Friday, September 12, 2008
Qwest Stadium home of the Seattle Seahawks
8/3/08 Like I said after our first time in Seattle we all said, "We hate Seattle". Well, we did the after cruise trip and we changed our minds. I really wanted to get to the Space Needle and we did. We got to go up to the top. I was thrilled. We also visted the dreaded Market, but it was earlier in the day and it wasn't so crowded. We saw much more on this brief trip.
Our cruise has ended. We went took a late flight on 8/4 to Newark and then drove home to PA. So officially it ended on 8/5 at 2:00 AM. Boy were we exhausted !!!
This trip was my life long dream and though the dream was fulfilled, I was left a bit empty. I think I would have rather just fly to Alaska and spend more time there. But all we did I enjoyed and overall even the "group" has become a fond memory instead of a thorn in my side. Funny how time changes our perceptions.
Monday, August 25, 2008
8/2 Last stop on our cruise. We didn't get there until 6:00PM and we had to take a shuttle bus to get into the city. By the time we finished dinner the line of people waiting for the bus was long. It took 3 buses before we could get on. So we didn't have much time.
Victoria is a beautiful city from what we saw. There was a celebration at the Capital Building, we were told it was honoring Firefighters.
The city had that European feel to it and truly is a place I would like to go back and see more.
Next stop, Seattle.
8/1 We arrived in Ketchikan at 6:00 AM and had only until 1:00 PM to check this place out. We book the Lumberjack show and to be honest I thought it was going to be hokey. Boy, was I wrong !! It was so much fun.
But first we walked around town doing some shopping and checking out Totem Poles, which Ketchikan is noted for. It was a cool town with nice little shops.
Then onto the hunky lumberjacks. OK ladies, I am not a young woman, but man were they cute !! Hey, I may be old but I can still look.....LOL The things they do are hard !! The put on such a fun show for us. We laughed and were amazed. The divided the audience into USA and Canada (we were Canada) and we rooted for our teams. The audience really got into all this and added to the fun. My friend Gloria jumped into a picture I was trying to get of the guys. Doesn't she look happy ??
Back to the ship for Victoria, BC the next evening.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
7/31 we woke up in Glacier Bay. No getting off the ship here. I guess my expectations we so high about this place because everyone I talked to that had been on a cruise to Alaska said, "you have to go to Glacier Bay". I should have asked if the whole bay was full of glaciers. There are 3 big ones there. After seeing glaciers two days before I wasn't as happy as I would have been if I didn't see any.
But we did stop about a mile away from Marjerie Glacier, which was the first one I saw that had a big ice wall. The others sloped back. It was cool hearing the roaring thunder before a chunk of ice fell off. They told us this glacier is a mile long. Pretty cool to see.
7/30 we arrived in Sgagway. Our shore exersions were to go to the Davidson Glacier and on the White Pass Train. Once again the weather was beautiful.
We took a fast Catamaran out to Glacier Point. We almost didn't get to go because there was a problem with the boat, but after waiting about 1/2 hour we were on our way. We landed on an Alaska Beach. The people are very proud of their beaches, but they aren't what you imagine on any coast shore. They are very narrow, not very wide and full of rocks. Yes, some of the rocks are small, but I wouldn't want to sun bath on any of them without a chair !!
From there we took a school bus up an old logging road to get to a spot where we put our gear on. This consisted of rubber boots, life vest and a extra jacket. They also had rain slickers, but we didn't need them.
We treaked through 1/4 mile of forrest before coming to a "beach". We went in a canoe that held 10 people and our guide, Ransom. He was very knowledgeable of the glacier and off we went rowing. Now for those who don't know me, which is everyone reading this, I don't row. I don't do any type of outdoorsy stuff. But I did notice the motor on the back of the canoe, so I went along with the thought that we had to row out to the glacier. We got really close and spent some time snapping photo's.
When we got back to the beach we picked wild strawberries to eat. Overall I really enjoyed this trip.
