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

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23 hours ago, Jim_Iain said:

Same experience here.   After last update it is really buggy.   Won't accept login but  when hit the three bars upper right corner it shows logged in but will not allow me to respond to a thread.

It tells me I don’t have permission to post, yet it updates me if someone responds to a post I have made on C.C.

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Thanks for doing this thread!  Really looking forward to following along.  We'll be doing a similar itinerary in about a month!

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YAY!!!  We've been waiting for this one!  Love your live reviews and can't wait to follow along on another journey with you guys.  Thank you for all the effort you put into them and the joy you bring your readers and fans.  Have a great cruise!

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Good afternoon everyone! Before I talk about what we’ve done today so far in Vancouver let me recap the rest of last night. 

 

As we were finishing up dinner at Miku last night we asked the bartender for a bar recommendation. He asked us if we wanted high end lounge or if we wanted more of a dive bar. We told him we’d take both recommendations but we were more in the mood for a casual / dive type place. For the dive bar he recommend Butcher and Bullock on Pender. Only a few blocks from Miku and thus only a couple blocks from our hotel. He described it in a way I could tell not only was it a bar he frequented but it was an industry bar (where those in the service industry go). These are usually the best. And given it was a Friday night, an industry bar wouldn’t be too crowded. 

 

We followed the bartenders directions and sure enough it led us right to the place. As we approached I could see a handful of casually dressed people outside smoking. They put out their cigarettes and walked in; I could tell they were regulars. Perfect. Just the kind of place I was in the mood for. We walked in and found a large open space covered in very dark, heavy wood. Immediately to the left was a long pub style mahogany bar with a backlit wall of whiskeys and scotches. On the bar were at least 12 beer taps one area with more down at the other end.  A handful of tables were occupied, a few regulars sat at the bar. Perfect. Scattered throughout the bar were random games. Shuffle board, pool tables, etc. 

 

One of the friendly bartenders came by and we ordered one of the 6 IPAs on draft. There were TVs hanging around the bar and they had the movie Goodfellas playing. This is one of my all time favorite movies. Again, this was a perfect spot to finish off the night. We ended up chatting with a couple from Atlantic City who just spent 2 weeks in Japan. We chatted about food, travel, points, travel reward programs, etc. After lots of conversation and some whiskeys we decided to call

it a night and head back to the hotel. 

 

As far as drinking pricing is concerned we ordered (in total, not each) 2 IPAs, 2 double (so 2oz) Basil Hayden’s, and 2 double Woodford Reserve Rye. Total bill before tip was $100 CAD after tax. 

 

This place does have a good menu and the kitchen is open late so if you’re coming in late the night before it would  be a nice place to check out to grab a drink and a late night bite to eat. Plus if you’re a beer fan it’s good to know almost all beers on tap are from British Columbia 

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Posted (edited)

So excited to see another Paul & Edward Excellent Adventure (I was somewhat in withdrawal)!  

 

We’re on Eclipse going to Hawaii on 22 Sep 19 to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary & staying at Pan Pacific (we’ll finally make Elite Plus on this trip as well). Noting your food & drink recommendations (as they’ve never steered us wrong in the past)

 

safe journey & can’t wait for your pictures!!!  Melody

Edited by awhfy

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You will love Alaska.  We just got off the Solstice yesterday in Seattle.  The weather was warm (!!) in Alaska, in fact the warmest I have had on my six Alaska cruises.  Hope you have the same.  Have a great cruise.  I am looking forward to reliving my cruise through your pictures.

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ChicagoPaul, I am so enjoying your thread.  As a Vancouverite, I thank you for profiling my city so beautifully.  I'm looking forward to your posts as my DH and I are on the Eclipse / Alaska sailing on July 21st.  I hope you are enjoying this glorious day in Vancouver today and wish you a safe and happy journey to Alaska.  

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It has been a beautiful day today here in Vancouver. Absolutely perfect temperature to walk around everywhere. We started our morning by getting some coffee and walking to the pier to check out the ships in port. We of course had to stop at Tim Horton’s 

 

Here are some photos from the port. It was very cool to be able to get so close to the ships but not board them. Unlike other ports where you can’t get this close unless you’re driving into the port. If I lived here I’d be checking the ships out each time they were here. Today we had a HAL ship here and the Golden Princess. 

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Sounds like a great trip so far, going to be great to hear about your experiences and learn a few things as I look forward to planning an AK trip in the near future.

