Monday, June 18, 2012

Our Cruise to Alaska

So we decided to go to Alaska because James is trying to get to all 50 states before he turns 30 (July 21, 2013).  He has most of them, now he just needs Nebraska, Hawaii and the deep south (Alabama, Missippi, Arkansas, Louisiana).  We went on Princess Cruise Lines.  It was a little early in the season, kind of cold, but we couldn't go much later because the cruise line wouldn't let me go past 24 weeks.  We took a couple days before the cruise and a couple days after to visit my sister Marie and her family in Seattle. 

A view of downtown as we embarked.

Our first stop was in Ketchikan, this was supposed to be where James went salmon fishing, but we heard the salmon weren't running yet, and he wasn't likely to catch anything, so he skipped it.  We took a bus tour with a bunch of other tourists.  We saw some cool things, but I was FREEZING, and we didn't really love following a bunch of other people around, competing for picture spots, etc.  Ketchikan gets a lot of rain, so it was very pretty, but it was not my favorite port.  We did see some bald eagles, a really nice waterfall and some totem poles.  I could tell you all about totem poles...


That night it was really beautiful as we went through the inside passage.  We saw three (3) humpback whales and a bunch of bald eagles from the ship.

The next morning I got up really early (6am) to see some supposed whales and Sawyer Glacier.  Let's just say I was a little disappointed that day.  The whales didn't make it and there was too much ice in the water for us to see the glacier up close.  It was really pretty as we approached the glacier, but I was kind of bitter because I was getting a cold, I got up early, I couldn't get a table near the window, and then a little charter boat came and got the rich people off the ship and took them right up to the glacier.  I went back to bed by 9am for a few hours.

Then by 2pm that day we were in Juneau, which was really nice.  The weather was really nice, and we had researched a hike online ahead of time, which meant NO OTHER TOURISTS!  We loved it, it was really beautiful.  I didn't know until this trip but Alaska (at least the part we were in) is a rainforest.  It was so lush and green.  We found a gorgeous waterfall and the pictures don't do it justice.

James is helping with the erosion process.

The road back to Juneau

We went back to the ship after the hike to eat dinner because we already paid for it and then tried to go see Mendenhall Glacier but by that time all the tours were over because it was 7:30pm.

Next stop was Skagway, which was my favorite port.  We decided to do a River Float trip that was pretty nice.  We were in a raft but the water was very calm.  We saw a lot of wildlife in Skagway.  After the rafting we did another hike we had found online, then had lunch at an Indian restaurant and did some shopping.

 A young bald eagle (doesn't have the white head or tail yet)

A cute baby bear we saw from the van driving up to go rafting
 Face mountain

 The hike we did in Skagway

 Our ship, the Star Princess
Yakutania Point

 Mmm, Chicken Tikka Masala

 We loved the food on the ship and loved cruising.  Alaska was prettier than I remembered.  We didn't make it into Victoria because it was too windy.

 This was the group we dined with every night, they were a lot of fun!
Our waitress Rada, from Serbia.  LOVED her!

Back in Seattle, James played some MarioKart with the girls, we went to the park, Pikes Place Market and hung out.  It was really good spending time with them.

 James is trying on a "utilikilt" ($330!!!)


marie.mathew said...

We had so much fun with you guys! Thanks for taking a little extra time to visit with us. We miss you already!

Aaron and Rachael said...

It did look cold, but definitely beautiful! Nice "utlilikilt", James!

Natalie said...

Gorgeous! Sounds like you had a great time once you got around all the tourists. : ) what a fun goal for James! I hope he makes it! My mom is from Alabama, it's pretty fun! Glad you guys enjoyed yourselves. The "utilikilt" looks awesome! Tell James that Lava-Lavas are much cheaper. ; )

Jason & Shannon said...

Looks like so much fun!

sara cardon said...

So jealous!! I'm addicted to cruising now-- well, mainly the amazing food. Next time you will have to try the Caribbean, then you won't be so cold!:) The scenery looks beautiful and you look so good! You hardly even look pregnant. no fair!