Cruise report

I just went on Princess cruise lines Alaska inside passage.  Wow did we have a good time.  15 members of the CapnRehab clan spent 10 days of togetherness and managed to still like each other at the end!  (at least I think so, but then I always assume everyone likes me).

Basically, a cruise ship is a very wide floating skyscraper.  We were on deck 12, meals were on 14 and 7, and other members of the group had rooms on decks 8 & 9.  We used the stairs for the most part since waiting in line with the herd is not really something CapnRehab does very well.

2012-08-05 11.24.39 Princess Star First day of cruise

2012-08-05 11.24.39 Princess Star First day of cruise – Seattle

2012-08-11 19.45.56 Princess Star last day of cruise - Victoria, B.C.

2012-08-11 19.45.56 Princess Star last day of cruise – Victoria, B.C.

Our ship is actually the one on the left in the above photo. (no not the orange building)

The other basic fact is that a cruise ship is pretty much a floating buffet table.  They don’t put much topping on, but the pizza was pretty much fantastic.   In addition to the buffet, there is a sit down dinner every night with an unlimited menu.  Any entree you want, as many as you want.  I only got the true hang of this the last dinner when I ordered Lobster & Prawns, Baked Pheasant, and Rockfish entrees in addition to the bread basket, a Caesar salad, and two desserts.  I ate most of it too!  I still don’t like lobster though.  I’ve tried it many times, and just don’t care for the flavor or texture.  Prawns (aka really big shrimp) however, are always a favorite.  I only finished dinner with my stomach hurting from being too full once, but it wasn’t on that meal!

They said the typical weight added was 2 1/2 pounds per day for each passenger.  I’m happy to report that 2 1/2 was my total added for the week, and that I knocked it off within the first 2 days.  Mrs. CapnRehab and I did make it to the gym 3 times, so that probably helped.  Now I’m back to my usual 10 pounds overweight.

Although you might think of a cruise as relaxing, it didn’t seem that way to me.  We were always pulling into some port with lots of activities, or sailing on the ship with a movie to watch, board games to play, competitions to go to, or trying to catch up on sleep.  I may try a trip where the planned activity is to sit in a pool or on a beach.

I did see “The Hunger Games”, or most of it anyway.  It was up on deck in their “Movies under the Stars”, a huge TV out by the pool.  I didn’t catch all the dialog because we were in heavy fog and every few minutes the fog horn would blow drowning out every other sound.  The horn did it’s job I guess, because we didn’t run into anything. (That we noticed)  I was disappointed with the movie, it did not do the book justice at all.  They completely left out her motivations for her actions, which to me make all the difference.  If you just saw the movie, I recommend reading the book, WAY more interesting.

We started in Seattle and stopped in four cities and 1 fiord before returning to Seattle:

Ketchican – float plane ride & Totem Bight state park, sorry no pictures of totem poles

2012-08-07 08.25.52 Ketchican Float Plane Ride

2012-08-07 08.25.52 Ketchican Float Plane Ride

This flight by Misty Fjords Air & Outfitting was amazing.  I got a lot of video and a bunch of pictures.  The engine was noisy, but everyone was provided great headphones that totally cut out the sound.    The pilot gave a commentary and played some great music, starting with my favorite – Pink Floyd.

Tracy’s Arm Fiord – Sawyer Glacier

2012-08-08 07.52.36 Tracy's Arm Fiord & Sawyer Glacier

2012-08-08 07.52.36 Tracy’s Arm Fiord & Sawyer Glacier

We got up at 5:30 am to come down this spectacular fiord and at the end was the Sawyer Glacier.  Wow, very impressive.  Also very cold, did you know Alaska is cold?

Juneau – Whale watching & Mendenhall Glacier

2012-08-08 15.21.24 Great Nautical Photo

2012-08-08 15.21.24 Great Nautical Photo

Isn’t this a cool picture?  Wouldn’t it make a great puzzle?

