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Wes April 10th, 2003 01:51 AM

Seattle - Alaska Cruise Sept 7 2003 Norwegian Sun

To anyone that is a passenger on the above cruise to Alaska I am just saying HELLO a bit early and would be interested in messaging you before deparure date if interested in E mailing me back ? ?

Ellis June 7th, 2003 07:26 PM

Re: Seattle - Alaska Cruise Sept 7 2003 Norwegian Sun
Hi, Wes. We just booked a Balcony Room, and I'm kind of nervous. It's our first cruise, and it's quite a lot of money for us, but we decided to risk it.

Some of the reviews of the Norwegian Sun make it seem like a Motel 6 on the sea, and others make it sound like heaven on Earth. But all the deposits and payments of everything have been made, so we're stuck if it turns out bad.

I'm not sure how much fun we'll be, since I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and my husband is introverted. :)

Wes June 19th, 2003 04:31 AM

Re: Re: Seattle - Alaska Cruise Sept 7 2003 Norwegian
This is my 1 st cruise also but providing the weather cooperates ( or even if it doesnt ? ) you will have fun - Have you booked any shore tours yet thru NCL or are you going to see what you can find locally once we get to each stop ?

Luanne June 20th, 2003 11:15 PM

Re: Seattle - Alaska Cruise Sept 7 2003 Norwegian Sun
I have been on the NCL Sun to the Western Carribean and it was a great ship. I haven't been to Alaska so I don't know how that will be, but the ship itself is great. They had a lot of activities and we were never bored. I think if you go with an open mind, you will enjoy yourselves. Those that think it a "sailing" motel 6 wouldn't be happy about anything. There will be lines for embarkation. You have 2000 people all wanting to get on the ship. There will be restaurants that you have to pay for but you know that going in. You know drinks will be expensive but not any more than any other cruiselines. Bingo is expensive but not any higher than other cruiselines. These are some of the complaints that people have. Also they complain about the fact that a relatively new ship shouldn't have stains or worn carpet. Well if you have 2000+ people spilling stuff and roaming around weekly it tends to get worn. People just complain when there's nothing else to do. I think you all will have a great time and take it for what it is. It is a wonderful way to enjoy food, drink, scenery, companionship, rest and relaxation to let people do almost everything for you for 7 days. We just took our 3rd cruise, 2 on NCL and one on Royal Caribbean and we loved them all. Every cruise had it's good points and bad. Have a wonderful time. Also to Ellis, you don't have to worry about how much "fun" you are to others. That is the great thing about freestyle cruising. You can eat by yourselves if you want and when you want. If your illness is bad at a certain time, you can rest and eat when it suits you. If your husband keeps to himself then you don't have to do group activities. My husband and I just do things by ourselves on cruises. We are not usually "joiners" either unless we hit it off with someone on the cruise. We have a great time just with each other and the activities we are doing.


Post Edited (06-20-03 23:21)

Ellis June 26th, 2003 01:25 AM

Re: Seattle - Alaska Cruise Sept 7 2003 Norwegian Sun
Hi Wes (and Luanne, too)

I'm going back and forth between the two choices, which seem to be:

Book an excursion myself and pay less that way, but then the cruise line lets you off last like a second-class citizen and you could potentially miss the re-embarking..


pay extra for doing it through the cruise line, but have peace of mind in tendering/disembarking and that the ship won't leave without us.

I also have to figure out our budget, since the Balcony stateroom was $1400 pp. I'm thinking that the Mendenhall Glacier is good (Juneau). The other places, I'm really not well enough to do stuff, and not sure if we should really overspend for helicopters or other flights. :)

Ann July 3rd, 2003 10:17 PM

Re: Re: Seattle - Alaska Cruise Sept 7 2003 Norwegian
Hi All-
We are going on the Sun 7/27 for our first cruise. I booked two excurisions with NCL, one myself, and one stop we are setting out on our own. I'll let you know how it all works out when we get back. :)

Just in case you are wondering- I booked the "White Pass Railway & Laughton Glacier Wilderness Hike" in Skagway and the "Craigdarroch Castle & Victorian Highlights" in Victoria through NCL. In Ketchican, I booked a half day kayaking trip with Southeast Sea Kayaks ( based on a recommendation from someone on another message board before I recieved my travel papers from NCL. NCL seems to have the same basic trip in the excursion booklet at a slightly cheaper price. I would change it to NCL's but there's a $25 cancelation fee with Southeast. In Juneau, we are striking out on our own. We are planning on getting a local shuttle or cab to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor's Center and heading out on one of the trails to see how close we can get. I printed a copy of the basic trail maps from the Visitor Center's website. ( or type "mendenhall glacier " into your search engine.)

I'd like to do one of the helicopter excursions but won't for two reasons: 1) too expensive. I keep thinking of all the drinks, gambling, spa services, and etc I could get with the money I'll save by hiking up to the glacier myself. And 2) I get motion sick watching TV and cruising is pushing it for me, I'm afraid. :) I have hung my head over many small boat railings or amusement park rides, and I don't think hanging my head out of the helicopter is an experience I want to have. ( I will be prepared for this cruise, though, with every sea sickness remedy and prevention made!)

I know you said you weren't well enough to to some of the excursions offered. We are in the opposite boat, so to speak. We are active and in our mid-30's. We are turned off by excursions that might trap us in a long boring bus ride listing to a guide make bad jokes or give a monotone speech about the local lore. I guess that's why they offer so many choices both on and off the ship! :)

But I'll be interested to hear about other people's experiences with the excursions! And I will share mine with you before you head out.
E ya- Ann

Boo July 4th, 2003 05:03 PM

Re: Re: Seattle - Alaska Cruise Sept 7 2003 Norwegian

2 things:

1) If this is your first cruise, I suggest booking shore excursions through the cruise line: The difference in price isn't necessarily that great, and worth less stress. I will say this much -- don't get too carried away with excursions -- there's plenty to do and see on the ship, and just getting off and wandering around the town is great (Skagway is perfect for this).

2) Don't pay too much attention to "reader reviews." There tends to be a tendency for people to review cruises only if they are chronic complainers. A lot tends to be related to expectations. The "Motel 6" statement is laughable. My husband and I have taken 2 cruises on NCL and had a fabulous time on both (our third will be to Alaska on the Wind this September!). We've also taken 2 cruises on Holland American, one on Celebrity, one on Princess, and 1 on Crystal. I'll tell you up front that I haven't had a bad cruise. Crystal is much more expensive (I didn't pay for it, thank goodness), and it was great, but I wouldn't rank it as the best value for the dollar -- that honor belongs to NCL.

Have a great time, don't worry, and enjoy the scenery!

Ellis July 6th, 2003 04:09 PM

Re: Seattle - Alaska Cruise Sept 7 2003 Norwegian Sun
Thanks again! I think we'll most likely book through the cruise line, since the price difference is $10 or less, and saving myself the stress is worth it. Looks like we'll do Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, and the white pass train in Skagway. In Ketchikan, we'll just go walk around town a bit, if we want.

On the Cruise Critic boards, I found out more stuff I wanted to know, too.

Please let me know how you like the NCL Sun, and if possible, take photos :)

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