S: Alaska Cruise 2011
FC: Alaska Cruise July 2011
1: Norwegian Pearl | Date Port Activity Dep Arr 7/10/11 Seattle, WA Depart 4 pm 7/11/11 Cruise inside pass Cruise 7/12/11 Juneau, Alaska Arrive 2 pm 7/12/11 Juneau, Alaska Depart 10 pm 7/13/11 Skagway, Alaska Arrive 7 am 7/13/11 Skagway, Alaska Depart 815 pm 7/14/11 Cruise Glacier Bay Cruise 7/15/11 Ketchikan, Alaska Arrive 6 am 7/15/11 Ketchikan, Alaska Depart 130 pm 7/16/11 Victoria BC, Canada Arrive 6 pm 7/16/11 Victoria BC, Canada Depart 1159 pm 7/17/11 Seattle, WA Arrive 8 am
2: Our flight to Seattle was great. Each family was able to sit together and everyone was well behaved, including Aaliah. Comfort Inn seemed to have things down to a science except for getting the bags to the shuttle.
3: We stayed at a Comfort Inn & Suites in the SeaTac area. The next morning, we enjoyed fresh make it yourself belgian waffles and took a walk to 7-11 to buy water, wine & Lotto tickets. | Everyone enjoyed their breakfast meal for dinner, except Reed who had a steak. Who orders steak from IHOP???? | After a long day, we were all ready for a good meal from IHOP.
4: We all boarded a big tour bus and headed for the cruise ship.
5: On the way, to the ship, what should we see but Ryne's beloved white ball. From a distance, the ship didn't seem very big.
7: All aboard
8: After looking around a bit, we headed to eat at Summer Palace. It was our first taste of fine food and superior service.
10: We were totally amazed with how well the rooms were made to utilize space. We all lived and bathed totally comfortably in our cabins. As a surprise for Grandma's birthday, we had their room decorated. Later that night, we all sang and enjoyed the birthday cake.
11: The kids club was great for everyone but Rohm and Ryne. Rohm because she was too young and Ryne because he's a Mama's boy. Aaliah would've slept there if she could've. The girls will always remember the bubble gum bazooka zooka song they learned there.
12: Pier 66
14: Kayl and Ayre have this love hate relationship that transforms in a split second. We all had fun at the Sail Away party as we left Seattle. Kayl had a blast dancing her heart out and later everyone else joined her. A few days later, while we were watching TV in our room, we caught them on TV as they televised the Sail Away party.
15: We enjoyed exploring the ship and exploring our rooms and then we headed to the Indigo where we had our 1st of many dinners.
16: Our first night at Indigo. Everyone thought the salmon with capers dish was a hit. Not by choice, I almost had to eat 2 entrees of the salmon.
20: Washy, Washy, Happy, Happy, Smiley, Smiley........
22: Family Cupcake Decorating
24: J U N E A U
25: Mendenhall Glacier
28: It was nonstop all day, everyday. But sleep was a necessity for some. Juneau was a beautiful city and the biggest of all the Alaskan cities we visited. We had a fantastic bus driver that seemed like a genuinely nice guy. He joked to us about being left behind if we didn't return back to the bus on time at the glacier. The kids had a lot of fun hiking out to the waterfall, touching the freezing water and playing with the rocks. It was something else trying to push Ryne in the stroller through all the sand. Boy did we have to hike it back quickly so we didn't miss the bus and become one of the bus driver's funny stories. We wished we had more time at the glacier. We headed back to town and had a little time to walk around town. We spent most of our time looking for a recommended native Alaskan gift shop which turned out to be a dud. All that really mattered at that point was that we had our kettle corn since we were all starving. No one wanted to buy food since we were waiting for our free Garden Cafe buffet. Before heading back to the boat, we took the Mt. Roberts tramway. It was a sight to remember. And the stamp incident was even more to remember.
29: Mount Roberts Tramway
32: S K A G W A Y
34: Skagway was the 2nd port. It was an early docking and thus an extremely expensive nap on the train ride for many. We headed straight to the White Pass train ride which was a long, beautiful, scenic train ride which probably accounts for about a quarter of the 5,000 pictures that we cumulatively took. After that, we took a stroll through the extremely small town. Thanks to Uncle Wade who found some coupons in the Skagway newspaper, we got some free things and discounts on our omiyages. Good thing we made some PB&J's that morning at the Garden Cafe because surely we did not want to ruin our streak of eating on the ship. Not that that stopped the girls from trying to make a meal out of the salmon samples at the store. We headed back to the ship so the kids (and Reed and Vail) could take a much needed nap. Dad, Doreen, Wade (my travel husband who loves to shop), and I headed back to town. We took a nice walk down the whole street. We all even had a chance to take a picture with a totem pole (much better than paying a big fee for a whole excursion of totem poles). Low and behold, we found a wine store! 2 bottles of wine were bought, one which I held on to and the other Wade. Lucky for me, we found out the true reason they send our bags through security cameras when you reenter the ship. It's not a metal detector looking for dangerous things, it's an alcohol detector! At my expense of looking like an alcoholic, we outsmarted them and they were able to enjoy one of the bottles on board. All worth it.......makes it memorable! | Skagway | White Pass | NCL Pearl
41: G L A C I E R B A Y
43: Breathtaking Views | The views at Glacier Bay were breathtaking! We weren't lucky enough to see a whole lot of wildlife but that didn't take away from the feeling of serenity. Most of the morning, the little ones were at the Kids Club so we enjoyed the views from Dad and Doreen's balcony. The air we breathed felt so clean, pure and crisp. For a moment, we experienced peace and tranquility. It was a feeling unlike any other.
