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LIVE from the Edge - Alaska Dawes Glacier B2Bs May 24-June 7


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Hello everyone and welcome to my first Live review on Cruise Critic!  We are Shannon and Ross from Kansas City and are taking a much delayed 20th anniversary 🥂 cruise to Alaska.  (It may actually be closer to our 25th than our 20th by now!)

 

Our on our last cruise 2 years ago on the Equinox:

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We chose this particular cruise to Alaska when our kiddo signed up for a school trip to Spain 🇪🇸 and we wanted to fit in a vacation for ourselves while she would be gone.  We looked at some Caribbean cruises, but they were all on the shorter side or didn’t fit our schedule.  If we are going to all the trouble of packing up and flying somewhere, we want to make it worth our while.  🙂  In addition, we’ve always wanted to do a B2B cruise and this one fit perfectly.  

 

We’re looking forward to staying in a Magic Carpet Sky Suite for both legs of our journey. 

 

Hope you enjoy reading.  I expect to post lots of food 🍔🥗🍣🧁photos!   Feel free to comment and ask questions.  So long as I have internet, I’ll try to keep this updated!

 

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Thank you for taking us along on your cruise, I will be jumping onboard! 

Having done a live I know that there is joy in doing a live but it also takes time.

 

We have not done an Alaska cruise yet, but may in the future.

 

Cheers!

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Posted (edited)

Our departure was really rough because Kiddo had to be at the airport by 3am(!) for her school trip, which meant we had to leave our house around 1:45am.  I woke up around 9am and spent the day finishing up the packing.  We decided our last meal at home should be Jack Stack BBQ because it’s hard to find BBQ as good as Kansas City’s anywhere else in the world!

 

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We selected some of our favorite board games to bring on this trip.

 

 

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Originally, we had intended to take a nap around 4pm, but the best laid plans….  so, no nap.  Our ride arrived to pick us up at 1:45am as planned.   As expected, there wasn’t much traffic this early in the morning so we arrived with time to spare. 

 

Once we arrived, it was time to say our family goodbyes.  We are going to be over 5000 miles apart from our kiddo!  I'm a little nervous about her being so far away, but I'm happy she's getting to go.  She helped us by taking our photo:

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After Kiddo left to go through security with her school group, Ross and I had to wait until the Alaskan Airlines desk was scheduled to open at 4:30am.  We found a bench and stared blankly into space with a few yawns and utterances about how tired we were punctuating the silence.

 

I was a little bit worried that both of us would fall asleep on that bench and we’d miss our flights (Time since last sleep counter:  19 1/2 hours).  Finally, however, the agent arrived at the desk and we were able to check our bags, breeze through security and find our gate.

 

We were excited to travel out of Kansas City’s brand new airport for the first time!  It feels much more modern than the old one and is full of local restaurants and shops.

 

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Oh, as an aside, after we got through security we found another really interesting feature of Kansas City’s new airport.  All the bathrooms are gender neutral.  This is not meant as a political statement and actually worked so well.  There is one entryway for everyone and then all the individual stalls are large and completely contained with doors that reach all the way to the floor.    So many other airports and event spaces have such long lines for only the women’s bathroom.  Not here.  Everyone waits in the same line and then gets a private stall.  I was impressed.

 

When we booked this vacation, we splurged a bit for this trip and decided to get first class tickets.  I’ve never flown first class before.  In fact, we usually fly on Southwest, which we love, but it is much more of a “every man for himself” type of airline because of the lack of assigned seating   So, I was really excited being able to board closer to the front of the line, and not have anyone insist that there was no room for my carry on!

 

I was hoping to be able to go to sleep right away on the plane (Time since last sleep counter:  21 1/2 hours), but the seats were so upright that I knew I would not be able to get in a comfortable enough position until after take off.  Then as soon were in the air, the flight attendants were offering us beverages and then breakfast, and I  hadn’t eaten since last night so maybe some food would be good first? 🙂

 

We were served on a tray with actual silverware.  Breakfast was grapes, assorted fruits, walnuts, granola and milk, a morning bread round and almond butter.  It was a lot of food so we pocketed the bread round and almond butter for our breakfast tomorrow.  I want 

to highlight the granola which was especially good.  Containing coconut flakes and  pumpkin seeds, it was just the right amount of sweetness and perfectly crunchy without being overly chewy or hard.  So good!

