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Kim Hinkle

Age: 25

Occupation:Graphic Designer

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Vision of the Seas

Sailing Date: June 16th, 2002

Itinerary: Alaska - Inside Passage

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International
Sailing Date: June 16th, 2002

We traveled to Alaska for our honeymoon. It was my second cruise and my husband's first cruise. We left Vancouver on June 16th, 2002. We arrived at the terminal around 1:30. It was very well organized. When we arrived, we were given a number and seated in a section with others with the same group number. Once they called our group number, it didn't take long for us to check-in, go through customs, and then board the ship. When we got on, we found our room on our own and checked it out. Our cabin was an outside cabin on Deck 2...nothing fancy, but really had lots of room. Tons of drawers and cabinet space for you to store all of your clothes and accessories. The bathroom was nice too...not too tiny, but of course not big either. The only problem with the bathroom was that you had to be very careful when showering because water would always get on the floor no matter what. But, that was a very tiny problem, and was nothing that we couldn't deal with.

Our cabin attendant came and introduced herself right away - her name was Victoria, she was from the Philippines. She always did a wonderful job at cleaning and always had a little surprise for us on our bed...usually something made from the towels...we had an elephant, swans, frog and even a monkey hanging from our ceiling. She was very sweet and very interesting to talk to also.

As for the good stuff...that would include food! For our breakfast, every day but one, we ate at the Windjammer Cafe. They had a HUGE variety of food. I don't know how anyone could not be satisfied with their breakfast selection. However, we only ate at the Windjammer for lunch once. The rest of the time, we either ate in the dining room or in the Solarium. The dining room always offered excellent choices and of course you could hardly get away from there without having a dessert! I don't normally even eat dessert, but how could you pass it up...besides, it's vacation! The food in the Solarium was much more like fast food...pizza, burgers, kabobs, fish sandwiches, but it too was excellent. Our dining experience was wonderful, as well. We always looked forward to dinner time. We had the late seating which was at 8:30. I was actually glad that we chose that time because we never had to rush in from anywhere to get ready, we had plenty of time. Our Head Waiter honestly did not do a whole lot when in the dining area by our tables, but who knows what he was like in the kitchen, I'm sure that he was another piece of the puzzle that made dining so good. Our Waiter and Assistant Waiter were very polite and a lot of fun. Our waiter knew us each by our first name and was always very friendly. He always had recommendations and if you didn't like what you ordered, he would bring you something else with no problem at all. The chilled soups were outstanding! This may sound a little odd, but I guarantee you will love them...the berry ones were the best. I should have bought their recipe book! There were a few nights in which all of the waiters did a little performance marching through the dining room to music having a good time...bring your camera. Of course, there was a night for Lobster too...mmmm. Can I say more?

Entertainment...most all of the shows were really good. A couple of the comedians were so-so, but that's just my opinion...there was one that was absolutely hilarious. The musicals were excellent! We're not really into musicals, but they are definitely worth going to and you will certainly enjoy them. A couple things that I would recommend NOT MISSING...are the Love and Marriage Show and the game called The Quest. Now, I know I'm a little partial to the Love and Marriage Show because we were actually one of the couples on it and we actually won it! It was tons of fun and I am so glad that we did it. We won a bottle of champagne and photo album and they also gave us a video tape of it. They also played it on one of the channels on the TVs for two whole days! We quickly became the celebrities of the cruise. It was so much fun! The game the Quest was also a lot of fun...it's a team event and kind of a scavenger hunt. So many people participated, and such a variety of people too...it's fun for everyone. If you don't want to play, at least go and watch.

Ports of Call...We went to Hubbard Glacier (cruising), Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. Hubbard Glacier was very beautiful. We weren't able to get as close as they had hoped because the ice was thicker than normal...so we were actually seven miles away. We still had a great view. We did see some seals while we were there. Skagway is a very windy little place...at least when we were there...so be prepared! Not a lot there in the actual town of Skagway...but we did go on the White Pass Railroad - and it was GREAT! Excellent views...once we got out of Skagway, we were allowed to exit the train car and stand out on the platform...which is a good idea if you're wanting good pictures. We did see mountain goats and actually a bear while we were on the ride. You should definitely take your binoculars with you on it. When we were in Juneau, we did the Glacier View Kayaking...it was nice and a good view and all, but basically you just kayaked across a bay. The highlight of that was seeing a lot of bald eagles, but I honestly wish we would have saved our money on that one. We didn't have anything planned for the day in Ketchikan, so we went to the visitor's center and they gave us directions and a map of a hiking trail for a mountain...I think the name was Deer Head Mountain or something like that. This is definitely not a hike for beginners...like us...because it is pretty well straight up. It was a three mile hike total - we only hiked a mile to the first look out. It was worth the hike just to see the great view, but a lot of work! Whew! As for the weather...we really had good luck. Of course at Hubbard Glacier it was cooler, but that was given. Skagway was also one of the coolest days - probably low 60's maybe even high 50's. Juneau wasn't bad at all - high 60's. Ketchikan was definitely the best, in the 70's. Be sure you take a warm coat...and long pants...you may even want a light pair of gloves. But also have some light long sleeve shirts, and maybe even a short sleeve of two.

On one of the formal nights was when the Captain's Gala was...we did have a formal picture taken and then met the Captain...but we skipped out of the actual speech given by him. We didn't really mind though.

There were two pools - one inside and one outside...obviously the pool inside was a little busier. And there were six hot tubs all together. We did go swimming inside one day and then went and sat in the hot tub outside. It was very relaxing! The fitness center was very clean and actually had lot of equipment. We did visit there a few times, a great view from there too.

Also...if you are a dancing machine - the 70's Disco night is not one to miss! A lot of fun and a lot of entertainment too!

We recommend this cruise and this ship 100% - the staff was great and it was an absolutely wonderful experience. Alaska is beautiful!

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