Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Our Cruise to Alaska

I will begin by telling you that there are waaaayyyy too many pictures on this blog, so grab a glass of wine and relax and enjoy. Below you will see some pretty awesome sights and beautiful sea, sky and land. You can click on a picture to enlarge it, then click on it again to fully enlarge, just do not do that on any pictures of me. I don't need to be any larger.

We started out in Seattle and stayed there 2 nights before our cruise so we could tour around the city. Sid and Judy Waterman joined us in Oakland, where our plane stopped on the way to Seattle. The fun is about to begin.

The big pink suitcase made it without falling apart. I ordered a limo to pick us up from the airport, and they sent a stretch limo. Of course everyone figured we must be important.

Off to a good start.

Horrible picture of me, just look at Sid.

A little dirt on the big-pink.

We took a cab to Pike Place Market on Friday morning, a first for the three of them, I have been there many times. This is the famous fish market where they throw the fish across the market.

The flowers are so spectacular and only $5.00 for a huge bunch. I wish I could have taken some for the ship cabin.

Carl and Sid taking it all in.

Friday was Judy's birthday, so Sid had made reservations for dinner for the four of us at the top of the Space Needle.

We got there early so we would enjoy the sunset as we spun slowly around and saw the views.

Judy was looking radiant on her birthday.

Looking down on Lake Union.

The setting sun.

They'll have another... thank you.

Her good friend, Inga sent Judy some special chocolate to the restaurant and they surprised her.

Looking up at the Needle in the dark.

This is it, our Ship, the Golden Princess and we are just about to board her.

All cruises start off with the emergency drill, quite fun.

I sure wanted to blow that whistle, but didn't want to start anything.

Off we go....

Good-bye Seattle. Oh, by the way, we had the warmest day in Seattle.

And the party begins...line dancing and even the Makarena!

First day at sea, we had breakfast delivered to our cabin, walked to the buffet for lunch, and it was Formal Night, so we dressed up for dinner. Ate in the Bernini dining room at table 19 with our favorite waiter, Noel. Judy and Sid met Captain Calabrese before dinner.

The 3 level plaza, sort of the little "City" on the ship.

Don't we clean up well....

We were at sea all day on Sunday and on Monday we docked in Juneau.

Carl and I took a tour for the day which included a visit to the Salmon Hatchery. Below are the steps the salmon swim up so they can lay eggs, I missed all the details, but I'm sure you all know how it works.

I was busy with the important stuff, like sticking my head on a wooden painting.

And looking at a stuffed Bald Eagle.

Carl got stuck in a bear's mouth.

He posed for a picture.

This is not a stage prop scene from The Sound of Music. This is an actual place, looking back at the Mendenhall Glacier.

Here's our tour bus, have you ever seen such blue sky. All day I took huge breaths and held it in, the air was the cleanest and crispest ever.

We toured a garden, all mossy and damp, and beautiful. I was looking for the fairies who obviously live there.

The visitors center at the Mendenhall Glacier.

Like I said earlier, this is a good picture to click on and view larger.

Notice the chunks of glacier that have broken off , "calved", from the glacier.

See.... proof.... I was there.

The town of Juneau. We went to the Red Dog Saloon, because #1 it is a huge tourist spot, and #2 Carl had visited it when he was 20 years old in the Coast Guard. Only thing... they would not let him in then = too young.

We left the Red Dog Saloon and walked the streets to find the "Alaskan Hotel" and very old bar. It used to be a brothel and I think just about every place we went to in Alaska used to be a brothel.

Inside the Alaskan Bar

This is more our type of bar.

Walking back to the ship.

Look at the reflection on the water, wow.

Thatsa Bigga Boata.

On Tuesday we arrived in Skagway at 7 am. Carl and I took another tour, this time on the White Pass railroad. We went on a very old train up the path through the mountains, where the gold miners used to travel to find gold.

The train tracks hugged the steep hillsides with only about 10 inches of earth on the side, looking down.

