Alaska B2B Voyage of the Glaciers Cruise, Episode #14: Last Sea Day and Disembarkation at Canada Place in Vancouver, B.C.

What’s that you say? Our back to back Voyage of the Glaciers cruise adventure was coming to an end?! To say that I was sad about that little tid-bit of information was an understatement. I always tell folks that are wishing time would pass faster so that the time for their upcoming cruise would arrive, that time will continue to pass even when they are on their cruise. Such was the the realization of this day when I opened my eyes and packing instead of basking in the glory of Alaska was ahead of me.  Sigh, I was sad, BUT, I will not be a “Debbie Downer” in this my last post in this Series of blogs. 🙂 Instead, let me show you my outfit for the day and then the Princess Patter of which was full of wonderful things to do as we sailed ever so gently toward our disembarkation cruiseport at Canada Place in Vancouver.

IMG_8338IMG_1246IMG_1247IMG_1248IMG_1249

Here is some of our disembarkation paperwork that we had to make ready and peruse through for our disembarkation:

IMG_1254IMG_1255IMG_1256IMG_1257IMG_1258IMG_1259

Okay so yeah, there was all of that…haha…Never makes me happy to see that stuff show up in our little mailbox. BUT, next up, I am going to share a few of the Main Dining Rooms menus with y’all. When in a Suite, and as you know, we were lucky enough to be staying in a suite on this our second leg of our back to back cruise, you can request a menu from the MDR (main dining room), and if so desired, you can order from said menu and have it delivered to your Stateroom. Unfortunately, we never did end up ordering and having it delivered, but, I did keep the menus so that I could share them.  Here we go, I honestly do not remember for which night each menu corresponded, but, you’ll get a good idea of the kinds of delicious food they offer. NOTE: These menus are in no particular order…my computer gave me fits loading them into my post here, so please forgive my discombobulation in posting. 🙂

IMG_1264IMG_1263IMG_1262IMG_1261

IMG_1274.jpgIMG_1273.jpg

IMG_1271IMG_1264IMG_1266IMG_1265.jpg

Next up here I’m going to add a smattering of pictures that we clicked off of the beautiful Coral Princess. She still is our very favorite Princess ship. 🙂

IMG_1700IMG_1701IMG_1702IMG_1703IMG_1704IMG_1705IMG_1707IMG_1708IMG_1709IMG_1710IMG_1711IMG_1712IMG_1713IMG_1714IMG_1715IMG_1716IMG_1717IMG_1718IMG_1719IMG_1720IMG_1721IMG_1722IMG_1723IMG_1724IMG_1725IMG_1726IMG_1728IMG_1729IMG_1730IMG_1732IMG_1734IMG_1736IMG_1737IMG_1738IMG_1741IMG_1742IMG_1743IMG_1750IMG_8336

Sigh, the beautiful Coral Princess, I miss her so very much!!!

There was one more Wildlife viewing opportunity on this day…Here are a few pictures that we captured…I NEVER can get enough of this type of thing. 🙂

1V4A22191V4A22301V4A22361V4A22441V4A22451V4A22421V4A2239

We spent our last dinner on board in the Buffet at a window seat, the Horizon Buffet is on the front of the ship on the Coral and the Island Princess’ and it is so pretty to sit at the very front and watch where you are heading next.  You can see the front of the ship in this picture, straight ahead with the slightly slanted windows…that’s where I was heading. 🙂

IMG_1629

This was delicious!

IMG_1748.jpg

Here are some pictures of their self-service drink station:

IMG_1632.jpg

IMG_1635.jpgIMG_1634.jpgIMG_1630.jpgIMG_1636.jpgIMG_1631.jpg

After dinner, we came back to our Stateroom and packed up our belongings in preparation for our trip home the next day…nope, I didn’t take one picture of that action..haha…BUT, after we were finished, we headed out onto our balcony to take in the last moments of our cruise before the sun went down on this our last night:

IMG_1781IMG_1778IMG_1779 2IMG_1782IMG_1780

We had both moved out onto the balcony and were sitting in those two lounge chairs…We were quietly chatting about our trip and were hopeful that we would once again be able to come back to our “happy place”.  It was calm, quiet, serene, and to this day, I remember the feeling that I had while we were sitting there. Then, I heard a strange sound…a pretty loud, strange sound…it was then that I realized exactly what it was!!! It was the very distinctive sound of a humpback whale BLOW!!!!  I smacked Chris on the arm and said, did you hear *that*?!! He had not heard it…but, trusted my ear and jumped up out of his lounger and grabbed a camera from right inside the balcony door (where we kept them just in case we came across a moment just like this). He caught this big, beautiful, majestic humpback as it was oh so gently gliding down the side of the Coral, RIGHT below our balcony…I was blown away!!!!!! Completely blown away, I remember feeling the butterflies in my belly and I remember taking a quick gasp of air in as I saw this beautiful creature ***right*** there…MUCH closer than they were while we were on our whale watching excursion—One just NEVER knows what may happen at any moment in time on an Alaska cruise y’all…honestly.  Here are a couple of pictures that Chris managed to click off right at that moment in time:

IMG_7233IMG_7235

What an end to our very last day aboard the Coral Princess…a-m-a-z-I-n-g!!

Disembarkation Day

 

Oh my gracious, when my peepers opened on this morning, a wave of sadness came over me, for just a moment, just a tinge of emotion to remind me that we’d be traveling back to our beautiful home in Virginia today. Yes, I was sad to see my “bucket list” vacation come to an end, but, I was ready to head back to my kids and pups…I missed everyone terribly.  Chris caught these beautiful pictures, taken at dawn, as we were approaching Vancouver, then gliding under The Lion’s Gate Bridge, and then snugging up beside Canada Place.

