September 18, 2000: Arriving in Anchorage Get to Hopkins Airport for Northwest flight to Minneapolis, then transfer to 767 to Anchorage. Funny experience with the Mac n Cheese as I called it being served for lunch after I said I'd have the chicken breast with potatoes & veggies. But that was what they ut in front of us, salad was good, rolls fresh, but what was on the pasta no one knew.
Arrive in Anchorage at 2PM to the gal with the PRINCESS sign. She says to have a seat there at the gate awaiting all her passengers from various flights. An hour later she circles all around her to welcome us to Anchorage then asks if all put the Princess tags on their luggage. We seem to be the only ones! So now we have to follow the gang to carrousel 5 for them to retrieve luggage, get their tags filled out & on the luggage & the gal to get it all back on the Princess conveyor. Then we board buses to Seward (3.5 hour ride). See the ocean of mud that eats people as well as wildlife as the driver tells us. We hit time & time again road construction that stops all traffic for 10-30 minutes as they repave the road in front of us, then it turns into single lane traffic wiuth both way sharing a turn. So our 3.5 hr ride was closer to 7. Then in Seward we overhear the dispatcher telling Joe the driver to drive around the city since they are filled with buses. So another hour. Then we get to embarkation & the 10 lines are packed with folks. So another hour in line & finally to our Caribe level verandah stateroom with queen bed. No luggage til around midnite do to the truck getting stuck in the traffic mess. So we get unpacked, up to the Lido Deck for the buffet & that was a great surprise. Chicken Curry, steak, Beef Rib Roast. great sides & then we saw the deserts - that can be it own meal! Stuffed & tired as it was past midnite & that is 4AM ET we goto sleep.
September 19: College Fjord What a beautiful experience. A guide from Maui was aboard to track humpbacks, but Princess hired her for the cruise to keep folks informed both on TV as well as on the bridge mike for those out on deck. Calving was a thunderous thrill both noise & the blue that it leaves.
Dressy night for dinner with cocktail party with Captain Warner, who was very friendly & intro'd folks from all over the world on the cruise. Photos for those interested then dinner in the Venetian. We were seated with 2 other couples who were fun to be with. Folks in their 80's down to newlyweds were aboard & everyone seemed like an old friend. All commented at the excellent choice of meals even ordering more than one for all to sample. Our servers got to know who was cream in coffee, who was a fish lover, who wanted anything chocolate, etc.
September 20: Glacier Bay We awoke at 7AM to FOG, thick white fog. So not too much sightseeing so upstairs to breakfast on the Lido & nothing to look at. So we hit the casino, Piggy Bankin (the original) was against the wall with 4 machines. Banks were 50+, so I feed a $5 bill in, play single coins & crash the banks on all 4 for a profit. Still foggy outside so we goto the Venetian for lunch since they have pastramai sandwiches today. As we are being seated I look out the window & see a mountain - the fog is lifting so we exit. Jerry feels his arm being grasped & it is the Head Waiter asking what the problem was. We told him we have the camcorder ready for Glacier Bay & were headed back to our balcony & room service. So Caesar chicken salad & coffee were delivered as well as a fruitbasket with everything from grapefuit to kiwis. The experience of Glacier Bay was peaceful, amazing at all the colors & textures. As far as wildlife all we got were Orcas, sea otters & the opposite side of the ship got to view bears as we circle for all to see Marjorie Glacier. Then dinner of a British theme from welshire pie to fish n chips. There we learn that the ship had picked up Park Rangers who will speak on what everyone saw & maps to remember it with.
September 21: Skagway What a great town. Its building resemble a Hollywood set for Gunsmoke. Easy to walk the whole town which we did from 9AM to 2PM. Nice free movie from the Park Service to shops that have everything from jewelry to fish. We did the majority of our souvenier shopping since everything was 50% to 75% off. Back t the ship to have high tea. This is cute. Waiter in white uniforms, white gloves with white teapots of earl grey. Another with scones, another with cream & perserves, another with finger sandwiches from turkey to shrimp & finally the favorite was Mr Cookie Man with the hit of chocolate filled with fudge. Then in 2 hours it is dinner! All we do is eat here & it is heaven!
September 22: Juneau This is helicopter day for us. We bought the Panorama of the Glaciers, fly over & thru the Juneau Icefield & even land on the big guy to walk around for close to an hour. On it we saw where it had just split & a small waterfall had started with the coldest water. Big gorge of blue that no one wanted to volunteer to slide down & in....... we learn that they just turned over 30K population & have 29K registered cars to drive on 121 miles of road. 1 of 3 folks owns a plane which is their mode of transportation out of Juneau. The house looked very warn from the winds up to 125 mph & we learn they sell for over $200K - expensive housing! But what a view & all their stairs.......... As we walk back to the boat which leaves at 8PM, then sun going down & 8 orange boats in the water surrounding the ship. It was our lifeboats looking for something or an employee safety drill. As we get back to our stateroom we have a note from the Pursers Office asking how we are paying our bill. We call to say we have given our Amex card at embarkation & they state it may be a bad embossing. So down we go to be told by Jayne "Your bank closed the card since you are away from home". I told her Amex isn't a bank card & to check with them giving her their toll free number. She refuses. So I use my cellphone to call Amex who knows nothing about an inquiry on our card. SO I have the Purse's Office on the ship's phone& they give them the ship to shore #. We return to the Purser who comes out to apologize for the mix up. We are perfect creditwise, but his dept miskeyed the number to GCS in Miami who checks all credit for them.
September 23: Ketchikan Home of the Red Dog Saloon & Salmon. God love those fish that jump into the raging waterfall when they have a salmon bridge the town built for them to swim up to spawn & unfortunately die. We have a bunch of folks lining Crane St with its quaint shops & the salmon run. We were rooting on those guys jumping out of the water to be smached back down into it. We spent an hour at the Fudge Factory watching the hard work of making it, since it is college kids that keep turning it over & over atop a marble table, adding the goodies such as chocolate chips when it was cool enought not to melt them. Then we bought what we watched being made. Can't be much fresher!
September 24: At Sea A day at sea with more to photograph with porpoises & whales as added attractions. Time to pack & have luggage outside the door but the tags sent to us are Silver 1 stating CANADIAN FINAL DESTINATION. Wrong again! So on the phone to the Purser (Francisco) who sends us Red 2 tags for the bags. He also stated he was writing a complaint on everything that happened to us by his department & was glad we were not upset.
September 25: Vancouver We arrive in Vancouver about 8AM, get bused to the airport & Canadian Air to Toronto & then a small lear jet to Cleveland. Still in awe over the wonderful week, we are back home getting ready to board her again 11/18 for a Carribean cruise!!!!