2018 Alaska Roundtrip Seattle Cruise: Episode #2, Embarkation, Meet-ups, Mini Suite Tour, & More

Good Day All! Here we go with Episode #2 in our latest Alaska adventure. 🙂 Last I left you, Chris and I had just stepped on board the beautiful Ruby Princess after taking our transfer from the Seattle Westin to Pier 91. I’ll start this little ditty with a wee video of us right after we boarded. At the end, you’ll see us greeting our dear friends Barb and Don–Boy oh boy was it ever good to see and hug them again!! We just love those two great people!

 

Let me show you the Princess Patter for embarkation day:

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For those folks that might not be aware, Princess always has one Main Dining Room open for lunch from noon-1:30 on Embarkation day. Here was the menu for this day as you probably saw in the last page of the Patter above there next to the blue arrow, in the Da Vinci Dining Room:

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Barb, Don, Chris, and myself were seated just about first. 🙂 We were sitting there chatting away and then I look up and see my friend and co/admin in the ALASKA CRUISES ON PRINCESS Facebook Group–the group for which we were hosting the Group Cruise. We had never met in person up to this point in time and as you will see in this little video, we were sure happy when we finally got to hug for the first time in person!! What an awesome, sweet moment this was!

Here is a pictures of Pam and myself along with Barbara and Jen…we were 4 happy ladies!! I’m sure the men were super happy too! 😉 Hahaha…

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I lost my brain for a while after that sweet meeting, meaning that I didn’t take picture one of our scrumptious lunch, I was having too good of a time socializing. After lunch, we headed to our Stateroom, Mini Suite D506, here are some pictures of our room and I will give you a link to my Arlynn’s Travels narrated YouTube video tour of our stateroom after I show you the pictures:

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The balcony is uncovered (didn’t bother us a bit):

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Here I am standing out on our balcony, it was quite warm on this day, I’d estimate in the 70’s…hence my bare feet…trust me, those feet were well covered for the rest of the trip. 😉

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Here is a link to my narrated video Stateroom Tour:

It was just about time to head off to the muster drill, you can always find where your muster station is located by looking at your cruise card or on the sign on the back of your stateroom door:

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Here is a bit more paperwork that was sitting on our desk when we arrived to our stateroom:

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We had also ordered a case of water before our cruise via our Cruise Personalizer…it was like $6.90 for 12 bottles of water…a deal. The water was waiting in our stateroom on arrival–important note here, you cannot order a case of water once on the ship, you must do it via your Cruise Personalizer before you board. They also were aware that I had purchased an “Unlimited Soda & More Package” which included fountain sodas, fresh fruit juices, hot chocolate and hand-crafted “zero-proof” mocktails. Also, Chris headed off to the International Cafe to purchase a Coffee Card. Note: Stickers are no longer placed on the cruise card for drink packages and one is not given a coffee card any longer. It all done electronically and when your cruise card is scanned they know what is what.

So I have no memory of the muster drill, other than I know that we no longer need to carry our life vests with us which is a fantastic new perk on Princess ships. YaY!

Our next stop, was our Group Cruise get-together. Pam and I had arranged for a meet-up at the aft pool directly after the muster drill. This is where we would meet all of the lovely folks who we’d been conversing with for months and months in our Facebook group. I was super excited! I had created these magnets to give out as gifts:

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And Pam and I had pulled together and each of us provided some little gifts for door prizes…AND check out our sweet necklaces, that sweet lady between us hand made those for us…what a treasure!!

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Here are some pictures of our meet up, it was a lovely time of fellowship, laughter, and many hugs!!

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We had such a lovely time meeting everyone and putting sweet faces with the names…what a wonderful time we had!!

