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Ruby Princess Inside Passage To Alaska July 13-20, 2019


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We did a Princess Excursion in Juneau. The one with The Salmon Bake, Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier.

The tour was through Allen Tours. They were great. Someone was waiting right at the pier with a sign. We took a bus out to Auke Bay and went to the Salmon Bake first. Our whale watching boat (which took us to the Salmon Bake) was fairly small. It had an upper and lower level with a bathroom and a little snack bar which offered alcholic drinks. Not sure why you need to drink booze to go Whale Watching, but to each is own.

So, the boat took us up Auke Bake To Orca Point Lodge for the lunch. The lunch was quite yummy. They had salmon, of course. And chicken, rice, green beans, rolls and delicious brownies for dessert. After lunch we had time to walk down to the beach and take pictures.

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16 hours ago, GolfMommy17 said:

Interested to know about the weather  (rain, temps, etc)   and how was the whale watch itself?  Heading to alaska next week on a cruise.  still trying to figure out the clothing!

weather is so unpredictable here on the west coast! When we went, our sunniest day was in Ketchikan (we had a lovely, sunny breakfast on our balcony at port), which is usually the rainiest!  You can check the 10 day forecast for each city a couple of days before you sail. The rule is always to bring layers! Peel them off and then put them on as needed. We definitely bundled up when cruising through Glacier Bay. It's not warm at sea on this cruise, but it is lovely. 

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16 hours ago, GolfMommy17 said:

Interested to know about the weather  (rain, temps, etc)   and how was the whale watch itself?  Heading to alaska next week on a cruise.  still trying to figure out the clothing!

Hi!

The weather was great. Much better than I expected. Temperatures were in the 60s. It never felt cold except at Glacier Bay. In Juneau it was sunny all day with just one or two brief showers. It did rain in the evening when we were back in town but very light rain. Skagway, it drizzled on and off most of the day but very light, hardly bothersome. Glacier bay it was sunny blue skies. Ketchikan it was raining when we docked but luckily, it stopped for our excursion, then started again just as we were finishing.

So, all in all, not too bad!

Whale watching was awesome. I will post pics and talk about that in my next post.

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The whale watching part of our excursion was great! We were on a fairly small boat, maybe 50 people. Lots of room for everyone. We saw tons of whales. I don't know how she can tell, but the naturalist said we saw 20 different ones. We also saw bubble net feeding which the guide said was rare. I don't know if that's true or they just tell everyone that to make them feel like they got their money's worth. I googled it and apparently it is, so there you go!

 

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The third component of our Juneau excursion was a trip to Mendenhall Glacier. We only had an hour, not long enough to hike to nugget falls unless you really hoofed it. But I think anything longer than an hour would have been too long. Once you've checked out the glacier there isn't much else unless you're really into the educational stuff in the center. We had a good chuckle at a lady who came up to me (very obviously from the south) and asked if the white stuff on the mountain was snow! Very amusing for a couple canucks. I guess if you come from the deep south you might not have seen snow before.

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After our excursion in Juneau, we had about three hours to explore. We headed for the Red Dog Saloon first to have a famous Duck Fart Shooter. The Red Dog was a cool place. I would have liked to spend more time there and eat dinner but we had planned to go to Tracy's Crab Shack. We should have stayed at Red Dog cause Tracy's was lined right out the door so we didn't end up getting to do that. Anyways, Red Dog did not disappoint. We snagged the last empty table right inside the door. Some others from our tour group had to wait outside.  We did the duck farts. They were delicious. Better be for $7.50 a piece! And because we did the duck farts we were given a sharpie to sign the table. The atmosphere in Red Dog was quite enjoyable. And they even had dirt floors.

 

 

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31 minutes ago, ifihadamilliondollars said:

 we had planned to go to Tracy's Crab Shack. We should have stayed at Red Dog cause Tracy's was lined right out the door so we didn't end up getting to do that.

 

Did you know that there is another Tracy's location?  I found it when we were on our cruise in April, but it had not yet opened for the season.

 

It's a bit of a walk from the docks.  So, I imagine that it is less busy that their other location.  However, if you were able to walk to the Red Dog Saloon, then you could probably walk to the second Tracy's location.  I see, also, that you can book an excursion from Princess and take a bus over there.

 

https://www.princess.com/excursion/exDetails.page?t=A&exType=S&tourCode=JNU-310

 

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21 hours ago, ifihadamilliondollars said:

After our excursion in Juneau, we had about three hours to explore. We headed for the Red Dog Saloon first to have a famous Duck Fart Shooter. The Red Dog was a cool place. I would have liked to spend more time there and eat dinner but we had planned to go to Tracy's Crab Shack. We should have stayed at Red Dog cause Tracy's was lined right out the door so we didn't end up getting to do that. Anyways, Red Dog did not disappoint. We snagged the last empty table right inside the door. Some others from our tour group had to wait outside.  We did the duck farts. They were delicious. Better be for $7.50 a piece! And because we did the duck farts we were given a sharpie to sign the table. The atmosphere in Red Dog was quite enjoyable. And they even had dirt floors.

