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Old 09-10-2010, 10:27 PM   #1
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Default Alaska cruise log-vacation

we booked a cruise to alaska on norwegian cruise lines...

here's my cruise log

enjoy
SP


Day 1 Cruise
Well..we got to the ship terminal with the throngs of thousands …and I mean thousands!!.and worked our way thru the never ending line like the rides in Disneyland..
Once aboard we felt like rats in a maze…this thing is huge…
We finally found our room and got in with no problems…our bags came later…once aboard we watched the activities going on for the dock crew to untie us from the warf…we had to do our mandatory abandon ship drills which for us was to sit in the fwd theater and watch all the boat crew demonstrate how to put on a pfd….
While that was happening…our boat pulled away from dock and we got underway…it was so smooth we didn’t even notice it moving….
We walked the boat a few times…found a tappenyacki restaurant where they cook the foods right at your table…..really cool…we were waited on by the staff like no other restaurant I’ve ever been too…
This is truly an international crew…phillipines..singapore…australia…you name it….they had them here working…..
One thing I’m amazed at is that the Pilipino crew are very polite, always smiling and extremely willing to help you….some of the other crews are kinda overwhelmed or just not good at it..but over we’re having a good time……

First nite was kinda rough..the waters were rushing water from the boat movement is nice….the room is nice …we just past by Cambell river and the channel is rough…winds are high thru the channel ..so far the scenery is awesome….


Day 2
We will be cruising all day …so today we’ll be hitting a few seminars and relaxing around the boat….. we’re supposed to be in Ketchikan tomorrow morning at 0700..should be interesting…after breakfast we walked the entire boat to see what was here..1000ft long and something like 8 or 10 decks ….although it’s a huge boat….there isn’t a lot going on…unless you like bingo…or sales seminars for shopping for diamonds…we attended that one and it was just plain aweful….one sales pitch for diamonds after another…..so…we went to the ships store and bought 2 sweatshirts…

We finally broke out from behind Vancouver island …the Canadian pilot just got on to it’s launch boat which came along side for pickup… ..we’re free to navigate to Ketchikan…we have left Queen Charlotte passage and now in open ocean…..speed has been between 16-19 knts the whole way….

While sitting up in the buffet restaurant we were eating and saw an orca heading for a fishing boat….huge dorsal on it’s back ….the whole place got all excited and all….these people acted like it was never seen in the history of the world….guess it’s hard for me to get excited about seeing one when I’m on deck 12 looking down at it …….

Did some more walking and finally found out how to post on the internet….boy…talk about expensive…..75 cents a minute….250 min. =$100 and 100 min =$50…sure are proud of their internet connection….
But they did give us a couple of coupons for 20 min for 7.50…man…now I know how they make their money…..nickel and dime you to death……we got sucked into buying a souvenir cup for 50 bucks each…x2…now all our sodas are free….well…I gotta drink a ton of soda’s to make this pay for itself….what with bottled water being 3 buck each..the cup seemed like a good deal….

Right now we’re taking a break from the boat and all it’s occupants…..it’s insane when at sea….everyone trying to get to the next bingo session or restaurant or shopping sale…..
However the scenery is breathtaking….just incredible……

After a nice nap, we went for lunch…had a decent lunch albeit the service sucked in this one café…after doing some shopping on board we stopped by the casino where marsha won 50 bucks…….I don’t gamble at all and I watched some guy loose badly at the craps tables……it was fun to watch since he lost big time at the poker table too….not a happy camper….but after that we went to the smorgasbord for desert and back to our cabin…

Later we got word from the announcing service that we’re down to one engine and will be into ketchican an hr and a half later…..they are attempting to make the repairs as soon as they can…probably will be back up to full speed later this evening…..
In the mean time we’re making about 10 kts ….