IMG_1786IMG_1789IMG_1792IMG_1800IMG_1805IMG_1807IMG_1808IMG_1811IMG_1831IMG_1832IMG_1814IMG_1816IMG_1822

And a little video of us moving ever closer to Canada Place:

 

And that was it…do y’all believe that I do not have one more picture from this trip…haha…I will usually try and capture some shots as we move through Vancouver on the way to the airport…not this time…I will admit that I was quite sad. Out of all of the trips that we’ve ever done to Alaska, this was one of the very best.  I saw all of my remembered sights and added more sights to my categorized Alaska photos repertoire.  I heard all of my remembered sounds and added more sounds to my categorized Alaska memories. I felt all of the ‘feels’, ‘feels’ of which are the things that make me yearn to go back again and again and again. I cannot get enough of Alaska, there is something magical, mystical, and marvelous about that place. ❤

I will close this blog series out by saying that if you have never been to Alaska, try to go via a cruise ship just once, you will get to see so much of the pristine, untouched, unsurpassed beauty that is abounding EVERYwhere you look when you are on a cruise. Right now, Chris and I have one more Alaska cruise in the queue, and we are thinking about booking my friend Scott Singer’s Group cruise which is an Alaska cruise and is taking place the 2019.  Btw, check out Scott on YouTube here: Scott Singer Cruises .  OH how I hope we can book that one. When I think about my future, I love to have an Alaska cruise to look forward to no matter what the “Cruise Countdown” says, because the time ticking away as I anticipate what I might see and do on that future cruise fills my belly with more of those butterflies and causes my heart to race with excitement. To me, there is NO place on the planet like Alaska and I will continue to return as long as I am able!

 

***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 #11 Hubbard Glacier

Our first “Scenic Cruising” day on our Southbound Voyage of the Glaciers cruise began as a rather cloudy, drizzly day.  There was a chill in the air as we cruised toward Yakutat Bay in route to the magnificent Hubbard Glacier.  We’d seen Hubbard 3 other times on our SB Voyage of the Glaciers cruises, and she had always be shrouded in a mist and almost hard to make out.  I’m excited to say that on this day, we experienced Hubbard like we had never experienced her before—yes, still in the mist BUT, the ship got so close to her this time, I almost felt like I could reach out and touch her face…OH how I wish I could have really done that.

Here is the outfit that I chose for this relaxing day on board the beautiful Coral Princess:

IMG_8160

And here is the Princess Patter:

IMG_9118IMG_9119IMG_9120IMG_9121

Chris and I spent the day just walking around the ship and relaxing, honesty. I did click off some pictures while we tootled around. 🙂

IMG_0422IMG_0416IMG_0415IMG_0412IMG_0411

IMG_0406

We were quite impressed with this violinist, he never once looked at a piece of music:

I believe we caught brunch at the IC (International Cafe) that day and then around 3:00pm, we made sure we were back in our Stateroom setting our video camera up on its tripod out on the balcony and making other preparations to sail up to Hubbard Glacier.  We knew we were getting closer to Yakutat Bay when the Pilot came aboard to help navigate his local waters.

IMG_6920

And then as we were very quietly sailing toward that massive wall of ice in the distance, our Naturalist’s commentary started…

IMG_9120 2.jpg

Here we were on our balcony and at the ready to see the super-star of this day:

IMG_8166

IMG_6924

I am going to share a video that I created to try to bring you along with us on this day.  After the video, I’ll share a plethora of pictures that we captured. As you’ll hear in the video, we’d never been as close as we eventually got to this glacier, it took my breath away, I was amazed, I was touched, and I was humbled. As I watched the ice bergs float by the ship bobbing up and down gently in the water and realizing that they were the size of small cars, as I took deep breaths of some of the freshest air ever, as I felt the air get chillier and chillier, I was again reminded just how small and insignificant we are compared to all of the massive beauty that was surrounding us at that moment in time. My memories are well ensconced in my mind and they are easily conjured up at a moment’s notice…Someone once asked me how I remember these moments so well, trust me, they are easily remembered when such times make such an intense impression in my heart and mind,  Okay, I’ll stop yammering along and start sharing the magic of this day with you:

 

And here we go with a lot of the pictures that we captured:

IMG_6927

IMG_6945IMG_6956IMG_6959

IMG_6935IMG_6941IMG_69881V4A17261V4A17301V4A17431V4A17461V4A17491V4A17521V4A17551V4A17581V4A17841V4A17861V4A1817IMG_7000IMG_7018IMG_7035IMG_7037IMG_7044IMG_7073

What a magnificent show that beauty put on for us on that day!! As we were cruising away, I got a little twang in my belly…I do not know if I will ever be lucky enough to ever return to this gorgeous place, I remember stopping and saying a prayer of thanks for allowing us to once again bask in the absolute magnificence of Hubbard Glacier.

IMG_7104

Chris and I stayed out on our balcony for a very, very long time on this evening.  The skies cleared up and the mountains started to show themselves in all of their glory.  Here are some shots that we took while we sailed away as the sun was shining on our little corner of the world at that moment in time; we were in awe:

1V4A18361V4A18421V4A18581V4A1863

IMG_7102.JPG

As the sun set on this day, I was contently snuggled up in my nice warm jacket and just watching as the quiet of the evening engulfed me. I was calm, I was happy, I was contented, and as a tear of joy ran down my cheek (no really that really happened because I am such a sap) I once again “felt” Alaska.

Up next…our trip into Glacier Bay!! Sneak Peek:

1V4A1913.jpg

**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 #12!

Alaska: Back to Back Voyage of the Glaciers – Episode #10 – Turn-Around Day: Whittier, AK & the 26 Glaciers Cruise, Tour of the Seychelles Suite D701

Our Northbound Voyage of the Glaciers cruise had officially come to an end and normally, I would have been crying big elephant tears because I would have been walking off of the ship and making my way home. BUT, for the first time ever, all I had to do was to literally walk down the hallway from our mini suite D407 (mid-ship) to the Seychelles Suite D701 (aft) and begin our next adventure, the Southbound Voyage of the Glaciers cruise.  Before we left our mini suite to make the transition to our next stateroom, we received this “Log of the Cruise” for the Northbound leg of our cruise in our ‘mailbox’:

IMG_8938IMG_8939

Yes, yes, I did say that we’d be moving to a suite for this part of our journey…let me tell y’all, I literally got lucky and found that suite on Princess.com for not too, too much more money than what we would have had to pay for the mini suite, so we jumped at the chance to experience the suite life in that sweet suite! There were many perks that came with staying in a suite, one of which was that we got double the “Captain Circle” points to go toward our ‘loyalty level’.  Truly, if I’m honest, and I am never not honest, I can NOT stand to hear folks lamenting about how wonderful they are because they are Platinum or Elite members of the Captain’s Circle (Princess’ Loyalty Level Program)–All it really means is that they’ve spent a copious amount of money with Princess cruises in the past and “expect” perks for doing so–blah, I’m just happy to be able to cruise thank-you-very-much!  We are Platinum and still have like 6 or 7 more cruises to go until we hit Elite.  I hope upon hope that I remain humble and grateful for each upcoming cruise that we are blessed enough to take and never, ever worry about what level I have attained in the Captain’s Circle. 🙂

