Cichlid-gal's Alaska Vacation 2014

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Post  cichlid-gal on 2014-08-24, 13:01

Well, it only took me a week to get this together.  We will put this on DVD for our home collections also.  We had a great time on this trip and it was a once in a lifetime thing for us.  This was John's retirement vacation trip and we have been waiting since December for this to arrive.  We had a blast and what beautiful scenery we saw. We were treated like a king and queen on the ship and I would highly recommend this to anyone looking to do something super special for a vacation.

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Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-24, 15:35

Whomever put this video together did a great job. Pulled me in and held my interest the whole 17 minutes. Super neat Donna Very Happy Thanks for sharing
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Post  cichlid-gal on 2014-08-24, 15:37

Thanks so much Chad...twas me did the video.  I finally found a good video editor program again...yipee. OH and I do apologize some for the video portions...I'm having to learn how to move and videotape at the same time, often I pan too fast or off track...its not easy with the camera as its pretty sensitive to all my movements but it takes really good videos...nice and sharp and clear.
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Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-24, 16:02

WHAT?!?! Wow, I totally thought you had a 3rd party company put the video together. That's awesome! My wife has been suggesting a cruse of some sort. Seeing this video, the room on the ship and some of the neat things you guys did has sparked my interest in a possible future cruse.
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Post  cichlid-gal on 2014-08-24, 16:34

Thanks again Chad...and no, no 3rd party...I used Proshow Producer to put that together. I've had Proshow Gold for a while but it would not handle my new camera format and was kinda cumbersome to use. Proshow made an upgrade offer I could not refuse.

As for the cruise...if and when you decide or begin looking..PM me. I've got some tips that might be helpful.

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Post  Madness on 2014-08-24, 17:28

That looks like a lot of fun Donna, Im jealous. Smile

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Post  cichlid-gal on 2014-08-24, 18:35

Madness wrote:That looks like a lot of fun Donna, Im jealous. Smile

The trip WAS a lot of fun. This is only the 2nd big trip John and I have ever taken together in 30 years of marriage (the 1st one was paid for by my work as a bonus...we got to go to Italy). John has worked since he was a wee young lad...and has put up with a household of all women for all those 30 years. He has sacrificed so much for us...I could not have been happier for him really. This trip was well deserved for him (me, I just got to go along for the ride...LOL).

As for after the trip...we came home to a broken heat pump. The house was at 82 degrees and the fish tanks were there too. The house had been like that for 5+ days according to our daughter and housesitter (we had no phone service until we returned to Seattle). Half my tanks are "cool water" tanks or non-heated tanks. I thought my fish were going to die but all of them made it through great except for a couple of fish I lost in my big 125G tank (I think those dang Kribs got nasty). So we now await the "fix" of the heat pump. Timing of that failure could not have been worse but that's Murphy's Law for us. Always seems to go that way. Oh well...all I can say is I'm glad that dang Murphy didn't come visiting "before" we left for Alaska.
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Post  Madness on 2014-08-24, 19:08

Spot On  Glad to hear that everything else went well.

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Post  dwarfpike on 2014-08-25, 02:54

Really well done video.

How much rocking do those big ships do? While I love it, I know someone that ones to do this but hates ship motion.
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Post  cichlid-gal on 2014-08-25, 08:36

Thanks dwarfpike.

How much motion you feel depends on your location in the ship. Midships and a little lower in the ship (on this ship that would be like deck 9 and below) you mostly don't feel anything really, at least I didn't. At the rear of the ship like our cabin was you do feel the rocking a bit sometimes. I think if you had rough sea with bigger swells you would probably feel the rocking in all parts of the ship. We only had one night with a little bit of heavier swells and i kinda liked that...felt like I was being rocked in my sleep. It was a strange sensation but I didn't mind it. We had nice and calm seas for our trip most of the time.

There were some people on board that also didn't like the motion or had some form of motion sickness. They had a medication patch on that helped with the motion sickness and they were quite happy and having no problems.
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Post  DMD123 on 2014-08-25, 14:49

Looks like it was a fun trip, thanks for sharing that cool video!

I have been on one cruise and it was one of the most memorable highlights in my life. I went to the Grand Caymans and got to feed and handle stingrays. I had no issue while on the ship but after we got back home I felt wobbly for a couple days after. Solid ground felt strange.
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Post  cichlid-gal on 2014-08-25, 18:53

DMD...thank you for sharing in our adventure.  And yes, this was/is one of the highlights of our life and travels.  We so enjoyed this cruise and the whole experience of Alaska.  We want to go back already.  Everyone kept saying that the Alaska cruises are the most repeated cruises and I can now see why.  It was incredible. And the fact that we got to leave from Seattle and didn't have to pay for airfare made a huge difference on our budget. When we were looking at other options, the pre-travel put a real damper on what we could do and what we could afford.

The food was fantastic, the entertainment was simply stunning (Magician, Circus like Cirque de Soleil, Comedy, Musical entertainment) and then just the day to day stuff...well, we were so busy we didn't even have time to think twice about stuff.  And most of it was included in our cruise price except the excursions.  Our video just showcases the room, the scenery and the excursions...not the ship and all it had to offer. We are already trying to figure out if we could do this again (in smaller accommodations as having done the suite thing now we feel we could do with less the next time and just spend more time out and about on the ship since there is so much to see and do).
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Post  MRTom on 2014-08-26, 01:05

That looks like some excellent sight seeing! Smile How was the format of the cruise? Do they have you follow a schedule like lunch at x time or dinner with random folks?

I like how they do the fishing off the boat to show off. Cool stuff!
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Post  cichlid-gal on 2014-08-26, 09:28

Hi Tom Smile  The format of the cruise is "you are on vacation...no schedules, no must dos (except for the fire/emergency drill the 1st day)".  You can chose to do reserved seating for dining at a certain time (like 6:00pm) or you can do walk in sit down anytime from like 7:30am till 10:00pm (I think).  The cafeteria buffet is open almost 24 hours with something available.  If lobster is being served you can have 10 of them if you want (even in the sit down...they will go back and get you another serving if you ask). At dinner you can chose your table size for the cruise...from just 2 of you to up to 12 person table. In the buffet you can sit where you want. We almost always had seating to ourselves in the buffet. In the dining we were at a 8 top table which I thought was perfect.

The crab boat and train ride were excursions for us (you pay for those separately).  There were probably 30 or more excursions you could pick from with activity levels from mild to very active (zip line, kayaking, etc).  For the excursions you do have a certain time you have to be at the pick up meet up point.

All those little pamplets I put in the video near the end, each of those is a daily "newsletter" which contains a schedule of the ships daily events...when and where things are going on.  It's up to you to decide if you which you want to go to.  And many of the lounges have live music for most of the day.  There was a "jazz" lounge...John and I loved that one.

Another add on that we didn't know about when we 1st booked the cruise were the "beverage packages".  You have to buy at least a basic package per person.  We opted for what they called a "classic non-alcoholic" package which gave us unlimited specialty bottled water, pops of any kind/name brand, specialty coffees, and frozen blended non-alcoholic drinks.  All of these are unlimited during your cruise and you don't pay anything extra for them as the package price covers them.  There are also alcohol included packages available but those are quite a bit pricier.  I was afraid we were to purchase one of those we would feel the need to drink cocktails or wine all day long to get our monies worth.  I think we made a good choice.  You can still get a glass of wine or a cocktail at the lounges or dinner but you have to pay for those.  We did get some wine with a couple of dinners.
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Post  MRTom on 2014-08-26, 16:24

That sounds way better than anything I've seen described about other cruises! I like it!
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