This old bridge is out of commission, thankfully.

We took the new bridge.

This is so funny. We were actually in the tunnel that we were entering in the photo above. It was pitch black, so I took a flash picture. Check out the girl in front of our seat, MAN... she took the dark opportunity to lay one on her man. Little did she know, her picture was taken. Ha Ha.

Now we are in Fraser BC Canada. We exited the train there and boarded a bus which would take us back to Skagway on the Yukon Highway.

All Aboard! No, actually All Off!

We stopped at the Alaska border, everyone was taking pictures and a nice person offered to take ours.

Looking across at the train we just left up in Fraser. The Yukon highway is across the valley from the tracks.

We stopped at Liarsville, an original Miner's camp from gold run era. It's a tent city where they could get just about anything and I mean anything.

This is a Malamute.

The Golden Princess furthest out.

Here we are. Notice the perfect weather, still. We got so lucky, I never even wore my new heavy warm coat.

Our ship in Skagway. Carl got bit by a Tundra bug there. His hand swelled up, it looked like a rubber glove blown up like a balloon.

Wednesday we pulled into Glacier Bay arount 6 am. The water was so calm

The best views of glaciers.

I loved the reflections in the water.

This is called an hanging glacier, because it doesn't go to the water.

Approaching the Marjorie Glacier.

We had a perfect view from our cabin balcony.


Carl's photo of the glacier mountains behind the glacier.

Ice chunks broke off while we were watching. We floated there for about 1/2 hour.

Our cabin neighbors, Sid and Judy with her new hat.

Bye-bye glacier

Oh, you know Carl! I can only imagine what he is thinking there.

The only time I was cold on the cruise was in Glacier Bay, duh.

OK, back to the bar.

Thursday = Ketchikan. Arrived in port at 7 am and we took a walking tour.

Yum... sounds tasty!

We did finally have some rain here.

The rainiest place in North America.

Our guide is a Tlingit (pronounced Clinget) a native Alaskan. The guy in the red coat. Very nice and informative.

This is called "Creek Street", basically brothel row. Salmon swim upstream here also.

We left Ketchikan at 12 noon and sailed all day down the inside passage. It rained all the way.
On Friday we were at sea, still and arrived in Victoria BC around 7 pm. We decided to stay on the ship and have a relaxing "last night".

Hardly anyone was in the restaurant because they all got off in Victoria. Our waiters gave both of us couples and anniversary cake and had all of the waiters come and sing to us. It was pretty funny because it wasn't either of our anniversaries. But the waiters and nothing much else to do, and they all had a laugh.

On Saturday, we had to be off of the Ship by 8 am. Took a cab to Pike's Market, had breakfast at a great coffee shop. Then... we had nothing to do. Look at those 3, they were going to panhandle. Then we caught a cab to the airport and our flights weren't until 4 and 5 pm.
What a wonderful cruise. I highly recommend Princess Cruise Lines, great service and friendly workers. Also I'm so glad that I got to see Alaska, what a beautiful place. It was great having Sid and Judy cruise with us, made for much more entertainment.
That's all Folks!


Anna said...

I'm jealous. Have wanted to go to Alaska since I was little! SO beautiful! Glad you guys had a wonderful trip! Did you see any whales!?

Shannon Olson said...

Looks like a great trip. Lots of fun and you even got to wear your warm clothes. Grant says he wishes he was there to wear his jandals and shorts next to you in your coats. Can't wait to hear all the behind the scene details!
Love you

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! I hated to get to the last photo. You're SOOOOO entertaining with the photos and captions. Wish I were there.


Lacey said...

Great post Kathy, all those pictures are gorgeous! I liked the funny comments and good pic of that lady getting a smooch haha. Alaska is beautiful I hope to go one day too.

Anonymous said...

You look like you had a fabulous time!!
Alaska sure is beautiful, one day (hopefully) we'll make it there too.

Take care