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PotatoBug

LIVE from the Coral: July 24, 2019. North to Alaska

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On Wednesday, July 24 (tomorrow, as of this writing), we will be embarking on the Coral Princess in Vancouver BC, heading north to Alaska.

 

The itinerary is:
July 24: Embarkation (Vancouver)

July 25: At Sea

July 26: Ketchikan

July 27: Juneau

July 28: Skagway

July 29: At Sea, Glacier Bay

July 30: At Sea, College Fjord

July 31: Disembarkation (Whittier/Anchorage)

 

You can follow our adventures here. If you have any questions, fire away and I'll answer them as best I can!

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Posted (edited)

Hi Rick

Allan and I always talk about going to Alaska so it'll be wonderful to "see" this trip through your eyes.

Have a great time!

 

(And I think the Coral might just be my favorite Princess ship. She's just the right size, has a forward viewing area in the buffet and an indoor pool for inclement weather. )

Edited by chamima

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2 hours ago, chamima said:

Hi Rick

Allan and I always talk about going to Alaska so it'll be wonderful to "see" this trip through your eyes.

Have a great time!

 

(And I think the Coral might just be my favorite Princess ship. She's just the right size, has a forward viewing area in the buffet and an indoor pool for inclement weather. )

Karen, I'm surprised you've never done Alaska. If and when Diane and I go I'll make sure you know so you can join us.

 

And I agree about the Coral. This will be my 3rd time aboard her ☺

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We are going next July and would be interested in which excursions you would recommend.  I would not be the type to do kayak or zip lines.   But, seeing the wildlife and glaciers up front and personal.

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Day 1 - July 24, 2019 - Embarkation

 

The idea for doing this cruise began with a conversation between our youngest daughter and me late winter/early spring this year. Unfortunately, my wife had already committed most of her vacation for the year so she reluctantly gave us the thumbs-up to go without her provided *she* gets to go soon. 😉 After considering work schedules, ships, and prices we chose the July 24 cruise on the Coral. I’ve cruised on the Coral twice before and she’s easily my favourite ship.

 

There are many advantages to living in Vancouver, and one of them is the location of the cruise port downtown. Our daughter, Marcia, flew in nearly a week before in order to spend time with her mother, but mostly with our dog, before the cruise. This morning we left our apartment at about 10:30 to catch a bus to downtown, and a mere hour later we were in our cabin. There was literally no line at checkin at 11:00, and just 10 minutes in the waiting area before we were allowed to board.

 

I love to eat in the dining room on embarkation day, but this is the first time I had boarded before the dining room even opens at noon. We killed some time wandering the ship for half an hour, and I showed off the “secret” aft public decks. When we returned to the dining room we were seated immediately at a table for 8, with the 4 people already seated just ordering.

 

After lunch we returned to our room to unpack and met our steward Elmer. We requested more towels, some wine glasses, and found out that stewards no longer supply bowls of fruit. After unpacking we explored the ship some more until it was time for muster. Marcia had done a couple of Royal Caribbean cruises before so she was impressed at how much more civilized Princess muster drills are. The host of our muster did the usual “who is from country X?” There were some from Australia, Asia, Europe. Surprisingly, I was one of very few from Canada; the VAST majority were from the USA. One other note, I’ve never been on a cruise with *so many* blue cards. But I’ve heard that typical of Alaskan cruises. 

 

Our departure was delayed about half an hour due to some passengers who were late, so we pulled away at about 5. We spent some time top deck for sailaway and went back to the cabin to watch Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast go by from our balcony.

 

At 6:45 we decided to head for the anytime dining room, and found there was quite a line. But most of the line ahead of us was composed to 2 large groups; they were given pagers and told to wait elsewhere. When got to the front of the line we were immediately shown to a table for 2. We would have been happy to share but it was actually nice not to have to go through all the usual introductions and conversation that is only half-heard over the noise of the dining room.

 

We finished dinner just in time to make it to “I’ll Take Trivia for $100” at 8:30 in the Explorers lounge. We didn’t come remotely close to winning but many of the teams had at least twice the number of people we had (2). It was fun regardless.

 

After trivia we returned to our cabin. We are staying on Emerald deck aft, over the Universe Lounge. There was a band playing when we got back but they were done playing after about 15 minutes so that was not an issue.

 

And that was day 1.

