2018-08-27 AK, Seward (Page 2 of 3)
We arrived at the cruise ship about 5PM on 2018-08-26=Sunday night. At the processing center, we were checked for identification (passport) and security (metal detection). We were given a ‘ship-creditcard’ and our picture was taken so that we could be identified when we entered the ship. My roommate and I had to explore the ship a little when we first boarded. We eventually found our room and began to discover how to find what we wanted on the ship. Our first order-of-business was to find the dining room because we had a 5:30 seating. We met our fellow table diners and saw many of the others of the group nearby. All the meals on the ship was EXCELLENT and the servers worked hard to ensure that everyone was well-fed. We really enjoyed one another and, of course, I managed to gain considerable weight during the cruise.
Our first night on the ship proved to be interesting. The ship started the voyage about 9PM and by 1AM, both my roommate and I, admitted that “we didn’t feel very well”. I had bought some dramamine, in case that I had motion-sickness problems, but – at 1AM, I didn’t really want to get out-of-bed and look for medicine. My roommate admitted that she felt really-bad and we discussed options. We didn’t do anything that night, but decided to go to the medical area of the ship in the morning and ask if they recommended medication. Once I got to sleep, I rested alright. The next morning, my roommate and I went to medical area and told them about the motion-sickness. They said that we could go to the customer-service area and they would give us some pills. They didn’t say the name of the medication, but the package was from Medique (medi-medicine) and was medizine hydrocholoride 25mg. The purpose is “Antiemetic”. I’m not medically educated, but I took 2 pills at night and slept much better.
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Our first ‘day-at-sea’ was travel from Seward to near Glacier Bay. My roommate and I attended presentations on the area and had information about the area wildlife. Deck 10 – forward area was a glassed-in lounge with bar and books. For breakfast and lunch, we enjoyed the Lido deck – as most others did. Sometimes, it was a challenge finding a table that was available. Nevertheless, I had a good day and my roommate still was not well from motion-sickness. We gathered at early-dinner with others and she left after ordering her food. She said that she didn’t feel well and returned to the cabin to ‘settle-down’. She took some of the medication and we were better the second night.
The second morning, we were in Glacier Bay and enjoyed seeing the scenery. It was truly OUTSTANDING! The glacier that we saw, had the left-end small sheet of ice break away and fall into the bay. We looked for wildlife and enjoyed talking with others. We learned that the park-service only allows 2 ships-per-day in the bay. We had park-rangers come onboard and they showed how they came in a boat that traveled same speed of the ship and that they climbed a ladder to come onboard – while the ship continued to move! They talked about the park and their involvement. At night, we went to the Mainstage show and returned to the cabin afterward.
By the next day, we paid more attention to the elevator rugs – each day they were changed to tell everyone what day it was. Time seems to ‘float-by’ with the cruise. Our first ‘stop’ was at Haines. Several in our group had scheduled an excursion known as the Yukon Railway – from Skagway through White Pass to Carcross, YT (Yukon Territory, Canada). Well, the ferry that was supposed to take us from Haines to Skagway broke down and our excursion was cancelled. By the time that we found out, I decided that I wasn’t feeling well – maybe a little of motion-sickness of something caused me to ‘slow-down’. I decided to return to the cruise ship and explored whatever was available onboard. Others from the tour shopped and saw other things around the area and we had a lot to discuss at dinner – which was always delicious.
We cruised overnight to Juneau. We had previously scheduled the excursion = “dog mushing”. We met a bus driver who told us that we had a twenty-minute ride to the rainforest area nearby that hosted us. We had more light-rain and light-jacket weather. We rode in a 4-person cart, pulled by a team of dogs around a hilly area for a few miles. The cart could go fast and the musher at the back controlled the speed by a hand-brake and the direction by a hand-steering-rod. It was a fun ride and afterward, we learned more about the mushers and their dogs. They had about 100 dogs in the compound and the dogs are trained specifically to run in the Iditarod Race. After returning to the town, we shopped and enjoyed our time to look-around. Of course, we were onboard by dinner and went to a show at night. I hope that you enjoy the pictures that I shared…
Next stop was Ketchikan. Again, we had scheduled an excursion = “Saxman Native Village Tour”. Again, we met a bus driver who told us that we had a short ride. We first visited a building where there was a short-film about the Native Alaskans and their culture. Then, we walked about 300 yards through the rain-forest to their clan meeting-house. Their clans are known as either beavers or ravens and they are known for the totem poles that they carve. In the meeting-house, they danced in their regalia and told us more about the ways that they live. Outside, we were told more about the stories of the totem poles and that how some of their culture has been lost because the older generation is passing-away and the younger generation did not have the information preserved. Their language is verbal, and they are now writing it and teaching their children the language. They have obtained government sanction to preserve their culture. We were also allowed in a totem-pole workshop where a guide told us how they are made and painted. Hopefully, the pictures that I took will show more of the tour than I am able to describe in writing. (Again, we returned to town to shop a little, then made-it to the ship for dinner and the show.)
Our final day was spent ‘at-sea’. We cruised the inside passage and enjoyed both the view and the visible wildlife. (Note: the inside passage water is relatively calm.) I was on Deck 10-forward, i.e., the window-wall, and someone with binoculars spotted a whale spout. The whole area followed the spouts for as long as we could. We enjoyed the scenery, the other passengers and the food. It was a wonderful day. My roommate and I had reserved dinner in the ‘elegant’ restaurant known as the “Pinnacle”. We had filet minion with vegetables, a great chocolate dessert and wonderful service. We had a late-dining reservation and were too late for the mainstage show. Afterward, we returned to our room to pack and have our luggage ready for the morning pick-up. Our time on the ship was winding-down, but we had a great time and knew that it couldn’t last forever.
The morning brought disembarkment and waiting for our-turn. My roommate and I had somehow been separated by ‘color codes’ from our group, but the tour-director said that we would all end-up at the same place and that I shouldn’t worry. I had dreaded the process of gathering luggage and passing-through customs. We also had to go through border-control to enter the USA before we got onto a bus for the airport. However, there was a ship-full of people going through the same process, and the agents do it every week – so, they are very familiar with the drill. I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth it was. I was VERY HAPPY when it was over, we arrived at the Vancouver airport and joined with our group without any problems. We had a Delta flight to Salt Lake City, a short wait and the flight to Atlanta. The layover was good because it gave us a chance to get a snack and walk-around. In Atlanta, we gathered our luggage and our motorcoach driver loaded it onto the bus for us. We returned to the parking area and unloaded. The group disbanded quickly and I made it home about 2AM. I slept well at home in my familiar bed after a great trip to Alaska. Hope that you enjoy the pictures!
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