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About Unibok

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    North America
  • Interests
    Travel and food, walking and hiking, sacred and spiritual sites, writing and reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Anywhere I can get to; I'm trying them all!

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  1. Nice! It is a small, family company, and a very special experience. Can't wait to hear about your adventures!
  2. For our recent Anchorage-to-Vancouver sailing on the Muse, we were required to be out of our suites by 8:30, and off the ship by 9:30. There was a delay at the port, so we were off by 9:45 instead. Both La Terrazza and Atlantide we’re open for breakfast, and I think Arts Cafe had their usual lite fare as well. As others have said, you’ll be given a range of choices for when you want to disembark, but then you do need to go with your color. When I have independent plans, I opt to disembark later for a more relaxed morning, letting those with tight schedules get off the ship first. Enjoy!
  3. Tysmomm, here is a picture from last week. I don’t know if you can tell how close we were to Hubbard, given that it was a rainy day. If you read the other thread I linked to, you’ll see that it did feel it was worth it. Although I was sailing on a different ship, I do believe this excursion is exactly the same as you would get on Princess.
  4. I second the floatplane experience in Ketchikan. We flew last week with Ryan McCue of Alaska Seaplane Tours, and had an incredible time with him. He also has long experience and a perfect safety record. One of the world’s most decent people. Ours was a bear tour, and we saw 3 bear nice and close for amazing photographs.
  5. Yes -- the first groups of cruisers have been on this excursion this week and last. Several threads are discussing it now. You can see my description and the following discussion on this other thread: Generally speaking, even the largest of ships can get fairly close to the glacier and take a slow spin for those onboard -- this new excursion can get 150 passengers even closer. You will board the vessel from your ship, as you would board a tender. Please let me know if you have other questions.
  6. Unibok

    hubbard glacier

    Hi Kennicott, I know you are following the discussion on the other thread, but I wanted to circle back on this to clarify for others that the Allen Marine vessel picked us up from our ship, which was already fairly close to the glacier. Thus, most of the 2.5 hour excursion is spent very very close to the glacier.
  7. Unibok

    hubbard glacier

    Yes! We went last week, on the very first sailing of this excursion from Allen Marine. I posted a description of the event on the "Hubard Glacier Viewing" thread, post # 102. It was good fun, and those of us on the Wilderness Explorer got much closer to Hubbard Glacier than the ship's own zodiaks and kayaks that day. Take a look at that discussion, and let me know if you have other questions. Cheers,
  8. We were in Juneau last week and did whale watching with Gastineau Guides. I highly recommend them! Part of the fun was identifying individual whales by their flukes.
  9. Chiming in from St. Rupert, Canada, today. Another adorable gateway-to-adventure town, our 3rd of this voyage. We walked around the town this morning after waking late. Based on how many others were late for breakfast, we think the 1-hour time change encouraged others to sleep in as well. Our favorite aspect of St. Rupert is the public art. There are murals all over town depicting local and nautical life. It makes for a very photogenic little town. We returned to Kaisecki for lunch today, and the sushi was perfect this time. The staff had encouraged us to try again, and we are so glad we did. JohnGin, we have had the same reaction to the chopsticks as you did. Our most modest hole-in-the-wall eateries at home use re-usable ones, so it seems odd for Silversea’s to be so cheap. The food, however, was superb.
  10. Photos are between 2 and 4 mbs. I do know that I can save them in other formats to reduce the file size, but when I'm on vacation I don't really want to fiddle around with that. I'm sorry that it means shorter reports and fewer illustrations. Maybe I'll do better next time, if I practice reducing file size at home first. I should have also mentioned that as we step off the float plane, we saw 3 more whales, and then just as our tender neared the ship, we saw a pod of 4 doing a ballet of rolling and flukes. Ketchikan may have a lot of people when the ships are in town, but it also had a lot of wildlife. And then there's this tip from our van driver: if you really want to see a bear, head to the town landfill; they love it there. Let me go back a few days to Wrangell. Like Haines, Wrangell is a cute little town that functions well as a gateway to active excursions (none of which we went on, as we had a quiet day walking around). We visited their local history museum, which packs a lot of history into an impressive space. That evening was formal night, and we dined in Indochine at a table for 6 with one couple we had not yet met, and another with whom we had shared an excursion. Prior to that was the Venetian Society cocktail reception, with 4 new inductees to the 100-days club, and the most days at sea in the 1700 range. Those with 50 days were given lapel pins. That's it for now. My best wishes to all of you,
  11. Hmmmm, zelker, that’s a tough call. I think ours cost a bit less than that, and did seem worth it. If you’ve already seen Hubbard several times before, I just don’t know if it’s worth it. So much is weather-dependent, and therefore risky. We were able to get up close to some wildlife, but not as much as we saw at Tracy Arm. If I had to choose where to spend $500, I would spend it on a float plane with Ryan from Alaska Seaplane Tours in Ketchikan; we had quite a transcendent experience with him, worth every penny.
  12. [insert pic of bear eating grass] So this happened today on an excursion in Ketchikan. We did an independent tour with Ryan McCue of Alaska Seaplane Tours. There were 6 passengers in the plane (I got to sit up front next to the pilot!!!), and we spent about 2 hours in the plane. After journeying over some mountains and across fjords in the Misty Fjords Monument area, Ryan set the plane down on the water after spotting a bear munching on some grass. We approached it as stealthily as one can in a plane that has its motor running. He then cut off the motor, and Ryan literally paddled us closer to the bear -- with a canoe paddle. We were hanging off the sides of the plane and standing on the floats, and I cannot believe how close he was able to get us to that bear. After the bear had its fill of the yummy grass, and we'd had our fill of watching the bear, we headed off to another site, where we saw two more. We then returned home over the mountains with Ryan's inspiring narration encouraging us to reflect on where we were and what we were experiencing. It was an awe-inspiring experience, from start to finish. Earlier in the day, we had visited the Totem Heritage Center, which was a short walk from downtown. That was our favorite museum so far, as it focused on really understanding the cultural, historical, familial, and artistic aspects of what are now called totem poles. With 5 ships in port, downtown Ketchikan was not a pleasant place to be, just wall-to-wall people. The contrast made our floatplane adventure all the more sublime. [edited to add: this post will make more sense when I try again later to post the pic]
  13. We are on the Silver Muse, which was outfitted for this sailing with zodiacs and kayaks from Silversea's expedition arm. The Wilderness Explorer was through Allen Marine. As others have said, the capacity certainly appeared to be in the 100+ range. And it was packed full to the gills. The fact that everyone still had a good view is testament to a) the design of the boat, and b) the amount of time they spend in each location. I'm terrible with distances, but I would say we boarded the St. Theodosius perhaps a mile from the glacier, and got as close as 1/4 mile. The Norwegian Jewel was also there with us that day, and there was plenty of room for both ships to turn around unimpeded. We returned to the ship pretty close to where we left it. The Muse was only in Hubbard for 2.5 hours or so, almost the exact amount of time we were on the St. Theodosius. As for boarding, there was a simple platform direct from the Deck 3 hull on the Muse, with staff helping passengers mind the gap between the two vessels. I hope I answered all your questions so far. Please feel free to ask more. Cheers,
  14. Unibok

    Muse now

    Downtown Ketchikan was a zoo! Wall to wall people until you got far enough away from the crowds. I hope your tour went well today.
  15. Just adding, in case it isn't clear, that we boarded the excursion vessel directly from our ship, like a tender. Although our ship got close to the glacier, the Wilderness Explorer excursion got us much, much closer.
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