ANYway, let me tell you about the “Turn-Around Day” process so that those of you who might take a back to back (b2b) cruise moving forward will know what to expect. The evening before the last day we received a packet from Princess that included this letter and instructions:

IMG_8956IMG_8957IMG_8958

IMG_8954

IMG_8955

As you saw in the information above, we didn’t have to pack up completely, instead, I had used my packing cubes and garment folder and Chris had done the same, and we packed up all of the items that we had in our drawers and out on shelves into our suitcases.  We left all clothing that was hung up on the hangers alone and before we knew it, our room Steward Kurt knocked on our door and told us that our next accommodations were ready for us to move in to.  We were blown away, we fully expected that we’d need to wait until after we were back from our planned excursion (the 26 Glaciers Cruise) before we’d be able to unpack and such. Instead, here came Kurt with a helper who had a cart in tow. They started to fill up that cart with our suitcases and hangers and whoosh, we were heading toward the aft and to our next room the Seychelles Suite D701. There was such a flurry of activity that I neglected to take one picture of that process…go me right?! Gracious! We arrived at our stateroom to more of a flurry of activity and Kurt introduced us to our next room Steward, Jimmy. Kurt had told us that he had already told Jimmy all about us, that we were very kind, down to earth folks. Jimmy was so kind right from the very start, so much so that I told him to calm down, that we would not expect to be treated in any special way…hard to explain really. Bottom line, we are just regular folks who don’t need special treatment.

Here is a Facebook Live video that I took shortly after we got unpacked in our new digs for the week:

And here is a link to a much slower paced and detailed tour of the Seychelles Suite that I created for my YouTube “Arlynn’s Travels” Channel:

Here are some still shots of The Seychelles Suite:

We’d be leaving soon with our “Passenger in Transit” cards and our new cruise cards to go to meet our guide in the cruise terminal for the 26 Glaciers Cruise, but, as we waited, we got to see the flurry of activity that occurs before one ever steps on the ship on turn-around day.  First, there were some officers in the Seychelles Suite as we were arriving there and they were inspecting everything–as I mentioned in my live video above, there are a team of 5 of them that inspect every single stateroom on the ship before boarding begins. In addition, the things that we had ordered via our Cruise Personalizer before the cruise started to arrive such as, my spiffy cup that went along with my “Soda & More” package & our water package (BTW—PLEASE be aware that if you would like a water package for your cruise that you *must* order it via your Cruise Personalizer *before* your cruise. A water package is not available once aboard):

IMG_1585

Here are some pictures of the beautiful town of Whittier…Well, pictures that Chris took in the wee hours of the morning and then a few that we took while waiting to depart for our excursion:

IMG_0398IMG_1495IMG_1499IMG_1501

Here is the outfit that I chose for this day:

IMG_8137.jpg

We were ready to go!

IMG_8138

Here is the Princess Patter for that day and some of the other paperwork that the Princess folks dropped in our mailbox that morning:

IMG_8944IMG_8945IMG_8946IMG_8947IMG_8940IMG_8941IMG_8943IMG_8942IMG_8949IMG_8951

A couple of Suite perks that we weren’t prepared for were these two lovelies…The plate of tasty treats was just a one time deal, but, the fruit bowl was refilled each day (and we could choose the kind of fruit we preferred):

IMG_8157

IMG_8156

Okie dokie, it was finally time for us to disembark and head to our mode of transportation for the 26-Glacier cruise, the Klondike Express:

IMG_1497

Our first stop was the cruise terminal where we met our guide who gave us our table assignment card and our lunch tickets and led us to a line where we waited to board–BTW, we’d chosen what we wanted to eat earlier in our Northbound cruise. You can see our tickets from Princess in the envelope below the lunch and table assignment cards, I had arranged for this tour through Princess via my Cruise Personalizer months and months ago:

IMG_1593

IMG_1591

And onto the Klondike Express we stepped, here is a little brochure that was sitting atop our assigned table when we got there–btw, we shared a table with a lovely couple from California…shout out to Erin and David!

And after a little safety talk from the Captain, we started on our journey…It was a magical day filled with sights that were just astounding, amazing, phenomenal, and very, very memorable.  I took a bit of video on this day and I will post it below, but, first, here are some of the pictures that we caught on this very special excursion. If you ever get the chance, I highly, *highly* recommend that you take this awesome tour!! I am so sorry that I do not remember the names of the glaciers, there were SO many!! lol. All right, get ready for your eyes to have a party now…3-2-1…GO:

IMG_6512.jpgIMG_6513.jpgIMG_6515.jpg

1V4A1265

IMG_6526IMG_6538IMG_6555IMG_6552

IMG_6565IMG_6580IMG_6597IMG_6670IMG_6691IMG_6741IMG_6743IMG_6754IMG_6761IMG_6785IMG_6800IMG_68151V4A1356

IMG_6820IMG_6826IMG_6835IMG_6826IMG_6863IMG_6867IMG_6873IMG_6876IMG_6881IMG_6884IMG_6885

IMG_6887

IMG_6888IMG_6889IMG_68901V4A16661V4A16671V4A1669

And that my friends was that, I do not even remember where Chris and I ate dinner that evening, I do believe it was at the Horizon Court though. Another Suite amenity is that you get a complementary meal in Sabatini’s (one of the Specialty restaurants) on embarkation day, but, we were bushed when we got back and we called the dine line and were able to reschedule for a day later in the cruise.  Truthfully, we crashed and watched tv for the rest of the evening.  I will say though, that nothing could compete with what we’d already laid our eyes on earlier that day. We had a wonderful time…Alaska just continued to give and give and give to us.