It was then time for sail-away, here are some pictures that Chris and I caught…Seattle offers up a lovely cityscape:

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After we sailed away, we all dispersed and for us, we stopped by the ice cream place for a little cone. 🙂 And I took a few shots of the pool deck and the beautiful outdoor tv screen. 🙂

******BTW Side note****** I had been losing weight before this cruise…I had lost 30 pounds when we stepped onto the Ruby Princess…I have now lost 53 as I write this…I’m hoping to lose 40 more pounds. Seeing these pictures again, are giving me some incentive to continue on my new weight loss regimen. I am not doing anything special except that I have just changed my eating habits, taken my portion size down, I don’t eat a lot of carbs, and I follow that old adage…”Everything in moderation nothing to excess”. Here is a recent picture of me:

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And now back to our regularly scheduled programing. 😉

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Barb and Don and Chris and I had a lovely dinner together that evening and after that, Chris and I headed back to our room…I was one bushed lady!! The next day would be a sea day which would provide me a nice day to rest up and ready myself…for, I was once again well on my way to my very happiest of happy places, Alaska. I felt blessed and content as my head hit that lovely pillow that night. 🙂

Until Next Time…Y’all take good, good care!! ❤

***If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me…Psalm 139***

~Arlynn

 

 

 

2018 Alaska Roundtrip Seattle Cruise: Episode #1, Packing, Traveling, Westin Seattle, & Transfer to Terminal 91

Hi Everyone! I hope that this blog post finds you all doing well. Wow, it is now October and Chris and I returned from our Alaska Seattle Roundtrip cruise way back in August. It has taken me that long to be able to sit down and to begin writing my blog for this wonderful trip! I’ve been decorating for Fall and as a lot of you know, I have a pretty busy life with my Arlynn’s Country Craft Corner YouTube Channel where I share many hours of my time crafting, decorating, and chit-chatting with some of the most lovely people on the planet. 🙂 But, my first social media love is right here, my blog, this is where I started sharing my life…yes, all of my crafts and decorating, but, also another love of mine, our travels. So, I’m excited to be able to sit down and start sharing about our latest cruise. As some of you know, I am one of the Administrators on a Facebook Cruising group called ALASKA CRUISES ON PRINCESS (yes, its name is presented all in capital letters on FB).  My co-admin Pam who is an awesome friend and also a great Travel Agent and I sponsored a “Group Cruise” to Alaska. Pam is a lovely lady who I have become very close to in the years that we’ve admin’d together…trust me, we’ve had some harrowing moments and we definitely run a tight ships (pun intended). NO negativity or rudeness is allowed in our group and we have upwards of 8000 member nowadays. WOW!! ANYway, we decided to do a one of the roundtrip cruises that Princess Cruise Lines offers in Alaska. I was excited about this as Chris and I had never done one of the roundtrip itineraries. One other thing that I was so very excited about was that my dear friend Barbara and her hubby Don would also be on this cruise with us…Chris and I just adore these two and have become very close to them. 🙂

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ANYway, I will not yammer on here…even though this is my blog and I tend to yammer a lot in here, let me get started sharing first how I prepared myself (packed) for this cruise, then about our travels to get over to Seattle (seamless travel day), & then we’ll transfer over to Terminal 91 at the Seattle Cruise Port where we’ll be ready to embark onto the Ruby Princess for yet another wonderful adventure in Alaska–my very, very happy place.

First, let me share what our Itinerary would be for this cruise (excuse the month of May dates, I just went onto Princess.com and found our same itinerary):

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When I was preparing for this cruise, I of course took some time to choose my Alaska Cruise Wardrobe. I created a video highlighting said wardrobe for my Arlynn’s Travels YouTube Channel. Here is a link:

Alaska Cruise Wardrobe #3 (w/Packing Cubes & Garment Folder Demo):

 

I also shared my new “What’s in my Carry-On & “My” Must Haves video:

 

Pam and I had a plan for Embarkation Day, we were planning to have a little get-together that day where we’d have a drawing for some door prizes (she and I both donated items that we had received on past cruises), and I created these magnets as a gift for everyone to take back to their Stateroom Door (which as we all know by now are metal as are the walls and ceilings in a cruise ship’s stateroom). More about the get-together in an upcoming blog post:

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It was finally time to pack up for our next adventure, so I’ll share a video of me literally packing for our cruise. I utilize my packing cubes and garment folder in this video:

As usual Chris handled his own packing which for an Alaska cruise includes all of his camera equipment. I was pretty excited about one of those pieces of equipment btw, Chris chose a brand new *big* camera lens for his Birthday present (a Sigma 150/600), and wait until you see some of the pictures he captured with that lens. ANYhoot, it was finally the morning that we were to embark on our journey. As is usually the case, I just didn’t even bother going to bed the night before because we had to be at the airport at an unGodly hour…haha…we left out house at 2:45am on August 10th, 2018. Here I am standing at our kitchen island ready to go, adrenaline pumping and a bit sleep deprived. 🙂

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Christin our daughter had arrived and was going to be staying as, bless her, she always does to house and doggie sit for us. I knew that we didn’t have one worry in the world about how our home and pups would be treated while we were gone. So off we zipped, we got on I-95 and headed South as we were going to be flying out of Richmond International this time around (thank goodness y’all…I cannot stand Dulles airport). So we parked our car in the garage where I clicked off a picture to help us remember where exactly we parked and headed into the terminal and before we knew it we were taking off and heading to Seattle. Honest to goodness, our flights were all on time and smooth as could be…I was very grateful.

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And there is a shot Seattle from my window on the jet, notice the cruise ships in the picture…yep, that is Pier 91 and where our cruise ship the Ruby Princess would be sailing into and then out of with us on board the next day. 🙂 IMG_4314.jpg

We landed at the Seattle Tacoma airport on time and headed to baggage claim to collect our luggage and to meet the Princess Representative as we had arranged for a Princess transfer to our hotel. We did have a bit of a hiccup with said transfer, we ended up waiting for about an hour and were finally put in a “limo” (a large town car) because they deemed we had waited way too long. I don’t think it was Princess’ fault, instead I think that the shuttle folks at the airport were the ones that dropped the proverbial transfer ball. 😉 Regardless, we were transferred to the lovely Westin Seattle Hotel (arranged through Princess).

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Our room was not ready when we arrived, so Chris asked them what they did have available and they said that they had a room that would cost us an extra $50, Chris jumped on that, we were both pretty tired by this point. So up we went to our room on the 44th floor (pretty high…haha):

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Here are some pictures of our room and then after that, I’ll share a video tour narrated by me:

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Here is a close up look at that piece of paper that I read to you during that video:

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BTW…It looks like TSA searched one of our suitcases. I had all of those magnets packed in this bag and I’m betting that is why, of course I don’t know for sure, but, I found this note when I opened this bag while at the hotel:

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And here is the menu and a couple pictures of that sweet restaurant the Blueacre Seafood:

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My head did not even hit the pillow that night before I was snoozing away! I never got to take a picture of how things looked out of our hotel room window at night because, well I was asleep before the sun went down. <go me> 😉 But, we did catch some pretty neat shots the next morning. First of all, we looked out right after sunrise and low and behold there came our lovely cruise ship the Ruby Princess into port.

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Then unbeknownst to me, Chris took this lovely little video of how things looked that morning. You’ll see the Space Needle at the end of this little ditty, I was so tired the day before that I didn’t even realize that it was right over there. 🙂

Shortly after the Ruby arrive, here came Holland America’s Eurodam:

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~~~Side Note here about the room at the Westin, one thing that I wasn’t thrilled about was that they did *not* offer free wifi. I was pretty appalled about that honesty, for all of the money we spent for that hotel (and it was quite a chunk of change), you’d think that they’d offer free wifi in the rooms. That said, they did have plenty of USB ports in the room, here are a couple of shots of them, these were located on the bedside table:

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I was up and dressed very early on embarkation morning, this is the outfit that I chose to wear that day…it was going to be warm, so I chose to wear capris, but, I paired it with a jacket because I knew it would get cooler once we sailed away. 🙂 BTW, I’ve been on a weight-loss journey, in this picture, I had lost close to 30 pounds since our Caribbean cruise in March (I’ve lost close to 40 now).