Day 3
We had to slow down early this morning for the pilot to bring us into Ketchikan, after words the captain started to increase speed and I looked into the bow camera and noticed a blow…basically a big puff of air and water …well..it turned out that it was a humpback whale!!...believe it or not the whale came right down the stbd side of the boat and dove right under our balcony.!!..when it dove it let out this hump back version of calling us “ASSHOLE!!!” for almost running it over…it basically vocalized twice and swam off…then in the distance it dove and showed us the tail…big beautiful animal..glad we didn’t run it over…
We made Ketchikan late this morning due to bad vibration to the stbd prop according to the captain.. once on shore it was a madhouse…there were 4 cruise ships in town at the same time and all the stores were open at once..we got thru all the tourist stuff, and went to a side street where there was this jewelry store….I’m kinda into watches and found an English watch with swiss movements made partially with carbon fiber and stainless steel…good to 200 mtrs depth…so..if I ever drown in 200 mtrs of water, my watch will still work….man it’s cool…500 bucks for 200 cuz it’s end of the boating season…so everything in town was 50% or more off….
We got so worn out from shopping that we came back to the boat early and took a nap….then went to dinner at one of the nicer places on the boat…man..you just can’t match some of the service we got today…

We left Ketchikan this evening and we’re on our way to on to an ice flow early in the morning and finally to Juneau a couple hrs later…since we’re running at reduced speed, we’ll be late into port and will be anchored out in the bay….after Juneau and another city, Skagway …we’ll be heading nonstop all the way back to seattle at 17 kts rather than 25 kts….so..after the last 2 cities and the ice flow, we’ll be doing some serious relaxing….

I’m not to sure about this cruising stuff …since I’m usually in control of the boat…but the room is nice and some of the service is outstanding…
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:29 PM   #2
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Day 4 :
We had a nice dinner last nite and went to bed fairly early …capt announced that since he’s running on reduced speed due to vibrations in the stbd prop, he’d forego Mendenhall Glacier due to the tight maneuvering and currents that leads to the glacier…the capt. did say we were heading in to Endicott glacier…a bit straighter for him and he did take us all the way to the glacier…we watched 2 calving events…which was really spectacular……as we approached Endicott Glacier capt Lars came on over the IC system and said in all the yrs of over 100 trips he’s made to Endicott, this is the first time we’ve had clear skies and beautiful weather….right now the temps in the 50’s with clear skies..

the fjords are almost straight up and down walls of rocks……with about a thousand feet of water below the boat…absolutely breath taking…..we’re heading back out now after about a hr and a half heading slowly into the glacier and the pilot turned the boat around…it looks like we can almost touch the walls of the rocks….the pilot was expert at turning 1000 ft of boat around and heading out…while turning around…we ran back to our stateroom and had the Glacier right off our balcony!...how cool is that???..
chunks of ice all over the fjord…as we move further back out the ice gets fewer and fewer…but the ones up close are the size of buses and trucks…small ones litter the area…but the big ones are monsters….

Next stop is Juneau ..the state capital…we’ll have something like 7hrs to take in the town…..this part of the trip was worth it…incredible blue skies, incredible ice flows and smooth waters…..truly spectacular scenery…

So far we’ve taken 100’s of photo’s of our trip..just spectacular views up here in Alaska…I’d love to do Endicott in our boat..but we need to make some mod’s before we do…like water maker, bigger fuel tanks or at least go with diesels…

But that’s already been denied by the admirable…

Back on the trip…it’s really amazing to be able to sleep while on the ship and have the window open…about as good as it gets without having some huge boat of my own!!..


After the tour de Endicott arm glacier, we steamed north to Juneau….

during the cruise north I noticed that we were making good time, and the capt came over the IC System and told us while we were at Ketchikan, they had sent a diver over the side to check on the stbd prop…they did find some scratches on the prop but no damage..so the vibration was caused by a log or tree or something but was now gone…so during the run up to Juneau he had tested the engines and drives and made full steam…so…we were cruising at our normal speed of 22-23 kts….made it to Juneau by our normal time but the boat had to anchor out…this is where the fun began…they had no way except to shuttle everyone to town from the boat in barges for no better word…now…remember this is an international crew mostly Philippine….so..this was like downtown manilla with all the Gitnies running around the town playing bumper cars…we were supposed to be off the boat and into town by maybe 3pm…our call time ended up at about 4:30pm…since we’re getting underway at 10pm..last boat should be at 9:30pm…..
So..we headed to town in Juneau and what a blast…..once we got there the first thing I wanted to hit was the red dog saloon!!...oh my god you have got to hit this first off…the place has sawdust all over the floors…the entertainment is from an old guy that plays piano and harasses everyone that comes into the bar….there are crazy things all over the bar walls…grizzly bear on the wall..black bear climbing up a pole after what looks like a pair of pants and boots that end at the ceiling….500 lbs halibut stuff and mounted to the wall….pictures from about anything and everything Juneau and Alaska….the place is hoping and singing the entire time we were there…if you EVER come to Juneau…you have to this saloon….
Then of course everything in town was 50% off…..so..we got a mess of shirts…sweat shirts…fleece jackets…I mean a reversible jacket for 10 bucks…insane cuz it’s the end of the cruise season…..so they are trying to get rid of inventory….made out with a new pocket knife for 3.00 bucks…after eating and spending all my money to the tune of under a hundred bucks for all kinds of stuff…we headed back to the boat….
Now it’s time to crash in a bit…next stop is Skagway….we should be there in the morning….