Next up, the magnificent Hubbard Glacier…Here is a sneak peek:

IMG_6988

***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 #11!

 

 

 

 

 

Alaska: Back to Back Voyage of the Glaciers – Episode #9 – NB – College Fjord, Bayou Cafe, & Ship Venue Pics

It was a very surreal feeling waking up on the last morning of our cruise and coming to the realization that that morning would *not* be our last full day on board the beautiful Coral Princess, instead, while everyone else was packing up and readying themselves for their journeys home or to their next destination on the next day, Chris and I would be taking a trip right down the hallway to our new Stateroom where we’d reside for the Southbound Voyage of the Glaciers cruise. I just shook my head and pinched myself to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming.  Speaking of dreaming, I’d dreamed for a decade of being able to do just what we were right in the middle of doing, back to back Alaska cruises. We spent most of this day tootling around the ship because we wouldn’t be to our “Scenic Cruising” destination until around 6pm that evening.  We had made reservations at the Bayou Cafe, one of the “Specialty Restaurants” on board, for 6pm too and we’d be doing some of the scenic cruising viewing right from there.  SIDE NOTE:  We’d be taking the 26 Glaciers Cruise out of Whittier, Alaska (where the Coral would be docked) the next day which would take us back into College Fjord only even closer to the glaciers than the cruise ship would be getting).  This was a very low key, relaxed day for us. Shoot, we didn’t even have to pack, well I take that back, we did have to pack the things that we had in the drawers, and I had to gather up all of my magnets and maps and such that I had sticking to the walls…more on how they transferred us in my next post.  For now, let me show you the Princess Patter for this day:

IMG_1431IMG_1432IMG_1433IMG_1434

And here was my outfit for the day:

IMG_8116We decided to eat very lite that day because we knew that we’d be eating a pretty hefty meal at the Bayou Cafe later that evening. So we took our sweet time getting ready that morning and then we headed on up to the Horizon Court for a little bit of a late breakfast.  I must pause here and say that we enjoyed the Horizon’s buffet, whatever time of day we decided to pop in there on this cruise.  Everything was always hot, everything was always super clean and organized, the service crew members were jolly, and the food was excellent.  You will not hear one complaint from us about the Coral’s Buffet.  Here are some pictures that I clicked off on that morning:

IMG_1622IMG_1625IMG_1623IMG_1624IMG_1626IMG_1627IMG_1628IMG_1645IMG_1629

When in the Horizon Court, crew members will come around and ask what you’d like to drink and refill your coffee/tea/whatever else for you. There is also an entire self-service drink station that is always open no matter the time you enter.  Here are a few pictures of what they offer:

IMG_1632IMG_1630IMG_1640IMG_1631IMG_1634IMG_1637IMG_1636IMG_1638

The Amuleto Italian Cafe is also part of the Horizon Court and this is where you can get your choice of sweet treats from cookies, to bread puddings, to cakes, pies, and much, much more. My personal favorite was a warm vanilla cream that they had out almost every day…I would have put that stuff over a steak if I didn’t think I’d be looked at strangely. 😉 lol Of course I’m kidding, w-e-l-l, maybe I’m not. 😉  IMG_1641

IMG_1642.JPG

After we were finished with our breakfast, we headed to the “Onboard Outlet Sale” that was being held down on Deck 6 mid-ship in the Provence Dining Room:

IMG_1441IMG_1400IMG_1401IMG_1402IMG_1404

I controlled my urge to pick some things up just because they were a great price and instead picked up these 4 spiffy magnets.  One for myself and one for each of my girlfriends and their hubbies who we’ll be cruising with to the Caribbean in the coming months. 🙂

IMG_1409

After we finished, well I should say, after I finished at the sale (because Chris was waiting out in the Atrium for me…haha), we decided to take a little walk around the ship and click off a few pictures of a few venues. 🙂

This is the Chapel:

IMG_1406

IMG_1407

The Wheelhouse Bar:

IMG_1026IMG_1027

We clicked off a couple of shots of the Atrium…Such a pretty area!

IMG_1028IMG_1029

IMG_1399.jpg

And Crooners:

IMG_1031IMG_1032

Also Meridian Bay:

IMG_1038IMG_1039

I’ll tell you this table of Brighton jewelry called to me for the entire two weeks we were on board because I really love Brighton, but, I abstained and can you believe it, I made it through without purchasing one of these pretties. 🙂 IMG_1041

Here is the Casino:

IMG_1397IMG_1398

And I thought these were super pretty, these were part of the Fine Arts display that they set up and down throughout the week–I believe the final art auction was on this day–don’t quote me though on that one…haha…I don’t have one lick of wall space available for Art so if I’m totally honest, we didn’t pay too much attention (*although* I would love a Robert Kincaid one of these days…<sigh>…more dreams). 🙂

IMG_1477IMG_1476

We then headed back to our Stateroom and hung out in there and leisurely packed up what we needed to pack readying us for our transition to our next room the next morning.  Before we knew it it was time for us to head on down to the Bayou Cafe. I chose to change my outfit for this little outing:

IMG_8125

And here is a picture of the two of us…Chris hadn’t changed yet, he actually wore a dress shirt and slacks (he didn’t want to wear jeans into a Specialty dining venue—I think you could but, he wouldn’t–his preference of which I’m fine and dandy).

IMG_8128

IMG_1130IMG_1134IMG_1136.JPG

And here is the menu:

IMG_1478IMG_1480

Dinner was delicious…absolutely wonderful!! And this is what we had for dessert the “Buttermilk Bread Pudding with the Pistachio Caramel Sauce” <~~~ HELLO…SO good!!

IMG_1491

As we were sitting and enjoying our dinner, College Fjord was very quietly gliding by as we sat and gazed at its magnificent  glory out of our window seat.  Here are some shots we took while at dinner:

IMG_65111V4A12221V4A1229

And then we headed back to our Stateroom and Chris caught a couple more shots. Here was a pretty impressive glacier—BTW, all of the glaciers in College Fjord are named after US Ivy League Colleges. 🙂 Some of the names include: Amherst, Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Harvard, Smith, Vassar, and Yale. This is Harvard Glacier:

1V4A1195

And here it is cropped down a bit–it was a pretty hazy evening and we were I believe the Captain said 13 miles away.

