinking we could have done the same for less money by renting a car. We added on the motorcoach/Liarsville part. If you have kids, do it... they get to pan for gold, and they enjoy the show. For adults only, I wouldn't pay the extra.

5. There are four straight days of port days, and by the time we got to Sitka, we were exhausted. We spent only about two hours walking around. There are some nice art stores there, and a quilting shop. :-)

Those are some quick thoughts. I'll try to have the full review by this weekend.

Sheila

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Carnival Legend, Western Carribean


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  #7 (permalink)  
Old July 29th, 2004, 12:06 AM
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Default Re: Back from Northbound Carnival Spirit

Thanks for the great descriptions. I am excited to be on her in a few months.

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ms Zuiderdam - May 2006

Carnival Mardi Gras - July 1991
RCCL Viking Serenade - November 1994
Carnival Pride - September 2004
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Old July 29th, 2004, 07:23 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,539
Default Re: Back from Northbound Carnival Spirit

The highlight of the trip was the helicopter/dog sled excursion in Juneau. Yes, it was expensive, but worth every penny. I was told by some people on the ship that, in Skagway, the dog-sledding adventure was on ground, not on the glacier... and if that is the case, I'm doubly glad we went in Juneau. It was amazing going around on the sleds (each of our kids got to drive for about 30 minutes). We even witnessed a (small) avalanche. Coastal did a very good job for us




For clairfication- in Skagway TEMSCO is the operator for glacier dog sledding. The bonus with them is they charge children's rates that can yield significant savings over the ship tour.
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Old August 14th, 2004, 07:34 AM
SUSAN M
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Default Re: Re: Re: Back from Northbound Carnival Spirit

WE ARE HEADING NORTHBOUND ON SPIRIT AUG, 25 CAN'T WAIT. WE ARE STILL TRYING TO MAKE UP OUR MIND ABOUT SHORE EXCURSIONS. I'M WONDERING ABOUT CAPT LARRYS WHALE WATCHING, WE PLANNED ON DOING THIS, BUT THEN TALKED RECENTLY TO SOMEONE WHO SAID YOU SEE WHALES FROM SHIP AND SHOULDN'T WASTE MONEY ON THIS? WHAT DO YOU THINK IS IT THAT MUCH BETTER EXPERIENCE OR WOULD WE BE BETTER TO DO SOME FLIGHT SEEING SOMEWHERE? KETCHIKAN WE PLAN TO DO SEA KAYAKING WITH PRIVATE CO. & SKAGWAY WE THOUGHT WE WOULD DO TRAIN & EXT. TO YUKON IF I CAN FIND THAT TOUR. I'M GLAD YOU MENTIONED THE DINNING ROOM, BUT DO WE GO TO THE DINNING ROOM TO ASK FOR TABLE OR WHAT? I HEARD THAT A WINDOW TABLE IS NICE OR WITH A VIEW? THANKS FOR THE GREAT TIPS! SUSAN
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Old August 14th, 2004, 02:13 PM
Lara
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Default Re: Back from Northbound Carnival Spirit


We were on the Spirit this past June and did the Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest out of Sitka. The first 1 1/2 hours was a humpback whale watch. I enjoyed this quite a bit, but other members of our party thought it was a bit slow paced. We did see some whales from the ship, but they were much further away. I wrote (a rather long) review of our trip that can be found in the Ship Reviews section of the website.

Lara
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old August 15th, 2004, 07:00 AM
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Default Re: Back from Northbound Carnival Spirit

Whoever told you to forget a whale watching tour- is mistaken. From a cruiseship the views IF ANY will be distant and BRIEF. For this you need invested time at the front of your ship- proper attire with a good pair of wide angle binoculars. If you aren't a frequent whale watcher- a tour is the way to go with Orca Enterprises, way superior and extensive. Humpbacks sighted 100%. Flightseeing is just excellent in Alaska so that would be a priority for me. You need to fully budget funds for tours- necessary in Alaska. Make a list of what is important this trip. As for dining- depending on your ship- you may already be assigned and realize everyone wants a window table in Alaska.
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