It hasn’t been that long since our last Bahamas cruise on Carnival Freedom, but I’m so ready for another cruise. Our dream cruise, on Crown Princess to Alaska out of Vancouver, is coming up oh so slowly. But it is getting closer, since we sail in August.
Bucket List Cruise
Traveling to Vancouver
This cruise to Alaska is a bucket list cruise for us. And it’s so different than what we’ve done before. First of all, we’ve never flown to a cruise port. Actually, we haven’t flown at all in over thirty years. I don’t even know what to expect, but I have found out that flying isn’t as easy as it used to be. Since we live in the southern US, we made reservations with Air Canada But, after four changes to our itinerary in the first month, we cancelled that one and tried again. It’s stressful enough getting to the ship on time, without knowing when you’re actually going to get to Canada.
After that we took the advice of a friend from Alaska and booked a non-stop to Seattle on Alaska Airlines. It’s been a few months with no itinerary changes, so fingers crossed on that. We also decided to fly to Seattle two days before the cruise, and take the Quick Shuttle bus into Vancouver. It should pick us up at the airport and drop us off at the Pan-Pacific Hotel, where we’re staying the night before the cruise. I won’t lie, this has been a stressful road so far.
I am very excited about our cruise. We’ve never sailed on Princess Cruises before, so that’s exciting. It will be great to try something new to us. We’re doing an 11 day inside passage cruise, with stops in most of the Alaska ports, and Hubbard Glacier. We have booked an interior room on Crown Princess, which is disappointing, but we have bid on an upgrade for a room with a window. Fingers crossed. I’d love a balcony but we can’t spend that much on a cruise.
We’re not booking a lot of excursions, but we have booked a Whale watching tour with Glacier Wind Charters in Icy Straight Point. I’m really hoping to see whales breaching and I can’t wait for the tour. In Juneau we’re going to Mendenhall Glacier on a local bus, I just hope that we don’t run into any bears.
In the other towns we’re going to do some local sightseeing on our own. I really want to see the Salmon run in Ketchikan, and Skagway looks really nice. And of course we’d love to see the Northern Lights. Not sure if we will be able to since the sun sets very late in Alaska.
Packing seems very confusing to me. On our normal Caribbean cruises, it’s second nature by now. But Alaska is a whole different animal. It can be rainy, it can be dry, it can be hot, it can be cold…or somewhere in between all that. So, I hear that layers are key. But we’re limited on luggage, so I’m thinking that we’ll pack for less days and do laundry on the ship. That’s our plan anyway. I did manage to find a like new hard sided 29″ spinner case at Goodwill for $20, so we’re going to try and share that so we only have one checked bag. Plus we’ll each take a carry on and a backpack. Hopefully that will work for us. I’m sure we’ll be fine.
After the cruise we’re going to spend a day in Seattle since we’ve never been there before. Actually, this is the first trip where we’ll see the Pacific Ocean. I need to find a place to wade in the water somewhere.
We’re staying at a motel close to the airport with a free shuttle. We plan on taking the shuttle back to the airport and catch a train which will take us into downtown Seattle. Of course we want to visit Pike’s Place Market, but I’m not sure what other exploring we’ll do. We don’t mind walking, so I’d imagine we’ll just walk around and see what we can see.
And that’s our two weeks!
I do plan on blogging about this trip. I don’t know if it will be every day, or when we come back, but keep a watch out for it. This will be a totally different experience and blog than you’re used to. And if you have any questions on Alaska or Crown Princess, let me know and I’ll try to find out for you.