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11 hours ago, soccermom25 said:

We are going next July and would be interested in which excursions you would recommend.  I would not be the type to do kayak or zip lines.   But, seeing the wildlife and glaciers up front and personal.

 

We might not be able to help you much. In Ketchikan we are ziplining, in Juneau my daughter is doing an 8 hour glacier hike while I'm kayaking to the Mendenhall glacier, and in Skagway we're taking the trai. Up the mountain and bicycles back down.

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Have a great cruise. I took cruises on the Island Princess this summer. I would have preferred the Coral, but they had specials for solo travelers on the Island that they did not have on the other ships. I still had a great time, but sometimes knew that it would have been better if they still had the Universe Lounge.

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Day 2 - July 25, 2019 - At Sea

Our at sea day started slowly. My Crohns Disease didn’t do well with the excessive rich food from the night before, so I stayed in the cabin most of the morning. I’ve now seen “Jumanji” a couple of times since we boarded, and parts of “On the Basis of Sex”, plus the same episode of “Friends” a couple of times. 

 

Marcia went to the gym around 7:15 and quickly returned because it was so packed; not a single cardio machine was available to use! She started feeling queasy so she headed to Lido where she could be outside in the fresh air, which helped her. When we awoke the ship was moving slowly but soon picked up speed as we passed the north end of Vancouver Island. The subsequent extra motion hit her hardest and dealt with motion sickness most of the rest of the day.

 

Around noon we were both feeling better enough to try the gym again; it was busy but we could at least get on the equioment we wanted. Afterwards we showered and got to the dining room shotly before it closed. The menu was uninspiring but we both *somehow* managed to find something to eat LOL

 

After lunch we went to the Universe Lounge for the “Game Show: Guest Feud”. We were a 2-person team for just a couple of minutes until a wave nausea sent her back to our room. I soldiered on alone but lost; I had a shot but zeroes on 2 questions sunk me.

 

I returned to the room to find her out on the balcony, eyes closed. There was a fine rain falling, almost more mist than rain, which made us happy that I had carefully selected a fully covered balcony. We split our time between our balcony and the aft viewing deck, until it was time for afternoon trivia. About halway through the game a lady asked if she could join us, and we said “of course”. We were glad to have her because she knew the answer to a couple questions for we had no clue. Unfortunately, once again we were close but a team of teachers beat the room.

 

We had decided to try the dining room earlier tonight because there were several things we wanted to do in the evening. We returned to our room to change for Formal Night. Ihad cheked with the Maitre D’ and a jackeet and tie were not necessary. We got to the anytime dining room (Bordeaux) around 5:30 and were immediatly ushered in to a table for 8. It quickly filled with folks from various spots around the USA. I decided by digestion was still iffy enough that I didn’t take any chances and simply had the Country Chicken from the always-available menu. Glancing around the dining room I saw one or two tuxes, several men with suits or jackets and ties, some with just jackets, some with just ties, but a plurality of the men were in nice dress shirts and slacks.

 

After dinner we changed our of our dinner clothes and wennt to the “Miracle Lyrical Game” in the Explorers Lounge. Alas this time we tied for 1st but lost the tiebreaker (guess the host’s shoe size); close but no wine bottle stopper.

 

After a quick trip to the Horizon Court so I could get some rhubarb pie we returned to the Explorers Lounge to learn about the “High Seas Heist” mytery game. For the rest of the cruise we will be trying to solve the mystery of who stole the Peruvian Opal necklace. Marcia picked up our instruction and clues package and went back to the room while I stayed in the Explorers Lounge for the “Majority Rules” game. This is a game where haing a team isn’t necessarily and advantage, unlike most trivia games. There was a huge turnout for this game, the lounge was packed! My 3 matches weren’t remotely good enought to win.

 

Tomorrow is our first port day in Ketchikan. We have a zipline excursion at 7:45 am so it will be a very early start. At least we set the clocks back tonight for the Alaska Timezone.

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Thanks for the updates Rick.

It doesn't sound  like there'll be a lot of cruising in Marcia's future.

Does she have a wrist band or a scopolamine patch?

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On 7/24/2019 at 11:08 AM, soccermom25 said:

We are going next July and would be interested in which excursions you would recommend.  I would not be the type to do kayak or zip lines.   But, seeing the wildlife and glaciers up front and personal.