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Quick comparison picture for y’all… 😉 Picture on the left was while we were on our Caribbean cruise, picture on the right was taken last week here at our house.

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Back to our regularly scheduled programing now…

Chris and I didn’t do too, too much that morning other than have a cup of coffee (Chris) and tea (me) and relax till it was time to go to the lobby and meet up for our transport. At 10:45am we headed down, our luggage had already been collected and whisked away to be loaded and transported separately to the port…OH and yes, we did tip the bellman a few dollars. As we were standing in the lobby with our group, we were all chit-chatting and exchanging stories and such. As I was standing there chatting with a sweet lady, our conversation finally brought us around to know that she was in our Alaska cruising group and was part of our Group Cruise..haha. Small world! Once on our motorcoach, I was able to capture a picture of Beate!! Here she is, to say that she and I were excited is a bit of an understatement. 😉

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It did not take us long at all to get from the Westin to the Seattle Cruise Port and to Terminal 91. As always, everything ran like a well-oiled machine with Princess, they truly have this stuff down to a science.

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Beate and I stopped and posed for one more shot as we were heading in to the terminal:

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Check-in, as always, went off without a hitch, I didn’t take one picture of that process though, but, one thing that had changed was that we didn’t have to fill out one of the health questionnaires; they’ve done away with that. Chris and I agreed that that was a good thing, it was always a pain to stop in mid-stream and fill out that form…and we also agreed that plenty of folks probably were not truthful when filling it out anyway, so really, what was the point…they were there to cruise they weren’t going to let a little cold or stomach ache stop that <sigh>.

Regardless, I did catch this picture of what I saw as soon as I entered the Cruise Terminal:

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Before we knew it, we were walking down the Promenade deck after stepping aboard the Ruby Princess, and our adventure had begun in earnest:

AND we were finally on board the Ruby Princess…YaY!!! I was so excited because I knew the day was going to be a good one, not only were we going to be setting sail for Alaska, I was also going to be meeting Pam and her hubby and so many others that I’d come to know so well through our Facebook Group. 🙂 OH yes, this was going to be a good day indeed!!

I’ll close this one out for now, next up, I’ll tell you about our first day on board the Ruby Princess, share pictures and videos of Pam and I meeting for the first time, and much more! Stay tuned!

***If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me…Psalm 139***

Until next time, y’all take good, good care!

~Arlynn

 

 

Alaska B2B Voyage of the Glaciers Cruise: SB – Episode #13: Haines, Juneau, & Ketchikan

Since Chris and I did an excursion a day at all three Ports of call on our Northbound trip, we decided to take it a easy and just do a little relaxing and some exploring of the Port towns on our Southbound trip.  I will be telling y’all about all three Ports here in this one post. 🙂

Haines Instead of Skagway!

First up was Haines, yes, I said Haines…haha. 🙂 I bet you were expecting Skagway huh? Well, if y’all remember, there had been a rock/land slide the day before we docked in Skagway while on the Northbound journey.  We were diverted over (which is just a trip down the Lynn Canal – a gorgeous fjord – from Skagway) so that they could have time to repair the damage to the dock over in Skagway.  Princess was awesome and provided all of us passengers with all of the necessary tools and paperwork with which to handle our day in Haines. They also provided extra Ferries so that all that wanted to head to Haines could and in addition covered the cost of said Ferry Ride.  Here is the Princess Patter for that day and also Excursion info and a map of Haines:

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I was nursing a sore foot on this day, so I did not venture off of the ship, instead this is the day that I pulled together my Stateroom tour of our abode for the week, the Seychelles Suite D701. Here is a link to my YouTube video of that tour. 🙂

Here is my outfit for that day, I was comfy and cozy while hanging out on the ship:

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Here are a few pictures of the Ferry activity of the day, it was a very busy day–those ferries ran all day long:

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Haines is a beautiful port, soaring mountains and scenery was abounding!