 

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After breakfast, I was finally able to attempt to sleep.  I am usually a “Never Recline My Airline Seat” kind of person, but in first class there was plenty of room so I didn’t feel bad for the person behind me.   I was finally able to take a little nap, but it was not a good one.   Besides the seats being too upright to sleep well (even with them reclined), and a baby was crying the whole way, the plane was freezing.  Really really freezing.  The flight attendant told us they were trying to get the heat turned up and I think it eventually made a difference, but I’m not sure I’ve ever been so cold on a plane before.

 

The flight itself was very smooth.  The Seattle airport appeared to be under some construction.  There were a lot of exposed pipes and temporary structures that made it a little difficult to navigate  our way to the baggage claim.  In addition, we had to take a very very crowded train to another part of the airport to get to the baggage claim.  I love the concept of public transportation, but I don’t love being shoved like a sardine against a train window.

 

Yay!  All our baggage made it to Seattle with us.  We took a taxi from the airport to our hotel near the port.  (Note for Future Alaskan Cruisers: The taxi was about $48 plus tip.)

 

Hello Seattle!

 

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Edited by SerraG
A few typos
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Posted (edited)

Happy late or early Anniversary! I Look forward to hearing how you like your MC SS, we have one booked in 2025.

A couple things we learned in Luminae on Edge.

The very front little room tends to be warm, we sat there day 1 lunch and didn't like it, after eating we made a lap so we could request a section in the future!

The front 1/3 temp was good for us temp wise and a bit quieter. The back half got warmer and louder and smelled like food!

Say hello to Nia (the hostess) from Danna and Bruce!

 

Enjoy

 

 

Edited by lovecruzin
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Posted (edited)

We stayed at the Hotel 1000 for one night pre-cruise.  

 

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This hotel was also a bit of a splurge from our usual Hampton Inn stays.  The lobby was beautiful and the service was impeccable. As expected, since we arrived around 10am, our room wasn’t ready yet.  They offered to store our luggage until a room became available. 


Right off the lobby was a nice cocktail lounge with comfortable seating around a fireplace, where we drank a cup of coffee and tried to collect our thoughts. (Hours of sleep we’ve had in the last 25 hours: 1)  

 

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We decided to walk the 10 minutes to Pike’s Place and explore Seattle.  

 

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As we walked, we realized that we were starving.  I remembered that user TinyG had mentioned a great chowder restaurant so I looked that up and discovered we needed head to Pike Place Chowder.  

 

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We arrived around 10:45 and there was already quite a line.  Apparently _this_ is the place to get chowder.  While we were waiting an employee came around to give us a menu. You can download an app and order ahead from a back window, but we couldn’t get the app to work correctly so we just waited.  

 

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It was a fairly cool morning at 58 F degrees, so we were really glad we had brought our jackets while we were standing in line. 

 

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Well, it was absolutely worth the wait!  We got a sampler of 4 chowders in smaller (6oz) sizes and a hot butter lobster roll (instead of the cold mayo  version).  

 

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We got a regular clam chowder (very good), a smoked salmon chowder (very good), an oyster and crab chowder (good) and a scollop chowder (excellent).  The scollop chowder had a delicious dill flavor.  We thought the lobster roll was amazing, and Ross is from Boston so he is picky about lobster. 
 

After lunch, we did a little shopping.  Right next to Pike Place chowder, was a great “Made in Washington” shop where I was able to buy some postcards and gifts for family back home.  We wondered around the market for a bit.  It was really fun to see all the stalls and shops.  


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We caught some workers throwing fish at the famous fish market. 
 

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Ross thought this sign for the bathroom looked like a woman and child chasing after a man who had stolen a baby.  

 

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We also found this interesting mural of Robert Wadlow, who at 8 ft 11  who still holds the record as the world’s tallest man.  It was so unexpected to find a mural about him in the middle of Seattle!   He is a beloved local from Alton, Illinois near where my some of my family used to live and was nicknamed The Alton Giant.   My grandmother actually saw him in person and used to tell stories about it.  The mural is life size and for reference I am quite tall for a woman at 5ft 9in. 

 

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We did not seek out the famous, if unpleasant, “Gum Wall”, but we stumbled upon it anyway.  Ick.

 

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Around 1pm, the hotel finally texted us to let us know that our room was ready.  We took a brief stop at Target, which is very near Pike’s Place, to pick up a few forgotten essentials and then eagerly headed back to the hotel.  We made it to our very lovely room, but we were too exhausted to appreciate it much.

