Thursday, May 8, 2014
Overnight, we sailed south to Ketchikan, the salmon capital of Alaska. The town sits on its own island—Revillagigedo Island—and is renowned for its thriving salmon fishery. After leaving Ketchikan, we will continue south through the Revillagigedo Channel, passing over the US-Canada border. This cozy port city is just 3 miles long and 3 blocks wide, but it does not lack in options for spending our day.
Our morning started looking for WiFi. While I was sending email, Becky, Selda and Shirley were shopping. I found access to WiFi in a large shopping building called the Salmon Landing Store. The WiFi was slow, and we had 2 hours before our walking tour began. Our tour guide was Joe, from the Alaskan Indian Tribe of Eagles. Joe gave us a 9-block tour of the city, including a sculpture of the first settlers to Ketchikan, the restoration of the first hospital built in the early 1900’s and the dock which is built on wooden piers. The dock is covered with concrete. The major industry is salmon fishing, timber, and tourism. The average rainfall is 13 FEET a year…yes this is what Joe told us! Joe also told us the story of the totem poles as each totem pole has its own story. Joe actually made the totem pole in the picture in honor of his mom. It tells the story of her life and took 7 years to complete. We were only there for about 4 hours. The weather was overcast with a light mist. Many thought this was the most picturesque of the ports we have visited.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
The ship will enter Glacier Bay from the waters of Icy Strait. On leaving the park, we will sail through Icy Strait, and pass Point Adolphus, a premium area for humpback whales.
Up very early this morning to view the Glacier Bay National; park rangers are coming on board for lectures. The sun is out—this is not normal. The crew onboard the ship says the weather is not normally this good, so it is going to be a great day! Shirley is up and out and I am doing a load of laundry before I go out. Selda and Becky are up and outside looking for sea life along with Adela and Brian The whales, sea lions, sea otters and birds all came out to visit us! All of us have been running into each other taking pictures. Then we go inside to warm up before heading back outside again. It is very exciting to be here and see the majestic beauty of God’s creation! We are all over joyed with the beauty of Mother Nature.
Our entire group gathered for dinner at Sabatini’s, a restaurant on board the ship. It was 2-hour Italian dinner that was a promotional gift. Our conversation was all about what we saw and experienced today. Emmy bought us a round of dinner drinks, including a bottle of wine. After coffee and desert, all of us were ready to go to our rooms and crash!
We should be in Ketchikan by 7:00 AM in the morning, but we will only be there until noon. Today’s Quote of the Day from the Officer’s Daily Log: It isn’t that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.—Sir Francis Drake…I agree with this. A picture is a thousand words unspoken. Enjoy and good night from Glacier National Park, Alaska.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
The ship docked in Skagway at 7:00 AM.
Skagway gets its name from the Tingit people: “a windy place with white caps on the water.” Northbound from Juneau to Skagway, the ship navigated the Upper Lynn Canal and Taiya inlet into Skagway. On sailing south from Skagway, ship will retrace her steps, passing by Haines around 40 minutes after sail away. This viewpoint is considered to be one of the best in Southeast Alaska. We depart from Skagway at 7:45 PM.
Brian and Adela left early in the morning for a 3-hour White Pass Railway Experience. The train went up 3,000 feet. There was snow, waterfalls and, to his surprise, he saw a Alaskan chicken at the summit. They ate at the Red Onion Saloon. In the late 1890’s it was a colorful bordello. In addition, Brian took the picture of the eagle outside of his balcony. Becky, Selda, Shirley and I went on a city tour of Skagway. On the tour, we saw the Gold Rush Cemetery. The most famous person buried there is Soapy Smith (real name Jefferson Smith) who was a con man. Eventually the citizens of Skagway hired a man to kill him. A new sheriff was elected. He wanted to bring tourism to Skagway, Alaska. He contacted Hollywood actress Mae West in the early 1900’s and asked her to came to Skagway. Eventually this brought tourism to Skagway.