 

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We watched them make repairs to the shops. Watched as some crew disembarked and says goodbye to their friends. We watched as cruise passengers disembarked to head home while other excited ones were arriving. 

 

We then hen decided to walk to Stanley Park but to walk along the water. It was such a beautiful way to walk. We came to the marina where we saw some nice boats and a few unique house boats. 

 

Along the walk we saw benches that were dedicated to those that have passed. I thought that was a great way to remember someone and raise some money! I wish we’d do that along the lake in Chicago. 

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Stanley Park was beautiful though we only saw part of it. We walked all the way there, went by the aquarium and followed meandering paths through the park. We encountered some Canadian geese out for a stroll too with their kids. Some seemed friendly. Others seemed possessed by satan so we kept our distance. 

 

 

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At this point we’ve been in Vancouver 24hrs. So far I really love this city and I’ve only seen a small fraction of it. But what I love definitely filters throughout all areas. I love the diversity I see. I love the cleanliness. The scenery is truly beautiful. You’re walking down a nice modern road, with glass skyscrapers and you turn the corner and see beautiful water, tall trees and snow capped peaks 

 

The people here have been incredibly friendly. Everyone is so polite whether you’re out at dinner, waiting in line for coffee, or crossing a crowded street. Is everyone on Xanax or something? Haha, it really is a great comfortable feeling walking around this city. Even in Chicago I still have those “ugh” moments walking down the street dealing with random people. I’ve yet to have that here. 

 

Today for lunch we went to the Cactus Club Cafe on the water for lunch. It was a touristy place given the location but the service was extremely friendly, we had a great table outside and the food was solid. We both had the Baha Fish tacos (they were cod) with fries and a bottle of Pinot Grigio plus a shared dessert.  Total cost was $93CAD after tax. 

 

There are are many many many good options here. We’re nog concerned about where to go for dinner tonight since I know we have plenty of options. I think we may grab a drink before dinner at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. The bartender from last night said it’s a cool place to people watch and that sounds good to me. If any of you have any last minute dinner recommendations feel free to toss them out! Even if we don’t go to any of them tonight we are spending a day and night here after the cruise so we will be able to check them out then. 

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Posted (edited)

This is starting out to be a really enjoyable read with your writing style that is more than uplifting! Thanks again for taking us on your journey for free...the food looks looks good enough to eat right through my phone!

Edited by Lastdance

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12 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

 

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! 

Thanks all done👍🏻

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Following your blog and taking notes.  I believe we will be taking the July 21st cruise.  Never been to Alaska so looking for all the tips!!  Vancouver looks fabulous!!  Enjoy!

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I'm glad you are enjoying your time here.
Please come back and spend some more time as there is so much to see if you have more time.
Have a great cruise.

 

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Good Evening everyone (or I should say good morning). I'm typing from my laptop now so I'll use this time to recap a few things and then I'll post some photos from my phone. 

 

We just returned to our hotel. It is early as it is only 10:30 here, but we figured we could get a good rest in and wake up early to walk over and take some nice photos of the ship before we check out here and check in to our next home away from home. 

 

Tonight we ended up going to the Fairmont Pacific Rim (or Pac Rim as I guess people call it here) for a drink before dinner. I suppose we were there a bit early for a Saturday night but the bar itself was still crowded and there was live music playing. We were given many suggestions with regard to places to go. The problem was we weren't too hungry and didn't want to sit down to a full dinner. We ended up going to the Hotel Georgia and having some wine and a bite to eat at Reflections Garden Terrace on the 4th floor. It is an outdoor courtyard place. We couldn't get a table but we were able to get a drink and wait a short while before we snagged a couple seats at the bar. I'll post photos below of the food we had. We ordered the chargrilled octopus and the burrata pizza. The octopus was fantastic. When I mean fantastic, I really mean it. I would put it right up there with my favorite octopus which I had at Lupa in NYC. I liked the char on the octopus better at Lupa, but the quality of what we had tonight here was superb. The burrata pizza was just ok. It was cooked and prepared perfectly, but the style itself wasn't our personal preference. But, it was most definitely filling and was easy to eat. In total we had 4 glasses of wine (sauvignon blanc) and the food mentioned above. The total with tax, but before tip was $115CAD.  The restaurant itself was a cool space. Plenty of heat lamps but most did not need to be used tonight. The staff was friendly and very attentive, especially given how crowded it was. The hotel Georgia looks beautiful. It is a Rosewood hotel. It was one we were thinking of staying at and we would definitely consider it in the future. 

