Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Sky
Sailing Date: September 21st, 2002
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Sailing Date: September 21st, 2002
I just got back home from Alaska on a cruise with Norwegian Sky. Wow what a beautiful ship. I have no complaints whatsoever. There were 8 of us that cruised together. We flew to Seattle for a couple of days so that I could spend some time with my stepdaughter. She took us all over Seattle. I would highly recommend taking the extra day to see Seattle when going to Alaska. There are so many things to do there. I would recommend the Space needle and Pikes Place Market for sure. Pikes is a neat fish market, and they throw the fish and there are the most beautiful flowers and fruits. Great prices! We ate at the crab pot which is located there and it was fun and very good. They bring you a bib and for good reason. You order this great seafood and they put a paper down on your table and bring your food in this big wash bowl, and just dump it all on the table. I would also recommend the amphibious duck ride if you don't know anyone in Seattle to show you around. It is a lot of fun and it is a land and sea tour. The next morning we took the underground tour. If you like history then you will like this tour. It is about how Seattle was started. We then were off to the boat to get on the "Sky". Boarding was a breeze. After boarding we had a bon-voyage party. One thing I would suggest is get involved with all activities and have fun! After all this is a vacation. The freestyle cruise is just that. You can wear pretty much what you wish
They have specialty restaurants for a fee of $15 but we never seen the need to do that. The food was great. We had some friends that did eat at the specialty restaurants and said the food was great. If you go hungry on the Sky then it is your own fault. If you eat in the main dining rooms plan on 1 1/2 hours because you go through all the courses of the menu starting with the appetizers to the desserts. If you are in a hurry I would suggest the buffet in the Garden Cafe. Be sure and bring a drop cord as there are not enough outlets. The blow dryer is not very good. There was just enough drawer space, and you can put your luggage under the bed. I thought everything was sufficient. Pack light. Take my advice and pack and take out half of what you pack. I took way too many clothes. I thought we would be changing more from day to night, but some of the shore excursions are late and by the time you get back on the boat you will be tired and just want to go through the buffet line and eat which is casual.
The shore excursions that we did were very good. The first was in Juneau. We had booked through coastal helicopter tour through the internet before we had left home. I am so glad we did as we arrived it was very foggy and all the flights were canceled on the boat. The reason we could go on was because coastal is very experienced and they are the ones that are called on in emergences. They are very experienced and this was great. We landed on Herbert Glacier and walked around for 20 mins. The crevasses were awesome, and the water so blue. It was truly a great experience. After our return from the helicopter tour we met at the red dog saloon with the rest of our group that went on the whale tour. The red dog has sawdust floors. You have to go in there and write your name in the wood. After that we shopped till we dropped. We was the last cruise for the season so just about everything was 1/2 price. We got some great deals. Everyone said the best shopping was in Ketchikan but I don't agree. I think Juneau or Skagway. Also if you buy a lot and afraid you won't be able to pack it all back home, I would advice shipping from the port before you get on the boat
We had bought a lot during the cruise and was going to take everything on the last port which was Ketchikan and ship back UPS, but customs would not let us take all that stuff off the boat. You have to wait till you get back and take everything that was purchased throughout the cruise through customs at the end of the cruise. If we had of known that we would have shipped before we got on the boat before we boarded for the next port. My point is once you take it on the boat you can't take it off till the end of the cruise. The next day we was in Skagway. Brr. It was very cold . The wind would cut right through you . We had had very mild weather until then. It had been in the high 50's, but that day it was 37 degrees. We rode the white pass summit. I highly recommend that. I recommend sitting on the left side. Going up the mountain there is some beautiful scenery. It goes to the top and you are in Canada. This was our narrators last day so as a tradition she jumped in the cold water 3 times. They said the water was 36 degrees. I thought she was kidding but by golly she did it. After doing some more shopping and swooping up some more of the great deals we took a ferry to Haines for our twilight excursion. The ride over you have to be on the look out for whales and other wildlife. When we arrived in Haines and go on our bus we no longer got started and we seen a bear right there in town. By the way don't blink or you'll miss town. On the way we had 2 very experienced tour guides. They were very informative. We seen Bald Eagles and I would say about 14 grizzly bears. They usually were in 3's and 4's. We would pull over and watch the salmon spawn and then the bears would come to feast on the fish. Our tour directors told us to stay close to the bus and all in one group. We were to get on the bus if they said so fast. They had bear pepper spray. They had powerful telescopes to look through. The chilikoot river was very beautiful. The next day was Glacier Bay. Wow! This was very beautiful and cold. You will hear a roaring thunder then see the ice crashing in the water. This was truly a great experience.
The next day we were in Ketchikan. This was a very rainy day. Be sure and go to creek street. The buildings are on stilts in the water and the fish are spawning upstream. We seen a seal trying to get the fish. Be sure and go to Dolly's house. This was a neat place. Everything is still the original. The girls that work there are a hoot. Be sure and ask about the Silk flowers on the shower curtain.
The next day was the inside passage. We were so tired and trying to pack for the last day of our cruise that we didn't see a whole lot of it. I wish now I had spent more time just observing, but felt overwhelmed by all the packing and trying to get all the stuff that I had bought together (ha ha !). You have to have your luggage out by 3am . My friend had a broken handle on her suitcase, and the staff were so nice to replace it for her at no charge. They put a whole new handle on for her. The staff really go out of their way to make you feel comfortable. They wait on you hand and foot. One night we had lobsters, and the waiter took care of getting them out of the shell for me. Anything we asked for we got. Everyone was truly nice. They had a mint on our pillow every night and made our gown into some kind of fish. They turned our beds down and kept our room very clean.
Well the last day was in Vancouver B.C. We decided to take the last bus out on quick coach so that we could spend the day there. I wish we had a extra day. This was a beautiful place. Very clean. The scenery beautiful. We had left our luggage at the holiday inn for a fee of $10 for all of our luggage. We took the double decker bus for a city tour since we didn't have very long there. That way we could see the highlights. I would have loved to spent the day at Stanly Park or the neat Gastown. Granville Island would have been nice too. Well after that we headed back to Seattle. We had to go through customs. That was the worst part. We had to get our luggage off the bus and carry it ourselves through customs then take it back to the bus. By the way we didn't know until we had already purchased bus tickets that we could have taken a limo back to Seattle for what it cost us for the bus. We headed to Seattle with beautiful scenery. I took a nap as it was a 4 hour drive. When arriving to Seattle the security was very tight as it was the whole time. I was glad as it made me feel safer. We was off to our home and very tired.
I would say this is the most laid back cruise that I have ever been on. The way they had this spaced out you had your shore excursions, then you had a day of rest on the boat. I would recommend the Norwegian sky. The shows are the best from what I hear. I have never cruised on any other line other than Norwegian, but I don't have any complaints to make me go to another. I heard that the food was better on other cruise lines, but the shows were better on Norwegian. I don' t see how the food could get much better, but maybe I should try another cruise line to see. Nah. why fix it if its not broke.