Hi everyone, been busy lately, trying to see what's going on with my son and a frequently upset stomach that seems to only occur during the school year. Not at all in the summer or on his winter/spring breaks. First I thought it might be IBS but a children's gastroenterologist says it's acid reflux. Now he's on meds and doing better so hopefully he won't miss as much school. Can you imagine having that at 14? I hope he outgrows it. I wish I could have it instead of him. I'd do it in an instant. Hate to see him suffer!
Well, I have a long time for my Fascination cruise to Key West/Cozumel and I'm pretty prepared for it,; now I just have to wait. And wait. And wait.
However, I have started looking into the different excursions for the Spirit cruise to Alaska that my son and I will probably take in June 2011 when he graduates from high school. I will be booking it as soon as I can in 2010. Wow, their excursions are pretty expensive, but we will definitely take the cheapest whale watching excursion they have.
Who took the Spiorit Glacier Bay cruise this year? I'd love to hear your thoughts about it and your tips! Is there an indoor pool on Spirit? Is it warm enough to swim? How cold does it get during the day onboard AND on shore in early June? Is is so cold that people bring short fur coats?
We just cruised the Northern Inside Passage to Alaska on the Spirit and it was fantastic.
It leaves from Vancouver and ends in Whittier, Alaska (about 45 minutes from Anchorage).
Your son will love it as did mine who was 16 at the time we cruised. There were lots of kids on board his age and the teen center is off limits to adults. The teens love that!
Make sure when you go that it's summer for most kids and I believe that means late June. The only reason I'm saying that is that the Alaska cruise tends to attract an older crowd. If your son is like mine, he's going to want kids his age to hang with. There's about 2/3 less kids on an Alaska cruise compared to a Caribbean one. If you go when schools still in session for most of the country you will get even less kids. Maybe that's not important for your son but it is for mine.
As to the pool. Yes they have an inside pool. I loved that place because the outside area is heated and the pool water is like bath water. Really nice and warm for swimming. The outside pool water was also warm.
The food was great...the ship was beautiful...the bedding in the rooms was cozy comfortable. The staff was super friendly. What more could you ask for?
We arrived in Vancouver the day the ship sailed because it's a short flight for us. Instead of taking the Carnival Shuttle to the port, we took a limo for the same price. There are right there and you don't have to make a reservation. We spent $5 more and got a stretch limo. Our son was in 7th heaven. It was a great way to start our vacation.
We went in August and had unusually warm weather. Layer your clothes and you will be prepared for both warm and cold. During the day, the ship was warm enough to walk outside without a jacket but at night you will want one. When we got to the glaciers though, it was cold and raining and you really needed a warm jacket and gloves. I don't think I'd go as far as bringing a fur jacket though. Most days (and it was unusual) we wore short sleeves and a light sweater/sweatshirt. The funny thing was, even in Anchorage, when it was in the 60s, I didn't feel as cold as I do at home.
I almost chocked at the price of the excursions. Wow they were much more expensive then the Caribbean. In Juno we took a private bus tour that we just happend across on our walk to town. It was great! Since we were in Juno until 11pm that night, we had no fears of missing the ship. The Mendenhall Glacier was beautiful! Saw a bear catching a salmon in a river...wowl! Also enjoyed the Red Dog Salon. That day hardly cost us any money.
I have tons of pictures to share which I will be posting problably tonight in the photo Gallery.
I'd also be more then happy to answer any and all questions for you!
Renee - The better half of RobRen :-)
Carnival - Spirit: Alaska (August 8, 2007)
Carnival - Miracle: Exotic Western Caribbean (April 9, 2006)
Royal Caribbean - Explorer of the Seas: Eastern Caribbean (January 2005)
As a mother of a child with Crohns Disease/Ulcerative Colitis/on Remicade I can fully understand your pain and concern and the 'wishing' it were you and not them! I hope your son feels better.
We (hubby and I) went on that exact cruise in September of 05. It was the best. It isn't the party carribbean cruises that you see and if they had 5 kids that I saw - that was a lot. Teens were well behaved. This cruise I called my 'healing' cruise as my dad had died 2 months prior to us going. I wanted to cance, but kids talked me into keeping it. It was our 25th anniversary present - well my gift to him actually as I had booked it and told my dad about it about 15 months before we sailed. Dad had never been to Alaska (one of two states he had not been to) so I brough his favorite hat, kissed it and threw it off the back of the ship so a part of him is in alaska. I know I shouldn't have done that - but I did. I would like to go back now that I am in a better frame of mind. It is a very awesome cruise as they have a naturalist that speaks over the intercom (not in the rooms) to show and point out different sites, animals, educational things, etc. It was totally awesome! We went to Juno, Ketchicans and Skagway. I believe I had chest pain when I saw the prices of the excursions! As I am a large person, the flights were out. WE did go on whale watching which was totally awesome! Whales were jumping right in front of us! Mendenhall (sp??) glacier excursion is also well worth it - as is the train in skagway. I'd have to look at the excursion list again - but we did do one that was long -- like 7 hrs on a ferry type boat that was wayyyyyyyyyyy to long. Scenery was nice, but was the same thing over and over. Glacier Bay was wonderful - oh so beautiful with the caving and all. Makes me want to book it again (which I will.....eventually). The ship is not the mega ship, but like 98% of all my carnival cruises - I can't complain! YOu will love it - you can actually go through all 4 seasons in one day. Glacier Bay for example was rainy, then sunny where we were in short sleeves, then just as comfortable as you can imagine then cold as all heck closer to the glacier. make sure you bring a camera with LOTS of film! You can snap away and delete what you don't want. We flew from Louisiana - and I'm not sure where you are coming from. But, fly in a day ahead of time. We did just that - and luckily we did because our plane was delayed, and they ended up putting us up in Utah only to fly us out the next a.m. to get on the ship. We were not late at all - but if we had flown in that day, we would have missed the ship. That taught me to always go in a day ahead! On the ship coming home, they will give you the option to 'check in' to the airport on the ship. I think it cost like 32.00 each and it was WELL WORTH IT. We didn't have to do ANYTHING. We filled out the papers, our luggage was taken away and we didn't even have to fool with it until we got back to Louisiana! No customs, no airport security stuff, nothing. It was great! I would review the excursions -as I will do the same thing next time I go. You know how they can make it sound so much better than it is. Just layer your clothes - don't overpack (yea right). OH yes....and one more thing! IF you get a balcony (for an alaska trip, I sure hope you are)! get an AFT balcony. We were on an aft balcony and we could see both sides of everything - no running from one side of the ship to the other. Of course, these are all my personal opinions and I better stop talking now. I loved alaska - not sure if its because it was so totally peaceful - something I much needed at the time I went or what. But, I do plan on going back to see what I didn't see the first time as my mind was on other things. Keep us informed. I'm in the planning stage also - and think I'm going to go to canada/new england. I'll be back on the spirit when we go to the mexician riveria next year. I wish, however, they would change ships since I'll be on that one again. Oh well............