Sunday, August 14, 2016

Cruise blues and other news~~~

We took a 7 day Alaska cruise out of Seattle aboard the Norwegian  cruise line's ship Jewel.  Our accommodations were perfect;  a mini-suite with a full balcony.  Daughter Steph took care of all the booking and what a good job she did.  We had tons of space and beautiful views.

Photo from our balcony ~ Ship leaving Seattle


The first two days were spent at sea and by the end of the second day as we pull into Ketchikan Howard had full blown gout in his right foot, making walking long distances very painful.  There is a lot of walking on a gigantic cruise ship not to mention the shore excursions we planned to do, but alas, it was not meant to be.  By the time we got to our first destination, Ketchikan, we were resolved to the fact we wouldn't be doing much more that sitting on our balcony and watching the incredible scenery drift by.  Plus we had mostly nasty weather, rain and fog for 6 of our 7 days.  The sun came out in Victoria, BC on our last day. Nevertheless, we enjoyed ourselves immensely, eating delicious cruise ship cuisine, and enjoying a trip of a lifetime.  Here's the ship's itinerary:

  1. Ketchikan, our first stop, has a population of just over 8,000 and is the fifth most populous city in the state of Alaska. Local economy is based on tourism and fishing, hence the title of salmon capital of the world.
  2. Our next stop is Juneau, Alaska's 3rd largest city by population.  Anchorage is first with just over 300,00.  The Aurora Borealis or Northern lights can be seen on clear nights from August through April, usually over Mt. Juneau.  There are lots of shore excursions including whale watching and trips to the Mendenhall Glacier.
  3. Skagway is home to the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and to both the White Pass Scenic Railway and Chilkoot Trails, two famous paths in and out of town.  
  4. After another day at sea we arrived in Victoria, BC.  We've been to Victoria many times and visited Bouchart Gardens, the Empress Hotel, and the beautiful Parliament Building. The downtown and marina areas make for a good walking tour..
  5. Next stop Seattle.
Along the way we saw ice bergs and glaciers, quaint towns and seaports. There was a lot of fog and rain but our balcony was covered and there were large sliding glass doors to enjoy the views. Sure we missed out on some good shore excursions, but we made the most out of our days, depending on Howard's comfort level. 
   
Marina in Ketchikan


Cool, foggy days

Glaciers
Waterfalls

We returned to the Elk's lodge in Port Townsend for a few more days, then decided to take the ferry and spend some time in Anacortes.  More on that later.  We'll be returning to Port Townsend to our "happy place" at the marina where we have a waterfront view, August 18-30.
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