Oh yeah..the capt told us that our schedule is now back on normal schedule and we’ll be stopping at Prince Rupert….then it’s steaming all the way back to Seattle…..


Day 5 Skagway
We arrived at Skagway this morning after steaming all nite long…arrival was at 0500..so we continued in bed for about an hr or so….had breakfast delivered too the room…had a shower and got dressed…really took our time since we wanted to avoid the crowds…a lot of people had plans for the train that takes them up to white pass railway..a narrow gauge train that travels 40 mi…helicopter tours …bus tours..etc…we didn’t want to get caught up with all the touron things, so we got to the town of Skagway and walked around ..did some shopping …since I bought myself a watch…Marsha got a black onyx and diamond ring…this is the time to go cruising cuz they have all this inventory ..according to one sales person ..this yr was lean and not everyone was buying even though they came thru town….so…the jewelry stores were trying to dump inventory before closing after the last boat..which happens in a few weeks……we had got a few wind breakers and fleece jackets…some tee shirts…a hat…and another bag to carry them all in..amazingly cheap…50% off at this point..in Juneau a lot of stuff was as high as 70% off….so..20 bucks for a fleece jacket only cost us 10 bucks…or 8 bucks…heck..when can you get a 12 buck hat for a buck??...or a 500 dollar watch for 200???...

So…we had lunch in the sweet tooth café …service was good and food was really good……we had a great time in Skagway….it started raining and we considered it like seattle rain..drizzle and cold…but the views here in Skagway are incredible…surrounded by huge mtns…right down to the water line….this is truly a fjord town……
We’re supposed to get underway for prince Rupert at about 4:30pm and we have about 485 nautical miles…so…we’ll be steaming at full speed pretty much tonite and all day tomorrow….

Skagway would be great to see via road or by our own boat..this is a gorgeous town and water way….
I took some pictures but this just doesn’t do it justice…..

On a funny note…up here they concider a bayliner, a “luxury fishing vessel”….gotta love it….

We had dinner at the Aqua restaurant onboard the ship….pretty decent foods..service was above average..
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I live in my own little world....but it's okay-they know me here!!!

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Old 09-10-2010, 10:29 PM   #3
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Day 6 At sea

Today was steam from Skagway since last nite..we’re supposed to be at Prince Rupert BC at 4pm….so today was lounge around …we slept in till about 0730 and took our time getting showers and resting…went to lunch at the cafeteria which is located up on deck 12….food’s edible but nothing great…. Of course it seemed like everyone had the same idea…the boat is too small for 3000 people with walkers and wheel chairs running all over the place…

Today they are having some sort of watch sale going…10 bucks…mostly crap watches..so..I didn’t even look at them…tomorrow will probably be a big last ditch sale day….the boat will have everything on sale since this is the last cruise to Alaska for Norwegian star …..she will head south to the Caribbean cruising season….I’d like to get one of those omega watches down in the ships store for a hundred bucks..but that’s not likely…

We mainly steamed out into the pacific ocean most of the way south…which caused some passengers to loose their stomachs….they were offering sea sickness bags every place public….Marsha and I, being boaters think this is light …
We came back to the cabin and Marsha is reading her sony ebook…I’m napping…speed of the boat has slowed considerably since we are only about 24 mi out and still have 2 hrs before docking time…..weather is sorta cloudy but not bad…no big winds….sea’s now that we’re in protected waters is calm with some slight wind chop….

There were hump back whales reported on the port side….naturally I was in the shower when the Capt. reported this item and to give an update…….oh well..

