We Have Arrived!

Yes siree, we have been to the Final Frontier and returned to tell the story! I've been posting pictures and patter about our recent Alaskan Cruise on the Ruby Princess that celebrated our Ruby Anniversary on Facebook, but thought I'd like to document our wonderful trip on my blog, too. 

To recap —

Wednesday found us heading to Raleigh as we were flying out of RDU on Thursday. We finally arrived in Seattle at 3:00 a.m. Pacific Time, after delays for gale force winds at our layover airport, San Francisco. Needless to say, we had zero energy for sightseeing the next day. Still we managed a taste of the town.

We loved flying first class. I found a great deal...and you only celebrate #40 once, right?

[Friday - early Sunday — See previous post]

Sunday embarkation —

OMG! I had no idea how huge the ship would be!

The terminal at Pier 91

They snapped this as we boarded. The blue dot I'm wearing at we were First Time Cruisers (please help if we appear lost!)

My blue card...don't go anywhere without it! (I lived in constant fear of dropping it overboard...;-)

It was such a glorious day...

...and we were having so much fun in the sun!

See you in a week, Seattle!

Monday — Mr. T and I were spending our first full day at sea...making our way up the Inside Passage from Seattle to Ketchikan. What started out as smooth sailing turned more and more choppy as the day and evening progressed...I was glad I'd gotten a prescription for scopolamine patches to help curb any nausea (I've used them before during vertigo episodes). We decided to stick with a low-key plan, foregoing the Formal Night in favor of enjoying a light supper and watching movies.

Splash-splash! Not so smooth sailing on the first day...

...but I found the Knitters and Natters Group!

Tuesday — "If it's Tuesday, it must have been Ketchikan, AK!" We were THRILLED to realize that, after a rough day & night at sea, we were coming into our first port. We had gained an hour in the early morning when we crossed into Alaska Time, so our Eastern Time zone body-clocks were thoroughly confused by now. No matter...we had a fun day ahead, taking the Ketchikan Duck Tour. Oh, and, of course I had plenty of time to find the local yarn shop...just in case you were wondering...😘

As we disembarked, we got our first view of our cabin and balcony on the back. Sweet!

Visitor Center...looking for a mailbox...

Our 'ship' for the day..."Miss Jillian"

We were excited to see a bald eagle, just a few minutes after our 'Duck' entered the water.

Goodbye, Ketchikan! It has turned out to be a beautiful day. Now, on toward Tracy Arm Fjord and then Juneau.

Wednesday — Had an early-early start this morning when we realized before dawn (4:13 a.m.!) that the ship had slowed significantly; looked out our balcony to see much calmer water, much less wake...with chunks of blue ice...? Heigh-dee ho! Today we saw our first glacier...in the Tracy Arm Fjord! And after that we visited the capitol of Alaska: it is said of Juneau that you can only arrive here in one of 3 ways: by boat (as we are); by plane; or by birth canal! (The only "road" goes just so far out of town and then you have to turn around.) 

[Now, if you are keeping count with me, you may realize that just leaves 4 states: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana for me; the Dakotas, Montana, and Idaho for Mr. T. Then we can check off ALL 50!!!]

It was cold, so cold...and the blue icebergs got larger and more numerous as we went deeper into the fjord. 

Panoramic of where we turned the ship around

Snap from the ship's info channel...turning to head to Juneau

They got this one as we disembarked at Juneau, where we visited the Rainforest Gardens, Mendenhall Glacier, and Mt. Roberts via the tram.

Welcome to the Rainforest Gardens!

Mr. T found a totem.

What a wonderful photo-op! Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls outside of Juneau, AK

High above Juneau harbor

Mr. T has the wing span of a Canada Goose!

Thursday — Day 4 finds us making our way to Skagway, population 828 (until the cruise ships arrive and swell the count by several thousand)...which, as it turns out, was not only the gateway to the Klondike Gold Rush, but is also known as The Garden City of Alaska. We docked at 6:00 a.m. (early), breakfasted quickly on the balcony, and disembarked among the first folks ashore: we had a train to catch to Canada! And then a suspension bridge to traverse. And a jewel of a garden to visit...and a tasty lunch to enjoy. Let's get this day rolling. All aboard!!

Checking our passports before we board...we're going to Canada!

Selfie on the train from Skagway!

Scenery out the window

Glacier lake in Fraser, BC, Canada: as soon as Canadian Customs cleared us, we got off the train and back on the bus...headed to the Suspension bridge. 

I think I can, I think I can...

Mr. T is right behind me.

Chilling out with new friends...the Mounties! Now, back to Skagway and lunch in Jewel Gardens.

Lilacs in bloom everywhere!

Chihuly's been here! It's been a perfect day...

...time to say goodbye to Skagway, in the most beautiful way possible...

Friday — This was an 'at sea' day...not necessarily the best part of the cruise, IMHO. You see, we learned that while we LOVED Alaska, taking excursions, and milling about on our own in port, we were not so enthused with the "at sea" days. Since we are neither big-time shoppers nor even small-time gamblers, the shops and casino aboard ship were lost on us...and we've already established that it was too cool for the pools...so there are relatively few "at sea" pictures. Sigh. Still, I started the day with the Knitters, made my way forward to a bracelet craft class, and enjoyed a fun drinks-dance contest. The weather was still cold and had turned rainy...so inside activities were in order. This was also the second Formal Night, which we wanted to enjoy.

It's Baked Alaska Night at the Botticelli! 

Here's our formal night picture, taken at the Botticelli Restaurant. 

Saturday — my Knitters Group met one last time at 9:00 a.m., as we wouldn't be docking until after 6:00 p.m. Then I had an appointment in the Lotus Spa for a mani-pedi. Surprisingly, while waiting for my manicurist, I met a couple who were from Winston-Salem...he even played golf on the course near our house! Small world, yes?!

When we finally docked in Victoria, BC, we thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Butchart Gardens. Oh, Canada! 

Then, we were back in Seattle for a day before heading cross-country to RDU...happy we went, happy to be home!

San Francisco, one more time...


I will soon add a link here to our Shutterfly Photo Book I'm working on. Stay tuned...


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