The weather today was cool and overcast. We came in for dinner. After dinner, we played Country and Western music triva, again coming in second. We had a great time, and will try again tomorrow night. As I am writing this, the best view of the mountains is passing before us. Shirley and Becky are out on the deck taking pictures. We are sitting on Deck 7 by a young man playing the piano. His name is Billy. He is good and gets the crowd to participate. Of course I do not need any encouragement! Ginger, a lady sitting behind us, is celebrating her 30th wedding anniversary. Today is also Shirley and Bob’s 39th wedding anniversary. As the music plays on and the singing gets merrier, New York, New York is asked to be played. Billy needs the legs--meaning some ladies to dance and kick their legs—so Becky, Shirley, Ginger, and I did a wonderful job! With this 60 seconds of fame, I say Good Night / Sweet Dreams from Skagway, passing through the point of Haines.
Monday, May 5, 2014
I must share about the Diamond International Store. There was a promotion from one of the stores on ship—if you visited Diamond International Store, you would get a free silver charm. While I went to the library to blog, Becky, Selda, Shirley, Emmy, Ella, Adela and Brian had a great experience shopping. Rumor has it that someone purchased a lovely 2-carat diamond and had it mounted into a previous ring. Becky and Selda visited additional stores, including a quilting store and every jewelry store in town. Becky and Selda rode the tram, that went up to 1,300 feet. At the top there was a restaurant where they enjoyed cod and cheese cake (both good!) and live music . It was surrounded by snow. Adela and Brian were also in pursuit of shopping and visited the Red Dog Saloon and the Viking Bar. Shirley and I ran into Brian and Adela after leaving the Viking Bar. Brian had found the fudge place. Wonderful things happen there! Adela had a mission to eat Alaskan King Crab and the place to go was on the wharf where the ship was docked. It is called Tracey’s Alaskan King Crab. OMG!!! If you like Alaskan King Crab, this is the place to go. Shirley had never tried it, and the pictures tell it all!!!
As the sun was going down around 7:30 PM, we are boarding the ship. There was 1950s music triva going down in the Explorers Lounge on the 7th deck. Becky, Selda, and headed on in and had almost an hour to sit, visit and listen to the band before the trivia began. Shirley, Brian and Adela also joined us and Team Red (us) kicked butt! We were giving one of the teams stiff completion, when one of the men came over to me and said “We won last night and will win tonight!” to which I said “Bring it on!” The final score was their 24 to our 23, meaning we came in second. I went over to congratulate them and all was good. However, I do not believe they want us to come back!!! Tuesday night will be country and western music trivia. Becky and Selda went on up to bed while Shirley, Brian, Adela and I played cards outside of the lounge while listening to the next event—karaoke. Brian taught us to play Skat! Finally around 10.30 PM, we called it a day. We will be docking early in the morning in Skagway. Shirley, Becky, Selda and I have a 10:3 AM Skagway street car tour. The ship is now beginning to depart from the dock. Bon Voyage from Juneau!
Monday, May 5, 2014
Overnight, we passed by Cape Decision and entered Alaska’s Inside Passage. During the morning we will transit Frederick Sound, Stephen’s Passage and then Gastineau Channel into Juneau, Alaska’s Capital city. On our departure from Juneau, we will sail south down Gastineau Channel, navigating around Douglas Island before heading north for Skagway.
It is 6:50 AM and it is the most beautiful mountains and waterways you have ever seen. Nearly all of the passengers are up taking pictures and using their cell phones. This is the first time we have had cell phone coverage. We will be in Juneau around 12:00 noon today. We are an hour behind schedule. The weather is blustery with blue skies and sun is out. The 8th deck offers the best vantage for taking pictures from the front of the ship. You can see a group of us and it is cold out. Will email this out to Ron when we get into Juneau so he can post on the blog. I am not paying for internet service on the ship!
2:00PM: We are in Juneau, Alaska. The town is just a 5 minute walk along a wooden sidewalk that takes you right into the shops. It took us about an hour to get off the ship as there are three ships in port. I am at the library sending out email. Everyone is doing their own thing: shopping, going to have sea food tonight for dinner. Adela is having Alaskan King Crab! The weather is warm here, about 50 degrees. While I've been the library, Shirley found the Viking—a pub that was suggested by one of the crew—and a place to get gelato ice cream. I will blog again when we dock into Skagway. Again, everyone is excited and doing well. Good day to all from Juneau, Alaska!
