Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Alaska Overview

Two weeks ago Art & I cruised with Norwegian Cruise Line to Alaska. We stopped in Juneau, Skagway, Ketichan, cruised through glacier bay & one final stop in Victoria Canada. 

To be honest I wasn't looking forward to going to Alaska. The part I wasn't looking forward to was the cold, all the elderly people, lack of sun, getting sick and cruising. All the things I wasn't looking too ended up being non-issues. It was warm, tons of sun, there were lots of elderly people but that was fine, and didn't get strep throat on this cruise. I was looking forward to the vacation, time away from work & limited communication with the world. 

I also felt Alaska was a cruise to take once you retire. My entire outlook on Alaska has changed. It is the place to go when you are mobile. There is so much to see!!!!  I can't believe how many excursions there are in each port. Some ports you can fit in 3-4 excursions. 

In Juneau we booked the glacier and salmon bake excursion. It was a last minute decision and I'm so glad we did. The scenery is breathtaking! Pictures just don't do Alaska justice. I would snap a picture, look at the picture and then back at the item. The real deal just couldn't be replicated. 

Salmon needs to be grilled over an open fire and top with a brown sugar butter glaze. I had tons of salmon over the week. It was the very best at the salmon bake in Juneau. Mmmmm I'm hungry for it again! 

Skagway we checked out the town in the morning. In the afternoon we went on a nature boat tour. We saw tons of eagles, seals, fish and 4 hump back whales. This was the only excursion we booked outside of the ship. We were both a little nervous about this trip. Our fears were quickly extinguished. The crew of Ocean Raft Adventures was super friendly, timely, funny and knowledgeable. We had a fabulous experience. 

Sagway had the best store!!! A Sarah Palin store!! Oh it was my favorite place! We bought a bunch of stuff for $8 bucks! CLEARANCE!!!!

Ketchikan we booked an excursion on the Aleutian Ballard crab boat from season 2 of Deadliest Catch. Fabulous excursion!!! We met Derek who was the captain of Phil boat after he passed away. We caught halibut, crabs, sharks, octopus, and rock fish. Saw lots of eagles, deer, but no bears :(  

In Victoria we just walked around bought souvenirs and went to dinner. It's beautiful there and I want to go back. We rode in an adorable little water taxi. I was just tired by this time and wanted to do nothing lol

Previously we cruised with Royal Caribbean. We liked them and didn't really have any complaints. We heard amazing things about NCL, so we decided to try them. NCL is a freestyle cruise. There aren't any set times to eat and you have different dining options for all meals. If you are cruising bring your fat pants!

Here is one thing I noticed a difference with NCL staff.  On Royal Caribbean the staff seemed worn out and very few left the ship. NCL staff seemed more rested, a ton of them left the ship, and they had 1 job not 3-4. I felt NCL treated the staff better.

I can't wait to go back to Alaska one day. We even talked about going to Ketchikan for a whole week. 

This vacation was much needed!!!! It was so nice to turn off the outside world for a week straight. I didn't think about work or cancer for 5 days. That is something that hasn't happened in 2013. I ate waaaaaay too much, slept a lot, read, ate, napped, enjoyed the scenery, exercised a little and loved every minute of it! 

Where is your next vacation? I suggest Alaska!!!