46: K E T C H I K A N
47: We arrived in Ketchikan at a very early hour. Grandpa and Grandma woke up early and headed to the historic Creek Street where the salmon return to spawn, but unfortunately not a single fish was spotted. At least we have pictures since no one else made it there. We all eventually met up after we did some shopping and strolled through the town. We found a great chocolate store called Ketchi Candies and everyone got a treat of their choice. Poor Aaliah never got to taste hers since Uncle Reed accidentally ate hers thinking it was for him. We all enjoyed the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show while we shared 8 bags of popcorn.
53: After a short day in Ketchikan, we were in for a long cruise down to Victoria. We decided to have some room service that day for lunch and ordered it up..... hot dogs, grilled cheese, chicken caesar and desserts. Then the unthinkable happened. All 3 kids had to go doo-doo! So Jace and Ryne took it upon themselves and improvised by using a plastic bin and found a solution.
54: Happy 1st Anniversary | No luck at Bingo! At least it was fun with the old folks.
55: Kids Club talent show was fun. The best act were the volunteers who sang Baby after the show.
56: V I C T O R I A
57: Victoria was a memorable port. We didn't have anything planned except to eat dinner but somehow, we barely even fit that in. All the girls except for Jace took a short bus ride in to town. We all met up and did some souvenir shopping. Grandma and Grandpa gave the kids some Canadian money to spend which they were thrilled about. Ryne knew right off the bat that he wanted the double decker bus. Jace found an oil and water drip thing which everyone loves to watch. Kayl found a Huskies pencil bag which she makes good use of. Ayre found a hummingbird pendant which Rohm helped her buy. We found a street magician that the girls were mesmerized by. Even Aaliah had to take her eyes off of texting for a while to watch. If only they could concentrate that hard on things like homework! After walking around in circles, we finally decided on a place to eat. Unfortunately, our food took as long as it did for us to figure out where to eat. The kids didn't even get to eat their desserts that were included in their meals because we realized that we had only 10 minutes to catch the last bus back to the ship. We all got an unexpected workout while we ran to the bus stop. Grandpa was smart and decided to hop on the bus with the girls. Reed insisted that he could keep up with the marathon runner. With a full stomach, Wade and Reed sprinted back through town and to the ship. Thank goodness we made it back for "All aboard!".
62: Our final day had come. No one wanted to leave all the pampering, food and service of the boat. We all had never experienced service like that! Even the kids couldn't imagine not going to the Kids Club again. However one week of nonstop eating was all our bodies could take. We had the time of our lives on this cruise and before we disembarked, we were thinking of where and when we could go next. We cherished all the time we were able to spend together and we will treasure all the memories we made. | "Families fill our lives with happiness and laughter leaving us memories to treasure today and forever after."
63: S E A T T L E
65: Pike Place Market
66: After we left the ship, we spent the day in Seattle. We took a very informative and enjoyable bus tour of Seattle. Among the many sites we saw were, Mercer Island, town of Magnolia, Klondike Goldrush National Historical Park, Seahawks and Safeco Stadiums, University of Washington and Pike Place Market. While at Pike's we had clam chowder, Beecher's grilled cheese sandwiches and Mac and cheese. It was unanimous....the grilled cheese was the best we've ever had. It must've been greasy because Wade and Reed both dropped part of theirs. We couldn't resist the Ranier cherries which were in season so we munched on them fresh off the tables. Although it wasn't anyones first time at Pike's we all enjoyed the atmosphere and just being in such a beautiful city. Then it was time to bid a farewell to Vail, Wade, Ayre, Rohm and Aaliah. It was sad to part after having so much fun together. They needed to get back for Brent's wedding and we continued our vacation in Seattle. Things didn't go quite as planned for Vail since Aaliah threw up all over herself during the plane ride. It's incidents like these that make our trips even more memorable. Thank you Dad and Doreen for an awesome and unforgettable trip!
67: The fabulous food
68: EAT | EAT | EAT | EAT | EAT
69: EAT | EAT | EAT | EAT | EAT | EAT
72: OUR PERSONAL PHOTOGRAPHER | The various towel animals by the creative steward Manny. Grandpa, Grandma and Aaliah looked forward to their surprise every night when they returned to their room.