We did this itinerary earlier this year. We were in Juneau early enough to take Adventure Bound small boat up Tracy Arm - talk about getting close to Icebergs and Glacier !!!

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We love the Coral, too.  Have been on her through the Panama Canal and in Alaska. 

 

Sorry your our daughter is having trouble. 

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Can you please please check which day is the Crab Shack offered on your cruise?! It is an extra charge pop up seafood boil type of restaurant that they set up in the horizon court for dinner once or twice per cruise, and I have heard many good things about it. We will be going on the same itinerary in a month and want to plan our other dinner reservations around it. 

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Day 3 - July 26, 2019 - Ketchikan

We woke up shortly before 6, just in time to watch as we sidled up to the dock. It was drizzling so we were happy for our covered balcony. After watching them tie up the ship we headed to the Horizon Court for breakfast. We snagged a seat by the window but it didn’t make much difference; the rain made it difficult to see out.

 

Shortly after 7 we left our cabin to meet our tour. We were signed up for a zipline adventure with an independent tour organizer. We walked from berth 4 to berth 2 in a steady rain, and were pretty soaked by the time we got to the meeting spot. It took a while but eventually we found our tour group and 12 of us boarded their brand new van (complete with “new van smell”) and drove 20 minutes to the Eagle Creek Rainforest Canopy Zipline Adventure. We transferred from the van to another vehicle we took us part way up the hill to the start of the zipline.

 

We were quickly fitted with our harnesses, helmets, and gloves, and given instructions on how to operate the zipline. I had ziplined previously in Mexico and Costa Rica, but I was never responsible for my own braking before. Some people were visible nervous but most were just excited. After a couple of “bunny hill” lines they got longer and longer; the longest was 750 ft! After 5 or 6 lines we crossed 3 suspension bridge before the final couple of lines. On the last line their photographer took photos of us; we were instructed to lean to the right and wave with that hand. Then they took a group photo before we each lowered to the group with what they called a “rappel”, but wasn’t really a rappel. It was more like a slow motion elevator sitting in a harness.

 

Our zipline tour over, we had time to wander the wildlife preserve (with injured Bald Eagles, and reindeer), or shop in the gift shop. The van returned us to town, and we had them drop us off at Creek Street, while everyone else returned to their chip. The rain began to let up during our trip in the van, and with the trees protecting us we were able to stay reasonably dry; when we got back to Ketchikan it had pretty much ended.. There were 4 ships in town; the 3 that were in Vancouver together plus the Norwegian Bliss. The Bliss was departing a couple of hours before us, so those passengers needed to get back to their ship immediately. When the Bliss departed a Celebrity ship took its place at dock. 

 

We poked along, looking in shops for gifts but nothing appealed, and the rain began to pick up again, so eventually we just headed back to the ship to get some lunch. Even though we were in time to eat in the dining room neither of us wanted to do that so we had our second meal of the day in the buffet. We weren’t fortunate enough to get a window for a second time, though.

 

After lunch we returned to our cabin to shower and relax on the balcony to watch sailaway. Once again we were little late departing; we heard 3 names being paged on the speakers so I assume some passengers were late returning.

 

We watched Ketchikan disappear and then went to the dining room for afternoon tea. From there we picked up the next clues for the High Seas Heist mystery game, which turned out to be a crossword puzzle based on the stolen necklace mystery.

 

We returned to our cabin for a while, and then headed down to the Universe Lounge for the “On The Bayou” show. Even though I thought we were getting there early enough for the good seats, the theatre was already half full! We picked some seats on the upper level, and enjoyed the show. 

 

We returned to our cabin to pick something up before heading straight to dinner, but then the Captain announced we would soon be passing through Snow Passage where the speed would be reduced and there was a good chance to see whales. We decided that we could let dinner wait a while so we stayed on our balcony to watch. By this time the rain had stopped, and the sun was almost breaking through the clouds. We saw some activity, probably sea lions, and then someone in the next cabin said “thar she blows”. Sure enough we saw the spray from a humpback whale off the starboard side, but that was it for the whale activity. We saw some more probable sea lions, and that was it for wild life. We could barely hear a female voice making announcements but they weren’t relayed to our cabin so we don’t know what that was about. 

