Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cruise to Alaska

Hello there friends, sorry for the delay. I just got back from another week long cruise to Alaska on the Norwegian Star courtesy of my generous in-laws. They have taken us on this cruise three times with other family members, and it has been wonderful. I highly recommend this cruise for people living in Seattle area. There are many last minute deals to be found as they try to fill the last few rooms in the ship. A simple email was what it took for us to find a great balcony room. Typically the weather is like our spring or fall, but this trip was unusually hot, but just right around the mid 70's and 80's. I came home to the heat wave we were having here in Seattle area, where it even reached 104 (very rare for this area).

It is a fabulous trip and you WILL overeat at the buffets and restaurants around the ship, not to mention the chocolate buffet featured once during the trip with ice sculptures and all the chocolate you can possibly pack in, but you can burn it off in the gym or spa, so have fun! My girls had a blast in the kids program which is secure and highly structured so that they beg to go back. You check them out whenever they need to eat or go ashore with you or swim or do whatever. This gives you couple time to enjoy late shows, the spa, casino or just relax. There are no rules - that is the beauty of Norwegian Cruise lines. You eat whenever and with whomever you please. I might as well work for them. They did not pay me for this endorsement, but I'm happy to give it.

The parts of Alaska we saw: Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, plus Prince Rupert, Canada very much reminded me of parts of the San Juans and other places around the Pacific Northwest. It is so beautiful and seeing the glaciers and icebergs floating all around the boat is breathtaking. The ship is well equipped as are the crew to know the safety limits of the boat and how far to go into the glaciers before they turn around, so put all thoughts of Titanic aside. There are many excursions you can go on in Alaska when you reach port other than seeing the town and shopping. Take a helicopter over the glacier, zipline through a rainforest, mush with a husky team, ride a train through the hills, or pan for gold. We did this twice and the kids loved finding a few gold flakes which you get to keep after you pay to pan. Where else can you walk over a bridge and watch fisherman pulling in 3-4' long trout that you can see teaming in the water below?

The ship itself has so many acitivties at all times so that you cannot possible do them all. Comedy shows, newlywed games, broadway style shows in the big theatre each night, a casino, spa, fitness center including free seminars,body analysis, yoga and pilates classes, bingo, art auctions, movie theatre, onboard shopping sales on jewelry and other goodies, music all around the ship to your taste, karaoke, dancing, game room, library, ice cream bar, and more. Save your pennies and go if you can. It is lots of fun!
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