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kctwinmommy

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Everything posted by kctwinmommy

  1. I've never had a problem, and I order a soda wherever they offer it. Yes, I know you can carry on sodas, but we always fly in, no car, etc... so for me, it's just much easier to do the BB instead of carrying the cases on board. I order at the bars usually when on the Lido deck though. The waiters tend to just be pretty busy, so I have no problem just going up to the bars. It's good for me to get up and walk every so often too! 🤣 As far as the shows/comedy lounge, it always depends. A lot of times it's quicker to grab a drink at a bar as you're heading over there. Again, just for my own convenience, I usually do it this way. And if you have a good MDR waiter, they'll often have the soda waiting for you at the table, which we often did. 😍
  2. I suppose. I was just giving options, depending on where they want to stay the night before their cruise. For me, I like to be in the port city where our cruise is leaving from. That's all...
  3. The others gave you good advice already. We came in to Southampton in July 2017, flying into London super early that morning. We had initially planned to walk around Southampton, but our driver suggested Portsmouth instead. We used the Smiths for Airport, and he stopped at our hotel in Southampton and then without an extra charged, took us over to Portsmouth (since he had to go there to go home after his shift anyway!). We spent several hours walking around, but you could spend all day there for sure. We finally took the train back to Southampton in the early afternoon. So if you have a few days in London, you could come down to Southampton the night before your cruise and just take the train to/from Portsmouth. Or like someone else said, go to Portsmouth for the night and then take the train in the morning to catch your cruise.
  4. It was really cool! And I don't like to fly, although I do it, obviously. LOL! But I just knew that this would be a chance to see something really neat, and probably never do it again. LOL!
  5. I would probably have done that too. I prefer to have extra time, and if it turns out I have even more, I'm good with that. I would take my time and grab a nice lunch, no hurry at all. We've been caught in traffic once on our trip back to the airport, as well as major backups with checking in and TSA, so it's all a crap shoot, IMO!
  6. We did the helicopter ride onto Mendenhall glacier, in Juneau, and it was worth every penny!! I was hesitant at spending that kind of money, since the other excursions weren't really cheap either. But we agreed that it was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity.
  7. Yep! Just to echo everyone else, you'll be fine. Don't stress about it! Have fun!
  8. Check out Smiths for Airports as well. We used them to get to Southampton because we were coming in really early and wanted something private and quiet, instead of the bus which I know would have been cheaper. Our driver was awesome, gave us great advice, and even went above and beyond what we had requested! http://www.smithsairportcars.co.uk/
  9. While I will always recommend the small boat excursion, we also agreed that out of the 3 excursions we did, it would be the one we'd drop first. Just our opinion, and we really loved all 3 things we picked. If you can do it, definitely do it, but it's not the end of the world either. Again, you need to do what you can and what you want. But they wouldn't run a cruise that was a "bad itinerary" if people didn't book it. I feel you could drive yourself nuts trying to plan the "perfect" cruise or vacation. And people seem to do that a lot! There is truly so much to see and do on an Alaskan cruise or trip, don't think or feel you can do it all or that you'll miss something. It already sounds like you're planning a pretty long/big trip to begin with. I mean, we did a European cruise 2 years ago and loved it! Did we see everything we wanted? Nope! But we saw a lot of things in each city we stopped in, we had fun, we enjoyed ourselves, and didn't stress about the little things. Some of it was new to both my husband and myself, some were thing he'd seen, or I'd seen. But it was ALL new to our son, which was fun to experience with him. Oh, it's also possible they haven't listed all the excursions yet either, so it may show up later, I'm not familiar with that ship. I know for Carnival, it was a little different for that one, you had to email them at an address to sign up for it, with the number and time (out of 2 options) that you wanted. They emailed a confirmation and then charged it to your account once on board. For us, I would say the BEST excursion was the helicopter on to Mendenhall. For others, it's a dogsled, and for others, it's a train. Just do what you want and have fun with it, that's just my opinion of course! Either way, I'm sure you'll see amazing things and have a lot of fun!
  10. I never even worried about it! We did ours and just booked what worked and what we wanted to do. We had an amazing time, loved all the things we saw, and don't feel that we missed or regret anything. And we live in the US. We have no real intentions to do another one either. There are way too many other places we want to travel to. You will always miss seeing some "thing" no matter what you pick. We did not get into Tracy Arm on ours, but Endicott was beautiful! We did the small boat excursion to see it better. The cruise ship got within a couple miles, but we were almost right next to it. We spent time there watching the calving, it was awesome! We did the helicopter ride/walk on Mendenhall, totally worth every penny, despite my slight dear of flying. A wilderness safari tour and walk on another glacier in Skagway was a blast! We were very happy with our cruise and loved it all. Endicott Arm Endicott Arm calving, Dawes Glacier The filter turned the sky purple! Dawes Glacier On the canoe heading over to the glacier in Skagway Standing in front of the glacier Chopper ride over Mendenhall Landing on Mendenhall Our son on Mendenhall - he loved it!
