Arrived a few days early to explore Vancouver. Exchanged money at the airport and took a taxi to our hotel downtown which cost $35. Stayed at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel. Very pleased with hotel and located within walking distance of so many things. Vancouver is a beautiful city with so much to see. Wish I could have stayed longer.
The morning of our cruise we walked right up to our ship. Checking in was very quick despite the long lines. We had a balcony stateroom which was quite comfortable for myself and teenage son. So happy with our balcony view as you will witness some of the most beautiful sights during this trip.
Our first stop was Ketchikan...saw the Lumberjack show which was quite entertaining and rode the trolley around town. You can get a map at the visitor center and walk to all the highlights. It's a small town with lots of shops. Very pretty and quaint. 2nd stop was Icy Straight Point....we booked a whale watching tour independently through Misty Bay Lodge. The owners, Hope and Don, are very nice. Hope picked us up at the pier and drove us into Hoonah where her husband took 6 of us aboard his boat for a 3-4 hour tour. Saw many whales up close and personal. As we ended our journey, Don drove the boat close to shore where we saw a bear and a cub. Beautiful scenery. 3rd stop was Juneau....we took a bus to Mendenhall Glacier and walked to the waterfall. It takes about 45 min roundtrip to hike to the falls but is so worth it. Breathtaking views. When you step off the ship, there will be booths where you can purchase tickets for the Glacier Bus. Roundtrip ticket is $16 per person. We spent quite a bit of time here and heard from others if you take the tour to the glacier, they only give you about 45 min. In my opinion, that's not enough time. The bus runs every 30 min and dropped us back into town. Again, we got a city map and walked to all the highlights and did some shopping. We also took the Mount Roberts Tram up up up for some of the most incredible views of all the ships in the port. There is also a bald eagle to see and we were able to play in the snow which was still very abundant. Loved it. 4th stop Skagway....took the White Pass train tour. Again, there was alot of snow in the mountains . The train ride was great. We sat on the left side going up the mountain and then they make everyone switch sides on the return trip. Afterwards we walked around Skagway and played tourist. For Hubbard Glacier, we made our way to the helipad for some incredible viewing. It was very cold and windy up there but so worth it. The captain turns the ship around so no matter where you are, you're going to be able to get a great view. We arrived in Seward and took the train into Anchorage. They assign your seats aboard the train where you'll sit at a table for 4. You'll be able to order breakfast or lunch during your 4 hour ride. Again the scenery was incredible. Lots of snow . Saw moose and dall sheep.
Arrived in Anchorage where a bus took us to a downtown hotel that Royal Caribbean uses. They stored our luggage since our flight didn't leave until 9 pm. We walked around Anchorage and had lunch. Royal provided our transportation back to the airport to catch our flight. Loved Loved Loved this cruise. It is so different from the Caribbean ones....I didn't mind the cool/cold weather and I'm a southerner. A must for all. Happy sailing :)