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Anyone going on Ocean Victory's May voyages in Alaska?


Babcia7
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21 hours ago, Missouri travel girl said:

I made out flight for the next day after arriving in Sitka because they all left so early on arrival day. 

Our flight is 11:55 am. As the airport (small) is only about 4 or 5 miles away I figured I would pre order a taxi and walk off as early as possible. I had signed up for AQV transfer but I will cancel that. As we are going Sitka to Seattle to Santa Rosa we don't need to test.

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28 minutes ago, adstz said:

Our flight is 11:55 am. As the airport (small) is only about 4 or 5 miles away I figured I would pre order a taxi and walk off as early as possible. I had signed up for AQV transfer but I will cancel that. As we are going Sitka to Seattle to Santa Rosa we don't need to test.

Have you found a taxi company that will let you pre-schedule a pick-up? If so, which one? I've been calling taxi companies in Sitka, and they tell me they don't pre-schedule because of a shortage of drivers.

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On 5/25/2022 at 12:56 PM, NMCruiser55 said:

Thank you for your review. I'm disappointed to hear the captain didn't go to the glaciers. I expected they may have supply chain issues being new to the region. We will be doing this cruise June 7, will see if more kinks have been ironed out.  😉

Hoping to hear that the kinks have been worked out for your voyage.  Any insight or review of your trip would be most welcomed for those of us who are booked later this summer. Hope you are having a wonderful adventure!

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On 6/9/2022 at 9:00 AM, NavyVeteran said:

Have you found a taxi company that will let you pre-schedule a pick-up? If so, which one? I've been calling taxi companies in Sitka, and they tell me they don't pre-schedule because of a shortage of drivers.

I was going to wait till early August to make those phone calls. Thought they would have a better idea of their availability by then. Might change by then or might not.

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Just got back from our Ocean Victory cruise. Once on the ship had a great time. We only received one water bottle after asking. Food was fine, but I'm not too fussy. DH didn't find out you could ask for a hamburger at lunch until late in the cruise. Everyone was very friendly and helpful.

 

Doing the zodiacs was the best. We got close the glaciers and saw lots of animals. One group saw a bear. They also have kayaks, but we decided we aren't very good kayakers. lol

We only did the pre-cruise tour in Sitka and saw bears at Fortress of the Bears (a sanctuary). It was still too early for bear excursions to see wild bears. Some people went on a fishing excursion and caught some salmon. Everyone that took the jet boats really enjoyed them.

 

Now for the not so nice.

Sitka taxi situation sucks. There were ten of us at the airport looking for a ride. One person was trying to call the taxi service but couldn't get an answer. Someone saw an idle hotel van. He talked to the driver and he agreed to take us to his hotel which was across the street from ours.

The ship is docked away from town and not where the other cruise ships dock for their port stops. Not a big deal as they have shuttles. The big deal was a mis-communication as to what was required to embark. (Hint: not just the covid test results.) We had our paper ticket but some had packed theirs in their suitcase. If that wasn't enough, bags were manual searched and every one was wanded. Needless to say we left a bit late. 😕 

Disembarkation turned into another fiasco. We were almost at the dock when we went back out into the harbor. After 2 hours we had 2 tugboats push us to the dock. Once we actually left we didn't have too much problem. The port terminal was a madhouse. Once we pushed through that we made it to the train and zipped to the airport and  through their lines. 

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11 hours ago, NMCruiser55 said:

Just got back from our Ocean Victory cruise. Once on the ship had a great time. We only received one water bottle after asking. Food was fine, but I'm not too fussy. DH didn't find out you could ask for a hamburger at lunch until late in the cruise. Everyone was very friendly and helpful.

 

Doing the zodiacs was the best. We got close the glaciers and saw lots of animals. One group saw a bear. They also have kayaks, but we decided we aren't very good kayakers. lol

We only did the pre-cruise tour in Sitka and saw bears at Fortress of the Bears (a sanctuary). It was still too early for bear excursions to see wild bears. Some people went on a fishing excursion and caught some salmon. Everyone that took the jet boats really enjoyed them.