 

At dinner we sat a a table for 8, with a family of 4 from Georgia, and a pair of sisters from Ohio. It was Italian night in the dining room tonight so all the wait staff were dress like gondoliers LOL

 

Nothing appealed on the agenda so we again returned to our cabin to watch the world go by, and go to bed. We actually got a nice sunset of the mountains … and I suddenly wondered “what direction are we going? Why is the sun setting on the starboard side of a northbound cruise?” We turned on the tv to the channel with the navigation information, and sure enough we were headed southwest to go around an island or pennisula (I wasn’t sure which).

 

Tomorrow we are doing separate excusions in Juneau so I won’t see much of my daughter during the day.

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22 hours ago, zry900402 said:

Can you please please check which day is the Crab Shack offered on your cruise?! It is an extra charge pop up seafood boil type of restaurant that they set up in the horizon court for dinner once or twice per cruise, and I have heard many good things about it. We will be going on the same itinerary in a month and want to plan our other dinner reservations around it. 

 

It is Juneau night, day 4 of our cruise.

 

When I was on the Coral 5 years ago they held it in one of the specialty restaurants (the Bayou Cafe, I think).

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On 7/26/2019 at 1:27 AM, chamima said:

Thanks for the updates Rick.

It doesn't sound  like there'll be a lot of cruising in Marcia's future.

Does she have a wrist band or a scopolamine patch?

She was fine by the end of the afternoon, and hasn't had issues since. Her body just needed to adjust to the motion of the ship. Thank your for your thoughts and ideas.

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10 minutes ago, PotatoBug said:

She was fine by the end of the afternoon, and hasn't had issues since. Her body just needed to adjust to the motion of the ship. Thank your for your thoughts and ideas.

 

SO glad to hear she adjusted.

Cruising is such a wonderful way to see the world!

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Day 4 - July 27, 2019 - Juneau

As I mentioned earlier, Marcia and I are doing separate excursions today. She’s doing an 8 hour hike that takes her out onto Mendenhall Glacier, and, if they’re lucky, into ice caves. Thus, she had a earlier start today because hers started at 8:30. As a point of reference, we didn’t dock until 8:00. 

 

Meanwhile my excursion started 2 hours later, and ends 2 hours earlier. I did the Mendenhall Lake Kayaking Adventure, during which we kayaked to the base of the glacier. We only brought one DLSR camera, and after much discussion we decided she should take it (but not with the extra weight of the zoom lens). I would just use my phone’s camera.

 

Because of the difference in the times of our excursions we ate breakfast separately. Marcia quickly grabbed her food in the buffet, while I relaxed in our cabin. After she left I went to the dining room, and they seated me alone; they didn’t even ask if I wanted to share a table (which I would happily have done), but I think it was just the timing. All the tables around me had no extra seats, and probably those that did were well into their meal. Fortunately, I have no issues with eating alone.

 

The forecast in the Patter was for showers and a high of 17 C, but the weather was dry with small patches of blue sky showing when we docked. I overheard someone in the dining room say the rain was not expected until the afternoon, so I crossed my fingers that I would avoid getting totally soaked kayaking.

 

I was to meet the tour guide by the Mount Roberts Tram at 10:20 for a 10:30 start. When I walked by the disembarkation ramp after breakfast there was a pretty big line, and I didn’t know how long it would take to walk, so overcompensated and arrived 10-15 minutes early. That gave me time to check out the Tram gift shop and hit the bathroom one last time. By 10:30 we were assembled for our kayaking tour: a couple from Alabama (Tim and Mallory), a family of 3 from Italy (specifically, Sardinia; Andrea (father, probably spelled wrong), Marta, and their 12 year old daughter Francesca), and me. Since I know the kayaks were 2 person, I figured one of the Italian family would be paired with me.

 

A 20 minute drive took us to the western side of Mendenhall Lake, to our put in spot. A last-chance opportunity to go to the bathroom before being confined to a kayak for the next 2.5-3 hours, and then we were “suited up”. They gave us rainboots that went nearly to our knees, lovely yellow (and heavy duty) rain pants, and a life jacket. Ihad 4 layers to wear but they recommended that I didn’t need both jackets and to just keep the rain jacket.