One thing Marsha and I have noticed is, there isn’t a lot of wildlife up here at this time…usually we see eagles and peregrines, hawks…seals, porpoises and all kinds of killer whales and other animals…this trip we saw one or two killer whales ….then a pod of humpback whales…and that’s been about it…no eagles…no hawks…heck..we see more animals at home than we have up here…..guess they are all migrating south for the tanning season or something…

Finally arrived at 4pm…we decided to wait for the crowd to get off the boat…good thing we did…the town of Prince Rupert is small…we walked it in a few minutes…we can say to anyone if they ask “what did you do in Prince Rupert??.....we went to safeway and got a soda, some bottled water and some pretzels…
We actually came back after about 2 hrs…there just wasn’t anything there…it’s a fishing town…has a sea terminal….and incredibly gorgeous bay….the mtns around the bay are green and beautiful….picturesque is a good term here…but there’s just nothing to do or see in the town….I would imagine that if the terminal wasn’t here…or the grain company…this town would fold up and blow away….
We’re ready to head home….tonite at 10pm we’ll undock and be underway all day tomorrow and finally arrive back at Seattle at 0700 hrs….we should be home by noon Saturday morning….I hope…good thing since we miss our kids and home…11 days on a boat with people you don’t know or care to know is a bit long….next time we’ll just take our boat where we want to go..see what we want to see and relax when we want too and have the kids with us……

Hope to sleep well tonite…..marsha seems to have caught a cold …..hope it’s not a tough one…


Day 7 at sea Still

We left Prince Rupert last nite at 10 pm and although we’d walked the town..we’re ready to go home…what we’ve noticed is this cruise is one giant jewelry store and sale….bingo is a big deal….and they try to hawk art work paintings every single day…although I’d love to have an omega watch…I’m not really interested in paying the price they are asking for them in the ships store….so…we just walk by there and drool a bit…some nice stuff down there but way out of my budget….

This is our race south to Seattle…we are steaming outside Vancouver island in the pacific…surprisingly it’s pretty smooth…we’re running at about 20 kts and the water is pretty flat…we haven’t seen water this flat all season in our boat..so..it’s amazing to be in a thousand foot long boat and the water is flat….

We arrive tomorrow in seattle at 0700 but we have to slow down at port angeles to pick up the Seattle pilot….he will take the boat the rest of the way into port…of course we’ll be tying up as we wake up..then it’s disembarkation…customs..and get the car too us so we can get back home…boy….we’re sure looking fwd to getting home….cruise ship sailing is fun..once…..we’re not into the drink till your stooped or eat yourself silly …watch shows on stage….we’re more the type to go to a place and spend a few days there on our own boat and enjoy the peace and quiet….not get stuff shuved down our throats everytime we walk out of our stateroom…..this was interesting…but not our cup of tea …..
.
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Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
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2008 Bayliner 340 - "Wild Whim"
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I live in my own little world....but it's okay-they know me here!!!

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Anyone that sez "Size doesn't matter" has never owned a boat!
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Old 09-11-2010, 12:41 AM   #4
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Wow! .75 a minute for internet access! I was just grousing about $10/day before hooking up for the first time in a week. We're sitting in Fisherman's Bay off of Lopez Island. Great report, Steve, but I would love to see some pics, for sure.

We're going to hang out here for a day or so, and then I have hundreds of pictures to sort thru before writing an in-depth trip report.

I'm with you on the Omega watch. I wouldn't mind finding one on a deal, but other than that, No.

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Old 09-11-2010, 05:15 PM   #5
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Day 8
finally made it home...the boat was at Port Angeles last nite at about 11pm, and the ship slowed down to almost 5kts ..I think at sometime about midnite we got the pilot onboard and then we started steaming slowly back into Seattle...what would take us a few hrs on our boat took us only all friggin night...we got docked at about 0600 this morning...got thru the walk off line and then finally thru customs..was at home by 9am..
now we're trying to get laundry started...then got an awesome greeting from the kids..our 2 shelties were just insane that we were home...kodi about licked me to death....I'll post some photo's in a bit...we're pretty tired ..didn't sleep much last nite..kinda excited to get off the boat and home....
one lonnnnnnnng vacation but fun a times......
thanks for reading my post....hope you enjoyed it..

SP
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Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
------------------------
SSN683 Association member
Par Excellence
------------------------------
2008 Bayliner 340 - "Wild Whim"
--------------------------------------
I live in my own little world....but it's okay-they know me here!!!

Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.
Tap-Rack-Bang

Anyone that sez "Size doesn't matter" has never owned a boat!
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:27 PM   #6
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very detailled trip story..........it's amazing that you saw a whale so near to you........dont tell me that you did'nt asked the captain to steer the boat for just one minute....

good to read that you and your wife had a marvelous time on board.......but now get back to work on this forum.......

greatz, ed
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