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About Canuker

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Hawaii - bar none

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  1. Much obliged for all your suggestions & recommendations, especially from so many of you who were there. Most of the comments have been about practical clothing - thank you. As someone noticed, being from Toronto, turns out we have the clothing we need. Other than clothing, cameras and binoculars were mentioned. There is another excellent thread in this forum about binoculars that has been helpful, too. I imagine a good alarm/clock would be handy, too to make sure we get to see all that beautiful scenery as the ship passes. I'm beginning to realize that our inside cabin selection was a good idea, as we can create darkness, for sleep, at any time of the day or night, when we're not bundled up, with our binoculars, outside. Thanks again, everyone.
  2. Canuker

    Train from Seward

    Yes, I got your hint, abzk40a! The train reaches Anchorage at 10:15 pm but it's not dusk there until 11:30 pm at the end of June. So you'll be just fine.
  3. "The Alaska Cruise Handbook" by Joe Upton. The title sounds like just another typical cruise tourist guide. But it's not. So far I've read about 6 Alaska cruise books and this one takes the gold. It's a mile-by-mile guide of what you will see / experience, starting in Seattle or Vancouver and ending in Seward (for Anchorage). It's packed with interesting stories and snippets of information. And it's all linked to what are by far the best anotated cruise maps (4 of them in a pull-out section) that I've come across. Nothing about which cruise ship to choose or who has the best matresses. Imagine you are on your balcony or out on deck and you have your own private guide who's going to tell you what you're looking at - and what you may otherwise miss. Brilliant. Last published (to my knowledge) in 2012 but the subject matter is all but timeless. Large paperback format. 288 pages full colour glossy pages with as much illustration as text. Don't leave home without (having read) it. Thoroughly recommended. PS for an anotated photo montage of the Inside Passage (more of a coffee table book) I'd also mention "Cruising The Inside Passage. Puget Sound to Alaska", by Peter Vassilopoulos (2015), 272 pages. Beautiful scenic photography.
  4. Somewhere dry & sunny, where they can splash around outside all day.
  5. clo: bad girl! Fire hazzard! No confusion here; it's not about the heat created by the appliance (though that is certainly an issue) but about the amount of electricity they consume and how that can heat up the hidden wiring that leads to the socket you are using. You may also get arcing (sparks or heat) where the plug meets the socket. Electricity is used to create, basically, three things: light (e.g. a neon tube), movement (e.g. a vacuum cleaner) and heat (e.g. a kettle). By far, the most electricity is consumed by the third category. In spades. Have you ever seen a battery powered stove or kettle (another no-no to take cruising)? And a hair dryer is both heat and movement - a lot of current. You may wish to check with your cruise line. I know a lot of them provide their own dryers in cabins, which are matched to the wiring and the wiring (and fuses) are matched to them.
  6. Both. A few years ago we took a cruise from Dover. We sailed up the east coast of the UK, making 2 overnights before heading to the Faroes. Although I grew up in the UK, taking the sea route showed a perspective I'd not seen before. The far northeast of Scotland, which I'm betting most Brits have never been to, land or sea, was breathtaking. I had no idea it was so spectacular, despite a previous visit by land. So it's a new perspective. I'm sure the same applies to someone from other parts of the world, such as St. Lucia or Hawaii. And to answer the question in your topic header, yes I'm sure there are people whose main vacations are invariably cruises. A first visit to a captain's cocktail party will confirm that.
  7. I sense, OP, that you are looking for pre-arranged, guided tour(s). There are so many of these offered for Britain and/or Ireland it is hard to know where to begin. 1.Hint: I can tell you that such tours marketed in North America are usually wildly more expensive than an equivalent tour sold from within the UK or Ireland, notwithstanding the air/cruise fare. 2. If you're also considering your own tour, please do not make the mistake so many NAms make when they go to the UK - renting a car. We are not talking wide open roads or speedy highways here. It's a crowded island compared with what we are used to. 3. In my humble opinion, the best way to see Britain (not so much Ireland), by far, is by train. They have an astonishing rail sytem that goes everywhere and is fast, frequent and, despite local concerns, on time - by our standards. And someone else does the driving. It's there waiting for you to seize on. 4. If you are considering a guided tour - do consider a tour by rail. There are several excellent UK-based companies that specialize in this, with varied itineraries. Some will even put a bespoke trip together for you. 5. There is so much to see and do; try to make it manageable - as someone has already suggested - by not taking in too much. Have an idea about the places / people you especially want to see and go from there. 6. London is not Britain. Dublin is not Ireland. Get out of the capital and enjoy the country.