1V4A1197.jpg

As you can kind of see by this picture, we were starting to lose the light so Chris and I spent the rest of the evening hanging out on our balcony and watching tv…we are a couple of old curmudgeons sometimes huh?! 😉 We laid our heads down on this our last night on our Northbound Voyage of the Glaciers cruise.  One of which, as all of the other Alaska cruises have done in the past, left an indelible imprint in our minds and hearts, filling our very souls with memories that we will hold tight to for the rest of our lives. The next morning, we’d awaken in Whittier, Alaska and we’d be ready and very able to start on a new adventure, our Southbound Voyage of the Glaciers cruise.  As I sit here and write this, I am again brought back to that sweet, contented feeling that I had as I shut my eyes knowing that we had a whole week left in which to drink in even more sights and sound of this my “Happy Place”!

Here is a sneak peek at the next day’s 26 Glaciers Cruise, I canNOT wait to share that awesome day with you (and wait until you get a look at our next week’s Stateroom)…;).

IMG_6873.jpg

***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 #10!

 

 

 

 

Alaska: Back to Back Voyage of the Glaciers Cruises: Episode #8 – NB – Glacier Bay National Park

It’s Glacier Bay day you say? Ohhhhhh ***h-e-l-l-o*** to my very favorite “Scenic Cruising” day! The feeling that I’d always gotten after visiting Glacier Bay National Park on each of the 4 previous times we’d been lucky enough to visit was one of complete and total satisfaction. The words that I have used to describe how this place made me feel are numerous and may sound a little gushy, but, pristine, gorgeous, breathtaking, soulful, perfect, and sweet describe just how I had felt when we had been there in the past.  I could sit here all day and tell you how I’ve felt about this place in the past, but, now, in this post, I will be showing you more than telling you about our day. Here was the sunrise that morning:

1V4A0615

Here is a video that Chris took as we were getting ready to sail into Glacier Bay:

 

1V4A06841V4A0692

Here is the Princess Patter for that day:

IMG_1426IMG_1427IMG_1428IMG_1429

I was up way early and dressed in anticipation of the day we were going to be having, this is the outfit that I started out the day in…

IMG_8096

See that cape?  I love that cape, but, that cape drove me crazy! It was pretty windy as we were sailing into Glacier Bay, and I had a camera in my hands pretty much constantly, and well, let’s just say that I was doing more pulling down and yanking around of that cape while cruising along.  It quickly found a spot on a hanger in the closet and I donned one of my new “Alaska” jackets, the purple one reversed to the navy blue side, here I am much more ready to have my hands at the ready and on my camera instead of wrestling with that lovely cape:

1V4A07571V4A0755

And here was Chris, standing pretty much where he stood for the entire journey:

IMG_6384

We had a lovely surprise that morning.  A great friend of ours had given us a gift of a “Balcony Breakfast” and we’d chosen to indulge on this morning.

IMG_8009.jpg

We had some good eats that morning, a Princess crew member came into our room and set the breakfast up inside of our room because it was a bit damp out on the balcony (AND just to say, it would have been damp if we’d had a covering over the balcony, the rain was coming in side-ways for a time not just dropping from above). ANYhoot, here is what our breakfast looked like that morning–We asked if we could switch out the Champagne for something else because we were not going to drink it–Unfortunately, according to that Princess crew member, that wasn’t an option.  Oh well…we also had hot tea, coffee, and juice to drink.

IMG_6399IMG_6401IMG_6407IMG_6411IMG_6412

YUM!! That was delicious!!!

Here came the Park Rangers, because Glacier Bay is a National Park, Rangers are brought on board so that they can commentate on and educate us about Glacier Bay (you can hear their commentary on the outer decks, in the Horizon Court, and through the stateroom tvs on channel 41).  They also hold a Junior Ranger program for the kids on board. They give “Ranger Talks” in the Theatre, anyway,  you can take a peek at the Patter above to see what all they do while with us.  Here are a few pictures of some of the information that they bring on board with them…you can purchase items as well.

1V4A0588

I walked around by myself for a little bit of time and saw that they set up their table of information on the upper deck of the inside pool area.

IMG_1379

IMG_1383IMG_1382IMG_1381IMG_1378IMG_1377IMG_1376IMG_1375IMG_1374

And while I was out and about being nosy, Chris was catching some gorgeous pictures as we were sailing into Glacier Bay…Like I said, I’m going to be showing you more than I tell you in this post. 🙂 Get ready for some gorgeous shots moving forward from here:

IMG_6417IMG_6425IMG_6402IMG_6397

We were starting to come up onto Lamplugh Glacier, first I’ll show you some pictures of this beautiful glacier and then I’ll put in a little video that I created while cruising up to it and while sailing passed it.

1V4A0800.JPG1V4A0805.JPG1V4A0807.JPG1V4A0813.JPG1V4A0823.JPG

And here is my video:

 

We saw some hanging glaciers as we cruised as well:

1V4A0853.JPG

I will admit that this day was not the sunniest day that we’d ever seen in Glacier Bay and it did drizzle on us pretty much the entire time we were in the Bay…But, y’all know what? It didn’t bother us one iota, trust me, *nothing* can ruin Glacier Bay Day…If someone did complain about the weather, and I over-heard them…well, if they looked my way, they’d see the disdain all over my face…get over it people! You are in Alaska, and you are in a place that not everyone gets the privilege to experience…so what, you’re a little wet…dry off and look past yourself and enjoy where you are and what you are seeing!

Anyway, I digress, we were now ever so quietly cruising up to the main attractions of the day. The Grand Pacific Glacier and Margerie Glacier. The Grand Pacific is nick-named the “dirty” glacier for obvious reasons (wait till you see the pictures that I will share with you from our Southbound voyage when I get to that Glacier Bay day, the Grand Pacific will look totally different):

1V4A0853.JPG

1V4A0855.JPG1V4A0856.JPG1V4A0869.JPG

Margerie Glacier sits to the left of the Grand Pacific, and the Captain will sit and allow one side of the ship to view it for 30 minutes and they he will pivot the ship and allow the other side to view it for the exact same amount of time, we were on the Starboard side of the ship, so we were 2nd in the queue to view.  When it was our turn…my oh my, it took my breath away just like it had done every time I’d seen it.  I will hush now and just add some pictures of the magnificent Margerie Glacier—Watch for the calving pictures, she really performed for us that day.  And then I have a video of me commentating that will morf into that gorgeous ice flow’s calving events that it was kind enough to share with us that day.  Here goes:

IMG_6468IMG_64321V4A09981V4A1003.JPG

1V4A09121V4A1007.jpg1V4A1019.JPG1V4A1029.JPG1V4A1073.JPG1V4A09351V4A09391V4A09421V4A09451V4A0955And here is my video of me commentating and giving some “Fun Facts” about these two amazing glaciers–And watch for the calving events at the end!

