Cruising from Whittier, Alaska to Vancouver, Canada
18.05.2006 - 27.05.2006
Alaska, a place I had dreamed about and never thought I would be able to see.
I was looking at prices, and yes, they were expensive for an Aussie, then I found Alaskan cruises, these were quite reasonably priced.
Now, a Cruise had never appealed to us, but when I looked at the intinerary, I saw we were in port often and the rest of the time was in beautiful locations like Glacier Bay and in the Fjords, where we saw whales, otters, sea birds and more!
Our mind was made up, it was time to choose the cruise-line that suited!
THE DIAMOND PRINCESS
We chose the Diamond Princess, a huge Cruise-liner, Built in 2005, so only 1 year old. On the day we sailed, this ship was completely full, which meant there were 2,670 passengers + the crew of 1,100, a total of 3,770 people, wow! We counted 18 decks, 13 of them were for the passengers.
We arrived at Whittier early and saw this HUGE SHIP sitting in port, its size was amazing!
Next it was time to board, and how easy that was.
A look at our Cabin, very nice! Then we decided to explore while not many people were on-board. As we had never been on a ship before, we were gob-smacked with what we saw.
Beautifully decorated, this Ship had everything, including a wedding chapel for those passenger's wanting to be married at sea by the Ship's Captain.
It was like a floating piece of "paradise!'
Once everybody was onboard, then we all attended the compulsory drill just incase something went wrong and we needed to embark in a lifeboat in a hurry! The instruction's were easy to follow, so we were all prepared for a wonderful 7 day cruise from Whittier, Alaska to Vancouver, Canada.
A large choice of Restaurant's with plenty of delicious food to choose, there was not complaints here. We had 5 course meals, the equivalent of a 5 star restaurant meal and buffets with an excellent selection of good, tasty food, no wonder I had put on weight after this cruise!
No trouble with seating, always somewhere, or you could have a set seating time.
Don't worry if you eat too much, there is always the Gym to work it off!
The Princess Theater, the main showroom, where we went most nights to enjoy Broadway and Las Vegas style productions, top notch entertainment, all included in the price. The cruise director was fantastic, he was funny and entertaining, and I think you would be hard to please if you didn't like him.
Every day, there is plenty to see and do, really, nobody should be bored. On the days at sea, when we were tired of being on deck looking at the beautiful scenery, we watched Ice carving, Vegetable carving and I went to a shopping show and won a free Alaskan Tee shirt.
We met and talked to lots of wonderful people, all travellers, so we had a lot in common. We found out about nice places for future travels.
We spent a lot of our time on Deck, watching the wildlife, Whales, Otters, Porpoise's, Sea Eagles and other Birds. I was up early for the stunning sunrise, and I didn't forget to see the sunsets either!
On this huge ship we were gliding in College Fjord and there was hardly a ripple in the water and the most stunning reflections!
I hear people say [mainly ones that haven't been].........
It is crowded, all those people................How untrue, we were only crowded for half hour once, and that was when we were all at the bow of the ship waiting for a glacier to calve.
DAYS IN PORT
Sometimes you are in port and just walk off, other times the ship was located out in the ocean and we caught a tender into port, either way it is quick and easy getting off and on. People leave at different times and would you believe, some people don't leave the ship at all.
We explored every day, making the most of our time in Alaska.
We didn't find the Ports crowded, as there is so much to see and do, so people disperse in so many different directions, do different tours, or do their own thing like we often do.
A word of warning, Cruise tours are expensive.
I checked out online, and found tours we wanted to do much cheaper, so booked on line. We had no problems doing this.
Always allow enough time to be onboard, as the Ship DOES NOT WAIT FOR LATE PASSENGERS.
Internet on board was expensive, so didn't use.
If you wish to drink, you can, just remember, it is a CASHLESS CRUISE, and you pay at the end, so keep tab, I did. We only saw a couple of people who had too much to drink. The ship had a Casino for those who are that way inclined, once again, if you want to gamble you can, you are not forced too!
People tend to think of Cruises as Gambling and Drinking, this could not be further from the truth with most people enjoying so much more that is on offer.
The Diamond Princess had a cruising Speed of 23 knots (maximum)
There is a commentary given as we cruise so we know what we are looking at, and there is also a Ranger that gives information.
COME AND CRUISE WITH ME, FROM ALASKA TO VANCOUVER - CANADA
We depart ANCHORAGE by Train to..........
We depart, and enjoy our 1st meal and night onboard.
This day was in College Fjord, Prince William Sound and Harvard Glacier.
Beautiful reflections, Icebergs and plenty of cute Otters floating on their backs.
So much stunning scenery today.
More wonderful scenery, including Glaciers and Humpback Whales, Pod's of Porpoise's, Otter's, Seals and Bald Eagles.
This was Glacier Bay. This was the only time the ship was a little crowded.
This mammoth, 18 story Ship sat quite close to a Glacier that towered above the height of the ship.
Every body was hoping to see it "calve" which it didn't do for us.
For an hour we waited, and it was only at the beginning of that hour, that it was crowded at the bow of the Ship, the rest of the time it wasn't crowded.
1st port of call, and it was SKAGWAY.
A seal was in port to welcome us.
We were meant to do the Yukon-Whitepass railway, but a landslide had blocked the railway line, so went by Bus instead. This was a beautiful outing.
JUNEAU the Capital of Alaska.
Did the Mt. Roberts Tramway, and what a view we had from the top looking down!
Mendenhall glacier on our own, and a walk around, another great day.
KETCHIKAN, and our 1st wet day.
Plenty to see here.
We saw the Lumberjack show which was very entertaining, and then did the Amphibious duck tour.
Lastly, the MISTY FJORD'S FLOAT PLANE TOUR, Expensive, but some of the best scenery in the World [in our opinion]
INSIDE PASSAGE, and the ship is close to land on both sides.
We see lots of isolated towns and houses, barges with lots of logs, another interesting day.
Arrive in Vancouver.
After our 1st cruise, all I can say, IS WE ARE HOOKED!
The Diamond Princess, the Ship, the Crew, and everything else WAS EXCELLENT!
We had a wonderful, relaxing time, and best of all, this was a very reasonably priced way to have a holiday, even adding on the additional tipping charge and the few drinks we board.
Cruises of new, are different to Cruises of old, give it a go, you may just enjoy it and want to do another!