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Summit/Inside Passage July 1 (Part 3) Long


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Part 1 - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=206567

Part 2 - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=206825


Day 4 – Skagway

Our day starts early again. But of course, we are awake early. Alaska is three hours behind Central time, so we are awake at 5:00 am each morning. As the passengers begin to disembark for Skagway, we notice a very large group with what looks like pirate costumes get off the ship. Strange it seems to us, but we will find out more about this later. We depart the ship and walk the mile into town. There are shuttles, but we think we can walk the mile easy. I wish we had taken the shuttle. There are bicycle drawn rickshaw type transports to town but they are $10.00 each way. Seems a little steep to us, so we keep walking. We get into town just as the 4th of July parade starts. What a wonderful small town parade! Various groups of folk and old cars and it seems everyone is dressed up as a pirate (note earlier comment about large group departing dressed as pirates). Soon enough, you guessed it, our group from the Summit is part of the parade! It seems that a very industrious group of folk got together with the Chamber of Commerce and became an entry in the Skagway 4th of July parade! How fun!




After the parade, we find our way back to the ship in time to board the White Pass Railway for our trip on the narrow gauge railway. DH and I sit on different sides of the car because there is plenty of room. I know that both of us will get the opportunity to see everything. Sure enough, the train ride is wonderful. The scenery is awesome and the commentary makes me feel like the mile walk into town was nothing compared to the grueling paths that the miners took years ago to try and make a buck panning for gold.


While the trip up the pass is full of commentary, the trip back is not. So if you want to see the sights and get the commentary at the same time, sit on the left hand side of the train.




By the time we get back to the port, it is time to get dressed for dinner. Again a casual evening dress code. This evening our tablemates did not join us. We knew that their excursion (Skagway extravaganza) would put them back at the ship about 8:00 pm. So the four of us dined alone. We had originally planned a birthday surprise for our tablemate Virgil (celebrating his 80th) but we asked to postpone it to the next night. After dinner, we are again off to the Rendezvous Lounge for after dinner drinks and then our friends decide to spend the evening in the T-Pool and the Persian Gardens. DH retires to the room and I go in search of a few slot machines that will make me a millionaire (NOT). Anyway, after losing in the casino, I went down to the Rendezvous to listen to the Celebrity Orchestra playing some tunes in the lounge and then off to the T-Pool and the Persian Gardens steam rooms. The Jacuzzis close down at 9:00 pm, so I just soaked in the T-Pool and then eased into the steam rooms. They are very relaxing and just the right therapy before bed. We decided to skip the White Night extravaganza. Not our cup of tea. But it is still daylight outside, and I enjoy a quiet night out on the balcony.




Day 5 – Juneau




We dock in Juneau early and are excited for our trip with Capt. Larry to go whale watching. We are awarded with a trip on the Orca Odysea, Capt. Larry’s new boat. Dirk (the naturalist from the Summit) is on board and we are awarded quite quickly with whales, and more whales and more whales. With quite a few eagles thrown in, we are beyond excited. Capt. Larry’s trip is more than we ever hoped for and his new ship is great! It holds 40 people, even though we had 27 aboard. DH and I spend all of our time up top on the top deck watching and filming and generally having a good time.




We arrive back at the office in time to catch our next excursion to go Gold Panning. This excursion was great for kids, but the ‘salted’ pans of gold were a little too commercial for us. Somehow, I thought we’d be really panning, but it’s enjoyable to visit with some locals who pan in the same area for all the gold that the excursion folks let slip out of their pans. Luckily, this is a pretty day. All the rest of the days have been misty and windy and cold. After the gold panning adventure, we traveled back to the ship in time to do some shopping and then get ready for dinner.




The dress code for the evening was again casual. We are joined by our entire entourage of tablemates (including the elusive Mrs. Virgil) and celebrate the evening in grand style. Yesterday was Virgil’s 80th birthday and he didn’t make dinner but tonight, we have a birthday cake and waiters singing and then to top it off, this was the night that Sasha had arranged another serving of Crème Brulee! Talk about a sugar high! Our dinner goes too fast. We really did enjoy all this pampering that we get from our waiters and bar staff. I find out that our bartender Milton, only works for 45 min during dinner. He has arranged for my diet cokes to be backed up for my consumption after he leaves for his shift at the Rendezvous lounge. He simply knows how to take care of his guests!




After we finish dinner, again we are off to the Rendezvous Lounge for our after dinner drinks and then decide to take in the evening’s entertainment in the Theater. The daily describes the entertainment as “The Action Comedy of Michael James”. We are amazed and rolling on the floor laughing during this act. If you get the chance, you must catch this act. Michael James performs on unicycles and does an incredible act of climbing a ladder that is not supported, all while making you laugh uncontrollably! Back to our room and I discover that our waiter has had a Crème Brulee sent to our room for my sweet tooth!




After having a great time at the comedy show, we contribute some more cash to the slot machines and then hit the sack again. I guess that we’re just old folks, but we aren’t making much past midnight on this cruise.




Day 6 – Icy Strait




On this day, we don’t have anything planned, but decide to tender to Icy Strait Point to experience the tender process and spend some time wandering through the village. Since we are CC, we have priority tendering, so we simply go to the tender door and board the tender boat. The trip takes about 15 minutes and we spend the next few hours walking through the shops at Icy Strait and then taking a small nature hike through the forest. As we are follow the signs to a small restaurant, our attention is drawn to the ocean where we once again see whales. Of course, after yesterday with Capt. Larry and Dirk, we have become experts at whale watching. A short while later, we board the tender back to the ship and spend the afternoon lying on loungers by the pool watching for eagles and whales.




This was the second formal night of the cruise. DH and I have decided to take advantage of the ship’s photographer this evening and we dressed early and proceeded to the areas where formal portraits were being made. After having our portraits made with two different backgrounds, I am satisfied that I will get a decent picture of DH in a tux and off to dinner we go. This was lobster night. The waiters remove the lobster from the shell and I’m amazed that that meat doesn’t go flying across the room. Talk about finesse! But our dinner is wonderful and although I’d love another lobster tail, I don’t ask. I know that my eyes are bigger than my stomach, so I wait until the temptation passes.




After dinner and the customary stop at the lounge, we visit the theatre to play a lightning round of Bingo and don’t win, but have fun anyway. Then its off to the Bar at the Edge of the Earth. It’s Karaoke night again. Once again “Karaoke Bob” is present and tops the evening off with his rendition of “Family Traditions”. On this night again, there are troubles with the Karaoke microphones, but we are not to be denied. All singers good and bad alike are represented. At midnight, we make our way to the midnight buffet. We went to take pictures more than anything else. There is simply no way that we could stuff nay more food into our bodies at this late hour. After a walk through the buffet and a few pictures of the ice sculptures and food animals, we are off to bed, leaving many folks who are much braver than we to fill their plates.

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Thanks for the continued fine review.


Was your ship berthed far back at Skagway? We are supposed to be forward on the dock and meet our excursion at the head of the dock. a mile? I'm afraid we'll miss our "sign" with our names on it if we take th shuttle. Can you get off at any place you want from the shuttle, or have to go all the way to town? Thanks.

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We were berthed behind another ship. There was a courtesy shuttle which took us to the main gate of the port (not far). Then from that point it was about a mile into town. Don't worry, you'll see your sign if they are to meet you at the main entry to the port.

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