Wow, well now, that was something huh?!  Here is a picture that I caught as we were ever so slowing pulling away from the beautiful Margerie Glacier–As I mentioned in the video, I wasn’t too, too sad this time as I knew that we’d be back again the very next week…how lucky were we?!!

1V4A1080.JPG

Chris and I were pretty hungry by this point, so we skipped on off to the Horizon Court for a late lunch:

IMG_1395

IMG_1396

We walked around the ship for a little while, here is what the outdoor pool looked like on that day:

IMG_1388IMG_1386IMG_1389IMG_1390

We headed back to our stateroom just in time to see the boat coming back to pick up the Park Rangers, they disembarked when we got back out of Glacier Bay…bye bye girls, see y’all in a week!

1V4A1118

Right after we exited Glacier Bay the Naturalist started commentating from the Bridge, as with the Park Rangers, her voice could be heard on the outer decks, in the Horizon Court, and via the stateroom tv, channel 41.

IMG_1427.jpg

We chose to stand on our balcony for this wildlife spotting event.  Here is what we saw floating on by our ship…I was thrilled!!!

1V4A1130

Let’s try to zoom in on one of these little dudes:

1V4A1157

Would you look at that?!  It was Sea Otters!! They were SO cute, they floated by on their backs like they didn’t have a care in the world…and they looked at us like as if to say, “Are y’all crazy?”.  “*This* right here, where we are, is the LIFE!!”  😉 Of course, our bodies might not be quite as adept at handling the water temperatures as these little (that aren’t so little…they are about 5′ long!) tykes are! 🙂

And then as Gloeta was just finishing up with her commentary, we spotted a humpback blow and three little seals as well. I took this picture below…I was completely lucky to catch that whale blow…haha…and you can see the three seal heads bobbing in the background.

1V4A1173

I remember that evening, the rain had finally moved out and we were enjoying standing out on our balcony and drinking in the sights…Honestly, we had no desire to go to one of the shows, we’d much rather watch the show that was going on right outside. 🙂

1V4A11111V4A11101V4A1106

As our light started to fade, we caught one more glimpse of one more humpback whale that evening…

1V4A1185.jpg

And our day was done, again, this day in Glacier Bay did not disappoint. I was again amazing, humbled, and blown away by the beauty and grandeur of that place.  I was extremely happy that we’d be back once more before we returned home. I remember saying a prayer of thanks for that fact.  Again, when my head hit the pillow that night, I was just about as content as a girl could be.

The next day, we’d be cruising in College Fjord, here is a sneak peek:

1V4A1215.JPG

***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 #9!

 

Alaska Voyage of the Glaciers Back to Back Cruises Series: Episode #4 – Sea Day & More!

Chris and I had done 4 Alaska Southbound Voyage of the Glaciers cruises in previous years, so we were well versed in that particular itinerary.  So when I woke up on this our first full day aboard the Coral on this our first Northbound Voyage of the Glaciers cruise, I was excited for the *new* itinerary.  Today would be a “Sea Day”, but, as you’ll see, we kept ourselves quite busy.  Of course we were up super early because we were still on East Coast time…and this is what greeted us to say good morning.  The sunrises and sunsets on the water, not to mention in Alaska, are amazing!

IMG_6311

I was not going to be in a rush to do anything on this day, nor was I going to plan anything to do on this day.  It was nice to just putter through getting myself ready without having some place to be at a certain time…ahhhh, I was finally starting to relax! 🙂 This is the outfit I chose for this day:

IMG_8040

After I was up and dressed, we decided to just trip on down to the IC (International Cafe) to get a quick breakfast–and another cup of tea.  Chris had already been out and around the ship and gotten his first cup of coffee and had brought me back a cup of hot water with a tea bag–something he did for me every single morning on these cruises:

IMG_1060IMG_1061

Here is a picture of the coffee bar that is attached to the IC–OF course this is where Chris used his Coffee Card every day, and I would also go and get a specialty hot chocolate (YUM) that came “free” with my “Soda and More Package”:

IMG_1062

We had some fog move in after sunrise that morning…it was quite eerie and we heard the ship’s horn blowing at regular intervals for quite a while. Chris also caught some really neat pictures.  Here is a picture of a cruise ship that we dubbed “The Ghost Ship” that was following us:

1V4A9669

And then these beautiful creatures arrived…At this moment in time we didn’t know exactly what they were, but, later that day, I purchased the Alaska Cruise Companion book from one of the shops (I’ll show you a picture of that book in a bit), and in there local marine life is listed and we determined that these beauties were “White Sided Pacific Dolphins”.  Chris didn’t think that these pictures would turn but, they’ve become some of my very favorite ones that he captured on this trip.  They were having a blast and there were a tons of them—SO much fun to watch them frolic and play!

1V4A96511V4A96501V4A96491V4A9648

As the fog was lifting, a Pilot was brought on board — I’m not totally sure why on this day, but, usually they are brought on board to help the Captain navigate through waters in which the Pilot is extremely familiar.  Regardless, here is the Pilot boat approaching the Coral, this time it approached on the Starboard side of the ship:

IMG_10641V4A9672

1V4A9667

I then sat down to go through the Princess Patter to see what was going on throughout the day:

IMG_8619 2IMG_8620 2IMG_8621IMG_8622 2.jpg

And inside the Patter that day, there was a Shopping Spotlight flyer– I didn’t go to any of the jewelry events, but, I did hit up the Shops on board and the Holiday Store at Sea sale:

IMG_8624IMG_8623.jpg

On my way to do a bit of browsing and shopping I ran into two folks that I knew out of our Alaska Cruises on Princess Facebook Group…I’ll tell ya, I was thrilled to meet Janet and Phil!!! SUCH sweet and lovely people!!!

