This is a report of our July 15, 2005 southbound cruise on Vision of the Seas from Seward to Vancouver with a couple of independent days at the beginning. The travelers are I and my wife, Ketarah. This vacation also served as our 22nd anniversary celebration. It is our first time to Alaska, and our third cruise, all on RCI.
Day 1, Tuesday, July 12 Orange County, CA- 6:45AM flight to Chicago, 2 hour layover, and then flight to Anchorage. Round about route for sure, but you take what you can get when using "points" for flying. Amazing views during flight of solid white snow and ice as far as you can see. Arrive in Anchorage at 6:30PM. We stayed at the Roadway Inn on Gambell St. near downtown. They had a courtesy van that picked us up at the airport. The people were very friendly; however their motel is a bit of a dump. We grabbed a quick dinner at the Country Kitchen around the corner (and up several blocks). OK coffee shop food.
Day 2, Wednesday, July 13 -- Woke up early to catch the 6:45AM Alaska Railroad train to Seward. The very friendly people at the Roadway Inn drove us to the station in their van. The train ride to Seward was very scenic. It was cloudy and rainy most of the 4 hour+ trip. That didn't stop me from leaning out the open section between cars to take pictures whenever possible. A local high school graduate provided interesting narration throughout the ride. She was very poised and informative. We arrived in Seward at 11:05AM. The rain had let up by now, so I figured we could walk to our hotel. Well, it only looked like an inch on the map. We dragged our luggage about 4 very long blocks to Murphy's Motel. (Take a taxi) They luckily had a room ready for us and let us check in early. This was a clean and comfortable room. Nothing fancy. We dropped our stuff and went back toward the marina and had lunch at the Marina Restaurant. The motel manager described it as their "greasy spoon". It was actually pretty good. The halibut and chips were good, but the fish pieces are smaller than what you would expect. We popped into the Kenai Fjords National Park visitor center (right at the marina) and found out about a van service to Exit Glacier ($8.00rt). They operate out of the Holiday Inn Express building. We grabbed the first van and went to the Glacier. It began raining sort of heavily, but we were equipped and we joined a Ranger led nature walk/talk down to the glacier. We didn't venture to the upper level because of the weather. We went back to town and had dinner at Chinook's Waterfront. It was highly recommended by the motel manager. He preferred it over Ray's. The food and service were excellent and the view from the window side table on their second floor was unbeatable.