 

 

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The new Red Dog is OK (Coast Guard flag on ceiling) but nothing like the original Red Dog across the street. I think you will find the floor is saw dust on concrete.

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Our next stop was Skagway. We did the Glacier Point Wilderness Safari through Princess. It was awesome. If you really want to get out and see Alaska, I highly recommend this tour.

They took us on a ninety minute boat ride to get where we needed to be. We saw lots of beautiful scenery along the way. But the best part of this boat ride was our tour guide, Zack. This kid was hilarious. He talked the whole time, standing up at the front of the boat, making jokes. But he was also very knowledgeable about the area and shared a lot of interesting facts. My husband immediately whispered to me that Zack reminded him of Sean Penn's character, Jeff Spicoli, in Fast Times at Ridgemont high. Then Zack made a joke about how people often tell him that!

They took us to a remote beach and fed us a delicious little lunch. Turkey sandwiches with real turkey meat, fresh bread, water, applesauce, and delicious trail mix. Then the fun began. They loaded us onto a school bus. Yes a school bus. And took us through the woods! It was a little scary.

When we reached the staging area, everyone was outfitted with rubber boots and life jacket and an oar to paddle the canoe. We hiked through the woods to the water. We paddled part way to the glacier and then our guide turned on the motor.

Even though there was a light drizzle most of the time, it was still an amazing adventure. We tied up the canoes and got out near the glacier. We hiked as close to it as we could get. Sometimes, you can go right up and touch it, but we couldn't that day as the water was running fast and deep and they felt it was too risky.

 

 

 

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On 7/25/2019 at 5:21 PM, ifihadamilliondollars said:

We had an obstructed ocean view cabin. E701. If you want to save a lot of money, book this cabin. It wasn't really obstructed at all!

I would much rather spend my money on excursions in Alaska than a balcony that I would have rarely used.

 

 

 

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What was your bed configuration?  Was it under the window or on the wall?  Thanks.

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Thanks for your great detailed review, and all the photos. Our family has sailed on the Ruby twice, and we love her.

 

Thank you also for your thoughts on the on-board Naturalist. I have heard interesting views on Michael, and his style. I am also a Naturalist, and am hoping to work on-board the Princess ships at some point. Would you mind telling me more about his presentation, and what he talked about? Thank you!

 

Wonderful pics of all those humpback whales, by the way!

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On 7/27/2019 at 12:16 PM, ifihadamilliondollars said:

The whale watching part of our excursion was great! We were on a fairly small boat, maybe 50 people. Lots of room for everyone. We saw tons of whales. I don't know how she can tell, but the naturalist said we saw 20 different ones. We also saw bubble net feeding which the guide said was rare. I don't know if that's true or they just tell everyone that to make them feel like they got their money's worth. I googled it and apparently it is, so there you go!

 

We saw this too when in Alaska.  It was amazing.  A friend went and only seen one whale so I guess we were lucky

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Glacier Bay Day:

We had amazing weather for Glacier Bay. No rain. The sun peeked out a few times. Not overly cold. I'm probably going to get a lot of flack for my next statement and it is just my opinion. Disclaimer: I have a short attention span. I kind of thought Glacier Bay was overrated. There. I said it. Yes it was a beautiful place to see and I'm glad I had the opportunity. But once I saw Marjorie and took some pictures, I was done. The other big glacier there is covered in dirt. And then there was one other one on the way out but I didn't see it. Now, you have to remember that we went to Mendenhall and canoed to the Davidson Glacier, so I was probably just a little glaciered out at that point.

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Ketchikan

I think my favorite day of the whole trip because I finally got to see some wildlife (other than whales).

We did the Zodiac Boat Excursion. It was awesome!!!

Of course, it was drizzling when we docked in Ketchikan. But, amazingly, it stopped just long enough for our 2.5 hour excursion, then started again just as we were coming into the dock. Can't ask for better than that in Ketchikan.

 

A van took us out to the dock where they outfitted us in thick, wool socks. a wet suit/rain coat thing complete with a jacket and pants, mittens and rubber gloves. We were in a small group and my husband and I had our own boat (they seat 4). There was only two other boats plus the guide. A very small, private tour.

 

The boats go really fast and its choppy out there, or it was that morning anyway. A bit of a rough ride at times, but so fun!

And the best part? The Harbour Seals! And we saw a few bald eagles. The guide had fish in his boat and he threw it in the water and the eagle swooped down right in front of us. Amazing. We also saw some deer. No bears! He took us to a view spots on the shoreline where they might be, but no luck!

 

I highly recommend this tour if you want to have fun and see wildlife up close.

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Victoria, BC

Okay. This port is just downright stupid. I understand that they have to stop in a Canadian Port. But C'mon. We didn't dock til 7pm. There was some kind of hold up with customs and we didn't get off til 730. Unless you had an excursion booked, there was nothing to do! We walked to Fisherman's Wharf. Just some bars and restaurants. And apparently some people walked downtown which was a bit of hike and all the shops were closed!!

 

 

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