2012-08-08 15.55.11 Killer whale pod attacking a sea lion

2012-08-08 15.55.11 Killer whale pod attacking a sea lion

That’s a killer whale tail after a jump.  A pod was teaching their young one how to hunt.  Mom, Dad & baby were going around and around jumping in unison.  This was the most amazing thing to see, so much so that the boat captain was taking photos saying she had never seen it before.  A naturalist on another boat said that it was the first time in 700 whale watching trips he had seen something like it.  I also heard that they let the sea lion go, it was just a “teaching moment”.   After the whales left we went looking for humpbacks, and found them too.  Whales seem to have this tendency to disappear under the water just as you take a picture.

2012-08-08 16.37.36 Humpback whale

2012-08-08 16.37.36 Humpback whale

Then we went to the Mendenall glacier

2012-08-08 18.57.24 Mendenhall Glacier

2012-08-08 18.57.24 Mendenhall Glacier

We saw the glacier and also saw a mother bear and her cubs feeding on salmon.  I got a video of her jumping after a fish, but she didn’t try very hard.  Probably because she had already caught so many on other days.  The video will have to wait for another day.

Skagway – rental car along same route as scenic railway and on to the Yukon.  That’s number two Rehab son on the right, Mrs. CapnRehab in the middle, and me on the left.

2012-08-09 12.15.00 Scenic trip to the Yukon

2012-08-09 12.15.00 Scenic trip to the Yukon

Victoria, B.C. – pub crawl

2012-08-11 20.47.25 Princess Star at night in Victoria, B.C.

2012-08-11 20.47.25 Princess Star at night in Victoria, B.C.

This is  a picture of the ship from the street in front of the third pub in the crawl.  I’m not sure if my camera is just bad at night photos (which it is), or if I was too drunk to hold it steady (which I was).  I’m proud to report that I was the last passenger on the boat, that I got an ovation from all the other passengers out on the decks and their balconies, and that the crew IMMEDIATELY raised the gangway as I stepped off it.  Wow, what a fun night!  I wish I knew the names of the pubs, but that first one was definitely the best.

I need to tell a little story about that first pub.  I was last off the bus (do you sense a trend here?) and as I walked into the pub, the other passengers were already sitting down at the bar tables.  4 little glasses of beer were in front of each of them.  Each glass had a different color beer in it, from a light yellow beer, an IPA (India Pale Ale), some forgettable brownish beer, and one very lovely dark beer.  (Wow, number four was good).

As I walked in over 40 people were sitting there, not drinking, with all this beer in front of them.  THEY WERE WAITING TO BE TOLD WHAT TO DO!!!!!  They looked like a bunch of cows in the pen, argh!  I hate that!!!

Well, nobody has to tell CapnRehab what to do with beer!  I walked in, sat down, waited about 15 seconds to get the lay of the land, and started drinking.  Funny, everyone else waiting a minute or two (to see if I would get in trouble?) and then the drinks, laughter, conversation and music began.  (And food)

I tasted from left to right.  Drank it, yuck – gave it away, drank it, drank it -LOVED it, ordered another one, ordered one for my second son and when the bill came realized I had left my wallet on the ship!  oops.  Oh, and by the way, left my ID there too.  So there I was in a pub in a foreign country with no ID and no money.  Fortunately my lil sis was with me and ponied up the money I had spent.  Fortunately too I was with an official group from the ship and there was no problem getting back on.  There was also a jazz band playing and we made them play through their break till we had to go.  Also tipped them and bought a couple of their CD’s.  (Of course not with my money!)  The other two pubs we went to were OK, but not as great, and I would have been just as happy staying at number one the entire night.  Wow, what a great time.

Seattle – disembark

Sad to go home.  Long jet flight back to Florida, and then 4 days of sleeping at lunch break till my body went back to Margaritaville time.  It hasn’t been till today that I’ve been awake enough to make a post.  If you’re thinking about going to Alaska, do it.  Hurry, before the glaciers melt.

Have fun!

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