MaloriM

MaloriM
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Hometown: Texas
Joined: 08/20/2017
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About MaloriM

I'm a proud military wife and future nurse! I've been married to my husband for 3 1/2 years and we just went on our very first cruise! We went with Norwegian to Alaska in August 2017 and it was PHENOMENAL! We loved having our week planned for us, being able to relax whenever we wanted, the Freestyle concept, and seeing the amazing scenery of Alaska. We are already talking about our next cruise! :)


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Seattle, Washington - Seattle was fine and like any other big American city. We arrived in Seattle (via airlines) several days before the cruise (August 3) so we had a few days to explore the city. It was Fleet Week with the Navy, so we got a free tour of the USS Michael Murphy in the harbor. We ate at Anthony's Pier 66 restaurant outdoors, and the rockfish was excellent! We also rented a car and the next day (my husband's birthday) we drove out to Mt. Ranier. A bit of a trek but worth it and we recommend it!! Very beautiful. We ate at AQUA by El Gaucho for his birthday dinner, and the halibut was exquisite. Definitely make a reservation there if you want to eat dinner there. On Saturday, we took the ferry over to Bainbridge Island, which is a cute little place with neat shops. We ate at the Thai restaurant there. After we got back from the cruise, we went up the Sky View observatory, which is higher (and cheaper) than going in the Space Needle. Great views!
Ketchikan, Alaska - In Ketchikan we had scheduled a seaplane tour of the Misty Fjords but not through Norwegian (because it was cheaper through ShoreFox/Pirate Airworks). Unfortunately, it got canceled because of the heavy fog that morning. We were only there from 6am-1pm, and had we stayed till the afternoon we might've been able to fly out then when the fog lifted. So that was a huge bummer!! But instead we were able to snag a cheap tour of the city through Ketchitour. We paid $30/person and it was basically a private tour because we were the only ones on the shuttle!! (It's supposed to be a trolley tour but they took us on a smaller shuttle.) Our tour guide was excellent (I forget his name - but he's American Indian and grew up in Ketchikan), and he took us to a river where the salmon are....and we got to see TWO black bears!!! One of them even caught some salmon and was eating it. THAT in itself was worth the tour. :) It was perfect timing. He also told us where to shop for authentic, locally made items. I forget which shop it was, but I found a cute ornament made out of bark with a black bear painted on it, by a local artist.
Juneau, Alaska - At our first stop, Juneau, we did the Sled Dog Discovery and Musher's Camp excursion (through Norwegian), which took us out to a remote location via shuttle and we got to meet the sled dogs, learn about the Iditarod, cuddle with 15 day old puppies, and go on a "sled" ride pulled by about 15 of the dogs. The sled ride (they pulled a wheeled vehicle) was the best part! I felt it was overpriced for what we got to experience, and I wish we'd had more time with the puppies (it was less than 5 minutes). But, my husband absolutely LOVED it, so because of that (and it being a once-in-a-lifetime thing) it was worth it. After the excursion we still had time to kill, so we stopped in at the Red Dog Saloon and signed our names on the wall. (Bring a black sharpie!) Then we took a taxi out to Mendenhall Glacier National Park/Tongass National Forest. It cost $35 there and $20 back (we shared with other people going back). We took a hike there and got right up close to a waterfall, and we had a great shot of the glacier. I actually enjoyed that more than the dog sledding!
Skagway, Alaska - I think our favorite port in Alaska was Skagway because of the White Pass and Yukon Route railway excursion! If you go to Skagway you MUST do this! It was about 3 1/2 hours and the views were spectacular! Totally worth it. We booked it through Norwegian but it would be easy to book it outside the ship (I bet it would be cheaper). We also went on a hike before the ride and we happened upon a stream where the salmon were running!
Victoria, British Columbia - We didn't do an excursion in Victoria but I think it was my favorite city. I wish we would've had more time, like during the day and not just in the evening. We ate at Moderno at 6pm so that cut into our shore time, but we needed to get that last specialty restaurant in! (Tip: schedule your specialty restaurants at the beginning of the cruise so you're not scrambling, even if the line for the desk is long!) We took a tour bus into the city, which only cost $10 USD/person roundtrip. We saw the Empress Hotel, Parliament, and went into a few shops. What a nice city!
Norwegian Pearl Norwegian Pearl - I would say to bring a highlighter and read your Freestyle Daily every evening! There is SO much to do and it can be overwhelming if you're the type of person that likes to get out there and do stuff. But also make sure you leave time for just doing nothing. My two favorite spots were: 1) the Great Outdoors cafe on the aft of the ship. I'd sit out there for breakfast (usually getting food from the Garden Cafe) and then read afterwards while drinking coffee. It was so lovely! And 2) the Mandara Spa thermal suite. Now, the thermal suite is an extra cost but we got our money's worth! There was never many people there so you felt like you were in an exclusive place, and it's at the bow of the ship so we were able to watch as we pulled into port from there.

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received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Pearl cruise review - First-time cruisers and we are CRUISE FANS now!! :)

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Pearl cruise review - First-time cruisers and we are CRUISE FANS now!! :)

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Pearl cruise review - First-time cruisers and we are CRUISE FANS now!! :)

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Pearl cruise review - First-time cruisers and we are CRUISE FANS now!! :)

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Pearl cruise review - First-time cruisers and we are CRUISE FANS now!! :)

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Pearl cruise review - First-time cruisers and we are CRUISE FANS now!! :)

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Pearl cruise review - First-time cruisers and we are CRUISE FANS now!! :)

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Pearl cruise review - First-time cruisers and we are CRUISE FANS now!! :)

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Pearl cruise review - First-time cruisers and we are CRUISE FANS now!! :)

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Pearl cruise review - First-time cruisers and we are CRUISE FANS now!! :)