We live in the state of Washington, so we did not have to fly to the port. We stayed the night in Seattle at the Comfort Inn and Suites in downtown Seattle. This motel is very close to the Space Needle, but there is not a whole lot right by the motel, but there are things within walking distance. They offer a cruise and park package. This is why we booked this motel.
We caught the Amtrak train early the next morning to Vancouver. We usually ride the bus to Vancouver for our cruises, but we wanted to do something different. This proved to be a lot of fun, except getting off the train took almost an hour because we were the last car to go through customs. We stayed at the Westin Bayshore motel that night, which was a beautiful motel with views of the water and Canada Place Pier. It was fun to get up in the morning and look out the window to see the Pearl in port. We got this motel on priceline. It was within walking distance to restaurants, shops, and the downtown area.
The next morning we embarked about 11:30 at Canada Place Pier. It was very easy and pretty fast. We only ended up sitting in the chairs for 20 minutes or so. Once we embarked, we headed to the spa to sign up for a spa pass for $99 a piece. This proved to be one of the best things we did. We loved being in the spa everyday with the wonderful whirlpools, sauna, jetted tubs, and beautiful views as you sat in the lounges watching out the front of the ship. We then headed to the buffet for a great lunch. We looked around the ship until about 2:00 when they announced that the cabins were ready. That night we went to the Summer Palace for dinner. The show was the Welcome aboard show featuring a portion of some of the acts featured during the week.
Day 2 was a sea day and was the day we had the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet. We had a wonderful group of people on our roll call and it was fun doing things together and seeing them later around the ship.
Day 3 was a sea day the we went to Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arms Fjord, but the ice was too thick to make it all the way up to the glacier. I was not too disappointed, because I decided it would be an excuse to take another cruise to Sawyer Glacier in the future.
Day 4 was a stop in Juneau and we took the a bus to Mendenhall glacier for $14. There are a lot of places once you get off the ship to buy a ticket to go. It is beautiful. Later in the day, my husband signed up for a nature hike around the Mendenhall Glacier area that he really enjoyed.
Day 5 was a stop at Skagway. We took the Yukon Railway Tour that the ship offered, and there were breathtaking views going up and coming back down. We took the tour that went to the top, and then train engine went on another track and hooked up at the end, and then we went down again. Pretty neat. We also got up and changed sides, so the other side would get the better views down.
Day 6 was a stop at Icy Straight Point (Hoonah). We had to tender into this port. There was an old cannery that had shops in it right at the dock. Town was about a mile away.
Day 7 was Ketchikan. I just went shopping in this port, while my husband found a hike to do.
Day 8 was a stop at Victoria, but we did not dock until 6:00, and we left at midnight. We found a place to have fish and chips, and then took a fun water taxi into town for $5 a piece. We found a place in town to catch up on our emails and then did a little shopping.
Disembarking was quick and easy.
The Pearl is a beautiful ship. The shows we saw were Oh What A Night - A tribute to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, which was very good, Sea Legs, Bud Andersen - comedy, and Second City. All the food we had was really good. I love the layout of the buffet, and it also have a very good selection of food everyday. They had an omelet station and had eggs benedict every morning for breakfast. We had our anniversary dinner at Cagney's. It was a really great meal and well worth the surcharge. They sang a song for us and gave us an anniversary cake. I also liked the Outdoors Cafe. It was open in the morning, afternoon, and in the late afternoon when the other buffet was getting ready for dinner. I am not sure if it was open during the evening time.
I am looking forward to going on another cruise on the Pearl in the future sometime.