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My Alaska Cruise

As someone who isn’t the biggest fan of ocean cruising, I have to admit that an Alaska cruise is a trip that everyone should take at least once in their lifetime.

We were content just sitting on our balcony and simply watching the phenomenal scenery of rugged coastlines, mountains, waterfalls and glacier pass us by. So beautiful, so captivating!

I'm so excited to share our week with you.

Day 1: Embarkation

Smith Cove Cruise Terminal, Seattle, Pier 91: What a smooth experience! We arrived around 12:30 pm, with the steady moving lines, it took less 30 minutes to get from drop-off to on-board the ship. Our room was ready upon boarding. We found our room and as we were unpacking; our luggage arrived. We were able to have a drink and explore the boat before we set sailed.

All passengers were required to attend the safety drill, or muster drill, before departure. Check-in is often required at the drill to verify everyone has attended. There were details of the safety drill in your cabin such as: the location of your muster station (located on your Princess Card), the location of your life jacket (top shelve of your cabin closet) which you may or may not have to take with you to the drill and announcements was made before the event.

Day 2: Day at Sea

Today, we toured around the boat. I checked out the gym at the stern of the ship. It had an amazing three-sided view! Note, I only checked it out, I didn’t tread on the mill. Just getting a feel of the boat and where everything was located.

That evening we had dinner with our group of 8, that included my parents, aunt and friends. After dinner we all went our separate ways. There was plenty to do, enjoyable for every member of the group. Every day we received a "Princess Patter Newsletter", an itinerary for the next day activities/events from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm from gambling to shows, music, movies & wine tasting and so much more.

Day 3: Port Ketchikan

Ketchikan is a very small, pretty town along the Tongass Narrows. It began as a Native village, which its heritage can be seen in the many totem poles displayed around town. Ketchikan has transitioned from a fishing village, to a logging center, then back to a fishing community. Today, it also attracts the cruise ship crowds, many who head towards Creek Street, Ketchikan’s former red-light district.

On that day we booked a tour: "WILDERNESS EXPLORATION & CRAB FEAST"

Our excursion began with boarding a motor coach and leaving downtown. As soon as we arrive at the lodge, we boarded an enclosed tour boat and cruise for about 7 miles; marveling at its history and natural beauty. We passed the George Inlet Cannery, where we learned about fish traps and pirates that plagued the area. Next, we crossed over to a remote crab estuary and viewed the rainforest. This isolated cove is home to Dungeness crabs. Also, as a treat, we were able to see the Bald Eagles and their nest. It was amazing how close they flew next to us. We enjoyed a nice ride back and the food was good. That was the only day it rain, but the excursion was great.!!!!

Day 4: Morning

Our whole Alaskan cruise was full of amazing, wonderful moments with adventures that we've never experienced before! One thing that our group (especially me) was the most exciting to see was the glaciers and icebergs. We spent the morning, day cruising through Tracy Arm Fjord viewing the magnificent Sawyer Glacier.

Before we've even entered the fjord, we could see icebergs! We entered the fjord around early morning. We opted to experience the fjord/glacier from our staterooms since people were already claiming the available seats on the open decks several hours upon arrival; we did not feel like fighting for a spot and plus the decks were COLD.

The wonderful thing about this experience was being able to see both sides of the fjord. The boat went in and turned around to come back out, giving us two magnificent views.

The mountains and the water falls were beautiful. Another great day in Alaska!!!

Day 4: Afternoon at Port Juneau

Juneau is the capital of Alaska and the third largest city in the state following Anchorage & Fairbanks. Juneau is a unique state capital, being only accessible by sea or air. There is a state-run public ferry called "The Alaska Marine Highway System".

We booked a shore excursion through the cruise line which included the "5-GLACIER SEAPLANE EXPLORATION". The fun begins the moment we left the Juneau waterfront. The weather was clear and sunny. It was approximately a 40-minute ride on the float-plane. We flew through the Juneau Valley to the awe-inspiring glaciers of the Jeneau Icefield, soaring over beautiful cascading waterfalls and lush rainforest; soaking in the wonders of the deep blue hue, the receding and advancing glaciers made up of 1,500 square miles of solid ice. It was once-in-a-lifetime flight; an adventure that will stay with us forever. The excursion took us over the deep crevasses and azure meltwater pools of the Norris, Taku, Hole-in-the-Wall, East and West Twin glaciers. Everyone got to enjoy a window seat on this exciting narrated flight. I would suggest bringing a camera to capture these incredible magical memories.

To top the day off, we all had dinner and drinks at a crab shack in town that overlooked the water and mountains. The food was great, we tried a little of everything!

Day 5: Port Skagway

Skagway, a historic frontier town, is another port where it rains often; however, we had an incredible streak of vacation luck on the weather. It was another beautiful and sunny day. We spent the day exploring the town and had lunch at a local restaurant. Originally, we had booked a day shore excursion "The White Pass & Yukon Railway" but due to a rock slide we were not able to go. It was still a great day with my friends and family.

Day 6: At Sea

This was the coldest day. Definitely a sleep-in, lounging around, and enjoying time together type of morning.

At breakfast, we sat next to the window area and we were able to see the whales. It was a great way to start the day off. Rest of the day, we participated in the different activities available on board. We ended our night with dinner as a group, a comedy show, and hanging out at the bar listening to music.

Day 7: Port Victoria, British Columbia
Victoria exudes old-world charm with fragrant and colorful flowers everywhere. Founded in 1843 by James Douglas of the Hudson's Bay Company, the city was first known as Fort Victoria. By 1848, Vancouver Island was a British colony and Victoria was its capital.
We did not plan anything in Victoria. We arrived to port late and only had 4 hrs. We decided to take a taxi to town. We walked around, stopping at a local bar for a beer and a view overlooking the water. After we came back, finish packing, placed our luggage outside our door, and took care of our account. It was a bittersweet moment.

Day 8: Disembarkation Seattle

All good things must come to an end, and that means going through the disembarkation process and leaving the ship!!!

It takes a few hours to get all passengers off of the ship. Once the ship is at its debarkation port, local immigration officials must clear the ship before anyone can disembark. After our group is called, the process only took 15 minutes. Keep in mind though, there may be challenges of: getting to the correct deck, the crowds of people all waiting for the elevator, and long lines to show your cruise card before you properly exit.

Overall, our Princess Cruise vacation went very smooth and easy!!

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