I have just returned from a 7-day cruise to Alaska, and since I have been asked how it was, I decided to write a journal about it
FRIDAY, JUNE 29th:
We leave our hometown in NY and travel to Seattle, where the rest of the family going will meet us, our cruise departs the next day. We wake at 3 in the morning for our 6 am flight, finishing the packing and whatnot. 2 propeller planes take us to Minneapolis, where the 3 hour flight to Seattle will begin. even though our flights started at 6 in the morning, we arrive at two in the afternoon, a three our time difference the cause. In short, we spent eleven ours travelling cross country.
SATURDAY, JUNE 30th:
Cruise departs at 4 pm. My grandmother discovers that she forgot her passport at home in Denver. A family friend express mails it to Jeuno, where my grandmother will fly to pick it up. Until then, she is not allowed on the ship, and we will reunite in two days time. A feast awaited us on the ship, and we gorged ourselves, Roman-style. Awesome service and food, but unfortunately, all wait staff have thick accents, so it is a little tricky to understand them, and vice versa for them, I'm sure
. I tried mussels for the first time and was pleasently surprised. They look gross, though.
SUNDAY, JULY 1st:
A day at sea. I usually get motion sick, but I had prescription medication and didn't feel a thing. I went up to play Wii sports with a bunch of guys, all of whom I beat. When I returned, my mom and brother told me that they had seen a whale surface just after I left. A picture of a dorsal fin was on my camera, and I was very jealous of them seeing it.
MONDAY, JULY 2nd:
Until 1 pm, we are at sea, but this time, with gorgeous scenery. Mountains soar above us and reflect in the smooth water. Small pods of Dalls porpoises greet us, and the occasional eagle, as well. At one we dock in Jeuno, where, for once, is quite sunny and pretty. My grandmother comes aboard and immediately begins eating. I love my grandma. My brother, dad and I all go whale watching. We see lots of humpback whales, and bald eagles. We also see some Stellars Sea Lions out on a bouey. The tour guide told us that he hated sunny skies, and was more used to and happier with steely gray skies. We all thought he was bonkers. I also had the following conversation with him:
Me: Do you ever see other kinds of whales besides humpbacks?
Him: Yes, we sometimes see Orcas, but their territory is 250 miles of beach. We also see Minke whales sometimes, but the orcas usually turn up and eat them.
As we returned to the harbor to get off the boat, I see something in the water. It looked like a dog for a moment (there were some dogs there) but I realized it was a seal about five feet away!! Unfortunately, it swam away too quickly to get a decent photo of it. We hiked to Mendinhall Glacier, a beautiful place to see. We returned to the ship, and my brother, a cousin and I went into town to look at the sights.
TUESDAY, JULY 3rd:
We enter Glacier Bay National Park at about seven, AST. (Alaska standard time) At first it is cloudy, but the skies clear up into the later portion of the day. Our ship goes very slowly, so we can all see the lovely sights and such. It was beautiful and a bit chilly. A guide from the Coastguard had come aboard, and was giving us a tour of the entire bay as we sailed through it, a great experience and very informing. My brother gets the great idea to stand outside in bathing suits to get our picture taken next to a large chunk of ice in our bathing suits. Imagine, if you will, standing in a 32 degree (or less) icebox. A pretty icebox. A pretty, WINDY, icebox. In a swim suit. It's not exactly warm. But it was a lot of fun! I cought my first glimpse of a Harbour seal swimming around. This one I did get photos of! They are really so cute!
Later in the day, we were told that we were passing by a great spot to watch for seals and sea lions. I took the opportunity, and stood in the horrible winds and was pelted with sleet. (I wasn't in my bathing suit at the time) I did see, however, a sea otter a few sea lions, and one other creature. As I was standing there, I look up at a loud noise, similar to a very. large. exhale. There was a whale about 100 feet away. It came up a few more times, and then dove far under water. A really cool sight to see!
