We were very lucky with our check in. From start to finish, I think it took 30 – 45 minutes and only cause our check in guy was kind of slow. The lines got insane shortly after we went through and then the computers went down. Some people in our group got into line around 1:30pm and didn’t set foot on board until well after 4pm.
We found our way to our stateroom easily enough and it wasn’t quite was I was expecting. It was much more. Everyone kept telling me the rooms were so tiny, that we would have no room but I found it perfect for us! The only real “complaint” I had was the shower. It was ITTY BITTY but functional so it’s not like we went without.
I was really concerned that we had over packed but found out we had it just about right. There were some things we didn’t end up needing but we didn’t realize that until we pulled into port. All week before, the weather was looking like it would be cold and rainy so we brought some ponchos and rain wear. Turns out the weather was BEAUTIFUL!
Our first stop was in Juneau and there were only wispy clouds in the sky, it was in the high 60’s, little wind and lots of sun. It was just a beautiful day to be out and about. We had booked an excursion to do the glacier rapids tour but turns out there had been so much rain and so much snow fall that they had to cancel it due to the rapids becoming too dangerous. So instead, we went on a whale watching tour.
Truth be told, while I am sure we would have had an awesome time on the rapids, I am glad things turned out they way they did. We got to see so many whales! Mostly their backs and flukes but then a whale breached the water THREE times!
Right in front of us! It had to have been the most majestic sight I have ever seen! There were a TON of sea lions and we got to see a couple bulls getting irritated with each other.
We saw a bunch of bald eagles, some fairly close! The most amusing thing was the tour guide telling us to look up into the trees and look for golf balls. Those were actually the bald eagle heads but it was a perfect way to seek them out since everything was so green and the white stood out dramatically. Once we figured out what to look for, they were EVERYWHERE. It was really awesome.
That night was the first formal night on the ship and let me tell you, the food was phenomenal! I’d always heard but that tasting is believing! Everything was so good; from the starters to the entrees to the desserts. Oh my goodness, so tasty! I was really concerned with undoing all the hard work I have done over the past few months in regards to my weight but I ended up gaining three pounds so all in all, I think I did ok. But our first formal night was certainly one to remember.
The next day we were in Skagway, another beautiful piece of civilization nestled amoungst the majestic mountains. This was my favorite part of the trip. We, along with a family of 4, were driven up to the top of the mountain and given a bicycle. We got to ride down the 4,000 ft from summit to sea and it was just one of those moments in life I will never forget. Watching the snow give way to soil, soil give way to saplings, saplings give way to trees and finally riding into town, it was just so exhilarating! If that wasn’t enough, we even managed to pass a bear! He was along side the road, scratching at the earth when we zoomed by him but it was really awesome to be so close! I didn’t take a picture because we were on bikes and I could see myself trying to manage that, take a picture and not ride off the mountain or worse, fall in front of the bear. So you will just have to believe me when I say I saw a bear!
After leaving Skagway, we hit Tracy Arm/Endicott fjords and got to see some pretty impressive sights! I loved the low lying clouds in this pic. It is probably one of my faves but you can already see some of the chunks of ice floating in the water.
Of course, the small treasures left in our rooms were some of the highlights for the evening. First there was the elephant, then the crab and on the last night, the lobster. So incredibly cute! And I even managed to get an instruction sheet on how to make them at home. That would be a really neat think to do for anyone staying overnight, just to give them a chuckle.
Once we passed through Alaska, we were at sea for 2 days, headed for Victoria, British Columbia.
I’ll talk about that trip in a later post. 😉