 

Our guide, Megan, lead us to the shoreline where the kayaks were lined up on shore. She showed us how to get in the kayaks, and we split into pairs. Since I already had kayaking experience, I was in the back of a boat with Marta from Sardinia. The father and daughter were in another boat, and the Alabama couple in the 3rd. Megan, our guide, had her own boat. There was a power skiff there as well, which was for emergencies if someone tipped and went for a swim.

 

We all got in our boats, and were pushed off the shore. Megan then showed us proper paddling technique (“use your core”), explained where we were going, and off we went. We could see Mendenhall Falls and the Visitor Center across the lake, about 4 km away … but that’s not where we were headed. We were going to get as close to the glacier itself as we could. Megan explained how the glacier creates a micro-climate, and the winds can approach 100 km/hr! She has tried as hard as she can, and has never been able to get close enough to the glacier to touch it.

 

Our first goal was to get to the penninsula that was between us and the glacier. The weather was good: partially sunny with little wind. We set off towards our goal and all was well, except that the lake has a current that was pushing us to the west. I was struggling to keep us straight (the person in the back is responsible for steering), but I did my best. We stopped for a rest and Megan told us a few facts about the lake, the glacier (it is 300 feet underwater at its face!), and wildlife. The father-daughter team was also falling behind, which became a common theme for the tour.

 

About halfway to the pennisula the wind picked up so it got harder to make progress but we all dug in and made it. Well, 2 of the boats did. A few hundred metres from the rocks Megan told us to just head towards the penninsula, and wait about 10 ft off shore. She had to go back and help the father-daughter team catch up. There were a few theories about why they were falling behind. We could hear them bickering, and I thought they were using up all their energy talking instead of paddling. Marta thought that Francesca just wasn’t strong enough. Francesca later mentioned that her father kept stopping paddling to take pictures!

 

Eventually they caught up, and we hugged the pennisula, out of the wind now, until we were about to come around and into an even more severe wind. We stopped briefly to take better pictures of the Falls, and then struck out again. And windy it was!

 

We paddled as hard as we could, but Megan stopped us when we were still quite a distance from the glacier; we had run out of time. We floated there, a few hundred metres from the face of Mendenhall Glacier, but certainly closer that we would have been able to get otherwise. Except, perhaps for the enormous canoe excursion that passed us on our way back. There must have been 20 people in it paddling, with a guide at the back with oars. Maybe they had enough brute force to get closer.

 

Turning around things got much easier with the wind at our backs. The only issue was the current seemed stronger now because I had to fight to keep us in a straight line. And … a light drizzle began to fall. It wasn’t significant, and, frankly, I was hot from all the stuff I was wearing and the work of paddling. We got back to shore with no further incidents (except waiting for father-daughter a couple of more times). Snacks were waiting for us, and hot beverages, and then we loaded in the van to return to Juneau. 

 

The couple from Alabama had another tour booked for shortly after we returned to town … and we encountered stopped traffic due to an accident. That only added about 5 minutes to our trip, though, and we got back downtown in plenty of time for them to make their whale watching. The Sadininians also got off downtown to do some shopping but I just wanted to get back, take a hot shower,  and put on clean, dry clothes.

 

Cleaned up, I went to Horizon Court at about 3:00 for a bit to eat, and then to the dining room for afternoon tea. After a couple of scones and clotted cream I was headed towards our cabin and as I walked past the Explorers Lounge one of the wait staff (Rose, from the Phillipines) waved me over and told me trivia was about to start but there was no one there to play! Not one to pass on an easy win, I got my answer sheet and pencil and sat down. Alas, a bunch of other people filtered in but it still wasn’t a huge crowd.

 

I lost again, but if I had remembered the name of the 7th dwarf (Happy) and stuck to my convictions about what Au is the symbol for (gold) I would have tied. After the game I retired to our cabin to await Marcia’s return. Her tour was supposed to end at 4:30 but she didn’t return until nearly 6:30 because some of the folks in her group went to a brewery after their hike. I will summarize her day another day; they had quite the adventure!

 

Once she was back and cleaned up we went to dinner in the any time dining room, sitting at a table for 8. One couple was from LA, one from Colorado, one from Australia. Marcia regaled everyone with her hiking tales.

 

Nothing much was going on after that so we just went back to our cabin to get ready to sleep. We have a very early start to our day in Skagway tomorrow. 

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Do you know if the dog sledding excursion went as planned, or was it cancelled?  We are booked on that excursion in Juneau on 8 August.  The similar excursion in Skagway was cancelled due to the co diction of the glacier.