IMG_1121

I stood there and talked to them for quite a little while and then I tripped on over to the Atrium and to where the onboard shops and current sale was happening.  Here are some things that I purchased, first, I stopped into Calypso Cove…

IMG_1056.JPG

And picked myself up one of those “Alaska Companion Books” that I spoke about above:

IMG_1119

You’ll also find this map included inside this book.  It delineates the routes that Princess Alaska cruises take (the North and Southbound Voyage of the Glaciers cruises, the Seattle roundtrip cruises, & the San Francisco roundtrip cruises). It also includes Waypoints and shows you pictures of the wildlife one might see if they look outside at those particular times. I hung it up on our Staterooms walls and I cannot tell you how many times we referred to that map on our journey. 🙂

IMG_1096

This is the page in the book where we looked up those Pacific White Sided Dolphins:

img_8630.jpg

And then later that day we observed this Minke whale right off of our balcony. At first we thought that it was a Humpback whale, but we’ve seen many of those gorgeous HUGE creatures in the past and we knew it wasn’t big enough to be a Humpback, and our Alaska Cruise Companion book confirmed that we were right and clued us in to what it was:

1V4A9675

Okay, back to my little shopping foray. 😉 As most of you know, one of our daughters Christin is a Kindergarten teacher, and I am always on the look-out for books to purchase for her class, books that might just get those sweet young minds geared up to go to Alaska one day.  Here is one of the books that I purchased that day, also in Calypso Cove:

IMG_1069

I found a Coral Princess magnet, Christmas ornament, and shopping bag as well:

IMG_1071

IMG_1070

And then last but not least from Calypso Cove, I couldn’t resist “Stanley the Stowaway” bear, I grabbed up that cutie pie right away (Chris just rolled his eyes and grinned at me….lol).  Here he is:

IMG_1067

Then I zipped on across the beautiful Atrium to “Essence” and I purchased my Clinique makeup.  I always wait until I am on board a Princess ship to purchase my moisturizing lotion, yes, it *is* cheaper on board. And I bought an eye shadow pallet this time as well.IMG_1405.jpg

IMG_1072

The ship was a buzz of activity on this day, one time when I was walking through the Atrium, a couple of the onboard chefs were putting on a fruit carving event…I stopped and took a little video and watch them perform magic with all sorts of melons and fruits, talk about talented, I was blown away!! 🙂

 

 

IMG_1048

 

 

Here are the finished carvings up close:

 

 

Chris and I decided to do a load of laundry on this day as well.  There are laundromats on most Passengers decks, on the Coral, they are located toward the aft.  I always take my own Tide pods and Downey dryer sheets, if you want to purchase detergent and dryer sheets on board, it will cost $1.50 in “tokens” that you purchase with your cruise card out of a vending machine that is located in the laundromat.  In addition, you will need to purchase tokens to run the washers and dryers, each load will cost you $6, $3 to wash and $3 to dry.  The use of the iron and ironing boards is free.  Here are some pictures for you:

IMG_1019IMG_1014IMG_1013IMG_1012IMG_1008IMG_1007

I wanted to go and check out that Holiday at Sea sale, and can y’all believe it, I didn’t buy one thing?!! Go me! lol BUT, I did click off a few pictures of what they were offering for sale that day:

IMG_1115

 

 

Here is a picture of the Coral Princess’ Atrium, she is such a beautiful ship that is in great shape!

IMG_1028

I clicked off some more pictures as I made my way around the ship that day, here is just a hodgepodge of some of the shots I took:

That fog stayed with us a good part of the day:

IMG_1159.JPG

IMG_1092IMG_1091

 

 

 

 

IMG_1165IMG_1151

 

 

 

 

We stopped to listen to these fellows one time as we were walking through the Atrium:

 

 

And then later in the day, we saw these little birdies scooting across the water…We spent a ton of time out on our balcony…So calm, so serene, and just lovely.

1V4A9668

I know that we went to the Horizon Court for dinner that evening because again, we were pretty tuckered out from all of the traveling…and I didn’t click off one picture…go me! lol After we were finished eating, we came back to our Stateroom, watched a movie and crashed again…early. I have absolutely no complaints about our Sea Day. 🙂

Next up in Episode #5, I’ll tell you all about our first Port of call, Ketchikan, Alaska…a quirky, colorful, wonderful town! We’d be doing the Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s tour–again, this would be our 3rd time doing it. 🙂

1V4A9742

And here is a link to Episode #5!

 

***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 ❤

 

Voyage of the Glaciers-Juneau (Day 6)

Hi All,

I remember waking up on the morning that we pulled into Juneau (the State capital that is only reachable by plane or boat) with butterflies in my stomach because I was excited for our planned excursion.  We were going to be taking the Mendenhall Glacier and Whale Quest Tour.  Again, this was our 4th Voyage of the Glaciers cruise and yes, this would be our 4th time doing this very same excursion…*that’s* how much I love it.  So we disembarked the Coral Princess and found our motor coach for this day’s excursion–we had a lady bus driver who thought she was “all that and a bag of chips”…okay, okay, she was slightly entertaining…slightly. 😉 She could sing nicely though and she directed in a sing-along…okay, so you had to be there…haha. 😉

Yes, I love to see glaciers and on this excursion, our first stop was at the very pretty Mendenhall Glacier; there is also a lovely nature trail that you can follow that winds around a stream and shows you some of prettiest foliage in the State. My hubby and I always take a leisurely stroll on that trail first, there are signs along the way to tell you about the wildlife and salmon, etc…For this geeky girl, Heaven! 😉 🙂

IMG_1136 IMG_1142 (1)

DSCN0653

I believe this flower is called “Jacobs Ladder”:

IMG_1137 IMG_1138

And one year (2010), we got to see a Mama bear and her two cubs munching on a salmon…now *that* got my heart pumping. 🙂  IMG_1219

I took a video of this encounter too, here it is:

Mendenhall Glacier is a glacier about 12 miles long located in Mendenhall Valley, about 12 miles from downtown Juneau. It is one of two glaciers that can be seen from Juneau’s road system.  Mendenhall flows from the massive Juneau Ice Fields and is a retreating glacier.  If you’re interested in knowing more about Mendenhall Glacier and other glaciers in and around Juneau, click here.

IMG_1155

IMG_1151 IMG_1147 IMG_11451V4A2069

IMG_1154Check out Nugget Falls…My hubby took a quick video…It is pretty impressive!

