So let me start by telling how and why I went on this trip without husband or children.I was a travel agent way back when and got out when the girls were old enough to
need me at home and the internet killed all of our airline ticket commissions. I got
back into it a couple of years ago as a side job/hobby. It's getting better now that
people are beginning to see that there are too many choices available to do it on
their own and they need someone to help get the best deals. (How's that for subtle
business plug?) I’ve been working on my cruise accreditation certificate (completed now)
which says that I’m more knowledgeable than most travel agents when it comes to cruises. I’m
nearly done but one of the tasks I had to complete was to go on a 3 day cruise and
also a 7 day cruise. It’s a tough job but somebody has to do it, right? Princess
Cruise Lines offers their own cruise accreditation and when you complete it they will
let you travel at a “greatly” discounted rate. So….. two weeks prior to my trip, they
released space on a few of their sailings that were not full and I just “had” to take
advantage. My husband couldn’t go so I took my good friend, Connie. We told
everyone that it was a trip for two (nearly) empty-nester moms and we would be
spending our time grieving for our children that are no longer young. Ok, so I’m not
sure our husbands bought that story but it made us feel less guilty.
We flew up to Seattle a day early. We boarded the ship the next day.
We had an incredible balcony stateroom. I said it in my last post but if you are
going on a cruise to Alaska….. a balcony stateroom is a must! The morning we sailed
to the glacier was very cold but we were able to run down to our cabin when we got too
cold and sit in our stateroom and look out the sliding door and not miss a thing.
Balconies are a little more expensive but soooooooo worth it on longer sailings.
The whole sailing through the inside passage is beautiful with wonderful waterfalls
and we got to see lots. I would sit mesmerized by the view for hours in the afternoon.
The Sapphire Princess is a beautiful ship but I was told not even the best of what
Princess offers. Here’s a couple of shots of the ship. The pools (5 I think) and hot tubs
(at least 4) are heated and they felt wonderful after a long day of hiking the glaciers.
I spent nearly every morning walking the fitness track. It was a bit cold but I needed to
walk off the calories so I could eat the wonderful multi-course meals. I often hear the
objection from travelers that all you do is eat while on a cruise and yes, you can gain
weight but I ate (a lot) and with all the walking I did….I did not gain a pound (didn't
lose either). Connie found out the hard way that if she did not eat all her meal, our
waiter, Mario, would give her no dessert. He told her that his momma said if you don't
eat it all, you get nothing for dessert. So he opened the lid on her dessert plate to
show an empty plate with the word "Nothing" drizzled in chocolate sauce.
We walked the Mendenhall Glacier which is about the only glacier that you can walk
up to. It was beautiful. We shopped and learned a bit of the Tlingit Indian culture of the area.
I loved the quaint little towns…. Reminded me of the places we would vacation in New
Hampshire, Maine and Vermont when I was a child. I enjoyed the flowers blooming
Victoria BC has over 800 hanging baskets in their city that someone has to go around
watering every night! Connie treated us to a pedi-cab tour of Victoria which was
wonderful. We had this Australian tour guide pedal us around the city for 2 ½ hrs and
he really knew his stuff and told us lots of little tidbits of facts.
So.... I'm no Rick Steves when it comes to travel blogs but I hope you got an
idea of the tough job that I have. If you've never been to Alaska, think about
going. It was beautiful.