Skagway – By 4:30 in the morning we were docked in Skagway. We saw the NCL Star dock right beside us around 5:30. It was quite cool early in the morning (about 48) but warmed up to the low 70’s in the early afternoon. We also watched the Coral Princess, Serenade of the Seas, and the Spirit of Endeavour dock nearby. We got off the ship about 7:45 (again no lines or problems) for our first excursion (Klondike Dredge & Gold Panning, which was really a lot of fun). After we got back from that excursion we walked around a “packed” Skagway (too many ships in port), going back to the Spirit for lunch and a little rest before our afternoon excursion (Skagway Street Car, which we also enjoyed). Both of these excursions give you a good background of the history of the area which we liked. We did some more walking around town until around 4:00 when we got back on the Spirit (again no lines or problems). That night after leaving Skagway, the waters were a little rough causing a few passengers to get seasick.
Prince Rupert - We arrived at our last port of call about 2:00. It was mostly sunny in PR with temperatures in the low 60’s. Hoping to get acquainted with the city and its history, we had signed up for the City Tour. We were somewhat disappointed because the tour guide just read a script “word for word” and gave a lot of boring information. We know PR is new to the cruising industry and hasn’t had much experience yet, so we need to give them some time. This is a good place for a self-guided walking tour. They have a great museum just up the hill from where the Spirit docks with all kinds of information on the area.
Day at Sea – Finally a day to sleep in since we had been getting up around 4:00 each morning to enjoy the beautiful sunrise and scenery. We cruised on the west side of Vancouver Island so there were really not many sights to photograph. Luckily the waters were quite calm and the weather was nice enough to enjoy the outdoor barbecue. It was a day of meetings (debarkation talk), demos (ice carving and towel folding) and shows (crew show, passenger talent show, Jane L. Powell).
Debarkation - We arrived in Seattle around 5:45 right behind the Diamond Princess. We had a nice breakfast in Windows, then went back to our stateroom to watch the unloading (and preparations for reloading) of the ship. The first group of passengers (those with flights before noon) debarked at 7:55, and about every 15 minutes they would announce the next group. Our group (Deck 9) debarked at 9:10, walking right off the ship, right through immigration, picked up our luggage (had trouble finding one of our bags because it was put with Deck 8) and walked right through customs with no problems.
More on dining and the ship to come!