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njames July 23rd, 2004 03:00 PM

12 day Mercury Alaskan Cruise
My fiancÚ and I are getting married on Sept 10th then leaving for our honeymoon aboard the 12 day Alaskan cruise from San Francisco. We are staying in a Sky Suite with a veranda. Has anyone taken this cruise? It's my first time on a cruise and I'm wondering if there is anything I should expect. Formal dining, rough seas, bad excursions etc.

Roxanne July 23rd, 2004 04:21 PM

Re: 12 day Mercury Alaskan Cruise
Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials. And in my opinion, you have chosen a fantastic honeymoon!

Sounds like you're on the Mercury .... sky suite on Deck 12 (Sky Deck)? .... well, if this is the case you have chosen wisely. I was onboard in early May - sky suite 1221.

Balconies on Deck 12 are tremendously huge - 179 sq. feet - you can throw a party out there for a dozen people and still have plenty of room for lounge chairs (in fact, there will be 4 of them out there), tables (2), and regular upright chairs (2). I should know, I had a party for fellow passengers while viewing the Hubbard Glacier - and I highly recommend it. Your butler will be a big help to you in this - simply tell him a day ahead of time. He will need to know who you wish to invite; their cabin numbers (he will arrange for personal invitations to be delivered); and go over drinks and menu items to be served. He brought glass set-ups, champagne in ice buckets, cheese and crackers, chips, little chocolates - and arranged everything beautifully! My guests were delighted to have an opportunity to view the suite - plus glacier-viewing on a private verandah beats fighting for space at the rail in the public viewing areas anyday! Note that this little party did not cost me anything - other than the 3 bottles of champagne I had previously brought on board on day of embarkation (just for this party) - and the $25 tip I gave my butler for his assistance (this was above and beyond what I gave him as expected per diem). He very kindly provided the snacks gratis, and made a couple of appearances throughout the course of the party to see if anyone had requests - we loved it!

Feel free to ask him for just about anything - padded cushions for the verandah chairs, special pillows, lap blankets for sitting outside (these are very nice wool ones), shore excursion bookings, priority tender tickets, dry cleaning or pressing.... how it goes is: your stateroom attendant takes care of your cabin, and your butler takes care of you!

As honeymooners you should by all means make use of the in-suite dining. If you decide not to eat in the Manhattan Restaurant on any given night, let him know that you wish to have dinner in your suite (this should be done as early in the day as possible). He will bring you the regular dining room menu, take your orders, and then serve it -course-by-course - just like they would in the dining room - at the time you wish to dine.

Other thoughts: you will love the quiet on Deck 12. There are so few rooms up there that passenger traffic is very light. Did you know the sky suites have doorbells? And a jacuzzi tub? Tons of space for storage - I counted 20 drawers. Double closets. Unlimited cappucino and espresso provided by - you guessed it - your butler. You will have omplimentary use of the T-pool in the spa (non-suite people pay extra for this). Personalized calling cards with your names and suite number. Did I mention breakfast in bed (or on the verandah). The butler calls before he delivers breakfast - he's actually standing right outside the door - using his cell phone!

O.k., so you're starting to get the picture. If you have specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them. Leave an email address and I'll be in touch. Again, congratulations - may your married life continue as spectacularly as your cruise will sure to be.


danalan July 23rd, 2004 04:29 PM

Re: 12 day Mercury Alaskan Cruise
Congratulations. This will be a nice honeymoon.

We will be on this cruise, also in the sky suites. This is our first time on the Mercury, but third cruise with Celebrity. There are some cabin pictures posted at

We enjoy the formal nights and have felt perfectly comfortable in a dark suit with shirt and tie (or even a silk type solid color tee shirt under the suit coat) Women will wear everything from nice pant suits to really nice cocktail and party dresses. It's not as "formal" (which means strictly black tie to me) as they will lead you to believe, although you will see some people dressed up that much and will be comfortable doing so if that's what you enjoy. Just dress up in what you are comfortable and feel dressed up in and you will be fine.

On our other two cruises we enjoy having breakfast served in the suite and a light casual lunch, either a salad buffet or burgers at the outdoor grill by the pool, but a nice lunch is served casual style in the main restaurant which is nice on the at-sea days. We usually found we went back to the ship to eat, even on our port days - the food on celebrity is just that good.

We are doing the train shore excursion from Skagway, but understand from others on this discussion that sitka and ketchikan can be explored on your own. There is also some discussion about booking the whale watching excursions independently of celebrity. We have usually found on our other cruises that we like to pre-book a major shore excursion or two if its something we really want to do and then book additional smaller excursions a day or two in advance on the cruise.

If you have problems with motion sickness, you might purchase a pair of sea-bands (or C-Bands) from your pharmacy at home. These are elastic wrist bands with a bead sewn in that applies pressure to an acupunture point above your wrists. I have absolutely no problem with this (knock on wood), but my partner gets sick on a drive across town and these worked for him. There are no side effects. They can always give you medicine in the ships clinic if you get really sick and they sell the drugs also on board. The ships medical staffs are very qualified and friendly and usually underutilized and happy to help you out. Also - with a high center room on the ship, like the sky suites, the roll of the ship is minimized and you'll feel less motion than below decks and forward or aft.

Plan on a good time - maybe we'll see you on the ship.

njames July 23rd, 2004 04:56 PM

Re: 12 day Mercury Alaskan Cruise
Thank you so much Rozanne and danalan. Your comments have been very helpful. I can't believe we will have a butler, that is so fantastic! Great idea for the c-bands. I'll have to make sure to pack those. We just can't wait to be on board. Danalan we are on the sky deck so I'm sure we will run into each other. You can't miss the Honeymooners. :-)

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