This is the first in a series of posts I plan to share of our Alaskan Cruise with the Princess Cruise Line; up the Glacier Pass from Vancouver, then into the Alaskan interior via motor-coach, through Denali National Park and back to Anchorage.
Good Day! Its been quite a while since I had a moment to write or share some images. Our family summer was filled with adventure from coast to coast. We hiked, we camped, we sailed, we cruised. The two older boys spent most of the summer working as counselors at Scout camp. My youngest enjoyed his first week long adventure at the same camp. Our extended family spent some time together on the Outer Banks, North Carolina. Liam and dad attended a week at the Sea Base High Adventure Boy Scout Camp sailing the Sea of Abaco in the Bahamas (blogposts to come). A week later our family found ourselves on the beautiful Princess Diamond cruising up the coast of Alaska!
I’ll try to keep my text to a minimum but so much to share. If you found this post searching for Princess Reviews, read on. I can tell you this for sure, Princess Cruise Lines were top notch every step of the way. We always felt we were taken care of, always had an itinerary, and always felt safe wherever we were. The ship was immaculate and the entertainment was endless. Fun for all ages in our family. Can’t say enough about the fine job they did. Well worth the investment as Alaska is huge! And Princess does a spectacular job of moving many tourists through the State, with many options available to create your own customized experience.
On a side not, credit for this trip must be given to our son Reilly. Reilly came up with the idea of an Alaskan cruise after providing a presentation on Alaska for a 3rd grade project. He never lost his fascination for all he had learned and was eager to share his knowledge. So when the suggestion came up that our family share in an epic trip, before our oldest runs off to college next year, Alaska it was!
On the ship and on our way. We were not in Vancouver very long before we were headed west then north. Laura and I opted for the stateroom with a baalcony while the boys had their own room on the interior; which suited them fine, no windows and dark as a cave! The balcony was a must as we, I, spent many cruise hours just hanging out watching the world go by.
Not sure what this industry was exporting but thought it made for a pretty picture.
Our fist view of snow caps, and very first for the boys. Many more to come.
(Liam and Danny in the foreground catching a late night movie on deck)
Our first day was at sea which gave the boys plenty of time to explore the ship and settle in. They never lacked for anything to do and were never bored.
The ship was gorgeous and the boys really loved it, so much so that after 6 nights they didn’t want to leave. Most favorite part, leaving dishes in your room or on the table and having someone else take care of it, the always open free ice cream bar, and the young teen centers that my two youngest enjoyed until late in the evening. Danny, Mom and I frequented the many comedic shows offered during the week and stayed up late in the Explorers lounge watching game shows.
A little chess to start the trip!
The boys in their formals. Yes, they packed and dressed themselves.
Pulling into Ketchikan would be our first adventure on Alaskan soil. The boys were excited. We opted to take a quick look around and head out of town to hike Deer Mountain. While we loved the ship, our first goal was usually to distance ourselves from the crowds and get moving and exploring.
Quaint towns. Dad was so excited each morning he was up early and sitting on the balcony with coffee, ready to greet the day.
You know your in Alaska when you see more sea planes than taxi cabs.
Land of the totem.
I considered celebrating with a new tat! Then decided it might hurt and spent my money elsewhere.
Onward to Deer Mountain. We hopped a cab to the trail head. Prior to being in each town I always reviewed TripAdvisor. Its great one stop shopping to find the best places and/or ideas for making the most of your day. We never booked an excursion through the cruise line saving an additional 20% and avoiding the crowds. Worked like magic with no issues.
Deer Mountain was part of a northern rain forest. Beautiful foliage, great hiking atmosphere, and pretty much straight up for a mile and a half to the first “look out.” We did not have time to summit. No matter it was a workout and very rewarding.
The family that hikes together….stays together!
Back in town to tour around before departure. We would put in some adventurous days, then loved to come back and be pampered. What a way to travel!
Danny loved to take his afternoon siesta on our deck. Yes it looks chilly, but the air and weather remained pleasant and the views never stopped.
As we headed out of Ketchikan, my personal favorite thing was to hang out on the bow (deck 7) where the crowds rarely were, enjoying the views, taking photos and watching the sunset.
This night there was only one other brave sole with me. You can tell by his clothing the temperature was dipping!
Onward to Juneau so click HERE!