We have always been "Escape from Winter" warm water cruisers. Alaska finally moved to the top of our bucket vacation list. We were not disappointed at all.
The weather for May was exceptional - cool, with plenty of sun, and very little rain.
We usually use the ship's excursions for most of our ports. This was the 1st time that we used none of the ship's. We did some homework in advance, and had wonderful experiences in port.
On our day in Juneau, we walked to the bus depot and took a city bus to a drop-off point on the edge of town and walked down a gravel road to a little par 3 - Mendenhall Golf Course. What a beautiful, memorable setting for a round of golf (don't have any expectations for the condition of the course and you won't be disappointed ).Visitors special includes 9 holes of golf with clubs, pull cart, balls and tees, and a certificate that says you golfed in Alaska, all for $30, what a deal!! We took a taxi back - we recommend this. We had the knowledgeable taxi driver let us off near the Russian Orthodox Church where we did some Geo Caching, some walking, and a ride up the Tram.
Glacier Bay was SUPERRRRR!!!!!! Beautiful scenery, also sighted whales, seals, mountain goats, and a bear. Such a gorgeous day that a helicopter was sent out to shoot promotional video for HAL.
Sitka: Our favorite whale/wildlife adventure yet. Gallant Adventures with Captain Paul Davis. Check out his website and book early, as his is a small boat. We saw humpback whales, Puffins, Eagles, a raft of Sea Otters, a 1000 lb sea lion, and great views at the island bird sanctuary, and of the volcano. We still had time to walk to the Totem park, ,do some Geo Caching and sightseeing in town, before catching a tender boat back to the ship.
Ketchikan: We had no specific plans. We got off the ship and began walking, shopping, Geo Caching and sightseeing. There are gift shops
galore for the cruise ship passengers - not too bad of prices either. We bought most of our take home souvenirs in Ketchikan.
Victoria: Beautiful flowers and gardens that will WOW you. We went on a self-guided walking tour lasting about 3 hours (we got back in the dark with less than an hour to spare). Awesome, Awesome, Awesome !!
Any of the short comings of the ship or the cruise were quickly forgotten on this Wonderful cruise!