 

We are also booked on the zip-lining excursion you just took. Can you take pictures, using a small camera with a wrist band, while on the zip lines?  Got a feeling you might be saying no, given the gloves that we will need to wear that serve as brakes.

 

Thanks,  David

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We had an early excursion in Skagway, so we got up about at 5:50 and headed to the Horizon Court for breakfast. A light rain was falling against the windows, and we prepared ourselves to get wet today. Our excursion was a train ride up the mountain to Fraser BC followed by a bicycle ride back down the mountain to Skagway. They can supply any necessary rain gear but we still took what we had.

 

It’s about a 20 minute walk into town from the cruise port, and we were to meet our group at the bicycle shop at 7:30 so we gave ourselves plenty of time by leaving our cabin at 7:00. There was a light drizzle as we exited the ship, but that stopped by the time we got to town. We found the shop pretty easily (Skagway is NOT very big), but no one was there because we were so early. We wandered a few blocks on Broadway, and returned to the shop. A few minutes later our tour guide, Trevor, arrived. As it turned out we were the only ones in our group, and were pleasantly surprised that they didn’t cancel our excursion. Later we asked Trevor and he said that if it had been booked through the cruise ship it probably would have been. I don’t know if that means the cruise line would cancel it, or the bike shop.

 

Trevor drove us to the train station in town. There were also trains waiting by the cruise ship so I assumed all excursions booked through the cruise line would start there. I soon learned I was wrong. On our car, the front one of the train right behind the engine, held mostly Princess excursions: hikers that would get off the train at mile 14, and people doing a kayak trip when they got to Fraser. And us.

 

The train ride was beautiful. We had off-and-on drizzle much of the way up, and I spent half my time on the small platform at the front of the car (braving the diesel fumes from the engine). Over the course of the 1.5 hour trip many people came and went from the platform taking pictures, especially when we would cross a bridge.

 

As I mentioned earlier, the end point of the train trip is in Canada, so passports were required for the excursion. The boarding crossing checkpoints, however, are not at the border but each is located about 7 miles from the border in the appropriate country. The Canadian immigration officer boarded the train when we ended the journey in Fraser and quickly checked everyone’s id; I even got a “Welcome home” as he checked mine.

 

As we crossed the border, though, the weather changed dramatically. The clouds lifted and the sun was shining! It looked like we had a chance at a nice ride down the mountain. Trevor met us as we exited the train, and we boarded the shuttle again. Tessa was the driver who would take the 3 of us to the drop off point, and then drive back to Skagway.

 

She drove us through the mostly flat terrain on the Canadian side, and just inside the USA side of the border we pulled in a “scenic overlook” to get fitted with a bike, helmet, gloves, and anything else we wanted. I opted for one of their bright red rain jackets, and Marcia asked for some rain pants.

 

Trevor gave us a quick orientation, read us the very serious sounding disclaimers, and we signed our waivers. We each did a quick ride around the pullout to see (1) if the bike fit, (2) the seat was the right height, and (3) we could actually ride a bike.

 

Once Trevor was satisfied we were ready, off we went downhill. I had been worried that I would just ride the brakes hard the whole way down but once we hit the road I realized I was ok with the speed, especially considering we had a considerable head wind blowing up the canyon into our faces.

 

We rode a short distance, maybe a kilometre, when we pulled over again to check if everyone was ok or if we needed anything. We were both fine so we said goodbye to Tessa and the van, and it was all downhill to Skagway. Or, *mostly* downhill …

 

We stopped at a handful of scenic spots, including a small, lower section of Bridal Veil Falls, the full length of which we had seen from the train.

 

After we cleared through American customs we hit our only uphill section (which I had also spotted from the train). I wasn’t sure I would make it without a stop but I gutted it out despite a knee that had been getting more and more sore on the cruise. The uphill section was about a half a kilometre, and into the steady wind, and when we were at the top Trevor pulled us over to rest and take pictures. From there we had just one more stop on our way back into town.

 

When we hit the flat land of Skagway we realized just how strong the wind was that we were facing. I estimated it at 30-40 km/hr. It was like biking uphill; I kept downshifting just to be able to move forward at all. We made our way back to the bicycle shop, collected the things we had left in the van, and said goodbye to Trevor.

