And I am back folks! This year for my summer vacation, I went on an Alaskan cruise with my parents and my youngest brother, Jeffrey. I’m not big on the whole cruising thing. To me, it just doesn’t feel authentic, which is more what I look for when I travel to other locals. I figure if I am going to ever give cruising a try, Alaska is the best way to go. Especially since there is so much to see in Alaska that you cannot see without a boat.
We started our trip by flying into Seattle early in the morning. I love Seattle, but I never stay too long. This time was no exception. We were only here for a day. So, what does one do in a day with no car? Well, we took the Light rail from the airport which was super easy and cheap, to the Pioneer Square stop. A quick two block walk dropped us off in front of our hotel. Bags dropped off, we went searching for food then walked along the shore line up to the Space Needle. A little time spent checking out the Battlestar Galactica exhibit in the EMP (which merged with the Sci Fi Museum earlier this year…much to my dismay), where I checked to make sure I wasn’t a cylon (I wasn’t).
We then headed over to Pike’s Place Market. Oh the food! Where does one start?
The next day we headed to Vancouver via Amtrak. I figured with such a short time spent in Vancouver, we just go out and check out Steveston, a small fishing village near Richmond. There, on the dock, you can buy Salmon right off the fishing boats.
The next day we boarded our home for the next 7 days. The Island Princess. This ship was specially designed and built for cruising through the Panama Canal, so it’s a little more narrow and with more balcony rooms. I had an interior room. No biggie since there was a nice back deck available for our use which afforded great views.
The ship made three stops (Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway) and toured through the Glacier Bay National Park and by the College Fjords. We kayaked in Juneau, took the train in Skagway and stood out in the cold for hours as we marveled at the glaciers.
I also took the Ultimate Ship Tour which allowed us to learn and tour through the underbelly of the ship and learned how they kept the operation going. This included a visit through the galley, Motor control center, laundry, and the bridge. It was very very informative and I got a nifty chef’s jacket out of it.
Now that I’ve done the cruising thing, have my feelings changed? Not really. I don’t think I would be cruising again, until I am retired or traveling with a large group comprised of a lot of young children. When you have over a thousand people descending into a town at once, there is a lot that is lost. You also end up spending a lot of time jockeying for space at the more well known areas since that is where the entire ship is. But nonetheless, sailing by glaciers was awesome.
After 12 days of living like a nomad, I’m glad to be home, and ready to cook again. I have 10 pounds to loose and no money left to eat out.
Now, I took over a 1000 pictures between three cameras. That’s a lot, so I took an entire day to weed out the best ones, and name them all and I posted them HERE. My poor camera skills did many things no justice, it was something you had to see in person 🙂
Until next time Alaska…