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Our dinner on this evening was at the Crab Shack.  They set up the Crab Shack on one side of the Buffet, they switch out the table cloths and even the wait staff wear different shirts…it is a lovely experience, one that I highly recommend. 🙂 AND the food is phenomenal; you do pay and upcharge for this experience…when we were here the charge was $29 per person (of course, moving forward in time Princess may raise the price, so please keep an eye on your Patter to make sure you know what is what while on your cruise).

Here is the Menu:

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After we were finished eating, we took a stroll around the ship, here are some pictures that I clicked off:

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I will have to admit that this day in Haines was one of the most relaxing days that I’d ever experienced on an Alaska cruise, my dumb foot aggravated me in that I couldn’t get out and explore, but, it also forced me to stay put and enjoy the quiet and serene port. I had no internet on that day, well I had 3g phone coverage which was super slow and I gave up trying to get anywhere online..haha. So I sat out on our balcony watching the ferries come and go, and I gazed down the Lynn Canal and at all of the beauty that was laid out in front of me…it was a party for my eyes on this day…no doubt about it!

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As we pulled out of Haines, we caught this gorgeous sunset…so, so pretty!!

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Juneau

 

Our next stop on our Southbound cruise was Juneau! My foot was still screaming at me a bit, but, I was determined not to allow it to hinder what I knew I wanted to do on this day! First off, here is my outfit of the day:

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One sweet Suite perk…is that we were able to go and eat breakfast in Sabatini’s every morning, we chose to do so on this morning because we didn’t have anything special planned other than to just walk around town a bit and enjoy a nice relaxing day.

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It was delicious!!

Here is the Princess Patter for this day:

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I also did a Facebook Live video on this morning:

BTW, here is a closeup of what is costs to send out your laundry if you so choose–for Suite passengers it is complimentary:

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A seal came to visit in the harbor that day…too cute for words!!

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We decided to go off of the ship and do a little bit of shopping and exploring, here are some of the sights we encountered.  You will see that there are excursion vendors lined up on the dock, I am not in the know about them, but, I did want to let you know that they are there:

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I was so excited to be able to find this little jewel of a shop…I’d heard about it many times in the Alaska Cruises on Princess group that I Admin on Facebook, so I was anxious to find it and to purchase some spiffy soap that was made from Glacial silt.  Here are a few pictures and a couple of videos of our time at the Juneau Silt Soap Shop. 🙂

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And here I am trying out some of that wonderful soap!! I highly recommend you go and visit this little shop and try some of the soap out for yourself. They do have a website as well, here is a link – Silt Soap Shop.

Here are a few pictures of the Mt. Roberts tramway, we’ve yet to do it…although I would love to do so, but, it was super cloudy on this day not to mention that my foot was screaming at me by this point and we needed to get back to the ship:

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And then we had some friends (Bald Eagles) gazing down on us from the trees, never forget to scan those trees for those “golf balls”. 😉

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Here is a little video showing those beauties along with a few other things.

Of course, I stopped into a couple of shops on the way back and purchased a few things, and, of course, I had purchased some of that spiffy, wonderfully smelling silt soap too! 🙂 IMG_1673IMG_1676

We spent a little time out on our balcony that afternoon…there is always something to see..I love watching the ships come and go.  The rest of the day went off without a hitch, we just grabbed some dinner from the Horizon Court Buffet, hung out on our balcony, and just r-e-l-a-x-e-d! This lady laid her satisfied head on her pillow without a care in the word or negative thought in her head…it had been a wonderful day!