 

After dinner our plan was to grab a drink at Prohibition, the speakeasy style cocktail lounge at the hotel. However on Saturday nights they charge a cover ($20) and since we were just planning to have one quick drink we didn't feel like it was worth it. But when we're back next week I think we will stop in and plan to spend more time there (provided they're open on Sunday nights). 

 

Photos being posted below from tonight. 

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So given we have now concluded our second night in Vancouver I'd like to give you my recap thus far on the city and our stay here, plus our thoughts on the hotel. 

 

Shangri-La Hotel 

 

We've been very happy with the location, though we don't know Vancouver since this is our first time, but we found it to be very easy to walk around from here and it's definitely in a nice area. The room itself is very comfortable. There is not much view, but that is fine. The bedding quality is excellent. The bathroom toiletries are what you'd expect, L'Occitane is the soap that is carried. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc. are provided which is a nice touch. There are even collar stays for collared shirts in the desk drawer. There is a Nespresso machine, free water daily, free very well functioning internet, and a properly stocked minibar. 

 

The Shangri-La is a smaller hotel at only 120 rooms. Today we told them we'd like a cab ready for us at 10:30 to head to the port. They marked it down and made sure it would be arranged. We will see how that turns out, but I have no doubt it will be well done. The hallways and corridors of the hotel feel like a higher end condo building and not a typical hotel. The same goes for the lobby and entrance into the building. I feel like I'm walking into my building at home and not a hotel. It's a nice feeling.

 

The pricing at the time of booking (if we didn't use points) was around $310USD per night. I think this is a very solid value for this type of hotel. Other hotels in the area such as the Fairmont Pacific Rim and Hotel Georgia were going for the same price which I think is awesome. I put all these hotels in the same category, it just depends what type of place you're looking for. 

 

Vancouver 

 

I really like Vancouver. From what everyone told me, I figured it would be a city I'd enjoy, but I'm surprised at how comfortable I feel here. Everything is impeccably clean. The people here are extremely friendly. It is not a cheap city and from I see wealth definitely exists everywhere but it is not in your face (despite the countless higher end boutiques). I think the fact that it is so clean and higher end is one reason why I like it. It feels safe. It feels as if I can walk into most bars or restaurants and get quality service and quality food. Even the "dive" bar we went to last night felt far from a dive bar. People here seem to carry themselves well, they're respectful, and seem genuinely happy. 

 

The scenery is beautiful, at least what we saw on the water and at Stanley Park. I'm sure there is plenty more to do outside of where we are. I'm not sure if there are lots of museums or things along those lines but personally I think the mark of a city should not be determined based on "tourist things" to do, but instead based on things that anyone can do, whether you're a tourist or a resident. This seems like a great resident city. A place that appears comfortable to live in, as long as you have the money for it. It doesn't have that crazy hustle and bustle that I normally love and crave (I consider Chicago to be the least crowded city I could live in as my primary residence) but there is something here that I really seem to enjoy. Its just a combination of everything mentioned above. 

 

We will be back here fora night after the cruise and then here again in September before our transpacific cruise and we're definitely looking forward to it!

 

OK, so we're going to get some sleep. I look forward to posting some morning photos for you all of the Eclipse as it is in port and then updating you on how the embarkation process goes! As always thank you so much for following along. If you have any questions or need me to check out anything for you on the Eclipse please do let me know! 

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4 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

The people here have been incredibly friendly. Everyone is so polite whether you’re out at dinner, waiting in line for coffee, or crossing a crowded street. Is everyone on Xanax or something?

That’s how we have been treated the 7 times we have been to Canada. When we sailed into St John’s , Newfoundland, on Azamara Quest, I felt I was returning home.

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Following your posts as we are doing this cruise on 11th August. 12 weeks today  and counting!!

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Huskydo said:

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. 

 

Hi Huskydo, we’re doing similar this August but flying out to Calgary (and back from Vancouver).  We’re picking up the car at the airport and taking 7 days to drive to Vancouver via stays in Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper and Kamloops. 2 nights in Vancouver then joining Eclipse. We booked flights and hotels through BA holidays and car hire through Canadian Affair.

Edited by Newbury newbie

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