Going to Alaska was my 50th birtday present to myself. It has always been a dream. I traveled with 3 cousins ages ranging from 44 to 62. We flew into Seattle 2 days before the cruise to enjoy all Seattle had to offer. We stayed at the Belltown Inn, which I highly recommend. It is walking distance to all and very close to the ship. The price was reasonable because they do not have air conditioning, which was NOT an issue. We were typical tourists...did the Space Needle, Duck Tour, Pikes Market, ate at the Crab Pot and a great Mexican place and had really great breakfasts. Weather: Rained Saturday night while we were sleeping...otherwise, it was fine!
On Sunday we headed over to the ship and were on the ship in no time. My cousins had a handicapped balcony room on Deck 10 and I had an oceanview on Deck 8...both off the same elevator bank which was really convenient. We were in the back of the ship (Aft), which I found to be really convenient and less rocky. The ship was GREAT, clean, the staff was always happy and willing to help. My room had PLENTY of space. My cousin and I each had a huge suitcase and a carry-on and all 4 fit under the bed and there was plenty of draw space, shelves, closets...plenty of room for us girls.
SAILING: The day at sea was great! It was gorgeous out and we sat at the Outdoor Cafe in the back of the ship and ate and drank for hours and we saw whales!
JUNEAU: Our first port. I was sooo excited to finally be in Alaska. The weather was a bit cloudy. It was a little hectic getting off the ship, but once we got off, all was good. We met our Coastal Helicopter guide and took a van out to the airport where we were fitted for boots and boarded the helicopter. We went to Herbert Glacier and rode the dog sleds. It was an amazing experience...what a thrill and certainly not something you do every day. It did pour ...but did not ruin our time. We were soaked....if it's raining, my advice, take some of the waterproof items they have and use them. Flying back it cleared up and we saw the most beautiful rainbow!
SKAGWAY: What a great town...probably my favorite. We took the White Pass Railway to the top of White Pass Summit across the Canadian border. The weather was perfect...blue skies and sunshine and the views were stunning. We saw a bear and mountain goats. We had lunch at the Red Onion Saloon.
GLACIER BAY: Wow...just wow!!! Another beautiful day which was the perfect setting. My cousins had a huge balcony so we stayed on there all day, eating, drinking coffee and bloody marys...for hours and never got bored and just enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Best day!
KETCHIKAN: We took the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour. I'm a huge fan of "Deadliest Catch" so this was perfect! You really get a look into the world of a crab fisherman. It was a great tour, fun, and they took you to an island that was filled with Bald Eagles!!! They were flying everywhere! It was really cool!!!
VICTORIA: My cousins live here so we had a personal tour and visit with them. The city is BEAUTIFUL!!!
FOOD: We did all specialty restaurants. I just did not want to deal with the crowds at the main dining rooms. To me, it's worth it to spend a little more! They were all amazing...one better than the other! Cagney's, Teppanyaki, Lotus Garden, Le Bistro, Moderno and La Cucina! The breakfast buffet was a little crazy trying to find a seat, but be patient.
THE SHOWS: Oh What A Night was amazing!!! Juggler, Charles Peachock, whom I remember from America's Got Talent....is a MUST SEE!!!! We also saw the band Future Perfect a few times and the band in the Bliss Lounge (sorry, forgot their name) was also great. But my favorite had to be the piano/comedy of Jim in Bar City. This guy was hilarious! I would try to see him every night. He would interact with the audience and basically abuse them. He was like Don Rickles with singing and playing piano!
All in all, one of the best trips I have ever taken. I would go back in a heartbeat!