The train ride was relaxing, but not to thrilling. It was cool that we stopped on the Canadian side and the tour guide talked about the gold rush. I didn't know the gold was really in Canada, not Alaska. It was amazing to see what those people went through to get to the "promise" of gold. It seems only the rich got richer during this time.
Downtown Sgagway is about 4 blocks long. We did a little shopping then back to the ship exhausted.
Monday, August 18, 2008
7/29 we arrived in Juneau. The weather was perfect, no rain!! We lucked out because we were told it had rained for 3 weeks straight.
Once we got off the ship we boarded a bus to Mendenhall Glacier. After that we went on a Whale Watching trip. We have a good time on both trips, but the whale watching was our favorite. They guarantee that you will see whales. At first we saw some Humpbacks that were only skimming the water. Disappointment set in, but it was long after that those whales put on a wonderful show for us.
7/27 we left Seattle on the Norwegian Pearl. Looking forward to a wonderful adventure to Alaska. The first day on the ship we found out that maybe the cruise wasn't going to be as enjoyable as we thought. It all started when we went to the main dining room, which is free in the Freestyle cruising that Norwegian advertises.
Well, we learned quickly that there was a "group" of 800 people that had reserved the dining room for the whole cruise !! There was another free dining room, but getting in there was like breaking into Fort Knox !! Now we were mad. So off to the Buffet we headed (I don't like buffets).....and to our surprise most of the "group" was up there and there were no tables. Finally we found a table and ate. Not happy about any of this.
The next morning we managed to get into the main dining room for breakfast. The Assistant Matre'D told us that we could reserve the other main diningroom for dinner, but you could only reserve one day in advance (all cruise lines do that). So we got a reservation for that night. The service in that diningroom let a lot to be desired, but the staff was friendly.
We also had some rough seas that first day. That didn't bother us very much, but the "group" would continue to be a thorn in our sides throughout most of the cruise.
The show that night wasn't very good. We only had one other cruise to compare with and that cruise had Vegas style shows every night. No so on Norwegian. There was only one show we enjoyed. Not much in the way of dancing on this cruise. The one disco with a dance floor didn't have very good music and the dance floor was filled with children the only night I went. To be fair, it may not have been like that the other nights.
Norwegian loves to give lectures !! Lecture after lecture and most were held in the main lobby area so it could be heard almost in all the public places. That was very annoying.
Guess you figured out we weren't to happy with Norwegian. I don't blame the "group" for any of this, but Norwegian didn't handle it very well considering the rest of the passengers was the largest group on the ship.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
The date 7/25/08, my husband and I leave our home in PA and drive to Shearton Hotel at Newark Liberty Airport, NJ. We arrive around 8:30PM EDT. We leave the hotel at 6:00 AM to go to airport. We wait, and wait and wait..... Apparently we got to the airport to early. We meet our friends Gloria and Al at the gate....they didn't arrive to early. Board plane and go to Seattle Airport. Check into a Radisson Hotel around 11:00am PDT. Leave the hotel and take a Metro bus to downtown Seattle.......all sorts of mayheim and madness ensues by this time.
"You have to go to the Market" "Oh the Market is so much fun" "Make sure you see them throwing fish" (trust me I wanted to throw more than fish by the time this "adventure" was over). I told my husband and friends I just need a little something to eat to hold me over (I get very cranky when I am hungry). Also, because they all know I have MS I cannot sprint down 4 blocks to anywhere, so why were they sprinting ??
We get to the market and there must have been a million people there !! I kid you not !! A million !!! (OK I'm exaggerating). But there were a lot of people there. No place to sit, my head almost exploded trying to see if I could find something to eat. Anyway, by now we are all mad at each other, or should I say they were mad at me. I see a restaurant upstairs, we climb the steps....and it is a Bolivian restaurant (sorry, don't eat Bolivian). So down we go and I spot an alley with a pizza sign. I bolt in there...they follow, we get food (not very good food), finish our tour of the Market in 5 minutes and take the Metro bus back to the hotel saying that we HATE Seattle !!!
As you will see our opinion changed after the cruise.