 

 

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A gorgeous free standing tub.

 

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There is even a Nespresso Espresso Maker.

 

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We gratefully collapsed into bed for a long nap before dinner. 

 

 

 

Edited by SerraG
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Hope you have fun! I will be on this ship in July, so I'm eager to hear how you like it. If you have any recommendations for shore excursions I'd be particularly interested in hearing those - I'm overwhelmed by the number of options!

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1 minute ago, critic2023 said:

Hope you have fun! I will be on this ship in July, so I'm eager to hear how you like it. If you have any recommendations for shore excursions I'd be particularly interested in hearing those - I'm overwhelmed by the number of options!

We will be on this same cruise next week.  It is going to be our first time in Alaska and like you, I was overwhelmed by the excursion options.  My approach was to identify exactly what we wanted to get out of our visit because we will likely not return due to distance and cost.  We are pretty athletic but don't have an appreciation for hiking so we ruled that out.  We have done several whale watching excursions in the past, so ruled that out.  By process of elimination we landed with a self-guided tour of Ketchikan to include the lumber jack show (which we booked directly on line, not through the ship) and a walking tour/pub crawl...in Juneau we are scheduled for a helicopter ride over Mendenhal glacier coupled with a dog sledding tour...this was our splurge.  And in Skagway, we are taking the scenic train into Canada coupled with a bike ride back down the mountain with scenic stops along the way.

 

Visit the Alaska board for more ideas!

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1 hour ago, Georgia_Peaches said:

We will be on this same cruise next week.  It is going to be our first time in Alaska and like you, I was overwhelmed by the excursion options.  My approach was to identify exactly what we wanted to get out of our visit because we will likely not return due to distance and cost.  We are pretty athletic but don't have an appreciation for hiking so we ruled that out.  We have done several whale watching excursions in the past, so ruled that out.  By process of elimination we landed with a self-guided tour of Ketchikan to include the lumber jack show (which we booked directly on line, not through the ship) and a walking tour/pub crawl...in Juneau we are scheduled for a helicopter ride over Mendenhal glacier coupled with a dog sledding tour...this was our splurge.  And in Skagway, we are taking the scenic train into Canada coupled with a bike ride back down the mountain with scenic stops along the way.

 

Visit the Alaska board for more ideas!

 

This is excellent advice, thank you! I'll look through the Alaska board this weekend. The helicopter/dog sled excursion you mentioned is actually the only one I knew for sure I wanted, but it's sold out on my cruise - gonna keep checking back in hopes someone cancels!

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Posted (edited)
On 5/24/2024 at 6:40 AM, mac_tlc said:

Looking forward to following along. We will be on Edge in August in Alaska. 
 

 

mac_tlc

What!? August 2 by any chance? 
 

Sorry to the OP for hijacking the thread - I got excited at the prospect of possibly sailing with @mac_tlc and his DW again.

 

Thank you for taking time to do a review. I look forward to following along!

Edited by Mrs_Tiki
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22 minutes ago, Mrs_Tiki said:

What!? August 2 by any chance? 
 

Sorry to the OP for hijacking the thread - I got excited at the prospect of possibly sailing with @mac_tlc and his DW again.

 

Thank you for taking time to do a review. I look forward to following along!

Ohhhhhh….Dang! We are on 8/16!!!! Bummer we will miss you and Mr_Tiki!!!

 

About that 4/4/2026 Silhouette to the ABC islands…🤔🤔

 

 

mac_tlc

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Posted (edited)

We set an alarm for 3 hours and I can’t say that we woke up refreshed, but our hunger motivated us enough to get out of bed anyway!  After a bit of debate, we decided to just eat downstairs at All Water Seafood and Oyster Bar.   

 

Before I tell you about our it, let me advise you that we had a very good meal.  I was happy with everything we ate, but my critiques may make it seem like I didn’t enjoy something when I’m just trying to be thorough with details.  🙂 

 

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The service was good and our waiter was chatty and helpful in selecting our courses.  We usually ask the server what items are popular and if they have any special recommendations.  I know food is subjective, but the server usually has some idea of what is particularly tasty or if something should be avoided.  

 

For an appetizer we split the Local Dungeness Crab Cake.  