 

Ketchikan

I could not believe when I woke up on this morning that this would be our last Port of Call on our trip…the time had flown by, I’d made tons and tons of memories, and I had a little twang in my belly that our trip would soon be coming to an end. BUT, I didn’t allow that sad feeling to overtake me, instead, I zipped on up out of bed—*well* that may be a little fib…I hardly ever “zip” out of bed, truth be told, I am not too much of a morning person…haha.  I need to warm up to the day for a bit of time with my first cup of tea. 🙂 We were situated facing the water on this day, which was fine and dandy with me, I love watching the boats and floatplanes come and go, I could spend hours just doing that. 🙂 ANYway, this is the outfit that I chose to wear on this day, I knew that we’d be heading off of the ship to go and take a little walk back to Creek Street and over to the Outlet Store to meet a dear lady named Aimee that was so kind in our Alaska FB Group in that she actually took peoples addresses and sent out a fantastic coupon book before folks’ cruises…what a wonderful gesture…I knew I had to head over and give that lady a hug in person! ❤

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And here I am out on the balcony with Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam and Princess’ Ruby Princess line up behind us. 🙂

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We headed to Sabatini’s again on this morning, that breakfast was the one Suite perk that we enjoyed the most. 🙂  Here is the Princess Patter for this day:

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We were ready to disembark the ship once we let our breakfasts settle a bit…it was quite crowded in Ketchikan on this day, but, pfft, it didn’t bother us too much.  We stepped on the dock and made a beeline over to The Outlet Store where Aimee works as a manager. 🙂

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And here are Aimee and I meeting in person for the first time…hopefully it won’t be the last!!! She is a lovely, sweet, awesome lady! ❤

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I am standing right outside of Aimee’s store here, you can see how close we were…I believe we were in Berth #2 on this day:

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Now, I will hush up and allow the pictures to do the talking, they are pretty self explanatory, Ketchikan is a colorful, fantastic town and very easy to get around in…we really enjoyed sauntering back to Creek Street and doing a little bit of exploring.  Here we go with some pictures:

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It was time for us to climb back aboard the Coral Princess. We’d had a lovely time exploring!! In all of the years that we’d been doing Alaska cruises, we’d never taken the time to just walk around this quirky little town, I loved it!! Once back on board, I noticed that I had great cell service, so I did a Facebook Live video…Here is that video–It includes a great look at the Promenade Deck–which btw you can walk on ALL the way around on on the ship–a little tour of the Atrium, and then an elevator ride up to the Dolphin deck and into our Suite and out onto our balcony. 🙂

 

As I mentioned in the video, I set up shop with my computer and camera on our balcony and that is where I spent the rest of that day…the sun was shining down on me and warming me to my very soul.  Trust me y’all, I do not take for granted one second of our time in Alaska, and it doesn’t matter if I’m out on some grand adventure or if I’m simply sitting and watching the people, ships, and planes…I love Alaska! Here are some shots that I caught that afternoon.

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I did purchase a few things while traversing around Ketchikan btw, here are some pencils that I purchased for our daughter’s Kindergarten students…IMG_8327

And here are some earrings, one pair for me, and one pair for each of our daughters that ended up in their Christmas stockings. 🙂 IMG_8328

And I used a coupon out of Aimee’s coupon book to purchase these 3 spiffy magnets…that will of course be used to hold things on our future Stateroom walls. 😉 🙂 IMG_8329

I also took a nice little stroll around the ship, this sign hangs in all of the elevators. 🙂

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Someone sent this picture to me of us leaving Port…There we go, off for a day at sea…Check out that gorgeous sunset!!!

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I have to admit that I had little bit of sadness as we were pulling out of Ketchikan, the thought that our cruise was truly almost over made me very sad. My only saving grace was that I knew that we had another Alaska cruise in the queue for the next Season!! Now *that* made me very happy and satisfied!!

Next up, our day at sea, a little picture tour of the Coral Princess, & disembarkation day. 🙂

A little scripture:

**If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me…Psalm 139***

~Until next time, y’all take good care!

~Arlynn

And here is a link to Episode #14!