  8. To the OP: I'm going to echo this question by exlondoner. 1. London is big, complicated place. 2. There are surprisingly many ways to get from your ship to your (presumed) hotel, as the above posts illustrate. If you can share your destination in London, we can narrow down your best alternatives. Also helpful info is: What date and time (and where, precisely) does your ship dock? How many in your party? Are you fairly mobile? Much baggage?
  9. Retirement defined: When you see a zit in the mirror, you find yourself cheering.
  10. Please help me compile my packing list for our upcoming (July 2020) 12-day cruise between Vancouver and Anchorage. What must we take to ensure we get the best from this marvelous trip, please? I'm looking for specifics for this region, not items that might go on any cruise. Thanks.
  11. Circumnavigation cruises appeal to me, though I've never taken one (the nearest so far being a Hawaiin Islands cruise, which I loved). Australia New Zealand Iceland Newfoundland Japan Cuba It doesn't have to be an island: Iberia Greece South East Asia I think a slower, more focused cruise like this gives an opportunity to really get to know a particular place and its people. More than just a vacation.
  12. The numbers aren't scientific in the way I've put them together*, but here's a list of the most popular ports in the Pacific North West, in terms of vessel visits. It gives, I think, a good overall picture of where most cruise ships go and therefore where their passengers go ashore. The data is compiled from 777 cruises listed for the region in the year 2020, compiled from two online industry sources. 1 Juneau AK 669 86.1% 2 Ketchikan AK 629 81.0% 3 Skagway AK 510 65.6% 4 Vancouver BC 456 58.7% 5 Inside Passage BC 317 40.8% 6 Hubbard Glacier AK 288 37.1% 7 Glacier Bay AK 287 36.9% 8 Victoria BC 272 35.0% 9 Icy Strait AK 245 31.5% 10 Seattle WA 212 27.3% For example, of the 777 total cruises, 669, or 86.1% of them, call in at Juneau Alaska. And what are the least used cruise ports? 10 Kodiak AK 14 1.8% 9 Kenai AK 8 1.0% 8 Dutch Harbor AK 8 1.0% 7 Nome AK 7 0.9% 6 Alert Bay BC 6 0.8% 5 Nanaimo BC 5 0.6% 4 St. Paul AK 4 0.5% 3 Homer AK 4 0.5% 2 Petersburg AK 2 0.3% 1 Portland OR 1 0.1% Lastly here are the other 13, 'midrange', ports that slot between these two sets of extremes: Sitka AK 204 26.3% Seward AK 192 24.7% Tracy Arm AK 150 19.3% Whittier AK 95 12.2% Wrangell AK 50 6.4% San Fancisco CA 47 6.0% Misty Fjords AK 44 5.7% Valdez AK 29 3.7% Haines AK 29 3.7% Astoria OR 25 3.2% Anchorage AK 23 3.0% Los Angeles CA 19 2.4% Prince Rupert BC 18 2.3% Remember, these are visits by cruise ships to the Pacific North West. It may surprise to learn that just 3.0% of all cruises actually dock in Anchorage. The biggest cruise ships visit the most popular ports (and vice versa), so in terms of the number of people who visit these ports, they would be skewed even more between the top ten and the bottom ten. Notes 1. The list only shows sea ports; inland tours to places like Fairbanks and Dinali Park are not included. 2. These are cruises, not voyages, so there may be some double counting*. Example: a cruise, say, from San Francisco to Anchorage that also drops off and collects passengers at Vancouver is one voyage but its three different cruises. 3. Not all are true 'ports'. Those shown italics are areas visited but not normally docked. Nonetheless, I think the study highlights who the major and minor players are in terms of ports visited and, by inference, passenger visits.
  13. Take a look at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_breweries_in_Alaska Plenty of good suds here for your boyfriend. I hope he realizes what a gem he has for a girlfriend. Also, if the ship you're on makes frequent runs in the Pacific NW, it's quite likely they will have Alaskan brewed beer on board. But you may have to hunt it down. Some bars may stock it, others will insist that it doesn't exist on the ship. He may be surprised at what he can track down. When he finds something he likes, that's in short supply, ask the barman to set aside a few bottles for you. Then give him the tip he rightly deserves. If you can track down the beverages manager, he can be a revelation.
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