 

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These were  good.  Flavorful and heavy with crab meat, but not the best I have ever had, perhaps slightly under seasoned.  It’s tricky because you want to let the crab meat itself be the star, and yet…

 

Crab cakes can be perfection, but are usually just “fine”, so I continually order them and am continually slightly disappointed.  

 

For my main dish, I had Pan Seared Alaskan Halibut over wild mushroom and green pea mushroom risotto. 

 

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The halibut was fresh, but maybe a bit overcooked.  The risotto was very good with a nice texture.  Sometimes risotto can be gloopy, but in this version the grains of rice were more distinct yet still well cooked.  It was better than the halibut.

 

Ross had the special, which was a Seafood Stew.IMG_5031.thumb.jpeg.f99956544eac8704ed7a11c5880316df.jpeg

 

This was very good.  It contained local clams, cod, scallops and mussels.   The local clams were a stand out - fresh and briny and tasting like ocean - despite the fact that they were in a flavorful tomato broth.  The bread was average.  (Ross commented that maybe they should start buying their bread from Pike Place Chowder company which had a stellar sourdough!)

 

Overall it was a very good meal.  
 

After dinner, we decided to walk back to the Target (Again!) before it closed at 8pm because I had forgotten to get nail polish remover on our first trip there and Ross wanted to buy his regular toothpaste brand since he didn’t like the flavor of the sample tube we’d packed.  The Target was busy and the toothpaste was under lock and key.  We had to wait quite a while for someone to take it out of jail for us.   Note to future Alaskan cruisers, there was an entire wall of sample sized items in case you forget something.

 

After our Target run, we made our way down to the waterfront for some sightseeing.  
 

We went up in the Seattle Great Wheel, which was designed by Chance Rides, a Wichita based amusement ride maker. 

 

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The ride is much better than a typical carnival style ferris wheel.  Each of the cars is  entirely enclosed and climate controlled.  

 

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The view was spectacular with the Seattle skyline on one side and the water on the other. 


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After that, we were more than ready to head back to the hotel for an actual full night of sleep!

 

when we got back to our room, we were greeted by turned down beds, slippers and even a cute lavender sachet.  
 

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Edited by SerraG
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20 hours ago, lovecruzin said:

Say hello to Nia (the hostess) from Danna and Bruce!

I told Nia "Hello" from you last night and she was delighted!  She really lit up and I think I made her evening.  🙂

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20 hours ago, mkcurran said:

You got my attention at Jack Stack. I miss good BBQ. 

 

Jack Stack is very good.  Not quite as good as my Dad's homemade ribs, but Jack Stack is consistent and there is one close to our house.  🙂

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On 5/24/2024 at 6:16 AM, Georgia_Peaches said:

Happy embarkation day!  See you in a week!

 

Georgia_Peaches, I feel like we have been posting on all the same threads so much lately that we almost know each other already!  🙂 Looking forward to meeting you in person!  🙂

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On 5/24/2024 at 8:47 AM, mick70 said:

See you soon also on this cruise in MC.  Will be leaving home for the ship in 3 hours. Our 8th cruise to Alaska.

 

Hope to see you onboard, mick70!  We are going to try to make it to the meet-up in Eden this afternoon, so maybe we'll see you there! 🙂

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4 hours ago, critic2023 said:

Hope you have fun! I will be on this ship in July, so I'm eager to hear how you like it. If you have any recommendations for shore excursions I'd be particularly interested in hearing those - I'm overwhelmed by the number of options!

 

Over the next 2 weeks, will will be doing at least one ship excursion in each port.  I will definitely post about all of them and let you know if I hear anything in particular from other guests about their excursions.  

 

On our first Alaskan cruise, we took a White Pass Railway excursion from Skagway and I would say that was a "Don't Miss" experience.    We also did a gold panning expedition that was just "meh".  It was a while ago, so I don't remember the specific details.  

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12 minutes ago, SerraG said:

 

Georgia_Peaches, I feel like we have been posting on all the same threads so much lately that we almost know each other already!  🙂 Looking forward to meeting you in person!  🙂

Yes!  I will be looking for you!  Hope you’re enjoying the first leg. You’ll be able to fill us in on the must see and do’s!  And I’m enjoying your review. Have read every word aloud to DH 😊
 

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1 hour ago, mick70 said:

Where are you now? In the retreat lounge with a Seattle seahawk shirt.


Eating lunch in Eden right now, in the very back, overlooking the wake.   We are going to try to meet others from cruise critic here at 1:30pm on the upper level.   

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