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Diamond Princess Alaska Pics

Discussion in 'Alaska & Pacific Northwest Ports' started by fusco9800, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. fusco9800

    fusco9800 Guest

  2. fusco9800

    fusco9800 Guest

  3. wendy z

    wendy z Guest

    amazing pictures. thanks for sharing. were the skies really that blue? You both seemed to be dressed pretty warm on deck. How cold was it while you were at sea?
     
  4. mrsfmax

    mrsfmax Guest

    I am new to this whole message board thing! Hope I don't make too many mistakes, please let me know if I do something wrong.
    fusco9800 - Your pics of Alaska are absolutely breathtaking! Fmax and I along with 6 friends are on the Diamond Princess June 26th. We are all very excited and enjoyed the preview of the wonderful scenery. We are from beautiful downtown Buckeye, Arizona so the weather is a concern to these "desert rats." Are we going to freeze while sitting on the balcony? This is our 3rd cruise but the other 2 were to warm places! Hawaii and Western Caribbean.
    Thanks for the sneak peak at Alaska.
     
  5. halfdome86

    halfdome86 Guest

    Photos bring back memories of our trips. Thanks.

    You could get somewhat cold on the balcony. Just be prepared. My ears were cold a lot. :^)

    Alaska is awsome and you'll love it there regardless of the temp.
     
  6. fusco9800

    fusco9800 Guest

    We had great weather on our cruise. Just got lucky I guess. Only sprinkled a little in Juneau and sunny for pretty much the rest of the time. Must have been close to 70 on our drive to the Yukon (got a little sunburnt) Lots of blue skies on this trip. Mostly calm seas too.

    I think we had temperatures in the 50's but with the wind on deck it could get a little chilly. We had coats on in Tracy Arm because we were in the shade until we got to the glaciers and because we were outside for hours. Many of the passengers in balconies below us (in the sun) only had shirts, sweatshirts or light jackets (some only wore their robe). However, I'm sure the weather can be unpredictable so be prepared to put on or take off layers.

    Mrsfmax - Have a great time on your cruise!!!
     
  7. mrsfmax

    mrsfmax Guest

    We were wondering about the photo boat captioned on your photos. Is that an excursion that is available to cruise passengers and where do we sign up?!!!
    Thanks,
    mrsfmax
     
  8. fusco9800

    fusco9800 Guest

    The photo boat in Tracy Arm is not an excursion. The crew launches the boat with the ship's photographers to take a picture of the ship against the surrounding scenery. Then, they bring the photo boat in closer to take pictures of the passengers on deck. Of course, these pictures will all be for sale the next day. I bought the picture of the ship but the scan did not look very good so I didn't include it on webshots. The photographers did take our picture on our balcony but we didn't like our pose.
     
  9. Lin

    Lin Guest

    Your photos really are spectacular! Did you rent a car in Skagway or did you take a shore excursion? We can't wait to see Alaska! Thanks again for posting those pretty pictures.
     
  10. fusco9800

    fusco9800 Guest

    Lin -

    We rented a car in Skagway. Our cruise itinerary gave us plenty of time to explore the shops in Skagway, and then begin our drive into the Yukon. We stopped every 10-15 minutes. It seems like every corner you turn there is another mountain or Lake to take pictures of. I'm sure in the Summer it would be beautiful also as you should have more wildflowers.

    I'm glad that we rented the car. I have heard that the train ride is also wonderful, but for us having the freedom to stop at any point was worth having the car rental. Not to mention it is much less expensive to rent a car for two or more people than it is to take the train.

    We drove as far as Emerald Lake -- could have probably gone for another hour or so, but we also wanted to see Dyea. Took a rest break at the Cinnamon Cache Bakery for homemade sandwiches, soup and cinnamon rolls (yummy!!). Then continued on to Emerald Lake. Couldn't have asked for better weather.

    On the way back we stopped in Carcross and visited with "YUKON" who posts on another cruise forum. He has this website that we used for our mile marker highlights. http://www.bellsalaska.com/myalaska/klondikehwy2.html .

    Skagway is definitely one of the highlights of a cruise to Alaska!! Have a great trip !!

    Tracy
     
  11. doreen

    doreen Guest

    Thank you for the fabulous pictures. I am leaving on the Princess 7/24 and you have made me all the more looking forward to the trip.