Sunday, May 4, 2014
I was up early, and saw the sun rise! We will be at sea all day. After a walk around the deck of the boat on this blustery 40 degree , clear day, Shirley and I went to breakfast. We made our reservations for the excursions we are going to take in Alaska. There are nine people in this group: Nola , Shirley, Emmy, Ella, Adela, Brian, Becky, Selda, and Rebecca. All of us are going in different directions and at times running into each other on the ship. In addition, this is our first time on the Princes Cruise Line to Alaska. After checking in with Selda and Becky (sisters), we walked around the ship and took pictures. The boat has been rocking, meaning it has been hard to walk a straight line! So far everyone is doing well. The boat is moving fast and we have 5-6 foot waves. Adela and Brian caught up with us around lunch time. We were on our way to the Martini Demonstration, so they came along. It was fun! I participated in shaking the martini until it was frosty and did this with music along with the bar tender. Of course when it was done, I was able to drink it. It was a Cosmopolitan. Then there were other martini demonstrations: 007 and flavored martini. Shirley won a water melon flavored martini. At the end of the martini demonstration, one of the bar tenders poured 7 martinis at one time. It was a great way to start our lunch. After lunch, we ran into Selda and Becky shopping in the stores. Shirley, our travel agent, went off to check on the others. Selda, Becky and Nola, went for a walk on the outside deck and saw our first hump back whale… it was awesome. Back inside and we are off to play Trivia. 20 questions. Example: What fruit is a Manalo? Name the 7 dwarfs in order of their height. Of course we scored 18 out 20! LOL Afterwards, we went to the 5th floor, for Capitan Ronald Wilson's (captain of the ship) Champagne Welcome Party. There was a 619 champagne glass water fall pyramid. Emmy and Ella were there in the cocktail lounge and we joined them. We were waiting for the event to begin, when a bride and groom walked toward the area of the champagne glass pyramid. They were married on the boat and were the first to pour the champagne to create the water fall. All guests were given a glass of champagne. Well, it is about 8:00 PM… and we are off to listen to the Jazz Band. Wonderful music and watching the couples dance was a joy. We are turning our watches back an hour before bed time. Point of interest, as Selda and Becky say… we have changed time zones 3 times now… We will be arriving into Juneau around 11:00 AM on Monday, May 5th (Juneau time).
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Alaska Cruise: Golden Princess
Our group of nine departed from Dallas, Texas on May 3 in the early morning, and arrived in Seattle at 10.30 AM. The Princess Staff loaded our luggage on the bus and drove us to the dock. It was only about a 45 minute drive from the airport in Seattle. It was raining. Now the fun begins! We arrived at the dock around 12:30 PM. We had to STAND in line for 3.5 hrs before we were able to board the ship. The line and the amount of people checking in at one time was overwhelming for the Princess Staff who were checking in passengers. Once we boarded the ship, we were able to get to our cabins. An hour later, we had emergency drill. The emergency drill took 45 minutes. After the drill, it was time to eat and drink! Finally around 6:00 PM, we were leaving the dock! It was not long after, we were showered and in the bed. Once we are on board the ship, it is all ok…except Emmy had to go down and open her luggage because the ship’s security scan was picking up something strange. When she opened her luggage, what was making the image, was a pack of camera batteries…stories to tell when traveling…
Friday, May 2, 2014
My friends, Selda and her sister Becky, have driven in from Corpus. After a light dinner and showers we are ready for bed. Shirley stopped by after work and we reviewed our paper work and had a few questions. Early in the morning we are off ! Thank you Ron for posting on the web site and taking care of things for me. Listed below is our Cruise Itinerary.
May 3, Saturday: Fly into Seattle, check in and board the ship. Ship departs 4 PM!!
May 4, Sunday: At sea
May 5, Monday: Juneau
May 6, Tuesday: Skagway
May 7, Wednesday: Glacier Bay
May 8, Thursday: Ketchikan
May 9, Friday: Victoria, BC
May 10, Saturday: Seattle/Airport to return to Dallas
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Nola and Shirley along with with some friends are going North to Alaska on the Princess Cruise Line. Follow along the journey with us. Click here to view a flyer with additional information for booking your trip to Alaska.