THE ALASKA ADVENTURE 2007
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On May 19, 2007, we took the cruise of a lifetime. A group of about 15 from our dance class and circle of friends took a 7 day cruise on Princess Cruise Lines through the Inside Passage. Since it was out first cruise, we got a balcony room and it was a wonderful experience. Below are the pictures of our adventure. There's lots of scenery pictures that will start to look the same (maybe boring) so jump around and enjoy what you want to look at.
May 19, 2007 - Leaving from Seattle-First night at Sea - Flew to Seattle to board the Golden Princess. Left Seattle about 4 p.m. and headed to sea. Time to PARTY! The first night was a slightly rough night at sea with about 7 foot swells. The wind was blowing pretty hard and it was cold on the decks outside. You had to be careful opening doors because it would pull you right out. People were walking down the corridors from one side to the other. it was hard to walk in a straight line. The water in the pools on the top deck were sloshing water about 4 foot high. By the end of the evening, the pools were almost empty. Then we learned how to dance on a moving dance floor. Now that was an experience. We went to the 17th deck Night Club and could hardly dance, or was it the alcohol? It felt like the ship was moving. "They" say the ship moves more on the higher decks. The next morning, all the ship stores were sold out of dramamine and there were lots of sick people. Luckily we had brought our supply and had no problems.
May 20, 2007 - Second Day at Sea and First Formal Night - Suited up in tuxedos and beautiful dresses (I wore the tux) and danced and partied till the wee hours of the morning. There was a three hour time difference where we were, but we survived.
May 21, 2007 - The Inner Passage to Juneau - Scenery and Pictures of Juneau Alaska - Came into port in Juneau Alaska. We were too spontaneous to plan anything so we walked around and then went to the Mendenhall Glacier on the last cab of the day. We barely made it back in time to get back on the ship. Problem was the cab only help eight so Suzanne and Janet didn't get to go to the glacier. The pictures tell the story. It was incredible. That night was more of the same. Dancing, drinking.........Suzanne acting crazy.
May 22, 2007 - Skaguay (Skagway) and the White Pass Train Ride - Skaguay was another great stop. A beautiful old style town on the coast. The town is restored to the gold rush days style. Lots of shopping for the tourists. I believe all cities in Alaska are accessible only via boat or air. We shopped for a while and the took the White Pass train ride to the summit where it turned around and came back to Skaguay. The railroad winds around the mountains as it winds its way up the steep grade. It's a narrow gauge railroad with each train powered by two 1950's diesel locomotives. All the passenger cars have been restored to their original condition. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous. It takes about two hours to get to the top of the pass. The scenery changes from sea level with trees and mountains to several foot deep snow as elevation increases. The amazing thing about Alaska is it's all mountainous terrain at the coast. There's plenty to do in Skaguay like hiking, biking, rafting and others but being the train nut I am and tired from dancing, we chose the "less strenuous" activity of riding the train.
May 22, 2007 - Evening - After leaving Skaguay we had a night at sea and what a hoot it was. There was a 70's night at one of the clubs and they fooled unsuspecting victims into a Tina Turner contest. Three of our group "won" the honor of a contest for the best Tina Turner impersonation. And the best part, Steve Komorney was picked. Check out the pictures. All bets were that he would NOT dress up like Tina but he did and surprised us all. Check out the pictures. It was a great evening. After the 70's party, we made the usual rounds.
The northern lights were supposed to be visible late that night and we stayed up late but didn't get to see the lights. I don't think they were visible that night. The bizarre thing was I got up at 4 a.m. and took these pictures. it was still slightly light outside. It didn't get dark in Alaska until about 11:00 pm and it started to get light about 4-5 a.m. that time of year. It was pretty weird. The night sky was beautiful though.
May 23, 2007 - We woke up at 8:00 a.m. entering Tracys Arm Fjord. Absolutely spectacular scnery. Princess Cruise Lines takes this 1000 ft boat into the fjord hoping to make it all the way to the glacier. Depending on the time of year, the ship can get close enough to get a view of the glacier. Unfortunately, it was early in the season and there were too many icebergs to get close to the glacier. we had to turn the 1000 ft ship around in the fjord and it was impressive how the captain turned this ship around almost "on a dime". Using six bow thrusters, he turned it around while avoiding pretty good size icebergs. The amazing thing was as you go into the fjord, you can hear and feel the ship hitting the icebergs. Most of the ice was an absolutely beautiful blue color. They say it is blue because it reflects the color of the sky. The fjord is 1000-1500 feet deep with mountains rising straight out of the water. The glacier has cut the fjord over thousands of years. You can see the glacier movement scars on the rock faces in the pictures. The waterfalls, icebergs, wildlife, water and mountains made it an experience of a lifetime. They said the air there is the purest air in the world. Truly amazing.
May 23, 2007 to May 24, 2007 - More dancing at night. By then we got better at dancing on a moving dance floor. There were four or five places to dance. We made the rounds every night.
We arrived at Ketchikan on the 24th. It was a beautiful town. we wish we'd have had more time in Ketchikan. We saw quite a few Bald Eagles and the town was quite a place. The old section of town that had been restored with shops and attractions was the part that was popular with the gold miners and local men. Dolly's brothel (which we didn't go inside) was said to be the most popular place in the territory. There was a wooden walkway that the married men used as a back way into this area so they wouldn't be seen. There is a picture of the path. The town was spectacular.
May 25, 2007 - It took another day at sea to get to Victoria. That night at sea was the second formal night and was as much fun as the first formal night. Formal dining and dancing all night. We had a blast. When we got to Victoria, they only gave us four hours to disembark and get aback on the ship and we were too tired so we stayed on the ship. Here's also a few pictures we took of the whales we saw.
Formal Night Pictures - She's quite a beauty isn't she?
George and Nona's Pictures - Here's all of George and Nona's pictures. Nona Alaska? Sounds like a good name for a town in Alaska, doesn't it?
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