    Doreen
     
  12. lisalovlee33

    lisalovlee33 Guest

    Very nice pictures. We are booked on the diamond princess (seattle r/t) to alaska. I'm quite confused about the dinner arrangements. I have called Princess several times and they are basically telling me 2 different things, so better coming from someone who had actually been on the same ship. When you are booked on preassigned seating (and not the personal choice), can you still go to the other restaurants on the ship? If the answer is yes, doesn't that mean that you can now visit 5 restaurants instead of 4 since you are also allowed at the International dining room which i understand it to be the restaurant with preassigned arrangements? So why wouldn't passengers just do that, so that they have more options as opposed to booking on a "personal choice" dining with the limitation of only 4 restaurants? My confusion arises when some of the Princess agents tell me that if you're booked on preassigned, you cannot visit the other 4 open dining rooms. Meanwhile, there's also some other agents who tell us that, you could. Please advice, as im wondering if it's worthwhile to be waitlisted into the preassigned category as it is not available now.
    Now as far as excursions, is it normally cheaper to rent a car and do the visits on your own in the towns? Are rental car agency readily available and what's the average cost for a day?
    Another thing is are the cruise ports close to the towns? Our iteanary is as follows:
    7-day Inside Passage Cruise sailing roundtrip from Seattle via the Inside Passage to Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Victoria and glacier-viewing in Tracy Arm.



    Post Edited (06-10-04 02:04)
     
  13. fusco9800

    fusco9800 Guest

    Lisa - Looks like you are doing the same itinerary we did. Renting a car can be cheaper for two or more people. We rented a car in Skagway and it cost $67 for the car and $15 for the gas. It gave us the flexibility to see what we wanted, at the pace we wanted to go (and to stop, shop and eat where we wanted). The drawback is that we did not get the history and other information a tour guide would provide. I'm not sure if it would be worth renting a car in Juneau or Ketchikan since the roads there are fairly limited. We got most of our port sightseeing info and ideas from cruise boards like this one. How you arrange port sightseeing depends mainly on what you want to see. For example, in Juneau we just wanted to see Mendenhall Glacier so we just paid $10 for a roundtrip on a shuttle bus that we knew (from these boards) were available right at the dock. If we wanted to do other things like whale watching or seeing the salmon hatchery we probably would have booked tours. In Skagway, our main goal was to drive the Klondike Highway to Emerald Lake. Since we got a detailed description of the drive from this website: http://www.bellsalaska.com/myalaska/klondikehwy2.html we decided to do it ourselves. There are tours that pretty much do the same thing we did but we wanted to be more flexible. Because I (not we) wanted to see the remains of the goldrush town of Dyea, we thought a car would give us the flexibility to do that drive (insert "wild goose chase") too. But that is another story (we didn't find anything). In Ketchikan, we just walked among the dockside shops for about an hour since my sweetie took advantage of the "in port spa specials" which limited our sightseeing time. (Not that it mattered to me since I had been to Ketchikan before on another cruise).

    The docks for each port are right near each town. One of the piers in Juneau is right infront of the downtown shops and the others piers are several hundred yards away. In Skagway, the piers are anywhere from a hundred yards to maybe a quarter mile from downtown. I think only two ships can dock in Ketchikan (right infront of the shops). When we were in port, the Coral Princess had to tender their passengers to the docks. As for Victoria, it looked to me that the pier was about a quarter to half mile from the inner harbor. However, we weren't able to get off the ship since we were on the cruise that hit the pier, damaged the propeller and wasn't able to get properly docked.

    As for dining, we had the first seating in the International (traditional) dining room at an assigned table. The International guest are offered their menu and the menu from one of the alternative restaurants on four of the non-formal nights. For us it was something like - Sterlings on Saturday; Vivaldi on Monday; Pacific Moon on Tuesday; Santa Fe on Wednesday. Formal nights were Sunday and Thursday. A review on how the dining on the Diamond works can be read at this website: http://www.cruisenewsdaily.com/nf40330.html
    We found that the traditional diners could eat at the alternative restaurants. I can't say it was encouraged because it may leave your regular dinner tablemates feeling abandoned - not to mention the waiters. The waiters were so happy when they had a full table. Thus, we tried to keep to our assigned table and we didn't find the alternative restaurant menues too interesting anyway. However, on our day in Skagway we didn't reboard until our dining time. We didn't want to rush back to our room to change so we decided to eat at the Santa Fe that night. We were going to go to the International just to let our tablemates know that we weren't going to show that night, however, we ran into our waiter on the gangway and let him know instead. We did enjoy eating in the Santa Fe as we had a table for two that was set in a bank of three tables (which almost made it a table for six). We were able to have nice conversations with the other two couples and our waiter was just hilarious. Our choice to ask for traditional dining and trying to stick with it was mainly because we wanted to eat with the same group of people more than once. Since we were on this cruise as a couple, we were hoping to meet some people that we could have on-going conversations during the cruise and not have the same types of conversation each night - you know - where are you from; have you cruised before; etc. So, it was nice to talk to the same people each night. On the other hand, we still loved meeting other people (and yes, having those initial conversations) at breakfast and lunch (which is available in the International for all passengers). We also paid for brunch (sea days only) in Sabatinis ($20/person) and had a great leisurly meal conversing with the table next to us and the very attentive waiters. The afternoon tea is very nice but can become very funny as the waiters try to give you food every minute.

    Wow, this is much more than I expected to write. Hope my ramblings made sense. Have a great cruise.



    Post Edited (06-10-04 10:51)
     

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