Sunday, September 21, 2014

Alaskan Cruise on NCL

IMG_20140910_141119_139sP1230255s(Jan) Our cruise to Alaska on Norwegian Cruise Line was everything we wanted and more! Going north from Vancouver, Canada our Ports of call were Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and cruising Glacier Bay NP & Hubbard Glacier before docking in Whittier. Going south we cruised to the Hubbard Glacier, ported at Icy Strait Point and Juneau, P9090207s (2)scruised up the Tracy Arm Fjord to the Sawyer Glacier and then ported at Skagway and Ketchikan before docking back in Vancouver.

Casual cruising on NCL was a definite hit for our friends Betty & Duane and us. There were several ‘formal or not’ evening meals which P9140392we did dress up for but for the most part it was jeans & khakis and knit tops. We had two main dining rooms to choose from for eating as well as a main buffet area and several bars and delis.

Our inside cabin on Deck 4 worked well since we were rarely there except to sleep.P9120257 Our cabin steward extraordinaire, Kadek, was friendly and took care of us well. Our usual meeting places were on Deck 11 in the Sports Bar for breakfast and lunch, Deck 5’s Main Dining Rooms for dinner, the Observation Lounge on Deck 12 for sight seeing or the Atrium on Decks 6 & 7 for Pegs & Jokers playing. One Sunday at noon we went to a Murder Mystery Dinner in one of the Specialty restaurants, Charlie’s Steakhouse. We all had a character to play and then had to figure out who the Murderer was. It was our friend Betty’s character! Along with going to the daily evening’s entertainment in the theatre, we really enjoyed the Crew’s Sing-a-long & Balloon drop in the Atrium and the Crew’s Welcome Back Party after our Skagway port call.

P9130348s (1)sBetty & Jan at the Welcome Party. P9130332s (1)sThe Atrium P9120292The Observation Lounge
P9040065s (3)sP9130348s (4)sOn the way north our stop in Juneau, Alaska’s Capitol, gave us an opportunity to take a City Tour and visit the Mendenhall Glacier (left) with M&M Tours. The picture from Douglas Island (right) shows Juneau in the back ground. We stopped again in Juneau on the way south. It was a shorter port call but the weather was much nicer and gave us the opportunity to stroll some of the streets in Juneau, tasting salmon samples & t-shirt shopping.

Ketchikan & Skagway were shopping and walking stops for us both days.  We did visit a good Museum in Skagway about the Gold Rush and WWII days in Alaska and stopped for a beer at the Red Onion, a notorious turn of the century brothel that is now a tavern.P1230417s

Our northern port of Whittier marked the half way point for our cruise.  Friends Jack & Robin, whom we met last summer while in Alaska, met us at the cruise ship and we were off along the beautiful Turnagain Arm to Anchorage.  We had lunch at the Great Harvest Bread Company, saw some amazing Native Alaskan Art and Artifacts and did a driving tour of Anchorage. Back near Whittier we drove through the 2.25 mile long Anderson Memorial Tunnel. The one way tunnel is used by both car and train traffic. IMG_20140911_132901_749s (6)sWhat a fun day for all of us.

We also made a stop on the way south at a new Cruise ship port at Icy Point Strait near Hoonah. It was much more of a natural rather than commercial setting IMG_20140910_140121_239and is owed by the Alaskan Natives. The Hoonah Packing Plant has been turned into a Museum & shops. This stop also featured the world’s longest Zip-Line.  We chose not to do it but sure enjoyed watching. Here we are (left) enjoying a great walking trial along the strait before tendering back to our ship.

Next up; the beautiful natural beauty we experienced along the way.

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