We decided to take a Cruise to Alaska. It would have taken too long to drive there and we are sticking to our 2 year plan. Our cruise was from May 18th- 25th on the Explorer of the Seas by Royal Caribbean. We stopped at Juneau, Skagway, a drive through the Tracey Arm Fjord and a stop at the Victoria, BC port.
I will say the after cruising on the Harmony of the Seas, the Explorer was a little disappointing. The technology is not up to par and neither are the shows. Of course we still enjoyed ourselves, I’m just noting the difference.
We found an RV park in Seattle, Lake Pleasant RV park, that we could stay at on Thursday night and then we could move to a storage lot for only $11 a day. We decided to surprise the girls with a limo ride to and from the cruise because to drive to the port and park the Jeep would have cost more and we would have to drag our luggage further. We used Semper Fi Chauffer Company. Micheal was on time, polite and full of great information about Seattle. We loved chatting with him and listening to his personal experience with the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. If you need a chauffeur in the Seattle area, we definitely recommend them.
Being on a cruise to Alaska is a lot different than being on a cruise to the Caribbean. It’s too cold to hang outside. Even running the deck is cold and windy. The girls braved the pool twice but we did enjoy the hot tub a few times. We did have a covered balcony so it was nice to hang out there wrapped in a blanket and drink a hot tea in the morning.
They had Ice Skating on board so we did that twice.
We went Rock Climbing twice. It is a lot harder to rock climbing on a moving boat. Which by the way swayed a lot more than our other two cruises in the Caribbean.
Mini Golf on board. Abby got a ‘hole-in-one’ twice and won the whole round.
The flowrider was closed most of the time because the weather wasn’t warm enough or the wind was too bad. One day they even had to empty the pools because the waves were so big. On our last day, the port day in Victoria, they opened it because it was warm and calm. Chris and I decided it was still too cold for us but the girls didn’t mind. Mackenzie wasn’t able to do the flow rider on the cruise we took in September because she wasn’t tall enough so she was determined to get on it. She did great and even got up on her knees.
Mackenzie’s first time on the flow rider.
We celebrated Mackenzie’s 10th birthday on the cruise. Chris ordered balloons and decorations for the room and surprised her with it on our last night.
Since we couldn’t enjoy lounging outside we joined in on some of the on board planned activities. We participated in a Scavenger hunt and Bingo- we won both!
Lobster night. The girls tried Baked Alaskan for dessert for the first time. They were more explorative on their menu choices this week and found some new favorites.
Other casual dinners in the Windjammer.
The cruise we took in September the girls wanted to stick together as a family the whole time because they said that’s the point of a family vacation so they did not participate in any of the kids activities on board. This time was a whole different story. After spending 24-7 with each other for 8 months they were ready to have some independent time. Every night after dessert they headed out on their own until the show started, and some times went to the kids activity room after the show. Chris and I played scrabble in the library- how fun are we?
You’ll see in one of the pictures they had to put barf bags on all the stair wells because the waves were so bad one night, the first time we had seen that. They also emptied the pools…see below. Luckily, none of us are affected by sea sickness.
Yoga from the Balcony
From the Cruise, our first port of call was Juneau, Alaska.
Sunday, May 20, 2018
Juneau is the capital of Alaska but we didn’t get our normal ‘capital selfie’ because we were on a tour bus as we drove past the government building.
Juneau, population 33,000, is rather unusual among U.S. capitals (except Honolulu, Hawaii) in that there are no roads connecting the city to the rest of Alaska, this is because of the rugged terrain. Cars can only be transported by ferry. Juneau is considered an island city so all goods coming in and out must go by plane or boat, which makes everything very expensive. The tour guide pointed out a small shack of a house that was on the market for $400,000.
We signed up for the Wildlife quest, whale watching and Mendenhall Glacier excursion from 12-6pm. We started out with a Whale Watching Tour where we saw two whale breaches! It was amazing. Of course I didn’t catch either one on camera because it was raining the whole time and I had to keep the camera covered most of the time. I did meet a photographer from Jackson, WY (Jacob) that got a great shot of it. I’m hoping he sends me a copy:)
Juneau has a large ice mass from which about 30 glaciers flow; two of these, the Mendenhall Glacier and the Lemon Creek Glacier, are visible from the local road system. The Mendenhall glacier has been gradually retreating in width and height. We visited Medenhall Glacier in the Tongass National Forest. We hiked the Nugget Falls trail to get a closer look. In the late summer people will get in the cold glacier water and play around.