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crystalspin

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About crystalspin

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Orange County, CA, USA
  • Interests
    Fibercrafts, technology, and travel!
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Alaska

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  1. It is definitely cheaper if you do the groundwork. On my previous (3) Alaska trips, where I was the coordinator, we did use ships' tours. The first trip was pre-cruise Critic and only my third cruise ever, AND we did two-weeks self-drive in AK after. The second I had eight-in-all family members; I wanted them to experience as much of what we did in the self-drive in just Ketchikan/Juneau/Skagway. The third, there were nine of us on a two week cruise. I used ship's tours or no tours, and we rented a van in Anchorage and two cars in Victoria. I was basically a wreck with the planning, even with the ship's tours! Anyway, at least speaking of the Bennett Lake vs Yukon tours from Chilkoot (and after all, it's still the White Pass railway, that runs just so many trains per day so it's similar for other offers) -- for the Bennett Lake run you ride the train ~68 miles/4.5hrs, all the way to Carcross Yukon, with a 45min stop at Bennett Lake, then a bus ride back. OR IN REVERSE! For the Yukon tour, you ride the train 28mi/1hr45min, then bus to Carcross where you have more time for the Husky Camp and local museum, plus the BBQ, then the bus back. OR IN REVERSE. The briefer trip is just the 28 miles and bus back from there, or bus up and train back. Here is their tour page: https://chilkootcharters.com/reservations click "Tours by Rail/Bus" Then (Read More) for each tour. Oh yeah, it helps if you set the calendar to your month and day first!
  2. We have $200 each (all five people) and I will have additional $250 stockholder OBC, all non-refundable, on a 14-day Alaska cruise. Additionally, we have paid gratuities from the 3-for-free promo that the $200 OBC came from, and PBP and internet from the BSE add-ons. With the Crown Grill at $29pp upcharge, the five of us could eat there eight times in 2 weeks (!), only too bad, we hope to enjoy the MDR too much! This is our first Princess cruise, so I don't have any suggestions, but I'm following the thread!
  3. Speaking for the Chilkoot Charters Tours: The Bennett Lake train-bus trip is 8 hours (box lunch to eat in the bus). The Yukon train-bus trip is 7.5 hours (with a BBQ chicken lunch and time with huskies). The White Pass SUMMIT trip either bus or train first, is about 4 hours. If you do train first the tour starts an hour earlier but you probably get more relaxed photo stops on the bus as you are not under pressure to meet the train! We did the HAL Summit train-up/bus-down excursion in 2016 and very much enjoyed it! It left time to eat at a brewpub in town and shop a little. I'm choosing the Chilkoots reverse tour this year for the opposite points of view, saving $255 (for five people) over Princess's excursion. As I said, I contemplated the Yukon 7.5hr trip, but some of our party have limited stamina. As far as Jayleen (and her other captain Amber) -- I have not met either yet! I learned of her on this forum and have booked her for next June. That means I am neither recommending or panning her yet! per the rules of this board. But I was obviously impressed with her reviews.
  4. We sent ours snail mail (on 10 February), and the OBC was confirmed yesterday by my PCC. Don't know when exactly it was added or how long it took bc we were out of town and we had plenty of time to fax it if necessary before our cruise.
  5. 😄 OTOH, I wait until the last minute/day before to get the suitcases out. Because the cats know what they are and get stressed! (I can segregate items going on an "X" hanging rod and use the ironing board for folded items in the spare room, because there are always things there so it goes unsuspected.)
  6. I think your choices look good! Do not miss whale watching in Juneau. We are going with Jayleen/Amber in June, but have done ship-tours twice before. One of those was the "scientific" boat, which was not as good, although there were fewer passengers and more narration. You can book with Chilhoots Charters for a different long day that goes into the Yukon and includes meeting husky puppies. I haven't done it so I'm not recommending it, but I looked really hard at that tour! It seemed too long a day for the people I am traveling with so only doing the White Pass bus-and-train loop and then browsing the town if up to it.
  7. I'm glad people do post varied suggestions -- others than the OP can benefit! I have ordered the Viakix in post #3 -- for me they *are* dressy! enough for anything I would wear on a cruise. I don't do the full formal thing. I'm just hoping that nice high arch falls where MY extremely high arch does.
  8. Haha, my DH didn't want to fax it -- since he retired at New Year, we have to PAY to fax at our maildrop! Anyway we mailed it and my PCC's backup both emailed me to say the $250 had been processed and sent a new confirmation showing total OBC, lots and lots of OBC! I will print the 'receipts' for my separate purchases of (2) Beverage Packages and (1) Premium Internet. This is starting to feel real!
  9. Took a NON-rolling duffel on my second cruise -- cuz I thought it would fit under the bed better. Well, it did fit fine. (We weren't flying to the port.) ETA: no question is 'dumb'! if you want to know the answer, you have to ask!
  10. Here is a video of a similar cabin, including one of the poles. Yours will be in a slightly different placement AND your balcony will be slight larger due to the railing being set at an angle. Stay where you are for sure.
  11. Sorry to hear that. HAL went to employee service some years ago. So much nicer! and safer.
  12. Yes I use a PCC. She's out of the office until 3/3 -- sailing is 3/21 -- but I have her back-up's email and phone extension, so I'll drop her a line tomorrow. I'm worried because my last email from my PCC was to say my September re-faring was to a restricted fare so I was locked in! I didn't have CCL stock at the time (DH relented), but I surely didn't remember agreeing to a non-refundable deposit. If it also means I don't get my stockowner OBC, I will be a little sourfaced! ETA, I was already planning to print the emails for the perks we already have, to take in paper form, next month.
  13. Hi Jacqui! I did not put my email addy in the coverletter I sent with my brokerage statement by snailmail on 10 Feb. I cannot find anywhere on HAL website to see any OBC nor other perks! For any of my three bookings. It's very strange because I seem to remember helping other people find theirs in the recent past. The website has been mostly dysfunctional for me for the past week, but it would be good to know if we are going to get the $250 for upcoming 28-day cruise...
  14. Flu vaccines in the United States contain either killed virus or attenuated viruses i.e. weakened by a variety of mechanisms. Either way their proteins stimulate antibodies. In neither case can they give you the flu nor do they make you "catching". The fact that some people still get sick (that may or may not even be influenza -- lots of people call any infection "the Flu" including the Common Cold, a coronavirus) after getting their flu shot is that every variety of the flu is not covered by any year's vaccine. The types to be immunized against are determined by what is prevalent in some early onset regions. Sometimes other types take advantage of the shot being effective, leaving a sort of vacuum, and giving weaker strains a chance to make us sick! (This is called antigenic shift or drift.)
  15. Ooh, I like those in the "cork" color. I always really liked a sandal or shoe that "disappeared" with a beige top and like-colored sole, not a black one.
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