Tuesday, June 21, 2011

North to Alaska

Sue and I spent last week taking a cruise to Alaska along with some dear friends.  This was my first 'cruise' other than in the Navy or aboard my parents boat several decades ago.  I must say that it was quite different from either of those prior experiences.  The Golden Princess carried 2600 passengers and 1100 crew, making it larger than at least one of the towns we visited.  Service was wonderful, the food was endless and fairly good, and the accommodations were nice.  There were a lot of opportunities to stay busy on board, ranging from eating, working out, eating, going to shows or movies, eating, and lounging around.  Did I mention eating?  So much food!



We spent time in Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay and Ketchikan along with a quick stop in Victoria.  At each of the three Alaskan towns we left the ship and took an excursion: hiking, train ride and zip lines.  And that left only a short time to try and wander around the town and count jewelry stores.  We were able to go up into Glacier Bay on board the ship and watch a glacier calve ice bergs for a while; and that was pretty cool.  We saw whales, seals, sea lions, sea otters, eagles, and a porcupine, plus a countless number of sea gulls.

The best part of the trip was just being able to sit and visit with Randy and Tina.  Such a joy to be able to reconnect with old friends and get 'caught up'.

I was amazed at the number of people we encountered who had made many, many cruises.  And how many three generation family groups and small children were aboard.  I cannot imagine taking small children on a trip like that, nor taking lots of these cruises.  While the trip was enjoyable, I do not think I am too interested in making another one.  I would much prefer sitting along on top of a mountain for a few days (or maybe with a small group of people :) ).  And actually flying into these cities would give much more opportunity to explore pretty much everything we saw other than Glacier Bay.  But all in all, it was a good experience.

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