Okie dokie, as always, we enjoyed our time at Mendenhall Glacier, but, it was now time to go to my favorite part of the excursion, whale watching! So back onto our motor coach we climbed and off we went taking the scenic route (because we were early and the whale watching catamaran wasn’t quite ready for us) with Ms “All that and a bag of chips” chattering the entire way. 😉  Again, she wasn’t *that* bad, but I think these motor coach drivers think that need to entertain you every second that you are on their buses when in reality, all you need to do is look out the window and you can be completely entertained by the breathtaking scenery in Alaska.  Regardless, we finally arrived at the dock and climbed aboard our boat and off we went…it didn’t take us long to find our first humpback whale–you are guaranteed to see whales on this excursion or you get $100 cash returned to you.

1V4A2179

OH wait, we also saw some steller sea lions, one in particular came right up to our catamaran, curious little dude:

IMG_1176

1V4A2096

This is a coastguard buoy and the steller sea lions are lounging on top if it sunning themselves.  They are too cute and they are quite entertaining to watch.  There is definitely some jockeying for position happening, but all in all they share the space well. 🙂

    IMG_1212 (1)

But, the stars of the show were the humpbacks, they are amazing!

1V4A2169 1V4A2167 1V4A2159 1V4A2141

One year we even got to witness Bubble Net Feeding <~~Great link from National Geographic…

IMG_1118

IMG_1089

This is a sign that they had hanging in the catamaran, it shows all of the humpback whales that routinely come back to this same body of water every year to feed and to raise their calfs.  The humpbacks split their time between Hawaii and Alaska,  calfs are born in the warmer waters of Hawaii and then mama, who hasn’t eaten since she left Alaska, and baby make the harrowing journey (about 2800 miles) back here to Alaska so that they can feed…amazing!

DSCN0657

Once again, we were not disappointed with this excursion, seeing those humpbacks had made my day, I was once again contented and reminded about just how small we are and how big our world is and how wondrous it can be.

We were almost finished with our cruise, day 6 (of the cruise, day 7 of our adventure) would find us in Ketchikan and on the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s Tour–A fantastic experience!

***Update***  I’ve now completed all of my installments in the Voyage of the Glaciers Series and have included links to the next post in line (so to speak) at the end of each posting.  So, here is a link to the next post and it covers our time in Ketchikan… 🙂

IMG_1285

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

~Arlynn

I’ve also written two other blog posts that go hand in hand with these blog entries.  Here is a link to my Alaska Cruise Wardrobe entry. And here is a link to my What’s In My Carry On, My Must Haves, & Packing Tips and Tricks entry.

Alaska – Voyage of the Glaciers – Days 1 & 2

Hi There,

My hubby and I love to cruise…especially to Alaska…and considering that that’s the only place that we’ve ever cruised, we’re experts…haha.  NOT really, I’m just messin’ with y’all.  But, we have cruised there 4 times and we’ve done the same exact cruise “The Voyage of the Glaciers (Southbound)” every single time.  I’m excited to share this journey with you all;  if any of you ever get the chance to go and experience Alaska, please don’t hesitate to do so, the grandeur and sheer beauty will be ensconced in your mind for the rest of your life.  (Update:  We’ve now cruised to Hawaii and I’ve written an entire Blog Series about that awesome cruise on the Star Princess, here is a link if you are interested).

I will admit that even though we were heading on a grand adventure, I was going to completely miss my pups.  We’re so lucky that one of our daughters lives close enough to us and she doesn’t mind coming to dog/house sit while we’re away…I’m eternally grateful to her for that.  Here I am saying goodbye to Samson:

IMG_8105

So, here we go, instead of jamming the entire cruise into one blog post, I will be splitting it up and adding one post per day of the cruise (with the exception of this one and my next one which will cover our two days of scenic cruising). 🙂

Here was our Itinerary:

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 5.05.19 PM

We always travel a day early because we learned the hard way that if your plane breaks down on the tarmac there is likely not another flight that will get you to Alaska in time to catch your cruise ship. <~~~ That is exactly what happened to us the very first time we booked this cruise, thankfully, Princess Cruises was awesome, and we were able to rebook that cruise for later that summer, but talk about disappointed…yep, that about covers how we felt on that fateful day .

So, the first day of our vacation was spent traveling to Anchorage, Alaska.

IMG_8147

If you are planning a trip to Alaska and if you happen to travel on a clear day, once you get into Alaska and are about an hour from landing be sure to look out your jet’s window and take a look at the breathtaking beauty that appears…just a sampling of what Alaska has to offer.

IMG_8145

Here is a little video I took from our jet’s window of these most awesome scenery:

I’m always amazed at the wildlife that resides *in* the Anchorage airport. 😉

 IMG_8171 IMG_8172 IMG_8169

IMG_8173

Let me first say that we always let Princess handle all of our transfers to and from the airport and we let them handle booking any hotel accommodations that are needed before and/or after the cruise. They also handle all baggage, once you retrieve it from the baggage claim at the airport and drop it with your awaiting Princess Representative, you don’t need to touch it again (other than to retrieve what you need out of it at the hotel because they deliver it to your room and then come and collect it the morning of the cruise and the next time you see it it is sitting outside your Stateroom on the ship).  They, of course, transferred us too, from the airport to the hotel and then from the hotel to the cruise ship.  It is a bit pricey but worth it for the peace of mind.  So upon landing in Anchorage, we found our Princess Rep and she directed us to the motor coach that would take us to our hotel for one night, the Hotel Captain Cook  which is located in downtown Anchorage.  It is a beautifully appointed hotel and we enjoyed our stay there.

IMG_8178IMG_8223

We had a wonderful night’s sleep in the hotel and the next morning we went out into Anchorage to do a little shopping.  To say that the streets were not bustling is an understatement, lol. 😉 It is a lovely city though, nice and clean, and the people are all so very pleasant. 🙂

IMG_8182 IMG_8184

We then caught our motor coach and began the trip to our cruise ship; this cruise starts in Whittier, Alaska which is a deep water port that can only accommodate one cruise ship at a time; the Alaska railroad also runs to Whittier (it was built during World War II and it became the way the Army entered Alaska). On our way to Whittier, we traveled along the Seward Highway right beside the Turnagain Arm.  It is a beautiful drive, absolutely beautiful!