We started our land part in Fairbanks on June 6th. We had a great time wandering around the waterfront in Fairbanks. We had our first adventure with a real musher. Great conversation with her.
The Gold Dredge Mine was ok. Panning for gold was hard work. We make about $45 between the two of us. The stern wheeler trip was great. We enjoyed it much more than the panning for gold. Beautiful scenery and great narration. Saw cute puppies from Susan Butcher's kennel. We had booked the Alaskan Salmon Bake and were very disappointed. We didn't realize it was outside. Lots of flies and mosquitoes. The Palace Theater was funny and entertaining.
June 8th Trip on the train to Denali was relaxing and good. Food on the train was very good. Accommodations in Denali were ok. Again mosquitoes were plentiful. Did the glacier landing by float plane. The greatest experience we have ever had. Our flight was the first one up for the day after several were cancelled. We got extra time on the glacier and superb views of Mt. McKinley. Everyone needs to do this. Cabin Nite was good. More singing and dancing than the Palace Theater.
June 9th and Tundra Wilderness Tour was good. Long ride on the bus, but lots of great scenery and narration. Guide was very knowledgeable. We could have done with it being a couple of hours less time. Pretty much everyone fell asleep on the ride back. We had purchased a box lunch based on reviews we read, but didn't eat them. The "snack" pack was more than enough for us. That night we did the Stampede Trail. DH loved it; I hated it. It was cold, rainy, muddy and way too far out in the wilderness for my tastes. Hot dogs and hamburgers thrown on an open fire and burned were not my thing. There were no facilities except the woods. I couldn't wait to get back to the lodge.
June 10th started with the Husky Homestead Tour. What a great tour. We got handed a puppy as soon as we got off the bus. Great information by the daughter of Jeff King. We learned so much. Beautiful place. Got on the train again and headed to Anchorage. Had a great dinner that night at Orso restaurant across from the Westmark.
June 11th had us on a bus to head for Seward. Bus ride seemed long, but maybe we were tired. Too short a stop at a very small place that was packed with other cruisers. Restroom lines were very long and there was no way to get any lunch. Discovered drinks, cookies, chips were available in the gift shop. Pulled into the Windsong Lodge early evening. The lodge was great. We had the best meal at the Resurrection Roadhouse. Beautiful views, friendly people, incredible food. We would have liked time to go into downtown Seward, but found that others that went were disappointed with their meals.
June 12th had us off to catch the ship. The Exit Glacier Tour was interesting and entertaining. We figured the different tours were staggered to allow everyone different times to get to the ship. The check in at the cruise terminal was longer than we thought. It didn't seem to be very efficient. Finally got on board and couldn't believe our suite. It was way larger and spacious than we thought.
We couldn't even begin to fill the closets and drawers and we thought we had over packed. We were still having difficulties with the lack of dark nights and were wiped out from a too packed week on land. Had a nice dinner and off to bed shortly after we sailed. Checked out the Neptune Lounge and met lots of fellow passengers.
June 13th: Great cruising through College Fjord. The ship rotated several times to let everyone see everything. Had our first dinner in the Pinnacle Grill. It was excellent.
June 14th: Glacier Bay was wonderful. The park ranger that came on board was very knowledgeable. We opted to stay on our balcony and had the best views of calving ice. Sea gulls landed on our railing and entertained us. Ship rotated around several times so everyone could get great views. Had dinner in the Rotterdam. Impressed with variety of menu selections, wine selections and quality. Service everywhere was efficient and friendly. We felt totally pampered throughout our time on the ship.
Will save rest of comments for each port.