To get to our cruiseship we booked a tour from Anchorage to Whittier Alaska. This tour would make scenic stops along the road and allow us to visit an animal preserve. We stopped at the wood carving shop of a world renowned wood carver. All the artwork is amazingly impressive and expensive to buy. We stopped at many beautiful scenic sites but the highlight of the day happened at the animal reserve.
Our Alaskan | Itinerary
The following is our experience and may not be representative of your experience.
Hopefully you have a better one!
As I mentioned earlier, Lucy’s parents were also on the cruise and we learned that they were also taking this tour to the cruise ship. We knew they weren’t on the same van but we thought they might be at the preserve. We spent about an hour at the reserve and got to see brown bears, cubs, reindeer’s, moose, and bald eagles.
When we were walking to the bear’s though, the oddest thing happened. I got cold and headed back to the van for my sweater. Lucy went ahead and as she walked to the bears she noticed her dad walking towards her with a big smile on his face. She thought maybe he saw her but then thought he was probably just happy about seeing some bears. She put her head down and he managed to walk by her without noticing her. I saw this happen in front of me and I was heading the same way so I decided, if he didn’t notice his daughter he’s not going to notice me. He passed me by and I thought, “mission accomplished” but Lucy could see him turn around and rub his head. He kept going about another three paces before turning around and shaking his head. He kept going another two paces before turning around one last time and began walking towards me. He scanned the area and finally noticed Lucy. Lucy said it was like watching someone’s brain short circuit. For a moment he thought we were just in Alaska before the wheels in head turned and he realized we were on the cruise too. He was really excited but we had him promise not to tell Lucy’s mom so we can surprise her on the ship.
We made it to our ship, boarded and settled in. Eventually we coordinated with Lucy’s dad and went to their cabin and knocked on the door. She was completely shocked to see Lucy and her dad was happy that he was able to keep the secret.
Alaska / The Cruise Ship
This was the first time on a Princess Line ship and the ship was older and the clientele was also older but that is not an issue for me as I am an old man at heart. We had anytime dining instead of assigned seating since we wanted to eat with Lucy’s family. The wait staff was sub-par and only two nights did we get good waiters. We were fortunate the first night to sit with interesting people but the other two times we sat with strangers it was a complete bore. We met this nice older couple from New York the first night and it was nice to run into them throughout the trip on the ship and at the stops.
The food was decent with the seafood being excellent and the meat sub-par. The lido deck was outstanding and usually offered better food than the dinning rooms. My favorite meal had to be the sauted shrimp and garlic bread but the Lido deck was great all around. I ended up getting a beverage package, so I enjoyed many non alcoholic smoothies throughout the trip. The ship had a sundae bar that was also delicious but had the world’s worst milkshakes.
The only complaint about the ship is that most of the food options other than the lido deck closed early (9-10pm). The only other thing about this ship is that cruise ships tend to take a ton of pictures and I tend to not take them seriously and because of that, I started getting recognized on the ship as the funny picture guy. Not so funny though was the faint smell of poop in some areas of the ship which was not pleasant but avoidable. As always, I treat the ship like a hotel so with that grading scale the ship did a wonderful job. I managed to lounge in the hot tub almost everyday and I had an overpriced massage on the ship that was excellently relaxing.