 

Now for the not so nice.

Sitka taxi situation sucks. There were ten of us at the airport looking for a ride. One person was trying to call the taxi service but couldn't get an answer. Someone saw an idle hotel van. He talked to the driver and he agreed to take us to his hotel which was across the street from ours.

The ship is docked away from town and not where the other cruise ships dock for their port stops. Not a big deal as they have shuttles. The big deal was a mis-communication as to what was required to embark. (Hint: not just the covid test results.) We had our paper ticket but some had packed theirs in their suitcase. If that wasn't enough, bags were manual searched and every one was wanded. Needless to say we left a bit late. 😕 

Disembarkation turned into another fiasco. We were almost at the dock when we went back out into the harbor. After 2 hours we had 2 tugboats push us to the dock. Once we actually left we didn't have too much problem. The port terminal was a madhouse. Once we pushed through that we made it to the train and zipped to the airport and  through their lines. 

Glad you had a great time once you were on the ship. I would have thought that AQ voyages would have explained what was necessary for embarkation (tickets, tests, etc.) in the documents they provide before the trip. That might have avoided some confusion. 

We experienced the same kind of fiasco on our Mississippi trip on the American Queen this past March. Both embarkation and disembarkation were totally disorganized and frankly very frustrating.

With so few passengers on the Ocean Victory, I would've expected a smoother operation.

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I think the on shore team running the testing thought that the test result page was all that was needed. Authorities at the dock disagreed. Everything ran pretty smoothly just slowly. Disembarked looked like it would go smoothly until we couldn't dock on time. We only had 97 guests, so that kept the waits down.

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20 hours ago, NMCruiser55 said:

Just got back from our Ocean Victory cruise. Once on the ship had a great time. We only received one water bottle after asking. Food was fine, but I'm not too fussy. DH didn't find out you could ask for a hamburger at lunch until late in the cruise. Everyone was very friendly and helpful.

 

Doing the zodiacs was the best. We got close the glaciers and saw lots of animals. One group saw a bear. They also have kayaks, but we decided we aren't very good kayakers. lol

We only did the pre-cruise tour in Sitka and saw bears at Fortress of the Bears (a sanctuary). It was still too early for bear excursions to see wild bears. Some people went on a fishing excursion and caught some salmon. Everyone that took the jet boats really enjoyed them.

 

Now for the not so nice.

Sitka taxi situation sucks. There were ten of us at the airport looking for a ride. One person was trying to call the taxi service but couldn't get an answer. Someone saw an idle hotel van. He talked to the driver and he agreed to take us to his hotel which was across the street from ours.

The ship is docked away from town and not where the other cruise ships dock for their port stops. Not a big deal as they have shuttles. The big deal was a mis-communication as to what was required to embark. (Hint: not just the covid test results.) We had our paper ticket but some had packed theirs in their suitcase. If that wasn't enough, bags were manual searched and every one was wanded. Needless to say we left a bit late. 😕 

Disembarkation turned into another fiasco. We were almost at the dock when we went back out into the harbor. After 2 hours we had 2 tugboats push us to the dock. Once we actually left we didn't have too much problem. The port terminal was a madhouse. Once we pushed through that we made it to the train and zipped to the airport and  through their lines. 

Thanks for the info about Sitka taxis. We disembark there and have a plane to catch at 11:55 am. I had hoped to be able to get a taxi for the short ride to the airport but I guess I will be taking the expensive short ride by using the cruise line shuttle. Already booked but was hoping to cancel.

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2 minutes ago, adstz said:

Thanks for the info about Sitka taxis. We disembark there and have a plane to catch at 11:55 am. I had hoped to be able to get a taxi for the short ride to the airport but I guess I will be taking the expensive short ride by using the cruise line shuttle. Already booked but was hoping to cancel.

If this were a more "normal" town with plenty of taxis, I agree. But the peace of mind may be worth the more expensive option. 🙂 

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