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CHICAGOPAUL LIVE!!!! Our First ALASKA CRUISE on the ECLIPSE!!! May 19th Sailing

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Ok, my wife has put the kybosh on the pickup idea.  From the airport you can take the Canada Line train to downtown Vancouver pretty cheap.  If you get off the train at Vancouver City Centre Station it is about a 600 metre walk to the Shangri-La Hotel.

If you are looking for dinner when you arrive you have some pretty good options very close to there.

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Ok a bit out of the box, but we rented bicycles and rode around Stanley Park.  The rental place equipped us with helmets & u-locks...everywhere had bike racks. We got to see parts of the park you may not see though a bus or walking.  The aquarium had a good secure spot to park the bikes.   

 

Justified our dinner later.

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Loving all the recommendations thank you! Ok so we’ve arrived at our hotel but let’s talk about the flight. 

 

It looked like we were going to have a delay but Air Canada turned that plane over pretty quick. I think we were wheels up about 20 minutes late but we had reverse winds so we had a tail wind to Vancouver and even with the late departure we arrived early. 

 

Customs was a breeze. Baggage took a little while but not too bad. We took a cab to our hotel and only had to wait in the cab line for a few minutes. It was beautiful outside so we didn’t mind. The cab fair to the Shangri-La was 32CAD 

 

Our flight in economy was surprisingly pleasant. We were on the regional jet, a CRJ9, and it was a bit older. But the legroom was excellent and the seat padding was good. The FAs were very friendly and professional. During the 3hrs and 40 minute flight I lost count of how many times they passed through the cabin offering drinks, water, coffee, etc. I was definitely impressed. I even saw them taking pre departure drink orders in First. Those of you who fly domestic first in the states know that’s hard starting to fade-away. 

 

Anyway, we are heading off to dinner. On my previous thread asking for recommendations someone recommended Miku, a sushi place on the water. They seem to be booked tonight but we will see if we can sneak our way in. 

 

Here are some photos from the flight along with the purchase drink options. FYI I ordered a Vodka rocks and some nuts. Edward ordered a beer and nuts. Total was $20 and I’m not sure if that was Canadian or US. 

 

 

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Flying Air Canada to YVR in July from SMF a shorter flight than yours but happy to read of your experience. Our flight home from YVR is in first, only because I booked late and the price difference made it a no brainer! 

Enjoy the cruise and Vancouver!

Cheers from a fellow Ketel one drinker and Flemings fan!

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Have a great cruise. Alaska is awesome. We’ve been 4 times, but not on Celebrity. Looking forward to following along for another great review.

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I just got home and dropped into bed12:45 am. I know you are in a suite... but I took the surf package and it worked well, I was happily surprised

Have a great cruise.

Norma

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10 minutes ago, h20cruzer said:

I just got home and dropped into bed12:45 am. I know you are in a suite... but I took the surf package and it worked well, I was happily surprised

Have a great cruise.

Norma

 

Welcome Home Norma! Thank you for doing your blog! It was great to read and especially so since we are the reverse trip on the millennium. When do we get to cruise together again??!! 

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Watching this thread.

 

We're doing the same cruise in September. 1st time in Alaska and on Celebrity.

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Always enjoy your live blogs.  Have a wonderful cruise!

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Posted (edited)

 Hello Paul

looking forward to your review and hope you have a wonderful cruise on my favourite celebrity ship. 

Can I ask a favour, I know you have done this before, can you explain how you get the reciprocal status on MLife and then the Hyatt status due to being Elite+

on X.

thank you

steve

Edited by swigso

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Hi Paul, following along and am reminiscing about our first Alaska cruise out of Vancouver just a year ago yesterday.  I look forward to your reports, thank-you for taking the time to do so.  Safe travels. 

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HI Paul and Edward love your posts as you make us feel like we are there.  I am joining Eclipse in September in Sky Suite going to Hawaii.   Let us know about your dinner in Vancouver as I will be looking for a recommendation when I am there.  Bon Voyage and thanks for taking the time to do your updates

 

Walter 

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3 hours ago, swigso said:

 Hello Paul

looking forward to your review and hope you have a wonderful cruise on my favourite celebrity ship. 

Can I ask a favour, I know you have done this before, can you explain how you get the reciprocal status on MLife and then the Hyatt status due to being Elite+

on X.

thank you

steve

 

No problem. Celebrity and RCCL too have reciprocal status with MGM. We’ve set it up a couple ways (as you’ll usually need to renew it yearly). When we were in Vegas we simply went to the MLife players desk at the Aria (you can do this at any MGM casino worldwide) and mentioned we were Elite Plus with celebrity and knew they had reciprocal status match. They asked us to pull up our Celebrity account on our phone to show them (so have this ready). Make sure to show them your online account with your status as well as your captains club number since they’ll take that down. They’ll then either create an account for you with that status or upgrade your existing account. This will be good for one year. You can also call in and do this. If you google MLife and Celebrity Cruises you’ll see a number that pops up specifically for you to call. 

 

Then for Hyatt you basically do the same thing. I believe if you login to your MLife account (after its been set up with your new upgraded status) you be able to link your Hyatt account from there. 

 

Quite recently both our MLife and Hyatt account upgraded status expired. Edward simply called MLife to get the platinum status reinstated (just needed the captains club numbers) and once that was done he called Hyatt with his MLife number and that was reinstated. 

 

Important note. When talking to Hyatt just mention your status with MLife. Don’t mention how you got that status (through celebrity). 

