Warning: Long Post Ahead! I have been asked a lot about our cruise, and the wait is over. Please know this is just a small sampling of stories and pictures. I am trying to compile and video/picture montouge, but it is taking some time to sort through nearly 4 gigs of pics. I will definately post it when I get it done. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy a small sampling of Alaska!
We all flew into the Seattle Airport Friday, September 13 and stayed in a hotel that evening. We boarded the boat Saturday around 2:30pm. They immediately sent us up to the dining room to eat. Really, we didn't stop eating until we got off the boat the following Saturday. I think I gained all my weight back in about one week!
Before we could set sail, they had to do a safety drill. We all had to go to our cabins, grab our life jackets, and meet in our designated areas for further instructions. I sure got a kick out of everyone!
The second day was spent just sailing. Matt and I got acquainted with the ship and found all sorts of really cool things! There was a gift shop (with extremelly overpriced items), a cinema, giant chess board, and even a driving range! I think my favorite thing on the entire trip was the amazing, breathtaking views we had! The first night we were graced with an awe inspiring sunset (really, the only sunset on the entire cruise. There was a lot of fog!) Our first port was Ketchikan, Alaska. The girls went shopping, and the boys went Salmon fishing. (FYI the girls are my Grams, my Mom and myself. Boys=Matt, my Grampy, step-dad Chris, brother Drew). Between the four of them, they caught 9 salmon! The most any boat caught all day! We had Matt's salmon shipped home and I am definatly looking forward to a fish fry!
We docked next in Juneau, where Matt and I took a tour of Mendenhall, Glacier. Talk about beautiful scenery!! I remember telling Matt while we were here that I can't understand how anyone can see this beauty and not believe in Heavenly Father, or at least a creator. Everything is perfectly set in its place!
From Juneau we went to Skagway, which was one of the huge gold mining town during the 1800s. We took a train ride, and again, stunning scenery! Waterfalls coming right out of the mountains, leaves just beginning to turn, trees everywhere! Absolutely incredible! I cannot find words to desribe what I felt and the beauty we were able to partake of!
Our last port was Prince Rupert, Canada. My parents, Matt and I went whale watching, something I have wanted to do my entire life! Humpback whales came as close as 30 feet from our boat! It was an incredible experience!
And a little known fact about me is my obsession and love for lighthouses. (I picked this up from one of my roomies in college). I decided my dream is to someday live in and manage one. What a fantasy!
Our last day was spent at sea, meaning we sailed all day. We got off in Seattle and flew home. It was a once in a lifetime experience. Everyone on the ship was so friendly and nice. The service was impeccable! When you left your cabin in the morning you turned the sign outside to read, "Make up Cabin," and housecleaning staff came in to make your bed, give you fresh towels, and tidy up the place. Before going in for the evening you turned the sign to read "Turn down Cabin" and the same staff came in and put the next days itinerary out on the bed with little mints and occasionally a little towel animal! I felt like royalty! There are appoximately 1,000 staff that so professionally take care of all the guests. I am forever in debt to my grandparents for their kindness and generosity for taking us all on the cruise. It was the experience of a lifetime!!
Stay tuned for more! :)