I’ve been meaning to finish this blog for a while. Better late then never right?
For those of you that know us well, you might wonder why we’d be on a cruise ship. Especially so soon after India. Interesting story that. We’ve cruised twice before with Princess and enjoyed it. And last Labour Day weekend we were in Seattle down by Pike Place having lunch. Right across the wharf from us was a cruise ship. Our Boys being the smart ones (smart asses??) they are suggested we take a family cruise one day. Kris and I laughed a bit and said “someday” sure. Well a couple weeks later we were planning a Vegas trip. Prices for Vegas were stupidly expensive and I made a smart ass comment (see where the boys get that from?) for that kind of money all four of us could cruise to Alaska. Sure enough Princess sent one of their promo deal emails and I was right. So we booked it.
Our ship, the Coral Princess
We booked obstructed view rooms hoping for an upgrade. It’s May, low season, so we expected an easy balcony upgrade. Apparently the US/Canadian dollar and Princess’ marketing did it’s job. Sold out, no upgrades for us. Not the end of the world really as we spent more time out of the room than in.
We had told Eric about the all inclusive drink (non alcoholic) card option. And that there were Mocktails. Let’s just say he made his card pay for itself a few times over…..
Kris and I of course used that option but the drink prices are also quite reasonable so we enjoyed those options as well.
The ship had an enclosed pool area which we used several times.
Ryan used the pizzeria stand and by the middle of the trip the staff would just give him his order without asking. We enjoyed lunches up there too, it really was very good pizza.
We cruised out of Vancouver with some spectacular weather ahead. It really couldn’t have been any nicer on this trip.
First port of call was Ketchikan. We visited a local tribe and had a dancing display as well as view some very nice carvings.
Ryan and I went back for pizza but Kris and Eric snagged some yummy chowder for their lunch.
A nice evening cruise and then we woke up in Juneau, Alaska’s capital city. We rented a car and drove out to the Mendenhall Glacier and wandered for a couple hours.
Along the way Dave waded in and grabbed a small iceberg. It tasted a little like dirt but it was 200 year old ice!
The actual glacier.
When Dave was here in 1988 the glacier covered this waterfall. How times have changed.
On the way back we detoured up to a really cool catholic retreat. St Therese. Very beautiful grounds.
Once we returned the car, right at the cruise ship dock is Mt Robinson tram. Exactly like Grouse Mountain so Kris and I decided to head up.
At the top is Lady Baltimore. She is a rescue. She was shot and pellets damaged her right eye. Here Kris has captured her “good side”.
We did a 2km hike around the top. Steep but very beautiful. At the top is Father Robinson’s cross.
At the gift shop there is a recreated eagle nest. Here Kris is sitting on her eggs. Those nests are huge!
In Skagway we took a Musher camp tour. Yup we got pulled around on a dog sled. Those dogs are strong and love what they do.
Oh yeah, they had puppies. Puppies need to be socialized. We kindly obliged.
Yes they count them before you get to leave. No free puppies today.
Lunch was at the amazing Skagway Brewing Co.
While the food was really really good, the highlight was the Spruce Tip Hefeweizen. Yes they brewed with tree. New spruce growth to be exact. Very flavourful and we got our dose of Vitamin C for the day.
After lunch it was time to see White Pass which is actually in BC and the path of the Gold Rush.
Stunning views that really do defy description. Even the “you can’t impress me, ever, teenager” was impressed and amazed.
Ok enough of towns, let’s see some ice. We really took this trip to see Glaciers. Glacier Bay didn’t disappoint.
The noise when a iceberg calves is loud. We only saw car sized pieces fall off, I can’t imagine how loud a house size piece would be.
You know it’s a good day when the crew (seemed like all of them) came out to take pictures.
Our last sea day was heading up College Fjord. Few cruises go this far up. One of the major reasons we chose this particular route. Each glacier is named for a college. Ergo the fjord name. Simply beautiful and really mind blowing scenery.
Bye Bye ice, time for another scrumptious dinner.
Our last day we woke up in Whittier. 7am off the boat and a one hour bus ride to Anchorage. It could have been boring but the weather was still 100% clear and the driver was very chatty. He talked the whole way listing off what we were passing. I never knew that beluga’s came this far south. But they do. Of course not when we were there, but still.
We had many hours to kill till our flight left so we wandered anchorage a bit.
Finally it was our turn. Thanks Princess and thanks Weather Gods for keeping it sunny and warm for us!