  11. Yeah, the Magic was the first, and only, cruise where I couldn't even find ONE chair around the pool on sea days. No, I didn't go out at 6 a.m. to get one, but maybe around 8:30 or 9, and walked around all the pool areas, not one, single chair I could sit in. Later the 4 of us went down to Deck 5, there's some really nice areas to lounge around on there. And then we started to be able to get a table in the corner on the Lido deck, back from the pool, but not with lounge chairs. The wife from the other couple couldn't spend a lot of time in the sun, so that was fine for most of the day (she recently had been dx'd with breast cancer). But when I did want to lounge by myself, no luck at all!
  12. Yep! Just like everyone else, love being close to the stuff going on, easy to go back and forth, and never had a noise problem. We always sail on the Lido, or as close as possible. I like being able to pop out on the deck for the sunsets before dinner or if we're out there during the day, it's easy to run back to the room for something as well.
  13. And just keep in mind, it may be different in the set up. As I said, when we were there in 2017, the buses were literally next to the ship, we paid and went straight to Bruges. But as Nebr.cruiser said, they had to take a shuttle to the gate of the port to catch the shuttle. So I'm sure it could be either way!
  14. We did a couple of November cruises specifically because they weren't crowded with kids. We would pull our son out of school for like 2-3 days (the week fell during Veteran's Day and teacher conferences, so the only would miss like 3 days of actual school). It was a nice way to cruise so he had some kids to hang with, but it wasn't overwhelmed with kids either. Plus, for us, it's just the time of year my husband got his vacation for his job, so we didn't have much of a choice. But they've always been great cruises. Now ours has been a tween/teen when we've cruised, so I can't speak to the exact things you're looking for regarding your little ones. But I'm sure they'll be able to do the things they want without too much of a crowd.
  15. OK, so when we were there, the shuttle buses were literally at the end of the walkway. I know people have said in the past that you had to take a shuttle to get to the entrance to the port. But when we were there, we didn't have to do that. The Bruges shuttle buses were right by the ship.
  16. When we did ours on Mendenhall I don't remember it being totally freezing. It was chilly, but we had a really sunny day up there. It was actually cloudy down on the ground though. Definitely some wind up there though. So it was so beautiful up on the glacier. It was way colder when we did the small boat excursion in Endicott Arm.
  17. Obviously your post got moved to the correct board now. As far as the easiest way, we bought R/T shuttle bus tickets when we got off the ship. There were a couple of charter buses lined up, tickets were 20 Euro/person and it dropped us off at the train station. From there, it was about a 15-20 minute walk until you were getting into town. Bruges is a city that is easy to walk around and see things, but it does get busy & crowded. So you may want to consider doing some things early in the day (like the canal boat tour if you're thinking of doing that).
  18. We did the same thing in Ketchikan. We went up to the little resort (cape Fox Lodge) and rode the funicular, so you can see the town. And walked down by the old Red Light district, the houses are neat along there. We also saw all the salmon trying to head upstream, which was really cool. Neat houses along the old Red Light district, and cute little shops We rode this up to the hotel A view from the top of the hotel property You can kind of see the salmon in there!
  19. We got rerouted a few years ago due to a Tropical Storm. We were supposed to go to St. Thomas, and they sent us to DR instead, and the port wasn't fully opened yet. We were among the first few ships to dock there. I think we found out the night before, or possible 2 nights before, I can't remember for sure.
  20. LOL! Yes, it was definitely the highlight for sure. And I truly don't like flying. I do it, because I want to see things in the world and it's the only realistic way to get places, LOL! But, I also knew I didn't want to let my fear stop me from doing this either.
  21. We did Mendenhall Glacier, which is Juneau. It's not cheap, but it's totally worth it! Some of the amazing mountains up high! Flying around After we landed ON the glacier Our son, he was 12 at the time, and loved it! The 3 of us after the ride Here's one of the 3 or 4 videos I took... MVI_4237.MP4
  22. Like others have already said, it can be very subjective. We did 3 different excursions that all involved glaciers, because that's the things we wanted. We didn't care about the railroad trips or dogsled. Once was the small boat excursion in Tracy Arm, the other was in Skagway, the Wilderness Safari trip where we walked on the ground at the foot of a glacier, but the best was our helicopter ride. We did Mendenhall in Juneau and it was amazing!! That would have been our "not miss" thing. Mainly because there are very few places I want to do a helicopter ride to begin with, and this was basically a once in a lifetime thing for us.
  23. Yep! That's what we did as well. There's a lot to see and it doesn't require a lot of hassle to see it. We saw a lot of different things when there. And of course, also did a Belgian waffle!! YUM!!
  24. If you do a quick search, you'll find this question is asked a lot on this board. We stayed at the Holiday Inn. It was close the dock and shopping/restaurants. I don't remember if it had A/C as we were exhausted by the afternoon and slept so hard that night.
  25. We were there in July of 2017 and even then, we had a variety of weather. While we didn't do the same more Northern ports that you are, we did do a couple places in the UK and France. We had some chilly, rainy weather on the coast of England (Tintagel) and then some really warm days in London. In France (D-Day beaches) it was nice, sunny, but not super warm that I recall, until maybe in the later afternoon. In Oslo & Hamburg we had rain! And Oslo, it was enough that by the end of the day, we were completely soaked! We were thankful for the sea day the next day so our shoes could dry. I would definitely recommend layers, as you said, being from AZ. We're from Chicago, so we get different weather by the hour here. And if you can pack some small, compact umbrellas, definitely do that.
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