 

Hope that helps! 

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As I mentioned we are staying at the Shangri-La hotel for our first two nights before the cruise. Upon arrival we in a taxi we were greeted by two bell hops. Door to the taxi was opened. Luggage was properly removed from the taxi and we were asked if we’d like it sent up to the room. They didn’t even ask us our name. Didn’t even need to give us a claim ticket etc. We were directed inside to check in. That process took only a few moments and once checked in we were escorted to the elevator. Once we got to our room it took about 1 minute, yes only 1 minute for our luggage to arrive. 

 

I am sure some of the above was due to the time we arrived (around 8pm) but it was nice to see a perfectly executed arrival at a hotel. 

 

Below are some photos of the room. Not much of a view but I don’t think many rooms here do as this hotel occupies the bottom floors of a residential tower. 

 

Bathroom is good size without being obnoxiously large. There is a nice entry way which makes the room feel grand even though it is not that large. There was a muffin upon arrival with a jam of sorts and bottles of water bedside, bed already turned down, and more free water by the bar. Nespresso machine in the room and plenty of complimentary bathroom toiletries including a toothbrush etc. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Following along. I always enjoy your Live Cruise blogs. We are on the northbound Millennium next month. We’ve got Stanley Park bike rides, the Granville Island Public Market (and Brewing Co), Gastown Steamclock, and Sun-Yat Sen Park on our list of things to see and do in Vancouver.

Edited by scrapcreator

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Last night we decided to take the recommendation from someone on here and go to Miku. We only had to wait a few minutes for a seat at the bar. We were hoping to sit outside but they were closing the patio as it was too cold. Though I didn’t think it was that cold. 

 

Miku has a fun yet sophisticated and modern atmosphere. It reminds a bit of Sunda which we have in Chicago minus the pretentious patrons and overly sauced sushi (but don’t get me wrong I do love Sunda). Here the fish is really the star of every dish. There was not an exhaustive list of specialty rolls but instead only a handful that they executed very well. Everything tasted very fresh, especially the salmon. The wait staff was more than happy to help direct you through the menu and explain how some of their dishes differs from other places. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal. After tax the meal was $216 CAD excluding tip. I’d definitely recommend this place but try and grab a seat outside. The view of the port looks amazing. 

 

 

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Following your live blog with great interest.

 

My OH and I are booked on this very cruise ( celebrating his 60th) leaving Vancouver on 17th May 2020. We are from the Uk, we are not regular cruisers and have never visited Alaska before.

We aim to arrive in Vancouver 8 days prior to our cruise with the idea of hiring a car and exploring the Rockies. Canmore, Banff, Jasper etc. We have previously visited this area but it was many years ago and it is my all time favourite place. 

Have a wonderful trip and I will look forward to hearing all about it. 

 

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HI Paul, looking forward to another great review. We also stayed at the Shangri La before a X cruise. 

 

We have done the Alaska cruise 6 times. 5 on X and once on Seabourn. This July we are going on Azamara Quest to Alaska. 

I think this will be the last year they sail to Alaska. Price was right and we get our Elite Plus Benefits. 

 

Keep in mind that many of the tours can be booked right at the pier. The weather in Alaska can be wet and miserable. If you book at the last minute you will know what the weather is going to be. Sitting in a boat or plane in the pouring rain won`t be much fun. 

Happy to answer any questions.

 

Cheers, Heather

 

 

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31 minutes ago, maggie.1008 said:

HI Paul, looking forward to another great review. We also stayed at the Shangri La before a X cruise. 

 

We have done the Alaska cruise 6 times. 5 on X and once on Seabourn. This July we are going on Azamara Quest to Alaska. 

I think this will be the last year they sail to Alaska. Price was right and we get our Elite Plus Benefits. 

 

Keep in mind that many of the tours can be booked right at the pier. The weather in Alaska can be wet and miserable. If you book at the last minute you will know what the weather is going to be. Sitting in a boat or plane in the pouring rain won`t be much fun. 

Happy to answer any questions.

 

Cheers, Heather

 

 

 

Thanks Heather! Here is a question for you since you stayed at the same place. How did you get to the ship? Just a taxi? We walked this morning to see the ships and thought maybe we could just walk to the ship since the traffic seemed a bit hectic. But honestly I might be a little too lazy for that. 

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Paul,

It looks like you will have good weather. No rain in Southern Alaska until Thursday. Good weather makes all the difference on a Alaska cruise. If they have a helicopter pad sail away in the bow of the ship you will enjoy. We had a sail away in Ketchikan and at Hubbard Glacier. Wear warm woolies if you are out on the deck at Hubbard Glacier. 

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Paul, thanks again for all the time you spend doing these reviews - always feel like I am right there onboard with you.  And I love all the details, include prices.  Important part of cruising.  Looking forward to much more!

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Paul i agree with maggie.1008, we had friends that could not decide on a plane tour in Ketchikan on the ship. The exact same company that Celebrity uses was selling the same tour for 70.00 less pp. at the pier.

Still have to rave about Tracy's Crab Shack in Juneau.  They open at 10:30am and there was a line before they even opened.

You place your order near the door and pay, then find a seat and when you order is ready they hollar out you name and where you are from and bring it to your table.

Not scheduled for another Celebrity til Sept 2020 doing the TP from Vancouver to Tokyo. I sure there will be something else but after 21 ship days I need to get back to reality..... unfortunately.

Norma

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