We made it back from our Alaskan cruise safe and sound (and tired) Sunday afternoon. While we were out in the last frontier, we kept a short daily journal of our adventures. We’ve also added a ton of photos (can you measure photos in tons?) to the gallery. We actually cut down the number of photos (we took over a thousand!) that were uploaded to the site. If you ever want to see the entire 4 and a half hour slideshow (narrated by James Earl Jones) just let us know.
Day 1 – Seattle
We ran into some “difficulties” before making it to the boat. We flew into Seattle the night before, and had dinner at a Karaoke “townie” bar (yes… it was interesting) before the Iowa portion of our traveling party arrived a bit later that night. The next morning we got up and met some old friends of Cindy from Germany. They shuttled us to IHOP, where we had a deliciously IHOPPY breakfast. When we returned to the hotel to gather our luggage and take the hotel shuttle back to the airport to catch our transportation to the ship. things took an unexpected turn. Our hotel rooms in Seattle were connected, and Joanna and Cindy’s room was somehow deadbolted… from the inside. We couldn’t wait much longer, so we got a ride to the airport while the others attempted to get back into their locked (from the inside) room. This involved a crowbar, and a ladder to break the 2nd story window allowing them access to their baggage so they could race back to the airport. Luckily everyone made it with enough time to catch the shuttle to the ship. We all checked in, and the giant boat took off from Seattle, and we were on our way. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening exploring the ship that we’d call home for the next seven days. That night we had an amazing dinner (they all are!), saw a show, and then went to bed.
Day 2 – At Sea
We had beautiful weather on Day 1, but Day 2 wasn’t as nice. We played games, watched shows, and were generally lazy as our ship made its way to our first port of call.
Day 3 – Ketchikan
We finally made it to our first port of call, Ketchikan, on Day 3. It was pretty rainy and cloudy in the morning, but the weather eventually cooperated and the sun peeked out. We got off the boat and spent most of the day touring this quiet fishing village (well, it’s not so quiet when 4 cruise ships are pulled up at the pier). We hit some shops, saw some totem poles, went to the museum, and then took a small tram up a mountain for a better view of the town. It was a gorgeous view and one we will not soon forget. After we got back on the boat at 4pm, we took off and did some scenic cruising en route to our next port of call. Scott actually spotted a pod of orca off the starboard side (that’s the right side for you landlubbers) while we were cruising through mountain ranges. That evening we had a great dinner (it was Italian night) and then saw a comedian who actually used quite a few of the same jokes from the other night that we saw him (all the good comedians were booked, apparently). Then it was off to bed to prepare for an early morning of cruising through glaciers.
Day 4 – Tracy Arm Fjords and Juneau
On day 4, we woke up to a narrow Fjord (which means it was carved by a glacier). There were high snow-capped mountains on either side of the ship, and icebergs floating all around us glowing blue. On our way out of Tracy Arm Fjord, we passed our sister ship the “Golden Princess” as it was leaving the fjord. Later that afternoon, we stopped in Juneau where we took a brief tour of the city by bus, and took a charter boat out for a whale-watching tour. We saw multiple hump-backed whales, and took quite a few photos of them coming out of the water. It was amazing seeing all these whales out in the wild. We also saw several other animals on the tour, including eagles, sea lions, and seals.
Day 5 – Skagway
In Skagway we disembarked in the morning, and took a bus tour to the summit of the White Pass. On the way up, we got lucky and saw a black bear eating dandelions along the side of the road. We crossed into Canada, then turned around and headed back. On our way back over the US boarder, we saw the Skagway port director who was featured on the TV show Homeland Security USA (he let us through). When we got back into town, we did a little exploring (shopping) before getting back on the boat.
Day 6 – Day at Sea
Sleeping, eating, resting, eating, eating (eating), sleeping.
Day 7 – Victoria British Columbia
We spet half the day at sea, then pulled into Victoria, BC around 5 pm. We took a double-decker bus tour through the city. Who knew Victoria was such a beautiful place. We saw The Empress Hotel, and their beautiful legislative buildings, and took a nice stroll through the city after our tour along fisherman’s wharf. We boarded the ship for the last time, and enjoyed our last dinner on the ship (we need to go on a diet when we get home!).
Notable Quotes from the Journey:
- Break it now! – Cinny
- They had to break the window. Yeah, that just happened. – Jo
- I just fell on my butt. – Jo
- Is this a show? – scratchy old lady voice
- I’m almost positive this will be full. – Alaskathy
- Random Dinner Guy: Miss, you dropped your bag. Jo: (Yeah, I put it there.)
- I don’t like pina coladas, but I feel like I should. – Jess
- I’m on a boat! I got my swim trunks and my flippy floppies! – Everyone
- You look sexy gorgeous. – Ramil
- Joanne, kiss me like a French girl. – Piazza Performer Guy
- Jess: That sausage looks bloated. Jo: That’s what she said.
- That’s on you. – Jo
- Enjoy your dinner, bon appetit. – Ramil
- Big man, little voice. – Waiter in Explorers Lounge
- Of the 9 desserts we had last night, that was my least favorite. – Scott
- Do you guys know where the aerobics class is? – Random Lady
- This isn’t Sea World. – Alaskathy
- Everyone loves my books. – Alaskathy
- Booze Cruise ’09!