 

We figured there was little chance we would be returning back into town (even though all aboard wasn’t until 8), so we did our shopping before returning to the ship. While we were shopping we ran into all the passengers that had been in my kayaking excursion the day before!

 

With our shopping complete we headed back to the ship, and straight to Horizon Court for some lunch. It was nearly 2 when we reboarded and so one side of the buffet was closed already. There was still plenty of food on the other side, of course LOL

 

The two days of strenuous excursions took its toll on Marcia. She was tired, and feeling like she was coming down with a cold or something, so she laid down on her bed and was quickly asleep. I hung out for a while on the balcony until it was time for “Closest to the Pin Challenge”. We had no idea what that meant, so I *had* to check it out. It turned out it was an indoor version of bocce ball. 4 of us played game after game for the next half hour; Assistance Cruise Director Brenna was hosting, and glad to have something where she didn’t have to do much. I chatted with her briefly; I already knew she was also Canadian, originally from Saskatchewan but now lives in Ottawa (when she’s home, of course). This was her last trip of her current contract so at the conclusion of this cruise she was flying back to Ottawa to see friends and hang out at the pool before her next contract in a couple of months.

 

I went straight to trivia after “carpet bowling” and once again did reasonably well, but still lost badly. One team had 18 of 20 questions right (I only had 14). 

 

I returned to our room to wake Marcia because it was time for *puppies in the atrium*. They brought 4 6-week-old sled dog puppies onboard for people to see and get their pictures taken. They had 3 “on duty” at a time, and rotated one out every few minutes. We didn’t want to wait in the enormous line for pictures, so gathered around the area where the puppies rested between shifts, but so did lots of other people. Marcia was eventually able to get to the railing and get a good view of the cute little doggies.

 

In the evening there were only two things we wanted to do: the production show “Encore” (featuring a guest soprano brought on board just for this show), and “Captain Marvel” at MUTS. We went to dinner early (about 5:45) in hopes we would be done in time for the beginning of one of the shows. Alas, it was after 7:30 by the time we were done so we decided to join the movie late (we had both seen it before, and could see it the next day in the Universe Lounge), and then go to the late show of Encore. We wrapped up in blankets and grabbed two front row loungers (not many people were willing to brave the outdoors in Alaska to watch a movie). Things were fine until we departed the dock. Even then it wasn’t too bad until we were well underway, and then the wind REALLY wanted to rip the blankets off of us. We stuck it out until the mid-credit scene and then we were done (SPOILER ALERT: we didn’t need to see Goose cough up the Tesseract, again, in the end-credit scene).

 

After the movie we made a quick trip to the room to shed some of the layers we had taken to wear to MUTS, and went to the Princess Theatre for the Encore. It was yet another wonderful show.

 

We retired to the room and both fell asleep quickly. Unfortunately, I fell asleep with a bag of ice on my knee, but no harm (well, no MORE harm) was done. I eventually woke up about 30 or 40 minutes later to take it off, and climb under the covers.

 

Tomorrow would be a sea day in Glacier Bay.

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On 7/27/2019 at 11:53 PM, DBSDSS said:

Do you know if the dog sledding excursion went as planned, or was it cancelled?  We are booked on that excursion in Juneau on 8 August.  The similar excursion in Skagway was cancelled due to the co diction of the glacier.

 

We are also booked on the zip-lining excursion you just took. Can you take pictures, using a small camera with a wrist band, while on the zip lines?  Got a feeling you might be saying no, given the gloves that we will need to wear that serve as brakes.

 

Thanks,  David

I don't know about sledding in Skagway but I talked to someone on Glacier Bay day who said their morning helicopter ride in Juneau was canceled, but that afternoon ones ran when the weather cleared up.

 

The information we had read about the zipline said no go-pros, and yet they let 2 people attach theirs to their helmets. You need both hands on the bar when you're zipping so you can't operate a camera then, but I took pictures from the platforms between ziplines using my phone. I left the DLSR behind on the ship because I didn't think it would be practical to take along.

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On 7/27/2019 at 9:01 AM, PotatoBug said:

 

It is Juneau night, day 4 of our cruise.

 

When I was on the Coral 5 years ago they held it in one of the specialty restaurants (the Bayou Cafe, I think).

 

The Crab Shack was also open on Skagway night.

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