WEDNESDAY, JULY 4th:
My least favorite day. Me, my brother and my dad went sea kayaking. They were 2 person kayaks, and I'm okay at the sport, but we didn't see anything too exciting besides a few bald eagles, but I had been instructed to not take my camera, even though you could, and was dissapointed. Also, waking up at six in the morning isn't very fun on a vacation. We got back to the ship eventually, and my cousins came in a few minutes later, boasting that they had seen orcas, humpback whales, a grey whale, and grizzly bears. I was so mad that I didn't take their excursion, and continue to hate the fact that I could've gone with them in a heartbeat to go see the wildlife I so very badly wanted to see. To try and make it up to me, my dad took me to see the Sitka 4th of July parade, which did little to raise my spirits. A seven minute half-assed parade in a gloomy town where they didn't even throw any candy to you isn't exactly a pick me up. My mom finally told me that she would buy tickets for orca watching in Victoria, our last stop. My dad and I went to get information about the tour, but decided not to get the tickets, because they only saw the whales about half of the time. Meanwhile, we only have three nights left. I have a funny feeling I won't see any orcas, and I was right.
THURSDAY, JULY 5th:
Ketchikan. My grandma booked us all to go see a lumberjack show. It was surprisingly funny! We had a lot of time to spend afterward, so my brother and I (and cousin) went ashore to the local shops. Lots of jewlery stores, and salmon stores (it was the salmon capitol of the world) and we got a few cans of smoked salmon. DELICIOUS!!! I wanted to stay there longer, but no dice. At dinner, I tried escargot for the first time (snails, cooked in garlic butter) a huge acheivement for me because I have a weird phobia of snails, worms, and slugs. So imagine your greatest fear on a plate in front of you, it doesn't look at all appetizing, and eating it. All of it. It was surprisingly good, and once you get over the fact that you are literally eating your fear, it tastes pretty damn good.
FRIDAY, JULY 6th:
I was looking forward to sleeping in at this point, getting up twice in a row at 6 isn't nice. NOPE. My dad came in and woke me up, saying that they were seeing a lot of spouting out in the ocean. I got dressed, got my camera and humongo lens, and went up to the breakfast buffet to watch. We saw a humpback whale, Dalls porpoises, and Pacific white sided dolphins. At lunch, we also saw a humpback, nearly a mile away, breaching and fin slapping the water. Whales are adorable, facinating creatures! At about six oclock, I went with my cousins to go on a tour of Victoria. Tons of fun, and I got to feed a seal! They are adorable. I want one as a pet.
SATURDAY, JULY 7th:
We have to get off of the cruise. A sad moment, and we think of stowing away to stay on the ship. Alas, we didn't. We did, however go to the flight museum with some other family. Very fun. At lunch, we had the following discussion:
Family member who I barely know: "Hey! Let's go fly in my airplane!"
Us: "Wait, what."
So we went and flew in the 2 seater airplane. Beautiful day for flying in Seattle! Oh, yeah, that's right, I FLEW THE FRICKEN PLANE. Yeah. Lots of fun! We drove down to Olympia where we were staying afterward.
SUNDAY, JULY 8th:
We went down to Mt. Saint Helens! It was steaming when we got there! So pretty!!
MONDAY, JULY 9th:
Went to a wildlife park where we saw some interesting creatures, most of which were sleeping. Afterwards we drove back to Seattle and ate at a fancy restaurant. I had raw oysters (meh) calamari (yum) crab cake (yum) and bread with crab spread (yum). For the Entre, I got half a king crab. In case you don't know, this is what a king crab looks like: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia…
LOOK AT THE SPINES. It hurt to pull apart, but it was so delicious. I would do it again in a heartbeat! Huge, tasty seafood. Mmmmm.... Of course, I pulled apart myself, and after I was done, I saw other people having their waiters pull it apart for them. Wusses.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 11th (we didn't do anything tuesday):
We flew back home. Sadness abundant. I took the longest flight I've ever had from Seattle to PA. FIVE HOURS. NO. NOT AGAIN. Okay, so maybe it wasn't that bad. But I don't want to do it again for at least a week.
THURSDAY, JULY 12th:
I woke up at eleven, due to time difference. Ate two slices of toast with nutella for brunch and started writing this thing. I hope you're happy. Tomorrow I start work at the zoo, and Saturday at the zoo is an ice cream thing. come from 5-8 pm if you can! I will be there doing...stuff.
Until next time, peeps!